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Comment: Preparing When You Are On The Road (Score 2) 191

by sk999 (#47743983) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

It pays to prepare, even if you don't live in a quake-prone area. I've felt 7 quakes in all and most have been while I was on the road, including yesterday's Chile quake, when I was in the Santiago airport. It was strong enough that the staff came through later to make sure everyone was OK and to admonish everyone that they should have stayed away from the windows. The duty free shop was shut down, so I guess the lesson is to get your shopping out of the way sooner rather than waiting.

Comment: Re:Glad to see you use the term 'assemble' (Score 1) 391

by sk999 (#47590807) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

I never built or assembled a computer, but around 1977 I did build a computer peripheral - a video display driver with a whopping 786 kbits of memory - shift register, not RAM. An instrument controller was also part of it. Lots of toggle switches, thumbwheels, and blinking lights. Sonalert to signal state changes. It even came with a remote. Lots of mandatory soldering and wirewrapping. Custom manufactured crystal for the master oscillator. The blinking lights were the most impressive feature. The day that the banks of blinking lights were eliminated from computers is the day I stopped trusting them. Still don't.

Comment: Hard To Say (Score 1) 278

by sk999 (#47411703) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

I have a mix of CFL, halogen, and old-fashioned filament bulbs. The halogen is the shortest-lived, by far. The CFL has been doing fine for years. Interestingly, the filaments bulbs, by and large, are also doing fine after many years. The average age is well over 3 years (the longest interval in the poll) even for bulbs that get used every day.

Comment: NOAA, please shut up. (Score 0) 547

by sk999 (#47301809) Attached to: NOAA: Earth Smashed A Record For Heat In May 2014, Effects To Worsen

In my area, our records predate the NOAA. We had the coldest season ever for Dec-March. We had snow in April. We had freezing precip. in May. June has been pretty nice, but we are about to head below normal once again. For anyone who has the idea that we need to cool the Earth back down, just go away.

Comment: Even Slashdot Classic is Going Downhill (Score 1) 474

Slashdot gives me the option to disable ads, but for the longest time I didn't bother, because - heck - it's what pays the bills, plus I even bought something once through one of its ads.

Then the obnoxious oversized ads and overlayed popups started appearing, and suddenly disabling ads became the only way to even see the site content.

Now, even with ads "disabled", I still get ads. Nice job Slashdot.

Comment: Re:I just bought a new car... (Score 1) 148

I recently had a Ford Fusion as a rental. It was a hybrid, which I had never driven before, and it took most of a day of trial and error to figure out which combination of this-and-that you need to do to even start the thing. It had the Microsoft In Sync system, which I never figured it out. In fact, I couldn't even figure out how to turn off the radio - could only turn down the volume. On the plus side, it did perform quite well as a car (that driving thing).

Comment: PHB thinking at its finest (Score 1) 185

by sk999 (#47141139) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Taking a New Tack On Net Neutrality?

The BOD must think it is comparable to selling lists of phone numbers to telemarketers, but the internet doesn't work that way. The total college student population in the US is of order 20 million - how are they going to get companies to pay attention to a diddly-squat ISP that wants to control access to 35,000 - 0.2% of the potential market?

Comment: Re:Einstein was a huge roadblock (Score 1) 129

The evidence was accumulating even before General Relativity was published and was largely in place by 1923 - all of Slipher's galaxy velocities (41 total), which were published in Eddington's book on GR. The predominance of positive velocities (i.e., redshifts) was well known. Had Einstein properly appreciated Friedmann's work in 1922 and at least made others aware of it, it is likely that the connection between a model of an expanding universe and the positive velocities would have been made around that time.

Comment: Einstein was a huge roadblock (Score 2) 129

After creating the theory of General Relativity, Einstein came up with the first cosmological model - one that was static. This was 1916. De Sitter came up with an alternative, but also seemingly static, model in 1917. (De Sitter called them Models A and B). Later, Friedmann (1922, 1924) and Lemaitre (1927) came up with models of expanding universes, but Einstein judged both of them to be bad physics, even going so far as to writing a paper claiming that Friedmann's calculations were in error (a claim he later retracted.) Einstein's influence was so great that these models lay buried until 1930. Einstein wanted the universe to be static (and closed) so he could preserve his beloved Mach's principle. In the end it was a combination of Eddington, de Sitter, Hubble, and Lemaitre who broke the logjam.

It is also tempting to criticize Einstein for the introduction of the "cosmological constant", but since today it is considered to be one possible form of Dark Energy (the Lambda-CDM model), in this instance he gets a pass.

Comment: Is It Unlawful To Increment A Number In A URL? (Score 1) 148

by sk999 (#46730611) Attached to: 'weev' Conviction Vacated

If so, then I committed an unlawful act today. Did a Google, search, and soon I was reading a pdf file of section 9 of some code, but it referred to section 10. How do locate section 10? Oh wait - just increment the section number in the URL by 1. Oops - Federal prosecutors knocking on my door, ready to haul me off to NJ for trial. Dang.

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen