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Comment: Maybe if the office was quieter (Score 2) 405

by Snowblindeye (#40161623) Attached to: Do Headphones Help Or Hurt Productivity?

I wonder more people using headphones is also a result of the move from dedicated offices to cubicle farms. A lot of the offices I've worked in were so noisy and distracting, I've often used headphones not because I felt like listening to music, but to drown out the noise.

I've seriously considered getting a pair of ear protection headphones like an airport worker and just using those. Or noise cancellation headphones.

Comment: Re:I've always wondered about this (Score 1) 273

by Snowblindeye (#37940988) Attached to: Fine Structure Constant May Not Be So Constant

But I've always wondered how we know that the speed of light is the same regardless, that the gravitational constant is constant throughout space and time.

There are actually some scientisst that have proposed a Variable Speed of Light theory. In their theory, the speed of light decreases over time. In other words it was much faster in the early universe. The cool thing about it is, once you make that assumption a lot of other things are suddenly explainable (for example, you don't need inflation in the early universe anymore).

João Magueijo has written a book about it called "Faster Than The Speed of Light, The Story of a Scientific Speculation". There is also a BBC documentary about it called "Einsteins Biggest Blunder".

Comment: Re:What phones get vendor updates after three year (Score 1) 257

by Snowblindeye (#35462508) Attached to: Apple vs. Microsoft: a Tale of Two Mobile Updates

Which phones out there get vendor supplied updates after 3 years? Certainly not any that I've ever owned.

My company got me a Droid Eris (I had no choice). 6 months later, no update to Android 2.2. (Maybe 8. Whatever)

I'm not sure why Apple is getting dinged for not supporting a 3 year old phone. No one that I know of supports 3 year old phones.

Computer World did an interesting comparison of which companies have offered upgrades to Froyo, and for how many of their phones.

Even the highest score (HTC) was only 50%. Here is the breakdown:

HTC: 50%
Motorola: 15.4%
Samsung: 11%
Dell: 0%
LG: 0%
Sony: 0%

Comment: Re:Thanks EU (Score 5, Informative) 290

by Snowblindeye (#35440250) Attached to: New EU Net Rules Set To Make Cookies Crumble

IPv6 will give almost everybody practically static addresses, the ultimate undeleteable cookie. So the EU regulation will be futile very soon.

That problem has been solved by RFC 4941, otherwise known as the Privacy Extensions. Most OSes support it, though I believe some don't enable it by default. IIRC the iPhone is one of the devices that doesn't support it, but that should be fixable once IPv6 becomes more widespread.

Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 2) 405

by Snowblindeye (#35412904) Attached to: The Car Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

So the job of the 800 break horse power internal combustion engine is to deliver fuel into the rocket engine (not the jet engine). But the rocket is a solid fuel booster (essentially a glorified fireworks motor). Err wait, what? What do you need a fuel pump for a solid fuel rocket booster?

It's not a pure solid fuel rocket. It contains solid fuel, but then they pump hydrogen peroxide thru the rocket as an oxidizer. That's being pumped by the F1 engine. Seeing how it has to pump one ton of HTP in 22 seconds, you can see why they need that much power for the pump. More details on the rocket engine.

Comment: Re:Wrestling? Ghost Hunters? (Score 2) 742

by Snowblindeye (#35314200) Attached to: Does Syfy Really Love Sci-Fi?

Let's also not forget the tragedy of Babylon 5. They said they were canceling at season 4, so the creators had to rush the show's plot, then they decided afterward to renew a 5th season, so they had to make up new crap completely outside the realm of the original planned plot line.

Babylon 5 ran on PTEN for four seasons. When they didn't renew it for season 5, it moved to TNT for the final season. One canceled it, and another picked it up. Not only did the networks not do what you described, SciFi had nothing to do with it.

