Comments

Re: This is a put-on, right? (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Blackberry's new Passport is unlike any other on 2014-09-25 22:19 (#2SY3)

Who wants to run emulated Android on a battery powered handheld?
It isn't emulated, actually. Blackberry has an ARM CPU just like Android, so native apps can be run on the processor without any emulation. BB just has to provide compatible ABI hooks to the OS. This is a reduced version of what WINE does for Windows applications on Linux, but Android being open source means there's no need for reverse engineering, and having far less legacy means it's much easier to develop full compatibility quickly.

"In Wine, the Windows application's compiled x86 code runs at full native speed on the computer's x86 processor, just as it does when running under Windows."

And with the non-native Android applications, it's even easier. They're basically Java applets, interpreted by the Dalvik VM when run on Android. It's not big deal for other OSes to develop their own almost-JRE compatible with Dalvik, and run Android apps as well as Android.

Re: mksh workalike (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Vulnerability in Bash Shell widespread and serious on 2014-09-25 22:05 (#2SY2)

FYI, editing works more like deleting your comment... It will revert any moderation your comment has gotten, and your comment will show up highlighted like it is a "new" comment in the discussion.

Growing skepticism (Score: 2, Interesting)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Nanotechnology could lead to better, cheaper LEDs on 2014-09-25 21:59 (#2SY0)

I wasn't skeptical about this story when first writing it up, but simply thought that sad percentage figure on light extraction for LEDs was an informative tidbit for a story. Other technologies have similar inefficiencies due to reflectivity. My casual knowledge of LEDs made me suspect that the figure (though plausible) might be exaggerated, but I didn't immediately find hard numbers out there. Hitting the WP page on LED light extraction to check, again lacked numbers, but that turned-up the link to the BBC article mentioning nanotech+LEDs from 2007...

The mention of PlaCSH solar cells being developed before, that I've never heard of, made me want to know if anything came of it, and perhaps how close to the promised numbers were products realizing in production. A search for PlaCSH didn't immediately turn-up hits on well-known reputable sites, but instead mostly sites with "UFO" and "alternative energy" in their names (no joke). While this research is from Princeton, funded by DARPA and the NSF, that's still a red flag...

Found this source from a few years ago, claiming only a mere 20% is lost in LED light extraction, not TFA's claimed 62%:

http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/powersource/4307926/LED-inefficiencies-82-of-lighting-energy-lost-as-heat

And I don't know what's up with the double-link to TFA.

Re: mksh workalike (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Vulnerability in Bash Shell widespread and serious on 2014-09-25 15:09 (#2SX8)

Are you running [a]term on blackbox, by the way?
That screen shot is quite old... These days I run urxvt on Fluxbox! Completely different...
If Aterm had only gotten utf support I'd still be using it now.
It did. Aterm was merged into, and deprecated in favor of, urxvt / rxvt-unicode:

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rxvt-unicode
* http://www.afterstep.org/news.php?show=2008

Works great for me, just like good old aterm plus some new features like anti-aliased and scalable freetype fonts, resize on-the-fly with escape sequences, etc. Seems to be in most repos. I'm glad it's still going, because the clumsiness of xterm is even more frustrating than bash.

Re: Not quite what you wanted... (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Favorite Magic Phrase on 2014-09-25 15:07 (#2SXK)

Hmm, it seems that editing comments dumps any moderation done to them... Didn't realize I was ruining my karma by fixing typos and trying to clarify my wording and such.

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Quietnet: a simple chat program using inaudible sounds on 2014-09-25 15:05 (#2SNG)

Probably just a question of specialty... I've got a background in EE and telecommunications. I have occasionally thought about what it takes to restore modern services to disaster areas after events hit the news. For instance, it's a shame New Orleans didn't follow the model of Sacramento:

"From 1862 until the mid-1870s Sacramento raised the level of its downtown by building reinforced brick walls on its downtown streets, and filling the resulting street walls with dirt. Thus the previous first floors of buildings became the basements... Most property owners used screw jacks to raise their buildings to the new grade." -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento%2C_California#Capital_city

Modems are still finding use for sending and receiving faxes, and those seem to have a few more years of life in them. They're also still useful as out-of-band management for routers... Why cellular modems with RS-232 aren't more popular and widely available, I don't know.

Hmm... Testing Karma.

Not quite what you wanted... (Score: 2, Interesting)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Favorite Magic Phrase on 2014-09-25 14:54 (#2SWY)

To quote Samuel L. Jackson from The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996):

"Ready, and... Fuck it! Run for your life!"

It didn't manage to find its audience at the time, but possibly the most quotable film ever.

Geena Davis: I got myself outta Beirut once, I think I can get outta New Jersey.
Sam Jackson: Yeah? Well, don't be so sure. Others have tried and failed. The entire population, in fact!

As Android sliders get harder to find... (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Blackberry's new Passport is unlike any other on 2014-09-25 12:55 (#2SXE)

I've been hoping Blackberry would pull something out of the hat, for a while. There's room for 3 major players in the smart phone market, and I'd sure rather have it be Blackberry than Microsoft. They're unlikely to go away entirely, as QNX powers the computers in many cars.

I've never owned one of their phones, myself, but this one has me considering it. Nice and loud speakers, unlike most phones, would get plenty of use from me. I can definitely see the squarer screen making it a lot easier to read web-pages, PDFs, etc. If Android compatibility really works well enough to run all my many apps, like WiFi Analyzer and VX ConnectBot, the transition would be an easy one. The poor security and lack of updates on Android still remains a problem. And most importantly, it's getting hard just to find a decent Android slider on many carriers, so it wouldn't take much to convince me to try a BB.

Not square... (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Blackberry's new Passport is unlike any other on 2014-09-25 11:58 (#2SX7)

"The official specs make it 128mm x 90.1mm x 9.3mm"

That puts it at about 13:9, not square.

The corners are pretty square. A big departure from Apple's infamous "rounded edges" they sued Samsung over. And the screen may even be perfectly square, but the phone isn't.

mksh workalike (Score: 2, Interesting)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Vulnerability in Bash Shell widespread and serious on 2014-09-25 11:44 (#2SX5)

If you don't need quite all the bash-isms, mksh is a great lightweight replacement, which is almost entirely drop-in compatible:

* http://mirbsd.de/mksh

I prefer mksh primarily because bash goes horribly brain-dead when you attempt line-editing on command lines that wrap-around to the next line. Your bash session becomes practically unusable after you hit that limit (which I do, often) and it first wigs-out:

* http://i.imgur.com/Vo2BQq2.png

It doesn't hurt that the mksh binary is 3.4X smaller, starts-up faster, is more responsive, can be statically linked, and doesn't hold open 28 files, all of which matters a lot in a minimal system recovery type situation.

Re: Nice! (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in TV antennas - OTA HDTV reception on 2014-09-25 07:06 (#2SVD)

Yes, there are non-penetrating roof mounts that are bent at close to 90 degrees, specifically to fit right on top of the peak of a sloped roof.

But since you have a dish mount, as you said, I'd suggest putting both on that. You can buy a longer J-pipe to make more room if necessary.

Twinhan is a much bigger name in Europe, with DVB tuners. Hauppauge cards are the most consistently supported under Linux and Windows (Media Center), so I don't know what upgrade issues you refer to.

Yes, HDHomeRun is less trouble, can be used by laptops and tablets and such, and has a smartphone app to make antenna aiming easier, but the other (cheaper) options work fine, too.

Re: Nice! (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in TV antennas - OTA HDTV reception on 2014-09-25 07:06 (#2STV)

Why no mention of other tuner options?
This journal is more than long enough as-is...
all the PCI cards were iffy
Not sure where you got that idea from. Cards from Hauppauge, Twinhan, and others work just fine.
Do I screw into my poor old roof to mount a base/mast, or hope my old metal faux chimney can take the stress?
I would only try a chimney mount to a heavy object, not a stove pipe vent, if that's what you mean. Even if you don't have a catastrophic failure, the added stress and movement is likely to shorten the life of your roof and cause leaks. If lacking large rooftop candidates, I most often prefer one bracket as high on the eves as possible, and a mast going down into the ground. Two brackets on the wall is even more-secure. Most other methods won't support a large antenna jutting up 10ft above the top of your roof.

A J-pipe dish mount works fine up to just a couple feet,... A tripod will let you go a bit higher, but still not nearly 10ft without supporting guy wires.

If you're concerned about making holes, there are "non-penetrating roof mounts" available, which set on top of your roof and just get anchored with bricks. You could compliment it with guy-wires anchored down at ground level, for taller masts... All without any holes in the building...

Re: How much water / house? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Largest Desalination Plant in the Hemisphere to Supply 7% of San Diego's Water on 2014-09-24 12:24 (#2STR)

Your water use was 748 gallons.1
Your neighborhood average water use was 7,998 gallons.
That's an incredibly low figure. I'd guess you eat out all the time, don't wash your own car, have no plants, don't do laundry, take very short showers days apart, and more. Or otherwise are away from home a great deal of the time. While that behavior may reduce your home water bill, you're still using lots of water, and in a way that's far more expensive than just using water at home.

With the standard 2.5 GPM shower head, 750 gallons is just 5 hours of running the shower per month, total. Some people take 5-minute showers, or skip quite a few days in-between, but most don't, and the average would also go through the roof in a household of several people, so that's not really a practical level of water usage to expect of people, except in cases of extreme rationing.

And showers aren't the biggest water users... Toilets consume more water, so you need to cut your showering time down to 1/3rd of that to fit the numbers, still. Throw in some dish washing, outdoor plant watering, and you get up to those big "average" numbers quickly.

Re: Ignore Corruption?? (Score: 2, Insightful)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in uselessd - a fork of systemd on 2014-09-24 12:15 (#2SW3)

"Binary file" implies no such thing.

Text files can be written with random access in complicated data structures as well. The most impenetrable XML file is plain-text, after all.

Re: Some glaring security holes? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Debian Security Advisory - DSA-3025-1 apt - security update on 2014-09-24 07:03 (#2SVX)

That stops them from getting in, but doesn't stop them from flooding your system (and your logs) with hundreds of tries per second, right?
It does, actually. If you disable password authentication entirely (not just for root or specific users), the server will not provide any way for someone to send it a password. So that's the end of brute-forcing attempts.

(Sorry I'm late to the party)

Re: GUIs ruined school computer labs (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in First computer system I used on 2014-09-24 06:53 (#2SVW)

When I cut out the Internet from their computers in order to get them to do something useful
That's called micro-managing. I don't believe it has any useful effect. The fact that you're ABLE to do so, doesn't mean you SHOULD. If kids don't turn-in their assignments, they get bad grades. It's true whether they're watching TV instead of doing their homework, or browsing the internet instead of doing their computer course work.
if kids are not interested in doing what they are supposed to do, they will always find something else to do.
Indeed. And the kind of controls teachers / administrators put on computers to try and force kids to do their extremely narrowly-defined coursework, is monumentally detrimental to kids actually learning how to use a computer. That only results in rote memorization and following rigidly defined step, and further becomes a tremendously onerous atmosphere where the most basic exploration is brutally punished...

Frankly, NOTHING you can teach them in that locked-down atmosphere, is anything worth learning. I would rather see the money spent on computer labs go to other projects.

Re: Ignore Corruption?? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in uselessd - a fork of systemd on 2014-09-24 06:31 (#2SVV)

systemd DOES NOT LOG TO DISK BY DEFAULT.
Is that clear enough?

If your distro opts to configure it to do so (out of the box for you), that's a different matter entirely, and one you'll have to take-up with them. They could keep rsyslogd in-use just as easily.

And yes, binary files are just as recoverable as text files. The only difference between text and binary is a 7 vs 8-bit character space, and the standard character defined for line-endings. Otherwise, there is no difference between binary and text files. This is entry-level stuff, first week of programming 101.

Re: Nice! (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in TV antennas - OTA HDTV reception on 2014-09-24 02:57 (#2SVQ)

Are you saying I could get away with linking the HBU22 to the little sat dish? I would have thought it would overwhelm it
Yes, the wind-loads on a solid dish are huge, and a dish can't move at all without signal break-up, so the brackets are designed to handle lots of forces. The wind loading on your (not-solid) antenna will be very, very low by comparison.
My last sat dish just had some short lag bolts or something. Come to think of it I've got a few old dishes up there now. :( But they always have little custom mounts, not poles, so I'm missing your point I think.
These are the standard DBS mini-dish mounts used by DirecTV and Dish Network, and are found littered around North America at least:

http://www.amazon.com/Winegard-DS-2000-Universal-Antenna-U-bolts/dp/B00068YUN4/

That pipe is pretty short, but you can extend that out to a longer J-pipe to make room for more than just the single dish by itself:

http://www.amazon.com/Winegard-DS-3000-Pipe-Mount-Antennas/dp/B001DFS49U/

If you're talking about something else, I have no idea what you've got, and certainly can't give you any advice on it.

Re: Ignore Corruption?? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in uselessd - a fork of systemd on 2014-09-23 22:54 (#2SVE)

So you're saying it's opt-out
No, it's opt-in. It's not going to automatically shut-off your syslog. Now, what distros choose to use as their default is a different matter, its they who are making these default decisions for you.
Kind of missing the point of an inherently poor design and unaccountable developer, no?
No. Problems don't actually need to be fixed upstream, distros can patch anything about systemd they want, before packaging it for their platform. That's where Ice Weasel comes from. I don't see anything inherently poor about the design... Binary log files are no more risky than plain text, and any logger can have bugs.

Did you know that rsyslogd will bring down your whole damn system if you use TCP logging over the network, but the destination stops accepting?

Re: VHF Lo (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in TV antennas - OTA HDTV reception on 2014-09-23 11:57 (#2STW)

Looking at what's available in your area is, indeed, step #1 in my write-up.

Just because there's a channel on some frequency in an area, doesn't mean you want to go to great lengths to get it... The channels still on VHF-lo are usually tiny little independent stations people generally don't want to watch, anyhow... often low-power TV with a tiny radius, too.

In addition, a VHF-hi antenna isn't going to be completely unable to get VHF-lo stations, it will just struggle to get the lowest ones from as far away as it can manage higher frequencies... In a very strong signal area, even a UHF antenna will pickup VHF-lo channels.

And manufacturers have basically given-up on the market. You can hardly find any of the old full-range VHF antennas that were so prevalent, before.

GUIs ruined school computer labs (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in First computer system I used on 2014-09-23 10:41 (#2STP)

I suppose my first computer experience was early Macs in the school computer lab, but I hardly even think of them as computers. They could almost have been VCRs with a keyboard and mouse dangling off of them, for all we knew. You go in, do the idiotic typing-tutor program for a few minutes, then you play some click-to-color the picture, or a puzzle game the rest of the time. Later, some office apps were there, too, and I dutifully learned how to do all kinds of crazy document formatting, year after year, over and over again, which I certainly never needed, and couldn't recall today if I tried. But something like internet access was kept strictly away from students, as they couldn't be trusted, and only rationed out very sparingly.

Without the GUI, schools couldn't have ruined/neutered computers quite so effectively, and there certainly wouldn't have been nearly so much impetus to do so (ie. no porn, less malware, etc.).

Schools don't have a clue how to use technology, in general. Time on computers is just a check-box they have to mark to show they're modern and not useless. Tell me, once TVs and VCRs pervaded classrooms, why were students still forced to READ Shakespeare plays over the course of several weeks? It does seem that K-12 was nothing but busywork, hoisted upon students like something out of Dante's inferno, used only to prove you're willing to put-up with the pain to get the supposed reward of a college education and high-paying future jobs. It's justified as "tradition", ie. school was miserable when your teachers were kids, so it should be miserable today, too.

Now, a computer lab where kids get a blank command-line on a Unix system, and have free reign to do whatever they want in their home directory (explore, program, browse with lynx, etc), THAT would be incredibly useful educational tool, so, of course, schools would never consider doing something as awful as that...

Re: How much water / house? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Largest Desalination Plant in the Hemisphere to Supply 7% of San Diego's Water on 2014-09-23 10:14 (#2SSX)

our house (two people) uses about 30,000 gallons/year. Even when we were watering a few new trees we only got to 40,000 gallons/year
Two-people is a ridiculously small household, and you are in an area where you don't have to water your yard at all, where most of the Southwest you'd have nothing but dirt unless you water the whole thing twice a week.

Re: Why no TV tuners and HDMI-input? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in What's next for tablets running Linux? on 2014-09-23 10:07 (#2STN)

I'd pair it with an amplifier (RCA preamp is only $22) and some big rabbit-ears... Then you should be good to go.

Re: Ignore Corruption?? (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in uselessd - a fork of systemd on 2014-09-23 06:00 (#2STB)

You don't have to use systemd for logging, you can continue using rsyslogd and plain-text logs if you so choose.

Re: How much water / house? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Largest Desalination Plant in the Hemisphere to Supply 7% of San Diego's Water on 2014-09-23 05:50 (#2STA)

Big difference between "water use" (measured by the house water meter) and "water footprint"
Good point, I wasn't paying attention on that one...
IBISWorld estimates that the typical single family home consumes 69.3 gallons of water per day.
That's not even close to what the EPA says:

"The average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day." -- http://www.epa.gov/watersense/pubs/indoor.html

400 * 365.25 = 146,100 gallons

That puts San Diego pretty close to average.

The USGS says almost the same, at 80-100 gallons per person, per day.

http://water.usgs.gov/edu/qa-home-percapita.html

Re: Why no TV tuners and HDMI-input? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in What's next for tablets running Linux? on 2014-09-23 05:26 (#2ST8)

Re: Possible sources (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Mysterious Mars Methane: Curiosity Sees No Sign on 2014-09-23 01:24 (#2SSW)

Yeah, you should start working on that. Let me know how it goes.

Re: Process of elimination (Score: 3, Funny)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Mysterious Mars Methane: Curiosity Sees No Sign on 2014-09-22 18:06 (#2SSC)

Methane detected from afar.
Methane not detected on ground.
Methane produced some distance above ground?
Not the best Haiku I've ever read, but highly on-topic, so there's that. Well-done.

Re: Possible sources (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Mysterious Mars Methane: Curiosity Sees No Sign on 2014-09-22 17:47 (#2SSB)

It's quite possible to harvest all the excrement, put it into enclosed tanks, and use the methane to power generators and the like rather than just allowing it to escape into the atmosphere. Such projects seem to be more common with pigs than cows, probably because the former is so toxic and unpleasant to neighbors as well.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/090610-pigs-video-ap.html

My question with cows is: What percentage of their methane emissions comes from decomposition of the solid waste? If significant portions of it is directly belched or farted into the air, it's going to be quite impractical to capture. Methane is lighter than air, so completely enclosing them inside a very tight-envelope building would work, but it would be extremely expensive to do.

Re: Slashdot Beta (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Mysterious Mars Methane: Curiosity Sees No Sign on 2014-09-22 17:40 (#2SSA)

Nope, still seeing the older site whether logged-in or anonymous. Could have been site problems.

Re: Intimidatingly great start to journaling (Score: 2, Informative)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in TV antennas - OTA HDTV reception on 2014-09-22 04:19 (#2SQN)

Question - is this your own research, or cut and paste from other sites?
It's my own summary of the state of equipment and the industry... I would have linked my sources if I was copying anything from anyone. But like my first flood of submissions, this is just a copy/paste of what I wrote-up on SoylentNews a while ago. And that was actually from my journal on /. years early, but was massively updated in the move to SN, to account for new equipment on the market, other equipment disappearing, and more.
I used to be a huge shortwave radio buff but now despite big investments in antennas, there's not much out there on the shortwaves. How is the trend going the other way in OTA television?
Shortwave, and radio more generally, is a format in decline (I'm very sorry to say), thanks largely to TV, so they're struggling for content. An interesting development is some news radio stations (CBS) playing the audio portion of TV newscasts... In addition, the growth of podcasting would seem to offer lots of fresh and cheap content ripe for syndication, but I haven't seen that happening. I consider PRI.org the best radio content out there, but they don't have many AM/FM radio stations airing their content, and certainly no shortwave stations: http://www2.pri.org/ProgramStationLocator/ProgramLocator.aspx

But I digress... video isn't going anywhere, and most original content comes from the big 4 broadcasters. And content on cable networks eventually gets syndicated on OTA channels, anyhow. In fact the switch to highdef has been driving demand for more content, combined with technology like digital cameras and CGI making it far cheaper to produce, there's ever-more and more of it coming out, not less. Industry reporters are calling today the "golden age of TV," with more big celebrities moving to the small-screen, more epic mini-series style shows coming after the success of The Sopranos, as well as technology (eg. DVRs, DVDs and Streaming allowing "binge watching") pulling-in larger and dedicated audiences. Sure, there's a flood of "reality TV," "CSI" spin-offs, and horrible sitcoms, but consider the astronomical success of: Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, House of Cards, Walking Dead, Homeland, The Blacklist, Scandal, Agents of SHIELD, etc. etc. There's a huge amount of big-budget content on the small screen right now. And even where it's on cable networks, much gets syndicated to OTA a few seasons later.

It's just a question of distribution, and OTA is by-far the most inexpensive for the viewer. Cable had an advantage with the poor picture quality of analog broadcasts, and its ability to carry more channels, but HDTV reversed things, and digital OTA provides you the best picture available. The ability for broadcasters to multiplex multiple sub-channels means OTA offers much more content than before, further reducing the need/demand for cable. DVRs (and cheap DVDs) additionally eliminated the need for all those cable channels that mostly just syndicated broadcast TV shows, all for far less than the $70/month cost of cable... $800/year could be an awful lot of DVD rentals or purchases.

