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Comment: Re:Like most appliances for the past 40 years? (Score 2) 171

by Pentium100 (#48015023) Attached to: When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

The old devices are not deliberately restricted. I usually buy an older device that suits my needs instead of a new one for this reason and because if is easier to repair when it does fail.

Let's say I have an old tape deck. It is what it is, the sound quality or functions are not artificially restricted. If I want to I can improve it beyond the original specifications, but that requires modifying it. Same with my car - if it does not have some part then it doesn't, if I want to I can install it and use the new function.

Compare that to, say, modern phones. Android is very similar to Linux, but I cannot get a root shell on my own phone (without modifying it) even though it is physically capable of this, but that feature is restricted by the manufacturer. For example, I have a video file that plays without sound on an Android tablet because the sound codec is not supported. Decoding sound does not take a lot of CPU power, so I should be able to just install the codec as I can do on a PC, but it is restricted.

Comment: Re:Move away from the 120V screw-based sockets? (Score 1) 595

by Pentium100 (#48010507) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

12V needs thick wires, just look at the wires that are used for car audio amps. This is because 1) Lower voltage means higher current for the same power and 2) Lower voltage means lower allowed voltage drop on the wire.

Let's say the wire is 20 meters long (probably reasonable for my house, since the wire does not go in the shortest possible distance) and I need 10A (100-120W) If I want to keep the voltage drop at 1V (resulting in 91% efficiency), I would need a 7mm^2 wire. For 1kW I would need 70mm^2 wire. Or run 230V in parallel with 12V = more wiring.

For LED lights, the best solution would be the power supply (230V -> whatever the LED needs) to be part of the fixture, or a module that plugs in the fixture.

Comment: Re:With incandescents, it's two out of three (Score 1) 595

by Pentium100 (#48010459) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

I use some long life bulbs (rated for 3000h) and the efficiency rating for them is "G" IIRC, while regular bulbs have efficiency rating of "E". OTOH, I like the lower color temperature of the long life bulbs, something I could not have with halogens (since lowering their temperature shortens the life).

Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 1) 595

by Pentium100 (#48006331) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Which is why I have installed a slow-start dimmer to prolong the life of the incandescent bulbs, so I do not need to buy as many to last me many years. They also sell long-life bulbs now, 3000h, but lower efficiency (which I don't care about) and lower color temperature (which I actually like), so I got a bunch of those.

Comment: Re:A solution in search of a problem... (Score 1) 326

by Pentium100 (#47900751) Attached to: Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

However, having bad roads and poorly trained drivers higher speed results in higher probability of a crash (for example higher probability that you won't see a pedestrian crossing or won't be able to stop in time) and a worse crash. So, the result is (even if probability stays the same) you drive too fast = you cause problems for other people, while you don't wear a seatbelt = you cause problems only for yourself.

Also, even Germany has speed limits on other roads and inside cities.

Comment: Re:A solution in search of a problem... (Score 2) 326

by Pentium100 (#47900481) Attached to: Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

After a few accidents caused by drunk cops driving (that actually injuredor killed people) in my country, the new law is that if a cop is caught drunk behind the wheel, he can start looking for a new job (in addition to whatever punishment a non-cop would get in the same situation).

Comment: Re:A solution in search of a problem... (Score 0) 326

by Pentium100 (#47900465) Attached to: Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

Speeding = higher risk of crash. Crash can involve other people. This means that if you speed you are more likely to kill somebody.
Not wearing a seatbelt = higher risk of injury/death in case of a crash, but only to the person not wearing the seat belt. I think the fine should be lower and let the idiots kill themselves.

Comment: Re:A solution in search of a problem... (Score 2) 326

by Pentium100 (#47900431) Attached to: Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

Well, driving a car with a manual gearbox makes talking on the phone while driving (without using handsfree equipment) inconvenient (unless I am driving on a straight long road). I never text while driving. SMS is low priority and high latency to me - I will reply when I can. If it is urgent to you - call.

However, this device seems pointless. I have to buy it and install it in my car. Even assuming it can work with my older phones (a Nokia E90 and a Nokia 1100), I could, you know, just don't use the phone while driving if I do not want to and I do not need to spend money. OTOH, if somebody wants to use the phone while driving, they will not buy a device that prevents them or will turn it off.

This sort of device has to be mandated by law (hopefully just for new cars, so I do not have to buy such a device) or it will see very low adoption rates.

Comment: Re:Do it yourself? (Score 1) 130

by Pentium100 (#47847687) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?

Well, I get analog broadcasts from my cable company. Whether it's the multiple splitters or the long cables (after the amp), but the video quality is not that great. Sure, it's better than VHS, but I cannot really see a difference between it and SVHS.

I also get IPTV from another company. The SD channels are higher quality than the analog channels that i get.

And yet, with digital VCRs (and tapes for them) being so expensive, i have to continue to use VHS...

Comment: Re:Do it yourself? (Score 1) 130

by Pentium100 (#47847009) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?

Still, when compared to analog broadcast, (or very compressed digital) SD, a good VCR and a good tape produce quite a good image, it's not full broadcast quality, but good enough for me. Especially since digital (and especially HD capable) VCRs are so expensive (tapes for them too) and not very common. So, no way to record HD and the best I can do is to record to a good VHS tape, since SVHS tapes are expensive too. DVDs don't last and don't allow overwrites, so a DVD recorder would not be useful to me.

Comment: Re:Reverse-SSH tunnel phone-home from remote devic (Score 1) 137

by Pentium100 (#47843309) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Server Support and Monitoring Solution?

As someone who's been a network admin for a few years, I'm fairly confident in my statements. Do you do even minor surgery on yourself if you're not a surgeon?

I am a network (and Linux) admin by profession, but I can also repair my audio equipment and do some repairs on my car, even though I do not work as a car mechanic or electronics repair guy. While I could find a mechanic to repair my car (and sometimes I do), a lot of the time is is cheaper and faster to do it myself.

So, if the OP wants to create a monitoring solution himself (assuming he knows something about the monitoring systems) more power to him. I probably would ask a similar question if I had to monitor 500 remote servers that are in different locations (if they are all in the same place I would just use VPN). It would be possible to use VPN or SSH tunnels or something else, but sometimes one may need an advice from others as to which option is the best.

Comment: Re:can it get me home from the bar? (Score 1) 289

by Pentium100 (#47795857) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

What is I like driving? Actually, I probably could not sit in a driverless car for, say, half an hour with nothing to do. I cannot read while in a car because I get motion sickness if I am not watching the road, I also cannot talk to the driver (as I do now when I am in a car but not driving). And I can listen to music while I am driving just as well.

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