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Comment: Re:queue the.. (Score 1) 233

by roc97007 (#49601691) Attached to: Long Uptime Makes Boeing 787 Lose Electrical Power

You're right. In a similar vein, I ride a Harley, and conversations always lead back to "it's not leaking oil, it's marking its territory!" Har. Har. Yes Harleys used to leak oil. They were famous for it at one time. But they don't now, anymore than any motor vehicle does.

Similarly, in all the years I've been using Windows 7, I've yet to have a hang or bluescreen, and I don't reboot my machine unless absolutely necessary. But people still make jokes about the Windows 49.7 day issue. Just goes to show, it takes a LONG time to live down a tremendous goof.


New Test Supports NASA's Controversial EM Drive 430

Posted by Soulskill
from the time-to-argue dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Last year, NASA's advanced propulsion research wing made headlines by announcing the successful test of a physics-defying electromagnetic drive, or EM drive. Now, this futuristic engine, which could in theory propel objects to near-relativistic speeds, has been shown to work inside a space-like vacuum. NASA Eagleworks made the announcement quite unassumingly via NASASpaceFlight.com. The EM drive is controversial in that it appears to violate conventional physics and the law of conservation of momentum; the engine, invented by British scientist Roger Sawyer, converts electric power to thrust without the need for any propellant by bouncing microwaves within a closed container. So, with no expulsion of propellant, there’s nothing to balance the change in the spacecraft’s momentum during acceleration.

Comment: Not "stupid" just for that reason (Score 4, Insightful) 172

by roc97007 (#49590149) Attached to: FBI Slammed On Capitol Hill For "Stupid" Ideas About Encryption

from TFA, on "a back door just for the good guys": "Our founders understood that an Orwellian overreaching government is one of the most dangerous things this world could have"

Yes, agreed. But besides that, having the back-doors only available "for the good guys" is problematic for a number of other reasons, including:

a) "the good guys" in this administration may be replaced by "less than good guys" in the next administration

b) It only takes one "not so good guy" in the organization to take advantage of a back door for nefarious purposes (perhaps with the best of intentions)

c) The existence of a back door "just for the good guys" assumes that there is no exploit that anyone could figure out with today's technology up to the technology available up to the retirement of the last piece of equipment that contained that particular back door (which might be decades). When you design a system, do you take into account the technology that will become available to break into it 20 or 30 years in the future?

d) That the "keys" for such a universal back door would be so valuable that they would inevitably be sold by someone with access to the highest bidder, or because of political or religious motivations.

...and probably more reasons I haven't thought of at the moment. Put succinctly, a "back door" that's "only for the good guys" and remains such for any reasonable length of time is a virtual impossibility. That it exists at all means it will inevitably be exploited for personal or political gain at some point.

The FBI might be better served by just being better at cyber break-ins than anyone else. This would allow them to do the monitoring they desire, and have the added benefits of making them work for access, rather than just go fetch passwords out of a safe, and develop some in-house expertise that could be used against real cyber criminals.

Now that I think of that last part, if we really want the FBI to understand about cyber security, it's important from an evolutionary point to never give them easy access to anything.

Comment: Re:EPA has exceeded safe limits, needs curbing (Score 1) 348

Right... let's see how hard the republican senators fight the fight when the effect would be to bankrupt and big pharma, and indeed, make it completely impossible to ever again develop or sell a drug in the United States.

Maybe I haven't had enough coffee yet today, but I'm not sure I see the connection between basing decisions on real published peer reviewed science and bankrupting big pharma.

Comment: Re:EPA has exceeded safe limits, needs curbing (Score 1) 348

I am not going to argue whether or not "secret science" should be used by the EPA. I will point out the hypocrisy in there is no difference between the EPA using "secret science" and the FDA using "secret science" when approving drugs. If you are going to ban it in one regulatory agency then you should ban it in all regulatory agencies.

Shrug. That works for me. Although we may have to work on them one agency at a time. Tell you what. You help with the EPA and I'll certainly help with the FDA (that sounds like a good idea anyway).

Comment: Re:Actually, it *IS* smoother... (Score 1) 170

by roc97007 (#49573147) Attached to: Verizon Tells Customer He Needs 75Mbps For Smoother Netflix Video

... if you have multiple computers on your lan, streaming different content from different sites.

I've found routinely that video streaming tv shows from a network's website, which ordinarily runs fine will still start to choke if somebody else in my house is watching a moderately long youtube video in HD, for example.

Are you really talking about the difference between 50 and 75 Mbits/second down? If you really are seeing issues with streaming netflix while someone else is watching an HD youtube video with a provisioning of 50 Mbits/second, there's something wrong, and it's almost certainly not your provisioning. I'd want to see how you laid out your network, check some stats from your router, look at what switches you're using, and check how your Netflix appliance is connected to the network.

I'd also want to do some speed tests. Back when I had Verizon FIOS (before they sold it to Frontier) I would find the network inexplicably slow some days, check the speed, and find that my provisioning had been downgraded to a lower tier. Call Verizon, they'd apologize and set it right. I could speculate why this kept happening, but they always fixed it when asked and it never happened again once Frontier took over the network.

Comment: ok wait.... (Score 1) 170

by roc97007 (#49573101) Attached to: Verizon Tells Customer He Needs 75Mbps For Smoother Netflix Video

> Verizon recently told a customer that upgrading his 50Mbps service to 75Mbps would result in smoother streaming of Netflix video.

Ok, not really. A salescreature working for Verizon said that. Now you could argue rightly that salescreatures are the "face" of the company to customers. If they lie to the customer (and this is without a doubt a really big lie) it reflects badly on the company, just as horrible service reflects badly on Comcast. (In their case they deserve it, but I digress.)

The problem I think is that 10 or 15 megabits per second is "good enough" for the great majority of consumers, and companies become hard pressed to justify faster and faster speeds, just as the CPU mips wars became nonsense after a certain point. There will always be power users, but for most people, the difference between downloading their pr0n in 1/4 or 1/8 of a second makes no difference.

I can imagine that it's especially bad for salescreatures. If the lowest tier provision is 20/5, (20 down five up) or even 15/5, it's hard to upsell, because ma and pa kettle doesn't really need anything more than that. So with quotas to meet, you can understand where salescreatures resort to embellishing the truth. After all, it's what they do.

I have friends and family members that are still stuck on "uverse" or some other crap 1 Mbit/sec DSL, and I recommend (where possible) that they upgrade to the cheapest (lowest tier) fibre (if available) or cable available in their area. The boost from 1 Mb DSL to 10 or 15 or 20 Mbits/sec (whatever is available) will change your life. The boost from 10-20 to 50 or 100 will not, unless you're a power user with truly ridiculous requirements.

That said, I have 25/5, and what I'd really like is 25/25, because I manage websites and upload content, but the local ISP does not have a plan for that. I'd have to pay $75/month for 100 down in order to get 10 up. Not worth it. I'm having trouble coming up with any use case where a single family dwelling could make use of 100 down, other than as bragging rights, and doubling the up speed isn't worth tripling the price.

I've heard-tell of some areas offering 100 down *and* 100 up. I have a hard time envisioning that. I'd like to try it, just for a weekend, to see how that much up speed changes my workflow.

And then I shake my head, and go back to work, because my connection really is good enough.

Comment: Re:200 miles underground is really deep! (Score 2) 106

by roc97007 (#49570931) Attached to: Signs of Subsurface 'Alien' Life Found In Antarctica

Really. You've lived long enough to learn to write somewhat articulately, and still don't understand about dialects and different spelling of words in different countries? Do you call all cultures not your own "ignorant"? Let's hope you don't have to deal with a global economy.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten