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Bicycle Bottle System Condenses Humidity From Air Into Drinkable Water

enjar How long is a "long bike ride"? (163 comments)

I've trained for (and completed) a marathon and done some long-ish bike rides (several hours), not to mention taken long hikes and hours of physical labor / yard work in both the burning heat and freezing cold. The water provided by a Camelbak or a couple bottles was enough to keep things together, and the extra weight wasn't exactly killing me or making the activity impossible. If you are decently hydrated to start with, doing an hour of reasonably difficult exercise is perfectly doable with no water at all.

Seems that this is kind of over-design for the vast majority of activity profiles -- people who work out for an hour a day are already rare enough, let alone people who work out long enough to have water weight be a significant part of the weight they are moving.

3 days ago
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Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

enjar Re:from the believe-the-worst dept (350 comments)

Clickbait is now the dominant business model for most of the internet, as far as I can tell. People don't really give a damn about debunking, they just hit the "Share" button and pass it on to the echo chamber of their $group_of_friends who echo it back to each other and agree wildly with each other.

It's pretty much the evolution of the chain letter -> MMF/forwarded urban myths -> google finds people just like me -> FaceTwitterInterest helps even more - BuzzFeed,Upworthy,et. al generate content from the echo chamber.

about two weeks ago
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Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

enjar Re:Breastfeeding? (350 comments)

apt-get install breastmilk

The following extra packages will be installed:
antibodies lipids fluids newdiaper nutrients

The following extra packages will be purged:
olddiaper poo pee

about two weeks ago
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Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

enjar Re:An interesting article by Bennett (350 comments)

Is it relevant to Slashdot's audience? No. Perhaps Bennett should go peddle his wares at sites where people care about racism and/or breastfeeding. What if Bennett tried shopping this post to engadget, Linux News or other popular tech/gadget/science blogs? He'd be told to go away and come back with something relevant.

If you buy that the survey methodology is relevant, you need to read a lot more about making relevant surveys. The world is awash in "studies" like this one, that would have trouble getting through a high school science fair.

about two weeks ago
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Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

enjar from the believe-the-worst dept (350 comments)

"Bennett Haselton writes"

Yep. Checks out. But I don't believe it.

I also don't understand the point of this post. Is Slashdot hoping to get picked up on HuffPo and on a bunch of mommy blogger sites? I don't really see how Bennett's keyboard diarrhea this week is anything remotely related to "News for Nerds".

about two weeks ago
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Cutting the Cord? Time Warner Loses 184,000 TV Subscribers In One Quarter

enjar Cut the cord in 2010 ... have not looked back (392 comments)

Cable TV provided so little value for the money all I've noticed is the thousands of dollars I've saved over the years. With Netflix, Amazon Prime and an antenna, I've not really missed anything of value.

I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop when the last bastion of why anyone would pay for cable -- live sports -- starts to have an effective streaming model that Joe Sixpack can easily use. The current model with blackouts and IP restrictions that require VPNs and other nonsense throw up too many barriers for many to figure out. Drop those barriers and many people lose the last reason they have cable, since it's largely disposable "reality" series filling the 400 channels that are received, and the quality stuff can be found by other means.

about three weeks ago
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Steve Ballmer Gets Billion-Dollar Tax Write-Off For Being Basketball Baron

enjar Don't hate the player (255 comments)

Hate the game.

I'll wager that Ballmer doesn't actually know much about his taxes. He pays someone (or, more likely, a group of someones) to figure out his tax return. Their job is to make sure he pays what he owes and not a penny more. I make considerably less than Ballmer but I also employ an accountant to do my tax return versus doing it myself. I expect her to advise me on how to pay the correct amount. I'm not looking to get audited or get sent to jail for tax fraud, but on the same token I have many other uses for my own money that don't involve paying taxes. My wife runs her own business and also uses the same accountant, who advises her on what deductions she can take and which ones she cannot.

I would personally like to see the US tax code vastly simplified. Much like trying to debug horribly written spaghetti code, the sheer complexity and length of it (IIRC it is will over 30K printed pages at this point) makes effective auditing difficult, if not impossible. As others have mentioned, the "fairness" comes into question when people (including corporations, because they are people, too!) of enormous wealth are lowering their rates considerably using these strategies. I think everyone on some level knows that some level of taxation is required to pay for roads, court systems and other services we like here in the first world -- but people get pissed off when they see anyone (rich or poor) who seems to be abusing the system -- from welfare fraud all the way up to billion dollar tax dodges.

about a month ago
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Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M

enjar Lots of weasel words in there (167 comments)

"user-specific" = "we are going to sell aggregated data"

"on behalf of a third party" = "we are going to get direct ad sales up and running soon"

#3 is just hysterical ... if they get acquired, they lose the right to any such thing as they become a wholly owned subsidiary, subject to whatever policies the parent company deems fit. As if it hasn't already happened about a billion times by startups who did one thing, then were bought up and summarily dismantled. Ello makes a false assumption that people give a damn about their product. An acquiring company may see it as a way to get a seasoned dev/qe team and shutter the service entirely. The examples of plucky startups that got pulled into the Apple/Google/Microsoft/$GINORMOUS_COMPANY orbit and summarily forgotten or dissolved is pretty big.

about a month ago
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Safercar.gov Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

enjar Re:We need to do it lke Europe. (120 comments)

I've received a few recall notices over the years for the cars I own. I followed the instructions on the form, made an appointment with the dealer, dropped the car off, then they did their thing. I never had to pay a dime.

