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Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 220

by fyngyrz (#49165523) Attached to: Samsung Officially Unpacks Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge At MWC

Having used both removable batteries and external battery bricks, the external battery brick is FAR more useful.

Probably so. Luckily, there's a much better way to go. Throw out the original battery, replace it with one that has several times the capacity, replace the back with the supplied replacement, and buy the appropriate hardshell if that's how you roll.

Result? More battery life than a brick, no having to plug in all the time, and no need to remove the battery until it dies, which will likely be some years down the road.

When I bought my Note 3 (SM-N900V), it wouldn't last a day. I'd have to turn it off (not use apps, etc.) before bedtime if I wanted it to have enough juice left to receive a call, text, IM or email, etc. -- it would hit 5% by 9pm or so. Once I replaced the battery, I just pop the thing on the charger about every other day while I'm sleeping and have no worries. It'll go three full days of use, but that does put the battery down to about 20%, so I tend to avoid it.

This makes the phone thicker and heavier. I don't mind a bit. But some people would.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 220

by fyngyrz (#49165377) Attached to: Samsung Officially Unpacks Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge At MWC

A replaceable battery costs more upfront and is incompatible with thinness. Most people get a new phone long before the battery dies.

After buying my Galaxy Note 3 (SM-N900V) and using it for a little while, I learned that the battery would hold up about 14 hours under the kind of use I made of it. So I replaced the battery with one that has about 3x the capacity, replaced the back of the phone with a back that would properly contain the new, much thicker battery, and got myself a new case for the resulting assembly.

The resulting phone (which I am delighted with) is not thin. In order to make me happy, the battery had to be replaced well before it died. The cost of the extra battery and case and hardshell added quite a bit to the bottom line cost of the phone. But the result was the best phone I'd ever used. I gave my iPhone to one of the kids and have never looked back. I do have a late-model iPad, but I rarely use it any longer other than to continue to play some long-standing word, chess, carcassonne, and upwords opponents. My desktop machine is a mac.

Based on my experience, I'd at least take a look at a new Samsung before any other Android platform. I'm no longer willing to consider Apple at all.

Comment: Optimism (Score 0) 213

by fyngyrz (#49165215) Attached to: Spock and the Legacy of Star Trek

[Optimism] is something, the author argues, that is sorely missing from the new J.J. Abrams movies.

Every bit you can get closer to reality is what tends to separate better SF from worse SF. I look around me, and I see very little reason for optimism. I see no reason for optimism in ST:TOS, either, it was sort of invasive. ST:TOS was a litany of "everything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and the expendables (red shirts) are gonna die. ST:TNG, the same, except also, if IRL you appeared in Playboy, you're gonna die. ST:STE was dark as hell (and frankly, with that huge story arc, for me, the most enjoyable, despite what I perceived as a rather wooden captain in the first few episodes. Hoshi, Phlox, Trip and T'Pal made up for that, and then some.)

So. He may be right -- optimism is missing -- but I see it as a feature, not a bug. I look forward to the possibility of more of the franchise.

Comment: Re:Right, but does it correctly model... (Score 1) 211

Wait... I thought the first proper zombie movie was Romero's Night of the Living Dead, set in Pennsylvania.

Although they're technically vampires, I'm still going to go with Richard Matheson's "I am Legend" (1954.) Other than the fact that they weren't specifically after your brainz, Matheson's hordes of mindless, aggressive, human-seeking infected pretty much cover all the bases.

Besides, you have Triffids... be happy with that.

I agree. Also, they had giant wasps -- Keith Robert's "The Furies." Awesome book.

Bloody greedy UK types.

Comment: The south goes under (Score 1) 211

I doubt the modeling took into account that here in the South we defend our homes via the second ammendment against foreign invaders, tyrannical government AND zombies!

It's the tyrannical foreign government zombie invaders that'll get you in the end. They can feel the hate. And they want your brainnzzz.

Comment: Yep (Score 5, Insightful) 211

Yes. Speaking as a Montana fellow, and being quite familiar with Glacier park, I can confidently inform everyone that if you try to live up there in the winter without a well-insulated and extremely well supplied domicile away from any steep slopes (locations for which there is a very limited selection, btw), Glacier park will calmly, without any particular effort, make you dead. For that matter, given the terrain and some of the species still wandering around up there, I'm none too sanguine about anyone's chances through the other seasons, either. And a bunch of people? You'd just kill each other.

No zombies required.

Comment: Is there a light-weight XFCE distro? (Score 1) 88

by billstewart (#49162055) Attached to: Xfce 4.12 Released

Yes, XFCE is a nice light-weight window manager. Is there a light-weight distro that uses it? Ubuntu wants 5-10GB of disk, even for Xubuntu and Lubuntu. TinyCore can do a graphical environment with maybe 100MB, but is a bit too minimalist for me - I want something that can keep security update working with no more work than apt-get/yum/etc. I need a window manager, browser, shell, and maybe a C compiler or so, and I want something under 0.5 GB so I can keep a few spares on a desktop and spin up lots of cloud instances as well.

Comment: Better Krebs than Weev (Score 2) 223

You don't want to end up like Weev, even though they did eventually let him out of jail. And you're apparently not somebody who's got the kind of personality he has, which, while it may make you less likely to end up in jail, isn't necessarily going to get you off the hook either.

