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Comment Alert Updates (Score 1) 380

One time there was a flash flood watch for my city and the neighboring county, that's 2 alerts, then it kept repeating about every 10 minutes.

Certainly with the flood alerts they need to reevaluate how/when the alerts are sent out. The NWS will frequently extend flood alerts by 10-30 minutes at a time over the course of a storm on how fast the storm is moving through an area. The CMAS system will send out new alert for each update by the NWS regardless if it's just extending the previous alert by 10 minutes or ("It may flood in the next 30 minutes? Okay thanks. I can see that it hasn't yet stopped raining an hour later, it's not necessary to send me another frigging alert saying it may flood.").

The lack of foresight into the deployment of CMAS is going to have a long term negative effect on the effectiveness of the system. I know a lot of people in VA who have disabled the system on their phone after receiving half a dozen alerts between midnight and 0600 during the last big storm. They'll probably never think to re-enable it now.

Comment Re:None of this would've happened... (Score 1) 711

Flash on OS X is crap because Apple refused to give the plugin the kind of low-level access it needed. The newest version does a lot to ameliorate that. Flash 10.1 (now in RC) uses Core Animation, so you should see a significant improvement in performance.

No, properly written applications will use CoreAnimation, CoreAudio, Quicktime X APIs, etc so that they are appropriately abstracted from the low-level hardware. Hardware changes and Apple's engineers will figure out better ways of doing stuff (ala GCD). You use the high-level APIs, you get the improvements for free. You use the low-level APIs, we have to wait around for you to fix your crap (which history has shown that Adobe has no interest in doing in a timely manner).

The newest version does a lot to ameliorate that. Flash 10.1 (now in RC) uses Core Animation, so you should see a significant improvement in performance.

That proves the point that Adobe was wrong, they didn't need access to the low-level APIs. They just needed to use the appropriate high-level APIs.

Comment Engine Limiters (Score 4, Informative) 749

This is absolutely the correct reaction. A slightly more aggressive tact might be to drop the vehicle in low, which might blow the engine but would also severely limit your speed.

Most modern cars have engine RPM limiters; throw it into neutral with a stuck throttle and it may sound like it's going to blow up but it'll be fine. In automatic transmissions, selecting low is really only a suggestion and most automatics will freely ignore a manually selected downshift if it leads to an over-rev condition.

The only way to over-rev most cars these days is have a standard transmission and miss a shift coming down.

Comment Re:"Postini"? (Score 1) 176

You are definitely not alone. I'm having the same issue with Google. I have my domain hosted with a very popular hosting company. I have correct SPF records. I have domain keys. I am not on any blacklists. Though quite often email sent to Google will get filed into people's spam boxes and I'll have to tell them they need to go digging through it and click the not-spam button.

Comment GPS attitude (Score 2, Informative) 289

If you have a GPS, then you also have a compass, because any GPS can compute North.

This is untrue. A GPS can tell you what your coordinates are but not which way your device is facing relative to north. If you're moving it assumes the GPS is facing the direction of travel, which is not always the case. When you aren't moving it gets quickly confused.

No, actually it is true. You just need multiple antennas in a known orientation.


We all know what the difference is between a GPS and a compass.

Apparently some of us are confused about the relative capabilities though.

In context of the iPhone, no, calculating attitude from the GPS data isn't possible due to its size. But calculating attitude using GPS is quite possible and has already been done.


US Dept. of Defense Creates Its Own Sourceforge 131

mjasay writes "The US Department of Defense, which has been flirting with open source for years as a way to improve software quality and cut costs, has finally burst the dam on Defense-related open-source adoption with, an open-source code repository based on Sourceforge. Though it currently only holds three projects and is limited to DoD personnel for security reasons, all code is publicly viewable and will almost certainly lead to other agencies participating on the site or creating their own. Open source has clearly come a long way. Years ago studies declared open source a security risk. Now, one of the most security-conscious organizations on the planet is looking to open source to provide better security than proprietary alternatives."

The Best Burglar Alarm In History 137

Sportsqs writes "When Nikola Tesla got creative with transformers and driver circuits at the turn of the 20th century he probably had no idea that others would have so much fun with his concepts over a hundred years later. One such guy is an Australian named Peter who runs a website called TeslaDownUnder, which showcases all his wacky Tesla ways, or rather electrickery, as Peter calls it." Very cool stuff, I wish I would have had something like this to protect my comic books from my little brother when I was a kid.

Computer Error Caused Qantas Jet Mishap 389

highways sends word that preliminary investigations into a Qantas Airbus A330 mishap where 51 passengers were injured has concluded that it was due to the Air Data Inertial Reference System feeding incorrect information into the flight control system — not interference from passenger electronics, as Qantas had initially claimed. Quoting from the ABC report: "Authorities have blamed a faulty onboard computer system for last week's mid-flight incident on a Qantas flight to Perth. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said incorrect information from the faulty computer triggered a series of alarms and then prompted the Airbus A330's flight control computers to put the jet into a 197-meter nosedive ... The plane was cruising at 37,000 feet when a fault in the air data inertial reference system caused the autopilot to disconnect. But even with the autopilot off, the plane's flight control computers still command key controls in order to protect the jet from dangerous conditions, such as stalling, the ATSB said."
Utilities (Apple)

Submission + - Roll your own .Mac. notMac challenge has been met. (

Aaron Linville writes: "The notMac challenge to replicate the synchronization services of Apple's .Mac has been met. Ben Spink (developer of CrushFTP) has created a SourceForge project with the source code for his entry, winning the contest's price of $8622. Emulation of the iDisk functionality of .Mac has been doable for awhile now, but the actual emulation of the .Mac synchronization servers, the functionality that allows applications to store and synchronize profile information online, has not been done until now."
The Internet

Submission + - AT&T Offering Merger Concessions

TheFarmerInTheDell writes: The Associated Press is reporting that AT&T is offering concessions to make their merger with SBC happen as fast as possible. From the Article : "AT&T filed a letter of commitment with the [Federal Communications Commission] Thursday night that adds a number of new conditions to the deal, including a promise to observe "network neutrality" principles, an offer of affordable stand-alone digital subscriber line service and divestment of some wireless spectrum." It is anyone's guess what "affordable" stand-alone DSL means, but it looks like a winning situation for consumers!

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