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Comment: It's a simple software change (Score 1) 911

by BlindSpot (#39675707) Attached to: Mandatory Brake-Override Proposed For All Cars

Um, it seems like most people don't realize that virtually everthing in a modern car is computer-controlled. Which means implementing this feature is a simple software adjustment. Heck, I can even illustrate it with one line of code:

if accel_level > 0.2 and brake_level > 0.2: accel_level = 0

Okay I'm sure it's not quite so easy in the car's programming, but what I am sure of is that it's not expensive... you can already get it standard in a $12000 Nissan for fuck's sake. From TFA it looks like that the cheapest Toyotas have it as well.

I never post anymore but there is such massive ignorance on this thread I just couldn't help it. Anybody bitching about this being an expensive government imposition either doesn't know what they are talking about or is just pushing their own political agenda. (Or both.)

Comment: Nice, but... (Score 1) 62

by BlindSpot (#37992200) Attached to: New, More Autonomous Asimo Robot Unveiled By Honda

Why is it that a company that can build something cool like that is the same one that says it'd take at least 6 freakin' weeks to build me a new Civic? That was AFTER the dealer tried to string me along of course. (Didn't work - I bought a Nissan instead.)

Dear goodness I hope if/when they ever start mass-producing these that buying one isn't like buying a car. "Sorry we don't have that model and colour in stock right now but we do have the deluxe model Asimo with Chrome finishing. Oh and be sure to get the undercoating and rustproofing package on your Asimo for long-lasting protection."

Comment: Re:The D-Link DIR-655 (Score 1) 398

by BlindSpot (#37447376) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Gigabit 802.11N Home Router?

No, stay away from the DIR-655 - especially for wireless! Getting literally dozens of Wireless Resets every day. I'm not the only one with this problem either - Google it, lots of reports. Tried tweaking lots of settings and using a channel scanner and picking the least-used channel but nothing helps.

Pity 'cause it would be a decent router otherwise.

Comment: Sigh (Score 1) 104

I still haven't forgiven EA for the Spore DRM fiasco, so this means PopCap games (future and past) are off-limits for me now. Pity, I almost always enjoy their type of casual/puzzle games. Played the hell out of PvZ after getting it cheap during the last Steam sale, and still playing the Peggle games after several years.

Don't blame them for selling, just wish it was to a better company.

Comment: U-Force! (Score 1) 138

by BlindSpot (#36089476) Attached to: Creating a "Force Field" Invisible Touch Interface

Reminds me of the U-Force I got for the original NES - that was over 20 years ago! Still have it in its original box, actually. Maybe in another 25 years it'll be worth something... it certainly wasn't when it came out! It sorta worked for Punch-Out, and not at all for anything else.

I can't remember if the U-Force was what would now be called "multi-touch"... probably not. Didn't RTFA, but at any rate I assume (and would hope) the one in the article works a lot better!

Comment: Been there, done that (Score 4, Interesting) 426

by BlindSpot (#33372804) Attached to: 'Retro Programming' Teaches Using 1980s Machines

10 years ago when I went through University, the core of the mandatory Assembly programming course was taught on the PDP-11 architecture, then 30 and now 40 years old.

Granted it's not quite the same. We used emulators and not the real things. Also it was for different motivations. The prof felt it was simpler to teach the cleaner PDP-11 instruction set than the 80x86 or 680x0, although the course did eventually also extend to both. Also he happened to be an expert in systems like the PDP-11.

However the idea of using old systems as teaching aids is hardly new - or news IMO.

Comment: How Far They've Come (Score 4, Interesting) 377

by BlindSpot (#33302192) Attached to: Intel Buys McAfee

20 years ago when I got my first modem (wow it's been that long, I feel old) McAfee was *the* virus scanner. Sysops used it to scan uploads and users used it to scan downloads. Of course back then it was a small command line app that fit on one floppy and ran in 256KB (yes, K) of memory, not the massive piece of bloatware it is now. It was also free... paid versions didn't appear until Windows took over IIRC.

Never would have guessed that they woulda end up developing into a software giant worth $7.7B. And sold to Intel of all companies.

Heard a guy on the business channel speculating that Intel might be wanting it to develop on-chip virus scanners. Sounds like a promising application if it'll speed it up. As it is now scanners as no faster now as it was 20 years ago, but back then we only had 30MB drives to scan so it ran a full scan in under 30 seconds. Now we have 300GB or more and it takes about 3 hours... no wonder people hate virus scanners.

Comment: Home phone with broadband?!? (Score 1) 637

by BlindSpot (#32900218) Attached to: Which service is the last you would let lapse in a cash crunch?

WTF is with the lumping of broadband in with home phone? I haven't had a home phone in 5 years and I know many here are in a similar position. Even many of those who do have one won't get it from the same place as their broadband, and the two are far from the same.

My cable Internet's definitely the last thing I'd hang on to but I'm not voting for it since it's lumped in like that. I can look for work online, and indeed can apply for many jobs that way. I can talk to recruiters and setup interviews via email. I can review contract offers and sign the paperwork that way too. In other words, it's the only service that'll let me do everything I need to get out of the cash crunch - by finding (more) work!

Oh and let's not forget all the online games and pr0n that'll help pass the time.

Comment: Earlier that morning... (Score 4, Interesting) 128

by BlindSpot (#32362102) Attached to: Berners-Lee Deconstructs a Bag of Chips

"Oh shit, my speech, I forgot all about it! I shouldn't have stayed out drinking until 2am last night..."
"Must find inspiration, quickly..."
*sees chip bag in garbage*
"Ah, a chip bag! Maybe I can use this somehow..."
*scrawls some notes*
"Hey this might just work..."
*15 minutes of feverish writing*
"YES! An entire speech on linked open data based on a bag of chips. My career is safe!"
"Hey, maybe I'll even get a few cases from Utz as a thank you for mentioning them..."

Comment: Re:your first sentence is technically flawed (Score 1) 531

by BlindSpot (#31823228) Attached to: Ubuntu on a Dime

Seriously, go to salvation army for your ultra-cheap computing needs.

Better yet, get stuff for free. Nowadays if you pay $10 for a CRT you are paying $10 too much. From a local Freecycle group or craigslist or whatever you can get one CRT (or many) for nothing except the price of gas for the pickup. You can also find half-decent systems and parts too. For those it takes a bit more luck to be selected as the recipient, but there's so much out there nowadays that it's not that hard, just takes a bit of patience.

I was able to build a MythTV front-end box for my bedroom entirely out of free stuff. Heck, if I didn't already have the TV and entertainment centre I could have easily got those for free too! I'm not in any financial difficulty, but why waste money paying for items that people are not only giving away but also glad to get rid of?

Comment: Delayed Sleep Phase (Score 1) 436

by BlindSpot (#31584222) Attached to: Later School Start For Teenagers Brings Drop In Absenteeism

The science behind this involves something called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome which basically means a person's "body clock" is "late" by a few hours... it's something that occurs with many teenagers and usually sorts itself out, but not always. (I didn't RTFA so I dunno if it mentions this or not.)

I was diagnosed as potentially having this condition in my late 20s by a sleep therapist. Never had a full evalulation on it specifically because treatment of the psychological and physical issues greatly reduced my problems. However, I suspect I had it and indeed probably still do (5 years later), because I've always been very prone to being a night owl. Though I now get up at 6am for work (something once impossible) I can still easily stay up past midnight, and the odd time I do manage to get to bed early enough for 7-8 hours sleep I'm still super tired at 6am. On weekends if I don't set an alarm I will sleep past 10am just about every time.

Most of my best coding has been done after midnight... always like to joke at work that I'd be at least twice as productive if they let me work 8pm-4am. Of course I never actually would do that, that schedule would suck on many other levels.

Chemist who falls in acid is absorbed in work.

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