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Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 1) 236 236

Ok name me one of the basic physical laws - like say Ohm's law, the gravity law, the charge law, the gas laws, etc that has been proven incorrect. Like I said - we may not understand things completely. We might have to add on to these laws or fine tune them for special cases. But nothing in physics is getting "re-written", although sometimes it gets written in a completely different language depending on the context. However every new addition must necessarily fit within the context of the old. Otherwise how could it exist in our universe? Yes there are places on the map marked "Here Be Dragonnes", but now we know exactly how those dragons must behave. Multiplication does not invalidate addition.

Comment Re: Looking more and more likely all the time... (Score 3, Insightful) 236 236

Modern physics is never incorrect. Although it can be misunderstood at times. In the same way that relativity does NOT disprove Newton it confirms it, but extends it. Who would have thought that a little denominator with square root 1-(v squared / c squared) was missing, especially since if v = 0 then the whole denominator ends up being one...which means that all previous laws are valid exactly as they are. Science is not about great schisms where meanings and understandings are suddenly reversed from one generation to the next. That's politics and religion. Science is about progress, with every additional step necessarily building on the steps that were before it. Of course sometimes when you're standing a few steps higher up you get a better overall view of your surroundings and realize that maybe you were misinterpreting a few things before but now you understand them perfectly... until someone comes and puts another little step under your feet and you can see even further...

Comment Re:Blimey (Score 2) 236 236

they're just really efficient in a vacuum.

Fixed that for you. Well, for your reader anyway - you probably understand it. Because of the way these things work, they are just about useless anywhere other than a vacuum. The only way you can spend a tiny tiny amount of energy accelerating particles to massive speeds is when there's nothing else in their way for them to bounce off of. But if you are not in any kind of rush for your delta v and are in near total vacuum this is almost a perfect engine.

Comment I've had issues with the Win10 NVIDIA drivers... (Score 3, Insightful) 299 299

Usually the problem is something like, "it isn't giving me the newest driver" or simply the poor quality of the drivers in the first place. (For awhile there, if I clicked on the start button, it would cause my screen to reset!) And a lot of "your driver stopped responding so we turned it off, then back on again."

In some ways, I like that the drivers are being pushed to me automatically, but at the same time, if I'm doing multiple reinstalls in a single day, I've already downloaded the drivers... I don't need them to be downloaded YET AGAIN, every install...

Comment Depends who you ask... (Score 4, Interesting) 214 214

At Facebook, it's memcached, with an HDD backup, eventually put onto tape...

At Google, it's a ramdisk, backed up to SSD/HDD, eventually put onto tape...

For anyone who can't afford half a petabyte of RAM with the commensurate number of computers? I have no good ideas... except maybe RAM cache of SSD, cache of HDD, backed up on tape...

Using something like HDFS to store your data in a Hadoop cluster of file requests, is likely the best F/OSS solution you're going to get for that...

Comment Re:Morse Code (Score 1) 614 614

Oh, wait, you didn't need to pass a test for that.

I'm just trying to think how that would have been possible. I think back then there was a medical exception you could plead for. I didn't. I passed the 20 WPM test fair and square and got K6BP as a vanity call, long before there was any way to get that call without passing a 20 WPM test.

Unfortunately, ARRL did fight to keep those code speeds in place, and to keep code requirements, for the last several decades that I know of and probably continuously since 1936. Of course there was all of the regulation around incentive licensing, where code speeds were given a primary role. Just a few years ago, they sent Rod Stafford to the final IARU meeting on the code issue with one mission: preventing an international vote for removal of S25.5 . They lost.

I am not blaming this on ARRL staff and officers. Many of them have privately told me of their support, including some directors and their First VP, now SK. It's the membership that has been the problem.

I am having a lot of trouble believing the government agency and NGO thing, as well. I talked with some corporate emergency managers as part of my opposition to the encryption proceeding (we won that too, by the way, and I dragged an unwilling ARRL, who had said they would not comment, into the fight). Big hospitals, etc.

What I got from the corporate folks was that their management was resistant to using Radio Amateurs regardless of what the law was. Not that they were chomping at the bit waiting to be able to carry HIPAA-protected emergency information via encrypted Amateur radio. Indeed, if you read the encryption proceeding, public agencies and corporations hardly commented at all. That point was made very clearly in FCC's statement - the agencies that were theorized by Amateurs to want encryption didn't show any interest in the proceeding.

So, I am having trouble believing that the federal agency and NGO thing is real because of that.

Comment Re:Morse Code (Score 1) 614 614

The Technican Element 3 test wasn't more difficult than the Novice Element 1 and 2 together, so Technican became the lowest license class when they stopped having to take Element 1.

The change to 13 WPM was in 1936, and was specifically to reduce the number of Amateur applicants. It was 10 WPM before that. ARRL asked for 12.5 WPM in their filing, FCC rounded the number because they felt it would be difficult to set 12.5 on the Instructograph and other equipment available for code practice at the time.

It was meant to keep otherwise-worthy hams out of the hobby. And then we let that requirement keep going for 60 years.

The Indianapolis cop episode was back in 2009. It wasn't the first time we've had intruders, and won't be the last, and if you have to reach back that long for an example, the situation can't be that bad. It had nothing to do with code rules or NGOs getting their operators licenses.

A satphone is less expensive than a trained HF operator. Iridium costs $30 per month and $0.89 per minute to call another Iridium phone. That's the over-the-counter rate. Government agencies get a better rate than that. And the phone costs $1100, again that's retail not the government rate, less than an HF rig with antenna and tower will cost any public agency to install.

You think it's a big deal to lobby against paid operators because there will be objections? How difficult do you think it was to reform the code regulations? Don't you think there were lots of opposing comments?

And you don't care about young people getting into Amateur Radio. That's non-survival thinking.

Fortunately, when the real hams go to get something done, folks like you aren't hard to fight, because you don't really do much other than whine and send in the occassional FCC comment. Do you know I even spoke in Iceland when I was lobbying against the code rules? Their IARU vote had the same power as that of the U.S., and half of the hams in the country came to see me. That's how you make real change.

When some people discover the truth, they just can't understand why everybody isn't eager to hear it.

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