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* Posts by IvyKing

77 posts • joined 3 Jul 2009

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Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register

IvyKing

1350bhp? try 2150bhp

The Alco DH643's built for the Espee had a pair of 2150HP V-12's (Alco 251's). Note that American RR practice is to rate engines on power available to the transmission (input shaft of the traction alternator/generator for 99+% of American locomotives).

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3D PRINTED GUNS: THIS time it's for REAL! Oh, wait – no, still crap

IvyKing
Boffin

Correction on cartridge case strength requirements

While Lew is correct in stating that the case walls do not need to contain firing pressure, the case head is a different story as it isn't fully supported in many guns.

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Forget eyeballs and radar! Brits tackle GPS JAMMERS with WWII technology

IvyKing

Re: Dead reckoning? MUH... how do do I into pen & paper?

My understanding is that SINS grade navigation units are much better than that and have been since the first SINS was installed on the Nautilus in 1958.

SINS = Ships Inertial Navigation System.

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FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on

IvyKing

@Ben Burch

Anyone who would not bother to check that they were using genuine FTDI parts on a safety critical system is being even more of a scheisskopf than FTDI. Then again, anyone using Windows in a safety critical system has more than a few screws loose.

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Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

IvyKing

TSI isn't the whole story

The sun puts out much more UV radiation in active periods as opposed to quiet periods, enough so that the ionization of the upper atmosphere increases by more than a factor of two over the quiet periods. Not sure if/how these variations affect the weather, my guess is that the differing levels of UV may affect cloud formation.

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Proprietary OS source code LEAKED to web – from 40 years ago

IvyKing

Pascal MT+

I remember hearing about Pascal MT+ back in the early 80's, then ran across an ad for it in a 1981 issue of Byte Magazine. Looked at the address and realized it was a house a block away from where my kids attended 3rd through 6th grades.

Small world.

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Sun of a beach! Java biz founder loses battle to keep his shore private

IvyKing

Re: I wonder...

That's about what I remember as well. The ballot measure creating the California Coastal Commission was on the last state election that took place before I was old enough to vote.

Kind of nice to see the Commission go after the "big guys" for once, though they give way to much deference to the Hollyweird types.

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Amazon sues former employee who took Google cloud job

IvyKing
Alert

Washington State law vs California law

If the applicable law is from the state of Washington then he won't have much of a case. OTOH, if the applicable law is from California, then Amazon can pretty much intercourse themselves as California permits enforcement of non-compete clauses in very narrowly defined circumstances AND Amazon would have to pay for the guy's salary during the duration of the non-compete clause.

One of the major reasons for Silicon Valley being what it is was that employees were free to move between companies.

Amazon would have a case if the guy divulged trade secrets, but they are pretty much barred from prior restraint in Calif.

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British boffin tells Obama's science advisor: You're wrong on climate change

IvyKing

Never thought much of Holdren

My first exposure to Holdren was in the run-up on the June 1976 California proposition on nuclear energy in the state. Holdren then claimed that coal would be safer than nuclear and with the proper technology the largest numbers of deaths from using coal would be people killed by coal trains at grade crossings. Why he assumed that after spending money to make the coal power plants safe, he didn't think that any money would be spent on improving grade crossing safety…

Seems to me that he is more of an activist pretending to be a scientist than a scientist turned activist.

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CSIRO claims milestone in solar-powered steam turbines

IvyKing

Re: How well does it ramp?

The CSIRO solar steam turbine *might* be amenable to thermal energy storage. If so, this may allow the turbines to run for a few hours after sundown. There is a California based company proposing to store steam/water in LP tanks for use in multiple expansion steam engines.

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Laser deflector shields possible with today's tech – but there's one small problem

IvyKing
Boffin

Ionosphere Refracts, not Reflects

The ionosphere refracts radio waves, were the maximum angle of refraction is roughly proportional to the wavelength times the electron density. At a low enough frequency, the refraction angle can equal 180 degrees, where the low enough is on the order of 2 to 10 MHz depending on time of day and sunspot number.

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Frenchman eyes ocean domination with floating, mobile Bond villain lair

IvyKing
Boffin

Re: RV Flip

That's the first thing that came to mind when reading TFA. I first saw RV Flip on a San Diego Harbor cruise in 1965 and came close to scoring a tour of the ship a few years ago.

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Ten classic electronic calculators from the 1970s and 1980s

IvyKing

HP65? How about HP35?

I remember first reading about it in the March 1972 issue of Popular Electronics - in the Mac's Service Shop that was a carryover of when Electronics World was folded into PopTronics. Figured the slide rule was soon to be history.

For the Usains, the Bowmar Brains were another classic line.

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FREEZE, GLASSHOLE! California cops bust Google Glass driver

IvyKing

Re: I'm shocked

Traffic Court has been there at least since the late 1960's, on the north side of CMB and just east of Kearney Villa Rd. To be fair, it doesn't really look like a courthouse.

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First rigid airship since the Hindenburg cleared for outdoor flight trials

IvyKing
Pint

Good excuse for lunch at The District

For those unfamiliar with Tustin, "The District" is a shopping center with several restaurants in what used to be part of MCAS Tustin. It also happens to be a very short ride from work...

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2012: second costliest year for weather and climate-related disasters

IvyKing

Re: TROPICAL STORM Sandy

It was a hurricane until shortly before landfall and was an impressively large storm. Most of the damage came from the storm surge, coupled with coastline features that exacerbated the surge. The wind and rain from the hurricane caused relatively less damage than the hurricane that hit Long Island and parts north in 1938.

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IvyKing

Tornado alley?

It is not incredibly difficult to make a house resistant to EF3 - EF4 tornadoes, and also not incredibly difficult to make part of a house survive an EF5 tornado. Many of the same details are useful for dealing with hurricanes. What's stupid is building stuff in flood zones of rivers.

As for water, reverse osmosis technology is becoming a practical source of water for arid areas with access to sea water (e.g southern California).

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Virnetx loses Cisco case: VPNs not its property

IvyKing
WTF?

Security Applications International?

Science Applications International sounds more like it.

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The DIY spy-in-the-sky: From kites to octocopters

IvyKing
Black Helicopters

"U-2" toy plane from the 1960's?

My brother got it as a gift 1964-65, plastic sailplane like body with foam wings and timer for camera (127 film, half frame). He never got the thing to fly long enough to get a picture, but he was all of 9 years old at the time.

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Solar undercuts coal in New Mexico

IvyKing
Boffin

Re: Clueless rubes from somewhere else...

Take a look at the California ISO website sometime during late summer and pay special attention to the solar output versus statewide load. Solar production peaks at 12 Noon, where peak load typically occurs at 6PM. This is not exactly news as I heard a PG&E engineer caution solar power enthusiasts about the time difference between peak solar product and peak power system load circa 1975.

There have been proposals for solar thermal plants using molten salts as both a heat transfer mechanism and thermal storage mechanism, permitting several hours of electric energy production after sunset. Another work-around is to redesign structures to have a higher thermal mass, run the A/C like crazy when the sun is shining and using the stored "cool" after sunset.

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Lotus 1-2-3 rebooted: My trip back to the old (named) range

IvyKing
Megaphone

Re: It's called a slash

QDOS/86-DOS/PC-DOS/MS-DOS copied much of the CP/M API much the same way that Linux copied the UNIX API, but it was a rather different beast underneath. The COPY command was more like the UNIX cp command than PIP, though COPY was internal to command.com. DOS did not have or need anything like the MOVECPM command. TSR capability was part of DOS from the 86-DOS days. MS-DOS 2.X introduced subdirectories, rudimentary stdin/stdout and a form of piping to be a bit more like UNIX.

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Tablets aren't killing ereaders, it's clog-popping wrinklies - analyst

IvyKing

Re: Dead boomers already?

The peak year for births in the US was 1957, so the baby boom in the US lasted well past the early 1950's. With life expectancies in the high 70's, it will a while before the boomers start dying off in large numbers. WW2 vets on the other hand are starting to get scarce, with the youngest at 85 - and a large number of baby boomers are children of WW2 vets.

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First rigid airship since the Hindenburg enters trials

IvyKing
Boffin

IIRC, Tustin

My recollection is that the hangars are in Tustin (where I-405 splits off I-5 in Orange County). This is about 2 miles from where I now work, so may have to take some fresh air breaks next week.

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Ten… top tech cock-ups of 2012

IvyKing
Pirate

MS and researching trademarks

Anyone remember the brouhaha over MS using "Internet Explorer" for its browser without checking to see if "Internet Explorer" was already trademarked?

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NASA's Cassini spacecraft turns 15 while spying on Saturn

IvyKing

For you Lost in Space fans...

The Cassinin was launched one day before the fictional launch of the Jupiter 2.

It is great to see that Cassini is still collecting data.

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Metric versus imperial: Reg readers weigh in

IvyKing

Re: Nut and Bolts

I heard it was the other way around, where the Packard built Merlins used SAE threads and were supposedly bit stronger than the original RR built Merlins.

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IvyKing

Re: Important dimensions

But is standard (Stephenson) gauge still 16.5mm with a foot being 4mm long??

On this side of the lagoon, it's 3.5mm all the way, though I had one neighbor who preferred 3/16".

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Bill Gates, Harry Evans and the smearing of a computer legend

IvyKing
Flame

COPY != PIP

IIRC, PIP was a separate executable file, while COPY was internal to COMMAND.COM in at least 86-DOS if not QDOS. What M$ did to make PC-DOS 1.0 out of 86-DOS 1.14 was to change the prompt from A: to A>, added "DEL" as an alias for ERASE and not ship the SCP utilities such as the assembler, the Z80 code translator and READCPM.

