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Comment: Re:The Nobel Prize Committee blew it (Score 1) 276

by anotheryak (#48105397) Attached to: No Nobel For Nick Holonyak Jr, Father of the LED

I think Holonyak for first visible LED is certainly deserving, but the whole chain of discoveries and inventions was crucial to the LCD monitors and flatscreen TVs we enjoy today.

LEDs have little to do with flatscreen televisions or LCD monitors. With the exception of a few small OLED screens (which are totally different), those are all LCD devices. LCD!=LED

Even if they claim to be LED, that's just the backlight. And most LCD monitors (all but the very newest) are still lit by fluorescent tubes, and they work just fine. This includes the two HPLP2475w's I'm reading this one right now. The only LEDs are the green power indicators.

Comment: Re:Electric vehicles move pollution Somewhere Else (Score 1) 491

by anotheryak (#47872373) Attached to: To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

You mean push it to another state where they have to suffer instead of you. Not in my backyard, huh? Consider the great inefficiencies of electric vehicles. Ignoring the loss from batteries and crap, just the process of burning fossil fuels to make electricity at a major utility to run a motor is only about 30% efficient. With electric cars themselves about 90% efficient, we have .3*.9 = 27% efficient.

So, you have an internal combustion motor that is 85% efficient, resulting in 15% waste. Versus the plug-in car which creates 73% waste. I guess your point is at least someone like me suffers, instead of pretty people in big cities.

Comment: Compromise: (Score 1) 491

by anotheryak (#47868617) Attached to: To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

In the USA, at least, cars are a status/phallic symbol and thus are larger and/or more powerful than they need to be in a practical sense.

You can apply that same "phallic symbol" to anything; I think of it when I see people showing off all their Apple crap every time they sit down. Saying things like that is an easy way to get people all worked up ("America Sucks, It's all their fault"), but that's all.

I drive a small car (average 33-35MPG) for my daily commute, but I need a larger car to move things and construction materials to work on my house. Why should I be punished for that?

I use it for work as well, but who is going to decide what is an allowable exemption? You? How much use does it take to be legitimate business use? Why should large families have an exemption, they are a big part of the problem. We know what causes pregnancy now-a-days. Frankly, we should tax large families because they take so many more resources.

My large SUV gets 21MPG highway, though I average about 17 with city driving. That's better than a Volkswagen bus, should they not be taxed even more for wasting more gas? Or is it all about the appearance of the vehicle, like when I traded a Chevrolet vehicle for a Toyota and was congratulated by friends, despite the fact that (1) the mileage was about the same, (2) the Toyota had to be made in Japan and then shipped over with considerable fuel use. They did not care; American brands were bad for the environment, Japanese were good. Logic does not come into it.

And why should people be able to buy gas-wasting AWD Subarus? Most days of the year, even in snow country, you don't need AWD, yet it wastes a lot of gas. They should be taxed for buying a feature they don't need. And bike racks on the cars, they really increase wind resistance and lower mileage, that should be taxed. How about people who drive miles every weekend to participate in marathons and other runs? They don't need to do that, they could sit at home or take a bus. They should be taxed for wasting fuel. A lot of pollution is generated by ski resorts, we should tax them for wasting energy, tax them even more if they care caught running lifts that are not 100% full (they should stop the lift unless the seat is taken). And nobody needs to ski, we should tax all of those people for wasting gas to drive there, and triple-tax them if they fly!

Where does it end? And who makes the decision? The power to tax is the power to destroy.

Oh, and high-end sports cars already pay a "gas guzzler tax".

Comment: Electric vehicles move pollution Somewhere Else (Score 1) 491

by anotheryak (#47868471) Attached to: To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

Every time I hear stars in LA brag about their electric vehicles, I recall the biggest polluters in the western US includes the Intermountain Power Project, which is owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, but is located in Utah so that the California customers don't have to deal with the pollution. There are a number of other massive coal plants in Nevada, Utah and Arizona that are similar massive polluters that don't serve the local population, but are power exporters.

People say "Oh, I pay extra for wind power". That means nothing, everything else you touch in your life runs on fossil fuels of one sort or another. Plus, the wind farms are terrible for bird and bat populations.

It's too bad that the environmental movements are full of people with LibEd degrees who don't understand basic science, and put feelings above thoughts. Until we develop something better, Nuclear Power is the only realistic option that makes electric vehicles somewhat green.

I'm tired of the LA pollution being shipped east to the Navajo Nation power plant or the IPP, and LA's yellow nitrous pollution fouling the air in my deserts.

Comment: Re:Security through Antiquity? (Score 1) 481

by anotheryak (#46870181) Attached to: US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks

In the time period when these systems were installed no one monitored the integrity of j-boxes or conduit connections.

That's total crap. Do you really think the USAF would be so stupid to let their entire defense system fall prey to one Soviet agent with a shovel and a pair of wire cutters? Do you really think you are smarter than all the engineers from all the defense and communication companies who installed these silos as part of the national defense system? Or one crazy guy to short two wires and nuke Minsk?

All the cables running out of the control center towards the silos are protected by a pneumatic jacket. If the pressure changes, they know the line has been messed with and an armored security truck comes rushing out. Ask any farmer in North Dakota who put his backhoe into one. The telephone company has dealt with this sort of thing for decades on analog cable without the benefit of encryption.

