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Comment Re:3D... (Score 1) 115

Yeah, the new models of 3DS already do this ; the face cam recognises your eye positions and adjusts the panel so you don't have to sit stock still to use it effectively. When you use it in the dark you can see the IR lamp it lights your face up with so it can still see your eyes as a dim red glow above the screen.

Comment Re:exhibit A: OK Cupid's famous essay (Score 5, Interesting) 309

The site that bought them,, feels horribly scammy as well.

I've tried four dating websites - two paid, two free.

Paid :

* - vast majority of female profiles dead (filter by last login date and the pool dries up immensely), telltale signs that many of the profiles are bots

I got dates from match, but they weren't really good matches

* elitesingles - just not enough members to justify using it, it's chosen "exclusivity" image works against it

Unpaid :

* plenty of fish - I got dates but it seems the majority of people on here are looking for hookups, not relationships

* OKCupid - the only one I recommend. I gave them money, voluntarily, because I liked their business model. I hope being owned by hasn't messed with that.

I also don't know if it's a cultural thing - mostly had what I'd think of as normal average people (the kind of people I met speed dating), OKCupid was either much better at matching me with people of similar temperament (nerdy girls, basically), or just attracts that kind of crowd.

Met a very lovely woman on OKC and we've been dating for nigh on 18 months now and very much in love. It took a lot of disheartening persistence and slogging though - online dating concentrates the normal feelings of social rejection into a kind of burning vitriol that eats at the soul. But when you have a personality type that's less than 1% of the population it's the smart move - there was just no way I was going to meet enough women to find someone compatible (statistically speaking) in my existing social network.

Comment Re:The correct answer! (Score 1) 184

This has been speculated as a possible mechanism, although in the depiction I've read, the entanglement collapses for each bit as it's set, so it's a consumable resource... and you can't send the entangled bits via FTL transit because it breaks the relationship. Brings a new meaning to expensive data plans when all your data has to be physically shipped from it's point of manufacture across multiple light years at sublight speeds...

Comment Re:Here's a question for you to think about (Score 1) 184

Yes, but that's in the limited domain of "your house". If you live close to several neighbours who also have wifi, you know the annoyance of finding an uncontended channel.

Now imagine that, but a whole block.

Wireless is a commons - and the tragedy of the commons applies. Everyone wants to use it, no one wants to be responsible. The larger domain you have, the more tragic it becomes - hence the inexorable desire for faster and faster cellular network technologies - not so you can stream full HD 3D to every phone, but just so you have a chance of getting basic service in congested areas. (incidentally, I think people who stream video to their phones are just fucking rude for the stated reason - some of us use the commons and try and pick up litter and take it home, some of us just mess it up for the rest of us).

Wireless will never be good enough. People who think it's a good solution for everyone are just ignorant of how it works.

Comment Re:What a waste of money (Score 2) 54

Hah! Not surprised.

Used to work for the NHS IT Programme ; we loved F/OSS there. It was my default position when selecting technologies for system implementation, largely because my experience with getting support from closed-sources vendors was .. you didn't.

With F/OSS stuff my experience if you can offer a coherent bug report to the original project, you get good support. Or you can patch it yourself. Or you can poke around in the source code and work out what particular quirk you're running into and how to get around it.

Commercial software? No source code, and no support.

I saved them annual license fees in excess of my salary while I was there. We were still stuck on Oracle though - that stuff has some lovely barbs like it's own SQL dialects, and of course, because we were a cost centre we never had the staff or time to move off it.

Comment Re:As much or more than the developer (Score 0) 350

I had a CEO that subscribed to this theory and used it to justify crippling the productivity of his developers by issuing them workstations that had the recommended specs for the software they were developing.

Of course, they were running the software... and the IDE, and the debugger, and the database server. And all the usual corporate crap like Outlook. So he was really just shooting himself in the foot for the sake of a few hundred quid.

I just bought myself an extra SODIMM before the disk-swapping gave me an ulcer.

Comment Twat ignorant of the shoulders he rides on (Score 1) 207

Some of the greatest games of the 8 and 16 bit era were conceived, designed, and programmed by those spotty nerds, in their bedroom, on their own. The concepts and ideas of those games live on today, and those programmers are the reason that Britain still has a thriving games industry today.

They had more talent than this blowhard will ever have.

Comment Re:It still uses other parts, though. (Score 2) 179

After I lost my first Littmann, I started using this one the Sprague Rappaport - I see them on medical dramas sometimes, I guess they look just as "doctory" to a props department without breaking the budget.

My colleagues liked to borrow it, it was objectively louder than the Littmann. It doesn't use the fancy free-floating diaphragm the Littmann has, it just has a thin piece of plastic. It also comes with a pouch with a bunch of different bells, earpieces, a spare diaphragm, and you can screw the fittings on and off. It was kind of the Russian Military Surplus stethoscope, being somewhat more bulky and heavy than a Littmann, but much cheaper.

Those nurses stethoscopes do cost about $5 though.

Comment Re:WTF, a "Top of the Line" Stethoscope?!? (Score 3, Interesting) 179

Littmann is mostly about brand recognition and status ; nurses buy £3.50 cheap mass produced stethoscopes, doctors buy £50 Littmanns.

The Littmann units are arguably superior in quality. On the other hand, I had a £10 stethoscope (it costs a bit more now) built like a piece of Russian miltary surplus that all my professional colleagues wanted to borrow because they thought it sounded clearer and louder than their expensive Littmanns.

It also lasted longer - the plastic Littmann use for their tubes is prone to fatigue and cracking. The rubber tubes on this thing lasted for years.

There's nothing in the Littmann that's inherently expensive or difficult to manufacture, it's just brand recognition, patents, and the fact that it's a niche product with a limited market.

Comment Re:30 cents... (Score 2) 179

If the design is possible to be injection moulded, just mass-produce the things for a few pennies apiece. But it's possible this is not the case - 3D printing can produce shapes that are impossible to injection-mould.

I had a cheap 10 stethoscope that I got from a nursing supplies store, was designed like a Russian military surplus device but my colleagues were forever asking to borrow it because they liked it's sound output better than their fancy £50 Littmanns.

I never saw anything special about the Littmann units but I have absurdly good hearing ; as med students we had classes in physiology labs and my hearing tested at -10dB across the board all the way up to 22kHz which is exceptional ; I can still detect those high-pitched whines that some shopkeepers use to discourage young people from hanging around.

If this thing can out-perform the Littmann Cardiology III for pennies or dollars then I seriously hope someone mass-produces it and makes top-flight stethoscopes a cheap commodity instead of a badge of elite status (only senior cardiologists would shell out for one of those, paying £150 for something you might lose on an exhausting 80 hour shift is not a choice that most junior docs would make).

"Bond reflected that good Americans were fine people and that most of them seemed to come from Texas." - Ian Fleming, "Casino Royale"