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Ask Slashdot: How Can I Improve My Memory For Study?

socrplayr813 Re:See a psychologist. (384 comments)

Replying mostly to undo a moderation misclick, but I'll chime in as well:

AC here really is giving good advice. I've seen and experienced similar effects. Depression could be the cause for (or at least a contributing factor to)
all the issues that were described.

Absolutely take a look at your diet and exercise. Deficiencies in your diet can have a huge effect on your mental abilities and can be a major contributing factor in depression, if that is a cause of your problems.

I also strongly recommend following up on some of the suggestions farther up the page for improving sleep. Most artificial light (including computer screens and TVs) actually does have an effect on your body's internal mechanisms. If you absolutely must use your computer near bedtime, I recommend using redshift on Linux or f.lux ( These will change the color of the output to reduce the effect on your sleep.

Last, don't be shy about discussing your issues with the appropriate people at the school. If it is a medical issue, they should be very willing to help you deal with it and/or work around it.

Been there before (though maybe not quite as serious) and it's not fun. Good luck.

about 8 months ago

Mozilla's 2012 Annual Report: 90% of Revenue Came From Google

socrplayr813 Re:They sold out a long time ago (278 comments)

Utter nonsense. It breaks nothing to disable third party cookies. Absolutely nothing.

It broke YouTube commenting.

Are you sure that isn't a feature?

about 9 months ago

US Electrical Grid On the Edge of Failure

socrplayr813 Re:I know most of you don't live where I do... (293 comments)

Upstate New York is a large and diverse place. I've lived here for 30 years and I could count the memorable power outages on one hand. The power has rarely gone out for me in a mix of city, suburb, and rural locations. When it has, it's almost always been just a few minutes.

1 year,5 days

What's Causing the Rise In Obesity? Everything.

socrplayr813 Re:People who can't stop (926 comments)

Try pricing out stuff like beans, kale, cabbage, spinach etc. instead. Inexpensive and very filling.

Maybe your area has better prices, but where I live (a typical low income US town), that's not the case. My girlfriend and I switched to a vegetable, fruit, and meat diet a year or two back. Our food bill went up a good 20%. On top of that, because it's a somewhat rural area and the population is generally low income, the variety of fresh food available is pathetic. It can get very boring eating spinach and cabbage all the time. Even with our garden, we don't get the quality and variety of food that we should, and we try pretty hard to make it work. The general population isn't going to put in that kind of effort, especially with the added cost here.

The people I deal with on a regular basis eat processed grains and processed meat. A 'meal' for one person can cost pennies. I'd be very surprised if you could match that calorie/$ value anywhere. You certainly can't here.

1 year,12 days

Class-action Suit Filed Against Microsoft Over Surface Write Off

socrplayr813 Re:Amazing ... (212 comments)

Now, you might say that no, they've been talking about the "experience" because that's what all the cool, profitable kids are up to. That may well be the case, but if you watch their adverts, it goes a step further than trying to convince you of a top-quality experience: they tend to allude to "the Windows/Office/MS Bob experience you love", as if it were an existing truth. It's always struck me as curiously arrogant, coming from a company which deliberately strangled the competition to gain its dominant position. What I don't know, however, is whether they've misread the market that badly, or they're trying to get people to believe there already is such a demand for a specifically Microsoft experience, in order to create this demand.

I would have to say I agree more with this than your first idea. I think the only reason they try to make it sound like it's always been about the experience is pure marketing. They know it hasn't been about the experience, but they want it to be. So they make it sound like it always was because in marketingland, if you say it enough, it eventually becomes true.

Maybe it doesn't make sense on the face or when looked at objectively, but there is a psychological effect where confidence and repetition will make people believe things. Microsoft was banking on the marketing to get sales, but the marketing wasn't convincing enough and the product wasn't compelling enough. Whether that's because of poor understanding of the market or a design problem is hard to say from the outside. Personally, I'd guess that it's both; the whole thing is hamstrung by in-fighting in management.

1 year,19 days

TV Show Piracy Soars After CBS Blackout

socrplayr813 Re:Can't put a PCIe card in a laptop (314 comments)

Hauppauge has a number of different products that do all kinds of things, including standalone PVR boxes.

Another big one to look at if you want to capture tv is Silicondust's HDHomeRun, which simply connects to your network and works quite painlessly with Windows and Linux. I haven't used it with OSX, but supposedly that's fairly easy as well.

Encryption can be a problem if you want more than just your local channels, but Hauppauge does offer a couple of CableCard boxes for use in the US. I'm not sure about the details as I've only used the more basic capture cards.

1 year,25 days

RC Plane Attack 'Foiled,' Say German Authorities

socrplayr813 Re:Threat from r/c planes (233 comments)

Yes, if you crashed an RC plane or Cessna in a crowd, you could probably kill a few people, but keep in mind the cost of the attack. An RC plane costs a good bit and would draw attention. For the small payload an RC plane can carry, you might as well just go discretely plant a couple of bombs or throw grenades. And if the target is inside a building, you're not likely to cause enough damage to be worthwhile. RC attacks are just not worth the money and effort.

about a year ago

Obama Reveals Climate Change Plan

socrplayr813 Re:Great news for poor people (577 comments)

You're most likely just trolling, but I'll bite.

My girlfriend and I cook nearly all of our meals. We're anything but fat. We recently switched from a healthy, but carb-heavy diet to almost purely meat and vegetables. Our grocery bill went up at least 25%.

If we bought nothing but pasta, hot dogs, frozen meals, etc, we could cut that way down. Processed food is MUCH cheaper than unprocessed, and the gap is widening, at least here.

about a year ago

First Looks At Windows 8.1, Complete With 'Start' Button

socrplayr813 Re:If you don't like metro... (800 comments)

I haven't timed it, but pressing the power button to the login screen is definitely less than 10 seconds and from login to desktop is nearly instantaneous

This was a typo, should have said 20, but anyway...

Just timed it booting, mostly out of curiosity. Boot time after shutting down was 14 seconds from power button to login screen. I didn't time resume from hibernate (was a bit more than 1 second longer than sleep) but it really is much faster than you'd expect, and significantly faster than a normal boot.

about a year ago

First Looks At Windows 8.1, Complete With 'Start' Button

socrplayr813 Re:If you don't like metro... (800 comments)

it takes approximately 1 second longer to resume from hibernate than from sleep

Are you sure it's actually resuming from hibernation and not hybrid suspend? Even with a fast SSD, reading a moderately sized memory dump back in could take more than 10 seconds.

I did set it to hibernate rather than suspend and I believe I turned off hybrid sleep, though it's been a while and I'm not 100% sure. It is conceivable they pulled some funny business with the naming of things. That said, they did quite a bit of work on fast boot, hibernate, and resume for Win8. Good post about it here (

All that aside, my laptop boots ridiculously quickly, faster than anything else I've worked with. I haven't timed it, but pressing the power button to the login screen is definitely less than 10 seconds and from login to desktop is nearly instantaneous. Whether the credit should go to the hardware or software, I can't say for sure because it's my only Win8 install.

about a year ago

First Looks At Windows 8.1, Complete With 'Start' Button

socrplayr813 Re:Really? (800 comments)

Did you forget what site you were on? Or are you just trying to troll? I'm a mechanical engineer and computer geek who does just a tad more than power point. I'm saddened to say that I've almost certainly spent significantly more time on my computers in the past decade than I've spent with my family.

Anyway, of course you need to configure Windows 8 not to use the Metro apps, if you don't want to use them. That's included in my 'once you're set up' line. The good news is that all the old Windows 7 desktop apps are still there! Windows 8 is just Windows 7 with some minor changes and the Metro shit dumped on top of it. Once you figure out where things are, it takes no more than 1 minute to change the default apps back to the desktop versions and it works pretty much identically to Windows 7, even for someone like you. Windows 8 is even noticeably faster than Windows 7.

Yes, they should make the Metro apps opt-in or tablet only, but Windows 8 is hardly the travesty you're making it out to be.

about a year ago

First Looks At Windows 8.1, Complete With 'Start' Button

socrplayr813 Re:If you don't like metro... (800 comments)

Implicitly commanding the OS to shutdown is kind of a 90's thing to do to be honest

I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a 90s thing, but you're right that it's not usually necessary. 95% of the time, I just close the lid and let it hibernate (it takes approximately 1 second longer to resume from hibernate than from sleep - they really did improve things nicely on that front).

That said, I'm hardly a luddite that can't be arsed to learn things. The shut down and restart stuff mostly comes from updates or from my incessant fiddling. I'm constantly trying new software and experimenting with better ways to set up my gadgets and I find Microsoft's placement of the shutdown commands idiotic. People, especially averages joes, should not have to learn new key combinations or swipe/hot corner to access something so common. By all means, include those as options if you like, but it should be in plain view. When my most common support question is 'how do I shut down?', that's just sad.

about a year ago

First Looks At Windows 8.1, Complete With 'Start' Button

socrplayr813 Re:Really? (800 comments)

That's referring to the 'Metro' touch screen style apps. Desktop apps still work the same as they always did.

Basically, yes, it's broken, but more because it's harder to get to the old config screens and such that you're used to. Once you're set up, it's not that different.

about a year ago

First Looks At Windows 8.1, Complete With 'Start' Button

socrplayr813 Re:If you don't like metro... (800 comments)

...don't use any Metro apps. You're not forced to, apart from some initial app-pinning perhaps. Apart from that you can happily live in Windows 8, enjoy the extra speed and UI enhancements and never see metro again. Happy days!

While I think it's idiotic that we have to do this, he's right. I set up my laptop in this manner and it's not really that bad. The ability to arrange my icons (to proper desktop apps) in the start screen is actually nice and it does feel markedly faster.

My only real complaints since getting it set up are:
1. I still have to stop and think to remember how to restart the thing.
2. Changing settings can be a nightmare since many things point you to the metro config apps instead of a proper control panel, etc. Once you get used to how to access the old config windows, this is manageable.

So... it's bearable to use it day to day, especially since I mostly just use the laptop for web browsing or to kill a little time with a game. I could tolerate working on it, but I think I'd put Debian or Mint on there if I really wanted to get things done.

about a year ago

Linux Mint 15 'Olivia' Is Out

socrplayr813 Re:Why not provide packages for other distros? (185 comments)

I run LMDE (Mint Debian Edition) or straight Debian Testing on my computers whenever possible. They're fully compatible, just add one or the other to your sources. Similarly, I'm reasonable sure that standard Mint is compatible with the Ubuntu repos. I'm sure others will correct me if I'm wrong

about a year ago

Vastly Improved Raspberry Pi Performance With Wayland

socrplayr813 Re:wayland (259 comments)

Cupantae covered my thoughts pretty well on that, but:

Even if the feature set of Wayland were exactly the same as X, in what way could it possibly hurt you for there to be two projects that do the same thing. Maybe Wayland is better is some way. Why are you worked up over it? I truly cannot think of a good reason and I really am trying to see your side in this. I posted my original question because I actually wanted to understand your point of view. The only things I can think of at this point is that you're either in it for the argument or you really just can't stand to see anything compete with your favorite project.

Whatever your issue is, you should either provide a reasoned argument or lighten up. If not, you're really living up the stereotype. How sad for all of us.

about a year ago

BSA Study Demonstrates Open Source's Economic Advantage

socrplayr813 Re:I'm convinced (87 comments)

I shouldn't respond to a troll AC, but I want to say two things:

1. People should never settle. If they're not finding the right one, that's unfortunate, but they'll never be truly happy if they settle.
2. I've spent quite a bit of time studying people and personality types. There's a ton of variation in personalities that a lot of people don't even know exist. I'd like to think it's just because they don't know to look for it, but I suspect it's more that they can't imagine that everyone isn't like them or possibly even think that there's something wrong with people that are different. More introverted and/or inwardly focused people sometimes need time to themselves. It literally drains energy having to deal with people. Dealing with friends and family drains less energy than dealing with strangers, but it can still be a drain. It doesn't mean we love our families any less.

It took me longer than I expected to find my fiancee, but it eventually happened and we're both very happy. We go hiking and backpacking together on a regular basis. We've coached and still play soccer together. We have intelligent discussions that I've rarely been able to have with other people. That said, I still occasionally disappear into my office to play a game, read, or fiddle with my gadgets. I need that time to recharge, as does my fiancee.

about a year ago

Vastly Improved Raspberry Pi Performance With Wayland

socrplayr813 Re:wayland (259 comments)

I truly don't understand why people are getting worked up over this.

My problem is with a new system that does not even match the features of a 30+ year old system.

The problem is that what you need isn't necessarily what other people need. There are people who don't use the mouse, would you be happy if Wayland skipped implementation of mouse support?

Of course I wouldn't want them to skip mouse support; you're being deliberately obtuse. Did you know that what you need isn't necessarily what other people need? A plain-old desktop user doesn't need all the features of X. If Wayland can be better in any significant way while maintaining the features that I need, why shouldn't I be happy about it? (Side note: I don't think this is what you're saying, but just in case - supporting 30 year old features just for the sake of feature parity would be assinine and a complete waste of effort. If they're features that really are used, then OK.)

This is the beauty of open source. You can continue to use X all you want while those of us who don't need the features can move on to something else. If X is truly better for a given use case, then people will use it. Or not. There is no harm in having both. Drop the torch and pitchfork and let people vote with their feet. If us lesser beings are all using Wayland or whatever, you can focus development on X on the 30 year old features that make you so special.

You might make an argument that development time should be focused on X, but that's always been a flawed view. The people that go start a new project do so because they don't want to continue with the old project. Again, the power of choice and beauty of open source.

about a year ago

BSA Study Demonstrates Open Source's Economic Advantage

socrplayr813 Re:I'm convinced (87 comments)

I know you're not being entirely serious, but for some of us, half the point of a hobby like golf is to break away from the wife and responsibilities.

about a year ago

Vastly Improved Raspberry Pi Performance With Wayland

socrplayr813 Re:wayland (259 comments)

I really haven't followed any of the X11 vs Wayland crap, but are you against a new system in principle? Or is it just about Wayland?

In my case, I've rarely used anything but the most basic functionality of X, but I can see some nice benefits to a new system built specifically for desktop Linux that does exactly what I need and nothing more.

Honestly, I get excited about a little competition in the open source world. Far too many projects start and get to the point where they do what the developers wants, then stagnate. That's great and all (yes I know that the projects aren't necessarily for everyone else), but when it's something that hangs out in most or all Linux distros for years after while hardly changing with the times, maybe it's time for something different.

about a year ago



Polywell Fusion Peer Review Complete

socrplayr813 socrplayr813 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

socrplayr813 (1372733) writes "Peer review of the Polywell fusion concept has been completed, with positive results. The Polywell reactor is an inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC) fusion device, which means it uses an electrostatic field to contain a plasma and accelerate charged particles. The device has previously been proven to achieve fusion. The main question left is whether or not it can overcome energy losses to achieve net power gain.

Following Dr. Bussard's work and unfortunate death, the Polywell project was picked up by Dr. Rick Nebel and EMC2 Fusion, which has continued to receive funding from the US Navy. They've received keep-alive funding while they wait for peer review of their work. While they have not proven that the device will achieve net power, they have yet to find any show-stopping problems. Dr. Nebel says cautiously, "There's nothing in there that suggests this will not work. That's a very different statement from saying that it will work."

With these positive (not negative) findings, the door is now open for funding of the next phase, which will likely be to build a full-scale test reactor. This is likely overly optimistic, but if the device works as I hope, we could be looking at cheap, clean, abundant power within a few years, using boron-11 fuel.

For those interested, there is an active online forum where members discuss the results, potential problems and design changes, and are even working on a community-designed Polywell device.

Article found through New Energy and Fuel.

Previous Slashdot stories:
Google Talk
Bussard's Funding
Bussard's Death"


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