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Comment The real fix should be (Score 1) 286

that instead of white striping off an entire space, you white stripe the 3 feet of access area needed in front of the hydrant so the hose can be attached to the hydrant (in other words, change the alignment of the adjoining spaces ...|...........|X|..........|... instead of ...|...........|XXXXXX|...........|...

Comment Does the GT club have a list of alumni members? (Score 2) 89

I would start with asking them for money... and the local GT hams... and the GT alumni at local ham clubs, of which there are many in the Atlanta area.
However, I think that this will prove to be a white elephant, IMO. I would think long and hard before accepting this gift, unless you can ID a buyer.
Advertising on at a steep discount off of list price may get some money for the club.
Make certain you actually have a plan on how and where to use, and plan on some expenses for the accessories that go with the tower if you actually try to implement it.
73, Dave N4DJS

Comment Re:Regulations? Get real. (Score 1) 473

I think another big part is that many families have smaller amounts of discretionary income now. Last I heard, it was ~$10K to get through ground school and instructor time for the Private Pilot license. That, combined that the only 'affordable' airplanes are 40 year old Cessna that are needing an overhaul, or kitplanes, which require 50+% owner build and a substantial time investment, have killed off GA for most people. -- I just laugh when I see the 'speed enforced by aircraft', BTW...

Submission + - Build your own untraceable *real* AK-47 - it's easier than you think... (

n4djs writes: While you may be concerned about the proliferation possibility of weapons made by 3D printing technologies, an article in Mother Jones talks about a simpler source of
combat guns, detailing gun building parties where individuals are working with other like minded folk to build their own AK-47. This is taking advantage of the 'back alley' trade in kits of AK parts to build up your own untraceable AK-47 (caution: only for personal use, not resale) using surplussed components out of the various hotspots around the world combined with your own easily fabricated receiver,

Comment Re:Only in America (Score 1) 984

The state of Georgia recent change the law to require that if a traffic light camera, that the yellow light be lengthened by 1 second. Suddenly, the traffic light camera guys (and the city governments) were crying about how they weren't even breaking even any more. Very sad.. All of this would be moot if there was a simple addition to traffic lights - a single digit countdown timer to the side of the light that shows second remaining on the yellow... 5+.. 5 .. 4.. 3 .. 2.. 1.. Red But what do I know. I just type on slashdot to improve my typing speed.

Comment Age isn't the issue - assumptions are (Score 1) 515

The real problem here is one that I see often in all ages of support people. There is a bias towards being blind to the possibility that, in fact, they themselves are doing something wrong. "The computer is broken since I can't make it work" - in this specific case, they were pushing new hardware backwards to support Windows XP (which they really do need to get off of now, for a wide number of security reasons), but were assuming that nothing had changed with the new hardware...

Comment next industry to be affected by the internet (Score 4, Interesting) 278

how long is it going to be before the state and local governments figure out that commissioning a single book that they own the rights to as a group starts becoming more cost effective? Would it not make sense that there isn't anything particularly new in geometry or algebra that forces the need for a new rewrite of textbooks every 2-3 years? Or to avoid the $100/book charges being made for dead tree editions of textbooks? Would it not make sense to have one definitive book on the subject, and holding the copyright in common for all to use? As the cost continues to rise at rates exceeding inflation on textbook materials, it becomes more and more attractive to own your own curriculum materials so you don't continue to pay for them over and over again. I feel it is just a matter of time before this happens, particularly give the finanical squeeze occuring in state and local governments.

Comment Re:Reliability and fault-tolerance (Score 1) 297

All hard drive errors boil down to how many failed bits occur on the raw, pre ECC corrected media vs. the calcuated post-ECC return. A hard failure is one that exceeds the span of possible corrections. Most hard block failures should be correctable by sparing of the media block in question. If you get too many non-correctable errors, it is indicative that the electronics or the heads have died... which in practice turns out to be a catalysmic failure where the drive totally fails on a subset of reads (i.e. one surface is no longer accessable).I would think a better way to test a drive would be to perform long reads (data + ECC), programmatically calculating ECC and determining the number of bits in error, and then performing sparing of the problematic tracks (if supported by the command set of the drive - SCSI does this, I don't know if ATA drives allow sparing to occur in call cases.) Of course, a simple 'dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/null bs=1024k' may be just as effective in the long run...

Comment Re:Arbitration == Corporate Justice (Score 2, Interesting) 134

This reminds of the time where I was at a go-kart track in NW Atlanta with my 11 year old son. Tons of signs "not liable for injury, we maintain no insurance"... He smacked the kart into the end of a concrete lane separator at ~20-25 mph, and his mouth hit the steering wheel of the kart, and his upper lip hit his teeth, resulting in a fair amount of blood. People from the track came to help, and they were looking at him and suggested that we take him to the emergency room. I suggested that they had not strapped him in correctly, or it would have been impossible to occur in the first place, and that I expected them to cover the medical bills. We took him on the hospital, and as it turned out his injuries were minor. The interesting things was that the next day, we heard from the track's insurance company that they would in fact take care of any deductibles or out of pocket expenses.

Arbitration mentions in a contract are a lot like the signs at the go-kart track - they are designed to make people think that they have no legal recourse. To paraphrase a previous poster, judges don't take kindly to those who say they don't have a say in a situation that is placed in front of them. These clauses often get thrown out if a lawyer is involved, from what I have seen.

Hardware Hacking

Grad Student Invents Cheap Laser Cutter 137

An anonymous reader writes "Peter Jansen, a PhD student and member of the RepRap community, has constructed a working prototype of an inexpensive table-top laser cutter built out of old CD/DVD drives as an offshoot of his efforts to design an under $200 open-source Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer. Where traditional laser cutters use powerful, fixed-focus beams, this new technique dynamically adjusts the focal point of the laser using a reciprocating motion similar to a reciprocating saw, allowing a far less powerful and inexpensive laser diode to be used. The technique is currently limited to cutting black materials to a depth of only a few millimeters, but should still be useful and enabling for Makers and other crafters. The end-goal is to create a hybrid inexpensive 3D printer that can be easily reconfigured for 2D laser cutting, providing powerful making tools to the desktop."

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