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Atlanta Man Shatters Coast-to-Coast Driving Record, Averaging 98MPH

w0mprat Re:When will he be arrested? (666 comments)

No, highway speed limits, at least federal interstates, have speed limits for the purpose of generating revenue.

Reckless driving is a criminal offense, not something you're fined for. Speeding fines are there to provide some disincentive to doing stupid things prior to going to jail for it.

And revenue. As minor speeding isn't really much danger at all, but a lucrative cash cow authorities have become accustomed to suckling the milky teats of.

You'll find speed cameras and cops hitting motorists hard in places where people are likely to speed, and there for generate maximum revenue. But conspicuously absent at notorious deadly accident blackspots where there isn't a high volume of traffic.

If the primary goal was to save lives by slowing people down. Using first principals, where would you decide to put a speed camera?

about 6 months ago

Atlanta Man Shatters Coast-to-Coast Driving Record, Averaging 98MPH

w0mprat Speed doesn't kill (666 comments)

Speed doesn't kill it's suddenly becoming stationery that's the problem.

about 6 months ago

No, the Tesla Model S Doesn't Pollute More Than an SUV

w0mprat Re:Same as last time (559 comments)

When the Prius first got popular the same thing was said about it. Was soon proved false.

Indeed. The massive environmental impact of the battery pack was part of that criticism, but this is also where electric cars win, if one is being honest about the numbers and don't have a anti-electric car axe to grind: The NiMH battery pack of early hybrids is pretty much 100% recyclable. Li-ion and Li-po etc isn't properly 100% recycled at the moment but that's a infrastructure problem - theoretically 100% recyclable. (I would imagine some years down the track used battery packs would be quite valuable scrap). You just cannot say as much for the hydrocarbon fuel going through the tank of a regular automobile.

about a year ago

A Tale of Two Tests: Why Energy Star LED Light Bulbs Are a Rare Breed

w0mprat Re:Why light bulb form factor? (314 comments)


(1) you don't have to pay an electrician to remove and reinstall a lamp, but you do a fixture (2) you don't disrupt the flow of business and it takes a shorter time to re-lamp than replace a fixture (3) if you find that the LED sucks, you can go back to what you know works (4) In 10 years, when one (or more) of the 30 year life fixtures dies and they don't make that model any more, I can replace a lamp and the fixture will still look the same. If I have to replace a fixture, then I have an oddball looking spot in my ceiling. Not everything is a warehouse where aesthetics mean nothing.

Oh, and there are a good number of older consumer fixtures which either (a) anticipate a certain light pattern or (b) actually use the lamp as the structure to hold the shade. I you think it's hard to convince people to buy a $20 lamp instead of a $1 one, it's even harder to get them to buy a new $60 fixture to put it in.

But even with the same socket type and it's dimension limitations why does it still need to be round and bulb like? A spherical bulb is the worst case scenario for heat dissipation, other shapes would perform better. Many LED bulbs have a cluster of LEDs often with some lens over the top of them. To me that allows a lot of freedom for heat dissipation considerations. But it's not a lack of imagination from manufacturers, they are just are playing it safe by assuming consumers won't accept odd shaped lights.

I find LED spots and floodlights have less of a problem as there is room for a heatsink. Yet MR16's get so hot it scares me.

1 year,10 days

HBO Says Game of Thrones Piracy Is "a Compliment"

w0mprat Re:No shit (447 comments)

Finally a Slashdotter that understands piracy both helps and also hurts, especially when the legal means of consuming the content covers most of the intended market.

Helps mainly. Hurts barely at all. Thought we didn't get a Slashdotter that mentioned merchandise - the tangible goods (including the George R.R. Martin books) that get purchased by people who may have never paid a penny for the original content. Often a merchandising empire is a vastly bigger source or revenue than the original legal means of consuming the content. This is becoming the case with GoT.

The occasional Slashdotter will point out the war on piracy was never about lost revenue, it was about profit maximization, and in the case of DRM for example, about leverage over equipment manufacturers (any prevention of casual copying was a small bonus). Example: Apple's declaration that DRM had failed, and subsequent was not some cathartic pro-user move, but rather they are a huge content consumption equipment manufacturing when they became powerful enough to dictate terms in the opposite direction, they through DRM it right back in the freakin' content industries face.

