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Comment: My short list (Score 1) 232

by Technician (#49828393) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Your Most Unusual Hardware Hack?

I added a transistor in line wirh the voltage reference on a 24 to 12 volt power supply. With a zener diode and resistor that progressively brought the output up with input between 22 and 28V, I made it into a solar charge controller for a 60 cell 240 Watt panel for the motorhome. It worked great and closely matched the panel peak power curve keeping the panel voltage high for any input power. It has been running trouble free for a couple years now.

Not electronics, but related. Converted disposable Freon tanks into high power t shirt cannons for an engineering challenge. Free tanks counted as part of the bill of materials, where cost was part of the contest. I'm in the blue shirt with the initial prototype at the end of the video.

Salvaged a 0.001Mhz crystal osc to use in an electronics shop. Used it for a reference for adjusting tape decks for speed and wow and flutter. A free crystal audio reference was much better than a reference CD with a short tone track. It was mush more stable than any shop function generator we had at the time. In a pinch it doubled as a stable square wace source to use for TDR with a scope.

A Hall sensor from a broken PC fan coupled with a 9V battery and a couple LEDs made a quick magnet sensor to check relay states in equipment for quick troubleshooting. Coupled with a scope, doubled as a tach for brushless DC motors.There is more I can't think of at the moment.

Comment: Cable companies should offer value (Score 1) 137

Cable companies originally offered a larger seclection of channels which wre commercial free. I cut cable when they drove me nuts with time/life commercials and raised the reate from 12.95/mo. Haven't subscribed since. Netflix is eating their lunch for programming.

Comment: Re:why do people get this wrong? (Score 1) 74

by Technician (#49820145) Attached to: Cybersecurity and the Tylenol Murders

I guess I get the 3rd competing story for how it most likely happened..

A man poisoned his cronically ill wife and placed more poisoned pills on store shelves to produce the doubt he didn't murder his wife.

Who actually did the poisoning was not proven due to the number of cases.

"As the tampered-with bottles came from different factories, and the seven deaths had all occurred in the Chicago area, the possibility of sabotage during production was ruled out. Instead, the culprit was believed to have acquired bottles of Tylenol from various supermarkets and drug stores over a period of several weeks, added the cyanide to the capsules, then returned to the stores to place the bottles back on the shelves. In addition to the five bottles that led to the victims' deaths, three other tampered-with bottles were discovered."

Source Wikipedia.

Comment: Another explination (Score 1) 52

This might not be an official function of the group anonymous.

Say for example a user runs a botnet and participate in Anonymous. I don't want to be found when the feds hack the server. Some users could simply be using the routers as an anonymous proxy.

This may have no official connection to anonymous. This could be the same as accusing Torr as being set up and run by anonymous as some of the exit notes log into the anonymous server.

There is a possibility this is real, but at this point is is mostly speculation, and possibly a smear campaign.

Comment: Re:$1 a month (Score 3, Interesting) 167

by Technician (#49671019) Attached to: How Spotify Can Become Profitable

The endless list of horror stories of subscription cancellation woes has built up a very real online resistance to signing up for anything with a credit card. Even free as they often are a hidden free trial.

Having had the honor of first hand dealing with online ordering without just as easy online cancellation, has firmly entrenched the once burned twice shy response.

I can name names to be specific.

AOL, Comcast, Viatalk...

Until the industry fixes the locked in reoccuring billing subscription, all sign up proceedures no matter how small are potential fights in the future to cancell, and customers are burnt out dealing with it.

Guilt by association appplies to any service without a contract expiration date.

For spotify to leave the reputation, they should offer term subscriptions. 1 month, 3 month, & 1 year. No questions termination at end of contract. Then provide excellent service so I'll renew because they are great.

Comment: Re:first, don't let them put their shit on YOUR ph (Score 2) 776

Some employers can require on call engineers. The question comes down to salaried or hourly. If salaried and mandentory on call, then the alternate solution is to leave the phone at work for privacy reasons and auto forward to your Google Voice number. My GV account can ring up to 3 phones at once. This can include a landline, cell, and google talk. A VOIP line with some providers can allow multi presence. This includes a VOIP phone at home, a VOIP app on a tablet, etc. I can be reashed, but I don't have to give out my personal cell number to be reached.

My GV piints to a free IP Kall number, which goes to a free VOIP account on IPPI, which has free voicemail, free missed call notifications by email, and multi presence up to 3 phones. Solves my after hours contact number while exiting employer tracking. I can call in using Goolge Voice. I can be home, at a club, or in Disnyland and the origin does not show up, only the GV number.

Comment: Re:Brand? (Score 3, Informative) 227

What amazes me most is the failure to notice the modulation frequency and ti's phase lock to local power.

Non inverter (all older) micrwaves use a 1/2 wave voltage doubler so the magnitron is only on for 1/2 the AC cycle. Google Microwave oven power supply to see a typical schematic.

For unexpected frequencies, a non linerate in RF from arcing in the door seal can cause odd order harmonics. EG splattered food on the door seal area.

Comment: Freezer not required (Score 1) 1

by Technician (#49626665) Attached to: Putting keys in freezer could prevent car break-ins

Any Faraday shield would work fine. I use a stainless steel coffee cup. Due to the diameter and the wavelength, a lid is not required. If you wish to test suitable containers, place your keys in a soup can or other lidless metal container and try to open the door with the container in your hand. If the car can't see the keys, a long range amplifier won't work either.

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.