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Comment Re:You'd think someone as smart as Hawking ... (Score 1) 279

Oh for heaven's sake, the Hawking knows the planet is a sphere, if you use a vertical dipole sure you don't send a whole lot straight up, and you radiate more of your energy horizontally away from the antenna .... and while the photons head out in a donut away from that antenna, which is poking up from the surface of a sphere, as they move away from their source the ground falls away and any photons that don't hit anything ... radiate away into space in that same donut shape, inverse squaring to infinity (and beyond!)

Comment A private NSA competitor (Score 2) 41

So now we have private companies setting up gross hoovering of network traffic worldwide - listening in to all the world's net traffic.

Why was it the powers that be want to get rid of good encryption again? certainly not to protect my credit card data when I buy stuff.

The time for crypto everywhere is now!

Comment Re:"unlock the box" is the wrong apprach (Score 1) 186

I spent a decade building set top boxes, I did the network protocol stack and the crypto .... I've implemented most of the US cable and satellite crypto at one time or an other .... and cablecard too

Most of the US has cable plants built in the US have one of two types of head-ends - built by two different companies - they're very not compatible - if you want to build a set top for a Motorola (or whatever they're called these days) plant you need some Motorola crypto hardware in your box, if you want to build for a SA (or whatever they are this week) plant you need some of their hardware.

Essentially a cablecard is just that particular bit of hardware wrapped around a common hardware/software interface.

So opening up the set top market means what? I guess this hardware and the secret protocol info that goes with it - a set top's going to need both sets of hardware and both sets of software - the rest of the hardware can be shared - the qams and video are mostly the same, the out-of-band tuner can be shared if it's agile enough (simply qpsk transport streams vs davic ATM frames) - it's an enormous amount of work - at least 5 man years from personal experience

Comment The English alphabet sucks (Score 1) 315

What's to appreciate -English also needs lots of simplification - 'c', 'k', 's' pick two of them, make them always sound different, 'q' can go ('kw' does the job in "Bridge over the river Kwai"), 'g' or 'j' pick one, toss the silent 'h' and the silent 'k' - 'gh'->'f', etc etc

We can probably get down to 20 letters if we try hard

English is an insane polygot mess it's long past time we tossed all that useless history from it

Comment Re:China makes cheap copy's / rips off other tech (Score 2) 95

but I do - and I go to Schenzhen to build my open source hardware - the thing is it's the first-mover advantage - have a bright idea and get it to market fast. If you build and sell stuff cheaply from the get-go you're less likely going to get nuked by copying,the copiers will go off an copy someone pumping their prices higher

Luckily I live in a country that doesn't allow software patents - as I said if one doesn't have to have the US's stupid rent-seeking IP laws you have a leg up - the whole TPP et al attempt to force the rest of us into the straight jacket you've made for yourselves is sad, if it succeeds, I'l just reincorporate in China, that's quite doable these days

Comment Re:China makes cheap copy's / rips off other tech (Score 4, Insightful) 95

what a bunch of whooey - China has a quarter of the world's population, and a quarter of the world's smart people. Do you really think those smart people are just going to make 'rip offs', when there's more fun stuff to do - Chinese geeks are just like geeks anywhere

Spend some time hanging out in Shenzhen and you'll see just what you're up against, lots and lots of smart people - your designers in the US are building in China, but they're designing 1000s of kilometres away from their factories, designers in Shenzhen are a subway ride away from them, they can pop over and tweak a process to save money and time to markegt

Chinese IP law may not be the same as the US's - they're a different country, you know they are allowed their own laws, they don't have to have yours. If they can compete better by not having the US-style copyright nightmare - good for them - without Disney on their backs they can compete far better than you can

Comment Re:Launch from balloon (Score 1) 22

to get into orbit you need to be going sideways fast enough that as gravity pulls you down you miss the edge of the earth 100k ft (20 miles) still has enough atmosphere that that's hard (esepcially with a non guided rosket, just fins, that can't go up then pull that fast right turn). Launching above 100kft also requires extra federal oversight that makes it a whole extra magnitude of effort

Comment Homeopathic Pollution (Score 1) 668

So let's just assume that homeopathy actually works they way they claim it does, they dilute stuff throw away 9/10 of it, dilute it again, and it gets stronger and stronger at each dilution ..... what happens to that 9/10 they throw away? it goes down the drain, into the sea where it gets diluted way more, and presumably becomes far stronger, the ocean must be full of horribly strong medicine for all sorts of things, a quite dangerous place to go.

Mind you it's also full of diluted fish-poo too .....

Meanwhile I'm off to make some 150 proof homeopathic beer ...

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