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Comment: and when they don't? (Score 1) 122

by dltaylor (#49177413) Attached to: Physicists Gear Up To Catch a Gravitational Wave

There's as much knowledge to be gained from a well-designed experiment that fails, as one that succeeds. They should ALREADY have found gravitational waves with the multiple space- and Earth-based experiments that have been run, particularly with all the big number-crunching on old data that is happening now.

What do we learn about the nature of the Universe when THIS experiment also fails to provide evidence of waves of gravitational force propagating through it?

Comment: Re: Get some money (Score 1) 163

by dltaylor (#49156181) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Whiteboard Substitutes For Distributed Teams?

It rains in both places, and snow, although not so much on North Shore. The rain is just a bit colder in Amsterdam, but that's a reason to stay indoors and avoid sand in "naughty bits" (as a Californian, I learned, a long time ago, some techniques for that, but they're harder to remember when "under the influence").

Comment: non-rational scientists (Score 3, Informative) 190

by dltaylor (#49156155) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

Even people in science careers are not immune to significant irrationality (I know, hardly Earth-shattering news).

When my grandmother was young, there were only eight planets, plus a few largish asteroids, then someone discovered another. As our instruments improved, we found many, many more "wanderers". We also learned how how their composition varied, and that there were more-descriptive categories to apply to the various bodies not only in this stellar system, but others.

It is utterly irrational to continue to collect Pluto into the same category as the eight other major rocky/gassy/icy Sol-orbiting bodies (the traditional "planets"), and NOT include the dozens of KBOs, TNOs, etc. that also orbit Sol

Comment: loved my Big Dumb Screen (Score 1) 370

by dltaylor (#49033701) Attached to: Samsung Smart TVs Injected Ads Into Streamed Video

I had a Westinghouse LVM-37w1. No tuner, no "smarts", basically a display with multiple inputs: 2 DVI, 2 Component, Composite AND S-Video, plus separate audio inputs that could be paired to the video. Nicely, the speaker cabling was external, so I could use it as "center" from my A/V amp.

The backlights eventually failed, but I looked hard for a simple replacement. Only thing I could find were commercial (ruggedized) displays at an order of magnitude more cost than the "TV"s of the same size/resolution. Can't use the TV tuner on cable (EVERYTHING is encoded), and the HDMI input doesn't let me assign which channel feeds the builtin speakers, so I had to add a center speaker.

Comment: not broadcast, but internet streams (Score 1) 126

by dltaylor (#48784053) Attached to: Radio, Not YouTube, Is Still King of Music Discovery

I haven't tuned a radio to a station in ages, but my preamp has internet radio capability that I use frequently (and donate/subscribe). I can also get streams on my Ouya, through XBMC and plugins.

The FCC really screwed up one of my favorite radio stations. They gave an LPFM (low-power KOCI) the same frequency as a powerhouse down the coast. I can only get the LPFM in a few block radius. Fortunately, the LPFM also has a shoutcast stream, so it's available on my computers, main sound system, the bedroom, and at work.

Comment: hardening is NOT blaming the hardware (Score 4, Interesting) 115

by dltaylor (#48779011) Attached to: Closure On the Linux Lockup Bug

Too many clueless comments already that don't understand the difference between "blaming the hardware" and hardening to deal with demonstrably-broken hardware (and/or firmware for devices). I've spent years writing drivers for various OS', including Windows and Linux. It is rare for any complex device to be bug-free at the hardware level (look how many patches are BIOS-applied to CPUs, for example). Sometimes, under NDA, of course, the Windows driver writers are apprised of the deficiencies, or, at least, get better response from the vendor when an anomaly appears. Linux rarely gets that same assistance.

My favorite example, though, is all-IBM. We were porting AIX to the PS/2s and 370s. We consistently had problems with the diskette interface under AIX and the response from Boca Raton was always "it works in MS-DOS, so it's your code, not our hardware". When OS-2 came around, they ran into exactly the same problem in the hardware. By then, we had a work-around (slower, more locks, but no more glitches) which was how OS-2 got around it, as well.

Comment: Russians, help me understand (Score 2, Insightful) 412

by dltaylor (#48773033) Attached to: Russia Says Drivers Must Not Have "Sex Disorders" To Get License

Resident or expats, please try to fill in the blanks.

Is there simply enough anti-homosexual bias in Russian culture, as in much of the USofA, for Putin to make political "points" by picking on them?

Is he thinking of using a relatievly powerless "out" group for a Kristallnacht if the economy experiences problems due to falling oil prices?

Pay-back, which he is known to do, for not supporting his acquisition of power?

Wild idea: is he thinking he can pressure homosexuals to produce more children as as some sort of social "cover", to build a population for a war?

Something else?

Comment: Re:Right Place (almost) (Score 1) 448

by dltaylor (#48758965) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

So, how much less WITHOUT ESPN?

As a TWC "customer", I'm stuck paying off the billions that they stupidly gave the LA Dodgers, and there's nothing short of internet-only that, at least for now, gets me out from under that load. Should we all switch to that model, I suspect that the internet-only price will go through the roof, since our only alternative is AT&T, which is hardly a low-cost, consumer-friendly provider.

I'm really hoping that there's a data-only plan coming from T-Mobile or Sprint that lets me cut TWC out of the loop completely, even if there's a bandwidth and latency cost.

Comment: listen/read skeptically (Score 2) 381

It's a very long distance from fanciful imagery in ancient texts (Ezekiel's wheel is a UFO, obviously, for example) to the historical existence of a nuclear war.

Explanations for natural and/or artifical oddities have to be seriously sought before giving credence to theories developed by those looking to use seeming correlations to bolster possible fantasies. How many times has Nostradamus been proved "correct"? It is a human trait to look for correlations; if the first three times your tribe passed a rock outcropping it was attacked by a lion, maybe those who noticed the pattern survived to pass down the trait of observation. There is, to my knowlege, never been a seriously funded and staffed attempt to look for rational explanations for fear of offending the believers.

We make artificial diamonds now; it's just not cost-effective compared to low-wage workers digging and dying in Africa.

When's the last time Buddhists staged a jihad?

The beer-cooled computer does not harm the ozone layer. -- John M. Ford, a.k.a. Dr. Mike