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Comment: Re:USB was no longer standard either (Score 1) 392

by mirix (#49231121) Attached to: Does USB Type C Herald the End of Apple's Proprietary Connectors?

Price. Why spend $4 where $0.05 will do, and will likely never fail anyway? It's a last ditch protection system, not really something that should be tripping all the time.

That said, it used to be fairly common to have breakers on a couple circuits (headlights, for one).

In addition to cost, I'd suppose reliability might be a second consideration. Breakers have contacts in them, which with enough vibration and temperature/humidity cycling might fail, I guess... whereas a fuse has none.

What else.. fuses are faster, better current breaking capacity for DC (at least at this price point). I'd guess the tempco might be better too. (the trip point both devices moves with ambient temperature).

Comment: Re:So... (Score 2) 107

by mirix (#49230873) Attached to: Lawsuit Claims Major Automakers Have Failed To Guard Against Hackers

That's how it generally works already. Important stuff is on one CAN bus (ECU, ABS pump, auto trans controller if it has auto trans, airbags, etc). All the secondary stuff like door modules (controls locks, windows, etc), cabin illumination, the radio/navi and whatnot are on a secondary CAN bus (or LIN, or..).

This way if your rear door module dies and manages to take down the (secondary) bus, the car still runs.

I don't see much point in securing it, as you need physical access anyway. I'd rather see it go the other direction, standard, open interface, instead of each manufacturer using a proprietary communication scheme. (CAN only defines lower layers).

This is like suing computer makers for people being able to hack a computer they have physical access to. It's not possible to prevent.

Comment: Re:Alternate Bank of Canada Press Release (Score 1) 223

by mirix (#49186335) Attached to: <em>Star Trek</em> Fans Told To Stop "Spocking" Canadian $5 Bill

Here's the rules, FWIW. Pennies are only valid to 25c.

(2) A payment in coins referred to in subsection (1) is a legal tender for no more than the following amounts for the following denominations of coins:

        (a) forty dollars if the denomination is two dollars or greater but does not exceed ten dollars;

        (b) twenty-five dollars if the denomination is one dollar;

        (c) ten dollars if the denomination is ten cents or greater but less than one dollar;

        (d) five dollars if the denomination is five cents; and

        (e) twenty-five cents if the denomination is one cent.

Comment: Re: Star Wars! (Score 4, Interesting) 253

by mirix (#49162621) Attached to: 20-Year-Old Military Weather Satellite Explodes In Orbit

These ran NiCd cells. Here's some TL;DR from NASA about a variant of NiCd they use(d), not sure if it applies here.

http://www.nasa.gov/offices/oc...

Short notes:
Fancy NiCd, Higher density and sealed. They rely on precise chemistry to be hermetically sealed units (lean on one element, for limiting and only O2 production).
High pressure at full charge (~60PSI at room temp), higher if things go south, Pressure drops with charge state.
Excess discharge causes hydrogen production.

So, tin can, pressure changing with charge cycles (metal fatigue over many cycles?), H2 production, O2 production... maybe there is some chance for catastrophic failure there.

Comment: Re:Perhaps it wouldn’t pass today’s .. (Score 2) 286

by mirix (#49077111) Attached to: 1950s Toy That Included Actual Uranium Ore Goes On Display At Museum

I'd imagine more harmful to ingest/inhale uranium ore... in addition to radioactivity, uranium is also a heavy metal like lead. (in both senses of the term "heavy metal".)

However most ore is quite weak, with 1% being pretty decent... I think it's economical to mine it as low as 0.1%. A few mines in Canada are near 20%, though (which I suppose is related to Canada being the biggest producer... 1/5th the ore is end product, instead of 1/1000th!). Ore will often have lead and such in it as well (decay products), which is also toxic.

Comment: Re:consumerism wins! (Score 2) 294

by mirix (#48995857) Attached to: Radioshack Declares Bankruptcy

It might be different in the US, but in Canada they always had terrible stock. So if your thing didn't have a broken lamp or speaker, or a dead battery - you were SOL, as they didn't carry anything else.

There's so much different silicon now that it isn't really feasible to stock even a small portion of it in every mall anyway, so most anything you fix you'll have to order in parts for...

It would have been more reasonable when I was a kid (and they only stocked a whopping 3 transistors and zero fets then, too).

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

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