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Comment: A REAL digital native (Score 1) 541

by tigersha (#49618999) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

3 weeks ago I visited my dad. He is 75. Still working. His boss is an old apprentice of him who lets him run his shop a few days a week while he works in his own electronics shop, builds circuits and sells and toys with 3D printers. This guy started his electronics shop a few years ago, at the tender young age of 60, because he like to play with new electronics gizmos that you build yourself (most of his stock are electronic building kits). I (age 45) felt like a kid in a candy store there.

His shop has a inventory system that runs on SCO Unix and dates from the 80s. Someone screwed up and started printing inventory reports for an entire year. My dad dug out the SCO manuals, went into the terminal and found the command line stuff to stop the printer.

Now they have a problem. Their terminal program runs on DOS and it uses a strange version of telnet that can print locally (on a dot matrix). They can't use it anymore cause they can't find floppy disks that can boot DOS anymore. This is problematic. The inventory program on SCO is still better than anything you can find nowadays and they like to use it. The menu is burned into the green-screen monitor.

I looked into using a Raspberry Pi as a terminal with cKermit to get rid of the old (one still running since the 80s') DOS boxes. Old 60 year old guy installed it himself.

This was 3 weeks ago, in 2015. That is what a digital native looks like.

Comment: Re:Just get rid of it (Score 1) 314

by gerardrj (#49570517) Attached to: Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

Why is it the "cranks" are all asking for scientific study or proof and the "sane" ones are all saying "trust we know it works, because we know" and quoting each other in support?

Do you know that for that $63,000 a year you could provide fluoride rinse or tablets to every at-risk kid in a population about 3x the size served by municipal water fluoridation? The rinses and tables have been studied and proven effective and they all use sodium fluoride.

Comment: Just get rid of it (Score 3, Informative) 314

by gerardrj (#49569461) Attached to: Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

Fluoride in water always sounds good to people who want "better smiles" but it's 99% a waste of the money spent:

1. The version of fluoride they put in the water (Hexafluorosilicic acid) is not shown to help with dental decay issues. Sodium Fluoride is the chemical the ADA studies and recommends for toothpaste and dental products.

2. Hexafluorosilicic acid is a product manufactured from industrial waste in the aluminum industry and is considered a toxic substance. If industry hadn't conned municipalities in to putting it in the water supply as a "fluoride source" it would cost them a good chunk of change to dispose of the stuff. (Look up ALCOA and fluoride).

3. Consumption of unfiltered tap water, I'd say, is just about zero. I know no-one that drinks any substantive quantity of tap water that the fluoride content in it would ever have any clinical effect. Almost any filter designed to remove impurities will remove the fluoride from tap water.

4. Even if people were drinking only tap water, over 95% of the water used in an average municipality is very consumed by any living thing. It washes cars, waters lawns, bathes people, flushes toilets, cools industrial equipment, etc.

5. When I had this discussion with my town a few years ago asking them to provide numbers they told my it cost $63,000 a year in product and personnel to run the fluoridation system for 29.5 million gallons of potable water. That sounds like very little, .2 cents ($.002) per thousand gallons or an average of about $.30 per family per month. Sure when you make the numbers small it doesn't look like much, but think about what $63,000 a year gets if directed an other programs in a town. Another teacher or two? Extended library hours on the weekends? A new after school program?

6. No-one, I mean I searched hard, has studied the rate of change in a community pre and post fluoridation of tap water since an initial study of Grand Rapids and Muskegon in 1945. A study that was ended prematurely but touted as a success anyway despite its very unscientific lack of compensating for outside factors not related to the study itself and the "control" changing programs during the study.

7. The Grand Rapids "study" was based upon Sodium Fluoride, which again is not what we put in the water today. So even if the result was positive the hexafluorosilicic acid used today has never been studied for prevention of tooth decay in municipal water supplies and is a very different chemical compound just like Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Dioxide are very different chemicals. Search for

8. There is no version of any type of fluoride that is indicated by the FDA for the prevention of tooth decay. The municipal water companies are adding an non-FDA approved and unregulated drug to our water supply. The other substance added to water supplies (chlorine to be simple) is approved by the FDA for water and food sanitation.

As you can see, there is simply no supporting truth to the argument that fluoride in municipal water prevents tooth decay. It does cost a significant amount of money, and almost no-one drinks the fluoridated water anyway.

Do your own research. You will come to the same conclusion: municipal water fluoridation is based on lies, it's a waste of money, it doesn't work and it may actually cause harm to public health.

Comment: Re:Z80 was in TRS-80 (Score 1) 124

by tigersha (#49561933) Attached to: When Exxon Wanted To Be a Personal Computing Revolutionary

I agree with you. It is still possible to get a lot of the 80's feel by playing with Arduinos and Raspberry Pi's. I will definietly look at the mbed thing.
A few eeks ago I helped my dad to keep an old SCO Unix program running that he has been using for 20 years. He could not us the terminal anymore because he could not get floppy disks to boot DOS for his special terminal program. So we looked into using a RaspPi with ckermit.

Any suggestions on that FPGA board?

Comment: Re:Erh... what would it accomplish? (Score 2) 341

by tigersha (#49333965) Attached to: Feds Attempt To Censor Parts of a New Book About the Hydrogen Bomb

Let's clarify something technical here.

Thermonuclear refers to the use of fusion to gain more energy. It can be used for two things:

a) To make a really humongous bomb. High-yield more than 5MT.
b) To boost a pure fission bomb to get the same amount of energy in a smaller package.

Almost all modern nuclear weapons are of the b) sort. They are all thermonuclear but they are small. A pure fission device (Little boy, for instance) is physically large for the boom you get.

That said, most of the weapons do not use thermonuclear energy as a main source. The thermonuclear reaction produces copious neutron which boosts the fission part. The weapon is still primary a boosted fission device.

Type (a) high-yield weapons are scarce things. The US, for one, does not have any, the Russians not many and they have a specific bunker-busting role. They are also physically large devices and hard to steal.

(b) type weapons are much more common. This is the threat, but they are still thermonuclear.

Comment: Re: it always amazes me (Score 2) 341

by tigersha (#49333937) Attached to: Feds Attempt To Censor Parts of a New Book About the Hydrogen Bomb

Uhm, the US is a BIG country. The Iranians are probably capable of building maybe a 150-200kt device, if that. An EMP pulse would take out the power in mid-sized city for a few weeks at most. It would also cause major damage on the ground.

90% of the US population would not die from starvation. Maybe 0.1% would die from the blast itself.

Even if they had a 50's style high-yield multi-megaton thermonuclear device they could not make 90% of the US population starve.

Even the USSR at its high point would not have been able to kill 90% of the US population with massive missile strike.

Of course, after the Iranians made their point and killed 0.1% of US citizens they would face the music.

Comment: Re:it always amazes me (Score 1) 341

by tigersha (#49333913) Attached to: Feds Attempt To Censor Parts of a New Book About the Hydrogen Bomb

You really think that the Israelis are so stupid as to get the US to engage in a proxy war for them so that they can claim Arab land?

I disagree with Israelis and think the US should make peace with Persian ASAP, but the Israelis are acting out of fear. They live in a rough neighbourhood.

Comment: Re:PHP is fine (Score 1) 182

by tigersha (#49325897) Attached to: Modern PHP: New Features and Good Practices

Suppose all guns came without safety catches. I now go and blame this technical oversight for the increase in people with blown-off heads.

You now claim that blaming the safety-catch-less badly designed guns for the casualties is asinine.

> It gets the job done quickly and easily,

So does a gun without a safety catch.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?