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Marking 125 Years Since the Great Gauge Change

jsiren Re:Why not variable gauge trucks? (426 comments)

Thanks to contributing to the discussion by repeating my point and adding nothing.

You're welcome, although I was mostly commenting on the "As for adjusting the track for each train... are you high?" sentence, since swb was talking about adjustable wheelsets, asking why not make the trucks adjustable? Point taking about gauging my writing before posting. My train of thought must have derailed somewhere...

more than 3 years ago

My present employer I think will survive ...

jsiren Re:Good wording. (225 comments)

No offense to anyone from Europe, but it reads like it was written by a euro.

Well, if 1 euro coins could write...

more than 3 years ago

Is a US High-Speed Railway Economically Feasible?

jsiren Re:Faster Solution (1139 comments)

Such trains have existed for decades already in at least Finland and they certainly haven't killed airlines. Even though there are many advantages: You can put all your stuff in the car when leaving home and at your destination you get to use your own, familiar car instead of a rental car that would also cost more.

Here's a link. Also, pictures of car and truck carriers being switched at the station, waiting to be coupled onto a night train.

You can see three types of vehicle carriers; the blue and white double decker with an open upper deck, the red and white fully enclosed double decker, and the flatcar truck carrier, which is also used to haul charter buses. All of these are loaded and unloaded with an end ramp, and can be driven through. They are set out for unloading, and loaded ones are picked up, i.e. the loading has to be complete about an hour before the train arrives. The vehicles are held in place with their own parking brakes plus wheel chocks.

...and no, they haven't killed airlines, but they certaily are booked to capacity. However, there have been talks about closing down some provincial airports because of insufficient customer base (a few thousand passengers per year). It seems that fast rail connections have made the airlines somewhat redundant, and one airline's messing about (charging for flights and then not flying) has not done much to help, either.

more than 4 years ago

Is a US High-Speed Railway Economically Feasible?

jsiren Re:Alternate solution (1139 comments)

My 20-year-old van with one passenger has a lower carbon footprint than someone traveling on high-efficiency highspeed rail. Why?

Your van isn't moving?

Because the energy put into building the van is already spent and done with. Not true for the HSR.

Ah, but how can someone travel on something that hasn't been built? Besides, you can run an electric railroad with close to zero carbon emissions. (e.g. Switzerland; coal was and is an import, but hydroelectric power was and is abundant, hence they went nearly 100% electric pretty early.)

more than 4 years ago

Does Anyone Really Prefer Glossy Screens?

jsiren Re:Deal killer (646 comments)

But what drove me to sell the thing on eBay was the glossy screen. Gloss makes it absolutely impossible to do any work with any bright light source over my shoulder. I do a lot of work in a terminal, and a black background is just impossible to read. So I switched them to a light background. That actually wasn't easy because the Terminal in OS X at the time (10.4, I think) made it really hard to switch colors--I had to download some sort of plugin to do something that X11 terminals have been capable of for years. Even with a light background, though, it was hard to do work if there was a lamp behind me and impossible to do work if there was a window behind me.

If your MacBook was the original edition (came with Tiger and CoreDuo CPU), you should have had a choice between glossy and matte displays. Besides, the colors of the Tiger Terminal.app can be configured in the window settings.

more than 4 years ago

Senators Want Big Rocket Instead of New Tech, Commercial Transportation

jsiren Re:The Senators' rocket design dictates a payload (342 comments)

Yeah, but "75mT"?


The "mT" thing is technically deprecated if I understand correctly, but for whatever reason is still quite common in aerospace circles:


At first I read mT as millitesla, which felt somewhat weird as a measure of carrying capacity...

more than 4 years ago

Forget LCDs and LEDs, Here Come LPDs

jsiren Acronym nomenclature (244 comments)

A = Acronym
LA = Long Acronym
TLA = Three Letter Acronym
ETLA = Extended Three Letter Acronym
METLA = More Extended Three Letter Acronym
WMETLA = Way More Extended Three Letter Acronym
SWMETLA = Seriously Way More Extended Three Letter Acronym
TSWMETLA = Totally Seriously Way More Extended Three Letter Acronym
RTSWMETLA = Really Totally Seriously Way More Extended Three Letter Acronym

about 5 years ago

What Would Have Entered the Public Domain Tomorrow?

jsiren Re:14+14 years (331 comments)

When Linux reaches the public domain, would people have the right to distribute modifications in binary form only?

Certainly. Let's say the copyright period were 28 years. If somebody wanted to release binary-only modifications to Linux 1.0 (released in 1994) in 2022, they would certainly be free to do so. Or if somebody wanted to create a proprietary, binary-only Linux kernel, they would only have to trail the GPL kernel by 28 years.

