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Ask Slashdot: Extreme Cable Management?

arcsimm DIY wiring harness? (242 comments)

I've started to lay out and lace together wiring harnesses for my machines. This is actually pretty easy for monitors, so I start with them: one standard power plug, one data cord (either DVI or DisplayPort for my stuff) and typically one USB cable for the in-monitor hub. Once you've arranged your other hardware on the desk, you can then start grouping together other bundles and tying them off to your main trunk. You end up with a nice, sturdy, self-contained structure, rather than a tangled mess. Later additions can be threaded into the harness as needed, or if you use twist or velcro ties you can rebuild the harness on the fly.

It takes some upfront work, but the end result is satisfying and keeps the whole mess out of the way.

about 2 years ago
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Aircraft Carriers In Space

arcsimm Re:More debris in space :-( (409 comments)

The US intentionally targeted a satellite on a re-entry trajectory, both to provide a plausible excuse (keeping the hydrazine tanks from reaching the ground intact and poisoning somebody) and to avoid making a killer cloud of orbital debris. China didn't have that degree of discretion.

On the other hand, we did accidentally EMP half the planet that one time.

more than 2 years ago
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How Google Is Becoming an Extension of Your Mind

arcsimm So... (154 comments)

So if somebody steals my Google Glasses, will they then proceed to run around town shouting that they're Manfred Macx, while I wander around in a functionally retarded state?

more than 2 years ago
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fMRI Lets Israeli Student Control Robot In France With His Mind

arcsimm Re:Yes, but .... (92 comments)

Rawhide: Dr. Banzai is using a laser to vaporize a pineal tumor without damaging the parthogenital plate. A subcutaneous microphone will allow the patient to transmit verbal instructions to his own brain.
Observer: Like, "raise my left arm"?
Rawhide: Or "throw the harpoon." People are gonna come from all over. This boy's an Eskimo.

more than 2 years ago
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AutoCAD Worm Medre.A Stealing Designs, Blueprints

arcsimm Re:Ah, but which information? (139 comments)

T-squares, my friend, T-squares. Preferably the ones with the cast-aluminum heads --- they can be very persuasive.

more than 2 years ago
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Neal Stephenson Reinventing Computer Swordfighting, Via Kickstarter

arcsimm Re:Proprietary Hardware (151 comments)

"People with viable ideas can borrow money."

Perhaps you haven't heard, but there's this liquidity crisis going on right now that makes banks *really* loathe to loan anything to anybody for any reason, least of all for a business venture. Kickstarter is helping a lot of people bridge that funding gap in other ways.

more than 2 years ago
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Who's Pirating Game of Thrones, and Why?

arcsimm Re:Offer people what they want (1004 comments)

re: anime, the market there is not as deep as it might seem. Anime releases in the US market went though a huge boom-bust cycle a few years back. The BitTorrent download numbers made it look like a lucrative market, since a fair portion of the fanbase watched ~80% of the shows airing each season via fansubs. US licensees were buying up every mediocre property they could get their hands on, but it soon became apparent that US anime fans would, generally, only buy DVDs of shows that they loved madly. As a result, most of the US licensees went belly-up around 2007 or 08. These days, I get most of my anime through Crunchyroll, but when I count the number of shows I watch I think the amount spent per episode viewed is under $1 -- and I'm not sure I'd pay much more if it came to it. HBO would balk at handing out Game of Thrones for a buck a hit, and I'm not sure that they're wrong, but that may be what it takes to win the BitTorrent crowd over. Is it so surprising that they'd want to protect their current business strategy, in that context?

more than 2 years ago
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Researcher Runs IP Network Over Xylophones

arcsimm Re:It needs an acronym! (83 comments)

That's a no-go -- the trademark is already registered to Apple's biological weapons division.

more than 2 years ago
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Trimble To Acquire Google SketchUp

arcsimm Re:This really sucks (92 comments)

If Trimble wants four figures for SketchUp, they'll need to do a ton of work on the dimensioning and documentation tools. Producing a good, readable set of construction documents in LayOut is nearly impossible, but it's something the competing tools from Autodesk make simple. As it stands, $500 is a fair price for something that is great for modelling work, but has to paired with 3rd-party software to make a worthwhile drawing set.

more than 2 years ago
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Trimble To Acquire Google SketchUp

arcsimm Re:This really sucks (92 comments)

I don't have any data to back it up, but my gut feeling is that there's no way that Google couldn't have been turning a profit on it. There was never much of a development team, and SketchUp Pro has long been a de-facto standard tool for architects and designers. At $500 a pop for Pro licenses, you don't have to sell many copies to pay for all your developers. That's before you count intangibles like free 3D data to improve your other services. SketchUp may be a better institutional fit for Trimble, but it almost certainly had to have been a net positive for Google's bottom line.

about 2 years ago
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Hypersonic Test Aircraft Peeled Apart After 3 Minutes of Sustained Mach 20 Speed

arcsimm Re:Close to re-entry speed (191 comments)

No, no, see risk-taking with no guarantee of success is all fine and well for you or I, but if it's the Ebil Big Gub'mint taking risks and doing cool stuff, it's a Waste Of Taxpayer Money, and therefore Very Bad.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Open Source Tax Software?

arcsimm Re:For this you want a professional product (387 comments)

Haha, not if you're a poor self-employed person! Go straight to the long form, do not pass go, do not collect a refund! Pardon me while I go cry in the corner.

more than 2 years ago
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When I drive, I place my hands at ...

arcsimm Re:Option explanations (380 comments)

Not without heavy-duty rollover/crush protection. A regular seatbelt allows the occupant's torso to pivot to the side if the roof begins to crush down on him, while a 4-point harness holds him rigidly upright.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is an Acceptable Broadband Latency?

arcsimm Re:Latency (396 comments)

Nope, you've got the gist of it. What you've really got to run these tools continuously over a period of time, so you can get a sense of where the problem link actually is. I had a similar issue with a college ISP many years ago, and didn't have any luck getting it resolved until I set up a script to run regular traceroutes and dump the output to a logfile, so I could go to the administration and say, "This is the IP of the thing that's broken. Fix it." I also had to include the above-linked graph to prove my point; apparently having an entire network segment go dark for hours at a time every day didn't raise any alarms over there.

more than 2 years ago
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Rearview Car Cameras Likely Mandated By 2014

arcsimm Re:My phone has a camera (652 comments)

Just like GP says: on most cars, with the mirrors properly adjusted, a vehicle exiting the field of view of the rear-view mirror will simultaneously cross into the side mirrors, and exit the side mirrors as it enters your peripheral vision. A quick sideways glance may be required to pick it back up at this point, but in most cases it should be nearly alongside you once it's out of the mirrors (this is not strictly true in, say, a convertible with the top up, but it still holds in most cases). This isn't to discount the importance of a good long look before changing lanes, but generally, you should be able to have constant 360-degree situational awareness without craning your neck around the B-pillars.

As previously mentioned, most drivers set their mirrors such that the wing mirrors are completely redundant with the center mirror, and don't cover any of the bind spots that they should be. Here's a great how-to on properly adjusting your mirrors from Car and Driver.

more than 2 years ago
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Philatelists Push Petition For Pluto Probe Postage

arcsimm Re:What a waste... (79 comments)

Philatelists Push Petition Pfhor Pluto Probe Postage

(I'm guessing that reference will fly right over the heads of quite a few...)

more than 2 years ago
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Philatelists Push Petition For Pluto Probe Postage

arcsimm Re:What a waste... (79 comments)

"Proposing" would be a better choice, since it avoids adding "to."

more than 2 years ago

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