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Comment: Re:First World Problems (Score 5, Informative) 154

by Jahf (#47680769) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Recliner For a Software Developer?

To "First World Problems" ... for enough people for it to matter, this isn't a first world problem any more than coding is a first world job (and these days it isn't). As someone with hereditary back issues since my teens that, after 25 years of pain and bad surgeries with severe complications, I am now on disability. I wouldn't have made it 25 years without an extreme ergonomic solution that I paid for out-of-pocket because until recently employers didn't recognize that even "ergo chairs" aren't enough.

For the original question ... you're probably not as bad off as I was. But if you're getting close you have a few solutions depending on how much you can spend (or get expensed). If you're not looking for this level of solution, hopefully the article attracted someone who did.

* Not a recliner, but for helping your back similar to how an exercise ball does but with more support for long coding, I have used a "SwingSeat" at my desk for a decade or more ( This was good enough to get me by until the last round of surgery (which was actually a success) made it too hard to sit upright all day.

* A "Zero G" chair, like the ones by Human Touch (I use a Human Touch Perfect Chair), a bit pricey but not awful. Combined with a laptop table that can raise and angle the laptop you can actually do the vast majority of your work from a completely reclined position.

* For a desk, rather than reclining all the time, I assembled a custom desk from Anthro using their Console line that has a tray that can raise and pivot from sitting to reclining (which actually needs to be raised higher than sitting) to standing (great for those of you who don't have partial leg paralysis, good for me on rare occasions). The desk is HUGE but dang, it does everything. It is the Console with full pole extensions bringing it to almost 6' with monitors on a shelf 8" higher than the shelf that hosts the keyboard tray. Which means the monitors can raise up to standing position as well. I can, if I use a trackpad to avoid mouse problems, use this in combination with the Perfect Chair as a rigged solution similar to the next one.

* I couldn't afford this, or at least I could have before I needed it, but can't now. But if you can, the desks from ErgoQuest are perfect. And some of them are inexpensive enough to be not tooooo awful on the budget (if I had the money I spent on the SwingSeat, Anthro Console and Perfect Chair I could afford an ErgoQuest). You can -sometimes- find these on Ebay but not usually from someone willing to ship and often not for significantly less than having the right one built to your specs.

Comment: Re:Not a barrier (Score 1) 183

by msim (#47666693) Attached to: Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

The fourminute mile was a barrier that athletes had as a psychological barrier for years.

Then oger Bannister broke the record after training with the mentality that he could go faster, not that he had reached his peak and couldn't go any better. Record after record after record tumbled as people realised that it wasn't a limit and trained with the mindset that they COULD get better and run faster than a mile in four minutes

Comment: Re:But... but nucular is bad! (Score 2) 143

by Troed (#47625339) Attached to: Transatomic Power Receives Seed Funding From Founders Fund Science

No, there are exactly zero big catastrophes going on right now. If you want to find catastrophes you need look no further than the actual tsunami that caused Fukushima - which resulted in tens of thousands of deaths (compared to zero from the failing reactors).

I live in Sweden, one of the countries that was actually affected by Chernobyl fallout. We had to make sure we didn't eat mushrooms for a short while - and that was it.

The "Big Lie" is that there have been nuclear catastrophes. A statement not supported by data:

Comment: Re:But... but nucular is bad! (Score 3, Informative) 143

by Troed (#47621409) Attached to: Transatomic Power Receives Seed Funding From Founders Fund Science

40 years ago there were people just like you saying how perfectly safe nuclear power is.

... and here we are, 40 years later, and know it to be true. Even the worst failure scenarios possible have not resulted in catastrophe. On the contrary, nuclear has turned out to be the safest energy production method of all.

If we want to be rational and stick to the facts, of course.

Comment: Re:Thoughts (Score 1) 194

by msim (#47596039) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

Genuine question:
Have you considered ipads, what pro's and cons have you come up with?
To me the positives are as follows:
* Portable
* Great battery life
* Supports a number of software (skype, facetime, etc)
* can be locked down if required.
* Apple care support is pretty low cost and the guys seem pretty helpful from my interactions with them.

The biggest negative I can see is the requirement for wireless coverage, or failing that, cost of a cellular/mobile link. However I see this as a limiting factor for any technology selected. If you have cat5 wired in the building you could conceivably just plug in an airport adapter nearby and plug that into the ethernet port if you want to reduce costs for things like wireless coverage. When the call is done, just unplug the adapter and take it with you.

I'm genuinely interested in your thoughts on this topic.

Comment: Re:FaceTime (Score 1) 194

by msim (#47596007) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

Oh geez, not this again.
Some people may have this attitude, but the majority of us that suggested this as a solution actually think it is a good idea from a simplicity and useability aspect. Set the thing up with facetime and skype as the only non restricted apps, bundle it in a protective case, get apple care support on the device and set up a sufficiently broad wireless coverage within the centre.and you will go a long way to providing what the requestor is asking for.

Other solutions are either
1) harder to support
2) more prone to breaking
3) just a pain in the ass in general

Comment: Re:FaceTime (Score 2) 194

by msim (#47595969) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

I wrote down a whole spiel why this is a good idea but accidentally nuked it when i decided to log in and not post as an AC.

Abbreviated version:
I'm not an apple fanboy, but this is definitely the best solution. Keep the device locked down to only run facetime and skype, keep the carers in control of scheduling when people call and charging the ipad when it's not needed (it has a fantastic battery life anyway so overnight charging ought to suffice unless there's a busy day). Keep an applecare contract open for the device and keep the internet connection with a provider that does high levels of support (or centralised administrative group or outsourcer ) and there's 95% of the support you'll ever need. I considered the idea of a long life android tablet with a child proof launcher, but the potential for the one way charging connector was a bit of a deterrent from me suggesting that as a solution.

The roll your own box and administer it remotely/as a client is a fair idea, but requires someone, somewhere to administer the device and incurs a substantial additional cost as although it may use standards, it is a custom created monstrosity that could be a liability if things break in the future. The smart tv thing is an interesting solution, but seems like it could be a lot harder to get the device to the less mobile patients than a simple to carry device like a tablet.

the KISS principle applies here more than anywhere else it possibly could.

Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 1) 212

It sounds like this transformer had its center tap grounded and was the path to ground on one side of a ground loop as the geomagnetic field moved under pressure from a CME, inducing a common-mode current in the long-distance power line. A gas pipeline in an area of poor ground conductivity in Russia was also destroyed, it is said, resulting in 500 deaths.

One can protect against this phenomenon by use of common-mode breakers and perhaps even overheat breakers. The system will not stay up but nor will it be destroyed. This is a high-current rather than high-voltage phenomenon and thus the various methods used to dissipate lightning currents might not be effective.

+ - Letter to Congress: Ending U.S. Dependency on Russia for Access to Space 1

Submitted by Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens (3872) writes "I've sent a letter to my district's senators and member of congress this evening, regarding how we should achieve a swifter end to U.S. dependency on the Russians for access to space. Please read my letter, below. If you like it, please join me and send something similar to your own representatives. Find them here and here. — Bruce

Dear Congressperson Lee,

The U.S. is dependent on the Russians for present and future access to space. Only Soyuz can bring astronauts to and from the Space Station. The space vehicles being built by United Launch Alliance are designed around a Russian engine. NASA's own design for a crewed rocket is in its infancy and will not be useful for a decade, if it ever flies.

Mr. Putin has become much too bold because of other nations dependence. The recent loss of Malaysia Air MH17 and all aboard is one consequence.

Ending our dependency on Russia for access to space, sooner than we previously planned, has become critical. SpaceX has announced the crewed version of their Dragon spaceship. They have had multiple successful flights and returns to Earth of the un-crewed Dragon and their Falcon 9 rocket, which are without unfortunate foreign dependencies. SpaceX is pursuing development using private funds. The U.S. should now support and accelerate that development.

SpaceX has, after only a decade of development, demonstrated many advances over existing and planned paths to space. Recently they have twice successfully brought the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket back to the ocean surface at a speed that would allow safe landing on ground. They have demonstrated many times the safe takeoff, flight to significant altitude, ground landing and re-flight of two similar test rockets. In October they plan the touchdown of their rocket's first stage on a barge at sea, and its recovery and re-use after a full flight to space. Should their plan for a reusable first-stage, second, and crew vehicle be achieved, it could result in a reduction in the cost of access to space to perhaps 1/100 of the current "astronomical" price. This would open a new frontier to economical access in a way not witnessed by our nation since the transcontinental railroad. The U.S. should now support this effort and reap its tremendous economic rewards.

This plan is not without risk, and like all space research there will be failures, delays, and eventually lost life. However, the many successes of SpaceX argue for our increased support now, and the potential of tremendous benefit to our nation and the world.

Please write back to me.

Many Thanks

Bruce Perens"

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer