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Bicycle Bottle System Condenses Humidity From Air Into Drinkable Water

EmperorArthur Re:Hmmm ... (167 comments)

Post to undo bad mod.
Ugh, really with they had an undo button.

about a month ago
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As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal

EmperorArthur Re:great news. (407 comments)

Under US Federal law it doesn't matter. If parent had any amount of drugs it's a felony, and in many areas comes with a mandatory minimum sentence. If parent has over an arbitrary amount of a drug then it's considered "possession with intent to distribute," which is a felony that can result in jail times longer than if parent had killed someone

Also, statistically, if someone arrested is not white then expect a harsher sentence in the US.

about 2 months ago
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Apple To Face $350 Million Trial Over iPod DRM

EmperorArthur Re:DRM on ... apps? (135 comments)

Actually that's a common justification for piracy. Ex: "I've already paid for it once, I'm not paying $XX just to get a Blue Ray version."

The thing to remember about phone apps is they tend to transfer within the same ecosystem. You buy an app for your old phone, and it'll pop up on your new phone as well.

PC software piracy is alive and well. Just look at any college where the students have to use proprietary software. Sure they could go to the labs, but they want it on their PCs and can't afford the $1000s per copy licence fee.

about 3 months ago
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Boeing Told To Replace Cockpit Screens Affected By Wi-Fi

EmperorArthur Re:Faraday Cage / Tempest (142 comments)

As I mentioned in another post, PILOTS use tablets now. It's a huge weight saver vs tons of paper maps. Sure they're supposed to turn the WiFi off on those things, but mistakes happen.

about 3 months ago
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Boeing Told To Replace Cockpit Screens Affected By Wi-Fi

EmperorArthur Re:Boeing says not a theoretical problem ... (142 comments)

The funny part being that iPads and the MS Surfaces are rated for Cockpit use. Pilots are now using these all the time because it saves them from having to carry around 30lbs worth of paper charts. It's kind of a big deal if the pilot isn't allowed to double check where he or she is going because the plane might break. Oh, and when I say carry around I mean it. Things like charts are per pilot, not per aircraft.

about 3 months ago
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Breakthrough In LED Construction Increases Efficiency By 57 Percent

EmperorArthur Re:The real breakthrough - no more electrolytic ca (182 comments)

While it seems like a good idea to have a low voltage circuit, there some unfortunate realities that have to be taken into consideration. Mainly you need much thicker wiring to keep your resistive losses low. It's actually cheaper to have a transformer in the light fixture itself than it is to run heavy guage wire everywhere. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

about 3 months ago
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In France, a Second Patient Receives Permanent Artificial Heart

EmperorArthur Re:Tragic technology failure ... (183 comments)

Compared to out-of-control, control is nice; but compared to 'just fucking works' it's a thankless chore and a good opportunity to make mistakes.

+1

Though to be fair, there are many inconveniences people will put up with to not be dead or in a hospital.

about 3 months ago
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Facebook's Auto-Play Videos Chew Up Expensive Data Plans

EmperorArthur Re:autoplay sucks anyway (108 comments)

If slashdot ever decided to pull this shit

Doesn't it? I don't have flash installed so it doesn't happen to me, but I seem to remember it beginning to occur recently if I visited slashdot with chrome

Is it the ads? For all that site operators hate Ad blockers they forget to look at the bandwidth and compute resources their own advertisements take up. Especially flash ads.

Of course, even if most sites did fix that issue, all it takes is one obnoxious site that's needed for something to convince a person to install an Ad blocker. Then there's the user tracking aspect....

about 3 months ago
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Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

EmperorArthur Re:There is actually one problem with opensource (185 comments)

I've prototyped a few boards with KiCad and didn't even know about it. I'm going to spend some time trying to find it now. Honestly, it's great software, but even after memorizing some of the shortcuts I feel like Eagle is faster and easier to use. Plus the inconsistent naming with footprints being called modules, and other small UI usability issues are annoying. I guess it's a familiarity issue, but once again a commercial company has become something of a hobbyist standard. I'm still using KiCad though...

about 4 months ago
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Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

EmperorArthur Re:There is actually one problem with opensource (185 comments)

If I were in charge of something like the city of Munich I would put out a memo that says, "If you talk to a large software vendor then your continued employment is unlikely."

Wow, I would never want to work for you. I mean I love Linux and open source. Heck, don't even have Windows installed on any of my PCs, but to say no proprietary thing ever.... There are really neat things and software packages out there. Sure they cost a fortune, but the Open Source versions are crap in comparison. Then you have to deal with industry standards / common training. This is where Microsoft has traditionally won, but their ribbon interface and Windows 8 threw those advantages out the window.

