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Comment: Start with Binoculars (Score 1) 185

by Ecuador (#47739441) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?
When I was 9 an uncle of mine gave me a "Halleyscope" (a not bad 40mm refractor on a tragic little tripod). I was a geek of course so it did immediately stir my interest, so a month later on my birthday I asked for a pair of binoculars. I had not read a recommendation anywhere, it just seemed that it was what I could find for observing based on my low birthday budget. Well, the Binoculars were more useful than the Halleyscope and I learned the sky and saw enough things to want to see more. So then it was certain that by giving me a bigger budget my parents would not be throwing away money (it was also tied to academic achievement) and it is how I got my Soviet TAL 1 4.5" reflector and it served me for years.
So, the advice is get binoculars (probably 7x50). If they show an interest and they want more, I would say stay away from alt-azimuth mounts (because they are usually crap), except dobsonians. I am not a dobsonian fan since I like to spend some time polar-aligning in order to get a more comfortable viewing experience afterwards, but it is a personal preference. Usually people who are more geeky and have patience will not consider spending time to try and align a mount to the earth's rotational axis as a bad thing. But dobsonians are also cheaper per aperture. So... overall your example link of suggestions seems ok, except as a second step after Binoculars and avoid Alt-Az mounts.

Comment: Re:Details? (Score 1) 159

by Ecuador (#47724159) Attached to: Microsoft Lobby Denies the State of Chile Access To Free Software

Only that a politician that were against the free software support law from the start managed to get a contrary law passed a while later.

And that politician apparently had a name change between these two events, so I guess he might have gone through some life altering event which could explain it?

Comment: Pork? (Score 1) 53

by Ecuador (#47724101) Attached to: NASA's Space Launch System Searches For a Mission
Isn't keeping production and the money flow to various Congressmen's states the mission of the SLS anyway? Or they want an official "excuse" before getting all the pork? In that case it could be anything. It doesn't even have to be science, security would work even better. E.g searching for Nazis in the dark (sic) side of the moooon. Oh, damn, I Godwin law'd myself right at the start of the discussion...

Comment: From an avid reader... (Score 5, Interesting) 105

by Ecuador (#47715657) Attached to: Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily
The Kindle (unlike my first ereader - a Sony that sat unused after the first month) dramatically changed my reading habits. It made it very easy to read at night in bed (thanks to the small weight and the integrated light), to carry a bunch of books with me anywhere (e.g. commuting to work, on vacation etc) and also the instantaneous delivery helps getting a book the instant you think about reading it.
As a result I am enjoying reading more, but, yeah, I guess recall of individual books is a bit worse now that I am reading more than twice as many...

Comment: To make it clear (Score 3, Informative) 174

by Ecuador (#47682497) Attached to: Tesla Removes Mileage Limits On Drive Unit Warranty Program
Because the summary sort of makes it sound like a lot of people had to pay for a $15000 replacement: The article says that many people have had to change their drive unit. It does not say specifically that they had to change it out of warranty and out of pocket. Given how new the Model S is and that the existing policy was for 125,000 miles anyway, I suspect it would be very few if any that were adversely affected by the old policy. Musk says they have to stand by the word that electric motors are fundamentally more reliable and the cost to the company is the increase in reserves for dry units that they will need to cover the new warranty since it is applied retroactively.

Comment: PRS-500 owner (Score 4, Insightful) 172

by Ecuador (#47603997) Attached to: Sony Tosses the Sony Reader On the Scrap Heap
I liked my PRS-500. I thought it was a decent device, with so-so software. I didn't use it much after the first month or so. Then I got a Kindle. It more than doubled my daily reading and I still carry it always with me, several years later. In retrospect, I realized that I liked the PRS-500 just because it had the first good display I had seen for reading, but the software implementation, both on the device and the PC/store part were the bare minimum to make an "ebook reader" type device. I saw that some PRS-500/505 users gave it a little more life with Calibre later on, but that was not thanks to Sony. So I don't know about "hardware genius", was it perhaps before serious competitors started coming with devices which were at least on-par hardware-wise but had some brilliant ideas and software behind them?

The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]