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Comment Missing the obvious solution.. (Score 2) 558

Fingerprint approaches just are not going to work, because the environment is insufficiently controlled.

Why not either design the assault rifle to use a small implantable RFID key device, that is coded to you and works every time? If it's implantable, it's always there..

That strikes me as a simple and elegant solution. You're always going to need a battery, but the power level might be low enough to measure the lifetime in years.

*shrug*

Another approach would be to code the ammunition not the rifle, and electrically detonate it. That way you could have a fresh "battery" every time. Likely cost prohibitive, however.

There's a few hundred million weapons in the US now anyway, millions more sold every year. I think the horse left the barn some time ago.. making this kind of moot.

If I ran the kingdom in light of the above, I'd have mandatory practical firearms training for every high school student. That'd make too much sense, though..

Comment Re:Not good for long haul use (Score 1) 104

They're not proposing using this for longhaul - although, there are lots of longhaul microwave links. You design for the fade margin and availability you need taking into consideration the rain fade. No big deal. These issues are common to all microwave links.

The point of TFA, and the exciting thing about this technology is it provides a way to do last mile distribution potentially to homes, in a multi-gigbit class. If the manufacturing cost goes down, this does provide a interesting solution to the distribution problem for low-density areas.

Running fiber along main trunks isn't that expensive. Getting it off the main trunks to people's houses in the country makes it cost-prohibitive.

Submission + - Cold fusion, I mean, LENR paper released 1

scorp1us writes: On May 16th a Arxiv paper was released which describes the testing of a power source orders of magnitude above chemical energies and densities, without any nuclear hazard.

Comment Re:Wikipedia (Score 1) 40

The president of Megadodo Publications is Zarniwoop, who is always too cool to see visitors. Megadodo was criticized by its customers for setting up an artificial universe in order to allow its editors and contributors to collect book information without leaving their offices. Notably secretive (or destructive) about their financial and historical records, the entire company was later (in the novel Mostly Harmless) bought out by Infinidim Enterprises, which stopped selling the Guide to hitchhikers entirely and eliminated all of what Megadodo had once stood for, much to the disapproval of employee Ford Prefect. The takeover was, in fact, part of a new plan by the Vogons to destroy Earth in all possible parallel dimensions - a plan that eventually succeeded.

Wales? Zarniwoop? :)

Comment Engineering isn't a profession anymore, it's a job (Score 1) 419


Maybe it's time for engineers to start their own small side companies or, maybe it's time to encourage a tradesman program where experienced EE's show new EE's how things are done, and train the skills needed to do the job.

Engineering was once upon a time a profession, like Law, or Medicine. Then engineers sold their souls to the business folk, watered down their legal protections and right to certifiy work - specifically applicable to software and electrical engineers, who never really had that right codified in law. Oops.

From there, the MBAs do what MBAs do, and the skill has been commoditized. There is nothing special about what has been done to engineers; it could be done to Law or Medicine; both are under pressure, but both fields manage their legal and legislative footing and credentialling much more effectively.

My advice to anyone who is an engineer; you're obviously smart, learn how business works very, very fast, use your skills to start or move up the corporate ladder, or frankly, get out. Leverage your skills to get into the medical space.

If you're in the top tier you will never have a problem finding work. This is true of the top tier in ANY profession, though! Maintaining that top tier is something you do because of an overwhelming passion or working very, very hard. There is no shortage of firms who will hire people with solid FPGA and embedded skills. I am not sure why TFA broke that out; being able to code is critical to hardware design, even just for scripting synthesis, and you just can't do embedded design without C. If you want to learn, the tools are all there, and cheap, cheap, cheap.

You need to network. You need to hustle. If nobody will give you experience, go work at McDonalds and buy a GNU Radio setup and a FPGA kit and make something cool.

The easy days are over, and sadly, IMO, engineers have nobody to blame but themselves.

Disclaimer: I am an EE with ~15 or so years of experience, most of it hands on, in the trenches.

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