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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

adolf Re:Let the consumer choose (820 comments)

Perhaps he is colour-blind, or suffering from the Faraday effects of his aluminium hat.

4 days ago

Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

adolf Re:Tires are nowhere near silent (820 comments)

I recently moved from a house on a one-way street that adjoined a very busy intersection, to a different house a couple of blocks away on the same one-way street.

Before, it was maddening: There was a constant roar of revving engines, worse in the summer with barely-mobile Harley riders gunning the engine just to keep it running, but also year-round coverage from loud ricers, heavy trucks, and straight-piped diesel pickups.

Now that I'm a couple of blocks away from that intersection, and not particularly near a stop sign or a traffic light, it's much, much quieter...not so much because there is less traffic (there is plenty), but because that traffic is not actively accelerating.

So, you're right. But you're also wrong.

The noise I hear, now, is almost always just tire noise. The speed limit is 25MPH (which people tend to think of as 30MPH in this locality) and folks tend to be actively decelerating for the railroad crossing just past my house, and yet I can plainly hear the cars approaching from hundreds of feet away.

Even a Tesla, of which there is one in the neighborhood that I see out and about semi-regularly.

So yes, drivetrain noise can be significant, but even in residential areas where people aren't accelerating, tire noise alone can be very substantial...and certainly substantial enough for a middle-aged person of average or below-average hearing to hear what's coming.

Parking lots? I've been damn near run down by a distracted, low-speed Prius driver before. I might be OK with some form of artificial noise -outside- the vehicle, as I understand (but have not witnessed) is done with the Nissan Leaf.

(I've also lived next to a busy Interstate, which was also very noisy place dominated by rubber tires on asphalt, and also on a goes-nowhere country road whereupon most drivers had a destination on that road and that was also largely tire noise. I realize these extra data points add nothing to this particular discussion of residential speeds, but perhaps lends some credence to my perceptive experience.)

4 days ago

Wireless Charging Standards Groups Agree To Merge

adolf Re:With apologies (65 comments)

it used to be that every phone vendor needed their own chargers (or at least adaptor cables but even that could be dodgy). Nowadays they all use 5V and most of them use a microUSB connector to deliver it.

That is because of a EU directive specifying that phones have micro USB for charging, not because of a diverse industry suddenly making sense.

(although, before that, the world had almost settled on mini USB.)

about three weeks ago

How Long Will It Take Streaming To Dominate the Music Business?

adolf Re:I'm amazed (169 comments)

Youtube? Really?

Youtube doesn't work on my Sonos gear, and chews up data on my cell phone.

Spotify works well in both places, and is lean on cell data.

about three weeks ago

How Long Will It Take Streaming To Dominate the Music Business?

adolf Re:Streaming sucks (169 comments)

Years on a contract? I call that "moving."

Contract ends? I call that "moving, again."

I don't think I'd expect the same streaming services if I moved to another country, any more than I would expect the cuisine to be identical.

about three weeks ago

Beware Headlines Saying Chocolate Is Good For You

adolf Re:Cocoa is also disgusting without sugar (224 comments)

I think that repetition is doing nothing to support your point, and that it wastes your time.

I also am averse to adding anything to food for the sake of "color."

about three weeks ago

Dish Introduces $20-a-Month Streaming-TV Service

adolf Re:And how much WITHOUT ESPN? (196 comments)

I don't know what "a commercial problem" is. Is it about advertising? Because I've never encountered "a commercial problem," as far as I know.

about three weeks ago

Dish Introduces $20-a-Month Streaming-TV Service

adolf Re:Finally (196 comments)

I've never missed paying the bill and have rarely called them to support my internet connection, but they'd rather get a new customer than keep me, even when I asked them to just match the new customer deal for me.

If that's the case you're simply doing it wrong.

Here is how you do it right: Call them up. Tell them that you want to cancel. When they ask why, tell them that $competitor is offering you a better deal.

They will balk and scriptedly explain that $competitor's service is inferior.

Ignore this and tell them that price is your primary motivation right now.


They've got a script, and you aren't the first customer to play through it. So use your own script, and stick to it. If/when you make it all the way to the Customer Retention department, they'll give you whatever you want to keep you around, and if all you want is a steep discount for a year they'll be happy to provide that.

And if they're not happy to provide that, tell them (again) cancel it. Rinse and repeat until you've got what you want.

And don't worry: It's much harder than you think to get a Customer Retention rep to turn off your service.

