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Google Demos Modular Phone That (Almost) Actually Works

smart_ass Re:Load the drivers (126 comments)

maybe ok for baseline drivers.
But what if I plug in a three year old module to my new phone.
It wants to load old drivers incompatible with current OS revision.

Better to load a device ID of some sort and let the phone go get the proper drivers from a signed website

about 7 months ago

CMU System Lets You Get To the Good Parts of Video, Fast

smart_ass Re:Does it work on movies? (32 comments)

More than movies, Football and Soccer games and who could leave out porn in a discussion of this nature.

about 7 months ago

Fuel 3-D Claims to be a High-Res, Point and Shoot 3-D Scanner (Video)

smart_ass Can't have researched competitors much (25 comments)

we are not aware of any of these handheld systems that collect color data in addition to 3D geometry.




I am sure there are others.
Having used all three of the above linked devices, the key is in the software. The hardware is but a small piece of the puzzle.

about 8 months ago

Is Bamboo the Next Carbon Fibre?

smart_ass Re:Bamboo Bicycle (198 comments)

Having seen the bamboo scaffolding in both Hong Kong and China first-hand, the bigger issue (from my point of view) is not the energy absorption, but rather the assembly / erection. Unlike steel scaffolding the has a defined assembly, bamboo tends to be assembled by lashing together the various bits with inconsistent amounts of rope, twine or those plastic packing strips.

The problem here is that you are at the mercy (moreso) of he who assembled the scaffolding. If they were cheap or in a hurry things may fall apart. I was in Hong Kong during a severe wind storm around 5 years ago. It was bad enough that on the news they were advising ALL residents of all of Hong Kong to stay inside unless urgent.

Several sets of scaffolding fell down during that storm.

about 8 months ago

Is Bamboo the Next Carbon Fibre?

smart_ass Re:Or you'd read up about composite materials firs (198 comments)

"you need to make thicker strands of glass to make the fibers strong enough to not break"

Not so far as I recall.

Because Glass is an inherently brittle substance, the way you overcome this is by making many more SMALLER strands.
That way you can remove the defective ones more easily during manufacture. That is in fact the whole principle of fiberglass.

A single cylinder of glass will crack starting at a defect and working it's way out ... a cylinder the size of a pop-can for instance is guaranteed to have some flaws across many cross sections. If you use the same amount of material but with smaller bits with individual cross-sections more like a typical USB cable, the likelihood of finding a defect at any given cross-section goes way down. As such when a 5 or 10 out of 100 strands fail, you still maintain 90% of the theoretical strength. As the fibers get smaller (to a limit) your strength approaches the theoretical as you effectively eliminate the effects of the internal defects that cannot be removed.

about 8 months ago

Is Bamboo the Next Carbon Fibre?

smart_ass Re:or... (198 comments)

Lets not forget directional strength based on the weaves used. This has ALWAYS been and still is a distinguishing factor between (long) fiber based composites and their homogeneous counterparts.

A good designer can take this into account to a make a part that is stronger, cheaper and lighter.

A poor designer can add "Carbon Fiber Roof" to the list of specifications and increase the price.

about 8 months ago

Even In the Wild Mice Run In Wheels

smart_ass Re:I'm sedentary (122 comments)

Try getting out of North America.
They are all over the place in Europe.

I travel for work and there are lots of great ideas out there if we could see past our own cubicle walls.

Not just standing desks, but hydraulic ones that allow you to switch from sitting to standing throughout the day with little effort to "re-configure" the workstation.

about 8 months ago

Help EFF Test a New Tool To Stop Creepy Online Tracking

smart_ass Re:Ghostery (219 comments)

Most ISPs don't promise/guarantee a static IP, but frequently that is effectively the case.
Combined with browser and version, screen res, OS version, and regional settings ... they can guess that the user is the same one.

If they have people there smarter than me (and I guess they do) they'll be using that info to link potentially different cookies as suspect same cookies.

about 9 months ago

Author Says It's Time To Stop Glorifying Hackers

smart_ass Re:Also time to stop (479 comments)

As a Canadian (and a pretty awesome one at that) I do not support this statement.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Change Tech Careers At 30?

smart_ass Re:Troll (451 comments)

Perhaps not as good as it once was ... however ... when I retire regardless of the number of years I put in (I'm 39 and have been working there 13 years) I get nothing from my employer.

The whole concept of a pension in the private sector (in particular in tech) is all but gone.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do I Change Tech Careers At 30?

smart_ass Re:Troll (451 comments)

Yes and no to the 40 years.

If they live another 40 years, the total they take out will likely be greater than what they put in. And certainly better "return on investment" than those who work to 60 and get full pay but die at 62.

My father was a teacher ... retired a little on the early side. There is a correlation (not suggesting causality) between retiring earlier and living longer.

Some studies suggest those capable of retiring earlier have lives outside of work and that is what gives them purpose and a meaning and purpose to go on. Those who work until forced into retirement often ONLY have their work and when it's gone ... so are they.

about a year ago

Should Newsweek Have Outed Satoshi Nakamoto's Personal Details?

smart_ass Hold journalists/publications accountable. (276 comments)

Too much crap in the media.
In the race to be first with the story, half of what I read in a breaking story in the first 24 hours is half speculation / utter crap presented as fact.

Generally I am for society working it out on their own ... for "journalism"... the way it has been going, I would love to see the following:

1) Mandatory and obvious front and center RETRACTIONS and CORRECTIONS when they F-up details of the story.
2) Some sort of punishment for both the journalist and the publication that present the story.
3) Funds from punishment could be used to fix the situations they caused*

*Restitution to innocent victims of bull$hit. - for example.

If a journalist does not do due diligence before releasing a story and the result is that someone's life is put at risk ... that is a very serious offence.

about a year ago

Walmart Unveils Turbine-Powered WAVE Concept Truck

smart_ass Re:Why so many trucks? Why not railroads (242 comments)

If they did that, you wouldn't be able to afford to buy goods anymore

Wrong. At least if they did things fairly. The cost of goods would go up, but we would be paying less (Fuel/State/City) tax that was subsidizing (up until the hypothetical change) the truckers.

The point is it would just move the burden around. It is a zero sum problem. If they charge truckers more, they charge all of us less and the difference to our taxation will make up the difference to the product differences.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Sort?

smart_ass Re:Shredsort (195 comments)

Assistant-sort is by far the least work though.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Easy, Open Source Desktop-Sharing Software?

smart_ass Re:Free usually = not very good (116 comments)

Disagree with subject line ... many great free solutions out there.

BUT ... have used GotoMeeting and GoToAssist for these tasks at work, and GoToAssist is fantastic.
Multiple connections in case you are supporting more than one person at a time and ability to reboot are both great.

Automatic "giving" of control is a nice feature compared with GoToMeeting.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Easy, Open Source Desktop-Sharing Software?

smart_ass Re:Contact TeamViewer (116 comments)

Just get them to OK the project.

The fact that it is a volunteer / free thing I can't imagine why they would object.

Should be great exposure for them.

about a year ago

Facebook May Dislike the Social Fixer Extension, but Many Users Love It (Video)

smart_ass Re:I always justed used an external editor (176 comments)

Also depends what sorts of post you mostly do.

If most of posts are multi-line, then it is more convenient to do a "normal" ENTERs throughout and a CTRL-ENTER once at the end.

This post saves 5 SHIFT's and costs one CTRL with Matt's scheme.

about a year ago

Adults Make Riskier, More Inconsistent Decisions As They Get Older, Study Finds

smart_ass Re:They've got money to burn (225 comments)

Which makes total sense since they have less time to "win it back"

Seems fairly logical.

about a year ago

Mozilla Plan Seeks To Debug Scientific Code

smart_ass Wrong objective. (115 comments)

I don't know the actual objective ... but if the concern is "'We need to get more code out there, not improve how it looks.'" ... the objective is bad.

Wouldn't shouldn't this be about catching subtle logic / calculation flaws that lead to incorrect conclusions?

Agree ... if this is about indenting and which method of commenting ... then yeah ... bad idea.

But this has the possibility of being so much more. I would see it as free editing by qualified people. Seems like a deal.

about a year ago


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