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Do Headphones Help Or Hurt Productivity?

Snowblindeye Maybe if the office was quieter (405 comments)

I wonder more people using headphones is also a result of the move from dedicated offices to cubicle farms. A lot of the offices I've worked in were so noisy and distracting, I've often used headphones not because I felt like listening to music, but to drown out the noise.

I've seriously considered getting a pair of ear protection headphones like an airport worker and just using those. Or noise cancellation headphones.

more than 2 years ago

Fine Structure Constant May Not Be So Constant

Snowblindeye Re:I've always wondered about this (273 comments)

But I've always wondered how we know that the speed of light is the same regardless, that the gravitational constant is constant throughout space and time.

There are actually some scientisst that have proposed a Variable Speed of Light theory. In their theory, the speed of light decreases over time. In other words it was much faster in the early universe. The cool thing about it is, once you make that assumption a lot of other things are suddenly explainable (for example, you don't need inflation in the early universe anymore).

João Magueijo has written a book about it called "Faster Than The Speed of Light, The Story of a Scientific Speculation". There is also a BBC documentary about it called "Einsteins Biggest Blunder".

more than 3 years ago

Apple vs. Microsoft: a Tale of Two Mobile Updates

Snowblindeye Re:What phones get vendor updates after three year (257 comments)

Which phones out there get vendor supplied updates after 3 years? Certainly not any that I've ever owned.

My company got me a Droid Eris (I had no choice). 6 months later, no update to Android 2.2. (Maybe 8. Whatever)

I'm not sure why Apple is getting dinged for not supporting a 3 year old phone. No one that I know of supports 3 year old phones.

Computer World did an interesting comparison of which companies have offered upgrades to Froyo, and for how many of their phones.

Even the highest score (HTC) was only 50%. Here is the breakdown:

HTC: 50%
Motorola: 15.4%
Samsung: 11%
Dell: 0%
LG: 0%
Sony: 0%

more than 3 years ago

New EU Net Rules Set To Make Cookies Crumble

Snowblindeye Re:Thanks EU (290 comments)

IPv6 will give almost everybody practically static addresses, the ultimate undeleteable cookie. So the EU regulation will be futile very soon.

That problem has been solved by RFC 4941, otherwise known as the Privacy Extensions. Most OSes support it, though I believe some don't enable it by default. IIRC the iPhone is one of the devices that doesn't support it, but that should be fixable once IPv6 becomes more widespread.

more than 3 years ago

The Car Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

Snowblindeye Re:Wait, what? (405 comments)

So the job of the 800 break horse power internal combustion engine is to deliver fuel into the rocket engine (not the jet engine). But the rocket is a solid fuel booster (essentially a glorified fireworks motor). Err wait, what? What do you need a fuel pump for a solid fuel rocket booster?

It's not a pure solid fuel rocket. It contains solid fuel, but then they pump hydrogen peroxide thru the rocket as an oxidizer. That's being pumped by the F1 engine. Seeing how it has to pump one ton of HTP in 22 seconds, you can see why they need that much power for the pump. More details on the rocket engine.

more than 3 years ago

Does Syfy Really Love Sci-Fi?

Snowblindeye Re:Wrestling? Ghost Hunters? (742 comments)

Let's also not forget the tragedy of Babylon 5. They said they were canceling at season 4, so the creators had to rush the show's plot, then they decided afterward to renew a 5th season, so they had to make up new crap completely outside the realm of the original planned plot line.

Babylon 5 ran on PTEN for four seasons. When they didn't renew it for season 5, it moved to TNT for the final season. One canceled it, and another picked it up. Not only did the networks not do what you described, SciFi had nothing to do with it.

more than 2 years ago

Why the Arduino Won and Why It's Here To Stay

Snowblindeye Re:The Arduino won? (224 comments)

The Arduino won? I didn't even know there was a contest! There are lots of microcontrollers and boards out there: Basic Stamps, PICs, 68HC11s, Parallax Propellors. You can get some for as little as $3 each. There's probably more stuff out there for Basic Stamps than for the Arduino. There's definitely more PIC related stuff.

Basic stamps and PICs used to get a lot of usage in hobbyist projects, but that has changed in the last couple of years. First it started shifting from PIC to Atmel, and then to the (Atmel based) Arduino. It's been a while since I've seen a new project that someone had chosen PIC for.

IMHO the move to Atmle may have been partially due to the PICs super annoying architecture (bank switching for every other operation, for starters). The Arduino of course has a big advantage for people who don't want (or can't) design their own PCBs.

If look at Projects on Make, or elsewhere online, you'll see Arduino being used in the majority of the newer projects.

more than 3 years ago

Universe 250+ Times Bigger Than What Is Observable

Snowblindeye Re:I'm confused. (506 comments)

An alternative theory is that the speed of light used to be much higher in the early universe (like 60x higher). This is known as the variable speed of light (VSL) concept. There is a documentary from 2000 called "Einstein's Biggest Blunder", that gives a good overview of how it was developed.

more than 3 years ago

Universe 250+ Times Bigger Than What Is Observable

Snowblindeye Re:I'm confused. (506 comments)

If the universe started with a big bang, with all matter originated in an extremely compact volume, and if it's radius can't expand faster than light, then there should be no points in the universe beyond what we can see (as limited by light speed.) What am I missing?

