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Comment What kind and size of drone are we talking about? (Score 1) 120

Are we talking about those relatively small drones with multiple propellers that cost $1k or so and fly at a few hundred feet altitude or are we talking about the big ones the CIA and military use in places like Syria and Iraq? The big ones may have GPS guided bombs able to be flown at night or through clouds and fog and can be effective weapons in bad weather. Lasers aren't very useful in bad weather situations because of light scattering. Would this anti-drone device be useful for, maybe, shooting down Amazon packages?

Comment Re:Cable cutting depends on how you count (Score 2) 319

Techdirt seems to have some numbers in answer to my post:


For instance:

"...ESPN has lost 7.2 million viewers in the last four years, and a little more than three million in the last year. Since ESPN is annoyingly force-bundled with most basic cable subscriptions a lot of these users are cord cutters."

Comment Cable cutting depends on how you count (Score 1) 319

I think the amount of cable cutters depends on how it's measured. Some, if not most, cable companies have an Internet plan that is cheaper if one buys a package that includes a very basic channel selection which may include only the local broadcast channels. People who got rid of all higher level packages and just wanted Internet but took the less expensive package with some TV may not be considered cable cutters because they get cable provided Pay TV. What really needs to be counted are the changes in the numbers of subs to content providers as ESPN, CNN/MSNBC/CNBC/Fox News/ which are generally included in the next higher level Pay TV package. Loss in those subscribers would be a better measure of cable cutting. Oh, and many of those getting the local broadcast channel and Internet package may not even be watching the Pay TV content. Disney, owner of ESPN, seems to have some cash flow problems seen by the dismissal/loss of some of their expensive on air "talent". They've paid huge sums to some sports leagues, notably to the NBA, and may have trouble paying for that. Sports leagues could be in trouble.

Comment Is this why I don't get the Windows 10 update icon (Score 1) 317

My Dell XPS 15 laptop running Windows 7 has an Nvidia graphics processor as well as Intel graphics. A choice can be made as to which processor to use for any application. I wonder if this is why I haven't seen the Widows 10 update Icon that invites me to reserve my update to Win 10. Maybe it's something else. A desktop computer I built running Win 7 does show the update icon.

Like many who have posted above, I have disabled auto updates on both these Win 7 computers and wait for a week to find out if there have been problems with any second Tuesday updates before installing them. I'm waiting to see if some auto update to Windows 10 bricks 10% of Win 10 computers and nothing can be done to use a restore point installation because there's no way to boot without a bootable disk or image. That is even if a restore point created. Even then restoring to a previous set up would just auto update to the faulty configuration because there's no way to turn off auto updates. This is going to be a mess.

Comment Is The Current C-14/C-12 ratio used? (Score 1) 108

My understanding is that the current atmospheric carbon isotope ratio is not used for carbon dating but that from tree rings. Knowing the ratio from tree rings and the decay rate of C-14 should give the atmospheric ratio when the tree ring grew. One problem is that the oldest trees are something like 4,000 to 5,000 years old but then 5,000 years ago was well before the industrial revolution when the huge quantities of fossil fuels began to be used. Assuming the isotope ratio wasn't much different before ~2,000 BCE doesn't seem much of a stretch. I guess some have a problem with that, though. There are other dating methods for radioactive dating for much earlier times particularly for geology. See:


Comment Been there. Done that. (Score 0, Redundant) 248

Let's put the $10 billion to better use like finding a cure for one of the many illness that affect many so as to extend their life. The return on investment could be enormous not only because of the likely improvement in the quality of life of sufferers but also the elimination of the care that might be required for such a disease and the general population as well. Look what virologists and medicinal chemists have accomplished in the treatment of HIV AIDS or hepatitis C and how that research may improve treatments for other chronic ailments. There are so many conditions that need work that setting a priority for what to study will always be difficult.

Comment Great the /. could notify users (Score 2) 75

It looks like /. had a Plan B ready in the case of a catastrophic failure. For some sites one just gets a blank page with some strange message when that happens. /. did the right thing letting users know they had a problem and were working on it and then let us know a bit about what happened. Thanks, /. techs.

Comment According to the article... (Score 2) 65


"Interactions with websites running HTTPS encryption, which includes financial transactions, were not leaked."

Whew... Although there are some privacy implications, HTTPS seems to work for your most important web use. And, with the transition to almost all sites running HTTPS encryption - hopefully with no bugs in that - the problem cited in the article may go away. There have been some concerns about HTTPS reliability, such as forged certificates, but hopefully the problems will be solved. I'm not completely up to date an the problems w/ HTTPS, though.

Comment Re:Does it matter? (Score 2) 668

I presume you are in the UK. In the USA persons educated and licensed to distribute prescription drugs are called pharmacists, not chemists. In the USA persons educated and who work in the area of the chemical sciences are called chemists. I'm not sure what the latter are called in the UK - chemical scientists? If both professionals are called chemists then I can imagine some confusion.

Comment Re:The next inventions in North Korea (Score 1) 162

Canoes aren't cars. Canoes don't have wheels which means they can't go "off the water". Canoes also use the energy of its occupants to provide energy unless they're going down stream then generally they'll end up in a lake, reservoir or the ocean. Of course, if the occupants of the canoe are living on the nutritious air the North Koreans invent, they could use canoes for water trips and put bicycle like wheel drives in the cars to make them move on hard ground.

Comment The next inventions in North Korea (Score 1) 162

Soon we'll hear how North Koreans can drive the cars they don't have on water without any external energy supply. Also, they'll produce, without any energy use, a form of air that's so nutritious that there will be no need for food thus traditional agriculture will be unnecessary.

I hate to give them any new ideas about productive research possibilities that might come from the curious US workers with garages and an advertising budget, but you never know.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!