JabrTheHut writes "An Australian team is seeking funding for bringing an interesting idea to market: cylinder engines without piston rings. The idea is to use small groves that create a pressure wave that acts as a seal for the piston, eliminating the piston ring and the associated friction. Engines will then run cooler, can be more energy efficient and may even burn fuel more efficiently, at least according to the story at http://www.motoring.com.au/news/2013/aussie-invention-eliminates-piston-rings-40773. Mind you, they haven't even built a working prototype yet. If it works I'd love to fit this into an older car..." top
JabrTheHut writes "I'm driving around a 30 year old car with a broken radio — it only plays AM, and even then not very well (fades in and out, static, etc). As it's such an old car, the radio fits into a non-standard enclosure. Finding a replacement radio is next to impossible. I've tried, and most wreckers don't even stock parts for such an old car any more. I started thinking of buying a kit and doing it myself — but I can't seem to find nearly as many kits now as when I was growing up. The few kits that I've found seem to have been designed before the 80s — no display, only blind tuning, mono sound, etc. Ideally I'd like a kit that did everything — digital display, USB or other input for MP3 players, AM and FM stereo. There seems to be nothing even remotely approaching that on the market. Am I missing something or someone? Or has the kit market stagnated for the last 30 years?" top
JabrTheHut writes "I'll be packing up and moving to another continent soon. Everything I own will be packed up into boxes and loaded onto a cargo container, which in turn will be loaded onto a ship and will sail from Northern Europe, through the Equator and then to it's final destination. It will be in transit for up to 8 weeks. What do I need to do to ensure my stuff survives the trip? I've got anti-static bags and silica gel for graphics cards and hard disks, which won't be in the computers, mostly, when they move, and some of what I own will be crated in order to protect both against physical damage and humidity. I'll throw in a couple of packets of silica gel into each box or crate. Clothes get moth balls. But what have I missed? Will the printer ink survive? Do I have to worry about batteries? What haven't I thought of?" top
JabrTheHut writes "I've recently swapped to Android from an old iPhone 3GS. The model I bought was one advertised heavily in the UK, the LG Optimus L3 E400. After a month or so, I'm really disappointed. The phone is just too annoying to use. The flaws I see every day are:
1. It's slow. Way slower than it's processor should indicate. I've tried making sure only one or two apps are running in the background, but it's still really really slow. 2. No built-in spell checker. I really am amazed at this, but there appears to be no fix. You just have to learn not to make typing mistakes. 3. The email apps all have serious flaws. I've downloaded K9 right next to the default email app, and one can't search emails while the other can't attach documents. The fix for this is apparently to swap between the two util someone can be bothered fixing the issue. 4. The soft keyboard isn't easy to use. This may be tied to point 1 above, or 5 below. It certainly makes 2 more annoying. 5. It came pre-installed with Gingerbread. Yep, that's a 3-year old OS on a brand new phone. There's no custom ROM as yet. Given the phone is so slow, will upgrading to the latest make it worse? Will upgrading fix any of the above issues?
All in all, I'm not impressed. If this is what Android is like, my next phone will be an iPhone." top
JabrTheHut writes "Over on the register they're reporting on an apparently widespread problem with Samsung's latest and greatest phone. From the article: "The glitch sees the handset drop the audio volume of its own accord. The phone goes suddenly silent, without warning.." Poor software testing from Samsung." Link to Original Source top
Icelandic MP to challenge US Court Ruling on Twitt
JabrTheHut writes "The Guardian has a story of how Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, a former Wikileaks volunteer, is challenging the US' acquisition of Twitter account information, IP addresses, mailing addresses and even bank information. The US says it wanted these details to help with it's investigation into Wikileaks founder Julian Assange." Link to Original Source top
JabrTheHut writes "I have a one-off requirement to design a piece of furniture. It will be somewhat complicated with some parts that fold up, down, or out. I have done one or two technical drawing courses, but that was more than 15 years ago. I haven't used any technical drawing software before. What's the best package or packages to get me started, and is there anything out there that will help me visualise what the finished product will look like?" top
JabrTheHut writes "Google's Eric Schmidt has criticised Apple for "suing instead of innovating." This follows the ITC's initial ruling against Android phone maker and Google customer HTC. I can see Schmidt's point — there's been nothing new for Google to copy for almost a year now." Link to Original Source top
JabrTheHut writes "I live in a block of flats, and mail is placed in a bank of mailboxes, one per flat. My mailbox happens to be placed such that the top is just below my belly button, making for awkward checking of mail every day. To make matters worse, it's close to the door, meaning that if I'm checking mail, I'm blocking the exit. I'm asking the Slashdot crowd — what is the optimal method of checking mail while maintaining grace and dignity? Do you bend your knees and lean back, Matrix style? Bend forward and present a target to passers by? Something else?"