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Comment Re:Intentional? (Score 1) 824

The effect was actually the opposite for me. I grew up in NYC, and knew that the walk buttons did nothing. So when I went away for college I never used them. It took me about a month of observing other folks use them to realize that they actually worked there!

Comment What about eLoran? (Score 1) 316

Loran-C may be obsolete, but the enhanced eLoran does make for a good backup system to GPS. It's accurate to about 10 meters or so with modern receivers.
No, Galileo and Glonass are not good backups to GPS, because they are also satellite-based and rely on the reception of weak microwave signals, just like GPS. Those signals can (and do) get jammed, and can even be spoofed under the right conditions. Differential GPS or other GPS augmentation systems aren't even backups at all, as they rely on the main GPS signals being present in order to operate. Loran-C and eLoran are land-based, long wave signals that are very hard to jam. It is most useful in places and under conditions where GPS has problems. And in spite of how popular GPS is, there are definitely areas where it has problems.
The UK and other countries have committed to eLoran for the next 10 to 15 years, so it's not like Loran-based systems are totally going away. They see the benefit of having a truly redundant positioning system, why doesn't the US?

Comment Re:American Healthcare... (Score 1) 419

Other countries have made the choice that they want to make health care available to all people, regardless of the ability to pay, and regardless of social status. This is simply unamerican. Why should I use my hard-earned money to take care of someone else's Health Care?

When that guy shouted "You Lie" at our President, it was because the President said that nothing in the new Health Care bill would offer coverage to illegal aliens, and the gentleman in the audience disagreed with that assessment. Forget the outburst for a minute. What the guy really said was "I don't want any Federal tax dollars paying for any health care for illegal aliens". Think about that for a moment. Pretty much every other country has decided that health care is a basic human right. Why haven't we reached that same conclusion in the US?

Comment Re:Added When (Score 1) 255

The time scale GPS uses is basically the UTC timescale that was in effect when the GPS system went first live (1980?). This is the time that GPS broadcasts, forever and ever.
Along with that time, there is a broadcast of the current offset between GPS time and the current UTC time. This offset goes up by 1 on every leap second since the GPS system first went live.
So as long as the receiver is getting all the GPS broadcasts, it will always know what the correct UTC time is.

Submission + - DTV $40 vouchers now signupable (

greywire writes: "As of today, you can now sign up to get up to two $40 vouchers good towards certain approved digital tv to analog tv converter boxes. The site ( doesn't easily come up on a google search but when you call a toll free number they give you the site or offer to order over the phone. You'll still have to wait till they issue them, and for the boxes to actually become available in stores, and they should cost from $50 to $70."

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Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy