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Comment: Re:Perhaps it wouldn’t pass today’s .. (Score 1) 286

by MarkRose (#49078247) Attached to: 1950s Toy That Included Actual Uranium Ore Goes On Display At Museum

Be careful with disassembling smoke detectors. First, americium is extremely toxic, like polonium. Second, the amount of americium-241 contained within may exceed the licensing exempt quantity when removed from a smoke detector, depending on your jurisdiction.

Comment: Re:About 7-8 years ago? (Score 1) 302

by MarkRose (#48872271) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Has the Time Passed For Coding Website from Scratch?

It really depends on scale. If you run a small site, one that gets less than 10 million hits a month or so, you're fine on a run-of-the-mill CMS like Wordpress. Though I should mention many frameworks will fall over at much less load due to poor design decisions.

It gets interesting when your concurrency goes higher. Things like ORM baked into many frameworks break down, and if your site is interactive, it's a lot harder to add effective caching.

Over the last six years I designed a Linux-Nginx-MySQL-PHP stack that currently does over 2 billion requests per month. Over 98% of the requests are served entirely from cache, and every request gets a live view (no reverse caching proxy or the like). This is possible because I designed and basically scratch-built a framework that does caching intelligently, in a way that's just not possible with any ORM-based framework I've seen. The front-end is mostly JS, which I did not build, and it does use frameworks like jQuery, angular, less, grunt, etc.

We're starting to see mild growing pains (but we could still handle ten times our current traffic) and are migrating to a Cassandra/Kafka/Storm/Java stack to take things multiple orders of magnitude higher and to make everything real-time. There are simply not any frameworks available, but there are many projects like Cassandra, Kafka, and Storm that do a lot of the hard work and that can be glued together with you own libraries.

It doesn't take a huge team to do it, either, if you're smart. We're a dozen people on the tech side, including design, front, back, ops, QA, and management.

Comment: Re:Hands and feet (Score 1) 234

by MarkRose (#48698361) Attached to: Being Colder May Be Good For Your Health

I also have a fan on all the time. I'm simply uncomfortable in temperatures above 21C.

I'm comfortable in pants and a t-shirt down to 0C if it's not too windy, or -15C if it's calm and sunny and I'm moving around. Below those conditions I'll wear a jacket and perhaps gloves. Only once it gets to -25C do I get out the winter gear and start layering. I don't need it until then.

Comment: Re:How fast is just too fast? (Score 1) 110

by MarkRose (#48671031) Attached to: US Internet Offers 10Gbps Fiber In Minneapolis

I have 175 Mbps symmetric at home, and it's good enough for my purposes at the moment. Having reasonable upload bandwidth like that with 3 ms ping to the office is useful for exporting X apps to my work desktop (yes, I do that). It's nearly as fast as a local app to the point where I could forget it's remote.

The decent upload is also really handy for doing remote backups. I have ISCSI targets in distant locations that I simply mount and use like a local file system. ISCSI without reasonable upload capacity or low latency is a frustrating experience.

I used to have 50 Mbps symmetric, and it was okay, but I did find myself waiting on things. I wait less now with 175 Mbps, but I'm also still throttling backup speed.

Most websites I visit don't fully utilize the bandwidth because of the TCP ramp up time, and generally downloads will finish before maximum speed is reached. Well designed services like Mega will easily saturate my connection though.

With a 1 Gbps connection at the office I've seen download speeds up to 80 MB/s from a local free software mirror. It's handy to download a new distro ISO in 15 seconds. It really changes your perspective on what data is worth keeping locally.

If I were regularly downloading and uploading multi-gigabyte files, such as backing up video, 10 Gbps would be very useful! If online storage prices keep dropping it will be very tempting to keep everything in the cloud. Right now the cheapest storage VPS providers are around $20 per TB per month.

But the key point is not so much increasing download bandwidth beyond 1 Gbps, but increasing upload bandwidth to match.

Comment: Re:What's the Motivation? (Score 1) 179

by MarkRose (#48583303) Attached to: LG To Show Off New 55-Inch 8K Display at CES

A 50" 1080p TV has a dot pitch of approximately 0.58 mm. That's huge.

My 27" 1440p monitor has a dot pitch of 0.23 mm. I can clearly see pixels jaggies 2' away. It's not capable of producing fonts smaller than 8 px without collapsing the whitespace in and between letters. I can clearly read an 8 px font on that display from 7' away.

The pixels in the 50" TV would be discernible at 5'. I would have to be 18' away from that TV before I couldn't read an 8 px font on it. I would discern detail three times farther away than that, so 4k would be an improvement over 1080p for a 50" TV any closer than 50' away. People who disagree might have less than 20/10 vision (20/10 is actually common).

For desktop work, where I'm usually about 24-30" away, 8k in a 30" format (~294 ppi) would be really nice. I have a feeling I'll be waiting a while for that though.

Comment: Re:"It took significant resources" (Score 1) 265

by MarkRose (#48361431) Attached to: Worrying Aspects of Linux Gaming

That's me. I'm a casual gamer. I use Linux because it simply works better for me. It's not worth booting into Windows to play a game, because I'd be locked out of everything else. I don't watch or own a TV, so I've never bought a console. So I simply didn't play games for years.

But Humble Bundle started making me aware of the Linux games available out there. Then Steam came out. A little over a year ago I spent several hundred dollars on decent graphics card to drive my 1440p display. I've spent hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours playing games.

I'm not too cheap to buy a Windows license. Money is not the issue. Booting into Windows is simply not worth the hassle.

Comment: Re:Everybody skips the interesting bits (Score 2) 299

by MarkRose (#47377745) Attached to: Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

At the surface of a reactor pool, the biggest dose of radiation is actually from the tritium created by neutron absorption by the hydrogen in the water molecules. The heat given off by the fuel will create a convective current, so the tritium will be evenly dispersed throughout the pool. Swimming in or drinking the water would obviously not be the best thing due to the tritium contamination (while skin will block the very weak beta radiation, tritium ingested or absorbed through the skin can cause DNA damage). A small amount will also be present in the air around the pool due to evaporation. Would I drink or swim in the water? No. But I have stood over a reactor pool for several minutes without concern.

"Nature is very un-American. Nature never hurries." -- William George Jordan

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