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Micro-USB Cellphone Charger Becomes EU Standard

LarrySDonald Re:US (302 comments)

They already do that some. Many of the EU firmware builds are kinder on letting you access/charge without excessive need for a driver. Not all, but some. Also, the US products is already reinventing the wheel in the first place specifically to block 3rd party products. Many connectors/chargers use the same standard, only with a different plug. *All* of the USB standard plugs that won't charge off a random USB plug with working +5V/GND are intentionally not doing so - you have to intentionally break it's capability to do so by verifying the charger.

more than 3 years ago

Has the Industrialized World Reached Peak Travel?

LarrySDonald I could easily see that being the case (314 comments)

I travel way less then I used to. I can do a lot of what I used to have to travel for from home. "The commute" is also a mysterious phenomena that the US, who will collectively bitch at having to walk thirty seconds to a minute more because there wasn't a closer parking space, somehow put up with putting up with being in the hour range. It may be that it's starting to dawn on people that you know what, 1/8-1/16th of my waking time isn't worth a 10-20% pay raise. People may be starting to weigh their options and realizing having a 30" TV instead of a 50" one may not be such a bad deal if it comes with a side order of actually having enough time to watch it.

more than 3 years ago

Live Human Birth Captured by MRI

LarrySDonald Switched off when the amnio sac opened? (2 comments)

So in other words just up until the water broke? That doesn't seem like a whole birth to me.. But good on them if it's useful I suppose.

more than 3 years ago

Heat Ray Gun Fails Final Test; Nixed From War

LarrySDonald Re:Not in Afghanistan... (299 comments)

It would probably make more sense for breaking up crowds/riots domestically (similar situations to where a water cannon, pepper spray, etc might be used). A tinfoil hat/bodysuit would indeed block it though (or any other metallic cover such as conductive fabric paint) so a prepared protester wouldn't have to work that terribly hard to counter it.

about 4 years ago

Murdoch's UK Paywall a Miserable Failure

LarrySDonald Re:still early days (428 comments)

Admittedly, there is a possibility that some of the older demographic may decide that perhaps it would be kind of handy assuming it's really simple and pretty cheap. The ones used to paying for all media. But lets face it, the 20-30 crowd is debating about if *TV* is worth it. Paying for a newspaper seems like a quaint habit you saw your grandpa do once and you might go with if you need the local classifieds in hardcopy and the net version was missing or annoying.

more than 4 years ago

Where Are the Joysticks For Retro Gaming?

LarrySDonald Re:I hear ya.... (262 comments)

One ghetto solution (which I've used) is to just wire it into a broken/old keyboard. The common ground often used on classic controllers (as opposed to the gridded polling on a keyboard) can get in the way but with a little creativity and a little "meh, so the rest of it doesn't work right" can get by that since there's usually only like 5-6 (or 10-12 with two) and you can usually map which keys represent them in the emu. Just follow the tracks, find sufficient keys that won't mess with each other (remember that things like "left and right at the same time" can't actually happen), solder in, tape down, solder to connector, done.

more than 4 years ago

Study Hints Ambient Radio Waves May Affect Plant Growth

LarrySDonald Re:Double blind should not be hard (298 comments)

Well, perhaps the sun is part of the problem and plants would be better off getting just the light and not a bunch of the other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. If true, that's good to know too.

more than 4 years ago

Study Hints Ambient Radio Waves May Affect Plant Growth

LarrySDonald Re:Double blind study (298 comments)

Or, rather then checking yourself, remove all shielding and have someone without knowledge evaluate them returning their eval in writing naming only which aspen and what condition. If you want to do another round, replace shielding and wait. If you think it matters to the aspen who knows, I can't help. This would still be kind of weak, but at least eliminate one huge bias and can be done with only one wise-to-aspen accomplice.

more than 4 years ago

Paperless Tickets Flourish Despite 'Grandma Problem'

LarrySDonald Re:IAATM (It's Always About The Money) (425 comments)

This was sort of my take on it. However, it wouldn't cut back on scalping seeing as I could now resell to someone else, transfer it to them and there you go. So it's not really about if you need a paper stub or not, the paper stub is nothing but a password anyhow and could easily be on your cell or in your brain or a piece of paper you wrote it on.

For the record, I've been to four concert type events last year and only at one of those did the original payed up asses end up in the seats. All others, one or more people ended up unable to go and were replaced (sometimes at cost, sometimes for free) with other friends or acquaintances. So.. Yeah, paying for paper tickets were on the whole worth it saving more then I would have otherwise lost.

more than 4 years ago

FBI Failed To Break Encryption of Hard Drives

LarrySDonald Re:Wrong Agency (486 comments)

The spooky thing here is the "Or can they?" factor. Certainly no way obvious of course and no way anyone else figured out, but then they had a good head start here. Oh the other hand, when you have $5 wrenches (as they do), they're probably more at an advantage with unbreakable crypto, seeing as us smalltimers will have a hard time using that strategy.

more than 4 years ago

Struggling To Bridge the Casual-Hardcore Game Gap

LarrySDonald Re:Has anyone considered... (185 comments)

I'm in the same situation and agree. That's sort of the point - there should (you'd imagine) be a market for mid level games. I often play quick and mindless stuff because I'm pretty sure one of the kids will yell at me about something within 10 mins. Devoting time to a large and highly complex game is out of the question now, but it wasn't then and I didn't lose my brain completely either. Portal was a good example of a midlevel game to me. I had to devote slightly more attention and learn slightly more, scraping slightly more attention points together but not so much so that it was impossible to play. And solo with no penalties if I should happen to have to hit pause, shove the laptop to the side of the couch and go put a bandaid on the latest booboo and make more coolaid.

more than 4 years ago

Better Development Through Competition?

LarrySDonald Re:Companies don't know (251 comments)

This is often true in large corporations, but many smaller companies devote much more time to figuring out who is best for what and who is so bad that they shouldn't be there. This is what's known as "management" which is also a skill. The problem is that there aren't that many skilled managers because it's really hard and it only gets harder in middle and upper management (i.e. figuring out who would be good at figuring out who should do what). There are good managers, but they usually got rich and now run small/medium companies more for laughs.

more than 4 years ago

Publishers Campaign For Universal E-Book Format

LarrySDonald A little late to the game (348 comments)

While it's a smaller market (and yes, it is. Way. A number 1 bestseller is barely worth a neilson point) it's already pretty fragmented. It's good that they're trying and perhaps with some luck they can get somewhere, but we're already talking post-itune/zune/et al universe compared to music. Nothing works well with anything else, except of course, if you don't pay for it and just pirate or stick to only the material specifically for your device. As usual, legal works need to be at least as good as their pirated counterparts to those who buy them, as in "if both of these were free and legal, I'd have no preference".

more than 4 years ago

Exam Board Deletes C and PHP From CompSci A-Levels

LarrySDonald Re:Maybe I'm missing something (663 comments)

Teaching foundations is obviously the most important thing, and yes, you can do that well in many languages. BUT while you learn the foundations, you get the bonus of getting comfortable in one or more languages as you write in them. Which one(s) should you use this bonus on? Pascal? Not thinking that's wise. For the record, my school used modula2/3 and ML for functional until later when everything went to C/C++. I would have much rather gotten further comfort in C/C++ and Lisp to start with, seeing as they're actually somewhat used and the basics don't change anyway.

more than 4 years ago

One In Eight To Cut Cable and Satellite TV In 2010

LarrySDonald There's still the kids. (502 comments)

and other non-techies. I theory, there's no reason my kids and wife couldn't just pull up what they want to watch like a normal person and in fact they do - even my six year old watch cartoons online, movies off the wii, etc. But they're still used to the DJ-style background mix of cable, and with eight TVs there's no cohesive way to play "anything, even if it's crap" on all of them. Nor does there seem to be way to get "whatever is on" pandora style for TV - it's all on all the time, more choices then they'd like. They still also listen to terrestrial radio, even though there is sat and mp3 with everything on it, because they don't feel like getting stuck trying to pick and just want whatever is on.

more than 4 years ago

HotelChatter's Annual Hotel Wi-Fi Report 2010

LarrySDonald A lot of people still live without 3g (157 comments)

..but still expect to be able to log in. I can almost sort of live without internet access, but not really. But a 3g subscription is out of my my league by a long shot, especially seeing as I'm the new lower-middle class. I code like a small farmer, enough to get by but not stacking chips. I rarely go anywhere much and every place I'd stay for any length of time would has wifi anyway. Hard to justify a 3g modem. More and more people stay in one place (or a half dozen places) that have wifi anyway now that their friends have wifi and can hand you a password right off the bat if you need it, yet somehow would like net on the road without parking outside McD.

more than 4 years ago

FAA Says No More Minesweeper Or Solitaire In Cockpit

LarrySDonald Re:They need something to do (342 comments)

Hear hear. Eight hours of "paying attention to flying"? Not thinking so. Let them play cake!

more than 4 years ago

Blu-ray Proposes Incompatible BD-XL and IH-BD Formats

LarrySDonald Re:Designed Obsolescence (252 comments)

v1.0 is always a sucker bet. There will always be a sucker, because word on the street is one is born every minute but it doesn't have to be you. Working out your delayed gratification gland is good for you anyway.

more than 4 years ago

Which Linux For Non-Techie Windows Users?

LarrySDonald Re:ER... Why? (766 comments)

I'm considering something similar because frankly, XP3 catches weird things all the time (and while cleaning windows viruses has a homey retro feel, I don't want to do it all the time) and their hardware isn't really up to running vista or W7. But.. Then they're very used to windows and it'll while the product is free (and good) I'm not signing up to educate/support people for all eternity. Not trying to be obnoxious, but we can't prop up XP forever and not everyone, especially people who consider their computers more of a tool then a beloved friend, can keep their hardware super new.

more than 4 years ago

FBI Probing PA School Webcam Spy Case

LarrySDonald Good deal (312 comments)

About damn time. I feel a bit pumped that the tide is shifting here, the things we know are immoral are starting to get called on why they're done, even with the best of intentions. There is a slight drift toward "if it's wrong it's wrong and if you had good reasons for it, we'd like to hear them. Don't worry if you need to state them at length, we'll go over them. A lot. Expect follow-up questions". I'm under no illusions that this will change that much, but I'm excited about the direction things seem to be taking and the realizations people seem to be having looking at the other options *couch*china*cough*.

more than 4 years ago


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