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Comment Entirely self-taught (Score 1) 515

My first language was FOCAL, a BASIC variant for the PDP-8. I learned that pretty quickly. I then taught myself PDP-8 assembly language by studying the PDP-8 assembly language handbook. I then wirewrapped my own 8080 system and learned to program that.

This was in high school.

Once I got college I taught myself FORTRAN, PDP-10 assembly, Pascal, Simula, LISP, and so on.

I only ever took one CS class where I learned Algol 60 of all things. Except I attended two lectures at most, so I don't think it really counts as having taught me anything.

Comment It's useless to me now (Score 1) 207

I learned how to speed read in high school. For me, it only works on straightforward fiction, and (a) I miss stuff and (b) The effort involved spoils the enjoyment of reading. It had some limited value in lit and history classes, but now that I'm no longer in school it's useless to me. And I get annoyed if I catch myself doing it with a book to get to the "good parts"

Comment The fact is it's not a new drug (Score 2) 294

This is just a stronger formulation of hydrocodone than what was previously available. The summary makes it sound like a new type of opiate.

A new opiate could, depending on its characteristics, be a most welcome addition. Existing opiates have a lot of drawbacks.

But this? Not nearly as significant as the summary would indicate. On either side of the argument.

Comment Re:Musk's Hubris... (Score 1) 253

It seems the folks at Tesla had the detection idea too. A software update to the car arrived last night. It contained a single new feature: The car now actively monitors the incoming voltage, and if it starts to fluctuate it lowers the current draw accordingly.

I should also note that the various different adapters have some interlock that informs the car how much current can be drawn. And of course the J1772 standard has a facility for this. Additionally, you can force the car to charge at a lower rate by dialing the current down manually.

There also was a report on one of the Tesla forums that a NEMA 14-50 adapter melted while charging at 40A. From the picture it's not clear if it was a fault in the adapter or because it wasn't plugged in properly.

Comment Re:Musk's Hubris... (Score 1) 253

Actually, it does rule out the actual charging system, since that's entirely inside the car. What isn't ruled out is the universal mobile connector, although I'd say a problem there is much less likely than the house outlet.

The Model S arrives with two connectors that fit into the connector on the car.. One is an adaptor for a standard SAE J1772 EV charger cable, which makes it possible to charge the Tesla at any Level 1 or Level 2 charging station. You can install one of these in your home if you want, although they aren't cheap. The J1772 plug includes interlocking circuitry that among other things prevents arcing when you disconnect.

The second connector is the so-called universal mobile connector. This is a cable with a plug for the car at one end and a plug that fits various adaptors. A bunch of adaptors are available but the car ships with a NEMA 14-50 (commonly used for RVs) and a standard 3-prong adapter. This thing is quite well made, but there's no way for it to interlock in such a way as to prevent arcing.

There's also a high power wall mount unit available from Tesla. It also has an interlocking scheme.

What a lot of people do - and what Tesla actually recommends - is to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet. They're quite cheap, as in less than $10, and any jackass can install one - or at least thinks they can.

Having spent many years dealing with a wide variety of theatrical lighting equipment that used various NEMA connectors, I'm not a fan of the NEMA 14-50 approach. All it takes is one or two disconnects while the power is flowing to pit both the plug and the socket pretty badly. And that's all it takes to start a fire. This cannot happen with either a J1772 or Tesla charging station.

And even if the outlet is the cause, IMO Tesla does have some responsibility here, because NEMA 14-50 is the approach they recommend.

Comment Re:Are you cooking the turkey to eat it? (Score 1) 447

Yeah, my foo is weak on this one too, and it is pissing me off. I even tried paging through Food Network recipes and no joy. As for the paste, I don't recall there being any other ingredients, but it's been a long time and I don't trust my recollection so neither should you. The stuffing had all sorts of stuff in it but nothing really unusual.

I did find a recipe for "Saffron, turmeric Roast Turkey with Glutinous fried rice" that looks interesting. I may have to settle for that.

Comment Re:Are you cooking the turkey to eat it? (Score 4, Interesting) 447

Someone else mentioned sous vide cooking - there are a bunch of sous vide turkey recipes. Another is smoking. I sometimes serve a smoked turkey with a pecan sauce. Very nice combination. If I'm going all out there are pastry-enclosed cinnamon apples with a dab of whipped cream infused with Earl Gray tea for dessert.

