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Brain Patterns Give Clues To Why Some People Just Keep Gambling

petermgreen Re:Regulation or Legislation? (57 comments)

Another line of thought especially with more serious crimes is removal from society, if a criminal is locked up then it's very difficult for them to commit crimes against ordinary citizens.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: LTE Hotspot As Sole Cellular Connection?

petermgreen Packet data is low priority. (99 comments)

Traditionally mobile phone networks worked as follows

SMS (at least with GSM) goes on the control channel, so if the phone can associate with the network it can almost certainly get a SMS through.
Voice calls need data channels but those data channels are circuit switched and have priority over packet data. So provided you are outdoors (indoors multipath can screw stuff up) you can usually get an intelligable voice call through..
Packet data gets the capacity left over after circuit switched stuff (mostly voice, circuit switched data also exists in theory but is rarely used in practice) has taken the slots it needs. If a cell has capacity problems then it is packet data service that will bear the brunt of the problem. On the plus side web browsing, email etc are much more tolerant of jitter/loss than voice calls are so they sometimes work acceptablly indoors when voice call quality becomes unacceptablly poor.

By trying to run VOIP over packet data services you are giving yourself the worst of both worlds, the low priority of packet data services with the jitter/loss intolerance of voice communication.

Now with LTE they are moving away from circuit switching but I would still expect voice calls to have priority over generic packet data service. Also many areas don't have LTE coverage.

Your proposal may work if you live your whole life in an area with good uncongested LTE coverage. If you want to remain in communication in areas that don't have those things then forget about it.

yesterday
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Debian Talks About Systemd Once Again

petermgreen Re:Good to hear (517 comments)

I've taken two debian jessie systems successfully from systemd to sysvinit without running into the problems the author of that bug mentions.

There is probablly a valid issue underlying that bug but one should always be aware when reading bugs that they are often not as general as their author's make out.

3 days ago
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Debian Talks About Systemd Once Again

petermgreen Re:Some Sense Restored? (517 comments)

Debian's offering of Gnome 3 and Systemd are not comparable. Gnome 3 is only the default desktop for people who just want to click through the installer.

It's also what everyone previously using gnome2 on squeeze would get on upgrade to wheezy or above.

A fork of gnome 2 did eventually make it back into debian but it wasn't in wheezy and you still have to manually remove all the gnome bits and replace them with their forks.

Even if one hangs on to sysvinit as one's init system, programs like Gimp on Debian now end up pulling in systemd libs.

Pulling in libs related to things you don't use isn't really anything new.

The bigger question IMO is to what extent will systems that don't use systemd as init be supported going forward? Will users of other init systems be treated as second-class citizens. When the technical comitee chose the default init system they refused to rule on this issue and it looks like the current GR is what this is about.

3 days ago
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Tesla Is Starting a Certified Preowned Program

petermgreen Re:A lease on a CPO might be interesting... (126 comments)

While an electric vehicle won't be zero vibration it will likely be much better than a vehicle based around a reciprocating internal combustion engine for serveral reasons.

1: IC engine vehicles need to "idle". That is run the engine with no load as part of the startup process and during short stops. Mechanisms running unloaded are much worse from a vibration point of view than the same ones running under load. Electric cars can simply turn the main motors off when stopped (accessories can use their own motors which are sized to be appropriate to the load in question).
2: a reciprocating engine by it's very nature has objects of substantial mass changing position (rather than simply rotating). They try to balance this of course but said balancing is often of limited effectiveness. An electric motor (or a gas turbine but those didn't catch on in cars for other reasons) by contrast only has rotating parts.
3: while it's true that electric motors do have an optimal speed they have a much wider band of usable performance than an internal combustion engine. This means that it is practical for electric cars to use a fixed-ratio transmission.

about two weeks ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

petermgreen Re:Metric makes sense (942 comments)

You can do that if you aren't bothered about it being a rough approximation.

about three weeks ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

petermgreen Re:Knowing versus needing (942 comments)

What's especially annoying is when you have some components designed in metric and some designed in imperial. So whicever you chose a proportion of components don't line up nicely with your grid.

about three weeks ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

petermgreen Re:FP? (942 comments)

the "second" is an SI unit :D

It is but as far as I can tell noone talks about kiloseconds or megaseconds. They talk about minuites, hours, days etc.

about three weeks ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

petermgreen Re:FP? (942 comments)

Milk in the UK is a bit strange. milkmen supermarkets and conviniance stores associated with supermarket chains sell it in round multiples of 1 pint. Other shops sell it in round multiples of 500ml.

about three weeks ago
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Boeing Told To Replace Cockpit Screens Affected By Wi-Fi

petermgreen Re:Surprisingly (142 comments)

How do you know they are using "crap lead free solder". Doesn't ROHS have exemptions for this sort of stuff.

Also even if they are using lead free solder I don't think the situation is anywhere near as bad as you imply. I have plenty of stuff that still works which is 5-10 years old. Capacitor failure still seems to be a bigger problem than solder failure.

about three weeks ago
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DARPA Technology Could Uncover Counterfeit Microchips

petermgreen Re:Question from the lawn (35 comments)

The problem is testing "every possible op code" is insufficiant, you would have to test every possible opcode/operand/register state combination since the condition for "evil behviour" may test on a tight combination of those. Doing so is compututationally infeasible.

about three weeks ago
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DARPA Technology Could Uncover Counterfeit Microchips

petermgreen Re:Define "counterfeit" (35 comments)

Often manufacturers seem to do a really shitty job of marking their chips requiring you to hold them to the light in just the right way to read the bloody things.

I suspect you wouldn't even need to erase the markings to relabel those, just print the new markings in a way that was actually visible under normal conditions.

about three weeks ago
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Update: At Least 31 People Feared Dead After Japan Volcano Erupts

petermgreen Re:No warning? (54 comments)

The scientists were well aware of the small quakes. The prosecution alledged that they should have known that this meant an elevated risk of a big quake and that their downplaying of said risks was sufficiently negligent to ammount to manslauter. The court agreed with the prosecution and convicted them but the sentances were apparently suspended until appeal.

http://rt.com/news/italy-jail-...

Did the court convict because they took a detatched view and found the people truely negligent or was their verdict colord by rage and the need to find a scapegoat. That is why we have appeals.

Unfortunately I can't seem to find any information on whether the appeal was successful, a failure or still in-progress.

about three weeks ago
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Breakthrough In LED Construction Increases Efficiency By 57 Percent

petermgreen Re:OLEDs not generic LEDs (182 comments)

I don't mind paying $20 for a light bulb I'll probably never have to replace again.

With CFLs we were promised 10 times the life of incandescents, some live up to that but many don't even from supposedly reputable brands. Fully enclosed fitings with the lampholder above the bulb seem to be particular death to CFLs.

Yes in theory an LED bulb can last even longer than a CFL but i'd be very reluctant to pay such high bulb prices on a relatively unproven and easy to screw up (AIUI high power LEDS need careful cooling design and drive circuit failure is also an issue as it is with CFLs) tech.

about three weeks ago
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Breakthrough In LED Construction Increases Efficiency By 57 Percent

petermgreen Re:You know what this means (182 comments)

I thought some were UV LEDs with a phosphor coating which gives better color spectrum but lower efficiency.

about three weeks ago
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CDC: Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million In 4 Months

petermgreen Re:CDC "Estimates" (280 comments)

More people die in Africa every month from dysentery than have died from ebola ever. But there's no public hysteria, and thus no tax dollars, in that.

Which sucks for the poor africans with dysentery but it's not much of a threat to the rest of the world.

What makes ebola scary is it has a very high kill rate, the number of cases has been growing exponetially and while poor hygine practices have certainly played a role it seems far from certain it couldn't spread in a more developed society. So-far the number of cases escaping the hotbed of infection has been at a level where extreme measures (carefuly tracking anyone who has been in contact with the victim) can be taken to contain the escape but as the number of infected grows that will become harder and harder.

about a month ago
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Google Quietly Nixes Mandatory G+ Integration With Gmail

petermgreen Re:Does it matter? (139 comments)

Some examples

One was the real names policy, previously youtube had been happy with psuedononymous commenters. With google+ they tried hard to push people into using their real names on google+ (though they eventually dropped that policy) and they also tried hard to push youtube users to sign up for google+ and use their google+ name (which was likely their real name) on youtube. It was possible to avoid it but they tried pretty hard to push people into it.

Another was that gmail users were appearing in google+ searches. Some people don't want it to be easy to search out their email accounts.

about a month ago
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Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

petermgreen Re:Battery life! (253 comments)

Some modern phones also have a similar battery life if you turn off packet data meaning that outside of calls the only radio traffic is occasional interactions with the control channel.

The problem comes when you want to be notified of incoming emails or tweets or whatever so you keep packet data turned on. That means that the phone is constantly bringing up packet data connections so that apps can talk to servers on the internet.

about a month ago
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Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

petermgreen Re:At least one moon (253 comments)

Statements like "Charger is compatible with most cell phone brands requiring 4800- 5000mAh voltage" don't exactly fill me with confidence in the competance of the manufacturer or seller.

about a month ago
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Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

petermgreen Re:Maybe (253 comments)

I'd disagree with "irrelevant to anyone except a professional photographer". The real problem is not proffesionals vs amateurs but that the usable megapixels of many small cameras is far lower than the nominal megapixels making the nominal megapixels pretty much meaningless to anyone (including proffesionals).

More usable megapixels are good for pretty much any camera user but the only way to get significantly them is to make the whole camera (sensor and lens) larger and that is a price smartphone users are generally not willing to pay.

about a month ago

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