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Comment: Re: CB Radios (Score 1) 938

by ThinkingGuy (#38360682) Attached to: NTSB Recommends Cell Phone Ban For Drivers
I have no data to back this up, but based on my own experience* I think there are differences in the nature of communication between cell phones and radios (CB/Amateur/business/etc.).
Cell phones being full-duplex, people are more likely to talk over one another, as they do in face-to-face conversations, which means you have to be listening while talking. With half-simplex radios, on the other hand, you're either receiving only or transmitting only, which seems like it would make it easier to "compartmentalize" the activities in the brain. Again, I'm just hypothesizing. Also, on the radio, long pauses in a conversation are not on acceptable but frequently encouraged (to listen for any other stations to want to join the conversation or use the frequency). This, coupled with the necessity of coordination would seem to have the effect of generally slowing down the pace of the conversation, and freeing up more cycles in everyone's brain.

*Granted, I'm definitely biased on this topic, being a ham radio operator who regularly talks on a mobile radio with several other hams while driving to work in the morning. I do try to take sensible precautions, though; I don't talk and drive if the weather is bad, if visibility is low, if I'm trying to navigate in an unfamiliar part of town, or if I'm merging or performing some other delicate maneuver.

Comment: Re:Citation please (Score 4, Insightful) 938

by ThinkingGuy (#38360146) Attached to: NTSB Recommends Cell Phone Ban For Drivers
I actually asked a police officer about this subject once. Specifically, I asked if they received any special training on how to drive and talk on the radio/phone at the same time. His response was, in effect: No, there's no special training, but witnessing on a daily basis the deaths, injuries, and carnage caused by careless driving serves as a strong motivation to exercise caution while driving.

Comment: Re:Ham radio (Score 2) 202

by ThinkingGuy (#35053372) Attached to: Egyptians Find New Ways To Get Online

My understanding is that if you use a ham radio to [view] the internet you can't go to any web page with an [advertisement] on it.

In the US, at least, the regulations (FCC regulations Part 97.113 in the US) prohibit "communications in which the station licensee ... has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer..."

Viewing a web page that had a few ads over a D-Star or packet network is not a violation, but sending an advertisement, or solicitation would be against the regulations.

The biggest impediment to using the Internet over ham radio is the prohibition on encrypted content. So sending a PGP-encrypted message or viewing a website over HTTPS would be against the rules.

Comment: Re:Would take a lot for me to use MS product (Score 1) 356

by ThinkingGuy (#34872480) Attached to: Google vs. Bing — a Quasi-Empirical Study
I'm a techie who tends to avoid products from Microsoft. However, I also don't consider search engines to be products. Google doesn't earn any money from all the web surfers typing "facebook.com" into the Google search window. Its primary business is selling audiences to advertisers. When you use a search engine, you're not a customer, you're the product being sold.Given Microsoft's history of defending and promoting their products, I figure I'd much rather be a Microsoft product than a Microsoft customer.
The Internet

How Not To Design a Protocol 186

Posted by timothy
from the sweet-morsels-of-logged-in-ness dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google security researcher Michael Zalewski posted a cautionary tale for software engineers: amusing historical overview of all the security problems with HTTP cookies, including an impressive collection of issues we won't be able to fix. Pretty amazing that modern web commerce uses a mechanism so hacky that does not even have a proper specification."
Space

Record-Breaking Galaxy Found In Deep Hubble Image 196

Posted by samzenpus
from the old-neighborhood dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes "Astronomers using Hubble Space Telescope have found a galaxy at the very edge of the Universe: the light from this far-flung object has been traveling a whopping 13.1 billion years to get here! The galaxy appears as a non-descript dot in the infrared Hubble Ultra Deep Field taken using the Wide Field Camera 3, but a spectrum taken using a ground-based telescope confirms that we're seeing this object as it was a mere 600 million years after the Big Bang itself."
Hardware Hacking

Building a Telegraph Using Only Stone Age Materials 238

Posted by samzenpus
from the from-scratch dept.
MMBK writes "It's the ultimate salvagepunk experiment, building a telegraph out of things found in the woods. From the article: 'During the summer of 2009, artist Jamie O’Shea of the organization Substitute Materials set out to test whether or not electronic communication could have been built at any time in history with the proper knowledge, and with only tools and materials found in the wilderness of New Jersey.'"
Math

Benoit Mandelbrot Dies At 85 131

Posted by Soulskill
from the edges-are-interesting dept.
Beetle B. writes "Benoit Mandelbrot has passed away at the age of 85. I first learned of the Mandelbrot set while reading Arthur C. Clarke's The Ghost From The Grand Banks. Soon after, I got hold of the best fractal generation software of the day — Fractint — and ran it for long periods of time on my XT, exploring the beautiful world that Mandelbrot, among others, had opened up for me. That it was only on a 4-color CGA did not deter me!"
Government

Internet Dismantling the State Church In Finland 547

Posted by timothy
from the way-way-up-for-fsm dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Finnish secular web site that facilitates electronic resignation from the Finnish state church gained wide attention in the media this week. A gay rights TV panel discussion was followed by thousands resigning from the church. On Wednesday, 2633 people resigned through the web site, which is more than all the resignations in July. The Internet is secularizing the Finnish with increasing speed; over 90% of resignations in Finland go through the site administered and marketed by hobbyists driving Finland towards a secular, non-religious state."
Lord of the Rings

Hobbit Film Finally Gets Green Light, To Be Shot in 3-D 261

Posted by timothy
from the lighter-fare dept.
An anonymous reader writes with word that "after much kerfuffle and uncertainty, the Hobbit film has finally been greenlit," with Peter Jackson as director. Says the linked story: "The announcement did not state whether the two-part prequel to The Lord of the Rings would be shot in New Zealand. Matt Dravitzki, Jackson's assistant at Wingnut Films, said an annoucement on the place of filming would be 'probably a week or two away.'"

For God's sake, stop researching for a while and begin to think!

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