But the geekiest turkey I ever made was from a recipe I saw on TV (which I just looked for but cannot find). The stuffing had over 10 ingredients, which of course took a long time to do. Once the bird is stuffed, you make up a paste of turmeric and some other stuff and slather it all over. Put it in the oven at 500 degrees, wait for the paste to dry, then apply more paste. Keep doing this until the bird is completely enclosed in a thick hard layer. Then let it cook until it's completely black. You then crack it open and serve. The result was excellent, but was way too much trouble to do again.

Comment J1772 standard provides for this (Score 1) 179

The J1772 plug has five pins: Two for power, ground, pilot signal, and interlock. The interlock pin is wired to a bit of circuitry in the plug. The car checks for this circuit and won't come out of park if it is present.

Additionally, the pilot signal is what tells the car the amount of available amperage, since that's something the car cannot sense, like voltage. I won't bother to go through all of the details of the handshake, but this piece of information is provided by the duty cycle of the 1Khz square wave pilot signal, with 50% indicating 30A available. Not only does this let the car know what power is available so it won't try and draw too much, the amount of power can change over time (when there is, say, a power shortage) and the car responds accordingly.

The plug is also designed so that the signal pins disengage before the power pins, so both ends can sense the impending disconnect and stop the flow of power, preventing arcing.

The plug is also designed to be safe to use in wet conditions. There's also a ground fault detector.

With the exception of the ground fault, which I haven't tried to test for obvious reasons, I can attest to the fact that all of this works flawlessly on the Leaf. The situation with the Tesla Model S is more complex since there's an adapter involved and I haven't been willing to play with it to see what happens, but if anything it should be harder to move the Tesla in park since the emergency break engages automatically.

EVs used to be a big hacked up mess but that time is long since past.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 115

I fail to see the relevance. Yes, Microsoft has played fast and loose with various standards, including some critical ones in email. And the surrounding the handling of text/plain as text/each-long-line-is-a-paragraph plus the failure to support format=flowed is arguably the email standards violation with far and away the most impact.

But this doesn't mean Google doesn't also have a lot to answer for. Gmail IMAP compliance in particular is pretty bad, and SMTP handling of error conditions pushes things right to the limits if not past them.

Comment Sigh (Score 5, Insightful) 115

Shame on Google for using a weak key, but also shame on this article for being more than a little hyperbolic.

If you, you know, actually read the standard, or even the Wikipedia page, you'll see that DKIM is not intended to be used as a signature mechanism in the same way as S/MIME or PGP. Rather, it's a means to assert responsibility for sending the message, it's done at the domain rather than user level, and verification results are intended to be used for message filtering, not for asserting that so-and-so actually signed the message.

Sure, the underlying technology is based on hashes, signatures, signature verification, and so on but that's because there's no other way to do it. The fact that DKIM allows for the application of relaxed interpretation of both message header and body data kinda tells you it's not intended to be used to provide an absolute assurance that what you got is authentic in every way.

DKIM is also not intended to be the ultimate source of information for filtering. Rather, DKIM results are supposed to be combined with other metrics to form an overall assessment of message validity. And that's a very good thing, since I get all sorts of spammy stuff that makes it through Google, including getting a legitimate DKIN signature attached. Other filtering mechanisms are needed to block such crap.

All that said, it's very disappointing to see yet another case where Google has seen fit to play fast and loose with standards. This is happening much too often.

Comment Interesting (Score 1) 302

I've been using Seamonkey for many years. I started when I needed a quickie HTML editor for something, tried it, liked the overall browser and stuck with it.

Every so often I try the various other browsers. So far I've seen no reason to change and lots of reasons not to.

But I thought this was very unusual. Seems it isn't.

Comment Re:Also skeptical (Score 1) 133

According to the abstract, their model "explains more than 85% of observed variation". So yes, it may be useful narrowing things down in an investigation, but this is a long way from being a tracking tool, let alone qualifying as an admissible forensic result. And judging from the cites It also looks like a lot of the interest in this has more to do with tracking movements of animals, not people, which is a lot more reasonable.

FWIW, I used to do a lot of laser spectroscopy work, so this is not entirely familiar territory.

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