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Comments

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Is Alibaba Comparable To a US Company?

Khyber There's only one thing Alibaba needs to fix (107 comments)

It is a great fucking company. I use it for sourcing all kinds of things. The biggest problem is that their clients quite often have a poor grasp of English. Example, I'm currently looking for a small fan. I need it to ATTACH to a T8 LED and maintain roughly the same profile.

All I get are either quotes for 80mm computer fans, or T8 LED tubes. I even include a picture of the device I have in operation, with a rigged 80mm fan and plastic ducting strapped to the end of the T8 LED tube. It's like they ignore the picture, ignore everything, and only focus on key words. This leads to some of the shittiest customer service I've ever received. I want a fan, not a light. I already have the light, can't you see in the picture?

There are some foreign companies on there with excellent English skills. Those almost always get my business because the transaction and sourcing experience is so much easier.

If Alibaba could fix that one glaring issue, they'll be eating everyone's lunch.

12 hours ago
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Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

Khyber The real answer is ILLEGAL LABOR (371 comments)

You keep hearing about it in the news, Apple claims to do something to fix it, and more often than not it's the exact same company in the news again for illegal labor practices.

Apple is able to build their own stuff by buying machines with money saved by utilizing illegal labor.

Let's not sugar coat this bullshit any more than it needs it, okay Slashdot?

yesterday
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Google's Doubleclick Ad Servers Exposed Millions of Computers To Malware

Khyber Re:And they wonder why I block ads... (218 comments)

" I reserve the right to pick and choose the fonts, to pick and choose the colours, to pick and choose the pictures, and to pick and choose the bits of content of every web page that's offered to me. "

I could guarantee you don't have the right and you don't even have the technological capability to do so unless you're intercepting the packets and re-writing the code on the fly.

Which means you're obviously not using HTTPS and thus you're a moron ripe for security hijacking.

2 days ago
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Dealership Commentator: Tesla's Going To Win In Every State

Khyber Re:Spot on (153 comments)

"In your scenario your going to hate it when you need warranty work and the dealers tell you that you need to take it to an authorized warranty repair center for directly purchased cars."

Boy, those dealers are going to hate it when I hit them with a breach of the Anti-tying provisions of the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act.

2 days ago
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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

Khyber Re:You don't need to make "deals" (325 comments)

"You misspelt nowhere,"

I haven't had a single problem using Google Wallet anywhere, from TN to CA to WA. That's including stores and banks.

3 days ago
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FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

Khyber Re:Link (324 comments)

"Video calls? You need a good upload link if you're going to make that work, or the quality is so crappy it won't be workable."

Please. I've been running Camfrog Video Chats on a 5/1 line for almost a decade without a problem. That's dozens of video cams up at once, with frame rates so fluid deaf people can sign over video chat and be understood perfectly.

3 days ago
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Why Is It Taking So Long To Secure Internet Routing?

Khyber APK is why it takes so long (85 comments)

'Nuff said. Can't get shit done with his constant bullshit spouting.

4 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Khyber Re:Parallax. (424 comments)

"Automobile magazines take pictures of cars from as far away as practical, so that the part of the car closer to the camera doesn't look substantially larger than the part of the car further from the lens."

Funny, most car magazines I have use forced perspective to make that front end look a lot bigger. That's everything from Auto Trader to Motorsports Magazine.

4 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Khyber Re:Parallax. (424 comments)

Yea. You're trying to argue with someone that deals with optics for a living (specifically, LED lighting and concentrating lenses.)

You can bring your insults around all you want. You're an amateur in the face of a global professional. This is why I've been on the BBC for making plants grow WITHOUT LIGHT AT ALL. I know light better than most anybody here on this site.

4 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Khyber Re:No you don't. Saw your post history (424 comments)

No, he didn't show shit. He posted nonsense without any backing links. He deliberately went off-topic to keep talking.

He's not going to be talking for much longer. People he's pissed off have his info, I have it now.

Do I dox or do I take care of business myself?

4 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Khyber Re:Welcome to the world of "YOU FAIL", loser (424 comments)

You annihilated nobody.

