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Monthly net electricity use in my household:

cyclopropene Re:And I thought I was inefficient (327 comments)

Okay I found the bill really sucks to read. It showed the 10kWh under the total but later it also showed 290 kWh under the total which makes a lot more sense. Still seems like a very small amount.

Ok, man, as a "Chemical and Biological Engineering Student" you really should have done the math first... I'll forgive you as I doubt you sleep much ;-)

10 kWh/month wouldn't even power a dorm room mini-fridge...

about 10 months ago

Obamacare Could Help Fuel a Tech Start-Up Boom

cyclopropene Re:yep (671 comments)

Most Silicon Valley startups offer healthcare.........if they don't, they are horrifically underfunded and you should avoid them.

It takes time to obtain funding. The article is talking about the people who take a risk and actually launch startups, and their health insurance during the time that they are pitching their ideas to investors to obtain the funding to offer insurance to new employees, not people like you, who only join after the funding is secured.

1 year,1 day

To Boldly Go Nowhere, For Now

cyclopropene Re:Why bother at all (308 comments)

What we want to do is get the heck off this planet.

We should have a bustling casino perched atop Mount Everest and a fully self-sufficient megalopolis on Antarctica long before we consider colonizing other planets.

1 year,12 days

Tesla Working On Autonomous Cars: Musk Wants Teslas With Auto-Pilot

cyclopropene Re:autopilot for cars so like all the cost of the (287 comments)

From the common person's perspective, a self-driving car should be no different than hiring a taxi. Get in and state the destination, then don't care about the details of how it gets there.

Except you don't own the taxi--the owner of the taxi pays the insurance and passes it along to you in the fare. What you are describing is more like Zipcar. But iIf you own the self-driving car you are responsible for the insurance as much as the owner of a taxi or Zipcar is. However you dice it, though, the person sitting in the back seat staring at his iPhone benefiting from the self-driving car is the one who will ultimately pay, either through insurance or the price of the vehicle or through registration fees if it comes to that.

I don't disagree with you that the common public won't accept it. I also don't yet believe that these are ready for the common public either.

1 year,13 days

Tesla Working On Autonomous Cars: Musk Wants Teslas With Auto-Pilot

cyclopropene Re:autopilot for cars so like all the cost of the (287 comments)

I think the owner of such a car should end up paying for accidents through insurance costs, unless a driving algorithm was fundamentally flawed.

But overall, while I don't much like the idea of cars on autopilot, as I like to make eye contact with a driver before, say, crossing the street in a crosswalk, I nonetheless like them better than drunk drivers, of which there are plenty right now. Let's turn it around--maybe we need to think of it as having an autopilot ready to take over (or anyway loudly warn the driver) if its sensors pick up the driver doing something stupid. Let's look for beneficial uses of the sensor array necessary for these cars to navigate...

1 year,13 days

Carbyne: a Form of Carbon Even Stronger Than Graphene

cyclopropene Re:The real crown... (82 comments)

...will go to whichever material can be put to practical use outside of the research lab.

I'd give some cheers if they could even find impractical use outside of a silicon chip!

about a year ago

Carbyne: a Form of Carbon Even Stronger Than Graphene

cyclopropene Re:It's an alkyne. (82 comments)

Sadly, I don't remember enough organic chemistry to know what the double/double would be called.

Here's an article on cumulenes, but I don't know what a the proper name of a long chain of it would be.

The proper name is cumulene. In fact, that's pretty clear from the first line of the Wikipedia article you tried to link:

A cumulene is a hydrocarbon with three or more cumulative (consecutive) double bonds.

Emphasis mine.

One of those days... :)

about a year ago

New Thermocell Could Turn 'Waste Heat' Into Electricity

cyclopropene Re:Whats the efficiency? (181 comments)

From the Abstract:
"Power densities reached >0.5 W m2 in unoptimized devices, operating with a 130 C hot side. "

So apparently it generates 50 watts per square meter on a temperature drop of about 100 degrees (assuming the cold side is room temperature or about 25-30C).

I gather that 50 is indeed >0.5, but I'm not sure how you go from ">0.5 W M^-2" in the abstract to 50 watts per square meter. It's half a watt per square meter, which is pretty poor.

about a year ago

Apple Sued For Man's Porn Addiction

cyclopropene Re:Not his fault (509 comments)

What was he supposed to do? It's not his fault Apple makes such sexy hardware.

Get an iBurka?

about a year ago

For 2012's U.S. tax season ...

cyclopropene Re:99% - 47% = 51% ?! (526 comments)

If you're talking about Romney's "47%" comment, he didn't say that 47% didn't pay income tax. He said the "47%" got back more from the goverment than they paid. Significant difference.

An excerpt from an actual transcript (emphasis mine):

Romney: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48—he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that's what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people—I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not, what it looks like.

We can leave it as an exercise for readers to determine how "significant" the difference is. Actual video clip can be seen here in case someone doesn't believe the transcript.

about a year and a half ago

Exposure to Backlit Displays Reduces Melatonin Production

cyclopropene Re:Sample size too small? (192 comments)

Surely 13 people is too few to draw meaningful conclusions?

