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Comment: I'm not an expert (Score 1) 291

by Flimzy (#28723539) Attached to: Choosing Better-Quality JPEG Images With Software?
But what if you saved both images in an uncompressed format (bmp?), then compressed them both using a lossless format (gzip?), and compared the file sizes...

Do it with a bunch of images, and I expect you'll discover that the low-quality-gzipped image will be smaller than the high-quality-gzipped image...

Maybe? *shrug*

Comment: Re:Normal diesel engines work with vegetable oil (Score 3, Informative) 188

by Flimzy (#28056313) Attached to: Plastic and Fuel That Grow On Trees
Those are far from the "only" problems... they are the easiest problems to detect. There are countless forums on the Internet that discuss all the finer points of running veg oil in diesel engines... use google if you want to find them to read all the nitty gritty details. General consensus is that running unprocessed veg oil most diesel engines will lead to coking over time, unless you heat the veg oil first. If you aren't extremely careful to remove all water from the oil, you can wear out the cylinder walls very quickly, too... and won't necessarily even notice a degradation in performance until it's too late. There are other problems that apply to specific models of diesel engines, too--you can't even run biodiesel in an '09 model year Volkswagen TDI engine without serious problems; I wouldn't even dream of trying straight VO.

Comment: Re:No conversion needed (Score 2, Interesting) 188

by Flimzy (#28056247) Attached to: Plastic and Fuel That Grow On Trees
Practically any veg oil *can* be used directly to power a diesel engine. But most diesel engines are not designed with such oils in mind, and therefor do not work well for extended periods of time with such oils. You risk damaging your engine if you run unmodified vegetable oil in most unmodified engines. This has been known for a century or so.

Comment: Re:Diesel that grows in trees (Score 4, Informative) 188

by Flimzy (#28054501) Attached to: Plastic and Fuel That Grow On Trees
That's hardly "diesel oil" any more than other forms of vegetable oil are "diesel oil". It still needs to be converted to biodiesel to be safe for long-term use in a diesel engine. Of course it simplifies the oil extraction process greatly (usually done by pressing). You're going to get a lot of impurities (like water!) if you do what you suggest, too.

Comment: Same old same old (Score 4, Insightful) 445

by Flimzy (#27775819) Attached to: Think-Tank Warns of Internet "Brownouts" Starting Next Year
I remember similar doomsday stories when the 28.8kbps modem came out. "With such fast Internet access to homes, the backbones will now be overloaded!"

News flash... ISPs and Telcos know how to increase their bandwidth, too... it's not just the last mile that's getting faster and allowing people to do more and more frivolous things with their Internet connections.

Sheesh.

PC Games (Games)

Map Editor, Photoshop Tool Coming To Braid 44

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-things-in-time dept.
Erik J writes "Braid creator Jonathon Blow has revealed that a map editor and image tool will be added to the popular puzzle game. First, though, Braid will receive a patch to fix some issues players have reported. Blow explains: 'After I get a new version out in a few days that fixes the problems some people are having, and when more people have played/finished the game, I am going to post some documentation for the editor. The way it works is you can make levels with the editor (up to a full game, potentially) and run that with -universe later... also a tool will be released that lets you take Photoshop files and import them into the game, if you want to put new graphics in your levels.' It is unclear if these capabilities are coming only to PC or to the Xbox 360 version as well."
Security

Online Banking Customers Migrating To Lynx 220

Posted by Soulskill
from the browsers-with-character dept.
Jibbler writes "Following the recent Pwn2Own competition, in which Firefox, IE8 and Safari all fell quickly to exploits, Netcraft has observed a surge in popularity of the text-based Lynx browser. Netcraft points out that Lynx supports the latest cryptographic ciphers, and at least one online banking site has seen Lynx usage overtake that of Internet Explorer and Firefox. To boost Lynx's excellent security history, Netcraft has even developed a version of its anti-phishing toolbar for Lynx."
Education

Mixed Outcome of Texas Textbook Vote 646

Posted by kdawson
from the compromising-on-established-mainstream-science dept.
The Texas Board of Education — as discussed here last week — has voted on the guidelines for textbooks in that state, which represents a large enough market to have influence nationwide. The good news is that the board dropped a 20-year-old requirement that both "strengths and weaknesses" of all scientific theories be taught; score one for the teaching of evolution. The not-so-good news is that in a "compromise," the board also voted to require that students "in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations ... including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student." Score one for the Discovery Institute. A Republican board member explained that the words "strengths and weaknesses" have become "code for creationism and [the similar theory of] intelligent design. So by being more clear in the language and using words that aren't seen as code words, we were able to get all of the 15 board members to agree that this is how we'll teach all sides of scientific explanation, using scientific evidence." Reporting on the Texas vote is all over the map, as a US Today blog summarizes. Some reports claim that an amendment was passed that preserves a requirement that students study the "sufficiency or insufficiency" of common ancestry and natural selection. Other reports claim that the board also adopted language that would have students study the "different views on the existence of global warming."

Comment: I got one... (Score 1) 1123

by Flimzy (#25951101) Attached to: IT Job Without a Degree?
My current employer hired me 25 months ago as a "Linux Systems Engineer"... I think what they really meant was "Admin." I have nearly 4 semesters worth of college credit, from back in 2001, but no degree. I have since advanced to the position of "Lead Software Developer"... which is actually an accurate title this time.

I can't say it's a "great" job; the pay is below par, but it is also a very small company in a small town. I have been offered other Linux "Admin" positions, which would have paid 50% more in the area, but turned them down, because of the enjoyment I get out of this position, that I felt would not be as likely at the other companies that have offered me positions.

When other folks my age would have been getting a CS degree, I was busy going into debt running a dial-up ISP (before dialup was completely dead)... So I have "real-world" experience where most people in my industry have a degree.

I have since hired two other friends, who now work under me. Neither of them have degrees, either...

Badges? We don't need no stinking badges.

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