In addition, Netflix/Hulu/YouTube/etc., are making their presence known. People wanted cheaper and "ala cart" cable for a long time. Now they can get their favorite shows on-demand for ~$8/month over the internet, and that mode of distribution compliments OTA antenna TV viewing quite nicely. Streaming fills-in the occasional viewing of what people might be missing from OTA, but being weighing heavy on their internet pipes, being late/slow to get the latest content, missing local news and sports entirely, and more, so OTA antennas are able to perfectly fill-in the gaps in streaming, without the astronomical cost of cable.

Re: the Verge (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Scientists raise air-breathing fish on land to test evolution on 2014-09-22 03:13 (#2SQM)

No, I "have something against people who" are prejudiced, self-righteous and feel the need to lob insults at others. It only just happens to be coming from an atheist this time around.

Re: This is why I read |. (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Jeff Hoogland announces he'll step down as leader of Bodhi Linux on 2014-09-21 21:16 (#2SQA)

I stand corrected... They eventually rejected the story.

Re: the Verge (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Scientists raise air-breathing fish on land to test evolution on 2014-09-21 05:26 (#2SPD)

I'm not aware of any religion which requires "unquestioning belief". It's common for the religious to examine their beliefs, and sometimes to struggle with faith.

I guess we could say atheism requires an unhealthy excess of skepticism, ego and self-confidence, and a complete lack of humility.

That's not to say that atheists can't be perfectly good scientists, but a certain mistrust until they've proven themselves isn't actually entirely unreasonable.

Re: the Verge (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Scientists raise air-breathing fish on land to test evolution on 2014-09-21 03:59 (#2SPA)

Condemning a person or organization for identifying as Christian, is just as bad as condemning them for identify as atheist... CSMonitor is actually one of the most reputable sources of news out there.

Here are some +5 comments about CSMonitor on /.

http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4075989&cid=44533929

http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4075989&cid=44533281

http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4075989&cid=44533567

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=188407&cid=15530463

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=188407&cid=15530813

Re: Economics Still Not Quite There? (Score: 2, Funny)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in California Basking in Record Amount of Electricity from Solar on 2014-09-20 18:04 (#2SNM)

Re: Economics Still Not Quite There? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in California Basking in Record Amount of Electricity from Solar on 2014-09-20 18:01 (#2SNK)

On the high-end of 100mi/day (just 5 days/week), I get close to $3,000/year in gasoline, for a break-even of just 5 years.

And that's being extra-generous to your "35mpg gas econobox," since you'll waste gas idling in traffic, while an EV won't, your mileage will suffer significantly in city driving, you might have to go significantly out-of-your-way to fuel-up, etc.

I tend to agree the payoff isn't there if you don't drive as much, but there's a significant use-case where PEVs already do pay-off, right now, and I'd love to see a small plug-in hybrid SUV...

Re: Re-Morse? (Score: 2, Interesting)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Quietnet: a simple chat program using inaudible sounds on 2014-09-20 02:16 (#2SMW)

For the post-apocalyptic future, you should stock-up on low-power computer and ham radio equipment, in a bunker and sufficiently EMP shielded. Shortwave radio would definitely be the fastest and cheapest way to bootstrap regional, national, and international communications systems again.

In the longer term, as long as people are around who remember which technologies worked out and which ones were dead-ends, and which feats were possible and which were never realized, the world would be rebuilt from the dirt, to largely-modern standards, pretty quickly. First farming the most successful crops, then engines and electricity, then information exchange. I

f you're going to lay a wire, you wouldn't resort to dial-up, at least not for long, but would jump up to something faster, like DSL or right to fiber optics.

Re: Economics Still Not Quite There? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in California Basking in Record Amount of Electricity from Solar on 2014-09-19 23:16 (#2SMQ)

The Middle East only has oil, which isn't used for electric generation almost anywhere, so solar panels aren't a direct replacement. Rising oil prices would spur adoption of PEVs, which might slightly increase electric prices, indirectly, but not too badly. A study of PEV owners shows they choose the option of peak/off-peak metering from the electric company, and then charge their EVs starting right at midnight, when rates are lowest. The higher electrical demand makes PV more attractive at homes with PEVs, too, but it's still a rather indirect relationship.

