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Comment: Re:Define A Toy (Score 2) 196

by Technician (#48013837) Attached to: My toy collection is ...

In my case I have at least a ton of toys. A motorhome counts, so does the solar panel I put on it as I built my own controller. Add in my test equipment and tools that I don't use for employment, my musical insturments, stage lighting and sound equipment I use for weddings and other socail gatherings, etc.

I spend a lot of time playing, so I have toys beyond the internet.

Computers I guess would include annimated Christmas lights, VOIP toys such as integrating a Grandstream phone wiht Google Voice, Talk, Skype, etc, MIDI, recording studio such as Ardour, Audacity, digital photography, etc. Lots of toys. Some I guess could be written off as continuing education, but it's mostly toys.

Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 1) 585

by Technician (#48004959) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

The review in question is posted on an internal corporate networking site not open to the general public. To be fair, the review was posted 3 years ago when some bulbs were made of a field of individual 3 or 5mm LED's without a heatsink. The review covered both the bathroom lights and a couple of LED Christmas light strings my daugher put up in her room and left on 24/7 as a night light. In the string of Christmas lights over 1/2 of the blue bulbs were completely dead and the other half varied very much in brightness from full dim to about 1/2 bright when compaired with another string that was stored from the season. We discarded the string in July when it was no longer functional, a string that was in trouble after 3 months and mostly dead at 7 months.

Due to recent changes in technology, and disclosure, the bathroom nightlights were Lights of America, a cheap brand and the Christmas lights are the cheap ones sold at my local Winco Grocery store.

Newer GE bulbs are working great. I've been happy with a energy smart 10 Watt Par 30 24 degree flood I have been testing at my desk. It's been running 12+ hrs a day since March 2 2013. It is very hard to tell it is an LED. It is one of the better incandecant replacements I have found.

Comment: Great oppertunity for education. (Score 1) 71

This could be interesting. I wonder how much the increased access will increase the number of dying officials with a metal box in a security company?

I hope South Africa manages to shed the reputation by their counterparts in Nigeria and close neighbors. I hope they use it for education such as provided by Khan Academy to better themselves.

Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 5, Insightful) 585

by Technician (#48002053) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

I write the date on all my bulbs. Failed bulbs are never replaced with the same brand. The theory goes that short life bulbs will be circulated out of service and long life bulbs will remain.

Note to manufactures, to get on my bad boy list, have high premature deaths. To get on my recommended list, be the last man standing in my testing.

Failures fall in two modes. Lumen maintenance and failure. Most LED's dim over their lifetime. I bought a 3 pack of lower wattage "candelaubra lamps and used them in bathrooms as nightlights. I noticed they were quite dim after about 7 months. Used the 3rd bulb as a comparison as I used only two at the time. I photographed the result with a digital camera on manual settings so all exposures were taken with the same setting and posted the result online. You don't want your short life bulbs mentioned by name in a poor review.

My general observations are older bulbs had higher failure rates than the current line as the technology improved. LED's are an absolute must in locations with occasional use such as bathrooms, but often leave much to be desired where they are on 24/7 or 8-12 hours a day. A CFL in a seldom switched location will often have better lumen maintenance than an LED.

Note on the package on LED's, they are most often rated for only 3 Hours a day. For now use them in hallways, the garrage,storage areas, and bathrooms, I am having some great performance on some newer bulbs in the living room, but it is too early to call, but it is looking promising.

Comment: Re:These people are doing it to themselves (Score 1) 903

by Technician (#47995779) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

To show the "Poor" that this impacts, visit youtube and look up some of the Repo Nut videos. Disclaimer, not associated with repo in any way. Found the videos enteratining and informative in the light of the repo industry.

What I found common to most repo's. Homes are upscale suburbs. Cars are NEW purchases, Homes are typically multi garage multi story homes. Hardly Poor that can't afford a used car.

Only a few of the repo's are in poor neighborhoods and at apartment complexes. I do understand some bias is due to the limited market sample size by the few repo people who post videos, so poor neighborhoods and lower repo rates will have repo men without video as a sideline so the sample and demographic may not paint the true picture.

