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Comment Re:Caller ID Blocker (Score 4, Interesting) 253

I strung him along by responding literally to his questions while using a handy FreeBSD server I had sitting there under the table until he gave me their logmein url(which I later reported to logmein support, who promised to close their account), then allowed him to finally make sense of my somewhat responses (I don't see a Start button, but I do have a window I can type that command in... What version am I using? The OS says version 10, etc...) when I finally asked him what kind of computer engineer has never heard of FreeBSD before...

Comment Re:legalism is a crap philosophy. (Score 1) 582

I used to live in Northern VA and had to commute (like most people there) 50+ minutes each way, and that was only traveling 20 miles, but it was mostly north-south. I'm sure you can do the math on average speed there. The "fastest" route for me took me about

Other than the two east-west freeways, there are typically one, or sometimes as many as two streets which "go through" from one city to the next. It's all small winding highways at best in a North-south direction. That's it. So all the traffic dumps through those north-south streets, even if they're residential streets and even if the drivers are just passing through town. Four-way stops become nightmares at some of those intersections.

They really do need to just bite the bullet and purchase/tear-down some houses to make multiple real routes between towns, rather then have all the traffic hitting mile after mile of residential areas.

But because of the focused money/population/expanding government agencies around the DC area sucking the rest of the country dry, property values are ridiculous the closer you get to DC, on the order of millions of dollars per small house, so you can see why they don't want to have to pay to demolish in order to put new roads in.

Comment Re:Remember the NASA Wind Turbines? (Score 1) 184

Current blades are trucked in one piece (per blade) which is impressive to see. Three of them were parked on I-5 outside of Patterson, California a few months ago. There are a lot of net videos and photos which convey the scale.

Even at the current size they can't get through many highway interchanges and local intersections. The larger ones won't be able to ship in one piece at all.

Comment Remember the NASA Wind Turbines? (Score 4, Interesting) 184

NASA Wind Turbines approached this scale in the '80's. Unfortunately, this was a previously-unexplored area of aerodynamics for NASA, and they had mechanical stress and noise problems (including subsonics) and were all demolished. I think there was one near Vallejo, CA being taken down when I got to Pixar in '87, and one in Boone, NC, which famously rattled windows and doors.

The art has since improved. I took a ride to the top of the turbine at Grouse Mountain, that was fun! That's the only one I have heard of where you can actually get to see it from the top.

Comment Starting out with the wrong assumptions (Score 2) 165

This is starting out with the wrong assumptions.

Design a brick system that can be produced with 3-D printers, and will hold together when fabricated within the tolerances of an SLA printer. Forget FDM, it's too low precision and SLA is already achieving an equal or lower cost of manufacture compared with FDM.

LEGO is manufactured to astonishingly high precision, but I am not convinced that this is the only way to make a brick system.

Comment Re:Think? (Score 2, Insightful) 522

The summary is BS. It says the Republicans are trying to change the definition, when what's being argued with is the FCC arbitrarily changing their previous definition:
    "As part of its 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the Federal Communications Commission has voted to change the definition of broadband by raising the minimum download speeds needed from 4Mbps to 25Mbps, and the minimum upload speed from 1Mbps to 3Mbps, which effectively triples the number of US households without broadband access."

You may want people to have faster speeds, but changing what terms mean isn't an honest way to go about it. Anything over dial-up or ISDN speeds is technically broadband. If you want to have a standard for 25 MBs internet, call it "4K TV speed" or something, but don't pretend that suddenly the definition of broadband has changed and thus overnight there are 3 times as many people "without broadband" as there were the day before, even though their access speeds didn't change.

Comment They're still running... outdated story (Score 3, Informative) 81

The issue was the landing site wasn't properly approved for helicopter landings. Fortunately, the local officials are reasonable and Uber made an agreement with the County to use the Sheriff's landing pad instead so that flights could continue during the festival.

From a follow-up story: "Thanks to the county's proactive outreach, we have developed an alternative landing site for uberCHOPPER that serves riders and accommodates residents," Patterson said.

Comment Re:No comparison (Score 1) 132

Blue Origin will eventually have a two-stage rocket that can reach orbit (although they are planning on a much smaller payload than SpaceX for their first iteration). When the booster of that rocket lands without damage, they will duplicate what SpaceX has recently done, although in smaller scale.

Blue Origin to SpaceX at present is a sort of bicycle-to-automobile comparison if you account for the tremendous difference in energy and the application. So, I think there really is an intrinsic difference between the two of them.

If you want to say there's no intrinsic difference, then we need to look at Orbital's Stargazer and Pegasus, which have been carrying small payloads to orbit for years, and there's only been one Stargazer all of that time so there is no question that it's reusable. The only difference is that Stargazer lands horizontally.

We can then look at the B-52 and X-15 combination, in which both stages were reusable, a human was the payload, and we're going back to the late 1950's.

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