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Comment security by accident (Score 1) 227 227

One company I occasionally do contract work for seems to have solved this by designing their new engineering office building to be constructed mostly of steel, including metal slats as sun shades on the windows. As a result, it's damn near impossible to connect to a mobile phone network while inside.

Comment Re:Paving with bricks (Score 3, Interesting) 183 183

In .nl, bricks are only used in older side streets that see little traffic (i.e. they're there because they've been there for a long time and it hasn't been necessary to resurface the road). New construction favors tarmac. Tarmac is cheaper to put down as it's all done with giant machines, while bricklaying takes a lot of manual labor. Tarmac is also safer because you have more grip, and it's a lot more comfortable to drive on.

This plastic road would be easier to put down than bricks because it comes in large sections you can crane into place.

Comment Re:Question about deep space pictures (Score 1) 108 108

To get an idea of how bright the sun is at Pluto, try Pluto Time.

Sunlight is much weaker there than it is here on Earth, yet it isn't completely dark. In fact, for just a moment near dawn and dusk each day, the illumination on Earth matches that of noon on Pluto.

We call this Pluto Time. If you go outside at this time on a clear day, the world around you will be as bright as the surface of Pluto at noon

Comment Re:Don't buy it! (Score 1) 65 65

No. During the war, the fact they'd cracked Enigma was kept a secret to prevent the Germans from adopting better (potentially unbreakable) encryption.
After the war, yes. The British saw Enigma being used by various governments and decided to keep the secret a bit longer.

Colossus was never used to crack Enigma, it was designed for the Lorenz cipher machine which used a different principle.

Comment Re:Non-problems, except for traffic (Score 1) 410 410

Property values are going up

You say that like it's a good thing. Sure, existing owners may like it, but making housing less affordable has all sorts of undesirable consequences. It forces less affluent people to find housing further away which increases their commute time and increases traffic. It creates an underclass of people who are too rich to live in rent-controlled housing but too poor to buy a house.

Comment Re:Look outside, not inside (Score 1) 195 195

Those "quick scans of the instruments" are quicker when you can glance at the HUD (which can be done without refocusing) instead of having to look down at the dashboard and refocusing your eyes.

"quick scans of the instruments" are the whole reason the HUD was invented.

Comment Re:Revolutionary approach? (Score 1) 134 134

The revolution is in being easily able to create complex shapes. Traditional manufacturing methods for these sort of parts fall in one of two categories:
1. Labor-intensive using simple tools. E.g. Welding the frame from stock pipe and plate.
2. Amenable to mass production, but at a huge initial cost (for tools). E.g. casting, forging, stamping.

3D printing allows complex shapes to be created from a CAD model without lots of labor. This is great for small production runs (i.e. runs too small for 2. to be cost-effective).

IBM Advanced Systems Group -- a bunch of mindless jerks, who'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes... -- with regrets to D. Adams