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Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

pev Comparable efficiency? (174 comments)

Can someone who understands PV cells properly answer me this - it's my understanding that most standard PV cells get say low 20-something percent efficiencies and that the highest at the mo is around 40% acheived with significant solar amounts of concentration. Is this a genuine like-for-like beating of the best of the current crop or some fudging of the maths?

7 hours ago
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Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?

pev USBee or 2nd hand Tektronix (172 comments)

Ive a lot of time for the usbee - analog and logic analysis and basic decoding of serial protocols too. I also love the fact it can do long term signal capture / recording too. Yes you can buy chinese knock offs but really, have some decency and support small companies making Cool Shit.

For my own money i have an old cathode tek and an old lcd 60mhz tekscope that i bought on fleabay thats damn handy. Also keep an eye out for cheap old fluke scopemeters too...

about 5 months ago
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GM Names and Fires Engineers Involved In Faulty Ignition Switch

pev 41 million documents? You what? (307 comments)

I call bullshit. Assuming a large team of 100 people spending 5 minutes per document and working 8 hour days that would have taken 16 years if they took no holidays...

about 6 months ago
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Man Jailed For Refusing To Reveal USB Password

pev Maybe they could access his files? (374 comments)

Its long been understood that exposing your capabilities isn't a Good Thing. This brings us to the interesting potential scenario that in fact maybe GCHQ *could* quite easily read his files but wouldn't acknowledge this capability. In essence people can legally be jailed for not revealing access to material they can already bypass the encryption on perhaps? A bit worrying...

about 10 months ago
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Valve Releases Debian-Based SteamOS Beta

pev Re: Debian! (211 comments)

Of course they forked, they wanted to spend their time and effort developing a product to ship instead of constantly justifying their own decisions to a project gatekeeper. Sounds fair to me, its their time... Democracy is great but dictatorships get things done MUCH faster...

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Easy Wi-Fi-Enabled Tablet For My Dad?

pev Re: It's all complicated shit out there (370 comments)

You realise that safaris icon has been a compass ever since it was originally launched right? That's not to do with iOS 7...

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Easy Wi-Fi-Enabled Tablet For My Dad?

pev Re: Old dogs & new tricks (370 comments)

I wish I had mod points today, I'd have given you a +1 funny... Do you know any old people well and spend time with them? A tablet would be much more suitable...

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Easy Wi-Fi-Enabled Tablet For My Dad?

pev iPad (370 comments)

Just get an ipad - I got a cheap second hand ipad 1 for my mum (85) and she picked,up using it just fine. I never have to help her much unlike her normal computer.

To the poster who said about CPU / graphics power, potentially don't worry as most older folk are only really looking to use the web and read email, neither of which are intensive.

To the poster who said about full size vs compact : in my mums case she asked me to get her an ipad mini after playing with mine. In her case it wasn't about the screen size but because her arms aren't too strong it's easier for her to hold up and use! The air might be an option these days but it's a lot more money...

In general I think that like children, you shouldn't "dumb down" stuff for old folk unless you absolutely have to. It's not as necessary as many would have you believe. In children having to think more helps them learn and in older folk it helps stop them forget!

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Tech Job Requirements So Specific?

pev Re: To hire specific people (465 comments)

How long have I been in the business? Long enough to recognise see how most peoples attitudes towards sexism have improved...

PS - a cursory glance at my Slashdot UID would have given you a good estimate if you'd thought about it.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are Tech Job Requirements So Specific?

pev Re: To hire specific people (465 comments)

"you silly female HR idiots."

Have you been in storage since the 50's or are you intentionally saying that to ensure that no one takes you seriously?

about a year ago
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EU Considering Sensors In Sewers To Detect Bomb-Makers

pev How very enlightened... (219 comments)

So, the bomb makers just conduct their business in a house in the countryside that uses a septic tank instead of connecting to a sewer system. That's a lot of money and effort and false confidence that can be circumnavigated with great ease. Now, if they'd done this without telling anyone then they might have had an edge... Idiots.

1 year,24 days
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UK Prime Minister Threatens To Block Further Snowden Revelations

pev Government Advice? (431 comments)

So he's calling it "advice" but threatening to force via the courts if unheeded. I think most people would call that a "demand" or "threat".

1 year,28 days
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How Big Data Is Destroying the US Healthcare System

pev Can someone explain to me... (507 comments)

Given that this is the (crap) way that healthcare operates in the US, why has someone not set up a not for profit health insurance company? We have analogies in the UK with (non-medical) mutual organisations such as the Co-operative group and building societies who have provided great services in markets that had similar problems with being dominated by profit making organisations having people over a barrel. I would have thought that such a mutual organisation would find a happy place in the market and certainly be able to help provide affordable health insurance to most?

1 year,28 days
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Microsoft Reportedly Seeks To Put Windows Phone On Android Devices

pev Re: This is simple numbers pumping (182 comments)

Don't blame the OS for snappiness! That's purely done to how the developers have implemented their touch interface and graphics drivers and the GUI (although the GUI is typically fine as it's got long history) it's actually quite tricky to optimise touch drivers for minimum latency especially given that most interface controllers rely on driver side averaging to give accurate results and that inherently is a delay.