Comment: Re:The Arduino won? (Score 1) 224

by Snowblindeye (#35180608) Attached to: Why the Arduino Won and Why It's Here To Stay

The Arduino won? I didn't even know there was a contest! There are lots of microcontrollers and boards out there: Basic Stamps, PICs, 68HC11s, Parallax Propellors. You can get some for as little as $3 each. There's probably more stuff out there for Basic Stamps than for the Arduino. There's definitely more PIC related stuff.

Basic stamps and PICs used to get a lot of usage in hobbyist projects, but that has changed in the last couple of years. First it started shifting from PIC to Atmel, and then to the (Atmel based) Arduino. It's been a while since I've seen a new project that someone had chosen PIC for.

IMHO the move to Atmle may have been partially due to the PICs super annoying architecture (bank switching for every other operation, for starters). The Arduino of course has a big advantage for people who don't want (or can't) design their own PCBs.

If look at Projects on Make, or elsewhere online, you'll see Arduino being used in the majority of the newer projects.

Comment: Re:I'm confused. (Score 1) 506

by Snowblindeye (#35072800) Attached to: Universe 250+ Times Bigger Than What Is Observable
An alternative theory is that the speed of light used to be much higher in the early universe (like 60x higher). This is known as the variable speed of light (VSL) concept. There is a documentary from 2000 called "Einstein's Biggest Blunder", that gives a good overview of how it was developed.

Comment: Re:I'm confused. (Score 2) 506

by Snowblindeye (#35072660) Attached to: Universe 250+ Times Bigger Than What Is Observable

If the universe started with a big bang, with all matter originated in an extremely compact volume, and if it's radius can't expand faster than light, then there should be no points in the universe beyond what we can see (as limited by light speed.) What am I missing?

What you describe is known as the Horizon Problem

The current theory that tries to explain this is called Inflation. Basically, it assumes that after the Big Bang there was a period of Inflation where space time itself expanded faster than the speed of light.

Comment: Re:A global remote kill switch in our computers (Score 5, Interesting) 399

by Snowblindeye (#34603110) Attached to: Intel's Sandy Bridge Processor Has a Kill Switch

I don't know what Intel is putting into those chips, but I am highly doubtful it is the way the article states it.

Chip real estate is expensive. So Intel is going to put a complete 3G module on the CPU and use it only for this feature? And to top it off, it has some kinda of separate battery, cause you know, it works when the chip is off? Nonsense.

This is probably some feature that gets build into the AMT support of some chipsets, maybe on Laptops that have a 3G connection already.But the way they are describing this? I call BS on that.

Comment: Re:I saw a more indepth version of this some time (Score 2) 270

by Snowblindeye (#34551310) Attached to: Watch 200 Years of Global Growth In 4 Minutes

That's the newer TED tallk. There is also an older one from 2006: http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html

Comment: Just idle speculation (Score 5, Informative) 286

by Snowblindeye (#34393074) Attached to: Curious NASA Pre-Announcement
It's funny how quick idle speculation turns into news. Apparently it all started with this blog post.

He's now updated his post with a tweet from someone at Nasa that the press conference is not about proof of life:

Comment: Golf Diesel (Score 1, Insightful) 576

by Snowblindeye (#33998538) Attached to: Mazda Claims 70 mpg For New Engine, No Hybrid Needed

I wonder if a real-life-real-drivers 70 mpg car is what will actually arrive, or if such promises will dissolve like Chevy's promises about the Volt did.

I used to drive an 85 VW Golf Diesel, that Car reliably got (actually got, under real world driving conditions) 47 mpg (5l/100km). That's a car that was build 25 years ago. Volkswagen also sold the Lupo 3L which got 78 miles per US gallon or 94 miles per Imperial gallon

It boggles my mind that 25 years later most cars I can buy in the US get half of what my 25 year old car got. If that. It also means that getting 70 shouldn't be impossible. Thats 3.3l/100km, and it's been done.

Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught how not to. So it is with the great programmers.

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