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Comment Human hair? (Score 1) 370

10^-27cm (the spherical error in the article) is 10^-29m. The upper bound on the electron's radius is 10^-22m (Wikipedia). The solar system is roughly 1.5*10^13m in radius (Wolfram Alpha), so 3*10^13m in diameter. If you'd inflate the electron to the size of the solar system, scaling by 3*10^35, the spherical error would be 3*10^6m, which is more than twice the diameter of Earth, according to my calculations.

Comment Re:Mugabe (Score 1) 669

This conflates the right of a people to know what an elected government is doing in their name, with the reasonable right of a person to hold personal secrets. One form of openness increases liberty, the other decreases it. Disclosing to the state the secrets of the people is much more heinous than the reverse.

Comment Good grief, those run-on sentences (Score 0, Offtopic) 148

John Calcote is a senior software engineer in Novell's Linux business, who after slogging up the steep learning curve the Autotools triad poses to those packaging software according to the portable GNU conventions for the first time, very kindly decided to make the experience easier to newcomers by sharing his years of experience and carefully crafted bag of tricks.

The book opens with John's experiences in adopting the Autotools, and quickly offers what is in my view a very important word of caution that is often lacking in the few tutorials I have seen on the Net: the Autotools are not simply a set of tools but foremost the encoded embodiment of a set of practices and expectations in the way software should be packaged the GNU way.

Good heavens, I'm all for sentences with body, but this is terrible. I actually stopped reading the article after the second one. You know what this site could use? Editors.

Comment Re:I actually monitor this station on occasion. (Score 1) 560

I use a Sangean ATS 505 shortwave radio (cheap, and lets you listen to all of the shortwave spectrum, not just the broadcast bands), with a wire antenna attached. That's literally a wire, strung to a tree outside, with a headphone plug soldered to one end so I can plug it in the external antenna socket. Works fine, though with a lot of static. I'm in Western Europe, so the signal is decent by night, unaudible by day.

The thing about the broadcast bands is important: most cheap shortwave radios only let you dial into specific "broadcast bands". The Buzzer (as well as most other interesting stuff) does not broadcast in one of those bands, so a normal world receiver can't pick it up.

Comment I actually monitor this station on occasion. (Score 4, Interesting) 560

I have it on right now in the background. There used to be an alternating tone at the top of the hour that kicked in suddenly and always gave me the shivers, but it stopped doing that a few years ago. Sometimes I tune in late at night, since the monotone drone of the buzzer can get pretty psychedelic. Good for coding. Never been lucky enough to catch a voice broadcast, though I did hear some crosstalk once. I even started work on a C daemon to autocorrelate the signal and auto-record any voice transmissions, but that got put on hold.
Pictures of the transmission site:

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