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Comment Re:Not replaced: serial and parallel ports. (Score 1) 237

You hope. It's mostly the largess of the controller manufacturers that let you get away with this. They could insist on strict RS232, and you'd be out of luck. Heck, 0V is explicitly in the center guardband of the RS232 signal.

But the real reason not to do this is because the whole point of the wide voltage swings in 232 is to help mitigate signal interference in the single-ended signaling that 232 uses. If you're running a longer signal cable in a noisy environment, you want every bit of protection the standard can muster.

And, if you must, there are several TTL to 232 voltage converters available, such as these

Comment Re:No federal constitutional mandate for this (Score 3, Informative) 278

Hell, half the time the Feds are the only ones I kinda trust in the in the Education game.

Oh, I completely agree with you that the Constitution doesn't say anything about the Federal government doing anything with education.

However, to me it feels like, if they were left to their own devices, half the counties in the US would be teaching creationism to the male, Caucasian, Protestant children of landholders, and telling everyone else to go pound sand. And another third would be too poor to teach their kids anything. I feel like the Feds, as bureaucratic and glacial as they are, are the only things keeping education sane in many of our communities.

I would agree that, yes, we _could_ let the free market take care of the issue: if people want to give their children a sub-standard education, they will be less competitive in the national and global markets, and they will be competed out of viability within a few generations. But I would imagine that the competitive process would result in a lot of suffering and economic "readjustment" in the community, stuff that I'm going to be on the hook for as a tax payer. Either now, to make them give their children an appropriate education, or later, to cover their unemployment claims and economic restructuring costs.

Yes, at the end of it, a lot of this comes down to the progressive "I know better than you how you need to do your things", but how do you stand by when someone is fouling it up so bad. And in a way that could be compared to child abuse.

Submission + - The Force Awakens With Devon's $28,500 Star Wars Limited Edition Watch (

MojoKid writes: If the Force is strong in your bank account and you're looking for a new timepiece, luxury design firm Devon Works has come up with a limited edition watch that's perhaps more advanced than the Death Star. It's the new "Star Wars by Devon" co-branded watch with a patented system of interwoven "Time Belts" and hybrid electro-mechanical power. The watch is a celebration of Devon's fifth anniversary. It combines glass-reinforced nylon belts (same as used in the gauges on the original 747 aircraft) with multiple high-tech optical recognition cells, micro-step motors, and no less than 313 electrical contacts. Materials used in the construction of the Star Wars timepiece are sourced from an aerospace company located in California. Keeping true to the Star Wars franchise now owned by Disney, the watch incorporates elements of Darth Vader and the TIE Fighter. Only 500 of these watches are being made. If you want one of these timepieces, you'll need a $2,500 down payment towards its $28,500 retail price.

Comment Re:movieblob (Score 0) 168

OP here. I put this up because, in the past, I've found Moviebob's reviews to be fairly reasonable evaluations of comic book movies. Even if I disagreed with them, it seemed he could often at least explain his positions so I could understand them and make my own decisions. His YouTube videos have become more rant-y and curse-y, but I figured that was due mostly to lack of editorial oversight.

I knew Moviebob had been let go from "The Escapist", but I don't know the whole story. I admit I wasn't following things too closely, as I just went for the movie reviews and such. If you can post some summaries explaining why Moviebob is now persona non grata, I'd be pleased to read them and educate myself.

Comment Re:Control unit runs at 100 Hz? (Score 2) 250

That makes a lot of sense. A lot of aviation power systems run with 400 Hz AC current (the higher frequency lets them use smaller transformers). They could be dividing down the power signal to 100 Hz, and using that to increment a counter.

The other option is that many operating systems use 10 ms = 100 Hz for their internal interrupt timers. So it could just be a counter that is being incremented every interrupt cycle, and doesn't care what frequency of electricity is being used.
(cf. the jiffy )

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department