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Comment: Re: 2 months, but they all quit! (Score 1) 217

by pla (#47430113) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...
Well maybe your richy rich multi millionaire bulbs last a long ass time

Ever heard of "moving"? I don't own two houses, I've lived two different places in the past decade.


but the normal $2-5 per bulbs are garbage. I have to replace at least one every 6 months out of aprox 15 bulbs installed in my apt.
[...]I like the energy savings, and lower heat, but old ass bulbs are far more reliable.

FIrst, I buy the Home Depot discount bulk packs, in the 4 bulbs for $10 range. So yeah, comparing apples to apples here

Second, you have to replace ONE out of fifteen, every six months? Do you remember having incandescents at all? You have to replace all of them every six months (except maybe that one lonely attic light that you only use a total of 10 hours of per year), and the highest use ones, you could expect to replace every 2-3 months. People actually used to keep a six-pack of replacement bulbs around to deal with one or three dying at the worst possible time. Today? do people actually keep spare CFLs around? I don't, seems like a waste of space for how often I need one.

We apparently don't define "reliable" the same way.


The balast generally goes and then the bulb is toast. Sometimes they go grey first in the tube, but most are heavily yellowed from heat damage.

Ballasts go because of poor quality power, nothing more and nothing less (or putting a non-dimmable one on a dimmer circuit - same thing, just self-inflicted poor power quality). As for heat damage, Yes Virginia, some fixtures designed for burn-to-the-touch incandescents don't make suitable fixtures for CFLs. Specifically, if it has a heat shield on the base and a completely enclosing shade, yeah, you'll cook your CFLs nicely.

Comment: Wait, did $Deity announce a do-over? (Score 1, Interesting) 380

by pla (#47417753) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis
Here's what your future will look like if we are to have a shot at preventing devastating climate change

The West Antarctic Ice Shelf has already begun its collapse, guaranteeing us 10-12ft of sea level rise over the next 50-200 years (only the timeframe, not the result, remains in question). We have officially lost our "shot at preventing devastating climate change".

We do, however, still have a shot at preventing the necessary abandonment of every major coastal city on the planet, by avoiding another 200ft of sea level rise that would result from the rest of Antarctica melting.

At this point, we need to stop asking how we can go green, and start planning for our new seaside vacation homes in Arizona.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 4, Insightful) 585

by pla (#47414925) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software
"The web is just an enormous stack of kluges upon hacks upon misbegotten designs. This Archaeology of Errors is no place for the application programmers of old: it takes a skilled programmer with years of experience just to build simple applications on todayâ(TM)s web. What a waste. Twenty years of expediency has led the web into a technical debt crisis."

I know, right? We had it so much easier back when we could just write our own interrupt handler (and pray we didn't step on DRAM refresh or vice-versa) to pull bytes directly off the 8250 - And once we had those bytes, mwa-hahaha! We could write our own TCP stack and get the actual data the sender intended, and then do... something... with it that fit on a 40x25 monochrome text screen (yeah, I started late in the game, those bastards working with punchcards spoiled all the really easy stuff for me!).

And now look where we've gone: Anyone using just about any major platform today can fire up a text editor and write a complete moderately sophisticated web app in under an hour. Those poor, poor bastards. I don't know how I can sleep at night, knowing what my brethren have done to the poor wannabe-coders of today. Say, do I hear violins?

Comment: Re:Apparently dedication = autism (Score 4, Insightful) 585

by pla (#47414737) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software
Look up the term autism and understand why the author used that term.

Because it has become a meaningless buzzword used to describe every introverted snowflake on the planet?

The GP responded more-or-less appropriately to the TFA's nonsense. You have simply said "nuh-uh!". Substantiate, please.

Comment: And your point? (Score 5, Interesting) 585

by pla (#47414617) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software
Normal humans are effectively excluded from developing software.

I've said that for years. You, however, seem to hold that against those with the rare gift and dedication to code. Kinda missing the point, dude.


a vocation requiring rare talents, grueling training, and total dedication. The way things are today if you want to be a programmer you had best be someone like me on the autism spectrum who has spent their entire life mastering vast realms of arcane knowledge â" and enjoys it

Yes, yes, yes, kinda, yes, and yes. Again - Your point? You've described exactly why normal humans will never succeed as devs, and to a degree, why many devs tend to look down on those who can't even figure out Excel.

And you call that "injustice"? I have a rare combination of qualities that let me do seemingly amazing things with computers, and in return, I make a decent (but by no means incredible) salary. You want injustice? Some of those same morons who can't even figure out Excel (much less writing their own override CSS) make millions of dollars per year telling me they want my latest app to use a differerent font color. Another group of those morons make millions of dollars per year because they can whack a ball with a stick better than I can. Yet another group of morons make millions of dollars per year doing absolutely nothing because Granddad worked a town of white trash (sometimes literally) to death.

And yet you would call me out for busting my ass to turn my one natural skill into a modestly decent living?

Go fuck yourself, Mr. Edwards. Hard.

Comment: Re: 2 months, but they all quit! (Score 3, Informative) 217

by pla (#47412187) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...
It is irrational to think that a light bulb should be so horribly unreliable

Agreed.

I started buying CFLs 12 years ago. I have had four fail in that time, out of 40, spread over two different physical houses. 90% lasting over a decade? I'll take those numbers over replacing every single one every 3-6 months!

That said... "It is irrational to think that a light bulb should be so horribly unreliable" that they last two months when everyone else has them lasting for several years. Someone in this discussion has stated an irrational conclusion. Me, I still have 36 out of 40 CFLs working more than a decade later, so I don't think I have the logic problem...

BTW, all those "sensitive" electronics you describe? Each and every one of them have beefy power supplies designed to deal with brief poor power conditions, whether they simply turn off or buffer a few seconds of suitable power to make it through momentary rough patches. A 3-for-$10 CFL has no giant filter caps hidden in some nearby pocket universe to help it magically weather a brownout that would cook all those devices you describe if they didn't possess exactly such safeguards.

Comment: No longer "insurance", just "prepayment". (Score 1) 349

by pla (#47410031) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies
Insurance only works because of uncertainty. The very concept of getting people to buy insurance depends on aggregating risk over a sufficiently large population.

When the insurance companies can actually offer people rates that come within a small margin of actual payouts (plus a hefty bit extra for the insurance company's cut) - Why would any sane person still pay for insurance? Put the same money in the bank and cut out the middle-man.

Comment: Re: This is not going to work. (Score 1) 104

by pla (#47406361) Attached to: ESA Shows Off Quadcopter Landing Concept For Mars Rovers
And at Martian gravity? Or at a pressure that compensates for the difference in gravity?

Mars has lower gravity than the Earth. If it works at Mars pressure and Earth Gravity, it will work better actually on Mars.

That said, I''d say the GP's assertion requires a cite - As far as I know, virtually no "Aero"dynamics-based means of propulsion or lift works on Mars. Any viable copter on Mars would require blades the size of a football field, which leads to a not inconsiderable problem of how you mount more than one of them to a probe the size of a small car.

Comment: Re:The smell of YOU! (Score 1) 415

by pla (#47400345) Attached to: Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory
But then it occurred to me, it's not the card/usb-stick the dogs are smelling, it's the fact that some human touched it

No, the dog simply smells the chemicals in the device - Hell, if we can smell them, so can a dog. We just can't smell them well enough to find one hidden inside four containers at the back of a filing cabinet, whereas a dog can.

To your other point, however...


There's no way the dog can smell certain memory cards with certain content on it

Absolutely true, but largely irrelevant. They had a warrant to seize storage media, plain and simple. The dog just helped them find all of it.

That said, I still see a dog alerting to the smell of electronics as increasingly useless in the modern world. Assuming no malicious intent on the part of the handler (false, but let's roll with it for now), a drug dog can sniff out your bag of weed precisely because you don't have hundreds of bags of hypothetically-legal weed hidden around your apartment and they need to find the one illegal one. With electronics, however, I do have hundreds (possibly in the thousands) of circuit boards randomly scattered around my house - I'd dare say that even Joe Sixpack easily has over a hundred boards around the house, when even things like car keys and teddy bears and thermostats have them nowadays.

So while the police might love cataloging 150 individual drug charges for every seed they find in your carpet, they won't take quite the same sick pleasure in documenting your three computers, your smoke detectors, two external HDDs, your TVs, 18 thumbdrives, random old PC parts you have lying around, a third of your kid's action figures, your vintage SNES and dozens of games, a few hundred burned DVDs... And then someone actually needs to check out almost all of those to decide whether or not they have any storage capacity, and if so, what they contain? In all seriousness, if they raided my house for storage media, even narrowing it down to "real" storage devices (HDDs, burned DVDs, flash drives... as opposed to every recordable greeting card etc), someone could literally spend the rest of their life trying to decide whether or not they had found anything incriminating in the collection.

Comment: Re:GoPro (Score 1) 200

by pla (#47390419) Attached to: The View From Inside A Fireworks Show
I thought GoPros were supposed to be good.

GoPros really do rock - You just have to turn off the ultra-wide FOV. The originals will go down to 137 degrees, and the GP2s will go down to 90 (basically a normal shot).

That said, it all depends on your intent... While the fisheye distortion seems annoying, how much of this show would the drone have missed with literally half the effective FOV?

Comment: Enviable, and pitiable (Score 3, Insightful) 74

by pla (#47385381) Attached to: Google Reinstating Some 'Forgotten' Links
Google really does occupy both an enviable and a pitiable niche as regards the war on censorship / copyright / privacy.

