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Comment: leaky underground tanks of "unknownium" (Score 1) 292

by garyrich (#43686901) Attached to: Hanford Nuclear Waste Vitrification Plant "Too Dangerous"

Most of those leaky tanks are full of leftover waste from 40's-60's military projects and nobody has any good idea what's in them. They have remote monitors for radioactivity and temperature, but mostly people stay as far away from them as possible. As anyone who's been there knows they have three alarms 1) evacuate 2) shelter in place and 3) you are going to die and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Comment: Re:Demand Free Software (Score 1) 128

You don't get the source code to their software. You probably rely on results of an FDA audit of the MRI vendor. The FDA auditor would look at the validation protocols for the software. If they say they are using a "waterfall" development paradigm, they will go through all the documentation for that and look for evidence of proper code review and sign offs. This is the sort of things auditors are trained to do. Theoretically they could audit and review the vendor's source code - in reality there are probably a dozen people at FDA that could make any sense of the code. Those people are working trying to make FDA own software work properly and won't be part of an audit team unless people are dying (and probably not then).

Precedent says that you can get away with murder if you just rely on COTS software (Commercial off-the-shelf). Your MRI probably has a Windows user interface (shudder...) and may have a proprietary database back end, like Oracle and many other layers of commercial software underneath. FDA has little ability to audit them and no ability to access their source code. Also - installing current vendor patch fixes to Windows or Oracle are usually not done frequently. Patch fixes often trigger elaborate and expensive revalidation protocols to make sure the fix doesn't break something else They would be unlikely to find one if it existed but they are required to document that they spent $$$$ trying, so they will put if off. In some cases even updating anti virus definitions would trigger a revalidation, so they don't get applied either.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 572

by garyrich (#36896362) Attached to: Space Station To Be Deorbited After 2020

"It's like saying you can reach your local California supermarket with your bike, so hey you should be able to go to Hawaii with it as well!"

But what we are doing is saying that since we can't ride to Hawaii, we should take our super expensive, super high tech bike and throw it off the end of Santa Monica pier. The numbers are inescapable, but it is very frustrating.

Here's another absurd idea born of frustration: Donate the ISS to a non profit and take donations to boost it slowly to GSO. Outfit it with light sails and boost it mirror arrays from down here. Probably wouldn't work. Probably wouldn't even produce enough v to offset orbital decay.

Comment: Re:Why not leave it at the ISS? (Score 1) 205

by garyrich (#35434950) Attached to: A Bittersweet Finale For Discovery Space Shuttle

Like I said, I'm sure this has been thought through, but it still doesn't make sense. I wasn't thinking plug and play spare parts. More along the lines of "gee I could make this cool thing if only we had a few spare pieces of lexan" or "we might survive this very bad problem if only we had a few #5 bolts. That shuttle that used to be up here had hundreds, but now it's in a freakin' museum." I know NASA frowns on improvisation and using parts for things other what they were specifically designed for, but at some point we need to get over that.

Filling it with enough waste gas (space farts for all it matters) to maintain a "soft" vacuum for storage also doesn't seem like a big drain.

At some point it would a net negative for fuel. the additional mass is there forever, while the additional fuel left in the shuttle will be used up at some point.

Comment: Why not leave it at the ISS? (Score 1) 205

by garyrich (#35433758) Attached to: A Bittersweet Finale For Discovery Space Shuttle

There has to be a simple reason why they don't leave it up there, but I don't know what it is. It costs $$$ for every kilo that goes into orbit. It's an airtight space full of equipment and other useful things. It has engines and a bit of leftover fuel that could be used for station keeping.

What aren't the shuttles just made a permanent part of the station and source of parts and the crew just sent down via MIR or something?

Comment: Re:Whatcouldpossiblygowrong (Score 2, Informative) 251

by garyrich (#31912448) Attached to: Hidden Cores On Phenom CPUs Can Be Unlocked

"The manufacturer will *always* bin the partially flawed parts as their low end units first."

True, but the after market CPU is not the low end, not at any price point. You would put the real X2 and X3 chips in the low end consumer boxes, where the mobo doesn't support unlocking and the consumer doesn't know/care. You sell the perfectly good ones to newegg, fry's, etc. Happy geeks that unlock cores or overclock successfully are morle likely to recommend to others and buy next time. AMD and Intel understand this very well.

Why do you think AMD has a "black label" line in the first place?

Comment: the BBB is worthlless (Score 4, Informative) 385

by garyrich (#30262556) Attached to: Calling Video Professor a Scam

you don't even have to reincorporate somewhere else to pull that scam off. The BBB makes money from businesses paying them for "accreditation" and they don't make money from consumers. Their bias is obvious.

Here in SoCal there is a construction fraud gang that seems to mostly be run by a Moroccan/Israeli family named Ben Shulsh. I tried to report their most recent front company (Erco Construction) to the BBB and they would even bother to even look at it. They publicly list the same front people, and they are at the same business address as their last front company (Highrise construction) and 2 miles from the front companies before that (BC Specialty Construction, Bashan and Allied). The BBB only changed the the rating on BC from A+ to F *after* they had robbed everybody, folded up shop and when into hiding for a few weeks. This despite complaints going back months.

I wouldn't put any stock in the BBB or its rating of anything. They are just there to collect the accreditation fees.

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