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Comment Re: It's research... (Score 1) 116

Tee hee! Back in the day, one of the points I made to the old farts was that I had passed the 20 WPM exam and had my K6BP call to show for it, but refused to use the code on the air until the requirement was gone. Nobody spat at me or punched me out, the worst that ever happened was a poor behaving slim using my call and a postcard from the ARRL observer who thouht it was me.

Comment Re:It's research... (Score 2) 116

WSPR tells you when communication paths are open between two points at a specific frequency and S/N ratio. This is useful but does not span the extent of research that HAARP is directed to. One of the most interesting things about HAARP is that it can incite the formation of radio-reflective regions in the ionosphere. That takes a lot of power.

Comment Re:Only SOME Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 359

I wonder if it's that as readers got faster, they have less time to deal with errors from disks that were crap to start with, so errors that have been there all along are now causing visible issues.

I remember a study that found there were problems caused by writing CDs at slower speeds on hardware designed to write faster -- causing more write errors. I've always written disks at the fastest available speed, which might be why I never ran into that issue. (Tho I still have an old 4x unit should I ever run into it.)

Comment Re:Yes, Because Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 359

Commercial disks are pretty durable, as you say (unless exposed to weather, then they fall apart fairly quick). The only commercial disk I've seen fail were bad out of the box. But burnables, not so much. Mine have done well (my oldest ones are still readable) but I lived in the desert. Dampness and CDRs do not play well together, as they're not completely sealed around the edges, so I'm not surprised by tales of woe.

I still use CDRs and DVDRs for sneakernet to the DOS machine that doesn't speak network or USB, and occasionally for a specific type of backup (movie or album) but no longer routinely use them for system backup. I can get a whole stack of DVDs on a single 128GB flash drive (not to mention backup is much faster and needs far less babysitting), and per the torture tests I've read about, flash drives beat everything else for durability (retaining data through all manner of abuse; one even partially survived being shot).

And until recently I was still using them for live CDs for testing OS distros, but along came that bootable-flash-drive app and now I have 40+ distros on a single flash stick, plus a place to save files convenient to whatever I'm testing.

I never did acquire a Blu-Ray, tho I suppose now that prices have gotten sane I'll pick one up just so I have it if I need one. Which might be never at the present rate (I don't buy BR movies, so what is it good for? burned BR are reputed very unreliable, failing in as little as six months.)

Comment Re:Making 26 YOs work 80 hour weeks is easier too. (Score 2) 212

I agree they're not much good on a smooth floor, but I use a broom for that. They work very well in that environment. We've had a Dyson for a long time and aside from eating its skinny little belts trivially if you clog it with hair, it's a very good machine for us. And it pulls stuff out of the carpet that other vacs don't, which is its mission...

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 212

When arguing ICE vs EV, I get the impression that noise and vibration is considered a good thing with ICE.

Some people seem to think so, and in a sports car that's as may be, but in other kinds of cars it's not so much. The thing is, that's not really a big problem. There's only a small amount of pleasant noise from my Audi (all real, none generated) and there's really no discernible vibration because of the fancy-pants engine mount setup, which is not even active. It's just good. The real benefits of EVs are not so much in sound (although there are some there) as in efficiency. When the batteries become cheaper, and when typical range gets a bit better, they will become ubiquitous for this reason.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 212

One day you should actually drive an EV instead of just spurting unjustified nonsense.

You can get a lovely used luxury car with better interior quality than a Tesla for around ten grand in very good condition. (The best examples of older luxobarges seem to run about that.) Per dollar, it walks all over the Tesla. Yes, the Tesla is a better car. It's not a hundred thousand dollars better. Used Teslas won't be that cheap for decades.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 212

I've watched the Jay Leno's Garage on his Doble. It was an amazing thing. But the system takes up too much space. Compare the Doble to a Fiesta with a 1 liter Ecoboost engine and there's no contest in any category. Physics limits how small a steam system can be; it could perhaps be more compact than in the Doble, but how much more? If you're going to go that far in your quest for a new-old engine, NASA's proven Stirling engine tech is probably a better example.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 212

Whatever you do, don't take a Tesla test drive. It will make you hate your slow, noisy, polluting ICE car forever.

What makes me hate my ICE car is unreliability. But when it's working, my A8 Quattro is not exactly an unpleasant driving experience. You can get a spectacular (old) one for ten grand and the price difference will pay for fuel just about for life. I should have spent more on mine :p

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