Germany certainly has a lot of solar capacity installed, but I don't think ANYBODY wants to copy that model... They got it done by driving electricity prices through the roof, several times higher than the highest electric prices in the US, to pay for it.

Re: Electrical (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in DARPA develops tiny implants that treat diseases and depression without medication on 2014-09-18 19:46 (#2SK2)

I would be very careful about that line of thinking... The current, ever-expanding definition of the term "sex offender" should be all the cautionary tale you would need.

Remember, if a woman regrets having sex with you, even a week later, the feminazis want you punished like any other rapist. THAT'S NOT AN EXAGGERATION. That has been instituted on several college campuses recently, and that's how we get so many mainstream news stories claiming women have a 1 in 4 chance of being raped, when the actual number is around 8%.

Right now, a teenager having sex with his slightly under-aged girlfriend can result in serving jail-time, and being a registered sex offender for the rest of his life, nearly unemployable and almost certainly homeless (since almost everywhere is too close to a school) for the rest of his life, under current laws.

Even an under-aged girl sending nude photos to her under-aged boyfriend, and him responding in kind, results in the boy getting prosecuted for producing child porn (of himself):

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/09/virginia-teen-sexting-cops-penis-photo/12434813/

With current laws so completely ridiculous one-sided and extremely heavy-handed, I have no faith at all that newer technology would be used properly. Instead, you could end up with the entire male population forced to get such implants.

Re: Why no TV tuners and HDMI-input? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in What's next for tablets running Linux? on 2014-09-18 18:46 (#2SK0)

According to WP:

1st Gen: 6.6 million
2nd Gen: 4.2 million units
3rd Gen: 6 million units

I've never seen them around, either, but unless the same 7 million Apple fans keep upgrading, they must be out there in a decent number of homes.

Here's the other side (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in How Made In Space's 3-D Printer Could Revolutionize the Final Frontier on 2014-09-18 05:47 (#2SHX)

Just found this study, sponsored by NASA and the U.S. Air Force, that's a major downer on 3D printing in space, stressing all the limitations and saying the media has been exaggerating the benefits:

http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=18871

Re: Why no TV tuners and HDMI-input? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in What's next for tablets running Linux? on 2014-09-18 00:12 (#2SHQ)

There are actually just 4 major terrestrial digital TV broadcast standards in the world:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Digital_broadcast_standards.svg

The various details of each (eg. codecs) are handled in software easily enough. Heck, if you just have a basic tuner that can grab a ~6MHz chunk of the spectrum in the target frequencies, software defined radio could do all the RF decoding for you. Only problem for SDR is that old analog TV tuner cards separated video from audio before output, so chunks of the digital signal are missing, and you have to jump up to ridiculously expensive specialized non-consumer hardware. One company demanding such a thing could push the economies of scale, and get it very cheap.

I don't see any reason to include satellite/cable/etc tuners. OTA is the only one that'll be convenient for tablet use. If you want cable/satellite on your tablet once you've wall-mounted it, you can use whatever converter box is convenient, via HDMI input.

Re: Electrical (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in DARPA develops tiny implants that treat diseases and depression without medication on 2014-09-17 20:21 (#2SHE)

That's not Sci-Fi, it has been standard operating procedure for the past half-century. Convicted rapists in many situations (depending on jurisdiction) have been required to take pills or injections that reduce sexual urges, as a condition of their parole for many years. It has been happening in the US since 1966, and is law in several states. In Europe, Alan Turing chose that punishment for his homosexuality, rather than jail time, back in 1952:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_castration

Why no TV tuners and HDMI-input? (Score: 3, Insightful)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in What's next for tablets running Linux? on 2014-09-17 20:08 (#2SHD)

Why don't tablet makers include HDTV tuners, and HDMI inputs?

For minimal extra cost, your tablet would be much more flexible, and have a vastly longer useful life-span.

Just imagine that your beloved tablet could double as a computer monitor. That would be a killer feature for any techies. Adding that capability to a laptop costs over $300, and people are happy to pay it: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002CLKFTQ/

And once your tablet gets to be a bit out-of-date, instead of throwing it away, you can just mount it on a wall connected to your antenna as a (free) 10" HDTV. And a very "smart" TV it is, at that, able to integrate Netflix/Hulu/etc. streaming without needing an extra $50 Roku/Chromecast box attached to it.

