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Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

jnork Re:Well... (493 comments)

Exceptions need to be made for people who have legitimate medical reasons for not being vaccinated ("my parents are fuxxing morons" not being one). But it's not a few outliers that are threatening to kill us off.

about 2 months ago
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Curved TVs Nothing But a Gimmick

jnork We actually have a use for them... (261 comments)

My company actually has a quasi-legitimate use for curved screens. We make airplane flight simulators, and some of our larger ones have 180 degree wrap-around vision using 5 screens (ok, well, actually [pulls out a calculator] 225 degrees, being 5 sides of an octagon, but you get the idea). Correctly done, curved screens could make the experience more seamless.

Which is not to say that I don't consider them to be a gimmick intended to drive sales.

about 2 months ago
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

jnork Re:Freakin' Riders. (767 comments)

Something I wouldn't have thought of, seeing as how I'm living in sunny Northern California these days, and snow is a distant memory. I kind a miss digging it, well, hmm, exactly not at all. Nope. Still don't miss digging out of the snow. Ask again next year. :)

Still, surely there are ways of dealing with ice and snow that don't involve sending people 'round to knock it off with broomsticks. Airplanes deal with it all the time. At least in this case you don't get big hunks of metal falling out of the sky if they fail, and there are fewer issues of extra weight, aerodynamics and current draw that need to be considered.

"Point is that there is no winning here. Everything is a compromise."

I'm not sure "winning" is the goal here, and I'm not sure where to draw a line that shows "winning" on one side and "losing" on the other. But I don't think this is a zero-sum game. A compromise, yes, everything is, but I think an improvement, on balance. If you have to install heaters to melt the ice, you save less than if you didn't, but on balance you should save more than if you heat the lights all the time.

It's a problem that needs to be addressed, but it doesn't completely negate the advantages.

about 6 months ago
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

jnork Re:Freakin' Riders. (767 comments)

I like you guys. You do it much better than here.

There are ways to recycle that stuff here, too, but mostly we're not as good at making it convenient. And it's variable from place to place. How good it is in any one place depends on the whims of the state and local legislatures.

about 6 months ago
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

jnork Re:Freakin' Riders. (767 comments)

Me, I glue them into the socket. When I have to change the bulb, by God, I'm gonna replace the entire fixture!

Pisses off the landlord, too. Nothing is better for knocking bux off your deposit return short of trashing the place!

For my next trick, I'm going to pull up all the carpet and staple it to the ceiling. That way it stays clean and I won't wear it out.

about 6 months ago
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

jnork Re:Freakin' Riders. (767 comments)

Eh, perhaps. We came up with various ways to make light, and each one was an improvement over the last. The Edison bulb was simple, cheap, easy to make, portable, and so on so we used it for a few generations until we found a way to improve on it. Now other technologies have caught up and are surpassing its value, so we're starting to convert. One of the reasons it's taking so long is that the existing technology is entrenched; people want to keep using their old equipment, and they don't want to change how they're using it, so the new technology has to LOOK just like the old technology, while still providing an obvious improvement. e.g. It's easier to design a new lamp around LED technology than it is to design a replacement Edison base LED bulb that throws as much light as a 100W incandescent, but people want to replace their bulbs without replacing all their lamps.

So anybody with any sense of perspective will actually be able to figure it out. Otherwise the same could be said for ANY techological advance. Recording audio on sticky tape and rust? How stupid is that? Solid state makes MUCH more sense!

about 6 months ago
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

jnork Re:Freakin' Riders. (767 comments)

"the only hard part is a switching power supply".

These days, switching power supplies are easy. I think the REAL hard part is heat dissipation. That's especially true when you're trying to make your light bulb fit into an existing socket; your form is limited by the function of an older technology. Whereas if you get to design the lamp from the ground up, you've got a bit more leeway.

And it's why high-wattage replacements are harder to find, very expensive and weigh a ton. I don't think I've seen anything higher than 100W equivalent in an Edison screw base yet.

"And it's revolutionized other industries - aircraft lighting is rapidly going LEDs..."

Absolutely. Probably the airport runway stuff too. I've seen lots of LEDs on commercial trucks, especially the marker lights, and a lot of newer car models use them for signaling. Also I've noticed a lot of traffic lights have gone LED. I think that's a tremendous savings. Not just the power, but consider how much it costs to change one of those suckers. (Remember: you have to roll a truck with a cherry picker, and redirect traffic... at least.) Swap one out every 20 years instead of, I dunno, once every year or two? And they can take damage and keep running -- I once saw one doing a perfectly adequate job with about 1/3 of the LEDs dark. Try THAT with an incandescent.

about 6 months ago
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

jnork Re:Freakin' Riders. (767 comments)

LEDs (the component) are actually dimmable, and it works pretty well. There are two main ways to do it.

One secret is to control the current, not the voltage. The response isn't linear, but it's close enough. (Also: what are you comparing to? How linear are incandescents?)

The other method is to use Pulse-Width Modulation, which is basically turning the LEDs off-and-on very rapidly. The ratio of on-time to off-time controls the brightness. It's quite linear. (Actually there are other modulation methods, PWM is the simplest and most commonly used. And easy enough to look up.)

Of course, assuming you're planning to use a standard dimmer control, both of these require some extra circuitry to measure the incoming voltage, then use that to apply the techniques in a way that approximate an incandescent dimming. It also requires the bulb to be able to light using a relatively wide range of incoming voltages. But honestly, neither of these is particularly arduous.

Also, no noise, no matter how dim it gets. Incandescents get very inefficient as you dim them (a greater percentage of the power goes to heat); LED bulb efficiency won't change much, and the color will stay the same.

I can't speak for anything currently on the market, but in theory, it should be possible to create an LED bulb that dims very well.

about 6 months ago
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EFF Slams Google Fiber For Banning Servers On Its Network

jnork Re:Bogus headline, flamebait. Shame, EFF. (301 comments)

I find it interesting to note that your entire argument centers around, not running servers, but abusing bandwidth. One does not necessarily lead to the other, and the latter can be done without doing the former. (And your example doesn't even involve running a server, but instead involves running a client.)

If they want to avoid subscribers abusing bandwidth, then they should say so, instead of prohibiting one kind of thing that could possibly be used to abuse bandwidth, but is often useful without being abusive.

Classic case of medicating the symptoms instead of looking for a cure.

about a year ago
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Book Review: The Healthy Programmer

jnork Re:Rreasonable response (461 comments)

Anybody using the word "literally" figuratively needs to be taken out and shot. Literally.

about a year ago
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Forget Flash: Resistive RAM Crams 1TB Onto Tiny Chip

jnork Re:Will we finally get a replacement for hard disk (287 comments)

I feel sorry for people that will never know the joy of typing on an ASR-33 teletype. Composing anything with that awesome "KACHUNK KACHUNK KACHUNK"...

...erm...

...oh, um, on second thought, forget I said that.

Hah hah, no, seriously. You're right, the old IBM keyboards were AWESOME. Great tactile feedback, impervious to damage, and in a pinch you could use it as a blunt weapon. Against a bear. And when you were finished bludgeoning the bear into submission, hose off the blood and fur and go back to typing.

about a year ago
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Queen's WWIII Speech Revealed

jnork Re:Blatant Lies (147 comments)

Reading comprehension is fine. Attention span is... ooh! Shiny!

about a year ago
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"Smart Plates" Could Betray California Drivers' Privacy

jnork Re:Why is there an assumption of privacy? (262 comments)

... and C) all the other parties, which somehow everybody managed to ignore. No matter what their platforms.

1 year,4 days
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E-Voting Source Code Made Public In Estonia

jnork Re:The big question (88 comments)

Or you could have end-to-end verification of your vote. Doesn't guarantee the software is the same, but at least you'd know that YOUR vote got there intact. And if not, presumably there'd be something you could do about it. Enough people complaining might get paid attention to.

"...planned to test an experimental feature where the voter can check via a physically separate channel (smart phone) if his or her vote has been registered correctly." Yep, that's the kind of thing I had in mind. It'd have to be done properly, of course, but somebody is apparently thinking along the same lines.

The fact that the government is asking for help with the software suggests to me that they're making an honest effort. But if you start from the premise that the government is automatically and irredeemably dishonest, and this is just being done as a distraction, then there's not much you can do short of overthrowing it.

1 year,10 days
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EA Is the Game Company Disney Was Looking For

jnork Oh, look! (254 comments)

... More stuff for me to ignore from EA, aside from mocking them.

about a year ago
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Browser Choice May Affect Your Job Prospects

jnork Re:Loaded language? (374 comments)

Ah, one of my favorite Python sketches.

about a year ago

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