In principle any embedded OS can give you a lightning fast user interface if done right - we're only talking millisecond resolution (or even tens of) to be visually in perceivable. It's only where you want to do semi real time guaranteed deadlines millisecond or so when you'll get into difficulties and start to have to look at more creative solutions or Realtime options

about a year ago
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Microsoft Reportedly Seeks To Put Windows Phone On Android Devices

pev Re: This is simple numbers pumping (182 comments)

There's something odd about comparing the Android footprint to a 'Linux' footprint given that Android is just Linux + middleware at the end of the day... You could still load the linux portion of android in a similar small footprint even if you can't the rest!

about a year ago
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Microsoft Reportedly Seeks To Put Windows Phone On Android Devices

pev Re: Wrong way round. (182 comments)

Actually you'd be surprised how easy it can be especially in this day and age where most of the IP blocks are largely the same and most are supported. I used to do 50-50 embedded linux and embedded windows work and back when I did a lot of windows I could do a bring up from bare hardware and a linux port to booting into a windows GUI (windows mobile if required) in a day or maybe two if lucky. I'm not even a slight ms fanboy but the embedded windows architecture is quite clever in the way that the HAL abstracts out everything really nicely. There's lots I could bitch about but that aspect was really superb...

PS No. that's not over-exaggerating and yes I'm available for hire :-D

about a year ago
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Intel Rolls Out Raspberry Pi Competitor

pev Re: A netbook is not open. Neither is the pi. (214 comments)

Interesting - i bought an hdmi to vga on ebay for mine for the equivalent of about $15. And if you spent $40 on a usb keyboard and mouse...? $10 should have done you!

about a year ago
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German Data Protection Expert Warns Against Using iPhone5S Fingerprint Function

pev True with caveats (303 comments)

So apple say that they wont transmit the biometric id. That they can control. However, id bet that within months if not weeks someone will find a way to abuse and hijack this on jailbroken devices. The same protection doesn't apply to them...

Also eventually im sure the normal iphone will be abused too. Look at the debacle over the ease of extracting the users location history from iphones...

about a year ago
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How Amateurs Destroyed the Professional Music Business

pev Wrong wrong wrong (617 comments)

You're being a geek and treating music as if it were a science. Its not. As somebody enlightened once said : "people listen to music for emotional quality not sound quality".

Why else are do people still hunt down and listen to scratchy old 78's and get massively excited about them? Or go to live gigs in small venues full of noisy drunk people?

Stop getting hung up on the tech and go out to live gigs more and remember how it feels to get excited about the music itself!

about a year ago
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California Lawmaker Wants 3-D Printers To Be Regulated

pev Re:Gun control however... (856 comments)

So, following your logic, why is the USA trying to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons?

There are somewhere in the region of 23,574 out there on the planet and in all of history only TWO have actually been used to kill people intentionally. By a very curious co-incidence that also equates to exactly 0.008% of nuclear weapon owners that do bad things. Wow! Clearly, nuclear weapons are not a problem...?!

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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EU Car manufacturers completely manipulating fuel efficiency figures

pev pev writes  |  about a year and a half ago

pev (2186) writes "From The Guardian in the UK : European car manufacturers are rigging fuel efficiency tests by stripping down car interiors, over inflating tyres, taping over panel gaps and generally cheating. This overestimates the figures by 25% to 50%. One would have thought that a simple clause stating that cars have to be tested in the conditions that they are sold in would have been obvious?"
Link to Original Source
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More on the Nokia street digitisation project from the BBC

pev pev writes  |  about 2 years ago

pev (2186) writes "We've known for a while that Nokia have been working on their new map system and sending out vehicles with both cameras similar to Google's street view as well as LIDAR. The BBC have an interesting article with a bit more information about what they're up to as well as some great images showing the LIDAR data combined with the high resolution standard imagery. I do hope some of the high res stuff gets passed on to games makers to allow a new generation of interactive environments that are identical to the real world."
Link to Original Source
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NASA to encrypt all of its laptops

pev pev writes  |  about 2 years ago

pev (2186) writes "After losing another laptop containing personal information, NASA wants to have all of its laptops encrypted within a months time with an intermediate ban of laptops containing sensitive information leaving its facilities. Between April 2009 and April 2011 it lost or had stolen 48 "mobile computing devices". I wonder how it will be before other large organisations start following suit as a sensible precaution?"
Link to Original Source
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RMS Brands Valve's Linux plans as 'unethical'

pev pev writes  |  more than 2 years ago

pev (2186) writes "RMS has voiced his opinion on Valves announcement that it plans to support its games on Linux. To be fair he summarises that the move is likely to do more harm than good but he greatly dislikes the idea of having DRM protected software on an open-source platform. We all know the (long running) arguments for and against but realistically, many companies must protect their IP and open platforms will surely benefit from having such mainstream software running. Can no-one come up with a practical compromise?"
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Europe to get 3G iPhone at year end

pev pev writes  |  more than 7 years ago

pev (2186) writes "The Register reports : "A new 3G (European) version of the iPhone will be launched Monday in the UK by Apple — in a joint promotion with Vodafone, T-Mobile of Germany, and Carphone Warehouse. It should answer the disappointment with the US version of the iPhone which has been widely slammed for its poor performance as a phone." This is especially interesting as in an interview Steve Jobs is credited as having stated one of the reasons they havent used 3G yet is due to battery life and chipset (physical) size."

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