* Posts by IvyKing

133 posts • joined 3 Jul 2009

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Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'

IvyKing
Thumb Up

The story I read about an interview with David Korn was that was more amused than annoyed and was letting the MS keep digging a deeper hole. Someone else in the audience apparently was anxious to rub it in by telling the MS guy that the person he was arguing with was David Korn.

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NASA whistles up electron noise from the Van Allen belt

IvyKing

Re: Erm

Wonder if you read about it the same place I did - either Popular Electronics or Electronics Illustrated. Gist of the article was that Whistlers were discovered during WW1 by people attempting to listen in on field telephone conversations, which typical used ground return.

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Swedish school pumps up volume to ease toilet trauma

IvyKing
Mushroom

Donovan's Intergalatic Laxative

If shitting is your problem…..

Another oldie, "It's a Gas" by Alfred E. Newman.

Don't think Svensk cuisine would hold a candle to Tex-Mex for gas production, then again holding said candle could be a fire hazard.

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Bloodbath at LeEco US as Chinese tech upstart implodes with layoffs

IvyKing

I've seen poorer taste in headlines (unfortunately)

Perhaps not the best choice of words in regards to Manchester, but bloodbath is a common term used to describe mass layoffs.

On a different note, the picture of the Sepulveda dam brought back a lot of memories, with some dating back almost 60 years. Do wonder if that site was chosen as a Buckaroo Bonzai reference.

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Ad men hope blocking has stalled as sites guilt users into switching off

IvyKing
Flame

I'm not running an adblocker, but have Firefox set up to block auto play, third party cookies and tracking ads. Funny thing is that many websites claim that I'm running an adblocker and ask me to turn it off. I don't mind ads, but do mind the intrusive crap that comes with these ads.

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Climate change bust up: We'll launch our own damn satellites if Trump pulls plug – Gov Brown

IvyKing
Mushroom

Brown earned his "Moonbeam" moniker

Brown has given quite a few examples where he is as much of a science denier as Trump. One was when the Mediterranean Fruit Fly was causing havoc in Nor Cal, most scientists agreed that Malathion was a safe pesticide to use, but he went through the effort of finding one that disagreed. Another is his opposition to nuclear energy, if CO2 is so bad, why is he so intent on shutting down the let plant operating in the state?

He is also one heck of a hypocrite, using state resources to determine the oil/gas potential of his property.

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Wannabe Cali governor gives up against beach-blocking billionaire VC

IvyKing

Re: Get a grip

It sounds more like the California Coastal Commission is being its usual wussy self when it comes to the very rich, look up the history of Barbra Streisand's refusing to give beach access.

It is also very funny to see a Democrat kowtowing before a potential donor...

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Going underground: The Royal Mail's great London train squeeze

IvyKing

Re: Side note

Chicago had quite a network of freight tunnels that were last used in the 1950's. The Royal Mail tunnels appear to be similar and may have been based partly on the experience with the Chicago tunnels.

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Hello, Star Trek? 25th Century here: It's time to move on

IvyKing

Re: I was introduce to ST in the US on NTSC tellies

I was careful not to set the color saturation at reasonable levels to give a somewhat realistic color rendering and didn't see much of the red shirt blooming. Speaking of red shirts, the very first red shirt fatality occurred just a few minutes into the first episode aired 50 years ago tonight.

Now for the bad news - I watched all but the first five minutes of that first episode when it hit the airwaves in the Pacific Time states.

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Read the damning dossier on the security stupidity that let China ransack OPM's systems

IvyKing

Re: What on earth was going on over there?

Unfortunately this has been very typical of the Obama administration. In OPM's case, the top management was more focused on "diversity" than doing their job. In HRC's case, the Benghazi mess could also be traced to HRC not focusing on her job as SoS, which in itself is not criminal. OTOH, there is very good evidence that she mishandled classified material in violation of the law on such material, and many sections of the laws she violated do not require "intent" for connection.

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Ad-blocking ‘plateaus’, claims hopeful ad industry

IvyKing

Re: Maybe if they weren't so in your sodding face

I know what you mean. I use the private viewing feature of Firefox to take care of that ungodly behavior. Main way it works is deleting cookies after you close the session, and also deletes history. I've also removed Flash from my main system and that removes another vector for cookies.

On a somewhat different note,I've also configured FF to not auto play video and reject site redirects, and apparently this in combination with private viewing's blocking tracking ads seems to fool sites such as Wired into thinking that I'm running an adblocker.

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DoJ preps criminal charges for VW over Dieselgate

IvyKing
Pirate

Re: double standards?

Presumably the other corporate entities have made contributions to the WJC Foundation to atone for their sins. Doesn't help that VW is in competition to Government Motors...

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Google Chrome will beat Flash to death with a shovel: Why... won't... you... just... die!

