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Comment No thanks (Score 2) 369

Hey, it sounds wonderful! It's less lethal, and in some imagined scenario it might be. In the real world, cops have to make split-second decisions to fire or hold fire. They don't have the luxury of time to analyze the threat. The device probably works as advertised - yet it will get cops killed. Does it alter way the semi-auto mechanism operates? Will that next round load, or will it jam? Will the slide lock in battery or just slightly open so the weapon won't fire? No thanks.

Comment This was fixed in the 2.0 Linux kernel! (Score 1) 250

Do the math. If you have a 32-bit unsigned binary counter and you increment it 200 times a second, guess what - it will overflow in 248 days. Coincidence? I think not!

I had one of those early Linux kernels running on a machine I mostly used as a server. I did run Netscape on it, displaying the web content on another Linux machine. Both machines ran on UPSes, being located in the third world (Los Angeles.) I was excited about seeing 500 days uptime, but one morning the uptime measured in hours. What? Netscape was still running, so I knew the machine hadn't rebooted. Linux then (and probably now) ran with 100 interrupts/second for task switching, NTP and other goodness. A good friend explained that I had what was probably a very rare item - the uptime counter had overflowed.

I'm tellin' ya, it's a simple counter overflow. WTF uses 32-bit counters for uptime any more? Answer: Boeing.

Comment Re:HT? (Score 2) 135

Sadly, HT has been used publicly as 'handy talkie'. Going back a century or two - when I was in television broadcasting we had the new and 'phenomenal' Electronic News Gathering, or ENG revolution - which meant our reporters were bringing back videotape instead of undeveloped color film. We retired our film processor and installed edit bays. Ikegami - a Japanese camera manufacturer of some repute, marketed the HL-79 camera. HL? Turns out the Japanese (in this case) were doing their research on us Americans.

Rather than 'HT' (handie-talkie), their cameras were 'HL' (handy-lookie). I always found that description humorous, even with proper respect to those who (for whom English was not their first language) created and marketed the products in question.

Comment Ah, politics (Score 3, Insightful) 157

Another poster points out that there's a sucker born every minute. The ultimate object in politics is to WIN. Stop acting surprised if one party or another engages in devious activity to reach that goal. It's been happening for thousands of years. It's never going to stop. Wash away your political views and you'll see they all do it, to one degree or another. Our perceptions of who's doing it 'more' are a major part of how we see the world, politically.

Comment Re:The real question here... (Score 1) 371

You forgot Liquid Crystal Display displays

I could make reference to LEDs, but my favorites are NEDs (Noise Emitting Diodes). The noise is usually accompanied by a minor puff of smoke, and as anyone familiar with the smoke theory of electronics knows, once the smoke has leaked out, they'll never work again.

Comment The asshat who drove the Leaf (Score 1) 1010

I work at a college and we have no problem when people plug in various chargers. We're talking 60-80 watts max for a laptop, 5-20 for a phone or tablet. At a kilowatt-hour per hour for his EV, we're talking 1000 watts, or about 8.3 amps at 120 volts, give or take the efficiencies & power factors involved. There's a HUGE difference between the use of (in our case) college electricity for charging a mobile device, and 'fueling' your car on our nickel.

The entitlement mentality of the asshat driving the Leak (er, Leaf) that he has the 'right' to plug in to any outlet he sees is the real problem. Who knows where else he has plugged in, thinking that anyone who has electricity somehow owes him 'fuel' for his vehicle. I have no problem whatever that the police officer arrested him. Reading a number of comments on the ARS Technica site, I was amazed at people who looked only at the amount and totally ignored the intent. The issue worthy of contemplation here, IMHO, is the driver's intent to steal 'fuel' for his ride wherever he could find it.

Using his logic, I should siphon some gas from one of the idle school buses when I'm visiting. After all, my taxes paid for it!

The fact his kid goes to school there and he pays taxes is totally moot. If a rake was leaning up against the building, why shouldn't he take that? Yes, it's a lot more than $0.05, but that's a matter of scale, not a matter of intent. Simply because he drives an EV (which my tax dollars subsidized, whether I like it or not) does not further entitle him to steal his 'fuel.'

Comment Re:Nonsense (Score 2) 164

Exactly, let's inject race into a purely technical issue. I worked in broadcast and professional television for twenty years. The first TV cameras I worked with were Marconi Mk VII monsters. The camera cable itself was at least an inch and a half in diameter and the cameras needed constant adjustment. If something was dark in color, good luck in having it reproduced with any kind of fidelity. It was not a racism issue, but purely technical limitations. Newer cameras did a better job, and the technology improved over the years. TV cameras are now CCD or CMOS and produce stellar images.