By the way, I know your address. Expect a few 'well-being' check ups, if not a visit from myself, personally, with the white coats in tow.

So 'secure' in your HOSTS that you forget that your personal info, which can do a lot more damage, is already out on the net thanks to people you've pissed off.

4 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Khyber Re:Parallax. (424 comments)

Zoom and telephoto are one and the same, just one is adjustable. Who's the one that needs to do their homework?

Oh, and go to Edmund Optics so you can get kits to MAKE YOUR OWN. You can get a 10mm-1000mm focal length kit for around $300.

Back to school for you. I've been at this for 17 years, since high school photography elective.

4 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Khyber Re:Parallax. (424 comments)

Hi, welcome to the world of 10mm-1000mm focal length telephoto lenses. You know, the ones so large you need to have an additional bipod minimum to support the lens while the tripod holds the camera. *shakes head* Seriously? How the hell do you think amateur astronomers get decent pictures of Jupiter and Saturn without a telescope? Lenses with a HUGE adjustable focal length, that are almost the size of the telescope itself. Might as well be a telescope at that point. Nice large aperture, too. AND THEN for shits and giggles you can throw a 5x Vivitar telezoom lens between that lens and the camera (assuming you have lenses using the same mount style.)

You must be confused with the DSLR world, thinking typical DSLR lenses. Plenty of HUGE lenses from back in the 60s even that have adapters to work with cameras of today.

5 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Khyber Re:Parallax. (424 comments)

Hey, look, someone else that OBVIOUSLY knows what they're talking about, opposed to the dozen or so other idiots on here that can't be bothered to DO THE RESEARCH THEMSELVES and come to the exact same conclusion.

Betting 10:1 Kyosuke, Graphius, etc are Apple fans talking absolute nonsense Especially graphius, who has never heard of anything with a possible 30X optical.

5 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Khyber Re:Parallax. (424 comments)

"Otherwise you wouldn't be trying to hide something using perspective from across a room."

You wouldn't for large objects, no. You would for small objects, as at smaller sizes and greater distances detail drops. It's like you failed some of that basic geometry, yourself. Do you even raster render or 3D model?

5 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Khyber Re:Parallax. (424 comments)

You very obviously have zero respect for the scientific process, which includes testing every angle, variable, or possibility.

So no, you're the one doing things wrong. Meanwhile, I've run through every available option and come to the conclusion that this is indeed photographic manipulation.

What've you done, again?

5 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Khyber Re:Parallax. (424 comments)

" I am not aware of a zoom lens with a range greater than 16x"

>never heard of mount adapters to use manual lenses from much older 35mm SLR cameras

"He spent all that money on photography gear and still doesn't understand perspective..."

I understand perspective just fine, which is why I've always been the photographer and graphic designer for the websites I've run or managed. I also understand parallax just fine. And I also understand that up close or far away, the bump still shows up, unless you're BLIND. Funnily enough, I have macular degeneration in my natural cameras, and I can still see the bump, either up-close to my face, or far away, same flat edge-on viewing angle.

And that's WITHOUT my glasses.

5 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Khyber Re:Parallax. (424 comments)

"Mine" being my fiance's (he has the iPhone, I have a ZTE Score.)

Still in my hands.

5 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Khyber Re:Parallax. (424 comments)

I know very well what I'm doing. I think you're missing some inherent and unimplied context. Given there's a hand in the picture, the FOV and assumable distance pretty much makes it impossible to hide the bump. Given the lack of detail, one would have likely taken the picture from further away to reduce the pixel detail levels, as you stated, and then likely just used a line tool to wipe a clean horizontal edge. That's assuming this is an actual photograph. It really looks more like a CG rendering given it's doing pixel-perfect horizontal lines, hard-clipped. Either CG or photoshopped.