IvyKing
Meh

Re: Thank you

I wouldn't be quite so fast in praising Google, they still require Flash for the interactive stock price on Google News. Seems to me they could lead by example and code some of their own webpages into HTML5.

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West country cops ponder appearance of 40 dead pigeons on A35

IvyKing

PPP

It's not against any religion, to want to dispose of the pigeon...

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Don't want to vote for Clinton or Trump? How about this woman who says Wi-Fi melts kids' brains?

IvyKing
Devil

Looking to be a long drawn campaign fight between Cthulhu and SMOD for the November elections. Cthulhu's campaign slogan is "picking the greatest of two evils" while SMOD is promising a huge wall of incandescent rock.

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And now we go live to Nashville for the latest on Google Fiber v AT&T and, yup, it's a mess

IvyKing

Re: A cynical part of me wonders if...

From the stories I've heard about fiber crews, the Google installers were likely in no need of help from Ma Bell to muck things up as they seem to be capable of making a mess all by themselves.

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Tesla whacks guardrail in Montana, driver blames autopilot

IvyKing

No cell phone reception??

Highway 55 sounds like a funny place to not have cell phone reception as it doesn't go very far south of I-90. If he was driving highway 200 near Winnett, the lack of cell phone reception would be a bit more believable.

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Lester Haines: RIP

IvyKing

Sad news indeed

I enjoyed his writing and am sad hear about his passing.

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New solar cell breaks efficiency records, turns 34% of light into 'leccy

IvyKing

Re: Watts per Dollar is the only efficiency that actually matters

Watts per total dollars for an installation is what matters. Dirt cheap cells with efficiencies of a few per cent could end up being more expensive when all of the support structure is taken into account.

Getting the efficiency up to 50% can get some interesting benefits for warm to hot climates, having such panels on the roof would lead to a significantly cooler roof.

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Russia poised to unleash 'Son of Satan' ICBM

IvyKing
Mushroom

Re: Not solid

Another reason is that the IR signature for UDMH/N2O4 is much lower than for the usual aluminum and ammonia perchlorate solid fuel mix. The IR signature is also less than the RP1/LOX mixture but greater than LH2/LOX.

FWIW, the Titan II was fueled by UDMH/N2O4, but there were a few nasty accidents involving fuel leaks.

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Japan loses contact with new space 'scope just weeks after launch

IvyKing
Boffin

The change in observed orbit implies a fairly significant impulse (momentum), the fact that the debris is in almost the same orbit implies high mass & relatively low velocity. High velocity would cease a large debris plume as what happened when an Iridium satellite collided with a cosmos satellite. My bet is a propellant tank let go.

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

IvyKing

Re: A million monkeys is a bit unfair...

I agree in that Computer Science was very poorly predicted in the Golden Age of SF, with A.I. postulated to be a much easier problem than it is and giving hort shrift to the need for numerical solutions to real world math problems. This may have been driven in part by the plot device of "man vs machine" that goes back to the story of Jawn Henry, if not earlier.

One of the big laughers was the manual piloting of rocket launches, the reality is that humans don't react fast enough to be effective. On the other hand, Heinlein did a fair representation of docking in his 1939 story "Misfit".

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IvyKing
Mushroom

Admiral Bob

His story, "Blowups Happen", has one of the best descriptions of a nuclear power plant despite the 1941 version being written almost two ears before Fermi brought the Chicago Pile to critical. There were a few errors due to lack of knowledge of the fission process, in particular delayed neutrons, but he had a plausible work-around with an accelerator driven neutron source. One of the fairly close calls was stating that the energy of 2.5 tons of U235 fissioning would be equivalent to 100MT, where the actual yield would be half that.

The story also postulated that peoples lives would be saved by "artificial radioactives" - I probably wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for a Tc-99m screening.

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Hillary Clinton private email server probe winding up – reports

IvyKing

Could get interesting

Investigators are not likely to grant immunity in a case where they think the prime target is likely to be innocent. Keep in mind the classified e-mails are only one side of the coin, the other is public corruption where HRC and WJC were getting money for favorable rulings from the US State Department. May end up having the first ex-pres in prison, though my guess is that HO would pardon both of them.

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NASA boffin wants FRIKKIN LASERS to propel lightsails

IvyKing

Sunjammer

I remember racing the story in my brother's Boy's Life magazine back in 1964 and reading "The Wind From the Sun" maybe a decade or so later. Depressing since the first read was almost 52 years ago.

Kudos to Richard Chrigwin for mentioning "The Mote in God's Eye", though a Niven story of visiting traders had a similar plot device two to three years before "Mote" came out. This is unlike Scientific American that couldn't be bothered mentioning Niven or Pournelle with respect to laser powered lightsails back in the late 1990's - that was about the final straw leading to dropping my SciAm subscription.

