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Comment Must be rare failure (Score 1) 114

Never had that happen to me, though I travel regularly. It must be a rare mode of failure. I have never lost a piece of equipment this way in any country. Just once I had to fix a N. American power stripe after its surge protector component smoked out in Europe. Bypassing it fixed the stripe and it run finely ever after :).

Personally I would not bother, as a failed power supply is not a big risk comparing to other risks that something else fails or gets lost. It may be more practical to rely on replacing the power supply from a local store in the event that it fails (many sell universal power supplies that fit sockets on most notebooks). If you are that paranoid, just pack a spare in your checked luggage.

Comment Already doing it (Score 1) 576

With all the tracking and intelligence collection capabilities US has, no extra effort is needed. Uncle Sam already knows where you go and what you do, if you use any kind of electronic communication or device while in the US (and while outside the US for that matter, for most of us). That, plus airline & hotel & cc usage data tracks the paths of 99% visitors. I guess if you are in the remainign 1% who really "disappear" from the electronic communications after crossing the border, you are automatically a suspect.

Submission + - Chinese nationals accused of taking SATs for others

Vadim Makarov writes: The US Department of Justice has charged 15 Chinese nationals with developing a scheme to have imposters take university entrance exams. Prosecutors said suspects used fake passports to trick administrators into allowing people other than legitimate test takers to sit the SAT, GRE and TOEFL exams. The defendants, both male and female, range in age from 19 to 26, and are currently living in several cities — including Blacksburg, Virginia, and Boston, Massachusetts — where major universities are located. For each count, they could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, plus additional 5 years for the conspiracy charges.

Comment Re:And how, exactly, are they going to do that? (Score 1) 296

USA also checks if the product is still where it was declared to be at the time of sale. I'm at a university in Canada. Last year my university had a visit by two men from the US Embassy in Ottawa, visiting various labs to see if the products sold under export control agreements were still there. I mocked the men a little bit.

Comment Re:Ikea Karlstad couches designed by idiots! (Score 1) 95

I dunno. I had a home stocked with IKEA, and now have a lab full of cabinets (several types, over 50 units in total). This has survived one said lab relocation between buildings, in a truck. No breakages. The only problem was with one (out of 100+) drawer cabinet's bottom that fell through when we loaded it with HEAVY metal parts, but I fully understand these cabinets were not designed to handle this load. I have fixed it in half an hour usung a bracket from another IKEA drawer, anyway.

I don't know what you folks do with furniture. In normal use, IKEA is durable enough and well-designed. It looks flimsy but in my experience is more durable than many other heavier-looking pieces of furniture.

In any case, if something breaks in normal use, email IKEA. They have a customer service that works. At the very least they can mail you broken parts.

Comment Re:Had a similar problem many years ago (Score 1) 192

We had a single-photon detector whose electronics contained a little glass-encapsulated Zener diode. That diode was emitting a small quantity of infrared light. When an experiment used more than one detector, they were counting lots of photons from each other's electronics. We have since replaced this Zener diode with a black plastic-encapsulated version, and the problem went away.

Comment Finally, the proper distribution model (Score 2) 148

Finally, there is an easy way to pay for a major release directly to the studio! I'm downloading the torrent. If I end up actually watching it past 1/3 of the movie length, I will go and pay the rental fee on, after watching.

Every movie should have a voluntary payment option like this, directly to the studio. I will use it every time I watch a copyrighted movie past its 1/3 length.

Thanks the North Korea!

Comment Re:Camera killed it (Score 1) 154

P.S. It must fit over my prescription glasses, though. Over the right eye please. And it must have 2 hours full HD video time on full charge. And it must go on wi-fi... we don't have reliable mobile reception at the workplace. But I don't care if the device is wired, or wirable, to an external battery that I could keep in my pocket or on my belt, and pass the power cable under my shirt. That would actually be okay.

Comment Re:Camera killed it (Score 1) 154

I would really love to try skype videoconferencing with that. We do lots of calls at work to remotely troubleshot some piece of hardware, discuss an experiment in progress, etc. It may be practical if the remote party sees what the wearer sees, while his hands are free to do things. I would have already bought GG for my lab if it were freely available for purchase. And, I don't really care about the price. One of my students applied for GG developer version last year, but did not get one.

Just have one application, skype (or google hangout) working on it with good HD video on wi-fi, and I am a customer.

By the way are there any usable alternatives available today?

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