Black balance (being able to image a dark gray object without introducing a color shift) was consistently the hardest thing to achieve with a TV camera. When black people were on TV, I'd often have to make subtle adjustments to the red or blue black level in the camera (green was the reference channel) to avoid color casts, which could be greenish or purplish. A broadcast vectorscope was really handy as a tool in these fine tweaks.

Again, this is purely a technical issue. If manufacturer A could make a camera that reproduced black and near black images perfectly, who would buy a camera from manufacturer B? Yes, the issue affected people with dark skin. No, there was no race element involved.

From television I moved to motion pictures, where there is a fanatical devotion to image quality and accuracy of exposure, color, etc. Again, the limitations were technology-based. There was great competition among various film stocks, and a good cinematographer might use different stocks in different lighting situations, the goal always being the most accurate reproduction of the scene being filmed.

Comment Web power strip and door annoyer (Score 3, Interesting) 129

We had a web power strip at work (8 outlets, control via web interface) go stupid. Rather than toss it, I brought it home and used 8 GPIO pins on the Pi to control the relays. It has a new web interface with direct control, control by time of day and control by offset from sunrise/sunset. My fireplace mantle lights turn on at 40 and 39 minutes before sunset. One turns off at 11 PM and the other turns off 30 minutes after sunrise. Currently at 275 days runtime. Sweet!

The boss bought one at work for a special project. Our janitors always block open the door to a room containing network switches and patch panels. Boss has tried for 12 years to get them to keep it closed. One Pi plus a pair of USB powered (analog input) speakers and mpg123, plus one GPIO pin connected to a magnetic reed switch on the door. Leave the door open for more than 60 seconds and one of two dozen prerecorded voices ask politely but loudly that you shut the door. Another message gets played every 15 seconds until the door is shut. Had some fun working on an algorithm that isn't quite random, so it prevents replay of a message until at least 1/3rd of the other messages have been played. Problem solved, the door is always shut now. 90 days uptime on that Pi.

Love em!

Comment What's the point? (Score 3, Insightful) 280

The whole point about weapons is intent. It's never so convenient as portrayed by government, to be the simple presence of a weapon. Who is to say that the intent of person with the weapon is other than to preserve the life of the prime minister, the king, the president? Who gets to say that simply because a weapon is present that the worst possible scenario is the only possible one?

To the AC that asked about the 'bullet,' PLEASE, you've been misled. Maybe even consistently. The bullet is the part that comes out of the barrel at high velocity. What you (perhaps) meant to say is "Don't they also need ammunition?" It's a 'round of ammunition' or it's a 'cartridge.' Don't be misled by media morons and ask about 'bullets.' I've visited many gun stores where you can buy bullets. They're quite necessary if you're going to reload ammo. One store in Rapid City SD was particularly awesome. They had lots of 750 gr. .50 cal bullets–in a barrel. They were expensive, but then if you shoot .50 BMG, it's an expensive hobby. I still wish I'd bought a few, just as souvenirs.

Comment Re:Two Words (Score 1) 472

Hey, sonny boy, you're going to be in the identical situation sooner than you think. By then it really won't matter what your formal education was. Only the latest, most modern programming techniques will matter. You may have saved the entire world from starvation, but what are you doing lately?

HR is HR. In my experience they are total airheads who slept their way through college, we call that 'sleeping for profit.' Now they have a degree, and they just can't imagine how everyone else who has a functioning brain cell doesn't have one too. They can't figure out the number pad on the keyboard, but they carry themselves loftily and have *significant* opinions.

HR departments have killed more companies than anyone would believe. Their focus is entirely wrong, not just misunderstood, but wrong. I say this as someone who's fully employed–by a company that actually listened when I gave them the compacted/redacted story of my professional life. I've never had a negative performance review, and this year I didn't even have one. Hrmmmmust have been so positive my boss would have flushed crimson.

Today at lunch my boss talked about the acquisition of a Raspberry Pi, just to annoy those people who chronically leave a certain door open, in violation of every conceivable security protocol. If it was just an IT room, we'd have them fired. But we share the room with them and it's convenient for them to prop the door open. I only mention this because pretty much everything else is running so smoothly, that this is the level my boss is cogitating on and suggesting projects for me.

Old people are wise, young folks. We are intelligent, kind, sharing, and if you cross usincredibly treacherous. You'll be on the ground, writhing in pain before you realize you've been cut off at the knees. For us it's pure economic necessity, plus the plain and pure desire to keep young whippersnappers in their place until they learn to act as adults.

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