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Comment: Re:Accepting a story from Florian Meuller? (Score 1) 108

They are committed when it impacts large contracts.

Seen stuff in the news lately regarding the push for open document standards on the web? Governments are now specifying published government documents can not be propriety formatted. This forced Microsoft to support open formats or lose large contracts because Microsoft Office is not meeting specifications of the document requirements.

Compatibility with internet standards has forced open standards onto Microsoft for a long time from TCP/IP over NetBios, to NTP, Remember when Microsoft had Windows for Workgroups? The Internet put them at risk of a end run past them. They had to adapt or die.

There are numerous other examples where Microsoft does not own the standard in use where their solution was forced to the back to die.

Comment: Re:Free advertising (Score 2) 212

by Technician (#49468307) Attached to: Legislation Would Force Radio Stations To Pay Royalties

I think the radio stations should start charging labels for airplay advertising to recoup the increased cost of program material. Advertising is already starving radio stations as media is moving online. About the only ones listening to over the air radio anymore is commuters trying to wake up and catch the traffic report. Now that Google Maps has added the real time traffic overlay on maps, even that is going away as people use a cell GPS to avoid traffic gridlock.

How many homes no longer have a home stereo system with a radio turner? It's video at home or online streaming to cut the 10 song loop may stations play. Dilute that with an over stuffed advertising bundle and you see the problem. Even on weekends, many radio stations pretty much shut down operations and play infomercials to kill time normal advertisers wont support enough to keep the lights on.

If you are a radio station, your prime time audience is only from 6-9 AM and 3-6PM. Everything else is repeat programming.

Comment: Re:Ergo! (Score 1) 452

by Technician (#49279467) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?

In addition to the click, the key then requires less force to bottom out providing positive tactile reinforcement the key hit home.

The biggest issue on rubber keys is not punding them hard enough so I have missing letters on a regular basis. For example the line I just typed. I am not going to edit it for the missing letter as I am typing on my laptop. The remainder of the red lines I did correct so one error is not a typical keyboard induced typo. In reality it is much more. Re-typing requires extra time, mental process, and distracts from work, so a good keyboard does improve productivity and accuracy.

My Keyboard of choice is the IBM Model M hands down. For ergonomics, the tactile feedback is perfect with less proofreading required. The dish shape over a flat keyboard is a huge ergo win and preferred above split keyboards. Did I mention I hate flat keyboards? The key caps are dished and reduced in size so centering your fingers on the keys is natural, unlike square flat keys created by some artsy creative designer. Laptops often favor the square keys as there is less room for dirt and crumbs to fall between the keys. Unfortunately, for a touch typist, getting off center and pressing double keys is a common problem.

Look for a keyboard that you can feel it has made the stroke by feel and the screen really shows the output. Some rubber keyboards do buckle and appear to have bottomed, but still fail to register a key press. Look for one with dimples in the keys so the fingers naturally settle into the centers. and last find one that is NOT FLAT, but curved so you don't have to reach for numbers etc.

Avoid keyboards with extra keys resulting in a small return key. Hitting extra keys that are where you normally have the return key is bad. Having an extra long reach to hit is is an ergonomic issue.

Did I plug the IBM Model M? One without the Windows key is Ideal if you can find one.

Comment: Re: Yeah.... (Score 1) 106

Forget the lot. Look at the cars. An empty lot at dinner time is a sign a table is waiting, but you don't want it. A full lot and a line at the door is a sign of a happening place, but expect a wait. Best to try a late afternoon brunch instead. Go where the locals go. Many bring their car. Judging the lot by the lot itself is like judging a book by it's cover. Content is more important.

Comment: Re:Media streamer? (Score 1) 60

Info can be found on Falcon Christmas regarding the Falcon Pi Player.

Workflow is not bad. Use Vixen to create a sequence in time to a song. Normally this is the end as you can play the sequence and music and output to the lights and FM transmitter. This has two issues. Nobody wants to leave the laptop outside to run the show, or run very long cables from the show computer to the display. Besides it ties up the laptop.

Once you have a sequence saved, it can be imported to Xlights/Nutcracker. You can add Nutcracker effects if desired. It has some neat effects for a mega tree pixel matrix. The sequence is then exported in a format compatible with Falcon Pi Player.

Falcon Pi Player has a web interface. Link with Ethernet using wire or wired. Who cares? Either works. Upload the music and sequences to the player. Set the clock or let it use NTP on the web. Either works. Raspberry Pi does not come with a real time clock, so clock setting is required to schedule shows. Schedule your shows (playlists) and the Falcon Pi Player will run the entire show on schedule. Output to control the lights can use any of several compatible interfaces including a DMX Dongle such as an Open DMX USB, or equivilant, or for larger shows spanning many universes of DMX and driving LED Pixels, one of the SansDevices E1.31 interfaces or the DIYLEDExpress E1.31 bridge work great. SanDevices are compatible with more varieties of LED pixes and DMX. Input is Artnet or E1.31. DIYLED Express outputs only two popular LED formats and DMX and only does E1.31 input. I use the DIYLEDExpress bridge to drive a mix of LED's using WS2811 chips (very popular) and DMX devices. Falcon Pi Player does not do Artnet, so Artnet on the SanDevices items are only useful if you want to use FreeStyler and output Artnet. Freestyler does not output E1.31 yet, so that software package is incompatible with the DMX Bridge from DIYLEDExpress.

Hope this helps.

Comment: Re:Yeah.... (Score 1) 106

I found the Google results often cherry pick. When looking for a Chinese restaurant for example, Google will show one, but on the way to it I pass 5 others. Correction, I passed 5 and took the sixth instead of making it to the one listed in Google. I sometimes do a search to find a cluster of restaurants and then do a sidewalk and parking lot search. Local knowledge is often better than placed ratings as they are often gamed. A good parking lot is a good indication. Good locations with a good local following are often not even interested in online reviews and map placement to prevent overcrowding. How many online reviews suffer from poor customer service, long lines, long wait times, etc. Find places not on Google maps.

Comment: Re:Media streamer? (Score 1) 60

by Technician (#49133245) Attached to: Intel Updates NUC Mini PC Line With Broadwell-U, Tested and Benchmarked

When you look at developers, the lower price points for the Pi has produced some excellent applications. After seeing the Pi put to use to run an entire animated Christmas Light Show, I bought a Pi B+.

Sometimes your purchase decisions are based on finding the application you want to run and then buying the hardware that will run it.

If you are into synchronized Christmas light displays on a budget, you can't beat a mix of Vixen, X Lights/Nutcracker for content creation and loaded on a Raspberry for scheduling and playback.

My setup is using addressable LED pixel strings, Falcon Pi Player on a Raspberry, connected to a DYILEDExpress DMX Bridge using e1.31 protocol. The entire control hardware is under $150 in hardware. Only major expense is buying LED lights which scales with your display size.

For more info view the link below for technical details on the show that has me planning next year's show.
View an excellent example of a Pi running a Christmas show. http://johnsonlightshow.com/

Comment: Re:FFS (Score 1) 398

I wonder where other common items in the diet would fall.

How does table salt compare against booze ounce for ounce?

Big deal, you can eat an entire plant and live. This does not mean I'm going to not have any salt, as it is essential to life. Moderation is essential with most everything consumed. in large amounts, drinking water is deadly.

By no means am I suggesting you should not ever drink any water or anything containing water as ingredient. Same for alcohol. Limit intake to safe levels.

Comment: Re:what do they have to offer (Score 1) 166

by Technician (#49063741) Attached to: Cubans Allowed To Export Software and Software Services To the US

Do they have schools to train programmers?

Serious question, with severely limited internet, is there any good programmers in Cuba? Are they up on training in security, encryption, VPN's, large enterprise anything such as server clusters, managed switches, VOIP, etc.

With limited communication and access, I presume the opportunities are limited to hone skills.

Comment: Re:More proof (Score 1) 196

by Technician (#49041093) Attached to: Music Doesn't Feature In the Pirate Bay's Top 100 Biggest Torrents

Most sound systems sound like a speaker in a box. Most music is compressed for it.

Have you ever been to a convention and walked past a room with a Grand piano being played live?
Ever been fooled because it was a recording instead?

Most recordings played on consumer electronics are nowhere close to reproducing a close replica of the original sound.

I was at the CES show in Orlando quite a few years ago. I did go into a room because I heard a grand piano. There was a grand piano in the room, but it was not being played. One of the few times a reproduction of piano music has fooled me.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky