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Comment Re: marking the actual dimensions as well is easy. (Score 1) 548

If you want an actual 2" x 4" cross section, you could order some, but not from a home improvement store. At a Home Depot or Menard's, I'd get three 1 x 6 boards (it'll take some time to find three that aren't badly cupped, twisted, or warped), glue them up, then mill down to the final size.

Comment Re:Ham (Score 1) 263

Not that it did much good. Cellphones of the day tended to leak over onto my police-band radio anyway. And technically whoever blew up Newt Gringrich's reign by publishing a cell call intercepted in Gainesville, Florida should have been prosecuted, but no one was.

Publishing is a different matter, but the couple that actually recorded the call were prosecuted. They took a plea agreement.

Comment Re: Time to cancel netflix (Score 1) 195

Comment Re:Prepare to be disappointed... (Score 1) 108

I think we should go back to vector displays because they have infinite resolution.

In case that isn't a joke:

Assuming a vector display involved an electron beam hitting a phosphor-coated screen, molecular resolution would be the best it could do. Long before that would come limitations on how tightly the electron beam could be focused, and how quickly the beam could be modulated and scanned.

Comment Re:Contemporary PC capabilites (Score 1) 118

But given the crazy expensive Amiga's introductory price, it's a valid comparison.

It was a couple of hundred bucks cheaper than the IBM and blew it the hell out of the water, how was the price crazy?

I'm pretty sure I paid around $1500 for my Amiga 1000 and 1081 monitor back in 1985. It definitely outperformed comparably priced PC clones of the same era. The CPI inflation calculator says that equates to $3365 in 2017--more than enough to buy a gaming machine that would play everything in 4K.

Comment Re:Actual summary of the article (Score 2) 259

Mr. Bright's actual argument is that the Windows 10 Store fills the hole of a single, consistent package manager, promising that applications will be cleanly installed, updated, and uninstalled without the diversity of mechanisms abundant currently.

If only we could get just that, without the OS owner acting as gatekeeper and demanding a cut.

Comment Re:Morons are running the USA (Score 1) 649

Let's just assume all of your low-hanging fruit is real, and wholly unnecessary.

Those ten programs together are only $18.8M, or about 5 millionths of the federal budget.

You have scooped one bucket of water out of an Olympic swimming pool.

Meanwhile, the US spends more on its military than the rest of the top 10 combined, with five out of that next group of nine being our good friends United Kingdom, France, Japan, Germany, and South Korea. Yet, the proposed budget will increase military spending.

Comment Regulatory Capture? (Score 1) 38

The two Virginia lawmakers who sponsored the bill, Ron Villanueva and Bill DeSteph, teamed up with Starship Technologies, an Estonian-based ground delivery robotics company, to draft the legislation. Robots operating under the new law won't be able to exceed 10 miles per hour or weigh over 50 pounds,

I can't help wondering if Starship Technologies' robots coincidentally have a top speed of 10 miles per hour, and their competitors have more capable robots that weigh substantially more than 50 pounds.

Comment Re:baseball pitcher.. (Score 1) 61

Don't worry: it's still an painfully useless analogy if you are familiar with baseball. You really aren't missing anything.

Major League Baseball (MLB) rule 2.04 specifies that " the distance between the pitcher’s plate and home base (the rear point of home plate) shall be 60 feet, 6 inches" (18.44 meters).

MLB rule 3.01 specifies that the ball be "not less than nine nor more than 9 1/4 inches in circumference". That is 72.64–74.68 mm in diameter, let's split it down the middle and use 73.66 mm.

The MLB definition of a strike includes "a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which: [...] is not struck at, if any part of the ball passes through any part of the strike zone".

A United States quarter is 24.26 mm in diameter.

Thus, the difficulty of aligning the transceivers is similar to the difficulty of throwing a ball of 73.66 mm diameter through a hole of 97.88 mm diameter from a distance of 18.44 meters.

There, now anyone in the world should have a good idea of how difficult it is. ;-)

Comment Re:Time to take nuclear seriously.... (Score 1) 234

My view? Nuclear is a good stopgap to reduce the amount of air pollution released while we get our energy sector heading in a direction more viable in the long term.

I used to share this view. Now I see nuclear as just too expensive. A nuclear plant in my state shut down a few years ago because it wasn't cost-competitive with burning fracked natural gas. As the R&D is done to make nuclear safer and cheaper, it has to chase continuing cost reductions for solar and wind. Improvements to the grid (which are a good idea anyway), and storage are probably a better use of resources. Distributed production and storage of electricity could make for a more resilient energy infrastructure.

Waste reprocessing needs improvement.

Reprocessing is not done mostly because making new fuel from raw uranium is cheaper. With solar becoming cheaper than coal, reprocessing may never become economically viable. We should look into whether building some fast reactors to "burn" existing spent fuel stockpiles is the best way to deal with them. (Expensive electricity, but there is value in reducing the radioactivity of the waste.)

The leaky barrels buried under the western US are kind of a bummer...

Bummer indeed, but those barrels mostly originate from weapons production, not power production.

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