Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment: I thought I wanted induction... (Score 1) 204

I purchased one of those induction hot-plates to try induction out before buying a (rather expensive) range top

Induction is a surprising pain in the a$$. Expensive (you knew that though) and full of safety interlocks so the only cookware you might own that works is the cast iron bacon skillet! In order for the interlock to allow operation a magnet must stick to the pan bottom, which is not the case for most stainless steel (yes, some flavors of stainless a magnet sticks to, but not what they typically use to make cookware) Copper or aluminum clad are out too. No glass, ceramic, or aluminum pots and pans either!

Resistance heating is more versatile than induction.

Since I live in an all-electric house, I would rather not have propane installed. The option is not ruled out completely since I like cooking on gas, but my wife prefers the perceived safety of not having gas lines. (She lost a cousin to a propane gas explosion) In the mean time I rebuilt the 1970's range top with new burners since I need a counter top to change the cook top! The counter is a drop in vs slide in headache. I have a slide in, and only drop in cook tops can be purchased currently.


Comment: Kids mix fine with LED's (Score 2) 278

by Psychofreak (#47412297) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

I put an LED lamp in my drop light. Been under cars, in the crawlspace, knocked around pretty good. The "bulb" has taken much more abuse than any incandescent lamp ever could, and is going strong. The light pattern is not as good as an incandescent or fluorescent since there is a spot effect off the top of the bulb.

I agree, no CFL's in drop lights or other rugged duty applications. They contain mercury like any other fluorescent light. WHEN they break I don't need that particular cleanup headache.

I was an early adopter of CFL lights, and installed a set in the kitchen of an apartment I lived in. 3 years later when moving out my wife and I debated taking them (this was over 12 years ago). We left them primarily due to the slow start. Instant start CFL lamps have been hit and miss, with life spans in _days_ (usually with epic failure involving excess heat and sometimes fire!) and some that are nearly 10 years old in a couple floor lamps.

I installed a pair of LED spots in the canister lamps of my great room, I got tired of dragging a ladder in to change bulbs, especially since the chicken stick was too short, and a 6 ft step ladder was still needed. I used the extension ladder to install some "dimable" LED spots. NOT dimable, but at least reliable. After 5 years they are just as quirky as day 1, and I have not needed a ladder in my great room since! The biggest quirk is 1 lamp lights, then about 5 minutes later the other lamp lights. It is somewhat random which lamp will light first.


Comment: Control line! well, not really. (Score 1) 88

Control line aircraft are, according to some, (and citations of the supposed FAA response are never available) "motorized kites." Therefore having a permanent tether to the aircraft makes this model no longer subject to the same rules as a untethered aircraft (in theory). I am not sure if these are really parallel arguments though.

If use of a tether allows commercial operation of "camera drones" to resume then it is probably a good thing. Responsible operators taking reasonable precautions and safely operating their equipment allow for some useful services. There should be oversight for these operations though, but the industry should be encouraged not banned.

I do not want some yahoo with a model to crash and then think they have no responsibility to the resulting property damage though...

Comment: Re:Now are these people trainable? (Score 1) 268

by Psychofreak (#46425641) Attached to: It's True: Some People Just Don't Like Music

Wow. I feel relieved that this is a real thing.

I too have played trumpet and baritone in school band. I never achieved a high level of mastery, but I did try and apply myself to learning. I also sang choir for years throughout grade school and middle school.

The only type of music I find fulfilling
* has words
* the words can be understood
* the words tell a story that makes sense even separated from the music (such as Rush, Red Barchetta)


Comment: Re:Live off the land forever (Score 1) 398

by Psychofreak (#43792905) Attached to: I am fairly prepared for a storm outage of ...

I stock 15 gallons of gasoline for lawn equipment and my generator. I can store another 10 gallons with the containers and storage I have for fuel. Seeing that my generator consumes about 1/2 gallon per hour when I am powering the sump pump, fridge, freezer. It consumes a more when I add in air conditioning and fully load the generator.. So I have a typical day of fuel on hand for the generator, maybe 2.

How many people consider the fuel consumption? Thankfully I have not needed the generator for more than a few hours.

My UPS powers the cable modem, which is also the phone line, and the wireless. I get about 8 hours with this light duty setup on a 1300VA unit. This means when the power cuts out for 15 minutes (a nearly weekly experience) I don't loose the phone and I can stay on my laptop. A UPS is NOT going to provide satisfactory power for very long!

My emergency box has rather basic supplies and a sterno stove so I can boil water from local sources if I loose transportation. My intention is to have transportation to get out, which could be problematic in a tornado situation that may destroy the vehicles.


Comment: Air drum? (Score 1) 189

Gonna take a couple minor hacks, but the technology is already present.

Use an air drum stick (or similar, say, wimote?) for the baton. This needs to output to a device that can communicate to other devices.

Built an app for android cell phones (everybody has one now, Iphone is another option of course) so the output from the baton is translated to vibration at the phone via wifi.

While certain aspects are going to be lost, timing and emphasis can be retained.


Comment: Re:Doesn't mean they aren't a concern. (Score 2) 344

by Psychofreak (#43277573) Attached to: The ATF Not Concerned About 3D Printed Guns... Yet

Why ceramic? Plastic and rubber bullets are deadly at close range. There are youtube videos of people making hot-glue bullets for primer fired target practice. Put some powder behind it and it becomes pretty serious. Why not make a plastic shotgun type shell? Very little metal actually needed...primer...not much else. You can even buy shotgun shells that are plastic except for the primer (although I have never seen them other than target load)

Springs can be plastic (or even air pressure enhanced) if they only need to function a couple rounds, same with a plastic firing pin... The more plastic the less life though. A determined well equipped individual, the person that the ATF is worried about, will make it work.

The reason the ATF is not very concerned is the weapon is disposable. Disposable weapons exist. Making a pipe gun from some plumbing parts is not very difficult. I've seen one demonstrated.

Making a plastic weapon that can pass detection is disturbingly easy. Toothbrush? Stick? Point the end. Pen or pencil? No modification required with a pen or pencil. Pretty single use though.

Lastly the evidence is easily destroyed, unlike a metal weapon. The ATF is not very concerned because it would be chasing their tail to try to track these items.


Comment: Throw the junk away (Score 2) 210

by Psychofreak (#43049749) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Projects For a Heap of Tech Junk?

If you don't mind some light, but hard work, bordering on drudgery:

an old CRT has over a pound of copper in it. Older ones have quite a bit more.

When you get down to old processors and other circuitry there are some people who are able to salvage the gold out of them, but the parts need separated first. When I was in high school I helped sort and strip and salvage a couple hundred 286, 386 and 486 computers that were being disposed of by some large local businesses as a "donation" to the school my mom worked for. There was a jeweler who took the processors and gold plated connectors for cash. I know a large coffee can of parts was worth over $100, and we generated quite a few can fulls.

Circuit boards can be recycled and have value once separated and in the pounds of materials.

Parted out there is a good possibility of a few hundred dollars worth of salvage in that pile. Even sheet steel has significant salvage value once you get to 100 pounds of material.

There is a reason junk collectors, people who take all the salvageable trash off the curb on trash day, can do this instead of having a "real" job.


Life is a whim of several billion cells to be you for a while.