Comment: Re:Security through Antiquity? (Score 1) 481

by anotheryak (#46870069) Attached to: US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks

Sure, it's terrible energy-inefficient, and the support costs must be through the roof, but i'm more comfortable knowing that the missile control systems are running on pre-internet (and even ARPANET?) systems. It means the many enemies of the US cannot just hack into the missile control systems and start armageddon. No internet, no hacking, no problem.

Why do you think it is so inefficient? They probably have something around a 4MHz processor ticking all it's clock cycles away on a 5V clock, but it's stilll more efficient than a quad-core 3GHz machine, even with a 1.5V power supply.

I also don't get:

Sure, it's terrible energy-inefficient, and the support costs must be through the roof

The USAF has scrapped dozens of silos as part of the SALT treaty, so that's a lot of spares. And a lot of this old big iron gear just keeps running. The Atari 2600 was a cheap consumer-grade part, but it keeps going. These silos are not much older and all of their gear was made to the best spec possible. I doubt it needs much repair at all.

No hard disks spinning at 7200 RPM. No mega-GPU graphics cards. The 110V motor on the 8" floppy drives is probably one of the biggest power drains on the whole system. How much heat do you get out of the back of your PC? Now compare that with an Apple ][, Atari 800, PET or TRS-80.

Comment: Re:Absolute attempt to copy Fluke's design. (Score 1) 653

by anotheryak (#46538429) Attached to: $30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow
Brand name in the upper left, model number next to it, description in upper right, gray-brown case tapers down with yellow sides. That is NOT basic mutimeter design. I built my first multimeter from a Radio Shack kit in the late-1970s. Don't tell me what they look like. This was designed to look like a Fluke 175 and they got caught.

Comment: Re:Absolute attempt to copy Fluke's design. (Score 1) 653

by anotheryak (#46538369) Attached to: $30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

They sent an order to a supplier in China and got these multimeters in return. There was no design process, they aren't planning on having them in stock, selling them regularly, or making money off of them.

Are you seriously claiming that they never saw a sample or a photo of what they were buying. They just sent off money randomly? Hard to believe they are that foolish.

they aren't planning on having them in stock, selling them regularly, or making money off of them.

So are you telling me Sparkfun is a NPO? They seem to be making a profit to me, they are a real company as far as I can tell. Please show me where they are not making money off of their sales, and if so, how do they stay in business?

Comment: Absolute attempt to copy Fluke's design. (Score 5, Insightful) 653

by anotheryak (#46527285) Attached to: $30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

Agreed, this is an attempt to copy Fluke's recent multimeter design.

It's not just yellow. It has the same color scheme, same display layout, similar fonts, same case taper as a real Fluke. Brand name in same location as is the model number and description. It was designed to look as much like a Fluke as possible.

If I saw the sparkfun multimeter sitting on a bench in my lab, I would think it was a Fluke until I got close.

Sparkfun knew this when they bought them. Their fault. If they did not know it was designed to imitate a Fluke, they are in the wrong business. "Other companies did it and did not get caught" does not make it right. They risked it anyway and lost. Complaining about the trademark is not the solution.

Comment: So what? (Score 2) 179

by anotheryak (#45642985) Attached to: The Real Story of Hacking Together the Commodore C128

A lot of early personal computers have a similar story. Software is often written with breadboarded or nonexistent hardware.

What is unique about the idea of custom silicon LSI chips for a 1980's PC?

The original Atari 800 (a design later copied by Commodore for the VIC-20 and Commodore-64 computers) had three custom chips (ANTIC, CTIA, POKEY) which made up the majority of the machine's circuitry when designed in 1978. And the OS and other early programs were written without the benefits of that completed hardware.

Only two LSI parts were off the shelf; the 6502 CPU and the 6520 PIA. Atari later replaced the CTIA with the GTIA (delayed by design issues) and the 6502 with a custom "sally" variant that built in formerly external tristate allowing the ANTIC to shut off the CPU's access to RAM every-other clock cycle so the RAM could be accessed by the ANTIC graphics chip.

That design was in active production for over ten years.

Even the lowly 2600 was a basically a custom TIA chip that originally existed as discrete logic parts wirewrapped together.

I fail to see how this story is either unique or great. If anything, it seems average.

Comment: Re:Soviet Strong (Score 1) 92

by anotheryak (#43752769) Attached to: Opportunity Breaks NASA's 40-Year Roving Record

And the only reason for the entire Lunokhod project is that the Soviets failed to get a crew to the moon and blew up the second N1 rocket in 1969 after a loose bolt got sucked into a fuel pump.

The Soviets lost the space race and never did get a man on another planet. They sent that thing instead, attempting to save face.

Funny how the poster forgot things like "first space rendezvous" and "Winning the space race and PUTTING A MAN ON THE F*CKING MOON". He counts ten seconds of functioning lander as a victory, but the brass-ring of the space race does not even count in his mind.

The largest and most expensive Soviet space program was their attempt to copy NASA's space shuttle, which flew once and got crushed in 2002 when it's hanger collapsed.

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