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Comment Re:Regulatory capture (Score 3, Informative) 242

Frequency coordination is already done at the state level to a certain degree. Vermont Public Radio, for example, hired a guy and bought expensive software to perform propagation prediction so they could buy up as many frequencies as possible for low power translaters beating out the other stations (of which there aren't very many this being Vermont).

A close associate of mine is the amateur radio frequency coordinator for the state of Vermont. He's responsible for coordinating repeater frequencies in conjuction with his counterparts in other states (and Candada) as necessary.

In general all licensed radio users are required to meet certain requirements WRT not interfering with other licensed users so while they fight over bandwidth there is also necessarily some cooperation, especially on the local level, b/c most frequencies above 30mhz do not typically propagate very far (except during solar cycle maximae, like we're in now; 10m is open!)

None of this really has anything to do with the fact that an industry shill is sitting in "the big chair".

Comment Re:Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? (Score 3, Informative) 72

The problem with old computers is power consumption. A newer Atom or ARM will do the same job at 2 watts that a clunky old PC would consume 200 for. $0.15/kwh * 200 watts * 24 hours * 365 days = $262.8. That'll buy a lot of RaspberryPIs and their power consumption is practically negligable. The other problem is they're big. If you only run it infrequently and real estate is not an issue then whatever, might as well keep the old one.

Comment Re:Who gives a shit? (Score 1) 200

Welcome to Vermont. Now go home :)

Actually there are many jobs, our unemployment is below average and there are lots of small high tech companies. It's finding a job paying a reasonable salary, that's the trick. Most companies based in Vermont doing global business want to pay you a Vermont salary. Hence why I work for out of state clients.

Comment Re:Who gives a shit? (Score 1) 200

There may not be anybody working ON SITE at Vermont Yankee who wants to see it shutdown. If I needed that paycheck to feed my kids I'd probably overlook a couple of leaky pipes myself. Obviously somebody at Entergy corp HQ wants it shut down as they are in fact shutting it down completely of their own accord. Do not forget Entergy just got recertified and kicked Vermont's ass in court. They didn't do that for fun and yet they are shutting it down. Sure I bet they wish it was PROFITABLE so they didn't HAVE to shut it down, but that doesn't mean they don't want to shut it down.

I guess my point is that nuclear power sucks and there are no winners here.

Comment Re:Who gives a shit? (Score 2) 200

Tell that to all the tritium that's leaked into the ground water out of Vermont Yankee. Or the collapsing cooling tower. Sure, the cooling tower wasn't radioactive, but what does that tell you about the way they run their railroad? Now the plant is closing taking the jobs and the property values with it. Glad I don't live in Vernon.

Comment Re:Oh god (Score 3, Insightful) 279

There's no such thing as a "real" Klingon Bat'leth, for starters. Second, those kinds of weapons are props and do not hold an edge very well. Swords made for Renaissance faires are well known not be to be up to actual battle standards. But what's to stop someone from putting some nails in a cricket bat and going to town on someone with that? Going to ban cricket too? How about wood saws and hacksaws? Axes? Hatchets? Sledge hammers?

Comment Re:The sad thing is... (Score 2) 267

Always. Some people just can't face reality and will defend him no matter what. The number of scandals and screw-ups in this administration is astounding. A lot of this shut-eye attitude comes form the mind-numblingly simplistic, childish notion that democrat politicians are philanthropic good guys with huge hearts who only want what's best for everyone and republican politicians are greedy selfish warmongers bent on power and fueled by bigotry - a cut and dried black& white world.
I'm wondering, Europeans were so in love with Obama in 2008, what do they think now? They got the man they wanted in the White House.

Comment Re: Worst possible user interface. (Score 1) 67

I've been playing around with my LEAP motion sensor for a while now, which is close as affordable consumer tech currently gets, and it's a mixed bag.
On one hand, I get gorilla arm; also, my computer is in a basement with poor lighting and I think that affects it's tracking some; there's also the very good point that there is no tactile feedback (that could be rectified if such an interface required some kind of finger glove;) but regards gorilla arm, it makes more sense to me to stand and gesticulate than sit, which seems to reduce that a bit, and coupled with a really good voice recognition feature (we're getting there) I could envision a day were people are using this more and more; the keyboard could become moot in the future.
Personally though, I like typing; I just hate the new modern keyboards with their spongy feel and minimal travel, again, lack of tactile feedback is a lose.
The biggest lose with the keyboard, currently, is that the mouse is separate. You have to keep removing your hand from the keys, over to the mouse, move something, then move your hand back, type some more, repeat.

Submission + - Google Wants to Help You Tiptoe Around the NSA & The Great Firewall of China

Kyle Jacoby writes: The NSA was right when it postulated that the mere knowledge of the existence of their program could weaken its ability to function. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), which serve to mask the source and destination of data by routing it through a 3rd party server, have been a popular method for maintaining internet anonymity for the paranoid and prudent. However, the all-but-silent fall of secure email server Lavabit, and VPN provider CryptoSeal, have shown us just how pervasive the government's eye on our communications is. These companies chose to fold rather than to divulge customer data entrusted to them, which begs the million-dollar question: how many have chosen to remain open and silently hand over the keys to your data?

Google has decided to put the private back in VPN by supporting uProxy, a project developed at the University of Washington with help from Brave New Software. Still using a VPN schema, their aim is to keep the VPN amongst friends (literally). Of course, you'll need a friend who is willing to let you route your net through their tubes. Their simple integration into Firefox and Chrome will lower the barrier creating a decentralized VPN architecture would make sweeping pen register orders more difficult, and would also make blocking VPNs a rather difficult task for countries like China, who block citizens' access to numerous websites.

On a related note, when will the public finally demand that communications which pass through a third party, encrypted, still retain an reasonable expectation of privacy (rendering them pen register order-resistant)?

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