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Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 103

I have the front panel of the VAX 11/780 used to render that scene hanging on my wall, but I got to Pixar after that project. This year and last I've contributed some designs that will fly on a FEMA satellite, and a long time ago did a little work to support the Biosciences mission on the shuttle.

Comment Re:From where does the FAA get power to regulate i (Score 1) 42

Having a patchwork assembly of differing state and local regulations and restrictions to follow while in the air would absolutely affect interstate commerce. There's really no good rational argument against that.

Yet we have just such a patchwork assembly of differing state and local regulations and restriction to follow while on the roads: Speed limits and rules for setting them, turn restrictions, stop and yield sign placement, various rules of the road and its amenities (turn-on-red, where - if at all - U-turns are legal, lane-change frequency restrictions, lane restrictions on trucks (and no-truck routes), passing on the right, maximum durations at rest stops and activity there (such as sleeping or cooking over a fire), and a host of other rules - not to mention their enforcement) all vary from state to state.

It's dependent on each state's government(s) to pass the individual regulations. Yes, there's a lot of standardization, and following federal rules. But the federal rules are followed voluntarily when it's in a state's interest, enforced as a condition of federal funding for construction and maintenance of roads bearing US or Interstate route designations, or encouraged by federal blackmail composed of the withholding of the state's share of funds gathered by the federal gasoline taxes.

Any argument that flying at all is interstate commerce goes double for driving - where long-haul trucks, passenger cars, and even bicycles and pedestrians share common roads. So why does the Federal government have to blackmail the states into legislating their way for regional and local roads, yet can claim it has the right to totally control flight, not just of interstate traffic and/or at interstate altitudes or in the glidepaths around federally-funded airports, but of battery-powered gadgets, with range far to limited to reach a state border from most parts of a state, lighter than the average dog, and all the way down to the grass in your back yard?

Comment Re:Wireless Keyboards (Score 1) 65

I always assume wireless keyboard are cheap consumer products built by the lowest bidder and designed by people whose primary interest is getting a product out the door in advance of or for the next big release of whatever their company's actual product is.

Right, I have always wondered about this, which is why I don't use a wireless keyboard for passwords even when it is available. (Yes that means using two keyboards at times.)

But my question: Has anyone studied how secure keyboards from Logitech, Apple, Microsoft and Dell are? You would think the big vendors would say something about it in their product descriptions, but I have never found anything on security. Anyone work for a keyboard manufacturer who can enlighten us?

Comment Re:From where does the FAA get power to regulate i (Score 1) 42

Where does the FAA claim it gets the power to regulate drones which are only engaged in INTRA-state commerce and flying too low to interfere with interstate air traffic? Seems to me that's the state's job

From 49USC app 1301 - the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 ...

No, no, no. Not what I meant.

From where in the Constitution, in the face of the 10th Amendment and Norton v. Shelby County 118 U.S. 425 (1886), does the Federal Government's Congress claim to get the power to delegate to such an executive branch agency?

Comment From where does the FAA get power to regulate it? (Score 1) 42

I'm curious:

Where does the FAA claim it gets the power to regulate drones which are only engaged in INTRA-state commerce and flying too low to interfere with interstate air traffic? Seems to me that's the state's job.

(Similarly with the FCC and radio signals that are too weak to be decoded outside the state of origin or substantially interfere with reasonable interstate services. Sure "radio goes on forever". But so does sound - with the same inverse-square law and similar interference characteristics - and we get along just fine without federal regulation of speech and bullhorns.)

Comment Re:I have seen some crazy responses here (Score 1) 762

Trump is a good negotiator because he spent most of his life fighting with unions and city government(s) to get what he wanted and make money. There is no way to have any success in that business - particularly in New York - without steely resolve to get what you want through whatever means are available.

I can excuse you, if you have never tried to do anything with unions and government, for perhaps believing this is easy.

Comment and what ? (Score 1) 762

Even if it's the russians, or the chinese, or the devil himself - they don't deny that the mails are real, and that is what matters. Who leaked them is an interesting academic question, and it might have influenced the timing, but that's about it.

They are crooked and corrupt and criminals, and no amount of fingerpointing changes that - but given the state of the media and the attention span of the public, it might work anyway.

Someone posted something the other day that was interesting. In essence, the "lesser of two evils" argument doesn't work for Hillary or the Democrats this time.

Comment Re:What took them so long? (Score 1) 127

Sure, but unless you've developed a superconducting substrate, or come up with a reliable, efficient 3D cooling system, or are willing to run the 3D transistors only at very low speed/power, you're going to run into serious heat dissipation problems.

Back then I was proposing a diamond semiconductor - supported and powered by water-cooled silver busbars. Diamond is extremely conductive thermally. The bandgap is 5.5V, corresponding to the deep ultraviolet, so you can run it very hot without fouling the electrical properties (though you have to keep; it below 752 F or it will gradually degrade.) I'd want to put it in a bottle with an inert atmosphere so it wouldn't oxidize at high temperature, either.

The flip side of the big bandgap is that it consumes more energy - and generates more heat - when switching than current silicon designs which run at about a third that voltage.

These days I'd probably go for layers of graphine, which conducts heat even better than diamond.

With a rectangular solid you can get a LOT of transistors (and their interconnects) into a few cubic feet. The original proposal was for a six-foot cube - 216 cubic feet. Powering and cooling on two faces gives you 72 square feet of heat and power transfer serice, with 432 square feet on the other two faces for optical I/O fibers. Nowadays I'd take a page from Gene Amdahl and go a tad smaller: so, like the 1960s-era cabinets for IBM compter components, the block of logic and its supporting structures would fit into a standard elevator.

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