Richard Plepler may see piracy as a background noise HBO has to live with - but one that is actually helpful, possibly lucrative if played right.

1 year,23 days

New Facebook-Branded Android Coming?

w0mprat Re:So, (112 comments)

Lots of apps latch on to a myriad of system events so they can relaunch themselves - some are fairly obscene in how they go about this.

One good solution is to install "Autorun Manager" - it allows you to disable the receivers on a per application basis. Once you kill something, it stays dead until you explicitly start it again.

Also recommend using the app freeze feature in Android. Requires root on most devices but this useful trick "Freezes" an app without actually uninstalling it, it becomes invisible to the system and cannot execute. Some apps like App Quarantine, Titanium Backup and Hide It Pro offer a convenient way of doing this. This means you can have Facebook or some such app, but prevent it from running when you aren't directly using it.

1 year,24 days

New Facebook-Branded Android Coming?

w0mprat Re:So, (112 comments)

who actually wants this?

Yeah, because almost nobody uses Facebook. Only 1 in 7 humans alive use Facebook, that's merely a Billion people*.

Clearly there's no market for this.

1 year,24 days

Cold Spring Linked To Dramatic Sea Ice Loss

w0mprat Re:so WTF are normal temperatures then? (422 comments)

There's a reason most scientists use the more accurate term climate change.

And not "Weather change"!
Weather != Climate. Some mention of Weather extremes inevitably gets linked to Climate extremes. Some comment that ammounts to "It's colder today than and by next week it will be an ice age!"
There is huge difference between Climate and Weather.

1 year,26 days

To Prevent Deforestation, Brazilian Supermarkets Ban Amazon Meat

w0mprat Deforestation for farmland aside. (94 comments)

Rainforests make 20% of our oxygen. And we let people cut that shit down?

1 year,26 days

Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?

w0mprat Re:Depends on the source (749 comments)

Your preference for 24/96 audio as a listener is entirely due to the placebo effect.

Well, in all fairness, listeners may actually hear perceptible differences between 24/96 and 16/44.1 audio sources due to different mastering, but of course that says nothing about whether they can actually tell the difference between the two bitrates when everything else is equal.

This article is a pretty good explanation of why 16/44.1 is as good as anyone needs for playback.

There's plenty of articles from "experts" on why 16/44.1 is all you need, however these kind of opinions risk being being wrong: What about actual data? I see little solid data where the hypothesis has been put to the test.

I think the point is, some say 24/96 survives lossy compression better, it also produces less artifacts as the higher frequencies have less data points to describe their waveform. Perhaps some won't hear the difference in uncompressed audio, but I bet some can hear the difference in compressed.

about a year ago

Samsung Also Making a Smartwatch

w0mprat Sony already makes a smartwatch. (196 comments)

Sony already makes and sells a SmartWatch. This seems to have gone completely unnoticed by the blogosphere, who keep using terms like "first to market" and "new category" and don't seem to be able to use a Google search to see whats already out there. Sony's Smartwatch also is the benchmark that Apple will copy pretty much everything from, including the way it syncs with your existing Android phone and bluetooth gadgets. (You can bet it will do less cost too much, just prettier, and sell millions more).

Apple seems to pick on poor Sony, they already stole Sony's idea with a one-brand retail outlet. (Sony Style stores opened in the 1980s - decades before Apple Stores). Apple's original iPhone was almost as similar to some of Sony's touch screen concept phone, that you you wonder. Now they'll copy the Smartwatch.

Samsung has some very cool display tech though, such as flexible screens - there's a damn good reason why they aren't in Sammy's new phones (S4 etc). I would put good money on Smartwatches being the first use of these screens and that's where production resources are being directed right now.

Unless Apple uses AMOLED for their watch, Samsungs going to be the winner.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Identity Theft Attempt In Progress; How To Respond?

w0mprat Re:Change your e-mail address (239 comments)

All that asside, the author of TFA seems to be under a very specific individually targeted attack, rather than some kind of automated attack.

My tip: LONG passwords. make them really really long.

Many people think they are clever with symbols and numbers by doing something like P@55w0rd.

I can't think how many times I've seen something like that for some kind of critical system.

Avoid using guessable common $ubs!tutions for l3tt3rs and numbers, along with 123, 666, 69 etc etc.

about a year ago

President Obama Calls For New 'Space Race' Funding

w0mprat Re:Not gonna happen (291 comments)

You can't spend your way out of debt, it's ludicrous

Isn't this what every start-up company that accepts venture capital is trying to do?

This article isn't talking about spending on food stamps or fallacious broken windows. It's talking about spending on fundamental research - the kind chase-the-quarter capitalism doesn't do very well - so as to yield a return in new industries to create employment years and decades from now. This isn't that much different than what start-ups are trying to do, except the government can think on a much longer scale - something that I'm glad a government can take time to do.

I would have just said spending is the only way out of debt. (Where spending = investment)

about a year ago

China's Radical New Space Drive

w0mprat Re:How about a different headline.... (419 comments)

Discredited does not equal falsified. He hasn't been discredited, in fact there's an absence of results showing the claims as falsified. This doesn't automatically mean it won't turn out to be crackpot science but there is not much to demonstrate that it is. In contrast Cold Fusion was fairly well falsified quite quickly.

This actually smacks of a recent cock-up by skeptics, I cite thus:

Many credentialed aerodynamicists (in chorus with most of the internet's "experts") swore black and blue that a wind powered land vehicle could not sail dead down wind faster than the wind (DDWFTTW). It would violate the laws of physics it said. So someone built the thing ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbird_(land_yacht) ... and it worked and went 2.8x windspeed even (!) ... repeatedly. What's more the theory was sound all along, no change of the laws of physics was needed.

Indeed, boldly, emdrive are not claiming any physical laws are violated, that any new physics is required or that any well tested institution is being challenged. When was the last time you heard a antigravity/cold fusion/levitating sasquatch crystal skull claim do that kind of thing? It's a little encouraging no?

Ultimately I think skepticism not backed by proof is just as crazy and as the opposite with the same amount of proof. I wonder if it is just a different manifestation of the same underlying cognitive & personality problem. We'll have to wait and see for real-world results. They'll build it, and it will work or it wont!

about a year ago

Woz Says iPhone Features Are 'Behind'

w0mprat Android is far ahead ... (587 comments)

I prefer Android, but it seems hard to find iPhone users who aren't enthusiastic about it. Whatever kind of phone you prefer, are there features you envy the users of some other variety?

I agree, most of my iPhone using friends love their gadgets, they are good, but then for every one of those I probably know someone who's switched to a Android now. Including myself going from a iPhone 4 to a Galaxy S2. The most surprising thing is they point out a better GUI, say it's just as easy to use, and absolutely love the ability to personalise your phone. Remember it wasn't even possible to set the iOS homescreen wallpaper until iOS 4 was released!

So when you press the shift/caps key on an Android on-screen keyboard, the letters on the keys change - which is a delightful feature. iOS, they are always capitals.

Woz understates the problem. Apple has been copying features pioneered on Android for some time now, and anything Apple original is coming out a little half-baked. Note that Siri wasn't an Apple original but a company they bought. Copy and paste, multi-tasking, the notification drawer, it's all better on Android and has been for some time. You couldn't even set a homescreen wallpaper until iOS 4. iOS stopped being good when Apple chases ever more revenue and half-baked sidetracks like Siri and their own maps. They are pouring a lot of effort in to hardware too but perhaps not pushing iOS ahead.

iOS still has it's good points for some users, but generally speaking it's so far behind it's not funny.

about a year ago

In Vitro Grown Meat 'Nearly Possible'

w0mprat Re:Ethics for veggies (260 comments)

If you're a vegetarian for that specific reason it would be quite hypocritical to eat "animal-free meat" that was developed from the suffering of all those poor cuddly cows, mice and rats...

Seems like an extension of the sunk cost fallacy - if the cost has already been paid, refusing to use the product doesn't really make sense.

TBH, this is something that really winds me up about vegitarians - If you want to reduce animal suffering by not eating meat, or reduce environmental impact, then fair enough. But refusing to eat anything that has been grilled on the same bars as meat makes no sense - no extra suffering is going to happen because someone didn't wash the grill pan between cooking their bacon and your vegi-burgers. Similarly, flatly refusing to eat some meat that is only going to be thrown away if no one eats it is completely nonsensical. The best way to reduce your environmental impact is to use as much of the produce as possible, rather than refusing to eat left over meat and grilling up some vegi-burgers instead!

Some people don't like the taste? I hate mushrooms, and I can taste them on my (sweet sweet) bacon if they are cooked on the same grill. I can therefore imagine for people who don't regularly eat meat the flavor contamination is highly noticeable.

about a year ago

In Vitro Grown Meat 'Nearly Possible'

w0mprat Re:why not use meat (260 comments)

The amount of grain and water it takes to raise the meat eaten by Americans alone could feed everyone in the entire world.

Most of the grains we feed to livestock aren't worth a shit to humans from a nutritional point of view. I wish every stupid hippie who propagates this bullshit would go out, pick up a couple bales of alfalfa, and try actually surviving on it. Doesn't work so fucking well, because you're a human and not a goddamn cow.

Look, out in your back yard all that grass? Goats can get fat eating that stuff. So do us all a favor and next time you feel like spreading this type of FUD, go cut your lawn and put the trimmings on your plate, and try living off that.

THIS was modded insightful? Where did you get humans eating grass from? He said "Grain and water" ... which is the kind of staple that civilizations subsisted on for thousands of years before our rather meat-rich era. Hell some say there are grains are more nutritious and ideal for human consumption than meat (Quinoa, Chia).

Nevermind that humans can absolutely eat a totally a meat-free diet anyway, and millions do, which can indeed include lots of leafy matter, raw even. Heck, Broccolli is about 7% protein. Heard of Veganism or even the Paleo diet? Our guts are even adapted to this diet more then they are our modern western diet.

about a year ago

Quantum Gas Goes Below Absolute Zero

w0mprat Re:better explanation (264 comments)

There cannot be any proof, it is obviously impossible to distinguish between "simulated" and "real" reality

Not that obvious to me. You're assuming the simulators have made a perfect simulation, which they may not have done. Or they could leave deliberate clues, if they so wished, which would help us distinguish simulation and reality. Of course, on a broader philisophical point, you could argue there would still be no difference - reality could be a simulation and still be real.


Hi there, You can stop philosophizing, I just deleted that guy from the simulation, he was getting annoying. Incidentally, if you subscribe to the specific flavor of mass delusion you guys call 'Christianity' and are wondering when the rapture will happen, it'll come the day I finally slip up while combining wild-cards and the 'rm' command on my Simulatron 6000 (TM).

Sincerely, Your lord and cereator.

I get it you created everything, but you running all your commands as root is really a huge risk!!

about a year ago

Quantum Gas Goes Below Absolute Zero

w0mprat Re:better explanation (264 comments)

Is this proof of a simulated universe?

At least we can establish the universe wasn't written in C

about a year ago



Laser-like signal from Gliese 581 in '08

w0mprat w0mprat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

w0mprat (1317953) writes ""Just about a year ago Ragbir Bhathal was scanning the night sky for alien activity, just as he does every night. Except on this December eve Ragbir Bhathal found a strong, regular, repeating signal.... Unlike most of the tin-foil hat wearing whackadoos in his field, Dr. Bhathal is a hard scientist working with university money to find extraterrestrials...As proprietor of OZSETI, Dr. Bhathal combs the universe in search of light signals, not radio transmission"

The star system in question is none other than Gliese 581, where a earthlike planet was reccently found. Bhathal has only detected this signal once, while it has been verified by a signal processing specialist to be a real signal, it has not been seen again. Bhathal has a strong case for his decision searching around the visible spectrum, something like a laser may stand out as almost unambiguously artificial. He may have indeed found just that.

In this article from '09 they specifically mention the planet's name, Gliese 581e. They claim this 'e' planet was too close to its sun to be habitable. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1225710664198

This recently discovered 'goldilocks' planet is Gliese 581g. Same fracking solar system!

Link to Original Source


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