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Comments

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University of Michigan Solar Car Wins Fifth Straight National Title

justthinkit F1 (25 comments)

The new F1 regs are about a lot more than "slowing things down". They have gone from a 750 hp engine to a 600 hp one PLUS "Energy Recovery System". This is exactly the kind of innovation that makes sense.

The latest high-end sports cars use exactly this sort of hybrid setup, so it is completely logical that the traditional racetrack-consumer synergy be continued with this change.

In this sense, F1 is adapting and remaining meaningful (to high end cars), where the electric plywood-on-wheels cars are increasingly meaningless.

2 days ago
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University of Michigan Solar Car Wins Fifth Straight National Title

justthinkit Then change the design yearly (25 comments)

Then change the design yearly. Each year have a useful new goal -- motors can only weigh so much, vehicle must be able to seat 4 upright, bonus points for gizmos.

These solar cars have been "a piece of wood with 4 tiny wheels" for a decade or more.

Have them tow a trailer one year, or hill climb, or drive through mud (run the race through the south). Speaking of hill climb -- have a Pike's Peak race.

2 days ago
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University of Michigan Solar Car Wins Fifth Straight National Title

justthinkit How about... (25 comments)

As cool as these cars are, they are starting to all look alike.

How about this? Add a rule that they have to have, say, 50 cubic feet of storage inside the car (in addition to the driver).

2 days ago
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How Bird Flocks Resemble Liquid Helium

justthinkit Re:There have been attempts before (40 comments)

a simple "Try and keep a constant distance from my neighbors" algorithm

Probably the same algorithm birds use when they fly into a tree -- "try to keep away from branches". They just do it ten or one hundred times faster than we can, so it be black magic to us. A tight loop, run with highly priority, and featuring a few key bits of inline code.

4 days ago
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Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

justthinkit It's broke, Jim (227 comments)

(1) the math doesn't break down, the theory does. If the math broke down as well, we wouldn't know the theory had broken down.

(2) an analogous discontinuity of the Earth would be "falling off the edge of the Earth", as some used to believe. That broken theory got changed centuries ago.

(3) I know of no one that thinks of subatomic particles as points but I do know of theories whose flaw comes from them being based on point particles.

Disclaimer: Mr. Thornley and I have a history

about a week ago
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Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation'

justthinkit I knew it (336 comments)

Sooner or later my mom was going to get on slashdot.

about a week ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

justthinkit Re:Cost (547 comments)

I could. But then safety goggles don't work well on top of glasses -- fog up, push glasses into face, etc.

I feel old when it comes to worrying about wearing safety glasses vs regular glasses -- as in, I'm not worried about it. Just as I rode my bike(s) for years before I had to wear a helmet.

Today we are super worried about, for example, bike helmets, safety goggles & hard hats. But then we buy ourselves seasons tickets to NFL football and lose our hearing instead. Has anyone ever seen anyone wearing ear protection at a sporting event?

By the way, still no helmet required when one goes to a public ice skating session. That ice is like concrete and, last I checked, falling is an every minute thing for some people.

Then there's tennis. I ruined my knees playing tennis. Chasing after every ball stretched everything in my knees. Decades later I met others who had the same experience. But how many people wear knee supports playing tennis? Only those injured already.

Safety regulations cause us to become fanatical...about some things. While remaining blissfully ignorant of other potential threats.

about a week ago
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"Magic Helmet" For F-35 Ready For Delivery

justthinkit I'm curious (184 comments)

What was wrong with the F-22 that the F-35 was going to fix?

about a week ago
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Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

justthinkit Re:wat (227 comments)

I'd describe that as a theory that breaks at an endpoint.

about a week ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

justthinkit Re:Cost (547 comments)

I agree with your points, with the exception that I especially like wearing my glasses outside. Walking down an overgrown trail, I have less concern that a bush will whip into my eye.

Also, whenever I am using a hammer or skill saw, I have more eye protection that someone not wearing glasses. No, they are not a full replacement, but then again I am only referring to "around the home" situations.

about a week ago
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A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

justthinkit Re:More hosts than that... (194 comments)

Thanks. Shaves 2 bytes per site in my hosts file as well. Adds up to almost an MB in a 16MB file.

about two weeks ago
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A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

justthinkit More hosts than that... (194 comments)

There are a number of other sites that are hosting the code. Check the summary link to see what they are.

Since the sites using this exploit are sorted by Alexa rank, I gave up looking after a while, but here are "the biggies":
127.0.0.1 addthis.com
127.0.0.1 ligatus.com
127.0.0.1 cloudfront.net
127.0.0.1 vcmedia.vn
127.0.0.1 cloudflare.com
127.0.0.1 kitcode.net
127.0.0.1 pof.com
127.0.0.1 shorte.st
127.0.0.1 ringier.cz
127.0.0.1 insnw.net
127.0.0.1 domainsigma.com

Not sure how serious this would break things, but some are hosting the exploit on Amazon's cloud: 127.0.0.1 amazonaws.com

about two weeks ago
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China Has More People Going Online With a Mobile Device Than a PC

justthinkit I'll bet it is (58 comments)

I'll bet it is rooted cell phones, with the added security of being mobile, allowing Chinese to do what the rest of the world takes for granted.

about two weeks ago
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The debate over climate change is..

justthinkit No, and No (278 comments)

However if you used relativity it would always be right for any situation we have managed to encounter or create.

"No" # 1 - quantum world

"No" # 2 - black holes

There is no reason to assume that relativity is right everywhere. Saying it "would always be right" is unscientific, in the extreme.

about two weeks ago
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The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

justthinkit Re:Maintenance for all trains is high (195 comments)

though your Wikipedia reference doesn't really support your claim

Well, since you were the one to say that freight trains had priority over passenger trains, how about you support your claim.

but in much of Europe, the passenger trains do have right of way, even if they're running late

And in Canada (where I worked for CP Rail some decades back). It surprised me that the U.S. operated differently.

about two weeks ago
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The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

justthinkit Re:Maintenance for all trains is high (195 comments)

In the US, slow cargo trains have right-of-way, slowing down passenger trains.

Not quite. Passenger trains have priority, and only lose it when they run late and even then, it is not that freight has priority over passenger service but that it does not have to yield to passenger trains. It would be more accurate to say it becomes "first come, first served". Kind of like if you reserve a table, they hold it for you for a few minutes after the time you set, then it becomes available to all.

about two weeks ago
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The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

justthinkit Maintenance for all trains is high (195 comments)

Railways have the highest fixed costs of any transportation system. 25%, I was told 30 years ago when I worked on one.

High fixed, low variable cost. So adding one freight car = dirt cheap. Going one mph faster on a curve = very expensive, due to increased wear on rails, road bed, etc.

There is also the not small problem of grade. Trains dislike hills, with a grade over 1% being excessive to them. Cars routinely handle ten times this.

Grades dictate routes. The only way around this is tunnels & bridges. Either way, cost per mile for a track is much higher than for a road. With costs born by one company, rather than all of us.

It is a fundamental problem, that leads to the division of bulk (slow) hauling = railways, people & fast hauling = trucks/cars.

about two weeks ago
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Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

justthinkit 100 to 1000 times below NOEL (162 comments)

100 to 1000 times below NOEL is the goal -- the standard that few come close to.

The maximum daily dose of Paracetamol (aka Acetaminophen) is 66% of the FATAL dose.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Tattoos and why we love/hate them

justthinkit justthinkit writes  |  1 year,3 days

justthinkit (954982) writes "For years I've pondered why people get tattoos. I've studied them, laughed at them and admired them. I've watched several tattoo reality shows and watched friends and closer get tattoos. But if I became Emperor I would ban the word "tattoo" and replace it with the word "mistake", as I think that is usually what they become, sometimes immediately. Still I'm occasionally open-minded and would love to hear other perspectives on the subject. What are your thoughts on tattoos? Do you have one or more? Are they visible? If you have tattoos, do you have piercings? How much have you spent on tattoos? Do you have any tattoos that you regret? What tattoos were painful? Do you have a favorite tattoo, on yourself or someone else? Which area of the body is the best place to have one? And the worst placement for a tattoo?"
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Have they discovered a new particle?

justthinkit justthinkit writes  |  about a year and a half ago

justthinkit writes "Live Science reports on the findings of researchers from Amherst College and the University of Texas at Austin that speculate there might be "a new fundamental force of nature". Having alleged long-range effects it may turn out to be electromagnetism in disguise. Still, the prospects are interesting. Thus far there are 3 possible explanations, including an "unparticle" and a Z' (pronounced "Z-prime"). Does anyone have a simple(r) explanation of the "long-range spin-spin interaction" observed?"
Link to Original Source
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Best 32-bit System In 2012

justthinkit justthinkit writes  |  about a year and a half ago

justthinkit writes "I have a number of applications that will not run on 64-bit Windows, but I would like to gain the benefits (most better caching) of having more than 4GB of RAM. Am I stuck with these Windows operating systems? And why is Windows Server 2008 Datacenter and Enterprise not included on that page? Should I go with a Linux or Win 7/8 system, and run a VM of Windows XP? Is this a solved problem or a lost cause?"
Link to Original Source
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Why do you hate your printer?

justthinkit justthinkit writes  |  more than 3 years ago

justthinkit writes "After buying the big black ink cartridges for my Canon Pixma printer, only to have them be ignored while I use up the other inks, despite having my printer set to "grayscale", I am ready to buy another printer. Thanks to Slashdot I've learned to go back in time to the era of laser printers, only now I need to choose the best one of those. We need to print & scan, with almost zero faxing. I have narrowed my search down to an HP LaserJet Pro M1212nf or a Canon MF4450 but there seem like dozens of printers I could choose from. Since printers are practically free, and their supplies practically gold-plated, it comes down to which printer will I hate the least?"
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Have you Bumped someone today?

justthinkit justthinkit writes  |  more than 3 years ago

justthinkit writes "You can now give other drivers a piece of your mind without the limitations of horns and high beams, or the risk of road rage. Bump lets you connect your email address to your license plate, allowing you to harass the chick in the red convertible from the comfort of your barcalounger. Does anyone see any opportunites or problems with this kind of service?"
Link to Original Source
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What gadgets go on your pedalled ride?

justthinkit justthinkit writes  |  about 6 years ago

justthinkit writes "Bicycle ridership is rising faster than the Shuttle, but is safety (and comfort) improving as quickly? What toys and tools are you using to have a safe, more comfortable commute? Anyone using the compressed air horn that fits in your closed fist and taps a supply of air in a bottle the size of a water bottle? I could see semis & dump trucks flipping over when they heard it. How about an electric motor add-on — is it worth the weight? Share your best bike secrets and maybe save a life."
Link to Original Source
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What does Ubuntu mean to you?

justthinkit justthinkit writes  |  more than 6 years ago

justthinkit writes "Apparently, Ubuntu means a lot more than "easy to use Linux" to Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics. For the NBA team it has become a rallying cry. Translated as "I am because we are", the Celtics break huddles with UBUNTU! (and have made it all the way to the NBA final as a result). So what does Ubuntu mean to you? Is "collective success over individual achievement" what Linux is all about? Or is this moment going to be more like what happened to Tux at Indy?"
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Favorite application of all time?

justthinkit justthinkit writes  |  about 7 years ago

justthinkit writes "Slashdot readers, you are the most technical people on Earth. You probably average a decade or more of computing experience. What, in all your years of hacking, have you found to be your favorite application of all? What is the one program you would like to have with you on a desert island? And why?

The catch is it has to be a single file and no dependencies other than what the OS of its day provided by default. This is a blast-from-the-past seeker. I am sick of OSes today shipping with hundreds of thousands of files, on install DVDs. I am looking for the most useful yet tiniest ever. Small is indeed beautiful (and Word.exe's chief architect should be President).

I'll kick things off by stating mine — Microsoft Word for DOS, version 5.0a [Version 5.5, patched for Y2K, is available from MS for free]. My choice: Word.exe, 622,428 bytes.

Some of the reasons I love Word.exe? Ran native on OS/2, had a shallow mouse-and-keyboard accessible menu tree (that negated the need for obscure WP-like macros or keyboard templates, although it had one of the best keytemps ever), integrated support for a powerful yet readable macro language, RTF support, embeddable images, CR or CR-LF text file support, changeable screen resolutions (including a half readable graphics mode), first DOS application with native mouse support. And practical things like a hefty 8MB file size limit, auto-created backup files, auto-generated "DOC" file extension, automatic on-screen pagination and absolute 100.0% stability. Pity that XP broke the clipboard access...

