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Comment Re:Holy EMF Batman? (Score 1) 242

> (2.4GHz is used in microwave ovens for a reason, water has an absorbtion band there)

Something of an urban myth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_absorption_by_water
- "water has a broad absorption spectrum in the microwave region"

The only reason 2.45MHz is used for cooking, is because it's a ISM (Industrial/Scientific/Medical) band which is licence-free to use.
73 OM

Comment Wasted opportunity (Score 1) 263

I was always bemused that they didn't seize the chance to make data drives (using the exact same discs as the audio gear - see wikipedia for what really happened) and really market them well. At the time, 100MB robust Read/Write discs would have been really brilliant.

I bought into it for audio, in 1996. Those discs, protected nicely in their little cases, have lasted well and still play. The price of the blank media came down nicely while I was really using it, but I've recently transfered it all to WAV/FLAC/MP3 and the whole lot now sits in shoe box amongst the junk in the loft to confuse my descendents who will one day wonder what it is :)

If they had embraced the format for all its possibilities, it could have been massive.

Comment Can't have been all that bad... (Score 1) 64

I used to SAVE programs over the CB airwaves for other people to LOAD, and never noticed any great problems with the Speccy interfering with my CB :)

(I put a socket on the back of my CB fist-mic - this was at the height of the CB craze after UK legalisation in Nov 1981 - so that I could plug in other mics, or line-level audio via a resistive dropper. I found that hooking it up to the Speccy I could SAVE over the air with a nice clear modulation (CB is FM in the UK - 27MHz) with enough quality that other people were able to hook up their CBs to the line-in socket of their Speccy and LOAD what I was sending to them. It worked just fine!)

Comment Back in the 80s you could compete... (Score 5, Interesting) 276

When I was an 80s teen with my ZX Spectrum, I could write games that weren't too far behind the earliest commercial games. (back then it was even a novelty to have control over what appeared on your old telly screen!)

I wrote games that gave me as much fun as the coin-op machines back then, when things were primitive.

Now though, how can any kid write a fluid 3D FPS shoot-up? I take my hat off to any who can! Where's the incentive? Where's the novelty?

Little 2D games on the kids' Android phones, maybe. Perhaps.

Comment Re:Advice for younger /.ers: Do not kill yourself. (Score 1) 312

You have obviously never been depressed - really horribly deeply depressed. It's nowhere near as simple as you think.

When you really can't see the point of anything, and hate being alive, you're simply not going to see the point of carrying on. Changing everything for a different experience of life? It just doesn't seem worth it.

I haven't been right down to the very bottom myself, or I wouldn't still be here. It's like a black hole, you can get to within a certain distance of it and still pull back. That's the stage where your advice holds water. But past the 'event horizon' there's no coming back, and no amount of advice will counter that slippery slope to oblivion.

That's the tragedy of suicide. If only we could stop people from getting so very very low that there's no way back, we could achieve something. But in a society where personal freedom is valued as much as we do, people are free to be left alone in their misery without any helpful intervention until it's too late. Too many of us just don't have enough positive social contact to keep a healthy mind.

Comment Get our prefered number (range) of comments? (Score 1) 763

I love /. for the Informative and Funny comments. I have often laughed out very loud at the wit here, and on many occasions have had my eyes opened on issues that had escaped me before. Reading what intelligent people have to say about something is fascinating and educational.

But I always have to manually determine what threshold to specify, as I want somewhere around 15 comments if possible. 3 comments at level 5 isn't enough, and if dropping to level 4 brings in a total of 11 then it's worth doing.

I'd like a way to specify "Automatically reduce threshold if required so that I always get 10 to 20 comments if possible"
- i.e. if level 5 gives me 9 comments but reducing to 4 gives me less than 20, it's worth pulling in those extra ones. More then 20 is too much to care about, too much work.

Or you could automatically configure it (by option) such that if the next level down contains only 50% more comments (or less) then automatically bring them in.

Does anyone else agree?

Comment Re:Annoying closeups (Score 1) 118

But the annoying close ups don't convey just how magnificent it really is. When I finally reached the wide view I was really surprised at the size of it, and I wanted to see it for myself in real life, much more than I got from the close ups. We need a sense of scale, don't we?

And why does every shot of anything these days have to come from a moving camera? Are our attention spans REALLY so poor now that we would mentally drift away if we were presented with a static shot (but still containing motion)?

Comment Looks promising (Score 1) 120

This is exactly what both Windows and Linux needs right now.
In Windows our only free choices apart from the crippled Windows Movie Maker (limited in too many ways) are nightmarish utilities or trial versions of payware (like VideoPad).
In Linux there are certainly projects out there, but they either seem to have stalled in development, been abandoned, crash all the time, or we're waiting oh-so-patiently for v1.0 to arrive.

This new VLMC looks like it should really hit the spot. They have a YouTube page with this demo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02vdwNsvbZI&hd=1
and with a bit more polish, transitions and effects it should be all that many of us need. Well done to the team, I for one am looking forward to the first release in February.

Heck, if they could put together a quick Live CD/USB iso so that I could play with it, I'd test it too :) (I'm not up to getting it running as it is but I've played with Ubuntu and Linux Mint ok)

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban

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