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China wants to bring home moon rocks in moon vacuum

IvyKing

Dealing with lunar dust?

I wonder how they are planning to deal with lunar dust, can't imagine the dust doing any good for vacuum seals.

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ESA's Sentinel satellite to ride converted ICBM

IvyKing
Boffin

Re: Converting war tools into science tools

The Soviets' motive of the NTO/UDMH ICBM's was that the exhaust plume had a far smaller IR signature than the Aluminum/ammonium perchlorate solid fuel exhaust..

Looks like the SS-19 was the Russian version of the Titan II.

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Norks uses ballistic missile to launch silent 'satellite'

IvyKing

"Deke" Parsons figured out a why to keep tubes (valves) functioning while being launched from a 5 inch naval rifle in the 1940-41 era. The VT fuses were first used in combat around Guadalcanal about the end of 1942.

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Come on kids, let's go play in the abandoned nuclear power station

IvyKing
Headmaster

Re: EBR-1 was the First Fast Breeder Reactor

You are correct, but I do like to indulge in ark humor.

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IvyKing
Mushroom

EBR-1 was the First Fast Breeder Reactor

EBR-1 was the first Fast Breeder built and the first reactor to be used to generate electric power in 1951 (a few hundred watts). The follow-on reactor, EBR-II was the prototype for the Integral Fast Reactor.

Mushroom cloud icon for obvious reasons.

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How to build a starship - and why we should start thinking about it now

IvyKing
Boffin

Re: Coms

If we have the technology to build a probe capable of reaching 0.05 to 0.1c, then it would be no problem a large space based receiving antenna that can pick up the signals from a probe 4 LY away. This would also get it away from all of the earth based interference.

Since the DSN can pick up signals from 100 a.u. with 70m dishes, this implies that 70 km diameter would pick the same signal source from a couple of light years.

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IRS 'inadvertently' wiped hard drive Microsoft demanded in audit row

IvyKing
Mushroom

Pretty much the same thought I had reading the article. OTOH, the IRS was destroying evidence requested in a lawsuit and the personnel involved could end up being found in contempt of court.

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Mozilla: Five... Four... Three... Two... One... Thunderbirds are – gone

IvyKing

Re: They got it the wrong way round

@Herbert Thunderbird on the Mac works very nicely, also worked nicely on Solaris as well. Porting it to several platforms can be a pain, but it also brings out a lot of bus that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.

One of the things that I like about T-bird over Outlook is that the local folders are stored as separate files without any binary conversion.

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Hillary Clinton: Stop helping terrorists, Silicon Valley – weaken your encryption

IvyKing
Black Helicopters

Re: Oi! Hillary

Considering that Hillary's fingerprints were all over the FBI files that disappeared in the White House in 1993, another plausible motivation for her statement is that she wants to keep the ability to blackmail her opponents.

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Car radars gain sharper vision after ITU assigns special spectrum slice

IvyKing

With 4GHz of spectrum available, there's lots of opportunity for spread spectrum processing gain. Think CDMA cellphones in tight quarters.

One of the goals of the larger bandwidth is allowing for better distance resolution. Should be alb to get 10cm fairly reliably.

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Trident test-shot startles West Coast Americans

IvyKing
Mushroom

Re: Gee Whiz

Test launches of ICBM's from Vandenburg have been going on for fifty years, remember seeing a Minuteman launch in 1968 that created a nice light show. Point Mugu isn't all that far from Vandenburg.

Mushroom cloud icon for obvious reasons.

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Northrop wins $55bn contract for next-gen bomber – as America says bye-bye to B-52

IvyKing
Mushroom

Re: Just remember...

A modified 767 probably would not work, being low wing, the wing box is in precisely the place you want the bomb bay to be. There's a reason that the big bombers such as the B-36, B-47 and B-52 had high wings. The 767 airframe was not designed the take the stresses of combat flight. Finally, the big fans on the 767 engines make really nice radar reflectors.

The newest B-52 airframes rolled out of the Boeing doors in 1962, although the avionics have been replaced many times since then.

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Top boffin Freeman Dyson on climate change, interstellar travel, fusion, and more

IvyKing
Mushroom

Bob Forward? Try Larry Niven

The first reference that I've run across using a laser and lightsail for interstellar travel was from an early 1970's era short story by Larry Niven. This was also part of the opening of "The Mote in God's Eye" by Niven and Pournelle published in 1974.

My understanding is that Forward, Niven and Pournelle all knew each other, Forward has written some SF as well.

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The Steve Jobs of supercomputers: We remember Seymour Cray

IvyKing

Re: Germanium transistors - really?

I'm very sure that the CDC 6600 was designed using silicon transistors, the germanium machine was the CDC-1604, which also pioneered the use of a peripheral processor. IIRC, the CDC-3600 was the 1604 redone with silicon transistors. FWIW, the Smithsonian Air & Space museum by Dulles has a CDC-3800 (dual processor 3600).

