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Comment Re:This shouldn't be this difficult (Score 1) 405

Where did you get the idea that they never lose a cent?

I have a friend in the banking industry and she once told me that if the public knew how much money the banks lost ervery day due to electronic fraud, we'd all be hiding our money under our matresses and the whole industry would collapse. Billions slip away every day world-wide, usually as small, difficult to verify transactions of under $100. The banks just consider it part of the cost of doing business and pass the added expense along to the consumer.

Comment Infinite UC1800 (Score 1) 422

If I have the urge to look back, I dig out the first computer I bought back in '77, an Infinite UC1800 made in Cape Canaveral, Fl. Hardly anyone has ever heard of it, let alone seen one.

I was a poor student at the time and couldn't afford the assembled version or even a case. For my money I received bare, unpopulated boards, some hardware, a few of the harder to find chips and a schematic. I scrounged the rest of the needed parts (including the processor, an RCA CDP1800), soldered it together, debugged my mistakes and screwed the bare boards down to a piece of plywood where it still sits today. Still works, too.

Comment Re:Solution: Use a different DNS server (Score 1) 379

I used to get a lot of 'site not found' errors until I stopped using Mediacom's DNS servers entirely. This was for sites that I KNEW existed and were up and running.

Once I switched to Google's DNS servers the problems disappeared.

/ Yes, I know DNS server is redundant. Sometimes clarity is more important than pedantic accuracy. Sue me.

Comment How many is too many? (Score 1) 559

Just off the top of my head I can count over 50 currently operating microprocessors in my home including multiple desktop PCs, multiple laptops, routers, switches, DVRs, video games, media players, phones, TVs, appliances,...

Plus at least another 50 (probably closer to 100) in my parts boxes. (Including Intel, Motorola, AMD, TI, MOS Technology, RCA, Atmel, Microchip,...) All stuff I've worked on at one time or another.

Yeah, I probably have too many microprocessors, but I only have 11 slide rules!


Hardware Hacking

Combining Two Kinects To Make Better 3D Video 106

suraj.sun sends this quote from Engadget about improving the Kinect 3D video recordings we discussed recently: "[Oliver Kreylos is] blowing minds and demonstrating that two Kinects can be paired and their output meshed — one basically filling in the gaps of the other. He found that the two do create some interference, the dotted IR pattern of one causing some holes and blotches in the other, but when the two are combined they basically help each other out and the results are quite impressive."

Debt Collectors Using Facebook To Embarrass Those Who Owe 266

Not even the tranquility of FarmVille can save you from the long arm of debt collectors. Melanie Beacham says that a collector from MarkOne Financial contacted her relatives about her past due car note via Facebook. She is filing suit alleging that the company is harassing her family. Tampa based consumer attorney Billy Howard of Morgan & Morgan says, "Now Facebook does a debt collectors work for them. Now it's not only family members, it's all of your associates. It's a very powerful tool for debt collectors to use."

Songbird Fossil Virus May Help Predict Pandemics 42

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers announced they found a fossil virus hiding in the most unexpected place: the chromosomes of several songbird species. This ancient virus resembles human hepatitis B virus. Finding this ancient virus will catalyze new lines of inquiry that may help scientists predict and prevent future human viral pandemics that originate in birds."

Doctors Save Premature Baby Using Sandwich Bag 246

Born 14 weeks early, Lexi Lacey owes her life to some MacGyver inspired doctors and a sandwich bag. Lexi was so small at birth that even the tiniest insulating jacket was too big, but she fit into a plastic sandwich bag nicely. ''The doctors told us they had never known a baby born as prematurely as Lexi survive. She was so tiny the only thing they had to keep her body temperature warm was a sandwich bag from the hospital canteen — it's incredible to think that saved her life," says her mom.

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