Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Unknown? (Score 2) 259

This latter statement is gradually becoming moot, thanks to the efforts of another Japanese person with a tv personality.

Now, speaking as someone who has spent 65 of my almost 80 years, dealing in electronics, I have yet to detect an error or distortion of what you can see on your tv screen (the last 54 years in broadcast engineering) that was not completely and absolutely explained when analyzed, by General Relativity, including time dilation in an electron beam caused by the combination of its mode of amplification, velocity vs distance traveled, plainly visible on the video monitoring scopes at the voltages commonly used in Klystron amplifiers.

String theory, until it can make a testable prediction, which it has not in nearly 45 years, is to this old, un-papered but practicing engineer, strictly a means to keep a chair funded at some university whose management doesn't understand that a great number of us who do deal with relativistic effects on a daily basis, think its the pure stuff usually found, still warm and smelly, behind the male of the bovine specie. IMO they should close that chair and use the money to reduce tuition costs for other, far more practical subjects of study. But they cannot even think of doing that. They'll give the themselves a nice comfy raise instead.

My $0.02, in 1934 dollars.
Cheers, Gene

Comment Re:To form supermassive blackholes (Score 3) 76

Not in the short haul because the mass that creates the gravity well usually stays within that galaxy. Long haul, as in several trillion years, the two black holes will orbit as before when they both were just stars, but the gravitational waves they emit is a loss of system energy and they will slowly spiral into each other until they merge. But that may take longer for most of them than the universe is old. We are actively looking for the gravity wave that would indicate two such black holes have merged as it will have a distinct waveform.

Cheers, Gene

Comment Re:Unfortunately for me ... (Score 1) 282

Actually, and this was only my 2nd position east of the river, I am in north central WV. And I probably work too cheap when I do, because I don't mind "keeping a hand in". And while I can walk to fishing water, the fish seem to have a different little black book than I used in western SD's Black Hills 50 some years ago. But I have enough hobbies to keep me out of the bars, which also counts heavily. Deer hunting, and I like venison, is spotty as I can no longer run up and down on these right in your face hills, and I can't find a boot that is both comfy and keeps my diabetic (I'm a DM-II for the last 30 years) feet warm. But I still hit the range, punching paper to "keep a hand in".

Speaking of fishing, one of my 2 year jobs was in N.W. NM., Farmington TBE. So yes, I have fished the world famous San Juan River below the Navajo Dam. Its barbless hook rules there, and its crazy, you have to wear long johns inside your chest waders 3 miles below that dam as its 600 feet deep and a bottom dumper. In 115F air temps, the water is maybe 35F, and the 12" Brown you just pulled in feels like he's frozen solid when you grab him to unhook and release. But he put up a fight all out of proportion to his size. You can't help but give them a salute as you place them back in the water.

Its been quite a ride so far, and I don't regret too much of it in the long view although my first wife had a stroke at 34 and died. With 3 kids, that was a rough couple years before I found some help willing to say I do.

But I'll not bore with a really long winded session of blowing my own horn.

Hotlanta is someplace I might like to visit, for 2 or 3 days... But an old uncle once said that company was like fish, should be thrown out after 3 days. ;-)

Cheers, Gene

Comment Re:Every day (Score 4, Interesting) 282

The other side of that coin is:

Is the new opportunity worth the hassle of starting over in some locale where the COL is 3 times higher, your rights are much more restricted, no big game hunting because of the population density precludes the use of even a bow and broad heads, despite the fact that you'll wreck a car a year running into said big game, and its 4 hours to someplace where drowning a worm might get you fish for dinner.

That occurred to me when a head hunter called me, offering 10% more to be the Chief Engineer at a tv station in the top 25 market. But it would have come with all of the above limitations. Even at 200%, which said tv station could well afford, it wasn't worth it to me.

Basically I had found my place back in 1984. I can walk to hunt deer or fish, COL is 1/2rd that of the big city, the house that came with the girl I married in 1989 has been paid off for 15 years, and stayed here till I retired 12 years ago. Technically, my reputation for being able to walk on water when the boat has already sank has been well established, and I still get yells for help occasionally. As a technician who can actually fix things, I am a C.E.T. & have what used to be a 1st phone license before the commission threw us under the bus, we are a dying breed, literally, and I find that I have, at nearly 80 yo, inherited some of the local radio broadcasters, because the engineer they were calling when the cash cow laid down and went dry, had died.

