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Comment: Re:meh (Score 0) 164

by Dahlgil (#47669565) Attached to: Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

Yes its much easier to remember that a meter is the length of the path traveled by light in a vacuum during the time interval of 1/299,792,458 of a second, than it is to remember that a yard is about the length of three of my feet. I was up in Montreal recently and received a cup of water in a restaurant with a line drawn on it that said .25L. I thought that was hysterical. If their standard was the quart, it could have just said 1 cup.

Comment: No story here (Score 2) 133

There isn't really a story here. There may be a few classics here, but this is no golden age arcade, especially considering the stock of late era look-alike candy cabs. If this arcade had been mothballed and locked-up in, say, 1983 or 84, that would be cool. Otherwise, there isn't anything very special here.

Comment: Old way, New way (Score 2) 74

by Dahlgil (#47020005) Attached to: Adobe Creative Cloud Is Back

Old way.

1. Buy Photoshop CC, create thousands of editable images using CS6 proprietary features and saved in CS6 proprietary format. Cool.
2. Loved CC, but Acme Studios has finally released a superior product that will improve my images and workflow. It's incompatible with PS CC, but that's ok.
3. Buy Acme Studios to edit my new images; continue to use CS6 in parallel to edit my old images.

New way

1. Buy Photoshop CC, create thousands of editable images using CC only proprietary features and saved in CC only proprietary format. Cool.
2. Loved CC, but Acme Studios has finally released a superior product that will improve my images and workflow. It's incompatible with CC, but...oooh I think I'm seeing a problem.
3. Buy new software to edit my new images, but must continue to pay $$ ransom to Adobe to unlock and edit my old images forever and ever. Oops. Hmmm.

Moral. Until Acme Studios comes out, use CS6 and collaborate on your own terms.

Comment: Killer app? (Score 1) 134

by Dahlgil (#45955503) Attached to: I Became a Robot With Google Glass

Look, I'm still waiting for a killer smartphone app that motivates me well enough to upgrade from my flip phone. Now if someday I walk up to the vending machine at work and it will only accept payments via mobile app, that might do it. On the other hand, the cost/value equation of paying $300 more a year on my cell phone bill just for vending machine access might end up keeping me on a diet. As for Google Glass, perhaps the ability to just look at that Snickers bar and have it fall into my hands might make it worth it. Decisions, decisions.

Comment: Re:This is why I'm keeping my truck for forever (Score 1) 658

by Dahlgil (#45205673) Attached to: Oregon Extends Push To Track, Tax Drivers Per Mile

I'm about as religiously conservative as they come, and I think you've got the wrong villain in you sights. Cradle to grave monitoring and control is a collectivist policy, which like much of current liberal thinking, accepts the ceding of privacy to the state as a contemporary norm. I've never talked to a conservative Christian in any of my circles having the point of view that the state should be entrusted with the right to inspect our daily lives. Rather, they tend to strongly advocate personal freedom, responsibility, and privacy. If you blame the religious conservatives for this sort of thing and they all go away, all you'll have left are the government and those who think government is pretty much the equivalent of God. Of course, I'm sure you'll eventually come to terms with this since there isn't a liberal around who, once they find that they can surreptitiously follow the creationists or any other of their selected villains around, wouldn't love to exercise their omnipotence.

Comment: Re:Not entirely fair comparison (Score 1) 136

by Dahlgil (#44643599) Attached to: Magellan II's Adaptive Optics Top Hubble's Resolution

I don't consider adaptive optics "additive" or "artificial". Adaptive optics, as I understand them, do not add new light but correct existing light like a sophisticated focuser. To me, the non-corrected image distorted by the atmosphere is more artificial than the corrected image, in which the atmospheric distortion has been subtracted out . Just as the repair work on the Hubble (or the optics on your glasses) did not "create" new or artificial light, neither does adaptive optics. One of the ways this can be proved is that in a post-processed image, you can only extract or enhance what is there. In this case, we are seeing detail that no post processing of the light could have visually revealed. This is not additive or artificial detail, it is real detail.

Comment: Silly (Score 1) 497

by Dahlgil (#43906467) Attached to: Can Microsoft Survive If Windows Doesn't Dominate?

If the motorcycle were suddenly invented today, we would have a similar effect. A certain group of people would find the motorcycle very appealing. Compared to the car, they are small, more fuel efficient, and less expensive. So the set of people not needing an enclosed vehicle with room for passengers and cargo would all run out and buy one. In those first few years motorcycle sales would spike relative to cars, and probably displace some car sales.

Anyone looking at the sales figures and marketplace trends in those days would proclaim that the days of the automobile were nearing the end and that the car was doomed. After all, all motor vehicles are the same, right.

Actually, in hindsight, it might have been a good time to invest in cars.

Comment: But what about the next generation? (Score 3, Funny) 484

by Dahlgil (#41385525) Attached to: Designers Criticize Apple's User Interface For OS X and iOS

Of course once you've gone completely flat and removed all the ornamentation, it makes one wonder where the next generation will go. Perhaps someone will suddenly realize, wow, we can make those tiles look just like a 3D image of a smartphone (and, of course, be promptly sued for rendering them with curved corners).

Comment: So true (Score 1) 263

by Dahlgil (#37489754) Attached to: Why We Love Things We Build Ourselves

Interesting. I'm building an arcade cabinet right now. I have some limited skills working with wood, but by no means am I carpenter. I debated buying a kit, but could not find one that I was happy with. So I'm building from scratch.

I have been proceeding very slowly and teaching myself new skills everytime there is something I want to do, but have not done before. I am *very* happy with the results, and there is absolutely no question that I value this piece of work far more than if I had just purchased it. In fact, I've estimated that considering the time and labor I've put into it, I would need to sell it at at least $10,000 to break even. This is far more than I think anyone would be willing to spend; but it is what I think it is "worth".

On the other hand, this cabinet is highly customized. And perhaps this is the the more practical reason why I value it so highly. It's true that I wouldn't pay $10,000 for a "stock" arcade cabinet like the one I built. But if I had gone to a master woodworker and stood over his shoulder directing him to do all of the major and minor tweaks that I did, ask him--mid stream--to throw away assemblies he had done and re-do them in a different way (because I changed my mind after seeing what it looked like), and to have him overbuild and overfinish it in ways users would never see or appreciate; yeah, I guess I wouldn't be surprised if he charged me at least $10,000.

So yes, I think we tend to value things we produce ourselves more highly than those built by others. However, for me in particular, when I really think about it, the reason is less about self-love than it is about customization--and even small customization can have tremendous value if that's the thing that you *need* to make the thing "perfect" for you. The thing I like so much about Open Source is that I can go into it and make those little tweaks that make the software do exactly what I want. A good example of this is Atari800, one of the emulators that I use in the cabinet. I really like this emulator, but it had some annoying (to me) minor issues that made it less than perfect for my application of it. So I contributed fixes for these things to the project. So now my project is perfect. And I value that a lot.

Comment: But is it really? (Score 1) 402

by Dahlgil (#34996020) Attached to: Two-Thirds of US Internet Users Lack Fast Broadband
Maybe this is a tech gap, but maybe its partially due to the fact that some Americans are frugal. When my mother-in-law recently called for Internet service from the same cable company that I get fast broadband service from, the first thing they asked was what what she used it for. They offered different price plans for different speeds, and one of this was a "slow" 1.5MBS. But quite frankly that's all she needs. Really. As a developer, I completely appreciate fast Internet speeds and use them, but if all I did was read email and do light web browsing, why would I pay more? Is my mother-in-law's choice to pay less for lower speed service contributing to the tech gap? Now if she actually *needed* the speed and it just wasn't available, that would be another story, but that's not the case here. Actually, even my service is way over the top 95% of the time. Occasionally, I'll download a large file and I'm happy that it took only an hour instead of overnight (not that it was really worth the extra $20 a month--but I guess I can afford it); and occasionally I'll watch a news clip or YouTube video--maybe even in bit-sucking HD fullscreen (whoohoo!). But really, I could care less about the so called "tech gap". What might be nicer is for all the bandwidth that I don't use but pay for every month) be converted into fuel credits for the needy--hmm, maybe I should switch to 1.5MB too and contribute to the tech gap.

Comment: Re:Oh great, another subdized vehicle... (Score 1) 594

by Dahlgil (#30742564) Attached to: Chevrolet Volt In a Gasoline-Only Scenario
Actually, you're both absolutely correct. The government redistributes funds to whoever it sees fit. This is apparently what Americans want since both rich and poor vote for their leaders, and their leaders (especially the current one) are quite up front about their intentions. It's called socialism, and its nothing new or surprising. What would be surprising is if Americans voted to terminate their welfare and stimulus programs in favor of substantially reduced taxes and greater personal responsibility. Sorry, ain't going to happen.

Comment: Don't forget about the warranty (Score 1) 710

by Dahlgil (#29438099) Attached to: Panasonic's New LED Bulbs Shine For 19 Years
The last set of fluorescent bulbs I purchased came with a 7 year replacement warranty. Of course, I would need to send a burned-out bulb back and pay postage, so on CFL's the warranty is nice, but its real value is a bit dubious once you count the cost and inconvenience. However, on a $40 bulb the economics improve since return postage would be a much smaller fractional cost of the individual light bulb. It is also much more likely that I would actually use the warranty on a $40 bulb than a $3 or $4 one. If Panasonic were to warranty this bulb for, say 19 years, I think I'd be game to try it.

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre

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