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Comment Re:When there is financial incentive (Score 1) 84

Actually, you can legally have up to 1 watt (30 dBm) output into an antenna such that the gain doesn't cause your EIRP to exceed 4 watts (36 dBm). If you're output is lower, your gain on your antenna can be higher (i.e. high powered directional).

Now, if you want to operate illegally and say pump 1 watt into a 26 dBm gain directional antenna, you certainly can and will only face an issue if and only if the FCC is called to investigate strange interference issues or if you get real stupid and do something that would cause physical harm to someone. Odds of the FCC being called? Pretty small.

You can get a high output radio and put it into a high gain antenna and achieve impressive distance on P2P links. Try 25+ miles provided the right conditions -- i.e. if the two ends of the link are up high enough in the air. Heck, if one end of your link is high enough in the air (like on a mountain top) you could go 50 or 100 miles provided that the Fresnel zone was clear enough.

Comment Re:Linux Driver State? (Score 2) 281

The closed drivers have serious quality issues with major regressions seemingly every other release.

The open drivers are making great strides, but the performance isn't there yet for newer cards. If you are using a pre-HD series card, you'll find pretty decent performance that often beats the closed driver.

Based on the progress I've seen over the last year, I would expect the performance for this new series of cards to be acceptable in a year or so for the simple fact that as they finish the code for older cards, much of the code base will help improve performance for newer ones.


Comment Unity is a steaming dung pile (Score 1) 798

1) The launch bar permanently docked on the left is a complete fail. If you find yourself moving your mouse to the left side of the screen often, you WILL get annoyed by the launch bar popping out. The result will be you clicking on something you had no intention of clicking on.

2) While we're on the subject of the slide out. Sometimes it doesn't unless you minimize EVERYTHING. Fail.

3) The File menu being at the top of the screen is cool until you tile a window and suddenly it seems alien that your window is in the middle of the screen, but your menu options are at the top.

4) Speaking of the File menu at the top, sometimes if you close your active window, the new File menu that appears at the top is not the actual active program that is now on your screen. It's some window hidden underneath.

5) Alt+Tab is now completely and hopelessly broken. Got multiple windows open of the same program? It's so full of fail on that task I can't even quite explain it. You'll just have to experience that misery for yourself.

There's lots more to hate about the latest Ubuntu incarnation. This is just the Unity fail list.

Mark Shuttleworth, you have a severely broken product. If you don't fix it, I promise your user base will shrink even more quickly than it grew.

Comment Re:If you can't afford to do it, don't do it! (Score 1) 195

Can't see a cost anywhere on that page, but if it isn't less than 75K, it's a waste of time. I can buy a Tesla Model S for about that that gets over 200 miles per charge. His gets 140. And if there are issues, he has to fix it (no warranty).

Building electric cars is not exceptionally difficult. Building one that doesn't suck that gets good range for a reasonable price is.

Comment Re:GPL is the problem (Score 1) 1075

You seem to have an extreme misunderstanding of what freedom WRT the GPL actually means. It means freedom FROM the software for end users and freedom of the code FROM those who would subvert it for their own uses.

That seems to be where people get confused. The freedom is for the source code itself and the end users consuming it and NOT companies that seek to profit from it. Note this doesn't mean a company can't profit from code falling under the GPL, it just means you can't take code and pretend it's yours.

Nobody ever said the freedom meant "take the code and use it for whatever proprietary purposes you have in mind".

Comment Re:Whoooops (Score 1) 365

I've have my cell decide not to update for periods of many minutes. I've had emails waiting in queue and I think even FB posts waiting to go through. Looking at the data transmit bar, NOTHING was happening and then suddenly it started transmitting after a few minutes.

What I'm suggesting is that data usage logs could indeed show her FB post was happening while driving when in reality it could have been her phone in some kind of limbo waiting to update while sitting in her purse.

Comment Re:Demographic Data (Score 1) 228

I think it makes great logical sense that heavily targeted advertising would be more successful than generalized advertising.

Have you ever been on a heavily populated beach resort area and seen one of the planes go by pulling an advertisement? Which do you think would be more effective for one of those planes in the dead of summer in a hot place -- an advertisement for tanning lotion or one for heavy winter coats?

I see targeted advertisement based on demographic data as an attempt to be smart in similar ways to target people. If done exactly right, I think it makes lots of sense it SHOULD work.

I guess we'll see if anybody has qualitative data to prove it does.

Comment Re:Demographic Data (Score 4, Interesting) 228

If FB can figure out how properly utilize the data it has to properly send target advertisements in an unobtrusive way, they will be able to do what nobody has to date -- compete with Google on the advertising front.

This makes them supremely poised to be the ultimate competitor to Google for advertising dollars (which last I heard is the bulk of Google's profits). Note this doesn't make them a direct competitor to Google per se, but certainly it makes them capable of putting one heck of a dent in Google's bottom line.

Comment Re:Bogus shortage (Score 1) 309

By the time companies expend the time and resources necessary to validate that all of their "unused" IP blocks aren't actually being used by something, engineering migration plans for those that are being used by non-critical systems, etc. they could just go ahead and move to IPv6.

Apply a cure, not a band-aid.


MIT Unveils Portable, Solar-Powered Water Desalination System 117

An anonymous reader writes "A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Field and Space Robotic Laboratory has designed a new solar-powered water desalination system to provide drinking water to disaster zones and disadvantaged parts of the planet. Desalination systems often require a lot of energy and a large infrastructure to support them, but MIT's compact system is able to cope due to its ingenious design. The system's photovoltaic panel is able to generate power for the pump, which in turn pushes undrinkable seawater through a permeable membrane. MIT's prototype can reportedly produce 80 gallons of drinking water per day, depending on weather conditions."

Comment Plone CAN be very good (Score 1) 369

I've used Plone as a CMS in a company before and here's what I can tell you.

Plone security works great especially if you fine tune it. For example, you are definitely going to want to think about going in and tweaking what happens when documents move to different publishing states. I tweaked the "Publish External" to have the same privileges as internal publishing because for us, there was no such thing as external publishing since it was an internet facing company intranet and client extranet.

You will also want to proxy your access behind Apache if this is going to be internet facing.

Plone has a great ability to version files. Unless, of course, they are large files. IIRC, anything greater than 32MB causes versioning to fail. I know you can get around this by using external storage (external to the PloneDB) and I think they made it easier with version 4 that was just released, but I haven't tried Plone 4.

Plone is written in python, so if you want to build your own plugins, you are going to have to learn it. The built-in DB is like nothing I've ever seen and is not relational in any meaningful way that I saw, so if you ever have any ideas of doing something relational with it (i.e. a trouble ticketing system), you are going to have to use an external database for your plugin.

WebDAV works great in Plone. Versioning with it does not. Pick either versioning or WebDAV access for a folder.

Oh and unless things have changed, you cannot (AFAIK) do file level restores from backups. It is an all or nothing affair. You CAN restore to a test environment and then export an individual object to import on your live instance. For most issues of accidental deletion, you can recover from the management back-end though.

Like any solution, you will have lots of customization in front of you if what comes out of the box isn't sufficient for your needs. Depending on how dirty you want to get your hands with it, the learning curve can be gentle or very very steep.

Comment Re:this is the part that blew my mind: (Score 1) 146

I donated because I like the idea, I like their attitude about it and I had never heard of the alternatives before I heard about them.

Maybe they were just in the right place at the right time, but it is what it is. And no, I am not going to donate to the alternative you mentioned. A one man operation doesn't interest me as much as a team of four.

Comment Re:this is the part that blew my mind: (Score 1) 146

Your post is misleading at best. They only asked for $10,000 to fund them through the summer so they could dedicate themselves to this project and not have to find paid work. $10,000 for 4 people to last them several months really isn't that much money.

The fact that they have gotten such a huge response has caused them to rethink their original plan of just a few months, produce something working and be happy. It would seem they are raising the bar exactly because of the huge response.

Yes, this is the power of media coverage. Perhaps they really were in the right place at the right time. Maybe they did get really lucky while the similar projects that have been around for a while are just unlucky.

Whatever the case may be, your characterization is patently wrong. They had their sights set low on the donation front.

And as far as not having code yet . . . I think I read somewhere they have a very very rough prototype that is nowhere near ready for release yet. But even still, they are asking for people to fund them. Not "hey, we made this. please donate for all our cool work."

Doing it this way is actually quite better IMO. You can see what kind of support there is for your idea long before you pour in the blood sweat and tears.

Comment Re:"Not for ________ use" (Score 1) 422

Everyone here is just wrong. The biggest reason medical devices like the one mentioned cost so much is because of government regulations that must be followed (think FDA). WRT the FDA, it is part 11 compliance.

The extra effort you have to go through to ensure your devices meet these standards is a _major_ PITA. If you also sell the same part in a non-medical capacity, you can easily make manufacturing runs using the same equipment, materials and everything else but you just don't have to document the piss out of everything, have parts and equipment sitting waiting to be passed by QA before being used and also finished goods waiting for QA to be inspected before being shipped.

Essentially, your manufacturing costs at least double when following these regulations. Does that justify $18,000? I don't know. But I guarantee you their manufacturing costs dwarf that of the Wii device.

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