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Charge Your Mobile Device With Fire

supermank17 Re:Or just a battery. (126 comments)

16 times? Interesting. So you're a sherpa then? Because Dave Hahn currently holds the record for the most ascents of Everest by a westerner, and he's only done it 14 times. Heck, at 16 ascents you must be a pretty famous sherpa at well, as the record for most ever ascents by anyone is only 21.

about a year ago

Fires Sparked By Utah Target Shooters Prompt Evacuations

supermank17 Re:Bunk. (709 comments)

I don't really have a dog in this fight, but for accuracy's sake I want to point out that the gun we're talking about in particular here isn't really useful to a hunter of any kind. It fires a very small, high velocity round that's useless against larger creatures, and is not really accurate enough to be of use for small game / varmint hunting. In addition, the somewhat-oddball ammunition it uses (I believe it was developed specifically for the FN P90?) is pretty pricey compared to most hunting rounds, and was actually designed partly to penetrate body armor.
That said, the weapon has a unique and interesting design, so it's mostly owned by target shooters and people who like it's "cool" factor.

more than 2 years ago

Tesla Delivers First Batch of Model S Electric Sedans

supermank17 Re:Service does not operate on Sundays (311 comments)

Indeed. At least Fort Wayne seems to be aggressively building out bike paths, which (when I worked downtown), allowed me to ditch the car for some trips. But the bus system is irregular enough to be useless for me. In fact, I never realized how useful a decent bus-system could be, until my wife and I spent a couple weeks in Berlin several years ago. Boy, do I miss that.

more than 2 years ago

PadMapper Gets C&D From Craigslist Over Apartment Listing Maps

supermank17 Re:CraigsList is awesome, even if you don't get it (140 comments)

Eh, I don't really agree. For certain types of sites, having an existing community and userbase is a massive boost, and overcoming that is very difficult for a new player in the area. A new site could come along with all the features I could want in a listings-site, but I would probably still use Craigslist (despite all of the irritations it comes with) for selling something, because the larger user-base of Craigslist means I'm more likely to get the most money off my sale.

more than 2 years ago

Star Wars: 1313, a 'Darker, Grittier' Star Wars Game

supermank17 Re:Gritty has already been done... (133 comments)

I actually enjoyed that game quite a bit as well, and it was the last Star Wars game I actually completed. That's despite it being set in the Prequel setting, which never grabbed me as much. I kept hoping for a sequel, but it never materialized...

more than 2 years ago

Apple and Google Face Salary-Fixing Lawsuit

supermank17 Re:a nice whopper of an evil by Google (402 comments)

Ha, you've never been in a code review, have you?
Man, I've never seen such pedantry over spelling and grammar before. We're talking dozens of "Non-functional issues" for the comments of a small code file.
Or even worse? An engineering meeting to come up with a policy/process for something, or to create requirements for a software tool that is needed. The levels of nitpicking over language choice and word meaning are astronomical.
I think it just has something to do with the way engineers' minds are wired; they're often very precise, very logical, and they can't stand something being wrong.

more than 2 years ago

Stuxnet Allegedly Loaded By Iranian Double Agents

supermank17 Re:No matter who it was (167 comments)

~grumble~ Replying to undo a misclick moderation. It doesn't look like there's a way to undo an accidental misclick, and there's no confirmation or anything on the dropdown.
Anyway, informative post. And I highly recommend "Unbroken" as well. Even my wife, who has only a passing interest in World War II history, loved it.

more than 2 years ago

Using Non-Newtonian Fluids To Fill Potholes

supermank17 Re:What happens when a car stands still on them? (260 comments)

Now that is a use I could get behind. In my area the speed bumps are shaped so drastically that no matter how slowly you drive over them, you still end up feeling like you've shattered your teeth fillings. I'd love it if they used a system that punished only those moving too quickly.

more than 2 years ago

Pharmacy On-a-chip Dispenses Drugs Automatically

supermank17 Re:how to cure diabetes (74 comments)

I can speak to item number 3.
I have 3 family members that are doctors, and diabetic patients (of the Type-II sort) form their most frustrating class of patients. Patient compliance is terrible when it comes to that disease, as the changes are purely lifestyle and the patients just don't want to give up their sugar or exercise. It absolutely drives my family members nuts, as they talk about how these people are killing themselves, and they just can't convince them to do anything about it. Even worse are people who are potential candidates for lifestyle diseases: They often have the mindset that "it hasn't happened yet, so I must be fine", until diabetes or heart problems inevitably do set in.
Doctor awareness of diabetes prevention is already pretty high, and it's something they pretty aggressively pursue. It's just something they don't have a particularly large amount of control over.

more than 2 years ago

The Chevy Segway Keeps On Rolling (Video)

supermank17 Re:Solved problem. (210 comments)

Actually, well made steel frames are still extremely popular. They're more comfortable than Aluminum frames, and with modern, thin-wall tubes, not too heavy. If you take a look at high-end custom frame manufacturers, the majority are still working with either steel or titanium.

more than 2 years ago

Fatal Problems Continue To Plague F-22 Raptor

supermank17 Re:Bleeding Edge Aviation (379 comments)

The aircraft was at 52,000 feet when the oxygen system fault occurred. That's well above the altitude where hypoxia sets in. I would sincerely like to see you avoid a crash while "you're[sic] air doesn't work". The fact is that an oxygen fault at that altitude is a very serious issue, and the fact that the backup system is apparently so poorly designed is a serious flaw. At that altitude the oxygen flow is not merely an amenity, it's crucial for the pilot's operation.

about 2 years ago

Microsoft Security Products Flag Google Chrome As a Virus

supermank17 Re:A History of "Accidental" Flaggings (258 comments)

Really? It was fixed within 2 hours. My suspicion is that it was just a simple mistake. That, or some of the somewhat questionable methods that Chrome uses to keep itself updated (running background processes continuously, etc.) ended up just being too close to the Zbot signature.

more than 2 years ago

Amazon's New Silk Redefines Browser Tech

supermank17 Re:Not sure how long this will be useful (if at al (249 comments)

I don't know that its a processor issue; from reports its basically running the same 1.2Ghz processor that the Blackberry Playbook runs (which by all accounts is quite zippy). That puts it (roughly) on par with an ipad2, and gives it a fair amount more horsepower than an original ipad. Which again leaves me wondering why they're touting this so highly. My mother's original iPad never seemed particularly terrible when loading pages, and my HTC Sensation seems downright snappy with its dual-core, 1 Ghz OMAP processor. I guess we'll have to wait and see if it really does have some huge speed benefit, or if its just something they threw on the pile in an attempt to make the Fire look more appetizing.

more than 2 years ago

Windows 8 Roundup

supermank17 Re:So we're back to Windows 1.0? (474 comments)

At this point I'm mostly concerned that they're pushing it too far towards the tablet and not leaving enough for the desktop user, despite the claims of still providing the standard windows manager. Having watched the demo videos, I'm very interested in trying this software out on a tablet: it seems like it provides a lot of the ease of use and consumption of an iPad, while still allowing the user to actually do real productive work if they wish. My hope is that this might actually provide the mythical SciFi tablet experience, where your slate seamlessly transforms from on-the-go convenience to full-on powerhouse merely by slipping it into a dock.
However, some of the stuff that is being shown is genuinely worrying from a desktop user's standpoint. One of these potential concerns is the talk that it's new Task Manager will automagically "suspend" programs in the background, much like mobile OS's. That's all fine and well on a mobile device with limited resources and battery life, less so on a powerful machine. I already find it irritating on my android phone when I switch away from a website while its loading to check an email, and when I come back I find the browser was closed in the background; if this happens on my desktop I'd be apoplectic.
The second concern is with how much they've "touchified" the UI. I've actually downloaded and installed the developer's preview into a virtual machine to give it a spin, and at the moment its fairly painful to use with a standard keyboard and mouse. That Metro grid of apps and blocks that prominently shows up on startup isn't just the touch UI that you can banish; that's actually your official start menu. If you launch the window manager, and then press the start menu button, you find yourself right back in that grid. There's no way to get a standard listing of apps, and the grid is very painful to scroll through with your mouse. Likewise, all the settings controls for the system and so on currently seem to be full-screen, touch-style applications, which again just aren't that easy to use from a desktop perspective.
I'm hopeful they can successfully merge the two UIs together so that they both can live seamlessly for the user. But I can definitely understand why people are worried at the moment.

about 3 years ago

Teachers Back Away From Evolution In Class

supermank17 Re:Teachers want to keep their jobs! (947 comments)

That's depressingly true. My wife is a teacher, and when she gave out report cards at the end of the semester, the administration censored all of the negative comments in them because they were afraid of parent backlash (for elementary kids!). She was upset at the time, because they were things the kids genuinely needed to work on, but now she's somewhat relieved; another, more senior teacher was able to keep her negative comments intact, and now is dealing with irate parents who want her fired. This is all because their children have comments saying they have issues with behavior in class, or need to work on their math skills, on their ELEMENTARY School record. It's just bizarre.
There's a reason the average teacher only works 6 years, and its not the children or administration that are the (main) problem.

more than 3 years ago

US Air Force To Suffer From PS3 Update

supermank17 Re: Way OT: what brand? (349 comments)

Thanks - makes me feel a little better, I have a Scott Genius dual suspension from around the same era. Its kind of odd though - Novara bikes generally have a good reputation.

more than 4 years ago

US Air Force To Suffer From PS3 Update

supermank17 Re: Way OT: what brand? (349 comments)

Out of curiosity, which brand of bike was this? Was it from their in-house Novara line, or one of their other brands they carry? (I know they carry Scott and Raleigh as well...). And yeah, REI's got some of the best customer service I've ever seen. I buy most of my outdoor gear from them even when they don't have the absolute best price just for the service.

more than 4 years ago

MythTV 0.23 Released

supermank17 Re:MythTV rant (214 comments)

Considering that MythTV has been around for nearly a decade now... yes, it might be a surprise. Most of the problems he's referring to have been around from the very beginning, and there haven't been many signs of them improving. I know its technically a "pre 1.0" version, but it doesn't appear they have any plans to move beyond 1.0 in the next 10 years, and in the meantime they do expect it to be used by end-users.

more than 4 years ago

GM Is Selling Saab To Spyker Cars

supermank17 Re:How is this news for nerds? (264 comments)

You're right on about the interior coating, although I'd go one farther and say the entire interior could use some improvement. I love my Saab, but the interior just isn't up to par with its competitors; GM's cheap plastic is everywhere, the leather isn't as high quality, and there are way too many rattles. More worrying is that the cheaper interior just doesn't wear that well; my two year old Saab looks far shabbier on the interior than my sister-in-law's 5 year old Audi.
If they fix that, I'd be supremely happy.

more than 4 years ago

Rumor — AT&T Losing iPhone Exclusivity Next Week

supermank17 Re:ATT vs Verizon in NYC (ATT rocks for data) (353 comments)

I think its fairly understandable - The N900, while a great piece of hardware, is still pretty unpolished software-wise. Like most of the Nokia N-tablets, it provides the basics, and then tells the community to "have at it". While I love that from a software hacker perspective, this also means your average user probably won't be as interested.
Its hardware also isn't without its shortcomings - the resistive screen bugs me more than I thought it would, and the keyboard can be annoying to use at times.
That said, it is actually getting a fair amount of media press. Both Engadget and Gizmodo have been tracking it pretty regularly for the past couple months, and I've seen several extensive write-ups / reviews lately. I think that its just not quite a mainstream enough device for the mainstream news to pick up on.

more than 4 years ago


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