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Comment deja vu all over again (Score 2) 75

In 1996-7 timeframe, the telecom act mandated retail access for cable boxes. This led to the open cable project at CableLabs which developed a portable middleware (OpenCable Application Platform, OCAP) and a removable security device (POD). The development of the middleware took nearly 10 years for development and acceptance starting in 1999. It is now legacy!

Comment powering house with PV (Score 5, Interesting) 281

I have a 10 KW, grid tied battery backed up system in an all electric house. Everything except my deep well pump, washer/dryer, hot water, range and geothermal compressor are connected on the critical loads panel. Generally over the last 5 years or so, the system produces more power than used with the rest going to charging the batteries and powering the grid. However, there has only been a few times over the last several years that system has produced more than consumed from the grid. I estimate that I would need 30-50 kw to power everything. However, the geothermal compressor draws perhaps 5 kw for 4-5 minutes at a time and cycles several times an hour. Since the geothermal system works mostly at night or if we went off grid, the storage capacity of the battery backup would have to be increased substantially from the 16 KWH that we have now since the compressor would deplete the batteries in a few hours. None the less our electric bill is down at least 80% from pre-PV days.

Comment Re:Even the National Weather Service fucked it up (Score 1) 397

If budgeting were a nonlinear process, you'd never get it right. Budgets and time-line predictions are controllable, weather is not. Weather is a non-linear process. Edward Lorenz (look him up on Google if you don't know who he was), said that weather forecasting more than a couple of days out is little more than guess work. The models are limited by the number and accuracy of the measurements.

Comment my dog stares at the TV (Score 2) 199

My pooch will stare at our 42" LED screen. He goes crazy when a talking head appears and stares back at him. The dog doesn't like strangers staring at him. He also reacts to other animals on the screen and cartoon characters. Sometimes he'll run around to the other side of the wall on which the TV is mounted as if he is looking for something behind the TV/wall as if the TV were a window to the other side of the wall. And no, the dog is not on drugs (neither am I).

Comment predecessor to PDP11 (Score 2) 336

The predecessor goes back to the MIT machine in the 60's, the Link-8 which became the PDP-8. It had two DEC tapes, 4KB ram. We programmed it in LAP-4 and had to key in a bootstrap loader on the front panel to load in the OS. At the time we wrote a 64 point FFT and a routine to output the results to a Calcomp plotter. It took 5 minutes to run the FFT. Memory was divided into 2 2KB segments, one for data and one for program. We used one page (512KB) as an executive routine and the other 3 pages to program the FFT which kept the DEC tapes spinning as different segments of the program were shuttled in and out of those 3 pages.

Comment Thats BS (Score 1) 955

If you listen to the interview between Greenwald and Snowden (on you will see that Snowden could have released a lot of information that could have made him a lot of money and pretty much taken down the whole program by exposing specific details about programs and individuals. He did none of that. It should be up to the American people to decide if we want such surveillance. If we do then keep these programs. If not then the answer is obvious.

Submission + - Hydrogen Fuel made with Sunlight and Zinc (

gordona writes: "Perhaps free energy or nearly free is on the way. A PhD student at the University of Delaware had demonstrated how that free hydrogen gas can be generated with sunlight, zinc oxide, and water. A chamber that holds the zinc oxide is heated by concentrating sunlight to 3500 degrees Fahrenheit which vaporizes the zinc. The zinc vapor can then be put into water which then reacts to form zinc oxide releasing hydrogen. It isn't stated how the zinc vapor is separated from the oxygen that is generated however and its not clear if the process is scalable."

Comment USPS budget problem created by congress (Score 1) 582

"The congressional notion was that the Postal Service was making lots of money selling its products and services, and so it might be a good idea to put those profits into pre-funding future retiree health care benefits for the next 75 years and do so in a decade. No one else, public or private, does this – but it would put the Postal Service that much more ahead of the game in terms of future liabilities. And so, in 2006, Congress mandated that the USPS do so, at a price tag of about $5.5 billion a year. " (

Comment very low doses????? (Score 0, Troll) 124

I don't think there is a low dose minimum. Sure we have background radiation. So this plus whatever folks received from the leakage from the Fukushima plants is considered low? What BS. Just because the effects might not be seen for 10 or 20 years doesn't mean there aren't any. Of course you can't prove a negative and trying to prove an effect that happens decades later is nearly impossible. Oh wait, we can do an experiment. Lets take a bunch of identical twins, expose one to so-called low level of radiation and the other to no radiation, keep them in an insulated box for several decades and see if the one exposed to the radiation gets sick. Oh you say we can't do that experiment? Of course. But looking at the basic physics and the effects of radioactive molecules on nearby cells, we can with a certain amount of certainty say that radiation in any amount will have not so good effects on the human body. Look up some of Helen Caldicott's work.

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