At one point I worked at a 500 person engineering firm that was still running Word.exe right into the Windows 98 era. I've written applications that depended on automated calls to Word.exe. Low tech, high age friends of mine use Word.exe to write, manage contact lists and convert documents — for almost 20 years now [timeline]. They bought a new printer 6 or 7 years ago and the dealer installed Windows to install the printer drivers. On their next trip to British Columbia, on route to Hawaii, I was called upon to put it back to "just DOS + Word" for them. Word.exe keeps on keeping on.

If we allow more than a single file but still limiting things to what shipped with the core application, then I would also cite: postscript support (30KB), superb help file (105KB), the most complete spell check database at that time — that allowed user and global add-on dictionaries (180KB), full thesaurus (320KB), excellent tutorial system for mouse and keyboard (900KB)]. Heck, if you excluded the thesaurus & tutorials you could be fit it all on a single bootable 3.5" floppy.

Ok, I think I set the bar pretty high but I am really looking forward to other all-star submissions."

Link to Original Source
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justthinkit justthinkit writes  |  more than 7 years ago

justthinkit writes "John C. Dvorak is at it again, but this time he might be making sense. In a brief piece on pcmag.com he writes about Windows copy issues, calling the words "Preparing to copy" the "Windows' words of doom". His observations range from show-stopping bugs like the "The Long-Filename Anomaly" to annoyances like poor time-to-completion estimates. He doesn't add Vista's new copy slowdown feature to the list, probably hoping that Vista will just go away altogether. So is it time to cut him some slack?"
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justthinkit justthinkit writes  |  more than 7 years ago

justthinkit writes "ZDNet reports that "Microsoft has sold nearly 40 million copies of Windows Vista in the first 100 days, twice as fast as the introduction of Windows XP, Microsft [sic] chairman Bill Gates said in a keynote address Tuesday." Is it just me or do the words "Reality distortion field" come to mind? Bill Gates then added that "sales of Vista in the first five weeks have matched 'the entire installed base of similar software'. Given there are 300 million+ computers in operation, each of which has an operating system, what are we to make of such a bizarre statement?"

Journals

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Top program of all time? I choose Microsoft ________

justthinkit justthinkit writes  |  more than 6 years ago What, in all my years of hacking, is my favorite application of all? What is the one program I would like to have with me on a desert island? Brace yourself...

The catch is it has to be a single file and no dependencies other than what the OS of its day provided by default. I am sick of OSes today shipping with hundreds of thousands of files, on install DVDs. I am looking for the most useful yet tiniest ever. Small is indeed beautiful (and this program's chief architect should be President).

My choice: Microsoft Word for DOS. Specifically, version 5.0a, 622,428 bytes. [Version 5.5, patched for Y2K, is available from MS for free].

Some of the reasons I love Word.exe? Ran native on OS/2, had a shallow mouse-and-keyboard accessible menu tree (that negated the need for obscure WP-like macros or keyboard templates, although it had one of the best keytemps ever), integrated support for a powerful yet readable macro language, RTF support, embeddable images, CR or CR-LF text file support, changeable screen resolutions (including a half readable graphics mode), first DOS application with native mouse support. And practical things like a hefty 8MB file size limit, auto-created backup files, auto-generated "DOC" file extension, automatic on-screen pagination and absolute 100.0% stability. Pity that XP broke the clipboard access...

At one point I worked at a 500 person engineering firm that was still running Word.exe right into the Windows 98 era. I've written applications that depended on automated calls to Word.exe. Low tech, high age friends of mine use Word.exe to write, manage contact lists and convert documents -- for almost 20 years now [Word timeline]. They bought a new printer 6 or 7 years ago and the dealer installed Windows to install the printer drivers. On their next trip to British Columbia, on route to Hawaii, I was called upon to put it back to "just DOS + Word" for them. Word.exe keeps on ticking.

If we allow more than a single file but still limit things to what shipped with the core application, then Word.exe gets even better because of: postscript support (30KB), superb help file (105KB), the most complete spell check database at that time -- that allowed user and global add-on dictionaries (180KB), full thesaurus (320KB), excellent tutorial system for mouse and keyboard (900KB)]. Heck, if you excluded the thesaurus & tutorials you could be fit it all on a single bootable 3.5" floppy.

Word.exe. I don't leave home without it.

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