Cordless Mice?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 

Apparently the FAA has decided that cordless mice with their nanowatts of transmit power represent a risk to airplanes. Discussion forums contemplate that the FAA is concerned they could be used to trigger explosives in the hold (when they outlaw cordless mice, only outlaws will have cordless mice). Perhaps they found a cordless mouse that used a spark gap transmitter and so banned the whole class.


BTW, this is being posted via gogo inflight, the wireless radio on my laptop also uses 2.4ghz unregulated and could be 200mw and who knows who made it (same frequency band, 3 or 4 orders of magnitude more RF power).


While I’ve dealt with worse, I am on occasion reminded of just how awesome the air bureaucracy in this country really is.

On the plus side, the new digEplayers on the PS flights are pretty nice and a big improvement.  Plus they actually run on battery now.
Posted at 05:24:22 GMT-0700

Category: PlanesTravel

Recursive, Incremental FTP

Thursday, April 14, 2011 

Looking for a way to transfer an entire website, including subdirectories, from one server to another directly, I found this summary of a great tool: NCFTP.

The client supports recursive “get” and “does the right thing.” It silently handles broken symbolic links, downloads all the files in the source directory including subdirectories, and even better, smartly does an incremental update on repeat saving a lot of time, bandwidth, and tedium.

Great utility that makes systems admin just a little bit easier. From now on, part of the default install.

Posted at 16:00:39 GMT-0700

Category: FreeBSDTechnology

Science Experiments

Monday, April 11, 2011 

Home from Afghanistan to find some very interesting science experiments waiting for me.

Yogurt residue grew into a lovely pattern of furriness. Almost makes you want to pet it.


Coffee beans should have been fairly sterile after making coffee, so perhaps the mold there was donor from the yogurt cup.


Whatever was left over in the plastic container seemed to seed a variety of mold types.


A strong dose of bleach and some scrubbing got everything sterile again.

Posted at 16:18:29 GMT-0700

Category: Funnyphoto


Sunday, April 3, 2011 

KAF would be very nice base, quite photogenic. Aircraft take off night and day, the fighters taking off on afterburner are like a free fireworks show every night. The A10s are some of the coolest planes ever and there aren’t that many places to see them any more.


The downside to the base is the Poo Pond. It is, perhaps the most famous feature of the base. It was built by the Russians, a gigantic open cesspool.

Poo Panorama.jpg

The smell… the smell is truly incredible. Imagine being locked in an overfull outhouse on a hot, windless day, but spreading downwind for miles and inescapable. It is one of those things that is better experienced vicariously.


But at sunset, aside from the retching stink, it is quite photogenic – the black, viscous liquid is mirror like, still and reflects the sunset just beyond the bio hazard signs.

Posted at 09:36:57 GMT-0700

Category: MilphotoPlacesTravel