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Comment Re:Life without electricity! (Score 1) 161

The whole purpose of moderation is to give more weight to good comments, and less to bad or useless ones. If you're logged on with excellent karma or are a subscriber, your comment starts off at a 1 already. I've had plenty of my unmodded comments modded "overrated", and many or maybe even most deserved it. With excellent karma I start with a 1, and the "no karme bonus" checkbox doesn't seem to work.

Moderating a comment down isn't to punish the user, it's to make the comment less visible. "Funny" adds visibility without adding karma. If you're a good poster you shouldn't worry about downmods; I don't.

Comment Re:TiVo invented timeshifting? (Score 1) 490

There was an interesting in-between technology that forget the name of that had a code printed in the tv-guide

You're thinking of VCR Plus. While my newer VCRs supported it, I never used it as it only (AFAIK) scheduled one recording of a show instead of setting up a weekly (or whatever) recording.

Comment Re:Questions (Score 4, Interesting) 471

> What happens when a person going 70mph suddenly loses control of their
> vehicle?

The run into somebody and kill them. Just like they do when being chased at high speed.

> How accurate can that sort of gun be?

It cannot be accurate at all, but the cops will become convinced that it is laser-like.

> Over what sort of angle and distance is it will effective?

The field will be blob-shaped, with slightly more range forward than back. It will only wreck cars at a fairly short range but will destroy unshielded electronic equipment (cellphones, 'Pods, laptops...) at a much greater range.

> Is there a way to shield the car with a faraday cage to prevent this sort
> of thing from happening? And if not, wouldn't this just mess up the police
> cars?

A bit of filtering and shielding will suffice, and the cop cars will get it. So will the vehicles of some criminals.

Comment Re:NASA isn't good at listening (Score 2, Interesting) 319

but there frankly isn't much more you'd do to safeguard a volunteering person than you'd do for a billion-dollar unmanned probe representing years of work by huge teams.

That depends. If you're needing to launch a dozen or more of those billion dollar "unmanned probes" (or spy sats in the case of the military/intelligence agencies) then it may be more cost effective to self-insure by mass producing an extra one or two to compensate for a 10% failure rate instead of trying to bring the failure rate for one or two less launches down to 0. That's what happens when heavy lifter launches cost >$100 million (or nearly $0.5 billion in the case of the shuttle).

Comment Re:Not listed phones works too, i.e. Nokia E51 (Score 2, Informative) 300

N95 8GB is on the list at... http://europe.nokia.com/support/product-support/maps-support/compatibility-and-download Check the drop down box after 'Start' and select N95 8GB and this will take you to the download page for Ovi Maps 3.0. After that you download the map loader. It's listed as a free download. This seems to differ from the link in the original article in that more phones are listed.

Comment Sliver PV panel technology (Score 1) 155

For an alternative technology that also claims to use much less silicon, check out this link.


Briefly they cut thick wafers from the boule (typically 1mm to 2mm) then mill vertically into the the wafer. They turn the cut sliver side-on and process it into a conventional solar cell then glue multiple slivers into panels. Each sliver is only 20 to 50 microns thick.

Comment Re:Specialty (Score 1) 211

Your analysis is fundamentally off-base. Silicon solar cells are expensive, not because of some global conspiracy, but because they require a lot of silicon square footage. One slice of ingot can make several thousand $100 CPUs, or less than a square foot of solar panel. That's one big reason why solar cells cost so much. It would be worse, but for the fact that solar cells are made from silicon slices that are rejected for making IC's. Just a little off-tolerance on impurity level or resistivity and the slice gets sold at a discount to the solar cell folks. If they had to pay the going rate for good silicon the cells would really be out of sight.

Comment Re:Definitely questions for... (Score 1) 434

I would be required to leave a backdoor into my machine, so that the police (or whatever government agency) could RDP in if my kid pushes this panic button?

I don't mean to advocate for or against such a thing in principle, I just don't know enough. However from the technical POV you do not need to leave a backdoor into your computer. The IM software only needs to have a plugin that implements the dolphin button, and that plugin, when activated, gives remote access to *that IM session only*. The remote user does not need to access anything above and beyond the IM software. That software may be augmented to provide additional, technical details about the session, so that the other person can be located. The plugin will not be a backdoor; it is even possible to release it as open source, and you can compile one yourself. After all, it's a very simple piece of code. I don't know how many LOCs a plugin wrapper may need, but the TCP session to a certain host won't take more than 100 lines. When the remote session is open the incoming data is sent there too, and the remote input is injected into the IM's outgoing stream. Or you may block the local I/O entirely, if you don't want the child to see what the police is talking about.

Comment Re:Why does anyone want internet GPS anyway? (Score 1) 330

All the links to Google and their vast database of search.
For example, if you are out and about and want food you can easily use your Android handset to Google for the nearest Subway or KFC or McDonald's and have Google Navigation give you turn by turn directions to take you there. Or if you are trying to find someones house, you can grab an address from your phones address book (or from a SMS message or email that someone has sent you) and have Google Navigation give you directions.

As others have said, having a GPS that can download data in real time also means you can get up-to-the-minute reports on traffic and construction and accidents and other delays or hazards. This means that the route it gives you is the fastest/best/shortest/whatever route at the time you are driving it (not the fastest route given ideal road conditions)

And with it being Google, customization will no doubt be a feature.

Now all I need is for Google to buy (or create) some Australian map data and offer Google Navigation for free on an Android set in the land down under.

Comment Re:30 inch LCD, run at half resolution (Score 1) 549

You got him backward, he wants HIGH dpi monitors, meaning more, smaller pixels in the same space. Fortunately Newegg.com lets you search for LCD screens by pixel pitch, answering ALL the questions in this thread (at least for the product space that Newegg carries).


Carry on.

Comment This statement is BS... (Score 1) 143

I'm Brazilian and this media statement is full os shit, why ? 1st - To try to hack it you had to submit a paper telling EVERYTHING you would try to hack... Any hacker knows that "hacking" isn't easy, and you must adjust your techniques every time, so it is virtually impossible to design a paper telling what you're going to do. Hacking isn't simply mathematics and scheduled procedures... 2nd - They would allow you very limited access to the voting machine in a controlled everinoment and on a limited time. Hacking takes days to understand the code, flaws ans possible ways to exploit it. It can't be done under pressure in a few days. 3rd - No REAL hacker would show his personal information and submit it to the goverment. Why ? It's very clear that everyone who enlisted was added to a federal police database of "possible suspects" and only the winner (almost impossible to archive, due the circunstances) would gain anything. So the chance of winning was very low, and being exposed wasn't worth the try. If they want a REAL test, they must: 1 - Allow anyone read the full source-code 2 - Put some of those voting machines on the internet with full-access. (login and passwords) 3 - Let us try anything without pressure. 4 - Offer a REAL prize, like US$100.000. 5 - Get a chance to try to hack it without being exposed in the first-hand. Of course whoever wins must reveal his identity, but only the winner (and everything that would come from that) would be known. That said, it was just a media statement... I can BET there are a lot of flaws in the system...

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?