Comment: Re:Density is therefore a necessity (Score 1) 188

by fyngyrz (#49161165) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

A drop of water can self-form into a sphere by surface tension alone. If that is dropped off in space, it becomes a planet??

Not in my view. That isn't implied by what I said, either. I said mass, and I meant mass. If you dropped your putative drop of water off in space, by the way, by which I mean in a vacuum, I don't think it would be able to hold itself together by any means. I suspect it'd most likely sublimate before you even had a chance to really get into admiring it.

Oh, by the way, our sun orbits the galaxy, does that mean we aren't a planet here on earth because we orbit around something that has its own orbit?

Not to me. Again, I said nothing of the sort, and I implied nothing of the sort.

If not, then why do moons get to be moons when many of them are bigger than the "planet" Pluto, when they orbit around something that has its own orbit around another body?

Moons get to be moons in the context of a solar system; once you step beyond that level of organization, most of us (apparently not you, but that's ok) use different terminology to indicate groupings of stars, gas clouds, supergroupings, and so on.

But hey, don't let me get in the way of your irrational ranting; you've got a good head of steam going there, be a shame to see it peter out too soon.

Comment: Oh, science, is it? (Score 1) 188

by fyngyrz (#49161105) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

We see articles about how few people are scientifically literate, and so many on Slashdot decry "We are geeks, we understand science!"

Appearently, nope!

Actually, my dear fellow poster, it is you that does not understand science. Science is a method. Information gathered and suppositions constructed are both data. Such data, particularly when the scientific method is applied, may give rise to (hopefully) more accurate metaphor(s) (more data) as to how nature behaves, and that in turn may let us go a little (or a lot) deeper next time around. Science is a very simple, and beautiful, method.

Back to data. Data is subject to naming, among other things, and those names are (a) abstracts selected for the convenience of the various users, (b) significantly arbitrary, (c) quite often of a dual or more diverse nature (and still 100% correct), for instance "daisy" and "bellis perennis" and "flower" and "that thing that makes me sneeze" and (d) often extend into the metaphorical and allegorical realms in order to further-, and/or better-, and/or simply re-define the issue(s) at hand. This most definitely includes one's own personal or sharable naming conventions and specifics.

When something is controversial or simply not static, we will often see the naming structure(s) and/or system(s) undergo permutation, mutation or even outright replacement. Brontosaurus, apatosaurus, brontosaurids, etc. Those are good examples of names that changed for some pretty good reasons (wrong head on the body... the "brontosaur" was an apatosaurus that mistakenly got a camarasaurus head on it, lol. Now "brontosaurids" means, hand-wavingly, "those long-necked ones" and not much else.) These nomenclature mutations are part of the process of integrating the data into our best-approximation of knowledge about the world, which, coming back around to square one, is not "science" either. Science is a method that we "do." Knowledge is not science itself, although it can and should be used in the undertaking of science.

Further, as the users of the data, objects, information vary, often so goes the terminology. Programmer: "Time for za!" Secretary sent to get it: "Can I order a pizza, please?" counter person: "pie, cheese" artisian: "yet another culinary masterpiece!"... they're all correct. It's not a problem. It's normal and natural. It is still normal and natural if someone in a particular household begins to call pizza "magic goo"... and who knows, it could be what everyone calls it some years down the road. I still kind of twitch when someone says "you suck", because when I was a teenager, that was a deadly insult, worthy of an immediate fistfight. Means something quite a bit more casual today, something absolutely unrelated to its original meaning. And so it goes. Naming is by its very nature a malleable domain. As it should be.

The bottom line here is, just because a few astronomers (and it was very few, btw) voted for a particular usage, does not mean we have to, or even should, comply if we don't agree. I'm sorry if that seems too chaotic for you, but that's really the way it is, and likely always will be, too.

But to decry that because you learned something one way, therefore that convinces you forever, that's just plain stupid.

Well, good thing I wasn't doing that then, eh?

Cheers! :)

Comment: Re:Going my own way (Score 1) 188

by fyngyrz (#49160905) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

A protostar, given it's in a seriously pre-fusion state, will (as far as I know) be large enough to have quite decisively pulled itself into a spheroid. If it is orbiting another star, I'd say that at that point, it is a planet and a protostar.

As I see it, protostars seem to refer to a class of planet, just as do gas giants, balls of frozen gasses, molten worlds, rocky, airless worlds, and earthlike worlds. That namespace is a very rich field to till, I think.

Once it lights off, I see it as a sibling (binary, trinary, etc.) by virtue of being stars in thrall to one another's gravity. The star with the greater mass I'd call the primary, the next most mass the secondary, etc.

If it is just sitting out in space by itself, I'd designate it a (rogue) planet and a protostar.

Sure, planets can radiate all kinds of things, for all kinds of reasons. Aurorae, ionizing radiation, IR, UV (some high energy electrical storms do this here), atmosphere, monkeys in tin cans... :) ok, that's pushing the indirection a little hard, but... lol

At this point, I'd say that anything that had lit its fusion lamp gets the designator, quite possibly qualified, of "star." There are various kinds of post-fusion states; neutron stars, black holes, perhaps even just dead cinders and fragments, and of course gassy / radiative remnants resulting from their destruction. Probably lots of other things too. The world, Horatio... etc.

That's all just my own outlook though.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.

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