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Comment: Re:satellites (Score 5, Informative) 403

Either my understanding of orbital mechanics is completely wrong or that is completely incorrect. Geostationary satellites need very regular station keeping otherwise they either fall to Earth or are ejected out into solar orbit. If ejected it could remain operational for a while but if it fell back to earth the results would be obvious.

Your understanding of orbital mechanics is totally wrong. Geostationary satellites do need frequent stationkeeping maneuvers, but that is because the satellite is required to remain in a 30km box. If these maneuvers cease, as would happen with the sudden disappearance of humans, they will start to drift off their stations, eventually collecting in a couple of regions, one over the Indian ocean and the other over the Pacific. (This is due to the earth's slightly uneven gravity). Because of the vastness of space, the probability of them actually running into each other is fairly low.

A geostationary satellite would need almost the same amount of energy to come down as it takes to put it up there, and probably twice as much to escape the earth's gravity well. At the end of life of these satellites, they use the remaining fuel to boost them another 200km or so in altitude, then vent all remaining fuel (so they won't explode if there's a fuel leak), and then blow the electronics to make sure they don't interfere with anything else. They will remain in that graveyard orbit forever.

Comment: Re:Self-signed (Score 3, Interesting) 324

by Strider- (#49594401) Attached to: Mozilla Begins To Move Towards HTTPS-Only Web

Okay, but if you're going to do that, you might want to throw out all the incredibly dire warnings about self-signed certificates. Nobody should be forced to pay a cartel for SSL certificates.

It's gets worse. Chrome throws the dire warnings on self-signed SSL certificates, and then refuses to do the username/password autofill on those pages. I've basically ditched using chrome for most of my network admin stuff that goes over https, because of this.

Comment: Re:A gem from the discussion (Score 3, Informative) 324

by Strider- (#49594341) Attached to: Mozilla Begins To Move Towards HTTPS-Only Web

Also, for those of us operating network connections to remote locations, everything https is absolutely destructive to the network performance. Right now, our WAAS setup gives us about a 30% boost on the satellite connection, mostly through low level de-duplication and compression. When you have 50+ people depending on a 1.8Mbps satellite connection, every bit counts. Enabling https for things that don't need it is a huge performance penalty.

Basically, the people making these decisions assume that everyone has an unlimited, fast internet pipe. This is simply not the case.

Comment: Re:The true sticking point - China (Score 1) 152

by Strider- (#49363149) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

Probably what would happen is that the relatively secret stuff that the US has on the ISS like the communication system (TRDSS) will either be opened up or a few wheels will be reinvented in order to eliminate a good portion of the stuff that China would want to steal.

Actually, there's nothing really secret about TDRSS. They're just bent-pipe communications satellites like all the others, just with a bit of an odd frequency set. The Radios on the space shuttle were derivatives of those used on military aircraft, but that's about it.

Comment: Re:Keep track of what you eat (Score 2) 496

by Strider- (#49329367) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds

One helpful feature is the bar code scanner. You can scan almost any product and get the nutritional information right into your mobile device.

And there's the problem... Good food doesn't have a barcode. Very little of what I bring home from the grocery store has barcodes on it, and what does usually just has the internal store code on it (meat), or is a bulk package (20lb bag of flour, etc...). All these food tracking/diary apps are really built for tracking packaged/prepared foods, and are a pain to use when you make stuff from scratch. As such, unless you're going to weigh and add all the ingredients manually (I'm way too lazy for that), you're left with generic estimates of what you're eating "Plate of pasta" or "Steak Dinner" or whatever, which can be wildly inaccurate if you're like me and tend to invent as you go and/or substitute ingredients based on what you have.

Comment: Re:"Free" with restrictions is not Free! (Score 5, Informative) 198

by Strider- (#49325595) Attached to: Pixar Releases Free Version of RenderMan

Non-commercial use? How the fuck is that "free"?

Because it doesn't cost money. It's an accident of the English language that Free as in no-cost, and free as in freedom, share the same word. In pretty much any other language, they are separate words. In French, this is the difference between "Gratuite" and "Libre"

Comment: Re:Then ID would be required (Score 5, Interesting) 1089

by Strider- (#49295925) Attached to: Obama: Maybe It's Time For Mandatory Voting In US

I forgot to add, for those that feel strongly about not voting, require a form of contentious objector status against voting, requiring renewal every so often (like once per decade) to qualify to not vote.

Why not just a "None of the Above" option? If NotA wins, all candidates in the election are disqualified, and new candidates must be presented.

Comment: Re:Or we just stop buying Cisco. (Score 2) 296

by Strider- (#49293965) Attached to: To Avoid NSA Interception, Cisco Will Ship To Decoy Addresses

Really... when was the last time any of us thought Cisco was the best choice for a project?

Actually it can be a great deal... I'm in the process of building up a campus network for a non-profit, that will eventually have some 25 switches (Core and access), and 3 or 4 routers. All of it Cisco. Why? Because Cisco's support policies are such that there is tons of perfectly serviceable EoL/EoS equipment available on the secondary market that suits our needs, and available for very little $$$.

Comment: Re:Aren't these already compromised cards? (Score 3, Insightful) 269

by Strider- (#49277343) Attached to: Fraud Rampant In Apple Pay

But of course, the person who is stealing your credit card info is most likely your waiter, and they have a minute or two with your card over at the POS to copy down the CVV manually.

And this is why the United States needs to move to EMV (Chip & Pin) like the rest of the world. Rather than the waiter taking your card away, they bring you a hand-held terminal, which you then take and perform the last portion of the contract yourself, with the card never leaving your hands.

Comment: Re:Why so long? (Score 1) 449

by Strider- (#49084957) Attached to: Credit Card Fraud Could Peak In 2015 As the US Moves To EMV

In Canada, we've been Chip & Pin for at least 5 years ago. I was actually surprised when I was down in the states and had to grab some socks from Walmart. When I swiped my card (which I'm used to in the states) instead it had me insert it and do the usual chip & pin.

The contactless is for small, quick transactions. Buying coffee, a pack of gum, whatever. While Chip & Pin is more secure, it's also significantly slower. So, to move a lot of people through the line quickly, they do the paypass thing. When you have the lunch rush at Timmies, you need to move people quickly. ;)

Comment: Re:Helping Castro (Score 5, Informative) 166

by Strider- (#49064107) Attached to: Cubans Allowed To Export Software and Software Services To the US

That gasoline in your car most likely comes from Saudi Arabia, and we are openly allies with other Gulf Arab states.

I've seen this repeated a bunch of times, but it's simply not true. Canada was far and away the largest source of foreign oil to the United States. In November 2014, the USA imported an average of 3.443 million barrels per day from Canada, and only imported 1.014 million barrels from Saudi Arabia. If you add up all the gulf states, and other less friendly nations, that the total imports to the US total 2.630 Mbpd (I totalled Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iraq, Angola, Russia, Kuwait, and Algeria in that). Additionally, the United States extracts 9.020 Million barrels per day of crude.

The long and short of this is that the gasoline in your car most likely came from domestic crude, followed by Canadian crude, or crude from other friendly nations, and not from Saudi Arabia, or other less friendly nations.

Sources:

http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/i...
http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pe...

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