You might be confusing a recall with a technical service bulletin. They are not the same, although a TSB can turn into a recall in certain cases -- and that happened in one case, for which I was refunded the money I'd paid for the service. All the recall notices I've received have had language on them to this effect, that if you repaired the car on your own dime (and can product a receipt) that they will reimburse you.

And if you buy a used car, it's probably worth the time to check for recalls. It's a similar situation for any consumer product you might pick up off Craigslist or from a private sale. We have a couple of kids and children's products are also notorious for this, since there's quite a "hand me down" / "cash sale" market that exists when your kids outgrow something and you don't need it any more.

about a month ago
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Your Online TV Watching Can Now Be Tracked Across Devices

enjar Re:All the more reason to get an antenna. (126 comments)

I live in the Boston metro area about 25 miles away from the broadcast towers and I get ABC, CBS, NBC, CW, FOX, two PBS and a couple independents. There are a couple Spanish channels and a shopping channel. There are subchannels on each so it ends up being something like 25 channels available. Some of them run reruns and old movies, for sure, but I get first run of anything on broadcast (goes into the TiVo), plus PBS has a lot of decent programming.

We also have Netflix and Amazon Prime but if you do your homework using sites like antennapoint.com and antennaweb.com you can get an antenna that's correctly sized and point it in the right direction, in addition to getting a rough idea of what you should be able to receive from your location.

about a month ago
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Your Online TV Watching Can Now Be Tracked Across Devices

enjar Re:Poor quality of ratings data (126 comments)

TiVo and Nielsen have had a relationship for some time, beginning around 2004. It's an opt-in system, so you would have been contacted by TiVo/Nielsen to allow monitoring of your recording and watching habits. Before the DVR, Nielsen used surveys and electronic systems from a segment of the population to generate data.

http://adage.com/article/digit...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N...

about a month ago
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Your Online TV Watching Can Now Be Tracked Across Devices

enjar Sounding another death knell for cable companies (126 comments)

Up till now, the TV Nielsens have been ruling the roost when it comes to how many people are watching something. Now with tracking added that includes online content on something of an equal basis, the real TV customers (the people who pay for ads) will know what the product (the viewers being shown advertising) is actually doing. This being Slashdot, people are no doubt running to the store to pay for a roll of tinfoil with a Bitcoin, but it's really not the Orwellian nightmare that you might expect. Imagine if there had been this richness of data for some shows like Firefly that were floundering in the TV ratings, yet were developing a following based on online views -- the audience was following the new episodes, but lagging the broadcast by a few months as they caught up.

I expect that many shows which got mishandled on broadcast yet had some redeeming value and a loyal (young, target demographic market) who aren't showing up on TV lists (because they don't own one) are going to now be more represented -- and that's going to lead to better programming for the people who like that. Perhaps the "sit in front of the TV" market will be eclipsed by the "sit in front of the tablet/smartphone" market as that becomes the way people consume television.

It might also clearly show what many of the cable providers keep denying but don't want to admit -- there's a tremendous market for (effectively) a la carte television that's being consumed right now. They can keep denying it, but it's going to be very hard for them to have leverage in deals with (especially) sports leagues when the Nielsen numbers show that it would be a great business decision to provide an app rather than going through cable to reach a larger audience who is young, hip and spends money.

about a month ago
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Making Best Use of Data Center Space: Density Vs. Isolation

enjar Re:Twins (56 comments)

Thinkmate

about a month ago
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Making Best Use of Data Center Space: Density Vs. Isolation

enjar Re:Twins (56 comments)

We use Twins extensively in our data center and have several racks full of them. We've been using them for several generations and are pretty pleased with how they have evolved over time. We now use the Twin2 units pretty much exclusively. We like the shared, hot-swappable power supplies and 4 systems in 2U layout -- which is certainly dense enough for our needs. We also have a great local VAR (greater Boston area) who is awesome in terms of RMAs, warranty service, and no-nonsense quoting when we need new systems -- they set us up with a login on their web page that will get the price dead on so we can get approval for that amount ... no "we are running a special 50% discount just for you" that requires a phone call and/or meeting. They will also send out guys to do a rack and stack who are really good at it -- you get systems shipped, they will put them in the rack in serial number order (easier RMA when you can just count up!) The prices are also very reasonable, and the extra bit of space for a card allows us to add an expansion card as we need it. We'd been through some other server vendors and we have stuck with these guys the longest because they work hard and are great to do business with.

We looked long and hard at blades, too -- but in many cases they were simply TOO dense for our needs, as we do sometimes need an expansion board, USB slot or some other thing on one of the machines, where we don't have to go up to the full 1U or 2U server to accommodate that need.

We also get into cases where we need traditional 1U/2U systems for something or other, and we generally just use the same guts that are in the Twins, which means we don't have to deal with weird driver issues for a different system board, so we can deploy or base operating systems + packages onto it without issue.

My day job is in HPC land, so I know there are more dense things out there, but for x86_64 computing, the Twins are really good for what they are. When you start stepping off the "mundane mainstream server" path and get into the "ultra specialized, boutique" stuff, the cost starts rapidly outstripping the benefit. Of course, for some applications you need to go there, but for what we do, we have more flexibility with space than we do with budget so the Twins strike a nice balance.

about a month ago

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