Comment: Re: The review ecosystem is good and truly broken. (Score 1) 249

by Technician (#47964429) Attached to: Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

Word of mouth is still the best. Some of the best movies I have seen have been recommended by friends, not strangers. Same for the best restraunts. My record to date is I have driven 126 miles one way to go to a great annual dinner. It is a great harvest cowboy dinner with fire brewed coffee. The event was never publicily advertised as they had a full house every year. It was a great pit BBQ with beef, lamb, pork, spuds, beans, etc. I go every year.

Comment: Re:Slashdotted (Score 2) 249

by Technician (#47964293) Attached to: Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

Never ate there, but the website survived a Slashdotting.

I like how they thank Yelp for the world wide publicity. Can't pay to get that type of exposure. I will remember them if I am ever in the area. I hope their in restraunt WiFi is as good as their website. If it is, I'm going to hire their IT guy!

Comment: Re:Legacy Compatiblity (Score 1) 358

MP3 doesn't support DRM.
Link http://netforbeginners.about.c...

*As of this writing, MP3 files themselves do not have DRM padlocks on them, but getting access to MP3 files is getting more difficult every day as the MPAA and RIAA crack down on MP3 file sharing.

What is this MP3 DRM you speak of?

Comment: Re:Legacy Compatiblity (Score 4, Informative) 358

Thsi point is the ignored deal breaker that has killed all other formats that attempted this. If it won't play on any of the following, it's sales are already in decline.

Common MP3 Players
DVD players that play MP3 CD's
Computers Windows, Linux, Apple
Cell phones Android as well as Apple.

Only formats with compatability at a reasonable price will sell in volume.
Unique formats that require a specialised player will have very limited market penetration.

Do I need to list failed formats?
Sony Minidisc with serial copy protection
Microsoft Zune and protected WMA formats
Apple Itunes copy protected format

The Apple format had a reasonable market penetration because they were the first to market with a legal format, but had to drop the protection when other players entered the market at lower prices in more universally playable formats. Apple tried to market the unprotected verson at a higher price, but that was short lived too.

My questions are who is going to produce the compatible players that people will actually buy? Will the player play legacy formats that are not protected? This is important as a new player that won't play existing libraries won't sell much. Will the player import the legacy formats into a protected format? If so, this will cause a backup and archival issue. Will it be compatible with MOST in car infotainment systems?

Many cars have the ability to "Play" MP3's on a USB Thumb drive. How are you going to sell into this market?

Another incompatable format has a high barrier to market entry. Good luck.

Comment: Already regulated by free market forces (Score 3, Interesting) 70

by Technician (#47922407) Attached to: The Case For a Federal Robotics Commission

Adding a layer of overseers adds a layer of cost to a marketing decision. Areas with high levels of automation and effecient production include food processing such as making cheese, semiconductor manufacturing, automobile welding, painting, ammusement park rides, etc.

What can government oversight do besides drive up the cost for the remaining US manufactures? The decison to automate is a business decision.

Government regulation should only intrude in safety such a OSHA guidelines. Anything beyond that is wasted resources and a higher cost of doing business.

+ - Bing is adding street view->

Submitted by Technician
Technician (215283) writes "This story snuck by me. In August it was announced Bing is adding street view to it's maps. I became aware of it when I saw a car looking somewhat like a Google Streeet View car, but the camera package was cylindrical looking somewhat like R2D2 instead of the camera ball used by Google. This was spotted in Beaverton Oregon."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:What are the bounds of property? (Score 1) 166

by Technician (#47899463) Attached to: Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World

One that I enjoyed reading a out is the ariel tram in Portland OR. Residents were concerend with the gondolas flying overhead and peeking into their private back yards. Residents were assured the view is out and not down. One resident then put offencive material in his "private back yard", and there was a stir on his choice of back yard decor. He reminded the tram operators that passangers can not see into his private back yard. Its your problem as it is my private back yard.

Link Warning profanity

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson