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Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 1) 366 366

If you don't know enough about what you are buying to KNOW if the cable's specs are good enough to work, then you deserve to be fleeced. If you are not willing to take back something because it didn't' work, you are asking to get fleeced... If you don't have time to fuss around, then just pay or installation and let the installer choose what you get (and will pay though the nose for).

I'm cheap. Personally, I use the "junk" HDMI cables at home and I get them for about $3 each when the local electronics retailer puts them on sale. Now I don't have ANY equipment that needs anything better than HDMI 1.1, but we've already established that for home use, I'm decidedly cheap. I work hard for my money and I'm not going to throw it away on something I can do cheaper.

Oh, and I've actually NEVER had a cable issue with any of the cheap HDMI cables I own. Like it or not, most of these things come off of the same few assembly lines in China now so for the same spec, one is as good as the next for the most part.

Comment Re:Passed data with a ton of noise? (Score 1) 366 366

Oh, and one more thing, before I go..

Ethernet cables are transformer isolated at EACH end of the cable. Unless you are using CAT-6 shielded wire, the ground loop thing is generally rubbish as CAT-5 carries no ground or shield.

Now if you ARE using CAT-6, then you may need to worry about breaking the ground loop by disconnecting (isolating) grounds between pieces of equipment, I suggest you just break all CAT-6 grounds at the remote equipment and let the local safety ground in the wall plug serve for that. Now if that's a problem, you have a larger grounding system issue and will need to create a "signal ground" using some really low impedance cabling, start putting in isolated ground receptacles and paying very close attention to both the electrical code (for safety), isolating equipment from the racks they are in and establishing a set of "wiring rules" that avoid ALL Ground loops.

I've only seen ONE installation where the grounding of equipment was over complex, and it had multiple studios (8 total), where we had the top FM station for the market and produced and fed state and national news casts for smaller stations in the network. This was all on the 2nd floor of a building and we had a "signal ground" system of a dozen ground rods, wired together using multiple runs of 00Ga stranded welding cable. EVERY power outlet was isolated, every piece of equipment had a single low impedance connection to the signal ground and how all this happened involved a pretty complex set of rules. It was actually MY job to install all that stuff, so grounding is a subject I'm fluent in, or at least I was..

Comment Re:Passed data with a ton of noise? (Score 1) 366 366

I would say your "specs" are a bit different than the home audiophile's.

I fully get durability may be YOUR primary concern, in which case you want a cable that will work after being used and abused. For you, the connector quality, how fast the wire work hardens and breaks, and strain relief build are very important. But for most audiophile's, the issue is "how good does it sound". They are all about "my system sounds better because I used better components" and because they don't muss around with stuff all that much, durability is not that important.

Vendors prey on this "if it costs more it's better" mentality and sell essentially the same cable, off the same assembly line that meets the same specs in different packaging. That "monster cable" 10Ga stranded speaker cable really isn't twice as good as what you can buy from a home improvement store or even cheaper from an online retailer that sells 10Ga stranded wire. You can pay $100 or more for that name brand 10Ga stranded, or do the same thing for $10 (plus shipping). Audiophiles are routinely "sold" stuff (cables, power conditioners, components) with brand names that sound better, but where the specifications of the cheaper option are the same or better. This is most true with cabling..

Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 1) 366 366

I don't agree... You use the cheapest cable that operates as you want it to...There is absolutely no value in buying a "better" cable over the cheap HDMI cables in the bargain bin if both work.

If you don't need HDMII 1.4, and 1.1 suits your purpose, by the cheap 1.1 cable. If there are two 1.4 2 Meter cables and one is $40 and the other is $1.99 buy the cheap one. If the vendor is selling crap, take the cable that doesn't work back for a refund.

If you are worried about future applications of the cable, DON'T bother unless the "future" is pretty close. Electronics and advanced cables *always* get cheaper over time and it's rarely cost effective to buy more than you need now, over replacing it later.

And yes, one of my primary jobs is system integration. I design and build complex racked systems in the telco space which are high availability (5 nines) call processing platforms. So I professionally make cost verses durability decisions. In a home AV system, for the digital cables, cheap is just fine. What suffers is durability, but most home AV systems are not high vibration, and usually get upgraded often anyway.

Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 3, Insightful) 366 366

Oh for Pete's sake.... You Looney audiophiles need you heads examined..

Buy the cheapest digital cable that works reliably and don't spend a dime more. If offered a $45 HDMI cable over a $2 one, save your money and go cheap, heck by 3 of the cheap ones incase it breaks while installing it, you will be money ahead and you won't hear the difference EVER.

Now, on ANALOG cables, they used to have a point (albeit a barely measureable one). Case in point is speaker cables. For audiophile like performance, speaker cables ARE something that you can demonstrate matter. However, MOST people don't have the ears or the listening environment necessary to justify what some vendors confidently say you need. Most people are fine with 18Ga Stranded, especially for short runs and middle grade equipment, and I guarantee that 12Ga stranded will not be noticeably different for ANY home installation I can imagine, at least not different enough you can hear it.

When will this hold over from the "monster cable" audiophile fad be over? There was a time when that gold plate *might* have mattered to your analog cable so paying 20X the price was justifiable from the technical perspective, but now with digital cables all you are getting is fleeced...That and the justified scorn of those who really know what's going on. Well, that and bragging rights about how much you spent, if that matters to you..

Comment Re:LOL - there is no such thing as 'vaccination'.. (Score 2) 111 111

You cannot be serious.... Look they vaccinated using TWO techniques and it may be hard to follow, but they where not doing a placebo double blind study, but a comparative study of two populations, which has value.

First group where vaccinated right away after someone nearby had been confirmed to have Ebola.. In the group of people who got the vaccine, NOBODY got Ebola who was subsequently exposed after 10 days. Yes, some people got Ebola who either already had it before the vaccine or who where exposed to it during the 10 days after the vaccine, but after that, things where great.

Just to be sure this wasn't a fluke, they vaccinated other groups 3 weeks after the confirmed case of Ebola was found and noted that there where then 16 cases of Ebola in this test group after the 10 day wait, meaning they where previously exposed and got Ebola via the normal route, before the vaccine built immunity in 3 weeks + 10 days. This indicates that the vaccine DOES affect the Ebola infection rate, seemingly very well in that after 10 days, subsequent exposure didn't not produce Ebola.

The implication is that the immediate vaccination prevented Ebola after the 10 day period...

Comment It's called RADAR terrain following.... (Score 2) 30 30

You can do this using exactly the same technology that cruse missiles use, terrain following.

All you need is precision terrain/elevation data and you can create a vehicle that can navigate safely from Point A to Point B using a terrain mapping RADAR. You just match the RADAR image to your known terrain map and voilà, instant location, elevation and orientation information that you use to correct your inertial navigation system. Preplan your probes route and activities and say go to that waypoint, land, do science, and return to base when done.

"But we don't HAVE the necessary elevation data yet!" you say? I thought we where in the process of collecting detailed elevation data from Mars. Plus, if you have even a small amount of data which is detailed enough to land the craft with, you can make flights and collect additional terrain data using the very same RADAR you use to navigate with and expand your detailed dataset further and further away from your starting point over time. So you'd fly using the inertial navigation system past areas you knew, collect data and return to the area you already know, send the collected data to earth for post processing and receive an expanded detailed terrain map in return then do your detailed science in this new area. Wash, rinse and repeat as many times as possible.

Comment Re:Why go without GPS? (Score 2) 30 30

It seems to me that a rudimentary GPS setup around Mars would be of some use. Why not build that first?

GPS is pretty dependent on ground stations which monitor each satellite in the constellation and provides "corrections" to the whole system for it to work. It also requires a minimum of 3 (usually more like 5) satellites to be in view to come up with a location solution. So, you are talking about a bunch of independent satellites with some remote monitoring capability from the surface to fix positions and keep the system accurate enough. That's a LOT of very expensive infrastructure to get to Mars..

Simpler solution is to just go with a Loran type system. Drop 3 or more fairly simple devices onto the surface that transmit a bit of coordinated RF and you have a solution to easily navigate within the line of site of the transmitters. It's really just the precursor of GPS and gets you pretty good relative location information.

Even better, would be to use a RADAR system and previously obtained map data like many cruse missiles use. It only requires precision terrain elevation data which can be easily obtained from ONE orbiting probe, and allows you to give the "flying" vehicle some autonomy in navigating from point A to point B. As you can obtain more precision terrain information you can further refine your data set and go more places with better and better assurance you know where you are.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.