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Comment: It's not binary (Score 1) 299

by CityZen (#46779969) Attached to: Switching From Sitting To Standing At Your Desk

Obviously it's a problem to sit all day. But it's not a binary decision between sitting all day and standing all day.

Like everything in life, the key is "balance": not too much, not too little.

Keep using a chair if that's what you like. Just be sure to stand up, stretch, stroll around a bit periodically.
Set a timer if you need to remind yourself.

If you like to stand, that's fine too. You also need to move around periodically, or even sit down.

Comment: Re:The playa exit is not the problem. (Score 1) 273

by CityZen (#46663135) Attached to: Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

Then the answer seems obvious: Schedule the last day's events in order from most to least interesting, making sure to have a decent progression towards inanity as you get towards the end. People will naturally trickle away, as they decide the next events are not worth attending. (Perhaps the whole week should be scheduled with the most interesting events in the middle, and the more inane towards start and finish.)

Another possible answer comes up as well: treat the exit line like a Disney theme park entrance line: make it interesting enough to be in, but never interesting enough to hold anyone up.

Comment: Re:Are you in the USA? (Score 5, Informative) 219

by CityZen (#46632225) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?

Lyngsat is the best place I have seen to get information about what programming is available. However, its organization takes some getting used to.

The page linked above shows the programming that originates from the US but is broadcast around the world. Similar pages can be used to find programming originating from other countries. However, you need to understand what satellites are viewable from your location.

Other pages are those that show what's available from satellites you can see, such as:
This page shows the satellites that broadcast to the US, ranging from 61.5 W way over toward the east to 139 W way over toward the west. If you are located on the east coast, you may have trouble receiving 139 W unless you have a clear line of site toward the west and a perhaps larger-than-typical dish. Similarly, if you are located on the west coast, you may have trouble receiving 61.5 W. Satellites that are more directly overhead your particular longitude will typically be easier to receive. You can find your own longitude very easily by googling your zip code plus "longitude".

Once you're looking at a particular satellite, say Galaxy 19:
then you need to understand the information that's presented. The first table lists frequencies in the ~4000 range, which corresponds to C-band. To receive these, you need a "BUD" (big ugly dish) of size 6-12 feet (2-4m). The next table lists frequencies in the ~12000 range, which corresponds to Ku-band. These can be received with a 30" (0.75m) dish.

The next columns to pay attention to are the provider name and the system encryption. Look for the "F" icon in the encryption column, indicating that the channel is FTA. Also confirm that the first entry for the transponder in question shows "DVB-S" (or "DVB-S2") and that this is compatible with the receiver you have. The first entry provides info about the multiplexed stream, whereas the subsequent entries provide info about each individual channel within the stream. A decent receiver will be able to figure out all these details itself, but older hardware requires programming in some details.

There's really a couple of ways to use FTA. One is to just set up a system locked to a given satellite and stick with a channel or small set of channels that are stable. The other way is to hop around different satellites and see what's available, since programming does change over time. For this, it's important that your receiver has "blind search" capability (which should be pretty common by now, but you should verify). Having the ability to program the channels easily with a computer program is another nice feature that many receivers offer. This can be a lot better than fiddling with the remote and endless menu layers. And, of course, a motorized dish mount makes it easier to change satellites.

A final word before you embark on this: Lots of these channels have online viewing options, which can be much less frustrating to view (or they can offer a different type of frustration). At least you won't have to fiddle outside with dish alignment on a rainy day to peak the signal. You can instead learn about proxies from the comfort of your desktop.

Comment: A couple of tips, based on a recent interview. (Score 2) 218

by CityZen (#46552201) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?

When I interview someone, I ask them to explain something to me. A good candidate can provide a concise overview of the topic and then work through it in a coherent manner, seeking and taking in feedback from me to see if they're explaining things at the right level. Just wandering around the topic isn't so good. It's okay to say what you know and what you don't know.

Another thing I do is to ask them to solve a problem (either a simple but slightly tricky coding problem or a problem about a technology we've discussed). What I like to see is someone who can explain their thought process as they go. If they get stuck, they should be asking questions. But just sitting there thinking quietly isn't a good sign, especially when they don't come out with a good answer eventually.

You do need to find a good balance between talking too much and being too quiet. To do this, it is important to seek feedback and take queues from the interviewer. This kind of interaction is key to "working well with others".

Comment: Re:Hmmm... (Score 1) 983

by CityZen (#46466209) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

The 6.25TB is "compressed" capacity, while the "native" capacity is 2.5TB.
That tape cartridge will cost you about $70, plus you need a drive for it (about $2000).
A 3TB hard drive goes for about $100.

To handle 20TB:
7 x 3TB HD's = $700.
8 x 2.5TB tapes + 1 tape drive = $2560.

You'd need quite a few copies of the data before the tape drives make more sense economically.

Comment: Doesn't matter (Score 1) 236

by CityZen (#46276757) Attached to: I'd prefer military fiction books that are ...

It's the writing and characterization that matter.

I loved Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series, set in the 1800's. There was a bit of tedium initially in his detailed descriptions of sailing procedures, but his lively characters made it worthwhile, and eventually even the sailing bits became interesting once you became more familiar with the topic.

Comment: Single FOV number no longer adequate (Score 2) 42

by CityZen (#45535043) Attached to: The Science Behind the InfinitEye's Panoramic Virtual Reality Headset

With these somewhat asymmetric FOVs, a single number doesn't provide enough information to understand what you're getting.
What's needed now is the "inside angle" and the "outside angle", where:
- inside angle = how much either eye can see toward the other eye
- outside angle = how much either eye can see away from the other eye
(in either case, measure the angle from "straight ahead" over to the cut-off point where you can no longer see anything)
In a symmetric system, both of these numbers are the same (or pretty close, anyway); you'd just add the two to get regular FOV.
You don't want the inside angle too small, or else you'll feel like you've got a huge nose (or your hand between your eyes).
Making the inside angle large is complicated by the fact that the displays will run into each other.
Making the outside angle large is easy by comparison.

Comment: Re:pointless (Score 2) 307

by CityZen (#45429161) Attached to: Alfred Poor Says HDTV Manufacturers are Hurting (Video)

I'm sure you could tell the difference between high-bitrate content made to make 4K look good vs. ordinary compressed HD content.
However, if you were to watch the same content with appropriately-high bitrates for 4K and HD, you probably wouldn't see the difference.
Why would they try to make both sets look as good as possible if the point is to sell the more expensive one?

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.