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Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 1) 212

It sounds like this transformer had its center tap grounded and was the path to ground on one side of a ground loop as the geomagnetic field moved under pressure from a CME, inducing a common-mode current in the long-distance power line. A gas pipeline in an area of poor ground conductivity in Russia was also destroyed, it is said, resulting in 500 deaths.

One can protect against this phenomenon by use of common-mode breakers and perhaps even overheat breakers. The system will not stay up but nor will it be destroyed. This is a high-current rather than high-voltage phenomenon and thus the various methods used to dissipate lightning currents might not be effective.

Comment: almost should have let her call (Score 2) 894

If there was any good chance of a reasoning being on the other end of her call to the police, it would have been worth it to let her call and then have the LEO "explain" to her the (unfortunately rare) consequences of filing a false complaint, then watching HER be arrested for disrupting the flight. As it is, of course, ...

Comment: wrong place for solution (Score 1) 547

by dltaylor (#47526595) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Myopia is the effect of having an eyeball out-of-round. Astigmatism is the result of aberrations in the cornea. Why cut up the cornea to fix myopia? You got lucky with 20/15; most do not, and many have aberrations. No thanks.

If/when myopia-corrective lens implants give full vision range (and, incidentally, also correct presbyopia), I'll be down to the clinic to have it done. Until then, I have 20/15, 20/20 and astigmatism correction with contacts and no side effects.

+ - Letter to Congress: Ending U.S. Dependency on Russia for Access to Space 1

Submitted by Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens (3872) writes "I've sent a letter to my district's senators and member of congress this evening, regarding how we should achieve a swifter end to U.S. dependency on the Russians for access to space. Please read my letter, below. If you like it, please join me and send something similar to your own representatives. Find them here and here. — Bruce

Dear Congressperson Lee,

The U.S. is dependent on the Russians for present and future access to space. Only Soyuz can bring astronauts to and from the Space Station. The space vehicles being built by United Launch Alliance are designed around a Russian engine. NASA's own design for a crewed rocket is in its infancy and will not be useful for a decade, if it ever flies.

Mr. Putin has become much too bold because of other nations dependence. The recent loss of Malaysia Air MH17 and all aboard is one consequence.

Ending our dependency on Russia for access to space, sooner than we previously planned, has become critical. SpaceX has announced the crewed version of their Dragon spaceship. They have had multiple successful flights and returns to Earth of the un-crewed Dragon and their Falcon 9 rocket, which are without unfortunate foreign dependencies. SpaceX is pursuing development using private funds. The U.S. should now support and accelerate that development.

SpaceX has, after only a decade of development, demonstrated many advances over existing and planned paths to space. Recently they have twice successfully brought the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket back to the ocean surface at a speed that would allow safe landing on ground. They have demonstrated many times the safe takeoff, flight to significant altitude, ground landing and re-flight of two similar test rockets. In October they plan the touchdown of their rocket's first stage on a barge at sea, and its recovery and re-use after a full flight to space. Should their plan for a reusable first-stage, second, and crew vehicle be achieved, it could result in a reduction in the cost of access to space to perhaps 1/100 of the current "astronomical" price. This would open a new frontier to economical access in a way not witnessed by our nation since the transcontinental railroad. The U.S. should now support this effort and reap its tremendous economic rewards.

This plan is not without risk, and like all space research there will be failures, delays, and eventually lost life. However, the many successes of SpaceX argue for our increased support now, and the potential of tremendous benefit to our nation and the world.

Please write back to me.

Many Thanks

Bruce Perens"

Comment: Re:this is great news! (Score 1) 94

by dltaylor (#47514097) Attached to: Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

None of the above. I have an old Denon DBP-2010CI that just plays discs (Blu-Ray, DVD, CD), but has a (at the time it was sold) spectacular scaling engine.

All of the other stuff would be handled by a WDTV, PC, Mac, ...

So far, I haven't found a 1080P, or less, disc it will not play, but the DVD players all eventually couldn't handle the menu formats of some disc, or other, so I suppose this one will, too.

I still need a good Linux BD->streamable file converter for backups, though, and I could also use the files with XBMC or one of the systems listed above.

Comment: need to move my email - where? (Score 1) 63

by dltaylor (#47504647) Attached to: Rupert Murdoch's Quest To Buy Time Warner: Not Done Yet

As a current TWC hostage, I need to move my email before this happens. Since the US government is unconcerned about collateral damage when taking down a hosting site, I'd like it to be in Europe (Germany, France, Netherlands, for example). I need POP/SMTP access, and a routable domain (name not yet selected) for incoming mail. If there MUST be a web service, a simple static "C" program returning "Access to this site not authorized." in a few languages (and, maybe, a suitable response for robots) should suffice.

Any suggestions for hosting provider/registrar there?

Comment: sold box, still have cards (Score 1) 192

by dltaylor (#47498537) Attached to: The Almost Forgotten Story of the Amiga 2000

I sold my A2000, stripped, for $300 way back when. I still have the card set (RAM, '030, 7-port serial, two SCSI adapters, 8088 bridge board, video sync; even the two SCSI hard drives still work). Maybe I should buy one and put it back together to support 32-bit Linux. I have the CD32 and A500 for the games, I s'pose. Tricky bit is converting the old output to VGA, much less HDMI.

First cards were for a homebrew ZorroII expansion I built for the A1000. 2 additional Megabytes of RAM and the Amiga's yet-to-be-equaled ramdisk gave me a really usable system.

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley