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Comment: Re:Yes it is (Score 1) 163

Getting 240p to display properly on HDTVs is a huge pain for retro gaming enthusiasts.

It largely comes down to the quality of the scaling hardware within the display and the assumptions it makes about the signal. I knocked together an RGB-to-component converter for the Apple IIGS recently and tried it out with the LCD displays I had on hand: three TVs (two name-brand and one not-so-name-brand) and a monitor that also has component input (and S-video and composite, in addition to the usual VGA and DVI). The monitor kinda worked, but it chopped off the first line of text IIRC. The not-so-name-brand TV didn't work at all. The other two TVs worked: the entire screen area was visible. Color quality and 40-column text were pretty good. 80-column text was usable, if a bit fuzzy. I had hoped to use it with the monitor in the computer room, but the missing line of text would be a bit of a problem (it's like it's not syncing up until it's too late). None of them are as clear as the ancient NEC MultiSync 3D I normally use with it, but who knows how long that will continue to work? It already takes several minutes to settle down and run right after a cold start. I suspect a CRT TV with component input would be better than the LCDs, but I haven't had one of those for several years.

(While the adapter is intended to plug straight into the IIGS's RGB output, you could lash up an adapter to use it with other devices. In addition to red, green, blue, and composite sync, it also needs +12V and -5V. It only cost me about $50 to build, and maybe $20 of that was two extra boards from OSH Park, which ships in multiples of 3.)

Comment: Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (Score 2) 135

by Cyberdyne (#47763725) Attached to: HP Recalls 6 Million Power Cables Over Fire Hazard

How do you fuck something like that up?

All too easily it seems; my first MacBook Pro power lead caught fire a few years ago as well. This was the low-voltage (hence high current) end, though: in their quest to make everything thin and light, the cable was thin and flimsy, so one of the braided conductors frayed after a while. More current going down a thinner wire meant more heat - which softened the remaining copper and made the problem worse, until arcing started and I got a micro-firework display on my desk. (One of is successors managed to melt the plastic in the plug, that didn't make me happy either!)

On the mains end, even a hefty (for laptops) 300-odd watt PSU is only 3A from a US outlet, half that on the higher voltages elsewhere - usually easy enough to deal with, but one sloppy connection and you can get a tiny point getting very hot indeed. It's worse on the low voltage end: a single cable possibly carrying 20 or more amps, while getting rolled up, folded and stood on in transit, designed to be very light weight - yet also done on a budget. As soon as you start trying to shave weight and cost, I suspect it's all too easy for a wire to be just slightly too thin for the current, or a connection to be a little bit too weak for long term mobile use.

If you were building a high school or college electronics project and said you planned to run laptop currents and voltages through such thin wires and tiny connectors, you'd probably be told off or marked down - but commercially, thin, light and cheap trump safety margins and robustness.

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 5, Interesting) 333

by Shakrai (#47761971) Attached to: Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

We ALL know how Politicians get bought and sold so let's cut the "total" bullshit here.

Yes, they do. But not all of them and certainly not in the manner that the GP presented. One needs to actually understand how the system works before one condemns it and/or proposes fixes for it. Incidentally, most of the people in politics hate the system as much as you do. You think they enjoy spending so much of their day begging people for money so they can fund their campaigns? The real world isn't House of Cards, most people actually enter public service for noble reasons, ranging from the mundane fixing of potholes to the desire to advance a social cause. The problem is two fold:

1) Campaign finance reform is inherently suspect because it's passed by people who have an incentive to make it harder for incumbents to lose elections. There's a reason why opponents frequently referred to McCain-Feingold as the "Incumbent Protection Act"

2) Meaningful campaign finance reform would require a Constitutional Amendment; the idea I most liked was the notion of precluding private donations but giving every American citizen X dollars to allocate as they see fit. It's an awesome idea but one that's utterly unconstitutional. Perhaps you should start building a network for this concept rather than spouting talking points about money going into Senators pockets?

Comment: Re:Correlation Does Not Imply Causation (Score 1) 281

by Shakrai (#47761921) Attached to: The Evolution of Diet

Having everybody live off a high protein diet is unsustainable. There are whole segments of American society that couldn't afford it, never mind the third world, and even if money was no object it would be completely unsustainable from an environmental standpoint.

It's cute though that you took what I was saying and morphed it into "cutting sugar is unsustainable"; all I did was condemn your silly paleo diet, not the notion of cutting sugar or making other healthy lifestyle choices. One can cut out soda (or even enjoy it in moderation) without adopting a made up diet that claims to be what our ancestors ate.

Of course, physical activity is even better. I eat whatever the hell I want. You can do that when you're averaging 30 miles a week of running. Pass the cheesecake, mmm'kay?

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score -1, Offtopic) 333

by Shakrai (#47761861) Attached to: Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

Of course they will, while comcast is telling them this, they are stuffing wads of money in the senators pockets.

You know that talking point is total bullshit, right? What you describe would be a felony offense in the United States. Nor can corporations give money directly to campaigns. They can donate to PACs, which are a special animal in the American political system, but they can't donate directly to campaigns or candidates. When people tell you that "Big oil/telecom/Hollywood/whatever gave X dollars to Y candidate" they really mean that the employees of those industries gave X dollars to Y candidate. Work at a gas station and donate $20 to your State Assemblywoman? That's added to the total donation from "big oil" when her opponent needs a talking point.

I realize such intricacies don't make for good talking points but it would be extremely helpful if people would at least learn how the system works rather than spreading FUD that only serves to undermine the tenuous amount of faith we have left in our system.

+ - Some raindrops exceed their terminal velocity->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "New research reveals that some raindrops are “super-terminal” (they travel more than 30% faster than their terminal velocity, at which air resistance prevents further acceleration due to gravity). The drops are the result of natural processes—and they make up a substantial fraction of rainfall. Whereas all drops the team studied that were 0.8 millimeters and larger fell at expected speeds, between 30% and 60% of those measuring 0.3 mm dropped at super-terminal speeds. It’s not yet clear why these drops are falling faster than expected, the researchers say. But according to one notion, the speedy drops are fragments of larger drops that have broken apart in midair but have yet to slow down. If that is indeed the case, the researchers note, then raindrop disintegration happens normally in the atmosphere and more often than previously presumed—possibly when drops collide midair or become unstable as they fall through the atmosphere. Further study could improve estimates of the total amount of rainfall a storm will produce or the amount of erosion that it can generate."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Everyone is a taxpayer (Score 1) 194

by Jhon (#47759433) Attached to: $75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

"Sure they are. I assure you that the priest who is fully supported by his congregation is taxed on his "earnings"."

Do you read stuff before you post?

What does "often do not earn any money" mean to you?

Also, there's a difference between joint filings for a family and "not earn(ing) any money". Besides, who said housewife? What about the unmarried woman with 5 kids and not working getting state and federal aid? What about the infirm? Transferring of government benefits (paid by actual 'tax payers") from one federal, state or pocket to the other could HARDLY be called "paying taxes". I'm not calling anyone out who happens to be in a situation that requires aid, but it is disingenuous to really try to call them "taxpayers".

The best laid plans of mice and men are held up in the legal department.

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