Yes. Especially if not compared to people reading a book under a 60 watt incandescent light bulb.

more than 2 years ago

Fair price for an unlimited wireless data plan?

cyclopropene Re:What efficient substitute for Internet radio? (314 comments)

So if someone wants to listen to music other than the music that the major labels pay the FM stations to play, how should he more efficiently listen to such music while away from fixed line broadband?

One way is to look at some of the lesser known FM stations (public/college radio) that are out there, especially if you live in the vicinity of an interesting city (if not, you might well be out of luck). I have a 45+ minute commute by car, and no data plan, so I face this problem daily. Here in the Boston area, I listen to WZBC (Boston College) and the local NPR station, and sometimes the MIT station (WMBR). When I lived in New York City, it was WFMU 24/7 basically. I send money to these stations to help keep them viable among the absolutely awful commercial FM radio stations and internet streaming they have to compete with. Finding and supporting local alternative FM stations is critical to solving this problem. It's getting more difficult, though.

more than 2 years ago

Red Wine and the Secret of Superconductivity

cyclopropene Re:Just an excuse. (105 comments)

This immediately reminded me of a paper I came across some years ago reporting measurement of the magnetic susceptibility of cigarette ash from different brands of cigarettes:

Magentism of Cigarette Ashes (pdf)

From the experimental section:

We have studied ashes (whole products residue)
from smoked by different smokers cigarettes from
three different commercially available on the
market brands, labeled as follows: Camel
(CM)—three varieties: Camel filter normal (CM),
Camel Light (CML) and Camel 100s (CM100);
Marlboro (MR) and the Bulgarian brand
Shipka (SH). Ashes were collected in glass pots
and used for magnetic measurements without
further treatment.

Glass pots. You mean, ashtrays?

(by the way, I have had that same sig for many years, but it perhaps has never been so appropriate...)

more than 2 years ago

Why Linux Vendors Need To Sell More Than Linux

cyclopropene Re:If you want the short answer (290 comments)

I disagree. There is a market for a linux distro like Ubuntu 10.04. Just a bare bones linux distro with some gadgets and some UI fringes, but basically a linux that you can use for work. Ubuntu has moved away from that. I have to find another linux that gives me just a shell and apt-get and some more. I am a programmer. I don't want my linux to become windows because I want to be in control.

But, how much would you pay for said distro? Downloading for free is not a "market", and I suspect as a programmer you would not buy it.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Changing Passwords For the New Year?

cyclopropene Re:I do not use the same password for multiple sit (339 comments)

I can tell you that RCN cable does. I was with RCN for many years, even using their email. Two years ago I moved, and transferred my service. During the transfer process on the phone, they asked me my 'PIN' number for my voicemail. I didn't know it, because I never set one as I never used RCN voicemail. After answering some other questions, they told me over the phone what my 'PIN' was. Lo and behold it was my RCN email password, that I would never have given them as a voicemail PIN!!! It was complicated and hard for the person on the phone to read, and I was thinking to myself "where the f**k did you get that?"...

No. Don't ever reuse passwords, even if you add a suffix like 'rcn' at the end...

more than 2 years ago

What Is the Most Influential Programming Book?

cyclopropene Re:Learning Perl (624 comments)

I am not a programmer but I read this about 14 years ago because I needed to analyze some pretty big text files. I thought it was written spectacularly and got me up and going in no time at all. If nothing else, this book should be read by anyone looking to get into the business of writing good programming books.

about 3 years ago

What Pinball Looks Like When the Stakes Are High

cyclopropene Re:PC! (133 comments)

Pinball really is a lost bit of nostalgia. I bet you a LOT of money could be made if classic machines such as Dr. Who, Attack from Mars, Revenge From Mars, Terminator, were adapted to the PC. I mean, Maxis' Full Tilt Pinball is the last decent pinball sim I can think of. And that was circa Windows 3.1

I agree. Although, while I haven't followed this in a while and I don't use Windows at home anymore, I was thrilled 7 or 8 years ago with vpinmame and Visual Pinball for machines like The Twighlight Zone, the Adams Family, and, well, Whirlwind, since I played that a lot in college. Actual ROMs, photographs of the tables as backgrounds, and real physics you could even edit, and it was all free (except for the ROMs technically, I guess...). Not sure what the status of these projects is these days, but I am inspired to check it out.

more than 4 years ago

2 Displays and 2 Workspaces With Linux and X?

cyclopropene Re:Why Not? (460 comments)

How do you define/measure "quality"?

By the price.

more than 4 years ago

The best pizza I have ever had, I found ...

cyclopropene Re:My vote: Wooster Street in New Haven, Conn. (920 comments)

I'll have to agree with Modern Apizza in New Haven, assuming you're willing stand on the sidewalk for 30 minutes to get in.
Occasionally I would go across the street to Amato's for their pesto pizza.

I miss New Haven Apizza.

more than 4 years ago


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