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Comment: Re: Slight change in title, if I may (Score 1) 326

by jfeldredge (#45634509) Attached to: Nobody Builds Reactors For Fun Anymore
A hobbiest who built his own working hydrogen-fusion reactor has given presentations at a couple of Phreaknics (an annual hacker convention in Nashville,TN, USA). One year he brought the reactor with him. Admittedly, he has not yet succeeded in generating more power than the reactor consumes, but neither have the large fusion experiments.

Comment: Cop didn't fully state the law (Score 1) 1440

by jfeldredge (#44950383) Attached to: Georgia Cop Issues 800 Tickets To Drivers Texting At Red Lights
According to what I can find online, Georgia law forbids HAND-HELD use of a cell phone while driving, for whatever purpose, and texting while driving, whether the phone is hand-held or hands-free. HANDS-FREE use of a cell phone for talking or using the GPS app is legal. So, if your phone is in a mounting bracket, you can legally use it as a GPS while driving.

Comment: Re: Why not just 0? (Score 1) 996

by jfeldredge (#43734367) Attached to: NTSB Recommends Lower Drunk Driving Threshold Nationwide: 0.05 BAC
So, you don't have any studies to back up your claim that Americans have a high rate of worm infestations, just your guess. One common symptom of worm infestation is that the patient eats a greater than normal quantity of food, yet remains skinny, except for a bloated belly caused by the worm's growth. Given that one of the primary health concerns in America is the number of obese people, I would say that there is strong evidence that most Americans DO NOT have intestinal worms. Also, if alcohol is the most effective vermifuge known, then why is it not the vermifuge of choice around the world?

Comment: Re:Glowing Mosquitos (Score 1) 328

by jfeldredge (#43593891) Attached to: Genetically Modified Plants To Produce Natural Lighting

Oh, it will keep working in countries where evolution is just a theory.


This will only work if the people who don't believe in evolution choose, therefore, not to swat the glowing mosquitos. Otherwise, the genes for glowing will quickly be bred out of the population. I know a number of people who say that they believe in microevolution (survival of the fittest within a species), but who deny that a series of small changes can add up to macroevolution (a new species).

Comment: Re:How is this a Nigerian scam... (Score 1) 312

by jfeldredge (#34630332) Attached to: Nigerian Email Scam Victim Sues Bank, Loses Appeal
Advance fee frauds have been around for over 500 years. In the days of Queen Elizabeth the First, this was known as a "Spanish Prisoner Fraud". England and Spain were at war, and some English con men would claim "Lord So-and-so has been imprisoned by the Spanish. If you will pay to bribe his jailers into letting him go, he will richly reward you when he gets back to England." Of course, the "bribe money" would simply go into the con-man's pocket, not to Spain.

Comment: Re:Yet another great /. science discussion kicks o (Score 1) 224

by jfeldredge (#30434154) Attached to: Mediterranean Might Have Filled In Months
Before the sill broke at Gibraltar, there would have been a salt lake in the deepest part of the Mediterranean valley (since water escaped only by evaporation). Even today, the amount of water that evaporates from the Mediterranean is greater than the amount that flows into the Mediterranean from rivers. The difference is made up by an inflow of water from the Atlantic Ocean. There is also a smaller outflow current of extra-salty water. During World War II, Allied submarines were able to use these two underwater currents to sneak into or out of the Mediterranean without running their motors, thus being silent and more difficult for German and Italian military vessels patrolling the surface to detect.

Comment: Re:Other uses (Score 1) 90

by jfeldredge (#29675771) Attached to: IBM Researchers Working Toward Cheap, Fast DNA Reader
Insurance companies have been known to reject claims as pre-existing conditions, even when it is obvious that this is false, in hopes that the patient will give up and pay for the treatment themselves. CNN had a recent news item about an insurance company initially refusing to pay for a broken wrist, claiming that the injury was a pre-existing condition.

Comment: Re:Run Linux much? (Score 1) 655

by jfeldredge (#28088829) Attached to: Ridiculous Software Bug Workarounds?
I upgraded my laptop from Ubuntu 8.04 to Ubuntu 9.04 today. It totally screwed up the X configuration, probably due to misidentifying the video chip set. It picked a video mode that the hardware didn't support, resulting in the right and bottom portions of the virtual screen being off the physical screen. I tried picking a lower screen resolution, only to end up with a totally-garbled display. I then tried to manually reconfigure X using dpkg-reconfigure xorg-xconf, only to find out that, in version 9.04, this only allows you to reconfigure the keyboard, not the video setup. After tweaking the settings for about an hour, without ever getting a readable X display, I gave up and reinstalled Ubuntu 8.04. Fortunately, I did have /home as a separate file system, so my personal settings were intact. I just had to reinstall a few programs.

Comment: Re:Lies, damn lies. (Score 1) 780

by jfeldredge (#27968969) Attached to: Hacker Destroys, Along With Its Backups
I used to be the system administrator for a small company. At one point, a hard drive controller failure led to data being written to the wrong location on the drive, overwriting other data. Unfortunately, by the time this was discovered, it had been going on for two weeks. The backup system hadn't reported any errors, as it was making a faithful copy of already-corrupted data. Once the hard drive controller had been replaced and the disk reformatted, I had to restore from backup, check the results on the hard drive, and then repeat the process with the previous day's backup if the data was still corrupted. Finally, with two-week-old backups, I was able to restore uncorrupted data. Then, every transaction that had taken place over the last two weeks had to be re-entered into the computer, while making sure that we didn't send out duplicate data to suppliers and customers. It took a month of hard work by all of the office staff to get the system totally caught-up again. So, just because the backup system worked correctly doesn't necessarily mean your data is good.

Comment: Re:No, don't go for it. (Score 1) 918

by jfeldredge (#27405955) Attached to: With a Computer Science Degree, an Old Man At 35?
I started my programming career at age 29, and have worked as a programmer/analyst for 23 years now. I have chosen to stay in the programming field, rather than move up into management. I have more technical skills than interpersonal skills, and prefer dealing with the technical side of the job. I still enjoy my work after 23 years.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!