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IvyKing
Boffin

Re: CYBER 74

COMPASS == Complete pain in the ass

One nice thing about the 6000/7000 series instruction set was that it was really easy looking through an octal dump compared to what's involved with an x86 hex dump. Also had fond memories of the use of A1 to A5 for reading memory into the associated X register and A6 and A7 for writing to memory.

Text processing on the other hand was a royal pain.

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MAMMOTH MAMMOTH fossil find with BONUS BISON BONE BONANZA

IvyKing
Pint

Re: I miss read this

W-e-l-l, Carlsbad has a couple of brewery/restaurants, Pizza Port and Karl Strauss. Stone Brewing Company (Arrogant Bastard Ale) is a short drive down 78 from the construction site where the fossils were found. Oceanside, which is right across 78 from Carlsbad, has a least one brewer of mead.

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BEELION-dollar lasso snaps, NASA mapper blind in one eye

IvyKing
Boffin

Antenna or amplifier?

I may have misread TFA, but it sounds more like the problem was with the amplifier than the antenna.

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Curiosity rolls over onto Martian WET PATCH, takes satisfied selfie

IvyKing

Marias Pass?

Obviously someone from Northwestern Montana or a Great Northern fan was involved in naming that feature.

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Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here's how to exploit it

IvyKing
Flame

DOS and reserved interrupts

Tim Paterson did pay attention to Intel's reserving interrupts when he wrote QDOS/86-DOS for Seattle Computer Products, the lowest interrupt used by DOS was int 20H. It was IBM and maybe Microsoft that used the reserved interrupts for the PC's ROM-BIOS. IBM also made the blitheringly stupid mistake of using the NMI for the 8087 co-processor despite Inetl clearly stating the the NMI was NOT to be used for the 8087.

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Microsoft co-founder recovers ship's bell of 'The Mighty Hood'

IvyKing

Re: The Impact On The Public Was Terrible

Peter G.: The USN's shortage of carriers was most crucial after the battles around the Solomon's in late 1942. Fortunately for the Allies, the loss of experienced airmen was even more severe problem for the IJN. What was probably an even more serious problem for the USN at that time was the poor quality of the torpedoes for the submarine force, it wasn't until mid 1944 that the sub force had a good supply of decent torpedoes.

A lucky stroke for the USN was in early 1943 was the availability of proximity fuzed shells.

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How much of one year's Californian energy use would wipe out the drought?

IvyKing
Flame

Re: Not going to happen

The desal plant in Carlsbad that will b coming on-line soon was delayed for several years by environmentalists. One of the more bizarre arguments was the amount of sea life that would be killed after being drawn into the sea water intakes - of course no regard was given to the number of Delta Smelt that would be saved by the water in the Delta not being sent south.

A couple of interesting factoids - less energy is required to produce a given volume of water from RO than to get the same volume of water over the Tehachapis from norther Cal. The newest membranes will require less energy per volume of water than to get water from the Colorado river to San Diego.

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Robo-taxis, what are they good for? Er, the environment and traffic

IvyKing

Re: Petrol taxi?

Note that LBL is in California - CARB rules tend to discourage diesel autos, so most taxi's here are gasoline powered.

While 7 million barrels of oil may seem to be a lot, that's about one day's worth of motor vehicle fuel for the US.

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How a Cali court ruling could force a complete rethink of search results

IvyKing
Headmaster

Re: Are you aware...

"Cali" is not a common abbreviation for California, the most common is the USPS approved "CA", followed by "Calif". "Cal" is another common shortening of the name, though it is more used for college and university names, e.g. Cal (UC Berkeley - Go Bears), Southern Cal (USC), Cal Tech, Cal Poly, Cal State $city_name, Cal Lu, etc.

In addition, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals covers the Western US in addition to the Golden State.

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Adam Smith was right about that invisible hand, you know

IvyKing

Re: Congratulations

The production in the US was due to more than cheap energy, having all sorts of raw materials on hand was also a big help. Another big help was the machine tool industry seeing a war coming and engaging in a large scale program training people to run machine tools. Having managers picked on th basis of competency as opposed to part loyalty was another big help. Finally, given individual workers some incentive didn't hurt.

The downside of the big push for production was an incredible industrial accident rate, IIRC ~120,000 fatalities between December 1941 and May 1944.

One last fallout from WW2 was that American manufacturing developed a lot of ways to cut down on the amount of labor required to produce a given widget.

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The rare metals debate: Only trace elements of sanity found

IvyKing
Headmaster

The map is missing Californium (unless I missed it). As for Seaborgium, I remember one quarter back in the 1970's where he'd be walking down the steps between the Greek Theater at Gayley Road while I was walking up those same steps…

Another good read from Tim.

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