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Comment: Re:interesting split developing (Score 1) 24

I had been wondering about this. A FOAF was a curator at a museum on the West Coast, and when I talked to him about the idea of online displays, he was completely dismissive -- it seemed like anything other than "Maximum Lockdown" didn't even register with him. Then again, this was probably 15 years ago. Was Maximum Lockdown the usual stance before the Internet explosion, or do all three approaches have a well-established history?

Comment: I wouldn't keep the hardware intact. (Score 1) 112

by jeffb (2.718) (#47552221) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

If you really want to sell it for parts, disassemble it and destroy the main circuit board, or at least grind or pry off the chips with nonvolatile storage.

Any general treatment (heat, overvoltage, etc.) will surely destroy the rest of the phone before you can be sure it's cleared the nonvolatile storage.

Comment: I'm worried about a hurdle nobody's mentioned. (Score 1) 117

It makes perfect sense to use lithium metal as an anode, as a way to minimize weight and maximize specific energy.

The problem is, it's an alkali metal, useful in a number of chemical processes -- including processes used to make meth. And so far, regulators in the US (and many other areas) have demonstrated that they'll do whatever they can to Fight the Meth Menace, no matter how much collateral damage they cause to industries, economies, and human well-being.

What kind of ridiculous regulations do you think they'll try to impose on devices that contain a multi-kilogram slab of Widely-Known Drug Precursor? Will we get cars that would have 500-mile range, but for the extra 500 pounds and two kilowatts of DEA/HSA-mandated security shielding and monitoring around the battery pack?

Comment: Re:fundementally impossible (Score 5, Interesting) 86

by jeffb (2.718) (#47539323) Attached to: Nightfall: Can Kalgash Exist?

Epsilon Lyrae, and the vast number of amateur astronomers who've known about it for ages, would beg to differ. Two components that are naked-eye visible, one a double, one a triple. All gravitationally bound, and apparently quite dynamically stable. Five other nearby stars may be gravitationally bound to the system as well.

Castor (Alpha Geminorum) is a sextuple system.

But, of course:

"It's simply not possible for a system like this to exist. If you point out that systems like this do exist, it doesn't mean that my statement is wrong, it means that you're a wack job, so just shut up."

Bravo, good AC. Bravo.

Comment: This misses two of the biggest developer problems: (Score 3, Interesting) 89

by jeffb (2.718) (#47510173) Attached to: Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code

1) Arrogance. You know that average developers have a hard time with some kinds of code, but you're a superprogrammer, and you don't have those problems. If someone decides later that there's something wrong with your code, well, they should've gotten their requirements straightened out before they told you to go and build it. The only time you lose your cool is when you have to deal with idiot managers, analysts, or users.

1) Complacency. You've been pounding on this code forever, and you just don't care any more. Yeah, there'll be bugs, people will yell, they'll get fixed. That's just the way development goes. Why get worked up about it?

Comment: I've got a similar idea in the works... (Score 4, Insightful) 52

by jeffb (2.718) (#47507813) Attached to: AirMagnet Wi-Fi Security Tool Takes Aim At Drones

It's a receiver to detect the EM signature from the onboard electronics of a Prius.

See, I've heard that it's possible for a Prius driver to run over kids who are playing in the street. So I've designed this receiver that fits into a kiddy backpack, and sounds an alarm when there's a Prius nearby. That way, when my kids are playing in the street and a Prius approaches, they'll hear the alarm. I guess then they can get out of the street, but what I'm really looking for is a way to ban Priuses from driving on my street. After all, I'm a responsible parent who's keenly aware of the dangers Priuses pose to kids who play in the street.

Comment: And if you're in the vast FIOS-free zones... (Score 2) 234

by jeffb (2.718) (#47502683) Attached to: Verizon Boosts FiOS Uploads To Match Downloads'll be upgraded to pound sand with both hands.

North Carolina was promised FIOS "real soon now" for years. At this point, it's pretty clear that if you don't already have it, you won't be getting it. Google blimps, drones, and sewer lines will bring us high-speed broadband long before Verizon significantly extends their buildout.

I came, I saw, I deleted all your files.