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Comment: Glad I'm not a kid now (Score 1) 331

80% of kids have smartphones? I'm glad I'm not a kid today. My father was too much of a Luddite to get a color TV - no way would we have been allowed to have cell phones. much less smartphones, and he probably wouldn't have tolerated a PC or the internet in the house either. We would have grown up in a strange informationless cut off parallel universe from all the other kids.

Comment: Young Marsden Aaaward (Score 5, Interesting) 109

by VAXcat (#49304525) Attached to: The Stolen Credit For What Makes Up the Sun
HA! This reminds me of my days at Rice University, in the early 70s. The Post grad students there each year would award one of their number the "Young Marsden" award. It was presented to the student whose work had been most egregiously ripped off by a faculty member that year. It was called the Young Marsden award, in memory of Marsden, since Rutherford and Geiger got credit for his work on alpha particle scattering

Comment: Re:Paranoid, but mostly appropriate (Score 1) 90

by VAXcat (#49300223) Attached to: Amazon Wins US Regulators' Approval To Test-fly Drone think a medical certificate should be required to fly a 20-30 pound drone, but any schlub with a driver's license can pilot a 2 ton UPS truck on public streets to deliver packages? The medical certificate shouldn't be required for general aviation pilots, much less drone pilots - studies show it doesn't make a difference.

Comment: Re:USB was no longer standard either (Score 1) 392

by mirix (#49231121) Attached to: Does USB Type C Herald the End of Apple's Proprietary Connectors?

Price. Why spend $4 where $0.05 will do, and will likely never fail anyway? It's a last ditch protection system, not really something that should be tripping all the time.

That said, it used to be fairly common to have breakers on a couple circuits (headlights, for one).

In addition to cost, I'd suppose reliability might be a second consideration. Breakers have contacts in them, which with enough vibration and temperature/humidity cycling might fail, I guess... whereas a fuse has none.

What else.. fuses are faster, better current breaking capacity for DC (at least at this price point). I'd guess the tempco might be better too. (the trip point both devices moves with ambient temperature).

Comment: Re:So... (Score 2) 107

by mirix (#49230873) Attached to: Lawsuit Claims Major Automakers Have Failed To Guard Against Hackers

That's how it generally works already. Important stuff is on one CAN bus (ECU, ABS pump, auto trans controller if it has auto trans, airbags, etc). All the secondary stuff like door modules (controls locks, windows, etc), cabin illumination, the radio/navi and whatnot are on a secondary CAN bus (or LIN, or..).

This way if your rear door module dies and manages to take down the (secondary) bus, the car still runs.

I don't see much point in securing it, as you need physical access anyway. I'd rather see it go the other direction, standard, open interface, instead of each manufacturer using a proprietary communication scheme. (CAN only defines lower layers).

This is like suing computer makers for people being able to hack a computer they have physical access to. It's not possible to prevent.

Comment: Re:Alternate Bank of Canada Press Release (Score 1) 223

by mirix (#49186335) Attached to: <em>Star Trek</em> Fans Told To Stop "Spocking" Canadian $5 Bill

Here's the rules, FWIW. Pennies are only valid to 25c.

(2) A payment in coins referred to in subsection (1) is a legal tender for no more than the following amounts for the following denominations of coins:

        (a) forty dollars if the denomination is two dollars or greater but does not exceed ten dollars;

        (b) twenty-five dollars if the denomination is one dollar;

        (c) ten dollars if the denomination is ten cents or greater but less than one dollar;

        (d) five dollars if the denomination is five cents; and

        (e) twenty-five cents if the denomination is one cent.

A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing but together can decide that nothing can be done. -- Fred Allen