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Comment: Re:Canadian driving (Score 1) 723

by Sqweegee (#46109399) Attached to: Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

Also, who the heck salts streets ahead of time? Maybe if you're expecting some freezing rain, but not snow. Might work on the first inch of snow but after that it gets washed away and you end up with a great ice/slush base under the new snow. You put it on top, either to melt thin sheets of ice or the fallen snow that gets compacted into ice by traffic.

Where I live, most of the time during the winter temperatures are too cold for salt (and other compounds) to be effective anyway. I don't even bother cleaning the driveway until there's 4-6 inches of snow on it.

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 463

The current record for people in a single battle at once is over 4000, I was in one last week that surpassed 3900 at one point.

Unfortunately once the fights get that big it becomes difficult for anyone to do anything and the fight becomes very lopsided due to the overhead of newcomers entering the system. Whoever was first on the field can usually hold it simply because they can slaughter their opponents before they can defend themselves. In this one the numbers in system were kept low on purpose so there could be a "good fight".

This is the first fight with such a huge number of titan losses (75), the previous record for any battle was 12. Last time the developers revealed the number of them that exist on the server the total was about 950 but I think that was at least a year ago.

Comment: Terrible! (Score 1) 1191

by Sqweegee (#45014057) Attached to: Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

Giant pictures take up way too much space. Tons of wasted white space, especially on the sides. Comments take up up too much vertical space. Too much crap that doesn't enhance browsing the site.

This is the exact same reason I stopped going to digg, the amount of fluff overpowered actual content and the entire site became a pain to navigate because some stupid developers keep thinking OMGZ da peoplez dey wants da shineyz and da poneyz dat I just learned, rather than a compact, easy to read at a glance aggregation of news. The slashdot crowd is swayed by pretty pictures and shiny widgets, they only get in the way of having discussions about the topics and presenting information in a useful format.

The design is terrible and you should feel terrible.

Comment: Spot by lab chemical analysis? (Score 1) 184

by Sqweegee (#44653533) Attached to: Researchers Discover Way To Spot Crappy Coffee

I wouldn't exactly call their procedure spotting, they're running samples through a $300k GC-MS and found chemical markers distinctive to Kopi Luwak.

It would make it easy for a coffee company to verify that they're buying and selling the genuine product but doesn't exactly help the average consumer to spot the real thing. At least they're more likely to actually be getting what they pay for.

Comment: Re: Retroactively? (Score 2) 279

by Sqweegee (#44193911) Attached to: Disney's Titling Problem With Its <em>Star Wars</em> Movies

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076759/alternateversions

It list all the alterations ever made, which makes for a very long list. There was a whole lot of changes made between the 77, 78, and 81 releases but are hidden in with all the new ones. Terrible record keeping and Lucas' habit of destroying old versions and footage makes it tough to watch the old releases, side by side. I remember seeing different versions of the opening crawl.

"When the original theatrical version was first released, it was simply titled Star Wars.The opening crawl was changed to "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" during the 1981 re-release. According to Sterling Hedgpeth, Lucasfilm film archivist: "I found a box with all the positive elements for the 'revised' opening crawl, and the assorted trim boxes are dated from October through December 1980. This, then, is consistent with the view that Episode IV: A New Hope was added for the first time to the opening crawl for the April 10, 1981 re-release." "

Comment: Re:Some industrial stuff is still on ISA cards (Score 1) 953

by Sqweegee (#43524097) Attached to: Some Windows XP Users Can't Afford To Upgrade

Exactly the problem I've been having for years at work on an entire set of gas chromatographs and mass spectrometers.

The interface cards need to use ISA slots. Newer interface cards and instruments use a newer communications protocol and aren't backwards compatible. The software and drivers refuse to work without DOS running in the background like it still did with '98. The only option is replacing entire systems, unfortunately until recently that's been a hard sell as they keep running and replacing them all totals about $500k.

Luckily a few recent failures and lucky donations finally has us moving forward.

Comment: Re:Sales too! (Score 1) 157

by Sqweegee (#42329245) Attached to: Game Review: <em>Planetside 2</em> (video)

The Station Cash currency that is used for the real money transactions goes on sale pretty much monthly for a day at 2x or 3x, seems the next 3x sale is on the 21st, but usually there's no notice.

Items also come up on sale, the weekly ones usually as equipment packages and individual items daily usually for about 40-60% off if bought with Station Cash. So even the top priced $7 guns could cost as little as a dollar if you spend wisely and others as little as a quarter. You can also try all the weapons before you buy for 30 minutes. Only cosmetic items are cash only.

The only downside is that earning the top end items just through playing would take an extremely long time, but that's obviously the drive for the game to earn money. I've payed $60 for games that had less good play time than this one so I don't mind dropping some cash on items.

Comment: Re:I always wanted to know (Score 1) 339

by Sqweegee (#41980029) Attached to: In Mississippi: 15-Year Jail Sentence For Selling Pirated Movies and Music

Usually referred to as "faint hope" in Canada... the idea being that if someone is sentenced to life in prison with absolutely no possibility of getting out there is pretty much no reason for them to behave or to not kill themselves. Crime in jail and suicides require additional investigations, court time, cost a lot of money and make things tougher on everyone in the system from guards to other prisoners.

Comment: Re:Do the same with a handful of transistors (Score 1) 96

by Sqweegee (#41525363) Attached to: BrewPi: Raspberry Pi and Arduino Powered Fermentation Chamber

I built an analog PID controller years ago in an industrial controls course exactly that way using opamps. We only used it to keep a couple of servos aligned but it could have been adapted to anything.

Tuning was a pain, as it was part of the whole point of the exercise we needed to swap out the individual resistors, caps, and inductors to achieve the tune values we had calculated for a proper response as well as specific improper responses each stage could cause. Even the small leakage in the capacitors caused some drifting until we switched from electrolytic ones to ceramics.

I recently made similar chambers to this brewing one using a little programmable PID controller and a couple of relays to replace the mechanical thermostat on a fridge so we could get tighter temperature control and a wider operating range (0-35 C). The $200 controller was overkill for basic control but we needed programmable temperature profiles too. Next time I'll have to look into this type of controller.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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