On the one hand, they constantly get orders to remove search results that the likes of DuckDuckGo never need to deal with.

On the other, when they actually do remove links, they almost uniquely have the power to make the asker instantly regret the request... Whether through the "Streisand" effect, or in the present case, by "innocently" applying the demand in an overly-broad manner, Google comes out smelling like roses while those who would silence them become the next internet pariahs-of-the-week.

Truly beautiful! And for a change (though I in no way mean to claim Google as any sort of White Knight), this effect works largely in favor of the public.

Comment: One slight problem with that ratio... (Score 5, Interesting) 119

by pla (#47380439) Attached to: New Class of Stars Are Totally Metal, Says Astrophysicist
Let's take TFA at face value, and assume one in 10k stars start their evolution as count as "metallic" stars.

Hydrogen main sequence stars burn for a a few million years (for the class O supergiants) to literally trillions of years (for the class M all-but-failures). Helium burning, in a star with sufficient mass, lasts between a few hundred thousand to a few dozen million years.

The subject of TFA starts after helium burning normally finishes - Next on a typical star comes carbon, lasting for only a few hundred years; Then comes neon lasting for a single year, oxygen at half a year, and silicon finishes its run in a single day.

So whether or not a star begins life with a high concentration of trans-lithium metals, it will have a very, very short lifetime; That one-in-ten-thousand creation ratio therefore reduces to more like one-in-a-trillion among those stars still shining in our nighttime sky.

Comment: Re:besides that (Score 1) 131

by pla (#47379535) Attached to: Employees Staying Away From Internal Corporate Social Networks
Ok, given that, what would a work-based social network be?

Short answer: A delusion by either marketing ("We can use our coworkers as guinea-pigs for our future piss-off-Facebook spamming campaign!") or a member of the senior management team with no clue how the internet works ("I want my own Facebook, make it happen, peons!").

I think the real problem with this discussion involves calling these things "social" networks. You can successfully have a Sharepoint or a Wiki or even a communal message board, as long as it gets used solely for organizing factual content. As soon as you start having "friends" and "likes" and "retweets", it will inevitably run into the fact that most of us don't choose to associate with our coworkers except to the minimum degree necessary to keep getting a paycheck. Yes, I have a couple of "real" work friends, we go out for beers on occasion and go to each other's holiday cookouts, that sort of thing - But I don't need (or want) Big Brother's oversight to maintain those relationships.

tldr: Work is inherently not social, beyond the same "social" transaction that occurs between a prostitute and her John. Simple as that.

Comment: This myth brought to you by PSE&G (Score 1) 133

by pla (#47375083) Attached to: Solar-Powered Electrochemical Cell Used To Produce Formic Acid From CO2
With power from a commercially available solar panel provided by utility company Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G)

Why the hell would you even mention that? The source of the electricity for an electrochemical proof-of-concept reaction matters not at all - Much less, the company that happened to sell you the solar panel. If the core reaction works, you can prove it just as thoroughly using grid power as you can using Product Placement-powered Greenwashing.

That said, running this reaction from the grid would more directly expose the real problem with it - at 2% efficient, it would produce far, far more CO2 than it sequesters; which in turn means you would never, ever want to actually do this using solar power, rather than just using the solar power directly instead of coal.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I would love to see massive adoption of solar, and consider the residential zero-net-energy movement a huge step in the right direction. But the planet will sequester CO2 all by itself; we just need to stop making more.

Comment: Re: Modern day indentured servitude (Score 1) 272

by pla (#47373937) Attached to: Amazon Sues After Ex-Worker Takes Google Job
Which personal beliefs would that be? That people who create wealth should be compensated accordingly?

Okay, I'll bite - That the most productive creators of wealth should receive the most compensation. That seniority doesn't equal value. That the state shouldn't pay four people to stand around watching one dig a hole.

Or how about simply that the "right" candidate doesn't always have a "(D)" after his name? And before you get any ideas, I would point out that he rarely has an "(R)", either.


I'm super glad you're such a special snowflake that you never need help with anything

Thank you. As long as you can admit that, we can move the conversation forward. Because...

you might want to consider that constantly falling wages affects your bargaining position

Oh, absolutely! It makes my position better every year, make no mistake! Because while Joe Programmer gets his 2% COL increase every year, I have commanded - and demanded - and gotten - an average of 9% per year since entering the workforce. Yet you seriously wonder why I don't want a union "representing" me? I find the USSC's stance on that outright hilarious - Unfair that some "benefit" from collective bargaining without chipping in??? Thanks, but you can have your contractually-extortionate 3.5%, I'll take the higher rate that I earned, thankyouverymuch.

Unions keep the week employed, and drag the strongest down to the average. Nothing more, nothing less. Once upon a time, I'll admit that they did some good; today, they amount to welfare-for-the-employed, and have long since burned up any karma they earned in the post-industrial-revolution days.

Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.

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