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Comment: Re:It's the early morning people who are nuts (Score 1) 116

by WolfWithoutAClause (#47946175) Attached to: 'Why Banana Skins Are Slippery' Wins IgNobel

Actually, coffee may be part of that.

Turns out that coffee delays the build up of some chemical that makes you tired... i.e. it makes your body clock run slow, when taken in the morning.

However, if you take it late at night, before you go to bed, then the level of that chemical goes down more quickly and you'll wake up earlier the next day. Surprisingly it doesn't make it that much harder to go to sleep either, although if you're not already tolerant to coffee, all bets are off on falling asleep promptly.

Other things that affect the body clock are light, and food (big breakfasts are good for waking up early the next day, skipping breakfast = super bad).

Comment: Keeping it cheap and low-energy (Score 1) 262

by hankwang (#47943343) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

I was using an old netbook (Atom N270) as a home media server, keeping it running Ubuntu Desktop 9.something. But it was too much of a pain to maintain: keeping it on mains power for a year seems to break the battery-charge-level monitoring, which makes the internal battery useless as a UPS. Too many processes insisted on writing to files every 5 minutes, which was spinning up the hard disk all the time. Also, it got uncomfortably hot with the lid closed all the time.

So I got a second-hand thin client (Via 1 GHz CPU, 1 GB internal flash drive, 1 GB RAM, gigabit ethernet) for 75 euros, installed Ubuntu Server 12.04 and a USB hard disk that has a auto spin-down feature. The 1 GiB "SSD" turned out to be too small for OS and log files, so I augmented it with a 4 GB USB thumb drive, while cursing that it is very hard to find one that performs well on lots of small writes (With 4 kB random block write tests, the throughput of most sticks is less than 0.01 MB/s). This thing takes about 13 W of power while idle (26 euros/year at our rates) and last time I looked, there are no alternatives on the market that have comparable horsepower for much less watts. The server hosts media files (MiniDLNA) and backups (snapshots) of the various computers/tablets/phones. Once or twice a year, I sync the disk with an external USB drive. If my house goes up in flames, all will be gone.

Since my media storage is mostly audio, a 1 TB drive is plenty. When I read here from people that have 40 TB of storage in NAS arrays, I wonder what they are hoarding. At 5 GB per hour of video, that's 8000 hours!

Ubuntu 12.04 server sucks for a headless server. I think it was waiting for a keypress after an unclean boot. (There was a comment on a forum of a guy who had to drive 100 miles to a datacenter to attach a keyboard and press Enter). That one was solved, but now it just hangs during filesystem checking at boot time - some bad boot-order dependency.

Network: ethernet in living room (A/V center) and work room (desktop/printer); wifi elsewhere. Visitors get the wifi password. Non-media file transfers and backups are always over ssh. (It t1urns out that the gigabit ethernet was overkill; the VIA CPU can barely saturate a 100 Mbps ethernet line, with the faster SSH cipher (arcfour).

Comment: Re:complete sensationalist bullshit (Score 1) 282

by hankwang (#47942969) Attached to: Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

"your body isn't absorbing every calorie you put into it. Your body absorbs until it has what it needs"

Consider what happens if a lactose-intolerant person drinks a glass or two of milk: about 25 g of carbohydrates that their body can't absorb. It will lead to flatulence and diarrhea as a result of gut bacteria feasting on those unused calories and the inability of the body to extract water effectively from a sugar solution.

The fact that this is an abnormal response shows that the normal thing is to absorb every calorie.

Comment: Re:You mean... (Score 1) 236

by WolfWithoutAClause (#47922247) Attached to: AT&T Proposes Net Neutrality Compromise

> They can't simply trust users to appropriately mark packets - you'd have some who simply marked everything as high priority.

Last time I heard about it, and I don't think it's changed, Microsoft Windows marks all its packets as highest possible priority.

The immediate effect of them doing that, was that all ISPs immediately started ignoring the priority classes, which made them completely useless globally.

Comment: Re:Ask the US Postal Service (Score 1) 124

> Again this would lead to corruption with patent pre-screening and favoured people getting patentable stuff and unfavoured people getting junk and working for free.

No, I'm not saying that they would get paid only for passing patents. They would get paid for examining patents. It's just they would get paid more for being successful patent clerks; for passing patents that are enforceable and novel.

And the patents could be assigned randomly from the pool of patent clerks that accept the patents.

Comment: Re:Ask the US Postal Service (Score 1) 124

They should perhaps pay patent examiners some money annually for each patent that is passed, and take away that money and then some if they're partially or completely overturned. That way they've an incentive to work quickly, and a disincentive to do sloppy work.

Comment: Re:Why do people use internal TLDs? (Score 1) 101

by hankwang (#47693031) Attached to: ICANN Offers Fix For Domain Name Collisions

" I always just use split horizon DNS, and put everything under the corporate domain name, thus eliminating the problem."

I have something like that at home, a registered domain name example.com and a portion *.home.example.com that was only resolvable from my lan.

Then, a few months back, I upgraded to the new Linux Mint LTS, which did all queries simultaneously to my ISP (fallback DNS) and my LAN DNS, using the first response. Sometimes the ISP was faster, resulting in 'nonexistent host' errors.

It took me an hour to figure out what was wrong and how to repair it (networkmanager.conf, disable dnsmasq). Sigh. I wasn't the first to have this problem. The devs didn't really see the problem. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubu...

Comment: Re: 'unreliability' (Score 1) 189

by WolfWithoutAClause (#47589767) Attached to: An Accidental Wikipedia Hoax

You seriously think that other sources are free of errors? Newspapers for example??

At least with Wikipedia when errors are found they can be removed.

Also, in any GA/FA quality article there's lots of references; you can actually go to those sources and check stuff.

Just because there's a lot of non GA/FA quality articles in there doesn't make Wikipedia useless, it just means it's still being written.

I mean, Encyclopedia Britannica has been going for more than one century; Wikipedia is only just over a decade old, and is literally a hundred times bigger it covers much, much more; but it's about as reliable as EB.

Comment: Re:500? (Score 1) 171

by WolfWithoutAClause (#47589137) Attached to: Quiet Cooling With a Copper Foam Heatsink

I agree, I smell bullshit/vaporware.

Getting a large surface area is dead easy. It's getting the heat to spread out evenly over the surface that's hard, so it's all at a similar temperature.

If you haven't done that, then the cooler parts of the surface are partly or mostly wasted.

Normal fins have a specific shape, tapering, where the thick bit conducts the heat to the thinner bits. This sponge shape doesn't do that.

So, it will have 500 times the surface area, but the effective surface area is going to be a tiny, tiny fraction of that.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 4, Funny) 90

by hankwang (#47537411) Attached to: How Stanford Engineers Created a Fictitious Compression For HBO

"you could run it repeatedly on a data source until you were down to a single bit."

That's why you need two distinct compression algorithms. Sometimes one will work better, sometimes the other. While repeatedly compressing, don't forget to write down in which sequence you need to apply the decompression. I believe this can compress abitrary data down to zero bits, if you are patient enough.

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