86-DOS allowed AUX, CON and PRN to be treated as filenames, where CP/M required some gyrations to use device names in place of a disk filename.

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FATTIES are DESTROYING THE WORLD, scream mad professors

IvyKing
Black Helicopters

Re: Get 'em in by Friday

Song title was Get 'em OUT by Friday - though I can se wanting to get the brew in by Friday...

Reminds me of when the Reg covered the giant hogweed invasion in New York state...

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Russia looks to microsatellites for science and shipping

IvyKing

100 kg a microsatellite?

Sounds more like a mini-satellite to me. A microsatellite would be more along the lines of Vanguard 1, which weighed in at 1.5kg.

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1930s photos show Greenland glaciers retreating faster than today

IvyKing

Silver and shiny

Cesium needs to be in an inert atmosphere to say silver and shiny. Perusing an MSDS on metallic cesium would discourage most people from wanting to deal with the non-radioactive stuff.

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IvyKing
Alert

Don't you mean radioactive cesium?

Note that radio-isotopes can easily be detected at levels far below what would be considered harmful. As an example, Carbon 14 dating works because all food sources have some carbon-14 in them, but there has been no hysteria about removing carbon 14 from the food chain.

The global impact of radiation leakage from Fukushima is still dwarfed by the remnants of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. It is also even less of an issue on a global scale than naturally occurring radioactive materials such as the potassium 40 in your body.

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'Biocoal' fuels steam train comeback

IvyKing
Boffin

Re: Faster

The Milwaukee speeds were from timings aboard regular runs of the Hiawatha between Milwaukee and Chicago. While the peak DBHP occurred below 100 MPH. the loco's were still putting out a significant amount of power. One limitation for the top speed of steam locomotives is dynamic augment, which is lessened with 84 inch drivers and just three coupled axles on the 3463.

As far as the Pennsy T-1's, the design spec called for 100 MPH with 1,000 trailing tons.

Also bear in mind that larger American loading gauge allows for larger boilers - with the gas flow area being critical for power production.

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IvyKing
Go

Re: Faster

I'd bet on the AT&SF Hudson - similarly design loco's used by the Milwaukee (Baltics on the CMStP&P) were hitting 105 - 110 MPH in regular service while pulling a much heavier train than the Mallard on its record run. The Pennsy T-1 would almost certainly be faster, there were reports of it hitting 125 MPH in service.

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RIP wind power: Minister blows away plans for more turbines

IvyKing
Mushroom

PWR's??? Make that BWR's

How can one take your posting seriously if you don't know the difference between a Pressurized Water Reactor and a Boiling Water Reactor? FWIW, Fukushima used BWR's.

PWR's can be set up for natural convection cooling, with the main problem in supplying make-up water to the secondary side.

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What does the Titanic's sinking tell us about modern science?

IvyKing
Boffin

The book came out several years ago

The authors made a pretty good argument that the rivets played an important role, and the press release does a very poor job of summarizing the book.

The key point is that the rivets on the first and last fifth of the ship had to be set by hand, which required that the rivets be made from wrought iron as opposed to steel. The rivets on the other three fifths of the ship were set with hydraulic clamps, which allowed the use of steel rivets. It is extremely difficult to make wrought iron with the same consistency as steel.

The authors pointed out that icebergs have a slushy surface, so an impact would cause the hull plates to bend rather than tear as would be the case of striking a coral reef. The failure of the rivets to hold the hull plates together allowed a much larger volume of water to enter the hull. Had the rivets held, the Titanic may have had enough pumping capacity to allow it to reach port or take a much longer time to sink.

The poor quality of rivets was by no means the only stupid mistake that lead to the sinking of the Titanic.

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Cameron's attempt to cram a robot arm wearing a Rolex into his pristine bottom

IvyKing
Boffin

Antimagnetic

4,800A/m is the the magnetomotive force ("H") that the watch will withstand before malfunctioning. In free space, that will induce a flux density ("B") of 0.06T or 600 gauss. That's well below what a typical MRI magnet will produce, but high enough that you won't have to worry about letting your watch get close to conductors carrying high currents.

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Supersonic silent biplane COMING SOON ...ish

IvyKing

Re: ".. there may be a boom in the field in the coming years"

The XB-70 preceded the Viggen by a few years, though the canard on the '70 was smaller in relation to the main wing than was the case for the Viggen.

The aircraft in the picture reminded me of the "flying sub" from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

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US shoots down key Rambus patent

IvyKing
WTF?

Prior art on LED color mixing

I remember an article in a 1970's issue of Model Railroader magazine about using a combined red/green LED to model a 3 color searchlight signal. The red and green aspects were naturally generated by lighting the respective elements of the LED, the yellow aspect was simulated by rapidly alternating between red and green. It would seem obvious to anyone skilled in the art that PWM could be used to control the level of mixing.

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Ten exabytes wedged into a rather large box by Cleversafe

IvyKing
Paris Hilton

Lovelaces law?

If we're going to have a storage equivalent of Godwins law, we might as well name it after the first lady of programming...

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Untangling the question of antimatter mass

IvyKing
Boffin

Anti-neutrons do exist

The reason that the anti-proton has a negative charge is that the anti-quarks that make up the anti-proton have the opposite charge from the quarks that make up a proton. The proton contains two quarks with plus 2/3 charge and one with minus 1/3 charge. The neutron contains 1 quark with plus 2/3 charge and two with minus 1/3 charge for a net charge of zero. The anti-neutron contains two anti-quarks with plus 1/3 charge and one anti-quark with minus 2/3 charge.

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Nexenta trashes Win8 Storage Spaces

IvyKing
Thumb Up

ZFS takes care of reason "E" in two ways. First is a much larger checksum, making it unlikely that disk errors will pass unnoticed. Second is disk scrubbing that regulars reads all of the disk data to spot incipient disk failure, usually signaled by read retries.

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Inventor flames Reg, HP in memristor brouhaha

IvyKing
Thumb Up

Oxygen vacancies - not that odd of an idea

If the oxygen vacancy leads to formation of unpaired electron spins, then there would be an associated magnetic flux. Since there are many materials where the resistance is dependent on magnetic flux, the presence or absence of unpaired spins could have an effect on resistance.

Chua's postulated interaction of charge and flux doesn't make too much sense in classical electrodynamics, but does make more sense at the quantum level.

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IvyKing
Boffin

Interaction chrage and flus

Leon Chua's original definition was an interaction of charge and flux - more precisely a relationship between dphi/dt and dq/dt. The simplest physical mechanism I can think of is that the charge is a set of spins (i.e. charge) and their associated magnetic flux - a form of spintronics if you will. I don't particularly see it coming out of classical electrodynamics (Maxwell's equations) in the same way as a resistor, capacitor or inductor.

I was impressed with Professor Chue's teaching style in EECS 105, ended with my one and only A+ at Cal (this class was also my introduction to SPICE). He mixed in some real world examples with is discussion of the theory.

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Falklands, Cardiff lie beneath track of rogue Phobos-Grunt

IvyKing
Trollface

Thought Cardiff was only 33 degrees N

Oh that's Cardiff and not Cardiff-by-the Sea.... (Latter being 117d16m W, 33d01m N).

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San Diego woman strips to bikini to look for her chihuahua

IvyKing

Cold for San Diego

FWIW, 50F (15C) was the nighttime low, the high temp being closer to 65F (18C). This pretty well matched the typical lows and highs in coastal San Diego for June and July 2010.

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NASA: 2012 solar flares could DEVASTATE CITIES!

IvyKing
Mushroom

Might slightly increase the likelyhood of meltdowns

The main concern about "the grid" during a solar storm is large DC currents flowing through the windings of the transformers that terminate long distance transmission lines. To save save and money on electrical insulation, the high voltage windings are Wye "Y" connected with a grounded neutral. This allows the common mode (zero sequence) currents to flow from the ground on one transformer to the ground of another. The concern is that there is not enough resources to repair more than a handful of the transformers in a short period of time.

The simplistic way of preventing damage to the transformers is to open up the disconnect switches or circuit breakers. The problem is that these devices are designed to open currents with zero crossings (i.e. AC) and may have problems disrupting a large DC current.

A better solution is to equip the long AC lines with series capacitors, which will also improve power flow. These would prevent DC current from flowing (realizing that DC current is redundant) and likely prevent the damage from geomagnetic storms.

HVDC lines may be a different story.

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IvyKing
Joke

Having trouble recognizing sarcasm?

This is Lewis at his finest, taking some story that has a bunch of scaremongers doing their best at scaremongering and making great fun of it.

Then again, he might be off his meds...

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Fujitsu busts K super through 10 petaflops

IvyKing

Venus based workstation?

If my math is correct, the performance of the Venus processor is above 100 gigaflops per socket. While the total power consumption of the K supercomputer is pretty outrageous, the watts per socket figure is quite reasonable for a desktop.

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India uncloaks new thorium nuke plants

IvyKing
Mushroom

U233 is relatively nice for weapons

As other posters have pointed out, "U233" has a high gamma output from the U232 that comes as part of the U233 production process, much the same way that Pu240 is produced in conjunction with Pu239. The main gamma line from U232 is relatively low energy and is thus easy to shield to the point where it isn't a major threat to personnel (not so easy to shield from an isotope identification survey).

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