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Heathkit Educational Systems Closes Shop For Good

wmeyer Re:What of the HeathKit name? (129 comments)

The name has value on ebay, where the old audio and ham products sell well. But as a company, they've been dead a long time, and just didn't understand that.

more than 2 years ago
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Heathkit Educational Systems Closes Shop For Good

wmeyer killed by bad decisions (129 comments)

As stated in another post: "At the time Heathkit stopped producing kits their kit business WAS profitable. Their executives just didn't want to be in that business anymore. They wanted to solely be an education company."

Problem is, Heath's educational stuff was always pretty lame. In audio and amateur gear, they really shone. And they made some really nice test gear, too. I still have my Heath Audio Oscillator, and the Distortion Analyzer. Neither was quite as good as an HP, but they were way less money, and were good candidates for hobbyist upgrades.

Their educational stuff was not only lame, but overpriced. The rest of their offerings were solid value. Even their PC-clone (808x, 1983 or so) was well done and good value.

I built Heathkits, so did my dad. I'd say they will be missed, but I have missed them since they bailed on the business that made them.

more than 2 years ago
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Expect Mandatory 'Big Brother' Black Boxes In All New Cars From 2015

wmeyer Re: think long and hard (628 comments)

...and the last time I checked, about 1/3 of the drivers in California were also uninsured, despite the laws.

As to the 10th Amendment, Congress has all but ignored that for 100+ years, and especially after FDR.

more than 2 years ago
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$60 Light Bulb Debuts On Earth Day

wmeyer Re:bad design proliferates (743 comments)

Well, then I reiterate: bad design. That's a very warm color, almost orange. NOT what I would expect to pay such a high price to own. 5000K would have been much preferable. I also wonder, since they don't actually claim anything on that "data sheet", whether it actually has a color temp (meaning it is on the black line in the CIE chart), or whether it has a "correlated color temperature" (off the black line.) Of course, the 2700K is at the low end of the range in which incandescent lamps are normally found, so they can claim it was a design choice made for market acceptance. However, it is at the warmest end of the incandescent range, so think equivalent in color to a 15W incandescent, perhaps.

more than 2 years ago
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IKEA Announces Furniture With Integrated TV, Speakers, and Blu-ray

wmeyer can you say stupid? I knew you could (163 comments)

What goes obsolete faster than electronic devices? Nothing. I expect furniture (even the stuff from IKEA) to last a good deal longer.

more than 2 years ago
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$60 Light Bulb Debuts On Earth Day

wmeyer bad design proliferates (743 comments)

One reason for CFL failures is that they are not well protected against input power problems. In particular, screwing one into a socket which is turned on is a recipe for failure. So I guess we need to make sure we have an incandescent handy to check for the lamp being on? LOL!

I have looked at the Philips lamp datasheet. Pretty thin. I saw nothing on color temperature, for one thing. Probably because adding control over color temp to the mix will further increase costs. But for those who prefer a warm (incandescent-type) light, color temp is important. And frankly, if I am going to pay $60 for a 60W equivalent lamp (I won't, but that's not the point) I expect high quality, reliability, and well documented operating parameters. Less than that makes it just another rip-off engineered in response to green initiatives.

Get government out of the market, and costs of most things will reduce.

more than 2 years ago
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Skilled Readers Recognize Words By Shape

wmeyer silly reportage (420 comments)

Some idiocy here: it's not a rebuttal, but recognition that the brain uses multiple strategies. While I may surely recognize tokens (I'll pass on the issue of how that works), it is equally true that when I encounter a new symbol, having been trained early on in phonics, I do decompose the token into its elements, and resolve it in that fashion.

We've seen in so many areas how versatile the brain is, why on earth would we accept a story which posits a single mechanism? That smacks of a belief in the "whole word" teaching theory which has produced millions of functional illiterates.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Physical Input Devices For Developers?

wmeyer Re:Human Factors (147 comments)

The better solution than a potentiometer is a shaft encoder, most of which provide two pulses in quadrature, thereby allowing you to sense direction in the lead-lag relation of the two pulses, and avoid the need for an ADC.

more than 2 years ago
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Chevy Volt Fire Prompts Safety Investigation For EV Batteries

wmeyer Hmmm... I predict one part of the outcome (225 comments)

Well, as the nanny state has turned our world upside down in the effort to promote this not-ready-for-prime-time "solution", I predict that whatever else they determine, it will be emphasized that these cars are essential to the future of the nation.

God forbid they ever let the market work.

more than 2 years ago
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Is There an Institutional Bias Against Black Tech Entrepreneurs?

wmeyer observing a lack is not proof (645 comments)

Observing an apparent deficiency in demographics is not proof of bias, it is merely an observation of what is.

more than 2 years ago
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Berners-Lee: Web Access Is a 'Human Right'

wmeyer stunning ignorance (480 comments)

What is most impressive is Berners-Lee's utter ignorance of economics. Everything costs money. No one has a "right" to any service, much less to one that costs as much as the Internet to build and maintain. The nearest thing to a right is the right to work, which yields a wage with which services can be purchased. Really, Tim, socialism is idiocy.

more than 3 years ago
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Cutting Prices Is the Only Way To Stop Piracy

wmeyer it's just economics, stupid! (620 comments)

The easiest way to stop illicit trade is to remove the huge profits. True for software, true for street drugs, true for pretty much any commodity. Prohibition doesn't work; lack of profit does.

more than 3 years ago
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Richard Stallman: Cell Phones Are 'Stalin's Dream'

wmeyer he has a point or two, but.... (792 comments)

Stallman has always been a nut job, and always will be. Paranoia is a debilitating condition. The fault is not so much in the pervasive technology, but in our own failure to control the power hungry politicians who are rapidly destroying our society.

more than 3 years ago
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3D Cinema Doesn't Work and Never Will

wmeyer Re:Vergence / Focus not a Cinema problem (436 comments)

The ratio of difference between the perceived vs actual focal distance remains a problem, though if the screen size has a finite limit and seating distance does not, your statement contains some truth. ;)

more than 3 years ago
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3D Cinema Doesn't Work and Never Will

wmeyer Re:Works for me (436 comments)

A reasonably correct expression of your assertion would be that you are sufficiently titillated or diverted by the present stereoscopic films being offered. What has been produced is decidedly not 3D.

more than 3 years ago
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3D Cinema Doesn't Work and Never Will

wmeyer Murch is at least partly right (436 comments)

Murch is right in his analysis of the problem, and that's why the stereoscopic process in use now so closely resembles what you see in a ViewMaster, but does not look like what your eyes see in real life. Whether he's right about a possible solution with holography remains to be seen. It may yield a workable solution for a small audience, but it may also be unworkable in even today's small cinema spaces.

The industry has already learned the reality of Murch's analysis; I've attended engineering presentations on the problems, and the issues which are presented by attempting to cheat the eye on a single focal plane. One thing holography would fix is the problem of people getting sick when an inexperienced -- or foolish -- director tries to force the effect too far.

more than 3 years ago
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TIME Names Mark Zuckerberg Person of Year

wmeyer and when he grows up.... (317 comments)

How pathetic that Zuckerberg is the best they could come up with. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I mean really... with all that is happening in the world, they pick the creator of a social networking site, and one that is possibly most notable for playing fast and loose with people's info which they thought was not for sale. If he's Person of the Year, then we really are swirling in the pot.

more than 3 years ago
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GM Loses Money On Every Volt Built

wmeyer Analysis is everything (471 comments)

Obviously, very few developers study economics, and perhaps of those who did, they bought into the Keynesian theories. Most of the comments here demonstrate massive ignorance of economic reality. The Volt is yet another of those "we do it because it makes us feel virtuous" projects. And the sign of another government bailout to come.

These massive battery packs present massive problems, none of which will be resolved at tolerable cost by forcing production. This is another technology whose time has not yet--and may never--come. Buy high, sell low, and make it up in volume plus government handouts. At this rate, with more and more of our income taken to prop up failures, none of us will be able to afford a Volt anyway.

more than 3 years ago
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How Google Avoided Paying $60 Billion In Taxes

wmeyer at least try to get it right (1193 comments)

If even a tenth of those who have developed skills in software would spend a little time on the study of economics, there'd be less nonsense here.

Taxes on corporations are hidden taxes on consumers. End of story.

more than 3 years ago
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Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites

wmeyer idiots abound (1695 comments)

This is about idiocy. Now, at least, I have excellent cause to shun Rackspace.

I have also learned that expecting competent reasoning from a bunch of software geeks is only going to bring disappointment. Along the same lines as trying to explain to a bunch of coders why English syntax is as important as the syntax of their favorite programming language.

Freedom of speech is a right. Freedom from being offended is not. When Obama pulls the plug on the Internet, you may finally get it.

more than 4 years ago

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