Or if you don't have a need for a small TV, it can go on your desk, doing duty as an LCD computer monitor. Heck, you could use it as a computer monitor right away, and just have the option to use your monitor as a tablet for quick tasks without starting-up your noisy and power-hungry main computer.

And that's not even mentioning the benefit tablet users would get from having a handy HDTV tuner with them all the time. In most cities, an internal antenna is good enough to pick-up several TV channels, so you'd have lots of free content available whenever you wanted to watch, without the need for high-speed internet access for streaming the video. Of course there's always the option of connecting a larger external antenna, even if just a long piece of wire yu scrounged up, in reception-poor areas.

Re: already on soylent (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Los Angeles Area Public Broadcasters KLCS & KCET to Share Single Channel on 2014-09-17 19:34 (#2SHB)

I don't have any problem with story rejection... not at all. I just think that "somebody else got there first" shouldn't be a singularly disqualifying offense, unless you really want |. to be a second-class citizen to all other sites, and basically force your readers to go elsewhere. I certainly don't want to see |. copy the junk SN posts, either, but |. shouldn't lose out on any interesting stories just because it isn't always first, here.

Re: already on soylent (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Los Angeles Area Public Broadcasters KLCS & KCET to Share Single Channel on 2014-09-17 08:27 (#2SG7)

EVERYTHING I've submitted has already been on Soylent... I submitted them there, first. That didn't stop several of them making the front-page of |. just fine, and getting positive comments. And I certainly wouldn't like |. just to be an "overflow" site, of topics Soylent didn't find interesting enough to cover.

Re: Just not preloaed... (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in What's next for tablets running Linux? on 2014-09-17 06:55 (#2SG4)

Open hardware doesn't mean project boards, it means stuff like the Nexus 7... You might notice the Nexus 7 has sold pretty well.

It can still come with Android, it just needs to have documentation so a non-proprietary Linux kernel can be bootstrapped, and drivers for video/wifi/etc. can be written.

Nothing about Android forces OEMs to be "open", they're allowed to keep the specs secret, and depending on binary-blob drivers, but as long as there are manufacturers of open hardware, the community can unite behind their devices as a platform, and provide Linux and perhaps other OSes for it.

The Nexus 7 absolutely already exists, and it is a nice place to start...

Re: This is cool stuff. (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in Boron Nitride Nanotubes Getting Commercial R&D, Likely Future Armor on 2014-09-17 05:26 (#2SG3)

Yeah, that's basically the argument I just had over at SoylentNews.

Specifically, they're posting lots of political flamebait and other crap stories, and clearly have no interest in sticking to sci/tech. While my comment did (eventually) get modded-up to +5, it seems apparent that my plea fell on completely deaf ears:

http://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=3912&cid=93644

Examples such as paulej72 saying science stories just don't get enough (whatever that is) comments:

http://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=3912&cid=93940

That, plus my repeated reasoned and fully-cited pleas for the same, from back to the start of the site, clearly having no positive effect:

http://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid=188&cid=3808

As well as incidents, such as them asking for community input, such as the poll asking how frequently stories should be posted to the front-page, then stating that they reached a different answer internally, and blatantly disregarding the community input.

In short (too late!), I sincerely hope pipedot doesn't post a story about "Science, Atheism, and Captain Kirk" like Slashdot and SoylentNews both did, which essentially caused me to abandon all hope for them both, and come here...

Just not preloaed... (Score: 2, Interesting)

by evilviper@pipedot.org in What's next for tablets running Linux? on 2014-09-17 04:29 (#2SG1)

I don't understand the pessimism in the summary. It even mentioned that the Nexus 7 can be re-purposed by anyone who wants to. Just buy one, and install Linux on it.

http://liliputing.com/2013/02/how-to-install-ubuntu-touch-on-a-nexus-7-with-windows-mac-or-linux.html

http://news.softpedia.com/news/How-to-Install-Ubuntu-on-Nexus-7-323489.shtml

As long as the tablet hardware is open, those who are interested in Linux will be able to install and use it. And supporting open hardware is a far more important goal than (locked-down) Linux preloaded on a tablet.

In addition, there are convertible x86 laptops that can look and work an awful lot like a tablet.

Personally, I'm happy to skip the fad... I always get my phone with a hardware keyboard, and I'm hardly going to be interested in a bigger and more expensive device without one. Chromebooks look like a good source of cheap laptop hardware for Linux aficionados to me.
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