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Comment: Re:Strabismus (Score 1) 519

by smellsofbikes (#47528823) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

You don't have to be wildly strabby or exotropic to get some (potential) benefits: if your eyes are struggling to maintain fusion, you may read more slowly and suffer more eyestrain than if you had vision therapy, without knowing that you're fighting your own eye muscles. Simple use is lousy training, it turns out, much like just walking lots doesn't help people with screwed-up knees.
It might not do anything for you, but a consult with an optometrist who knows a bit about vision therapy may be worthwhile.

Comment: Complicated background (Score 1) 347

by smellsofbikes (#47526447) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

When I took a geography class focussing on the western US, one of the things the teacher mentioned (which I haven't verified independently, but it was his job) was that the Colorado River water rights were allocated based on how much the Colorado River was running in roughly 1920, which happened to be an unusually high flow rate period, so ever since then there hasn't been enough water to satisfy everyone. (Water rights are allocated by time priority: first person who used it gets to take the entire amount that person is entitled to, then second person, and so forth.) So it's 100% spoken for, forever. The shortfall is made up for by pumping out groundwater, and when they allocated the colorado river water rights, they also decided that they were going to make a 100 year plan for water usage, meaning that after 100 years they would have used up pretty much all the available aquifers. Since then we've discovered some more aquifers, and are willing to drill deeper and run more expensive pumps, but that's only somewhat covering the shortage. We're pretty much collecting exactly what we planned 95 years ago. There are still semi-serious proposals to divert and pump chunks of the Columbia River over into the upper Colorado River basin... which is sort of funny, as much of the original water projects in the upper Colorado River basin were, and are, pumping water from it through the Continental Divide over to the eastern slope to fulfill Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming, and Oklahoma water needs.

The same instructor also noted that depending on how you define your terms, the category of western state water rights was by quite a bit the most common lawsuit that ended up in the US Supreme Court, showing up every couple of years in one form or another.

Comment: Re:Strabismus (Score 1) 519

by smellsofbikes (#47525955) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

My eyes don't line up in the exact same place when I look at things. I had surgery when I was 15 to correct it, after 20 years, it's coming back a little (although to a much less significant degree). Fortunately, it's small enough that I can use lenses to correct it - I have to wear bifocals now - but that also means that Lasik will never work for me to improve my vision. I could have better than perfect vision in each eye and I'd still need corrective lenses. :|

Consider talking to a vision therapist about if this is something that can be corrected. They can do pretty amazing things to train and strengthen your eyes to track, fuse images, and reduce eyestrain while doing so. A lot of people aren't aware that they're straining constantly to keep images fused, and as a result dislike reading or using computers. Sometimes, some physical therapy for your eye muscles can fix it. My wife regularly gets kids whose eyes are pointing in entirely different directions and have never had 3d vision in their lives and after five months (five very expensive months, it should be mentioned) they have and retain 3d vision. It's life-changing for a lot of them.

Technology

Dubai's Climate-Controlled Dome City Is a Dystopia Waiting To Happen 265

Posted by Soulskill
from the looking-forward-to-the-reality-tv-show dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes: Dubai is building "the world's first climate-controlled city" — it's a 4.3 mile pedestrian mall that will be covered with a retractable dome to provide its shoppers with air conditioning in the summer heat. The Mall of the World, as it's called, will become the sort of spectacular, over-the-top attraction Dubai is known for. Shortly after, it will probably become an equally spectacular real-world dystopia.

By sectioning off a 3-million-square-foot portion of the city with an air conditioned dome, Dubai is dropping one of the most tangible partitions between the haves and the have nots of the modern era—the 100 hotels and apartment complexes inside the attraction will be cool, comfortable, and nestled into a entertainment-filled, if macabre, consumer paradise."

Comment: Re:My wife has one and loves it, for one reason. (Score 1) 242

by smellsofbikes (#47377047) Attached to: Disappointed Woz Sells His "Worthless" Galaxy Gear Watch

She's a sometimes model whose non-modeling job also involves looking very professional. I'm not even allowed to look at the laundry for fear of destroying something by washing it wrong. She bought a ... shirt? blouse? I dunno, something you wear on the upper half of your body, the other day, and I was all "that's very pretty!" and she's all "it should be. It cost 800 euros." So, yeah, I don't go anywhere near her clothes. And clothes like that don't have pockets. It ruins the lines/aesthetic. Definitely not something Woz considers, nor would he have any reason to, but there are a whole bunch of people who do.
Even her painting-the-house pants have these microminiature pockets that you can fit, like, a credit card and a car key into. Whenever we go out I carry her wallet, because even that doesn't fit. Totally different clothing regime from my ten-pocket dungarees, where I could carry most of a toolkit for doing bicycle maintenance and still be able to sit down comfortably.

Comment: My wife has one and loves it, for one reason. (Score 3, Interesting) 242

by smellsofbikes (#47363521) Attached to: Disappointed Woz Sells His "Worthless" Galaxy Gear Watch

There aren't any current cellphones that fit in the pockets of the sort of clothes she wears. Size zero/one fashion clothing often doesn't even have pockets, much less ones that'll fit the half-tablet-sized cellphones these days. She had an HP Veer, the size of a credit card, that she loved, until it died. So now she has the same smartwatch and has what she calls a GIANT cellphone in her purse or stuck in her desk at work, and takes calls using her watch.

Size zero clothing is probably not on Woz's radar, but there are people who want tiny connectivity.

+ - John Oliver on Climate Change: 'You Don't Need People's Opinions On A Fact'

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Erik Wemple writes at the Washington Post about how late night host John Oliver addresses the imbalance in how news shows handle the “debate” there on climate change. According to Oliver the standard procedure is to fire up a panel with someone who believes the warnings about troublesome climate trends pitted against a skeptic. To represent just how vastly climate change “believers”/scientists outnumber the skeptics, Oliver hauled in 97 scientists to oppose the three climate-change skeptics. The bigger crowd shouted down the skeptics. Oliver also skewered polling questions regarding climate change. An April Gallup poll found that 25 percent of respondents were “solidly skeptical” of global warming. Who cares? asked Oliver, though he used different, less family newspaper-friendly language. “That doesn’t matter. You don’t need people’s opinions on a fact,” says Oliver. “You might as well have a poll asking which number is bigger — 15 or 5?” All scientists and media outlets should heed the “advice to climate scientists on how to avoid being swift-boated,” from History professor Juan Cole: “Any broadcast that pits a climate change skeptic against a serious climate scientist is automatically a win for the skeptic, since a false position is being given equal time and legitimacy.”"
Space

Star Cluster Ejected From Galaxy At 2,000,000 MPH 133

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-out-and-stay-out dept.
William Robinson writes: "According to a new report, a globular cluster of several thousand stars (compressed into a space just a few dozen light-years apart) is being thrown out of galaxy M87. The cluster, named HVGC-1, is traveling at a rate of 2 million miles per hour. The discovery was made by Nelson Caldwell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and his team while studying the space around the supergiant elliptical galaxy M87. Caldwell and colleagues think M87 might have two supermassive black holes at its center. The star cluster wandered too close to the pair, which picked off many of the cluster's outer stars while the inner core remained intact. The black holes then acted like a slingshot, flinging the cluster away at a tremendous speed."

Comment: Re:Which CAD software? (Score 1) 251

by smellsofbikes (#46574855) Attached to: 3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

This is currently what I'm struggling to find. The main thing I've established is FreeCAD just isn't ready yet - very buggy and I can not get it to work, but parametric modelling is an interesting concept.

What else are people using for dimensioning parts which need to fit together? (i.e. part design, rather then modelling I guess?)

I've been using freecad, personally. I just did a series of adapters that allow me to attach RC servos to LEGO bricks for some inverse kinematics robots. It worked reasonably well. I've had it crash and do unexpected things, but what I've found is that if I work in the part design toolbar, build sketches that are fully constrained, and then use extrude/pocket operations to build my final parts, it seems pretty robust. Then I can switch to mesh and turn those into exportable meshes individually, and get parts that interact the way I want to. Half the stuff I'm doing I 3d print and the other half I mill on my cnc mill, and when I'm processing stl's I find again that having started from fully constrained sketches means the stl's are more robust and less likely to crash the cam programs I use.

Comment: Re:Where are stories of maliciously erased iPhones (Score 1) 158

THIS. Apple has their Activation Lock system (AKA Find My iPhone) already, and I think this law is asking for something like that-- not a remote bricking system that can be activated by just anyone. Unauthorized bricking can only be done if someone guesses the person's Apple ID password, which is exactly as easy as it sounds. Apple's Activation Lock makes in more difficult to resell Apple phones, whether they be legit (like a phone you returned to the store) or stolen. More phones' system boards end up in the waste stream. (The other parts are usable)

Comment: Re:Yeah right (Score 1) 769

by smellsofbikes (#46391739) Attached to: The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

My guess RFID. By one regular pod, cut RFID chip out of it, tape to the bottom of subsequent generic pods.

FWIW we tried that with our Stratasys 3d printer. It remembered the RFID number and remembered that the print cartridge was out of print material, so sticking the rfid tag to a new, third-party, 1/4 the price, filled to the brim container of print material did precisely nothing for us. I have no idea if the keurig will do the same. Oh, it was also a pain in the butt because they'd built it into the side of the cartridge, so when we cut it out it wouldn't simply stick on the new cartridge as it had a flat side and the resultant cartridge+rfid tag wouldn't fit in the printer, so we had to bodge something up by putting it on the front where the door closed and hoping it would be detected. It was, but see above.

+ - RSA security attack demo deep-fries Apple Mac components -> 2

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "How bad can cyberattacks get? How about burning the internal components of a machine, whether PC or Mac, to a crisp so there's no thought of it being recoverable? That's what security vendor CrowdStrike showed could be done to an Apple Mac OS X today at the RSA Conference. “We can actually set the machine on fire,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, chief technology officer at CrowdStrike...."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:OLD? Stupid crap still on 10.7 (Score 5, Informative) 255

by Xenex (#46301833) Attached to: Ubuntu 14.04 Brings Back Menus In Application Windows

Global menus

Mac OS has been like this since System 1. And it makes sense; whatever you're doing, its menu is going to be in the same place. Fitts' law indicates that the most quickly accessed targets on any computer display are the four corners of the screen.

Single mouse click

Mac OS has supported multiple mouse buttons for at least 16 years. Even when using a now-extinct one button mouse, control-click presented a dialogue box.

Left window controls (yay for all the left handed and left eye dominant people, boo for the other 95% of the world)

Because it's easier to move a mouse up/left with your right hand, and was developed in a country that reads left-to-right.

Launchpad (how is the start menu missing causing a revolt and launchpad even exist? Launchpad is the initial SIN!)

The start menu missing is causing a revolt because Microsoft removed something and replaced it with an abomination. Launchpad - and other questionable features like Dashboard - can be completely ignored.

Finder layout straight out of system commander circa 1988.

Column view in Finder is optional, with icon and list view still available. Also, Finder has had its sorting options greatly improved throughout OS X's history.

Crap loads of docked icons you never use be default.

If you go and buy a Mac today, this is in the Dock:
- Finder: File management
- Launchpad: Access to all apps not in the Dock (And easily ignored, as previously discussed)
- Safari: A web browser
- Mail: Email client
- Contacts: An address book
- Calendar: A calendar
- Notes: Short notes
- Maps: A map of the entire planet
- Messages: Text messaging and IM
- FaceTime: Video chat
- Photo Booth: Something fun to play with on your new computer
- iPhoto: Something to talk to your camera
- Pages: Word processing
- Numbers: Spreadsheets
- Keynote: Presentations
- iTunes: Play and purchase music and TV/movies
- iBooks: Read and purchase books
- App Store: Install and purchase software
- System Preferences: Change settings on your computer

The default Dock icons cover managing your computer, using the big two features of the Internet, syncing 'organisational' information with your phone, finding locations, messaging and video chatting with other people, photography, writing, processing numbers, creating presentations, watching media, reading, and installing an app to do anything else you want your computer to do. The default Dock is a slam-dunk for covering what the majority of people use computers for, points users in the right direction to add new capabilities to the computer, and is easily customised to remove the things you don't want. (Launchpad, again...)

The Dock is setup perfectly for you to get started with your computer. Anything else you need to get to can either be accessed through Spotlight (power users) or Launchpad (for people with more experience with iOS).

A separate contact and calendar app....

Just like iOS... but also NeXTSTEP; they have always been separate apps, which makes finding what are ultimately different tasks easier *and* they also seamlessly share the same databases behind the scenes.

General iOS crap

Integration with touchpads is great. Removing always-visible scrollbars removes needless clutter. Things like Launchpad - and pretty much anything else you don't like that reminds you of iOS - are easily disabled or ignored.

Hardwired application dependency locations (the whole point of application folders is to stop that!)

Wait, what? Apps install into /Applications by default, but the system works just fine with app in ~/Applications. Beyond that, moving apps around is making things needlessly complicated for yourself. Even then, the vast majority of apps are self-contained bundles and can be run from anywhere.

Scroll bars that disappear even if your mouse is near them and appear at the bottoms of pages OVERTOP content.

Touched on this in iOS; the scroll bars appear when moving the cursor or scrolling content. If you find this to be an issue, it can be disabled in System Preferences. Yes, Apple provided sensible options!

I could go on and complain about the apps, but lets say OSX is great for people who use a computer like they use iOS and leave it at that....

It's a mature system with 13 years of refinement, and is built for use on 'real' computers. iOS features have only gone "back to the Mac" since 10.7, and even then - as previously discussed - are all avoidable if found that unpalatable. OS X is also bundled with apps that over most use cases for a personal computer, and installing developer tools is simply a matter of typing 'Xcode' into the App Store.

OS X is the current gold standard in desktop operating systems. It's incredibly well thought out, and that's why Canonical, GNOME, and others keep looking to it for guidance. However, it was foolish for Ubuntu to unexpectedly drop application menus for global menus after nine years without presenting an option to switch back. And that's the difference between OS X and Ubuntu; Apple wouldn't make such a ridiculous and far-reaching change to the system without either an option to disable it or an incredibly good rationalisation.

Comment: Re:flow = pressure/resistance (Score 1) 362

Why not simply lower the water pressure by 10% to curb water usage?

I dunno about everywhere else, but where I live -- next door to the local water tower -- there isn't any sort of water pressure regulation mechanism. You pump water into the water tower, and it flows by gravity to all the houses that are lower than it. And, in the summer, when everyone down in the valley is running their sprinklers, my water pressure is low enough it's difficult to take a shower, so even if you did manage to regulate pressure it would have a disproportionately large effect on some of the people and very little on some others.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg

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