The point of doing either of the above would be...?

about 5 years ago

Until I remember to write '2010' instead of '2009':

jsiren Re:How're they gonna say it? (206 comments)

At least "oh-ten" is still accurate. By comparison, I heard a lady refer to 2002 as "nineteen hundred and a hundred and two" once.

Surely you complimented her on her perl skills?

about 5 years ago

Until I remember to write '2010' instead of '2009':

jsiren Re:2010 vs 2K10 (206 comments)

I understood the possible "efficiency" gains when people your write "2K" or "2K3" for the years 2000 and 2003, respectively, but I have recently seen at least one advertisement using "2K10" for 2010.

Except this is a constant source of amusement for somebody who's used to seeing resistor values written in short form where the magnitude symbol (R, K, M, G) replaces the decimal point. Examples: 2K = 2000 ohms, 2K3 = 2300 ohms, 2K10 = 2K1 = 2100 ohms, etc. By the same logic: year 2K3 = year 2300... hmm...

about 5 years ago

AT&T Readying For the End of Analog Landlines

jsiren Re:VOIP sucks. (426 comments)

Sure: In an emergency can I cobble together something to send out a communication that doesn't involve me fabricating a processor?(...)

For any infrastructure, there should be at least the possibility of a contingency plan that could operate using 1940's technology... ideally with a fail-safe involved as well. Anything else is bound to come back to haunt us sooner or later.

If you're interested in communicating with people over long distances with extremely simple technology, I seriously suggest you look into getting a ham license. It's not very difficult, and you can make yourself useful when other communications networks are down. See http://www.arrl.org/ for further information.

73 de OH8HTH

about 5 years ago

USPTO Awards LOL Patent To IBM

jsiren Re:lol = laughing out loud? WTF? (274 comments)

From the filed doc:

...a group of databases may be provided that each define one or more shorthand terms. These definitions may be structured in the database as shorthand terms paired with longhand terms. For example, one database may define the shorthand term "LOL" to mean "laughing out loud." Another database may instead define "LOL" to mean "lots of laughs." A database may also include multiple definitions for a given term. For example, a user's personal database may have two entries for the shorthand term "OMW" including "on my way" and "oh my word"

IOW, they have managed to patent a dictionary? Prior art, anyone?

about 5 years ago

Man Tries To Use Explosive Device On US Flight

jsiren Re:Should read (809 comments)

Yeah, but nearly 99.9% of terrorists are Muslim.

By that logic we should strip search anyone who breathes, after all 100% of terrorists breathe air.

The terrorists will just hold their breath...

more than 5 years ago

Apple Voiding Smokers' Warranties?

jsiren Re:Ridiculous (1078 comments)

which world is this you live on, where getting drunk is not your own fault, and the subsequent events that happen is also not your fault?


(Yes, I'm Finnish.)

more than 5 years ago

Asterisk Vishing Attacks "Endemic"

jsiren Re:Vishing? (141 comments)

I'm sure we could come up with a better term than "vishing".

You might vant to throw a coin in the vishing vell.

more than 5 years ago

Impressing Security Upon End-Users Visually?

jsiren Re:Security holes (157 comments)

I think you define "average person" very widely...

Doesn't something that's average, by its nature, have to be defined widely...?

If the "average person" eats at McD, then yes.

more than 5 years ago

My sense of direction is ...

jsiren Re:does it matter where you are ? (520 comments)

What about europe ? Is there something with road signs somewhere that confuses people ?

Sometimes road signs themselves are confusing. I've seen signs to suburb A hanging above a left-turn-only lane that leads to suburb B.

more than 5 years ago

My sense of direction is ...

jsiren Re:Know your Cardinals (520 comments)

BTW, if you can't see the sun's aura through the clouds, it's probably raining.

Another good sign that it's raining is when you get wet.

more than 5 years ago



Laser treatment to make light bulbs more efficient

jsiren jsiren writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jsiren writes "According to the University of Rochester, scientists have beamed a small area on the tungsten filament of a light bulb with femtosecond laser pulses. As a result, the beamed area started glowing much brighter, whilst the bulb's energy consumption remained constant. The change is attributed to an array of nano- and micro-scale structures created by the laser on the surface of the filament. The researchers say that this process could make a 60-watt bulb as bright as a 100-watt one."

PCWorld campaigns to save DOS

jsiren jsiren writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jsiren (886858) writes "Do you remember when 640 kilobytes was just not enough for everybody? Remember EMS and XMS? File names in all caps? A: and B: drives? CGA and EGA? Tired of the bloat that is Vista, and inspired by InfoWorld's Save XP campaign, PCWorld campaigns to save the simple lifestyle of DOS. Read more: http://www.pcworld.com/printable/article/id,143819/printable.html"
Link to Original Source


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