(In my experience this works for any value of $provider. Way back in the dial-up days I had free nationwide Internet for most of a year: Every time I called $provider to "cancel," they offered me another month or three for free, which I found to be fairly profitable based on my usual hourly wage at that time.)

about three weeks ago

Dish Introduces $20-a-Month Streaming-TV Service

adolf Re:Maybe you didn't read it? (196 comments)

I don't have Comcast as an option, but I can upgrade my own VDSL to 75Mbps if I decide that I need to do so.

about three weeks ago

Dish Introduces $20-a-Month Streaming-TV Service

adolf Re:Excuse me while I blow a kiss (196 comments)


If they want all of the comforts of their own home, perhaps they should not leave it.

about three weeks ago

How Long Will It Take Streaming To Dominate the Music Business?

adolf Re:Disposable music (169 comments)

You know, I do buy some music.

From some artists.

Some of the time.

These days.

Now that streaming is relatively cheap, and music is relatively difficult to walk down the street and just legitimately buy.

I prefer actual pressed/injection-molded CDs (to play in my Krell CD player...), and have quite a number of them.

But the rest of the time, I use Spotify. Spotify allows me exploration and endless background noise for way less money, billed once a month, than buying an exploratory CD or two.

And I don't have to maintain a database of my own music on my own servers to keep track of it all, much less manage off-site backups.

about three weeks ago

How Long Will It Take Streaming To Dominate the Music Business?

adolf Re:I'm amazed (169 comments)

I use Spotify because it works for me.

I used to buy music regularly, on CD, but the last music store here closed almost 8 years ago.

Not that CDs and other physical album sales were generally a particular profitable item for artists, either. The music industry is and was and by all observations will continue to be a completely fucked up mess when it comes to paying artists for recorded music.

about a month ago

How Long Will It Take Streaming To Dominate the Music Business?

adolf Re:Streaming sucks (169 comments)

Although I generally agree with you, I must say: As an American living in the midwest, I don't notice much about location-based blocking.

And when I visit another country (which I don't generally ever do), I'll hopefully be far more entertained by local customs and exploring things that are new to me, than I will be worried about whether or not my Spotify playlists are operating correctly.

about a month ago

Netflix Denies There Was a Policy Change With VPNs

adolf Re:technology! (67 comments)

I use a VPN provider which does not care what I do with it, or how much data I transfer. They guarantee 4Mbps, minimum, of symmetric bandwidth availability. They actively encourage people to use the service as they see fit, and even offer (quite slow) services for free to people living in very restrictive jurisdictions.

And it's cheaper than $9.99/month.

about a month ago

Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

adolf Re:Dupe (840 comments)

Replacing an incandescent bulb with an LED assembly is not a repair, but an upgrade.

Apple, meet orange.

about a month ago

Google Fiber's Latest FCC Filing: Comcast's Nightmare Come To Life

adolf Re:One fiber to rule them... (221 comments)

Cable TV would devolve into each service like HBO having their own streaming site available on the 'Net. And Comcast would have no reason to exist.

Comcast would still have a reason to exist: To provide last-mile access to such sites as, say, hbo.com.

Just like any other Internet provider.


about a month ago

Sony PlayStation Network Back Up Now, Supposedly

adolf Re: Lesson goes unlearned (75 comments)

In the US, we have a long tradition of paying both to place and receive mobile phone calls and SMS.

We also have a long tradition of receiving landline calls for free, and also placing them for free to numbers in a specific local area. We have never had a custom of paying to answer a landline.

Nor, I must point out, have we ever had a custom of paying more to call a mobile number than any other number, as I understand is/was commonplace in some other parts of the world. When I would pick up my landline to dial a local number, it would cost me nothing additional, as with any other local number.

(these lines are blurred now that inexpensive landline-esque service is generally unlimited and flat-rate within the US, and many people opt for mobile plans that are similarly unlimited and flat rate (aside from data)).

about a month ago

US Navy Sells 'Top Gun' Aircraft Carrier For One Penny

adolf TFS, FFS (118 comments)

Correction: Navy *pays* a company $0.01 to a company for the service of removing it and dismantling it.

It didn't sell anything.

about a month ago

Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

adolf Re:Think that's bad (234 comments)

That is what it is being used for in your use-case.

Looking around in the Worx Gallery (which, I must say, the very concept of which sours my mouth), it looks like it can also do just about everything else, too.

Hence, why it needs all of the permissions in the world (or at least enough of them that arguing otherwise is a moot point).

If you don't like it (and I certainly don't, don't get me wrong), there's Xposed modules that can fix it. (And Xposed modules that defy root-detection. And, and, and. See also: Cat and mouse, Tom and Jerry, and DRM wars going back decades before DRM was even a TLA.)

Or, do it the old-fashioned way: One device for work, one device for other. Power off one or the other when not needed.

about 1 month ago



When a greeter stops you from leaving a store

adolf adolf writes  |  more than 4 years ago

adolf writes "Do you:

Stop and await inspection
Ignore any alarm and keep walking
Pretend to be deaf
Pretend to speak a different language
Keep moving, and drop a copy of the Fourth Amendment on the floor
Other (explain)"

Slashdot's new comment interface blows chuks

adolf adolf writes  |  more than 6 years ago

adolf writes "A couple of days ago, Slashdot changed its comments interface. Gone is the whitespace in its previously easy-to-read format. Gone are the simple textual links for replying and navigation. New is grey boxes surrounding each comment with a set of large grey buttons at the bottom of each. It is ugly and hard to read. Why the change? Why is it not user-selectable? Why do I find myself not reading comments anymore?"




adolf adolf writes  |  about a year and a half ago

So I'm cutting up a Trinidad Scorpion Butch-T pepper with gloves on, and sprinkling it around a pizza that I am going to cook and eat. Grown in worm casings, it is said to be the hottest pepper in the history of anything, ever.

I didn't have a surplus of worm casings when I planted my plant, Trisha (yes, I name my ridiculous pepper plants). But I did have enough household compost to dig a big hole and replace it with the results from a worm-heavy cold-compost pile before planting the little girl in the middle of that pile of worm-digested food.

Therefore I suspect she's very well-fed; indeed, she's grown much larger than any other first-year pepper plant in the garden, without any purposeful chemical treatments or chemical fertilizer.

I've grown ghost peppers (bhot jolokia) for a few years, and I think I understand what I'm in for. The Scorpions have just started to ripen for the season and this is my first of them.

So I pick a deliciously-colored one, quickly sharpen a good knife, and chop it up finely with gloved hands. Still wearing the nitrile gloves, I scrape the minced pepper from the cutting board and sprinkle it onto the pizza. And I take the gloves off and throw them away, because I'm done handling it now -- right?

But seeing those tiny morsels of pepper on that slab of cardboard crust, tomato goo, and imitation cheese makes me think: Gee, how hot could it be?

So I gather up a tiny sliver from the surface of the pizza with my fingertips and eat it. Yep: It's hot. So hot that it has no redeeming qualities, other than just being hot. None of this was unexpected, though at least by comparison a Habernero has a strong and sweet citrus quality once one gets past the pain... But there was no redeeming quality to this pepper: Just pain.

Well enough, I say to myself. I set the oven to pre-heat the oven and go take a leak while I wait.

Twenty minutes later, my fingers are fine. My palette is fine. My throat is fine. My genitals are on fire.

It's not like I can buy these things at the market, so it's amusing to see how persistent this pepper is in casual use.

And, by God, I'm going to cook that pizza. And I'm going to eat it. And I'm going to handle each and every bite with dishwasher-safe, stainless utensils, and I am going to wash them with an enzyme-based detergent and then a bleach-based detergent -- nobody needs to experience this on accident.

I might even put a fresh pair of nitrile gloves on, just to make sure that nothing that goes in my face winds up somewhere other than in my face when I eat this pizza.

But the question is: Why? Why not just enjoy some bland, cheap, freezer pizza? Why, while I wait, do I suffer from a special kind of burning nasal distress every time I emit a tiny burp or belch, having eaten just the tiniest sliver of a pepper? Why can't I just admire Trisha in all of her visual Trinidad Scorpion Butch-T delight? (She is a very lovely plant, after all.)

Why must I torture myself by eating her fruit?


Wal-Mart gestapo

adolf adolf writes  |  more than 4 years ago

So, the other day I was at Wal-Mart. My wife and I had done some shopping, and among other things (mostly food) we had bought a new-release Blu-Ray movie.

At the checkout, the clerk passed the movie over the security-tag deactivation thingie several times, but there was no response from it.

However, on the way out, the alarm went off. The greeter (an elderly woman) says "Over here, over here," motioning to me that I should go see her. I ignore her. She grabs onto the cart and pulls, as if attempting to stop me. Not stopping for even an instant, I calmly say "Ma'am, you have no right to hold me here," and proceed on my way. She lets go.

Behind me, through the open door to the parking lot, I hear her say "But you're SUPPOSED to stop."

Now, pause: Why am I supposed to stop? Did I do something wrong? Am I in some kind of trouble? Is anyone else in some kind of trouble that I should be assisting them with? No, no, and no. I own my stuff, I paid for it, and I'm leaving with it -- plain and simple.

I kept walking. When we finally reached the car, which I always park on the far edge of the lot to avoid car door dings and cart damage (cheap insurance, and a good walk, too), we calmly loaded our new possessions into the car. After that, my wife looks back at the store, and sees the greeter-lady standing there, holding the automatic sliding door open, watching.

We get into the car. The greeter is still watching. Wondering how long this can possibly play out, and what might happen if it did, we rolled down the windows and smoked cigarettes for a few minutes. Still, way over there, the greeter was watching.

The greeter won the staring contest, and we eventually left, but: blah.

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