Here's a few examples. Cad software. There are FOSS versions available, but proprietary versions, like Eagle, are significantly easier to use. Another example is DMX lighting controller software. The Hog 3 PC software sucks and costs a fortune, but it's commonly used and the FOSS versions are unusable for large on the fly modification.

A common retort is to just hire a person to code what is needed. Here's the thing, I can't. First, because I need the software now not two years from now. Second, because in many organizations the equipment budget is handled separately from the labor budget. Good luck trying to shuffle that money around.

With all that said, I'm glad Munich has stayed the course. There's no way this rollout could have been easy, but they did it!

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

EmperorArthur Re:Many languages and... (729 comments)

Anyhow, if you prefer to not religiously bracket your if/else conditions, the behavior of semicolons in your language can cause problems.

Some people hate this because brackets "clutter" the code, but Apple's goto fail bug was caused by a developer accidentally duplicating a line, and not bracketing the if() statement.

about 4 months ago
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How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

EmperorArthur Re:TI calculators are not outdated, just overprice (359 comments)

Adding to that, the TI calculators are also programmable. Unless they're checked right before the test is taken, then someone can still put whatever they want on them.

about 4 months ago
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Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

EmperorArthur Re:Welcome to Australia, Ferengi. (139 comments)

overall, very few products I've encountered are that shabbily made (in fact the only one I can think of was a portable DVD player made by a company which went bankrupt anyway a few months later, so I would've been out the warranty even if I'd bought it in the EU).

Haven't bought a Toshiba have you? They have a 3 month warranty, they DMCA repair guides, you can't get parts to fix them yourself, and repairs start at over $200 then go up. When there shit breaks within 6 to 9 months it doesn't make me a happy customer.

about 4 months ago
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UPS: We've Been Hacked

EmperorArthur Re:FTA... (62 comments)

Nah, an infected USB key would do it. So would a phishing attempt that most people ignored. UPS stores are franchise operations, so it's not too hard to imagine something like this slipping through the cracks for a tiny percentage of the stores.

about 3 months ago
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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

EmperorArthur Re:They can already cut off your service (299 comments)

You don't need a kill switch built in to the phone. You just cut the service off at the carrier.
The capability already exists.

Denial of Service has happened in the past. I believe BART did this to try and deal with protesters. The thing is that cell phones still connect to towers even if the SIM card is removed, and you're excluding the phones that don't even have SIM cards. As has been previously mentioned we're going to start seeing stories about "undesirables" phones being wiped.

about 4 months ago
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Comcast Training Materials Leaked

EmperorArthur Re:Is there an counter to this? (251 comments)

Does anyone have a script a customer can stick to when dealing with Comcast?

The Comcast call center script, with points values, was leaked a while ago. If you want to annoy the other person then you can just read off what number and the section heading as they go through it.

Just don't forget to record the call, otherwise they'll do things like charge you for something that they said was free.

about 4 months ago
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Comcast Training Materials Leaked

EmperorArthur Re:McDonallds should sue ... (251 comments)

Isn't it in McD's training manual to upsell as well. Not that I love Comcast or McDonalds, but if this isn't standard operating procedure, then you aren't doing your shareholders right.

This is more like telling the person in McDonalds that your burger is nothing but two piece of bread and them saying, "Sorry this isn't close to what you ordered, but do you want fries with it?"

Comcast can only get away with these scummy tactics because most of us don't have a choice. It's Comcast or no TV. More relevant to Slashdot, it's Comcast or dialup. Just think, if they buy Time Warner then almost everyone will enjoy the suffering.

about 4 months ago
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The Flight of Gifted Engineers From NASA

EmperorArthur Re:People acutaly LIKE the open floor plans? (160 comments)

It's probably more like people like offices that don't look like they were built in the 60s. It can get depressing in some of those buildings.

about 4 months ago
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3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

EmperorArthur Re:Follow the money (393 comments)

Speaking as someone who's lived in Huntsville, AL, do you really think all those people joined NASA just because it's a job? Sure some of the contractors may think that way, but plenty of people I know who work on that stuff in Huntsville are cheering SpaceX on. We want cheap Human spaceflight, and we want it now dammit.

An important thing to remember is that people who are affected by something like this are smart. In many cases they actually are "rocket scientists." The politicians are listening to the corporations, NOT their constituents.

about 4 months ago

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