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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.


The Search For Starivores, Intelligent Life That Could Eat the Sun 300

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-life-jim-but-not-as-oh-god-it's-eating-the-sun dept.
sarahnaomi writes: There could be all manner of alien life forms in the universe, from witless bacteria to superintelligent robots. Still, the notion of a starivore — an organism that literally devours stars — may sound a bit crazy, even to a seasoned sci-fi fan. And yet, if such creatures do exist, they're probably lurking in our astronomical data right now.

That's why philosopher Dr. Clement Vidal, who's a researcher at the Free University of Brussels, along with Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology Stephen Dick, futurist John Smart, and nanotech entrepreneur Robert Freitas are soliciting scientific proposals to seek out star-eating life.
United States

North Korean Internet Is Down 360

Posted by samzenpus
from the right-back-at-you dept.
First time accepted submitter opentunings writes "Engadget and many others are reporting that North Korea's external Internet access is down. No information yet regrading whether anyone's taking responsibility. From the NYT: "Doug Madory, the director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research, an Internet performance management company, said that North Korean Internet access first became unstable late Friday. The situation worsened over the weekend, and by Monday, North Korea’s Internet was completely offline. 'Their networks are under duress,' Mr. Madory said. 'This is consistent with a DDoS attack on their routers,' he said, referring to a distributed denial of service attack, in which attackers flood a network with traffic until it collapses under the load."

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.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.