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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

steveg Re:My own experience (508 comments)

You bring up a very good point, and that is console sessions. Swype convinced me to drop the hardware keyboard (I stopped using the physical keyboard on my OG Droid almost immediately after discovering Swype.) But Swype is *not* particularly good for console use (especially the beta version a few years ago that insisted on capitilizing the 'I' in exIt)
On the other hand, the Hacker's Keyboard gives me access to contol keys, alt keys, and so on, more than the old hardware keyboard ever did. And I can switch between keyboards trivially. Hacker's Keyboard if I'm using ssh, Swype for everything else.

yesterday
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

steveg Re:NO, all candy bar (508 comments)

My first smartphone was the OG Droid, and one reason I went for it was that it had a hardware keyboard.

Then I found the Swype beta, and the hardware keyboard was never used again.

yesterday
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Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

steveg Re:TCO (153 comments)

That's been my experience as well. Base install of Mint might take 15 or 20 minutes, futzing around to get just the desktop setup I want maybe an hour or two. Cloning the result to different hardware is no problem under Linux, but has always been a problem under Windows.

When I create a base Windows machine to clone, now *that's* a time sink.

yesterday
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Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

steveg Re: Yep, how the music industry was killed... (192 comments)

Author Eric Flint makes the argument that it takes practice to get good at anything, including writing. If we want good quality creative work (books, music, etc.) then we have to create an environment where authors and musicians and other creative types can actually make a living while creating.

If they can't, it doesn't mean we won't have books or music, but it does mean we won't have *good* books or music. Plenty of "idiots who want to try" can and will step up to publish albums or books, but Sturgeon's Law will have to be revised to say "99.9% of everything is crap."

about a week ago
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Toyota Investigating Hovercars

steveg Re:Solution: Get rid of steering-mounted air-bags. (186 comments)

When I was a poor college student driving a VW bug I had a great manual on everything to do with working on VWs. A hippie classic.

The author thought that everyone should be driving a VW bus, "spread-eagled across the front like an Aztec sacrifice." He figured that would bring the accident rate down sharply.

about a month and a half ago
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Toyota Investigating Hovercars

steveg Re:I get enough flying priuses already. (186 comments)

About 40 years ago (when I was a college student) I was pulled over in Michigan while on a freeway.

The cop had three beefs with me:
1) I was exceeding the speed limit.
2) I was in the left lane traveling slower than the flow of traffic and he wanted me to move right.
3) I had out of state plates.

Number three was the one he was most upset about. He didn't write me up for any of them, but gave me quite a talking to.

about a month and a half ago
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AT&T Charges $750 For One Minute of International Data Roaming

steveg Re:50MB = 750$ (321 comments)

*All* telecom companies are evil.

But T-Mobile is the least evil available in the US.

AT&T, on the other hand, *define* evil.

about 2 months ago
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TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker

steveg Re:So, what now? (566 comments)

Thanks. Are we sure that the truecryptcheck site has clean checksums?

about 2 months ago
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TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker

steveg Re:So, what now? (566 comments)

But it does appear to be unavailable if you don't already have a copy. Source is gone as well.

about 2 months ago
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FCC Votes To Consider Next Round of 'Net Neutrality' Rules

steveg Re:The Democrats killed Net Neutrality !! (182 comments)

I'm not sure if everyone else in this thread watched the same hearing I did.

I don't know what any of the voted for, since I haven't seen the details of the proposals.

But I know what they said. The Democrats argued in favor of Net Neutrality. Not the label of Net Neutrality, but the substance. The Republicans argued against the substance of Net Neutrality.

So if you try to convince me that the Democrats might actually vote for something contrary to what they said, I'll concede the point. Same with the Republicans.

But I'm a bit skeptical of the notion that both voted for the opposite of what they said, in effect each voting for their opponents' stated position.

about 2 months ago
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GM Sees a Market For $5/Day Dedicated In-Car Internet

steveg Re:32GB is useless because of DRM (216 comments)

Actually, it is. But even inside the center console, I feel safer with the low profile flash drive. The slot is on a ledge about halfway up the front of the compartment, so it's reasonably well protected, but I could still imagine dropping something on it or catching it as I put something in there.

about 3 months ago
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GM Sees a Market For $5/Day Dedicated In-Car Internet

steveg Re:32GB is useless because of DRM (216 comments)

Are there still cars with built in storage?

Ford included a whopping 10GB hard disk in their fanciest tech package 5 years ago. You can't get that now. Instead you get a USB port in the center console.

I've got a 64G low profile thumb drive plugged in with most of my music collection. Standard MP3s, no DRM issues. There are *other* issues -- the system has only so many slots to hold metadata, so if I add too many songs it will freak out and re-index the USB each time I start the car. But as long as I don't exceed some limit it behaves just fine.

For my purposes anyway, no storage and USB is far superior to built-in storage.

about 3 months ago
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One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

steveg Re:Huh? (230 comments)

You might be underestimating the cost of a PC. I bought my first PC in 1982 and it came out to almost exactly $3000. That *was* upgraded a bit -- it had *two* floppy drives and they were double sided. *And* I upgraded the memory to 256K, and got a CGA card and an amber monitor.

I was still using punch cards in school (FORTRAN and PASCAL) as of 1978, but turnaround was much faster than overnight. It seldom took more than two or three hours to run my several hundred millisecond program.

about 2 months ago
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Supreme Court Skeptical of Computer-Based Patents

steveg Re:The best the SCOTUS could do is wipe software p (192 comments)

It's both. Copyright is for authors. Patents are for inventors.

Congress later (1909) broadened the meaning of what an author is, so now copyright covers more than just text. Patents are still for inventors.

Whether either actually works to promote progress is another discussion, but it was clearly the intent of the framers.

about 4 months ago
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The Inside Story of Gmail On Its Tenth Anniversary

steveg Re:Autoplay audio or my account. Choose one. (142 comments)

Flashblock.

You still get the flash icon on the page, but you have to click on it before it will actually execute. It does this on all web pages, not just Slashdot.

Second best (after Adblock Plus) of all the Firefox extensions I install.

about 4 months ago
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Prototype Volvo Flywheel Tech Uses Car's Wasted Brake Energy

steveg Re:Brake Pedal (262 comments)

I've only seen the engine brake effect engage when I'm in hill mode, so I'm sure the C-Max and the Fusion are the same there. I also only saw that after they modified the firmware last August to allow EV mode up to 85mph, although you really only see that if you *are* heading downhill.

about 4 months ago
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Prototype Volvo Flywheel Tech Uses Car's Wasted Brake Energy

steveg Re:Gyroscopic precession (262 comments)

Good point, although this effect *is* significant for aircraft (called "P"-factor.) Most of that effect is aerodynamic rather than gyroscopic, but not all of it.

The complication of coupling two flywheels to the drivetrain are minimized if you do it electrically. Flywheels can act as high power-rate batteries, and you would then treat the drivetrain as a "conventional" hybrid. The big difference is that you're not limited by the rate at which you can feed electricity to a battery from the brakes or draw from it while you accelerate, since flywheels are much more flexible in that regard.

about 4 months ago
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Prototype Volvo Flywheel Tech Uses Car's Wasted Brake Energy

steveg Re:Waiting since the '90's (262 comments)

When I was in school (mid 70s) there was work being done on "super-flywheels," both for automotive use and for fixed energy storage. Flywheels can deliver (or accept) virtually unlimited power -- not unlimited energy, but if you need a burst of power in a very short time, your limitation is not going to be the flywheel.

One of the applications I read about then was for a university particle accelerator. The local city got upset at having the lights dim all over the city when they fired it up, so they spent hours spinning up a flywheel to release it in milliseconds.

This is handy for vehicles, since batteries can't accept or deliver power as rapidly as flywheels can and that limits both braking and acceleration. On the other hand, in an accident, being able to release power rapidly is more dangerous.

Super-flywheels, incidentally, were made of fiber based materials spinning at very high speeds, just like described here. They had the same or higher energy density as metal flywheels but failed less catastrophically. Metal flywheels tend to chunk when they fail, the fiber materials to shred.

about 4 months ago
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Prototype Volvo Flywheel Tech Uses Car's Wasted Brake Energy

steveg Re:Gyroscopic precession (262 comments)

Um.

You're going to get this effect (under braking or acceleration) no matter what orientation the flywheel is using. In one case it will be precession, in the other it will be a straightforward angular acceleration. The vertical axis might work better when your speed is constant.

When you apply the brakes with a vertical axis flywheel, you are accelerating that flywheel which means an application of torque. The frame of the car will experience the opposing torque, providing a twisting force in one direction or the other, depending on which direction the flywheel spins. Drawing energy off the flywheel to accelerate the car will twist you in the opposite direction.

Counter rotating flywheels would probably solve the problem.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Slashdot scrambled for logged on users

steveg steveg writes  |  about 7 years ago

steveg (55825) writes "The Slashdot main page went wonky for users who had logged in. Some other pages were fine, but the main page looked like this. If you logged out, everything was fine."

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