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Breakthrough In LED Construction Increases Efficiency By 57 Percent

umafuckit Re:Woo hoo!! (182 comments)

Unfortunately it is not only likely that LEDs are worse but the problem is already playing itself out. I've seen it. In my area I've noticed and increase in white light light pollution over the last five years. The IDA, which is a body involved in attempting to reduce light pollution, is concerned. There are multiple reasons why LEDs are becoming problematic.

Light scatters off the ground too and back into the sky. If the fixture is bright enough then any gains from it being more directional are lost by the scattered reflection off the ground. The directionality for LED street lights is better, but it's only a matter of time until they're used for building up-lighting, and some of the current street-light fittings do still leak light.

The other big problem is the LEDs being white, in particular many of them are a cold blueish white. Night vision is particularly sensitive to those wavelengths, so for a given flux the impact of a white LED is substantially worse than the pressure sodium lights they are replacing. In addition, because they're broad-band emitters, the effectiveness of narrow-band light pollution filters for visual astronomy is reduced. Don't forget also that LEDs are able to emit more light for less power. All of these issues create a brighter ambient light dome that spreads over large areas. If you live right next to an LED street-light and have it shining anywhere near your yard then it can be "like daylight", according to amateur astronomers I know. So that completely obliterates backyard astronomy in a way that sodium lights never did.

You're right the potential benefit is that they're dimmable. But the question is how much they're dimmed and when they're dimmed. Given their increased potency as a light pollution source, I don't see us ending up in a situation where light pollution levels go down. In the West, levels of light pollution have increased far faster than the population over the last 30 years. There is no indication that LEDs, with their cheap light, are going to reverse or slow this trend.

5 days ago
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Breakthrough In LED Construction Increases Efficiency By 57 Percent

umafuckit Re:Woo hoo!! (182 comments)

You'll see that sucker from space.

Indeed you will. With the spread of super bright white LED street lights, the light pollution situation will get exponentially worse. Amateur astronomy has been on rocky ground for some time. These lights are the death knell. Real pity.

5 days ago
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Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop

umafuckit Re:How many of you are still using Gnome? (395 comments)

Can you tell me what is an "unproductive pattern"? I ask because I find I am at my most unproductive when I procrastinate, which could involve web browsing, or making pointless and trivial tweaks to my desktop or OS set up. I find that I'm good so long as I can have multiple desktops arranged in a grid, key combinations to move between desktops, text editor of my choice, and ideally a BASH terminal. So the main desktop environment I find problematic is Windows, and this is mainly because I've not found a good virtual desktop program. On Linux I can get on equally well with XFCE, Mate, or KDE.

about a week ago
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DuckDuckGo Now Blocked In China

umafuckit Re:Is Google blocked in China? (82 comments)

Ah, I see. So you're just going through VPN if you want to use Google or other blocked sites?

about two weeks ago
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DuckDuckGo Now Blocked In China

umafuckit Is Google blocked in China? (82 comments)

Last time I was in mainland China (about 2 years ago) I was able to use google.hk -- it wasn't blocked outright. However, it did appear to be throttled in some way. So searches took ages and it was a pain in the ass. One my Chinese friends said the she always used google.hk, even though it was slow, because she preferred the search results. So at least at the time, it was usable in practice. Also, I heard that the more tech savvy people in China know how to bypass the firewall. I don't know the details so can't verify, but apparently it's quite common knowledge.

about two weeks ago
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Dremel Releases 3D Printer

umafuckit Re:Wrong type of machine for Dremel (105 comments)

Well, it's a CNC extruder rather than a CNC miller. TBH, I think most of the fuss about 3D printers is just that they're called "printers."

about two weeks ago
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The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada

umafuckit Re:In Google's Defense... (194 comments)

"Roundabouts are] particularly challenging, where many drivers don't know the proper rules in the first place."

Only in the US. Elsewhere drivers have figured this out.

about three weeks ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

umafuckit Science works by consensus too (770 comments)

In The Golem, Collins and Pinch argue that science does indeed advance by consensus. I won't attempt to summarise the book here, but it's worth a read. They provide several high-profile examples to back up their points.

about three weeks ago
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Saturn's F Ring Is Now Three Times As Wide As During the Voyager Flybys

umafuckit Re:Dear Lord, what has happened to Slashdot?! (41 comments)

If you want to discuss astronomy, go to CloudyNights.com. It's got more of a practical, amateur-astronomy, bent to it, but some of the guys there are very knowledgeable. You have to seek them out in the appropriate sub-forum, though.

about a month ago
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Intel's Haswell-E Desktop CPU Debuts With Eight Cores, DDR4 Memory

umafuckit Re:Elephant in the room (181 comments)

Why is that the elephant in the room? How many people need 64 gigs of RAM? 8 to 16 gigs is currently plenty for most applications. Yes, there are instances where more is needed, but these instances are rare. Usually people who need more than 16 gigs are requiring this for work-related reasons, where the $700 takes a different perspective.

about a month ago
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Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

umafuckit Re:Dobsonian (187 comments)

PS. Practicing star hopping when using standard charts without EQ mount, is kind of complicated too if your next star is not in the same field of view. Or you don't know which direction is which because your chart is completely out of whack.

Over twenty years in the hobby here and I can't say I've found this to be true for me. I can star hop just fine with a Dob and a star chart. Actually, most of the time I don't even need to star hop through the eyepiece. I just do it naked eye with a Telrad.

about a month ago
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Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

umafuckit Re:Dobsonian (187 comments)

On 90% of nights in most places, you can take an 8" Dob to the seeing limit and hand-track planets by hand with no problems. For many objects you're not approaching higher powers anyway, because they're larger and don't require the magnification. Hand-tracking is zero problem under these conditions. I've seen lots of beginners take the hobby because of Dob. You're simply wrong in your assessment of them.

about a month ago
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

umafuckit Re: Fusion Confusion (305 comments)

Ermm... The Higgs was confirmed to exist at the LHC. That needed to be done. Pinning down the exact mass matters more than you suggest it does.

about a month and a half ago
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Patents That Kill

umafuckit Re:And this is the same for copyrights. (240 comments)

I know this is the popular stance on this site, but the reason is obviously to promote risk-taking. Many (most) creations never see the light of day. The patent system has some inherent usefulness, however it's somewhat corrupt and the terms under which patents are granted do indeed discourage innovation. I don't even think the system works very well for promoting inventions from small entities. I saw a talk by a researcher who invented sticky material based on gecko feet. The material is interesting because it's not "glue-like" and doesn't get less sticky over time. To manufacture it, he contacted a bunch of companies (big ones). I presume he had a patent, but I'm not certain of this. The best offer he got was in the low tens of thousands. They more or less told him that he wouldn't get a better off and if he asked for more they would go ahead without him.

about 1 month ago
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Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

umafuckit Re:No, school should not be year-round. (421 comments)

If he's like me, he's lost the freedom to have no responsibilities. i.e. that which you crudely brush off as a "mom and dad don't want to feed you any more" Having no responsibilities is a very liberating feeling. I rate it much higher than freedom to drink large-size soft drinks, which apparently some people consider to be crucially important.

about 2 months ago
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For Fast Internet in the US, Virginia Tops the Charts

umafuckit Switzerland (98 comments)

In Switzerland the slowest speeds you commonly get are about 15 Mbits/s, but one thing I really like is that UPC Cablecom offer 2 Mbits/s down for *free* so if you're unemployed or in financial straights you still have access to the internet that's sufficient for doing things like looking for a job, paying your bills, etc. In England, on the other hand, if they think you're not doing enough to search for work they cut you off unemployment benefits. They in effect killed someone this way recently.

about 2 months ago
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Sony Tosses the Sony Reader On the Scrap Heap

umafuckit Re:That kinda sucks (172 comments)

Not fair: e-books were the one thing they didn't fuck with. Everything was e-pub, whereas Amazon was pushing their own weird formats. Can easily get content from different sources onto a Sony reader.

about 2 months ago
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Comparison: Linux Text Editors

umafuckit Re:There are only 4 editors (402 comments)

I Googled around and made the changes I wanted using boilerplate code. Just stuff like colors, fonts, adding some syntax highlight files that weren't standard. So yes, I modified it as much as I needed to. In addition, I learned the key combos so stuck with Emacs. You become very addicted to key combos.

about 2 months ago
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Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

umafuckit Re:Obvious (163 comments)

I agree with you, although in many places in the US there is an over-abundance of stop signs. Many stop signs should actually be a yield. It's also damn stupid placing a 4-way stop sign on a larger road, where it crosses with a more minor road. The more minor road should always yield to the larger road. Either that or add a roundabout. Other countries do this and it works much better: traffic flows faster, everyone knows who has the right of way, and people on the more major road don't have to be on the look out for randomly placed stop signs.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Community-sourced news site, soylentnews.org, goes live

umafuckit umafuckit writes  |  about 7 months ago

umafuckit (2980809) writes "soylentnews.org is the new way of taking the pulse of the nerd community. Soylentnews is a grassroots-based platform with the content feeds are powered by readers like you. The objective is to highlight news stories of general importance to everyone, but especially nerds. News about technology, art, science and politics: it's all there. Soylentnews is the new kid on the block and will adapt quickly to satisfy our community's needs and and push boundaries like never before. This is a real community site: no changes in format without a general consensus from the community. Stop by and see what you think of the freshly-launched site."

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