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Comment: Some of the oldest trades become useful. (Score 5, Insightful) 723

by Dzimas (#46736441) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?
I have a neighbour who is a weaver. She most certainly has skills worth sharing. The post-apocalyptic world would also need blacksmiths, potters, carpenters, farmers and so on. Not to mention someone capable of swinging a sword and lopping the heads off marauders intent on dragging off the young women and torching the village. The challenge is that scientists and engineers do not necessarily have the skills most critically required in the first decade or two of a new civilization, but their knowledge is critical to helping a society advance rapidly later. Hence, we'll need monks well versed in the scriptures of science.

Comment: useless summary. (Score 1) 574

by Dzimas (#46267115) Attached to: Whatever Happened To the IPv4 Address Crisis?
Dear Mother of the First Transistor and all that's holy, would it be too much to write a summary that actually summarizes -- "Remember the IPv4 crisis? It's still a problem, and we're going to run into trouble sometime this year." It's only a matter of time before tabloid-grade link baiting pervades every area of writing -- imagine the joy of reading summaries of scientific articles that conclude with, "Is there a statistically significant likelihood that your wife secretly prefers canoodling with carpenters rather than network engineers? Click HERE to find out."

Comment: Re: maybe, but . . . (Score 2) 112

by Dzimas (#46235869) Attached to: Can Electric Current Make People Better At Math?
As a child, I spent agonizing hours fighting to do long division and multiplication by hand. More often than not, I ended up with the wrong answer and came to believe that I "wasn't good at math" simply because of mild dyscalculia. It wasn't until I was older -- and allowed to use a calculator or PC -- that I discovered that my failures were simple mental processing errors ttjat could be overcome with help from technology. So, yes, on one hand I still stumble when performing elementary calculations by hand. On the other, I spend my days optimizing DSP algorithms. Thank goodness I have a computer to do the menial tasks.

Comment: Re: 2014 won't be the year of Internet of Things (Score 1) 142

by Dzimas (#46215263) Attached to: Why the Internet of Things Is More 1876 Than 1995
I'm not sure what decade you're from, but my washer and dryer both have digital countdown timers and chime when they need attention. Same goes for the oven. I most certainly don't need an appliance that's designed to last 20 years to be infested with a wireless communication standard that will be hopelessly outdated in five years.

Comment: Re: Give Me Mod Points Slashdot, I fight for the U (Score 5, Insightful) 367

by Dzimas (#46200283) Attached to: EA's <em>Dungeon Keeper</em> Ratings Below a 5 Go To Email Black Hole
The beta design simply doesn't have the information density of the production version. Instead of scanning for interesting comments, I scroll until I get sick of scrolling and then back out to the next thread. This isn't a situation in which users are grumbling because they don't like change; it's an instance where the redesign has a dramatic negative effect on the UX. That's a potential site killer.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 578

by Dzimas (#46191115) Attached to: US Cord Cutters Getting Snubbed From NBC's Olympic Coverage Online
NBC affiliates broadcast free-to-air across the United States, so why should they limit online streaming? Geolocation technology is good enough that it is possible to figure out where I am in the country so that the appropriate local video stream could be sent to my computer of tablet, providing exactly the same experience as if I were watching on a TV using rabbit ears.

Comment: Brilliant for business use. (Score 3, Interesting) 125

by Dzimas (#46153969) Attached to: Asus Announces Small Form Factor 'Chromebox' PCs
These things might sell quite well to libraries and businesses that need clients for web-based apps. They're also ideal second (or third) machines for households with kids. Maintaining my kid's Windows-based machine takes time and effort and Chrome would do away with that while still allowing him to use the sites and apps that matter the most -- Youtube, Google Apps for homework and gmail. He doesn't need or use much more.

Comment: Let's look at inflation adjusted costs. (Score 3, Informative) 635

by Dzimas (#46005767) Attached to: U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why
In 1970, gasoline cost 35Â/gallon($1.65 in 2011 dollars). The OPEC crisis caused prices to more than double by 1980, but accelerated inflation meant that the cost rose to $2.03 in 2011 dollars. By 1990, gasoline hit $1 ($1.57 in 2011 dollars). Fast forward to today, and the average US price is $3.27. In other words, after adjusting for inflation gasoline is roughly twice as expensive as it has been historically. When you factor in the increased cost of high-tech cars and a sluggish economy, it's not surprising to see reduced demand.

Comment: Let's do some math to debunk this. (Score 1) 375

by Dzimas (#45978349) Attached to: Revolutionary Scuba Mask Creates Breathable Oxygen Underwater On Its Own
For the sake of argument (and because I like round numbers), let's assume that a diver needs about 1L of oxygen per minute on average. The amount of oxygen in seawater varies by salinity, pressure and temperature. Assuming 35 g/kg salinity (most likely less in costal areas), 2 atmospheres of pressure (equivalent to a diving depth of 10 m) and nice 20 C water, you're looking at an oxygen level of about 11 ml/L. Consequently, you'd need to process 92.59L of sea water each minute to extract 1L of oxygen. Heaven help you as you surface, because skimming along a meter below the surface would require the system to process almost twice as much water. [in fairness, oxygen concentrations increase as the water temperature decreases, but the difference between 20C and 0C water is only about 30%.] So there you have it: Your face-mounted breathing system would be a terrifying water vacuum machine that hovers only inches from your noggin, sucking 1.5L of sea water and gunk per second through a tiny mouth-mounted system. I'll leave someone else to calculate the energy density required of the 5 x 5 cm fuel cell that has to power this magical device...

MATH AND ALCOHOL DON'T MIX! Please, don't drink and derive. Mathematicians Against Drunk Deriving