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Comment: Re:Wow - Sony are imploding (Score 5, Interesting) 65

by SIGBUS (#48997581) Attached to: MPAA Considers Major Changes After Sony Hack

I always thought that Sony's acquisition of Columbia Pictures and CBS Records were long-term colossal mistakes.

Old Sony: made cool stuff, fought tooth and nail for consumer rights (example: the Betamax case that went to the Supreme Court).
New Sony: all about DRM and lock-in, fights tooth and nail against consumer rights.

I liked the old Sony better.

Comment: B+ fixed the USB problems (Score 3, Interesting) 355

by SIGBUS (#48957567) Attached to: New Multi-Core Raspberry Pi 2 Launches

What's with all the ACs in this thread, anyway? Yes, the original A/B models had crappy USB, but the A+/B+ have much-improved circuitry, to the point that for most things you'll never need to bother with adding a hub.

I set up a B+ as a Bluetooth audio streaming box, and, while running off a 1000 mA power supply, the USB is stout enough to power a keyboard, mouse, Bluetooth dongle, and a Focusrite USB audio interface, all plugged into the onboard USB ports. That would have never worked on the older model.

Comment: Re:Car alarm symphony; real bells (Score 1) 790

by SIGBUS (#48797073) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

That's still around, at least in Russia. I'd say that the Car Alarm Symphony should be Russia's official disaster anthem. A lot of the YouTube videos of the Chelyabinsk meteor and its aftermath featured it as a background soundtrack after the shock wave hit. Then, there's this gem, a wrecked truck of gas cylinders. Each time one blows up, the videographer's car alarm decides to join in. Note the SAM launch at 3:15 or so. There's a dashcam video that shows how it all started, too (with strangely appropriate music on the driver's radio).

Comment: Re:Zenith Space Command remote (Score 1) 790

by SIGBUS (#48796549) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

Even the tuning fork version used the stepper-driven tuner. My grandparents had one of those sets, and just jingling your keys or coins was enough to make the TV do random things. Jingle, jingle, *thunk* HEY! *clack* *thunk*

On the other hand, my upstairs neighbor back in those days had a Heathkit with a much more elegant RF-based remote. When you pressed on one of the volume or picture controls, the corresponding knob on the set would rotate. That was seriously high-tech home entertainment back in 1969.

Comment: Good luck (Score 2) 426

by SIGBUS (#48793391) Attached to: Chevrolet Unveils 200-Mile Bolt EV At Detroit Auto Show

Hopefully, there are enough people who can think beyond the current dip in oil prices to keep interest up in electric cars. Oil just isn't a good long-term solution, and the sooner we can get cars off it the better.

If they could get the range up to 300+ miles, have a usable quick charge capability, and still keep it affordable, I'd go electric in a heartbeat.

Comment: Re:The whine of the flyback transformer (Score 1) 790

by SIGBUS (#48789803) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

Check out some high-end offerings from all those same companies that produced high-end CRTs for colour critical applications back in the day like Eizo, or NEC, (they are still in the business and they are also the source for panels used in medical imaging etc if you like colour accuracy) and don't base your view of technology on what you somewhat throws at you during Black Friday sales.

It's kind of hard to find NEC displays now, but they're worth every penny, and they still make 16:10 panels for those like me who like the extra vertical pixels. I managed to find mine at a TigerDirect retail location, but they didn't even put out a floor sample, let alone stock it on the retail shelves - they had to pull it from the warehouse.

Comment: Re:One of the few games with incredible imaginatio (Score 1) 186

by SIGBUS (#48565049) Attached to: NetHack: Still One of the Greatest Games Ever Written

Pity it hasn't been updated meaningfully for over a decade - perhaps it just hit perfection?

Though I've ascended a few characters, I haven't tried to do so in a while, mainly because of that long, slow slog through the mazes. I'd consider changing things around so that there's maybe a 1/10 chance of getting a maze on any standard Gehennom level - or better yet, only the special levels get mazes.

Funny how the wizard is one of the weakest characters at the beginning of the game, but becomes almost unstoppable at experience level 30. Reverse-genociding purple worms, taming them, and teleporting them away can really be helpful on the Astral Plane - a bunch of pet purple worms can really wreak havoc. Even one pet purple worm can be handy in Minetown (though I take care to lock Izchak in his shop when I clean out Minetown).

Comment: MPEG-2 on RPi (Score 3, Interesting) 140

by SIGBUS (#48564897) Attached to: $35 Quad-core Hacker SBC Offers Raspberry Pi-like Size and I/O

Note that you have to buy a codec license to activate the Raspberry Pi's MPEG-2 support. Once you've added the license key to your config.txt, XBMC will handle MPEG-2 just fine; I can stream shows from my MythTV backend without any problem. But, the sluggish interface is a bit of a problem, especially when using an IR remote.

Comment: Trees vs. powerlines (Score 1) 516

by SIGBUS (#48466337) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

In my neighborhood (Chicago area), they most certainly trim the trees, to the point that many of them look downright weird. That doesn't completely prevent storm-related power outages, but it at least makes them pretty rare for me.

Still, if the crown of one of those trees snaps off, like it did in a severe storm late this June, it can result in an extended outage. That's when I discovered that my UPS outlasted the batteries in Comcast's local infrastructure by a wide margin.

Comment: Re:Lots of reasons (Score 1) 236

by SIGBUS (#48450215) Attached to: What is your computer most often plugged into?

I've never had voltage sag to the point that the battery was needed, but there have been a few times, during summer heat waves, when my UPS would go into boost mode (about 108V or so at the wall socket). Lately, though, I've been getting higher-than-normal voltage, consistently 124-127V, and when it gets above 126 the UPS will knock 16V off. At least it can use an autotransformer to deal with minor over- and under-voltage conditions, instead of killing the battery. If it were switching to battery I'd be calling my power company.

What good is a ticket to the good life, if you can't find the entrance?