But the surprising detail most find hard to believe is that I am not a "papered" engineer, I have an 8th grade education, but was good enough with electronics that I quit school in the middle of my freshman year in high school, mostly due to health/allergy problems, and went to work fixing what was then these new-fangled things called televisions. Circa 1948-49. And yet the medical help locally available is pretty good. In early June, about a month ago, I woke up, just barely conscious and couldn't breath, on the bedroom floor while trying to tie my shoes to take the better half out for dinner, a pulmonary embolism that damned near punched my ticket. The better half, sitting in the car waiting, finally came back in to see what the holdup was & called 911. They got me to the local shop, started the clot-buster, and shipped me off to a larger facility. I am not 100% yet, but getting there, and TBT I feel better now than I have in years.

The guy from ultrasound looked at my heart with its blown up 2x right half as it was trying to pump into the blockage, for about an hour. I presume looking for places that ought to be bypassed or stented, couldn't find any and said once its shrunk back to normal, you ought to be good for another decade. 2-3 months to shrink again. Sort of feels like getting a warranty renewal but there is no such thing in life.

So I'll be here to pester you folks for a while yet, offering my comments on having observed life for nearly 80 years now. Some comments will come from my experience as a working joat, I am a decent mechanic and am now playing with smaller CNC machinery. I've also made some furniture & remodeled a few guns over the last 50 years.

I rather enjoy being close to the biggest frog in the pond, even if the pond is just Pedersons Puddle. It has its advantages.

Cheers, Gene

Comment I don't fly commercial (Score 1) 163

Although I have gone from EDT to MDT & got right to work when I got there, I can't say as I suffered any more jet lag the next day than if I had put in a long day right here in EDT country.

But its been about a decade since last I flew commercial. I am a broadcast engineer, and when you are going someplace to play fireman and put out the fire in the cash cow, all of ones tools need to go along because you never know what you might need on the other end that home depot never heard of. You would be amazed at the sheer stupidity of TSA folks who can only see a specialty tool in the toolkit as some weapon they never heard of. Ignorance is fixable, stupid is not.

I was headed to the MI, UP to see about a tv transmitter the first time that happened, and I just rolled it all back out to the pickup and drove that thousand miles. Took my time, was only 2 days late, which in the end made zero difference. I haven't flown a commercial flight since. If I am needed that far away, then they can send Steve and the twin engine Cessna to get me. Very nice small plane, seats 8 in a pinch.

But now as I approach 80 yo, even that is about finished, the wife has COPD, and I don't feel its safe leaving her alone for 72+ hours.

Cheers, Gene

Comment Fur it (Score 1) 548

I am for it, as long as it isn't also construed to discourage the boys. That's the last thing we need to do to our "educational" indoctrination system.

In fact, anything that undoes the dumbing down to match the lowest achievers that has been done in the last 80 years or more needs to be undone itself.
Reading comprehension for instance, went down when they dropped phonics back in the 40's. That was a monumental mistake IMO. So now, in 2014, we have 3+ generations of people who cannot read the daily fish wrap in 15 minutes, even if it doesn't have anything in it but Ford advertisements. Not only that, but the writers (I hesitate to call them Journalists) of 75% of that drivel have no real command of the English language, both in terms of sentence structure, and spelling.

Our present system sits heavily on those blessed with a high IQ, teaching them how to scam for welfare rather than how to use those smarts to move us ahead.
I don't personally care if the child with a lower IQ ever "graduates" from high school. But the child with an IQ in the 150 range looks at the subjects being required today, is bored out of his skull, and gets a poorer grade because he just doesn't care, there are many more important things to think about than a geography lesson based on a book whose copyright is 40 years old & 20% of the countries discussed don't even exist today.

I know something about that since I was one of "those kids". I quit school as soon as I could, and went to work fixing the then new tv's in the late '40's. Since, I've had fingerprints in some very unusual places, and eventually retired from a nearly 20 year stint as the very well paid, 30% above what the market size usually pays, Chief Engineer at a TV station.

Its a very short push to my 80th and having just survived a Pulmonary Embolism that about punched my ticket, I'm less inclined to STFU when something isn't right.

Comment Re:for the record (Score 1) 406

I tend to agree with the both are at fault scenario here.

But I'd be remiss to not mention one of apples former bad moves, trying to milk the makers of firewire equipt gear with a per socket royalty fee, the exact amount of which I have long since forgotten, after having effectively making it public domain by publishing the specs so every one would get it right.

In my limited experience with a Sony Handi-cam, sort of a compromise between very bad vhs, and hidef, a 720p digital video camera that recorded digitally on a metallic formulation of hi-8 tape, the firewire port on it Just Worked(TM), even for remote controlling the camera, using the now abandoned "kino" software package on linux. That camera is pretty good, putting its output on a dvd requires about half its sharpness to be thrown away in any format that will play on consumer grade dvd players.

