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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Polo Am I the only one? (394 comments)

I just close everything and skip going to the content.

I just don't buy into that ecosystem.

about a week ago

Ninety-Nine Percent of the Ocean's Plastic Is Missing

Polo Re:One non-disturbing theory (304 comments)

I think this might be possible. I don't really know, but if you've ever "cycled" an aquarium, it's pretty interesting and makes me think it's plausible.

If you put fish in an aquarium full of fresh water, they will generate ammonia and eventually die (unless they are very hardy fish).

So to "cycle" the aquarium, you can put drops of ammonia in the aquarium each day. Over time, bacteria that metabolize ammonia will enter the aquarium water and colonize it. These bacteria will remove the ammonia, producing nitrites (which are also toxic to fish, but less so than ammonia).

If you continue cycling the aquarium, more bacteria colonize the water, ones which metabolize the nitrites into nitrates.

Fish are usually ok with nitrates, so at this point, you can introduce the fish to the aquarium, and they will survive because the system will naturally remove the ammonia and subsequent nitrites.

Optionally, you can add plants to the aquarium and they can utilize the nitrates and remove them. Remember nitrates? From fertilizer?

Long story short... I'll bet the ocean can do amazing things like this. Don't know for sure, but it's plausible.

about a month ago

Privacy Worries For 'Smart' Smoke Alarms

Polo Re:I Love articles written by the clueless.... (90 comments)


nest thermostat can detect you, and actively tries to determine if you are home.

The nest protect can ALSO detect you, and well enough that you can do the "nest wave" underneath it to silence an alarm.

They also communicate back and forth so that the thermostat can turn off the furnace if there's a fire, and the thermostat can go into "away" mode when nobody is home.

The protect has two ultrasonic sensors, an occupancy sensor, a light sensor and a variety of smoke/heat sensors:

Nest protect sensors

I can't find a simple summary for the thermostat, but it has occupancy, temperature and humidity sensors at least.

about a month and a half ago

Privacy Worries For 'Smart' Smoke Alarms

Polo Re:The Cloud is Ruining Home Automation (90 comments)

Do not overlook the fact that other companies will undercut you in price, just to "deal themselves in" in some fashion. Probably under the guise of "use your iphone to flush your home toilet while you're on vacation!"

about a month and a half ago

Privacy Worries For 'Smart' Smoke Alarms

Polo This post is not accurate (90 comments)

Protect is an alarm, the Thermostat is a thermostat.

This is actually not true/accurate, they are tied in together.

For example, if the nest protect detects a fire, the nest thermostat will shut off the heater.

I believe the nest protect is also used as an occupancy sensor for the auto-away function of the nest thermostat.

about a month and a half ago

How Tim Cook Is Filling Steve Jobs's Shoes

Polo Re: Left brain vs. right brain leadership (209 comments)

I used to think taste was kind of like fashion, but I've realized it's more.

Specifically, a few years ago I listened to Ira Glass's short talk on storytelling and there's this short bit about taste that is just SO wise and SO insightful... (view all four parts)

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

What I think Steve Jobs did was get an organization to do this, to make tasteful things. He was a great integrator. He pulled people together, he pushed through obstacles, he overcome a lot of mediocrity. Yeah, he was a jerk about a lot of things.

It's like a law of nature, a law of aerodynamics, that anything that's written or anything that's created wants to be mediocre. The natural state of all writing is mediocrity. It's all tending toward mediocrity in the same way that all atoms are sort of dissipating out toward the expanse of the universe. Everything wants to be mediocre, so what it takes to make anything more than mediocre is such a fucking act of will.

about a month and a half ago

GM Names and Fires Engineers Involved In Faulty Ignition Switch

Polo Step 1 (307 comments)

Step 1: assign blame.

Everything about this says bad corporate culture.

about 2 months ago

Intel Wants To Computerize Your Car

Polo Re:Damaged reputation? (191 comments)

It's probably fine as long as you don't upgrade your phone for the life of your car.

Seriously though, people keep cars for many MANY phone lifecycles.

I really think car manufacturers should standardize on some sort of mounting system. Imagine a 19" stereo rack, but for a car.

Do you know anyone with a 2007 car? It was built before the iPhone existed, which was announced in June 2007.

about 2 months ago

Kids With Wheels: Should the Unlicensed Be Allowed To 'Drive' Autonomous Cars?

Polo How about a "school bus equivalent"? (437 comments)

What about groups of autonomous vehicles containing kids that are monitored on their
way to and from school by the school or some service or authority? This authority is
responsible for maintaining contact with the vehicle and dispatching help if there is a problem.

Kind of like a 3rd-person view taxi or schoolbus.

about 2 months ago

Intel and SGI Test Full-Immersion Cooling For Servers

Polo Re:How about Silicone oil ? (102 comments)

Their fluid is boiling, phase transition takes a lot of heat out without pumping anything.

That's the key point.

If you have a pot on your stove filled with water at 211 degrees F, it will absorb 1000 calories and then the pot will be at 212 F.
But then the pot will absorb 540,000 calories before it gets to 213 F.

about 4 months ago

Intel and SGI Test Full-Immersion Cooling For Servers

Polo Re:I wonder... (102 comments)

looks like the specs for both of them are about the same . 49C/120F boiling point, 88kJ/kg specific heat.

about 4 months ago

Intel and SGI Test Full-Immersion Cooling For Servers

Polo Re:I wonder... (102 comments)

It seems to be 99kJ/kg at it's boiling point of 45C/120F

For all practical purposes, I just thought coolants increase in temperature to their boiling point and just stay there (or a little higher if under pressure like a car radiator or pressure cooker)

That would mean systems with this fluid would reach 120F and basically go no further (unless ALL the coolant boiled off, which I doubt would happen)

about 4 months ago

Intel and SGI Test Full-Immersion Cooling For Servers

Polo Re:Cray-2 (102 comments)

I hope it's cheaper than Fluorinert, which I remember reading was hundreds or thousands of dollars a gallon.

about 4 months ago

Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

Polo Re:Meh, not this guy again. (292 comments)

See... it's all been written. Everything he writes will be unoriginal and derivative. It's the end of writing.

about 4 months ago

Raspberry Pi's Eben Upton: How We're Turning Everyone Into DIY Hackers

Polo Re:It's not the thing... (90 comments)

But people naturally compare them anyway.

You have to admit there are lots of tasks that don't require realtime control where people could choose either system.

I think the Arduino shield system is brilliant, and the equivalent on the Raspberry Pi is not as well thought out. This is the biggest shame of all.

My top few wishes for the Pi would be:
- a well-thought-out, open shield system
- 4 support holes at the corners instead of 2 in the middle
- maybe a better case design - all ports along one side maybe?
- an SD card that would insert fully

The Raspberry Pi is wonderfully standardized, but the Arduino seems to evolve in a darwinian fashion because many vendors can make them.

The Arduino comes up a little short in tcp/ip connectivity, where the raspberry pi is brilliant from the start.

about 4 months ago

Apple Launches CarPlay At Geneva Show

Polo Re:darn. (264 comments)

Setting a radio station preset is a long-press.

Maybe we should make selecting a radio station long press (so you're REALLY sure).

We could even be safe and make you pull over to the side of the road to set a radio station (like some cars make you do to select GPS destinations)

(I am totally kidding about all this by the way)

about 5 months ago

Apple Launches CarPlay At Geneva Show

Polo Re:darn. (264 comments)

Don't back down now! :)

about 5 months ago

Apple Launches CarPlay At Geneva Show

Polo Re:darn. (264 comments)

Sorry, I said it was a pet peeve. I realize it's not the end of the world.

I have a JVC car stereo with bluetooth and I have to reach over, press and hold the phone button on the radio unit for 2-3 (or more?) seconds before the JVC unit will beep, and then siri will beep.

I know it's minor to most people, but I do have to take my attention away from driving, and I would prefer a dedicated siri button (along with a separate dedicated phone answer button and a separate dedicated phone hangup button). It's the difference between "works for me" and "truly well designed".

about 5 months ago

Apple Launches CarPlay At Geneva Show

Polo darn. (264 comments)

"To activate Siri voice control, just press and hold the voice control button on the steering wheel."

My pet peeve. For Siri, why can't we just press it without the holding part? Come on, I'm driving here.

about 5 months ago

Apple To Unveil Its 'iOS In the Car' Project Next Week

Polo Re:"Apple Maps as in-car navigation" (198 comments)

I disagree.

"the competition can move faster" - the auto manufacturers move on 4 or more year cycles. Most aftermarket units are ridiculous -- who uses CDs anymore? But they still ship with CDs and DVDs.

"and produce better results" - I see zero car systems, from manufacturers or aftermarket, that I would enjoy owning. I actually like the controls from manufacturers, but the systems themselves suck and are obsolete before they ship. The aftermarket gives you the ability to upgrade your car to keep up with the times, at the expense of of a crappy user interface and low-margin-hardware-manufacturer-software.

Seriously, the answer is to integrate with your phone, which actually does move fast and produce better products.

about 5 months ago


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