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Comment: Re:Because (Score 1) 263

Try VivoTek as well, they make some nice 5MP units with good optical zoom - meaning you can mount the camera a good distance away and zoom into the menu board.

We used to run mobotix exclusively, and their cameras are now in the low to mid-range in performance, but still high-end in price.

Comment: Re:Curiously familiar (Score 5, Insightful) 248

by ColaMan (#48834865) Attached to: SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

Firstly, it was considerably easier to do it on the moon. Low orbital speed, 1/6 the gravity, no air resistance on descent, very light lander (as it wasn't pushing 40+tons of second stage to orbit).

Secondly, this stage was doing Mach 8 to 10 at about 80km altitude when it separated from the second stage. They did an extra burn that briefly popped it out of the atmosphere, reversed its course, then did a hypersonic re-entry tail first and (nearly) landed on a 50x60m barge.

Nobody has done that before. Not the guys with the shuttle SRB's, they just fell back to earth (and were strong enough to withstand the tumbling in the atmosphere, being SRBs). Not Boeing with it's dinky little hops of 10,000 feet in a continuously-stable attitude at subsonic speeds. Nobody has gotten this far before with the return of the first stage of a liquid-fuelled booster. Seeing as those things are enormously complex and very expensive, it'd be great to get one back in one piece to use again.

Comment: Re:Pebble? (Score 3, Informative) 232

by ColaMan (#48628801) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

There's a fair bit of 'easy' customisability in a Pebble.

And the battery life of 'aroundabouta week' is great compared to the 'charge overnight' crowd. I like to have a watch on at night, and I can silence my phone and have calls vibrate the pebble to wake me up if needed, but I sleep pretty lightly.

Notifications are good (with an add-on app), Phone control is easy (with an add-on app), there's a bunch of little apps for just about anything. Download the Pebble app for your phone (no need to get the hardware to install the app) and have a poke about in the app store section to see what's about.

There are programs that allow you to make your own faces with a builder app on your phone. You can get apps for it that can pull any JSON data you want from a server, and the actual dev environment used to make 'real' apps isn't too bad to work with.

And the original plastic pebble is pretty cheap and waterproof to 5 atm. (um, swimming and showering and stuff), so I rarely take it off.

Comment: Re:Who wants a watch that you have to recharge dai (Score 4, Informative) 232

by ColaMan (#48628719) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

I can deal with my Pebble watch and it's 7-8 day time between recharges. When it gets down to 20% (day 7) I think, "Hmmm, better charge that up". When it gets down to 10% (day 8) I think, "OK, charge that up tonight".

Then I wake up in the morning with a dead watch and charge it fully in the time that I have a shower and breakfast. Or I plug it's USB cable in at work for 45 minutes when I'm at my desk.

Point is , I can deal with weekly charges.

Comment: Re:Real Competition (Score 1) 114

by ColaMan (#48521387) Attached to: Comcast Forgets To Delete Revealing Note From Blog Post

That's kind of what I was implying. A 'local utility' owns all the hardware. ISP's become virtual providers.

At least, that's how it is with the NBN here in Australia. I live in one of the first towns that had the full rollout - they disconnected my copper line in May and internet / phone now comes via my Network Termination Device. Currently it's 100Mbps, but the NTD has 1Gbps capabilities. There are about a dozen major ISPs in Australia who can supply internet via the NTD, and now it's not about who has the most ADSL ports in the local exchange, it's genuine competition about the services they provide and their value for money.

Comment: Re:Real Competition (Score 2) 114

by ColaMan (#48520105) Attached to: Comcast Forgets To Delete Revealing Note From Blog Post

Likewise, there should be a single, publicly owned cable conduit. A six inch conduit can hold hundreds of cables. Then let any bonded company pull cable through the public conduit.

There should be a single, publicly owned fiber cable. A single fiber cable can carry the traffic of hundreds of different providers. Then let any bonded company connect to the exchange. Saves a lot of time laying cables.....

Comment: Re: Why (Score 1, Informative) 395

by ColaMan (#48483843) Attached to: France Wants To Get Rid of Diesel Fuel

I bought a 2007 Peugeot with a 2 litre turbo diesel when they first came out. For the first month I often stalled it when pulling away from a standstill because I couldn't hear the engine inside the car.

It got 4.4L / 100km on the highway and I could drive 1100 km on a tank of fuel.

Three months and about 8000km after I bought it I stuck my finger in the exhaust pipe and wiped the inside. It was clean. You could still see the streaks from the forming process inside the pipe.

Modern diesels are NOTHING like the old mechanically injected rattlers.

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke