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Comment Re:MIMO (Score 2) 72

As the summary says (and no-one has contradicted), this experiment used a directional parabolic antenna to improve the performance of the data transmission. Along with parent, I am not really all that excited until they can get the same performance with either multiple antenna or an isotropic radiator to give 4-pi steradian coverage (or so). Having a point-to-point link is nice, but I can do that with lasers and microwave beams already.

Comment Re:new recommendations for drive health also out. (Score 1) 85

I know this is a little off-topic, but for years I've been braising my magtapes at 375 for about an hour per pound. Do the new recommendations mean I really should be doing a high-heat / low-heat type cooking (like for DVDs), or would reducing the temperature and just planning to cook it longer give a more succulent cartridge?

Comment Other resident viruses? (Score 5, Insightful) 107

I haven't even RTFA yet, but I was wondering if this could have applications with other viruses that become long-term residents of the body. I'm thinking of things in the herpes family like... herpes, or chickenpox / shingles. The trick with most of these is long-term, mostly-dormant viruses hiding in the cells. If you can wake them up, the immune system can clear them, but they are effectively hidden inside the cells while quiescent.

Comment 220V should be sufficient (Score 3, Insightful) 138

So I'm clear: you have a collection of devices with switch-mode power supplies that can handle the global 100-240V power, and you want a surge suppressor that will protect you on any voltage.

Since your power supplies can handle up to 240V, you just need a surge suppressor that handles spikes above 240V. So buy a 240V-rated surge suppressor, and use a 120V plug adapter for countries with lower voltage. Since your devices already handle up to 240V, then they can handle minor over-voltages on 120V systems just fine. Bigger spikes, like lightning, are going to be high over-voltages regardless of the base voltage.

I'm not sure of your solution if you have devices that have only-120V or only-240V power supplies, and you need a surge suppressor that can protect both. Buy new wide-band power supplies or build your own (it's not that hard).

Comment Mod parent up (Score 1) 51

I wish I had some points; parent is spot on. Probably the only things tech can bring to the table are: 1) driving down the cost of tracking and compliance so that it's not worth the trouble to re-label counterfeits; 2) allow for tracking of things that are not yet trackable; this has the potential to open up new markets, or improve the price / value differentiation in existing ones.

Comment Re:Not replaced: serial and parallel ports. (Score 1) 299

You hope. It's mostly the largess of the controller manufacturers that let you get away with this. They could insist on strict RS232, and you'd be out of luck. Heck, 0V is explicitly in the center guardband of the RS232 signal.

But the real reason not to do this is because the whole point of the wide voltage swings in 232 is to help mitigate signal interference in the single-ended signaling that 232 uses. If you're running a longer signal cable in a noisy environment, you want every bit of protection the standard can muster.

And, if you must, there are several TTL to 232 voltage converters available, such as these
http://www.bb-elec.com/Products/Serial-Connectivity/Serial-Converters/TTL-Converters.aspx

Comment Re:No federal constitutional mandate for this (Score 3, Informative) 278

Hell, half the time the Feds are the only ones I kinda trust in the in the Education game.

Oh, I completely agree with you that the Constitution doesn't say anything about the Federal government doing anything with education.

However, to me it feels like, if they were left to their own devices, half the counties in the US would be teaching creationism to the male, Caucasian, Protestant children of landholders, and telling everyone else to go pound sand. And another third would be too poor to teach their kids anything. I feel like the Feds, as bureaucratic and glacial as they are, are the only things keeping education sane in many of our communities.

I would agree that, yes, we _could_ let the free market take care of the issue: if people want to give their children a sub-standard education, they will be less competitive in the national and global markets, and they will be competed out of viability within a few generations. But I would imagine that the competitive process would result in a lot of suffering and economic "readjustment" in the community, stuff that I'm going to be on the hook for as a tax payer. Either now, to make them give their children an appropriate education, or later, to cover their unemployment claims and economic restructuring costs.

Yes, at the end of it, a lot of this comes down to the progressive "I know better than you how you need to do your things", but how do you stand by when someone is fouling it up so bad. And in a way that could be compared to child abuse.

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