5 days ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Khyber Re:and the line was? (424 comments)

You mean besides the fact the NSA practically has a camera up our asses anyways? :D

5 days ago

Submissions

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Reddit Moderator Outs Reddit Admins

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about two weeks ago

Khyber (864651) writes "While the censorship is strong over at Reddit, details from a (former) moderator of one of the largest subreddits on the site have been leaked in the form of an an audio recording of a Skype conversation between an unidentified journalist and the moderator himself. User posts are being deleted rapidly from Reddit over in the /r/gaming subreddit, users are being shadowbanned, or hard-banned. (I've had my account dropped.) Really interesting parts of the 50-minute long audio sit around ~10:30 and ~26 minute marks, where the moderator details threats made against him and other moderators, and also a bit near the end regarding their censorship/spam control tools, and how anyone can effectively be banned for any made up reason, commonly-used ones being vote manipulation, brigading, and alt account creation. There is also talk about how subreddits for encryption get monitored much more closely and censored much more often than larger subreddits, such as /r/gaming.

As someone I know has put it, "...given that Reddit says that it views itself as a government for a new type of community, this is disturbing.""

Link to Original Source
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SoylentNews Blocks Submitters From Criticism

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about 6 months ago

Khyber (864651) writes "I've gotten tired of SoylentNews' clique.

I tried to submit a story regarding their blockage of legitimate complaints, I got banned from IRC and the website.

Looks like Soylent (thanks to Mattie_P) is worse than Slashdot.

I take back my 'visit this site' sig. I'm done with this site."
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Last.fm spies on your Skype Activity

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Khyber writes "A good anon has found out and informed me that Last.fm spies on Skype calls. I use both, so I decided to follow his steps. I started by going to diagnostics (though I am linking his provided pictures) and and this is what one can expect to find. Last.fm makes zero notifications that it will listen in on VOIP programs like Skype. Are there any other programs out there that we should be aware of which do this? I would really enjoy not using such privacy-invading programs."
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Violation of ToS Should not be a Crime

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Khyber writes "Three data and security breach notification bills have been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, one of which includes an amendment that adds clarity with regards to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. These three bills would require businesses to develop data privacy and security plans, and it would set a federal standard for notifying individuals of breaches of very sensitive personally identifiable information, such as credit card information or medical records. This clarification is welcomed, making the statute more focused towards hackers and identity thieves, instead of consumers that run afoul of ToS or AUPs of websites and service providers."
Link to Original Source
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FBI hacked by LulzSec, Whitehat Fraud Exposed

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Khyber writes "LulzSec's Failboat continues to sail beautiful waters as now they have exposed fraud and anti-trust violations against members of an FBI post in Atlanta."
Link to Original Source
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Amazon Takes Wikileaks Offline, Sells Cables

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Khyber writes "Irony, thine name is Amazon. After shutting down Wikileaks, an Amazon user has re-packaged a set of the cables in an E-book format and is selling them on Amazon. Of course, through this, Amazon makes a profit from part of the sale, and has yet to issue any statement regarding this. Many users of the site are expressing extreme displeasure at Amazon profiting from something they they originally had available for free, and there might be a possible backlash just in time for the Christmas season."
Link to Original Source
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Website assets being stolen - What can I do?

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Khyber writes "My site assets are being ripped off, in some cases word-for-word, other cases frame shots of animations on my page. Here's the violating site, and here is my site for comparison. Unfortunately, it appears this site is foreign, and I'm not entirely sure what to do next. I've already contacted my legal advisors and site maintainers. What other steps should I take? I don't think I can get the DMCA to apply here, are there any treaties that could hold any hope for me?"
Link to Original Source
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Leaked E-mails Show Barwinska Case 'Shaky'

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Khyber writes "More perusal of the recently-leaked ACS:Law e-mails have shown that the 2008 Isabella Barwinska case was built upon rather dubious grounds. This is starting to look worse for 'Pay up or else' litigation firms that have begun popping up across the world, as it shows that there is no real solid foundation behind the exorbitant damages awarded to the copyright holders, which are employing firms using the Barwinska case as a strong-arm tactic to scare people into payment."
Link to Original Source
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Anti-Piracy firm e-mails reveal firm scam

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Khyber writes "A recent DDoS attack against a UK-based anti-pirating firm, known as ACS:Law, has resulted in a large backup archive of the server contents being made available for download, which has been done and is now being hosted by the Pirate Bay. Within this archive are e-mails from Andrew Crossley basically admitting that he is running a scam job, sending out thousands of frivolous legal threats on the premise that a percentage pay up immediately to avoid legal hassles."
Link to Original Source
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China's Site-blocking Software is Pirated

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Khyber writes "PC Makers are going to be in a bind when it comes to selling PCs to China. With new mandates that censorware must be shipped with all new PCs sold in China, people have turned their heads towards the software behind this. Turns out that this software not only uses .DLL files from CyberSitter, but it also updates from their servers, and there are even more security holes to be exploited than before."
Link to Original Source
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Porn Industry Needs a Hand-out as Well

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Khyber writes "It looks like not even the porn industry is recession-proof as it seems that the big porn producers are having problems keeping up sales in light of internet sites like redtube which give away their porn for free."
Link to Original Source
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Toyota Backs Away From DesktopNexus

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Khyber writes "Slashdot recently covered the ongoing potential litigation against DesktopNexus, which included the demand that all images containing a Toyota, Scion, or Lexus were to be taken offline. Being an owner of one of those images, I immediately fired a very sternly-worded email (with help from a lawyer.) Toyota has capitulated, as noted here in their response to me:

"Thank you for contacting Toyota with your comments and concerns regarding the use of vehicle images. The letter asking the DesktopNexus site to remove all images featuring a Toyota, Scion or Lexus vehicle was the result of miscommunication at Toyota, which we regret.

Copyright law protects the creative work product of artists, photographers, and other creators. Toyota respects these rights, including those of photographers who work with Toyota. Toyota purchases the rights to the images it posts on its sites, and welcomes public use of those images where we have the rights to give. However, this permission is limited to editorial or personal use, not commercial use, such as advertising any products or services. That's because the photographers — not Toyota — retain the rights to any commercial use, and we cannot give permission to use those images for that purpose. In response the concerns raised by DesktopNexus, Toyota is working with photographers to determine what images may be used for noncommercial purposes, and what we can do to provide broader access. We hope you will understand and appreciate the legal constraints we face.

Toyota also welcomes interested members of the public to use their own images or photography of Toyota's vehicles, and we confirm that we have no objection to this use.""
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Good Freeware System Snapshot Tool?

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Khyber writes "I'm doing a little personal research into a project that tracks what changes get made to your system every time you install a program. I know there are ways of checking through Windows Restore Points, but that's not what I'm trying to do. Instead, I'm going to start with an absolutely fresh Windows XP install, take a full snapshot of the entire installation on the hard drive, and burn that to a DVD (somewhat like a backup disc with an entire snapshot of my hard drive's current contents.) With every program I install, I'm going to take another snapshot, burn to DVD, and repeat the process until I have recreated every step taken to get to my current system state (all programs installed on a separate hard drive, all registry entries etc on the OS drive, with only snapshots of the OS drive being recorded.) The purpose for all of this I'm not legally allowed to talk about, due to confidentiality requirements. Does anybody know of such a program, preferably freeware, that will accomplish my objective, and are there tools that can be used to compare the difference in drive images?"
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Jeremy Jaynes, Spam King, To Walk Free.

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about 6 years ago

Khyber writes "Jeremy Jaynes, noted AOL Spammer, is going to walk free. The Virginia Supreme Court (the same court which upheld the original conviction,) has declared the law used to charge Jeremy Jaynes as unconstitutional, citing it as "overly broad in scope" and that it was a violation of First Amendment rights."
Link to Original Source
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Single Carbon Nanotube = All in one Radio

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Khyber writes "We're one step closer to having Star Trek badge communicators. Scientists at Berkeley have created a single carbon nanotube radio. They "constructed a fully functional, fully integrated radio receiver, orders-of-magnitude smaller than any previous radio, from a single carbon nanotube. The single nanotube serves, at once, as all major components of a radio: antenna, tuner, amplifier, and demodulator. Moreover, the antenna and tuner are implemented in a radically different manner than traditional radios, receiving signals via high frequency mechanical vibrations of the nanotube rather than through traditional electrical means." They've even rocked out Layla with it's aid!"
Link to Original Source
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Is a 1.5m Ethernet cable REALLY worth $499?

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Khyber writes "It looks like Denon USA is attempting to corner the digital audiophile market with a $499 ethernet cable that claims to be able to "bring out all the nuances in digital audio reproduction from any of our Denon DVD players with the Denon Link feature." Now, no knowing geek would pay that much for a mere meter and a half of cabling, not unless it were fabricated from platinum, and especially knowing that digital is nothing more than ones and zeros, there are no 'nuances' to speak of, with the exception of what the DSP may generate during conversion, and then speaker distortion as sound is created. Kinda reminiscent of the wooden-knob potentiometer that costs $400. Anyone have any idea how companies manage to get away with this?"
Link to Original Source
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New scanning technique key to better processors

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Khyber writes "Deformations in silicon are responsible for high electron mobility, which gives us better efficiency and higher speeds while reducing energy consumption. Until recently, chip manufacturers have only been simulating deformations in the silicon caused by stress on a nano-scale in order to get increases in ability. That will all change with a technology based upon electron holography. This method has much finer scanning resolution, and can scan thicker wafers of silicon, thus ensuring accurate measurements of stress at most any level of chip design. This greater understanding will lead to new silicon wafer designs and also greater yield potentials."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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How knowledge reflects...

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about two weeks ago

The very man that taught me healthy cooking, my father, is now having to take healthy cooking advice from me in order to manage Type-II diabetes.

It hurts, and the irony is straight shitty. You'd think the old man would know better.

Guess alcohol affects us all in various ways. I know I'm a shit drunk.

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UP FOR GRABS: SLASHCODE EXPLOITS

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about 5 months ago

Well, Soylent decided to rub me the wrong way.

Anyone want 26 vulnerabilites, POC, and sample code to what their site runs on, with full VM pre-loaded with POC and code snippets for testing?

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Flashlight Modification - From CFL to LED

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about 5 months ago

My old Coleman 5324 CFL lantern had the bulb die (ballast still good.)

However, I did not want to go back to the horribly inefficient CFL it used.

So I slammed in an MK-R LED with a heat sink.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeEWvM2WbL8

This weekend, I'll be making a test video from the top of the nearby mountain. I'm going to try to spotlight my camera at my apartment while atop that mountain, and compare it to other light sources, like the LED on the iPhone 4S.

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Wall-AC LED Drive Achieved

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about 7 months ago

What else can I say? Simple, easy wall AC-LED drive has been achieved.

http://imgur.com/VmXBM4O

12V was the first step. This is ~105V. POC done.

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Lighting LEDs directly from AC easily achieved

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about 8 months ago

I figured out a simple way to make DC-operated LEDs work from AC. Most people suggest using a bridge rectifier. Why not make the LEDs the rectifier itself?

So I salvaged some LEDs from old damaged panels, and used them to create a rectifier. However, I used a 12VAC 200mA max wall wart, not 120VAC from the wall (I did not want to wire up four 120V strings of LEDs plus resistors and a smoothing cap for flicker reduction) so the circuit could be made incredibly basic. Essentially, the LEDs themselves acting as a rectifier eat up all of the voltage. Reverse voltage breakdown is not a problem, as voltage seems to add both ways. 12V total Vf for the LEDs, but as each LED has Vr of -5V, the total Vr is -20V. Can't overpower that with -12V. I've had my prototype running an hour straight on a heat sink, and so far not a single issue.

Too bad this is too obvious and simple to be patented. But have fun with it!

The flicker is certainly there, but for horticultural applications, as long as the photon output is acceptable, it will work. This should simplify LED design drastically.

Have video and have some some neat pictures.

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Google Took My Money

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about 10 months ago

I've been using Google Helpouts for a week, now. I haven't done much, only two clients, but I was supposed to be paid. I was under the impression that I didn't need a bank account to use Google Wallet. The wording on their site is 'Recommended.'

Well, my customers have had money taken from them, and not delivered to me. In order to get this money, I *HAVE* to have a bank account because I am now a service provider. None of this is mentioned when I went to update and verify my Google Wallet information. I've been on the phone with Google, they've been unable to do anything, so they say. Google, acting as the middleman, has essentially taken my money and says they can't do anything about it until I get a bank account. That's not possible until I correct an outstanding balance. I was hoping to use Google Wallet to be able to save up that money and then pay off the balance then and there. Nope.

So I've given out services and Google essentially refuses to pay me what I'm owed until I go through a third party.

Help me spread awareness, if you can, by giving me a +1 at https://plus.google.com/110351126148578351575/posts/h7QmWoRrtYA

Maybe Google will take notice and fix what logically is a violation of the anti-tying provisions of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

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Free LEDs!

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about a year ago

http://www.rabled.com/

Just go look. You can get one free sample of any of those lights, but you can only pick ONE.

Dunno about you guys, but I picked the Bay Light.

It might help more to work in a lighting company. I am unsure if they have a choosing criteria for this.

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Finished Prototype - LED Iluminated Avenging Wrath Paladin Spell Wings

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about a year ago

In preparation for Blizzcon, a friend has been wanting to do some upgraded cosplay, spell effects. Well, a set of glowing wings works, since Avenging Wrath gives you a temporary set of wings.

Here's some HD video (but dark) of them in action, on their difficult-to-make harness.

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Going to a Low Tech Hobby

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about a year ago

A few days ago, I went for a walk down the local riverbed. To my surprise, I wandered upon a large cluster of grape vine, bearing wild grapes, tons of tiny ones.

Well, they're about 70/30 seed/fruit. Go figure. A little sample, and the flavor was a mix of tart and sweet. These would make a good wine, I figured.

I decided I'd go ahead and make a slightly more refined version of what the Romans and Greeks might have had. After the grapes were washed with a light bleach/water solution, rinsed thoroughly, and mashed, I had about 1.5 gallons of juice, to which another 1.25 gallons of water was added, plus 3 pounds of raw cane sugar, and 2 teaspoons of proofed bread yeast. All of this was put into a 3 gallon carboy with a rubber stopper and typical airlock. Right now, I'm getting a bubble roughly every 2 seconds from the airlock.

I'm expecting a wine with not a whole lot of alcohol, and a bit of sediment. There's not much point in doing a bunch of fermentations and filtrations on my first go-around. The smell right now is very light and quite pleasant. Almost like a perfected Boones Farm wine.

Have some HD video.

This should be ready in about 4 weeks, I'm not expecting a huge return on alcohol content given the yeast is past the best by date

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Taking A&D Electronics Down a Peg

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about a year ago

Well, for a very, very short time, I had a gig as an LCD panel repair tech. Until I learned that I was not going to get paid. So I quit, and straight to the labor board I went.

Looks like I stand to get about $3,200 max from them for their illegal practices.

I bet ChiMei, the company contracting A&D to do their panel repair, would *LOVE* to know one of their chosen repair depots isn't paying workers.

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Review: SinkPAD Direct Thermal Pathway PCB

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about a year ago

I've spent the last month testing and demolishing a bunch of new-design thermal PCBs from SinkPAD, and have come to the conclusion that this is a solid solution versus traditional dielectric PCBs commonly used for mounting LEDs. There are many pros, and a few cons, and I will address these in my review of their product, written below.

We will start with the good stuff first, the Pros. The SinkPAD Direct Thermal Pathway PCB is made from solid aluminum or copper (as of the time of this writing I had yet to test any copper PCB), so it's very good at thermal transfer. This helps make it easy to solder; versus a traditional dielectric board, the solder took to the SinkPAD in roughly half the time. This also comes in handy for reflow work and rework, as mounting and un-mounting an LED from the board is quick thanks to the PCB being constructed out of high-conductivity aluminum and copper. Repairing any mistakes takes minimal time and effort, a must for any prototype designer or hobbyist. The solder resist is also very solid, during my reflow cycling test I never once saw a solder bridge form, nor had any shorts. The same solder resist is quite durable against thermal shock as well. I torched it until it was smoking and crackling, near-black, and with no problems I was able to mount an LED to it and light it right up, and the remainder of the pad transferred heat exactly as it should. This durability is exactly what the military and police forces could use for LED-assisted weapons solutions, such as barrel or grip-mounted lights, or IR night-vision equipment. The aluminum boards are light-weight and stiff, very difficult to bend, even with a pair of clamps and pliers and my full weight applied.

Now for the cons. Due to how the thermal pathway is manufactured, there's an indentation on the back of the board. This means you need to use more thermal paste/epoxy, and you need to be more careful not to introduce air bubbles and gaps. On the aluminum boards, there is no solder pad on the back side, which would help greatly since solders tend to be more conductive than thermal pastes and adhesives. The copper board likely wouldn't need it, since copper is easy to solder. Speaking of copper, there are a distinct lack of copper options for many of their PCB choices. While this is understandable (many of these LEDs simply don't need it) the ability to have broader choice in materials would be nice. My final bad note is the difference between prototype boards I have versus some of the production boards. An older X-Lamp XR-E board had four screw holes for improved mounting, and they were placed so that most screws that could fit those holes would not have the heads short out on the contact pads. These holes are nonexistent on the star and disc boards. The star have their electrical contact points too close to the indents at the outside to allow screws to be attached there, but the circular boards look like they might have a better chance.

Overall, this is a solid piece of thermal management tech for LEDs. The ease of use and durability should appeal to a wide variety of LED consumers, from hobbyists, designers, and engineers to police, military, and even more groups of people and industries. Most of the cons are personal nitpicks and aren't exactly game-breaking important, and the pros certainly outweigh any con I've been able to notice. Highly recommended.

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SinkPAD & CREE, Together At Last!

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about a year and a half ago

I finally got the right boards personally delivered to me. It was quite funny, exchanging tiny baggies of what any person at least ten feet away would assume were drugs right in the middle of a Del Taco parking lot. Then watching an accident happen not fifteen feet from us, between bicyclist and car.

Anyways, I just shot a little run of the MK-R, both of them, driven at 18w each. Note how they obliterate the Cree XR-E to the left, driven at 1.2-1.3w or so (3.7V rated Vf @ 350mA.)

I'm going to go step outside to get a night shot. Updates later in this journal post, in the comments.

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Night Test of the MK-R

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Finally got around to doing a night test of the MK-R.

I went out onto my patio, and put it right beside my 100w incan that typically lights the porch.

And here's the result. As you can see, absolutely no contest. Fluoro equivalent to 100w incan is a ~26w bulb, so we're looking at around 25% the power consumption of an equivalent CFL (LED driven at 6w) and way, way more light.

Still unable to drive full power. SinkPad mistakenly sent me XM-L boards, not MK-R.

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Checking Out The New Cree MK-R LED

Khyber Khyber writes  |  about a year and a half ago

I managed to get some engineering samples of the Cree MKR LED announced on /. a couple weeks or so back.

Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed. I ran 12V @ 200mA, 500mA, and 1250mA. You know how us geeks/nerds say do not look into laser with remaining eye? You don't HAVE any eyes left with the new MK-R, even at a measly 200mA of direct current at 12V. At 1250 mA, I only needed half a second before the diode packaging began to melt the green PCB, the heatsink was absolutely ineffective. Be prepared to use metal SMD-mount boards for these diodes, because that cheap green board used for most SMD LEDs simply will not cut it. Pushing 15w in a 7mm x 7mm package, you need serious heat dissipation capabilities. Also, DO NOT HOLD THE DIODE WHEN DRIVING AT 200mA! You will blister yourself.

I no longer have my light meter, as I would use that to check flux levels and lumen levels, but needless to say, you drop a quad of very-efficient nearly 4-watt diodes into a single tight array like this, and the world is going to light up before your eyes. I would love to see one of these in a Mag-Lite. At 200mA, 500mA, and 1250mA, you would have all the light you need. Remember that commercial where the kids with the flashlight are using new Energizer batteries and it looks like they're suddenly using a 1,000,000 candlepower light? It's even better than that.

Just one of these would light up my entire 15' x 24' living room, quite possibly more, with wonderful light levels. I could see this sitting in the center of my ceiling. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room, kitchen, dining room. Seven rooms, 105w operating power with all in operation. I could leave my whole home lit up for the same cost of a single 100w incandescent light bulb, which barely lights one room. Oh wait, I forgot the porch and patio. Make that 135w operating power. And in reality, even at 500mA drive current, I think that's more than enough light for an area roughly 25' x 25'. Still beating the pants off of equivalent incandescent or fluorescent. It's the end of them, and I already have the belief that these will truly smash HID systems.

I want single-color versions of these. Cree, if you're reading/listening, you have technology in your hands right now to take over an entire segment of the optoelectronic market. You dropped out of said market (and a couple of others) when you quit making 660nm diodes, and you could really take this class of diode to great heights if you could specialize single-wavelength versions of this.

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Gearheads!!!!!!

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 2 years ago

So I just popped 175K on my '98 Taurus. I'm quite pleased with this vehicle. The AC is dead, and I've only had to replace the transmission once at 125K, when the planetary gear chewed itself to shit going to Washington back in 2008.

Any other gearheads reading this journal? What're you driving, and what're you pushing mileage-wise?

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Regarding the Last.fm/Skype debacle

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Took me a while, but after more careful digging, I've figured out what is happening. Last.fm is indeed lying. They are not listening to your media players. They are listening to your sound card output. Disabling sounds in Skype will disable every Skype event log except for two - updates to mood/music playing, and any time you make a skype call. Those to events trigger Last.fm logging. In the log, there's no real identifying information. What can be gleaned, though, is how long you made that call.

"If you choose to download the Last.fm software, it will monitor all the music you listen to on your computer (even if you are not online). It will then send this information to Last.fm via Audioscrobbler. This information will then be integrated into Last.fm to enhance the depth of your record collection and the accuracy of your profile.

The Last.fm software cannot and will not collect and transfer any other information from your computer other than as described above."

That is a flat-out LIE. And you're not even told about the integration with Skype when you install Last.fm's Audioscrobbler. You have to find out yourself by looking through log files, or go back to an obscure 2006 Skype Blog post.

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Rethinking Green Light in Targeted-Wavelength Horticulture

Khyber Khyber writes  |  more than 2 years ago

After a little tiff with some angry man over on Reddit, I had to go conduct a few experiments of my own regarding the effectiveness of green light on photosynthesis.

To get to the meat of it all, between ~450 - 1800 umol, green light tends to drive photosynthesis more efficiently than red and blue light, especially in plants with much thicker leaves, like actual trees, succulents, cacti, etc. A tiny bit higher than 1800 umol, and your ROI drops rapidly as you've pretty much hit saturation of the chloroplasts, for all ranges of light. The law of Diminishing Returns comes to bite us in the butt, and no wavelength is ultimately more efficient than any other, and in fact, you begin reaching damaging levels of photon saturation which can burn a plant.

Now, there are multiple food crops that have an optimal light requirement below 500 umol. Multiple types of lettuce grow very well with ~200 umol, for an example. For that purpose, LED lights using red and blue light do well more than simply suffice. For rooting cuttings, red and blue light works very well. Fruiting plants typically require much more light, Jalapenos like it around 1500 umol. I've grown nice-sized jalapenos, bigger than what I'll find in most supermarkets, under a red and blue only panel, but I suspect I might be able to do a bit better with some focused green light. I'll do that when I get one made with equivalent specs.

Of course, getting to that intensity for larger plants will likely require me going solid white with a carefully-tuned color temperature. I have seen units now that on equal power draw with their HID counterparts are beating them by roughly 20%. However, these still require either EXTREMELY LARGE or very exotic cooling systems for anything over 300w and in a reasonably small package, and are not totally feasible for either green house or consumer gardening, this will likely be stuck in the parking light/street light arena for a while.

I have seen the benefits of green light, but there isn't MUCH additional benefit versus splitting up into different LED modules so you can get the light deeper into the canopy with the red/blue units. Perhaps for those doing bonsai, or growing cacti, and possibly underwater corals/plants, there is a good use, I can see it. Well, at least I'm sure of why an HPS works rather well despite having a very 'poor' spectral output. It's more than just the 660-680nm + IR that it dumps in massive quantities, it is also the green light having its own effective role.

Kinda goes totally against the conventional knowledge that red and blue are the most efficient, eh?

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