What you describe is known as the Horizon Problem

The current theory that tries to explain this is called Inflation. Basically, it assumes that after the Big Bang there was a period of Inflation where space time itself expanded faster than the speed of light.

more than 3 years ago

Intel's Sandy Bridge Processor Has a Kill Switch

Snowblindeye Re:A global remote kill switch in our computers (399 comments)

I don't know what Intel is putting into those chips, but I am highly doubtful it is the way the article states it.

Chip real estate is expensive. So Intel is going to put a complete 3G module on the CPU and use it only for this feature? And to top it off, it has some kinda of separate battery, cause you know, it works when the chip is off? Nonsense.

This is probably some feature that gets build into the AMT support of some chipsets, maybe on Laptops that have a 3G connection already.But the way they are describing this? I call BS on that.

more than 4 years ago

Critics Call For Probe Into Google Government Ties

Snowblindeye Errors in summary (289 comments)

Democratic fundraiser at Google CEO Marissa Meyer's home

Eric Schmidt might be surprised to find that Google has a new CEO ;)

I know this is Slashdot, but could we get basic facts right in the summary? Marissa Mayer is a Google VP, not the CEO

I know, I must be new here...

more than 4 years ago

Electric Car Goes 375 Miles On One 6-Minute Charge

Snowblindeye Re:Power required to charge? (603 comments)

A range of 375 miles at 55 mph is seven hours of driving at speed

According to this German article the car was driving 130km/h, which is more like 80 mph. Which makes this even more impressive.

more than 4 years ago

Mazda Claims 70 mpg For New Engine, No Hybrid Needed

Snowblindeye Golf Diesel (576 comments)

I wonder if a real-life-real-drivers 70 mpg car is what will actually arrive, or if such promises will dissolve like Chevy's promises about the Volt did.

I used to drive an 85 VW Golf Diesel, that Car reliably got (actually got, under real world driving conditions) 47 mpg (5l/100km). That's a car that was build 25 years ago. Volkswagen also sold the Lupo 3L which got 78 miles per US gallon or 94 miles per Imperial gallon

It boggles my mind that 25 years later most cars I can buy in the US get half of what my 25 year old car got. If that. It also means that getting 70 shouldn't be impossible. Thats 3.3l/100km, and it's been done.

more than 4 years ago

Bookmark Synchronizer Xmarks Hangs Up Their Hats

Snowblindeye Re:Delicious (225 comments)

delicious.com solved this for me a long time ago.

What did Xmarks do that delicious does not?

I'm not familiar with the details of delicious.com, but Xmarks syncs your bookmarks, history, open tabs and passwords across multiple browsers. I find the password sync in particular to be invaluable, but you can disable each of the four options depending on your preference. I'll miss them.

more than 4 years ago

Smallest Manned Electric Plane Flies

Snowblindeye Copy and paste summary (131 comments)

The Cri-cri (short for cricket) is the smallest twin-engined manned aircraft in the world, designed in the early 1970s by French aeronautical engineer Michel Colomban, the Cri-cri aircraft is the world's smallest twin-engine .

At first I thought the writer of the summary had simply messed up when editing and repeated the same thing twice. But when you check wikipedia, it has the same mistake, even down to the space in front of the period: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Colomban_Cri-cri&oldid=383417426

At least when you copy and paste verbatim from wikipedia, read the sentence and see if it makes sense.

more than 4 years ago

UVB-76 Broadcasts New Voice Message

Snowblindeye Previous Story (560 comments)

Well, it hasn't really been broadcasting continuously, as it went suddenly offline two months ago. This was previously discussed on slashdot at the time. It *had* been broadcasting continuously for 20 years until then, however.

more than 4 years ago

DRM vs. Unfinished Games

Snowblindeye Re:hmm (462 comments)

My answer is for us as publishers to actually sell unfinished games

Isn't that what they are already doing? Definitely most MMOs ship in that state.

more than 4 years ago



Smallest Exoplanet Yet Discovered

Snowblindeye Snowblindeye writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Snowblindeye (1085701) writes "Well-known exoplanet researcher Michel Mayor today announced the discovery of the lightest exoplanet found so far. The planet, "e", in the famous system Gliese 581, is only about twice the mass of our Earth. The team also refined the orbit of the planet Gliese 581 d, first discovered in 2007, placing it well within the habitable zone, where liquid water oceans could exist.

Planet Gliese 581 e orbits its host star — located only 20.5 light-years away in the constellation Libra ("the Scales") — in just 3.15 days. "With only 1.9 Earth-masses, it is the least massive exoplanet ever detected and is, very likely, a rocky planet", says co-author Xavier Bonfils from Grenoble Observatory.

Being so close to its host star, the planet is not in the habitable zone. But another planet in this system appears to be. From previous observations this star was known to harbour a system with a Neptune-sized planet and two super-Earths. With the discovery of Gliese 581 e, the planetary system now has four known planets, with masses of about 1.9 (planet e), 16 (planet b), 5 (planet c), and 7 Earth-masses (planet d). The planet furthest out, Gliese 581 d, orbits its host star in 66.8 days. "Gliese 581 d is probably too massive to be made only of rocky material, but we can speculate that it is an icy planet that has migrated closer to the star," says team member Stephane Udry. The new observations have revealed that this planet is in the habitable zone, where liquid water could exist. "'d' could even be covered by a large and deep ocean — it is the first serious 'water world' candidate," continued Udry."


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