Firewire had a huge advantage in that it did Just Work, and only one disadvantage that turned out to be pretty important, it didn't daisy chain like USB can.

USB, yet today, doesn't always work, primarily because there are so many excrement products for sale that should never have been allowed in the same room with a plastics molding machine.

But IMO, apple shot themselves in the foot on that one, guaranteeing that the standard would die with their outrageously priced royalty fee, so it died perhaps 5 years prematurely. Had they not done that, reneging of that unspoken promise of royalty free usage, its conceivable that it might have become daisy-chainable with hubs like USB is, but no one is going to put ANY R&D into something like firewire that is so encumbered by corporate greed. Their jacking it up to 800mbs was the swan song and a waste of time and resources. 400 worked just fine for hidef video work.

What we need now is a test suite for USB that will tell us instantly if that $10 USB dongle we just bought is fully compliant and will Just Work when we plug it in. But AFAIK, we don't have that yet. So we buy it, try it, and toss it when it doesn't work, because it costs more to take it back for a refund than the refund is worth, and somebody making shitty USB stuff gets to count the sale, when what they really need is a 4 year old kicking them in the shins.

Comment Re:What could possibly go wrong, first post reply (Score 1) 216

Well, I wondered from the headline, how long it would take for the applicable quote to show up, turned out to be first post. Amazing.

But. if you are going to plagiarize from one of Sci-Fi's truly great writers, unfortunately now past tense, at least give him credit for writing it.

Sir Arther C. Clark, T.B.E.

Sheesh, the chutzpah of some who write on /. knows no bounds.

Comment Re:A Marble mountain? A mountain made of marble? (Score 3, Interesting) 62

I know that the detector tank in the bottom of Homestake is lead shielded, but that lead is very old, no newly mined lead in it. It had to be at least 100 years old to even be considered for recycling into that shielding. I used to live in Rapid City in the '60's, even have a wife I still miss buried there, but in those years, Homestake, 50 miles away in Lead, SD was an actively producing gold mine. And environmental disaster as it struggled to remain profitable, it eventually had to close, and I am glad that another use has been found for its extended underground.

The Lead/Deadwood area tried to survive on tourists, but I imagine much of that allure has faded after the state raided and closed the Pink Lady in the '70's, the countries oldest continuously operated whorehouse. The girls were clean, checked daily to keep them that way, and they contributed 5 to 7 million a year to the local charities. When they had the liquidation sale, somebody wanting a piece of history had to bid $50,000 just to get the front door. End of an era as it had been there, a fully functioning, locally respected member of the community for over 140 years. I felt a little sad at the passing of a legend.

Cheers, Gene

Comment A Marble mountain? A mountain made of marble? (Score 2) 62

A marble mountain? Here I've been under that impression that both granite and marble had a detectable amount of radioactivity of their own, so even given 20 miles of the stuff, there would still be a background count contaminating the data.. Can someone fact check me on that?

Cheers, Gene

Comment And this is new? Not exactly (Score 1) 124

In fact, I was a lot newer than I am now the first time I was involved with a slit camera, in this case a 35mm with its horizontally running window shade shutter glue in about the 1/500th second position, halfway across the frame. Focused on the mirror on the finish line post at the greyhound track somewhat north of Rapid City, SD.

The film was pulled by a variable speed motor such that the dogs, as they crossed the mirror, weren't too badly lengthened or shortened, along with a digital clock that output to LED's in binary with the leds in the upper part of the mirror on the post so that the elapsed time track was a series of dashes above the dogs in the film strip.
It ran in a darkroom so they could snip off the end of the exposed film, perhaps 9 or 10 inches long, drop it in some hot dektol, wait till the image was about right, drop it is some strong acetic acid, pull it up to look at it with a magnifying glass and post the winners blanket number and time, all in 15 to 20 seconds. The strip never was fixed unless 2 dogs were nose and nose, because it was about time for the next race to be off.

This was in the middle of the 1960's, and was by then _the_ method at racetracks all over the country, so it wasn't new then.

Comment Re:Extinction is good in this case because... (Score 1) 325

From the Grizzly's point of view, that is not possible. I think he equates most human intrusion into his world, which is wherever the next good thing to eat is, as competition for food, or as food.

Getting within perhaps 200 yards doesn't bode well for one or the other, depending on whether or not the human is suitably armed.

But I can certainly appreciate the thought, and you are right that they might be the first near extinction because of the false containment, but the devil is as always, in the details.

Cheers, Gene

Slashdot Top Deals

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"