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Comment: idle time (Score 1) 533

by Tomahawk (#46001383) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?

Most OSes have some code that runs when other processes aren't running to measure the idle time. Certainly in Windows, this is a process in it's own right.
If the CPU is only 1% utilised, then the idle time process is consuming most of the remaining 99% (with the kernel using a bit of that).

So, I would hazard a guess that it's something in this.

(Or, for Windows, the code that swaps pages out to disk.)

Comment: xy chromosomes (Score 1) 772

by Tomahawk (#44511431) Attached to: Should the Next 'Doctor Who' Be a Woman?

My take is that the DNA of The Doctor is male. Regeneration will recreate his body when damaged, but should obey the programming within his DNA. It shouldn't go changing chromosomes around.

There may be a lot of bending the rules of various fields of science, but the core basic stuff should remain in order for the sci-fi element to even begin to feel plausible. When writers mess around with the basics, I certainly turn off. I hate watching sci-fi and thinking "hey, you can't do that -- that just wouldn't work!!". For me, changing the gender of The Doctor is that thing which just wouldn't work.

Comment: Re:Use a programmable keyboard (Score 1) 165

by Tomahawk (#42922353) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Keyboard Layout To Reduce Right Pinky/Ring Finger Usage?

I concur. I've used a Kinesis Ergo keyboard for many years. With a normal keyboard I used to find that I'd get pains in my little finger, especially on the right hand. Shortly after starting to use the Kinesis, those pains vanished.

The main keys that are normally pressed by the little finger (control, alt, backspace, enter, home, end, windows) are switched to the middle of the keyboard and used by the thumbs. Takes a little getting used to, but before long you'll be using those keys without thinking.
Shift is still in the usual spot for the little finger, however mine also came with a foot pedal that could be used for shift (or anything else, as it was also programmable). (I never used the foot pedal)

The only caveat is that they are expensive.

Comment: Re:Lets just abolish speed limits everywhere alrea (Score 1) 992

by Tomahawk (#41264947) Attached to: Texas Opens Fastest US Highway With 85 MPH Limit

It depends on the road and the location.

Have a motorway/freeway without a speed limit (like the German Autobahns) can make sense. But having a road with no speed limit through a housing estate where lots of kids live would be a recipe for disaster. People already drive too fast on such roads, and debatably the speed limit on these roads is too high (50km/h here, which is ~31mph).

Again, though, some roads here have stupid speed limits:

So, yes, given a good quality straight wide road with wide lanes, a speed limit shouldn't be required. Other roads should have a speed limit appropriate to the road, the width, surface, location, etc.

Comment: In metric (for the rest of the world) (Score 3, Informative) 992

by Tomahawk (#41261613) Attached to: Texas Opens Fastest US Highway With 85 MPH Limit

For those of us who don't know mph, here's some conversions to km/h: (etc)

100mph =~ 160.934km/h (by definition)
95mph =~ 152.9
90mph =~ 144.8km/h
85mph = ~136.8km/h (motorways in Italy, among other countries, have speed limits of 130km/h)
80mph =~ 128.7km/h
75mph =~ 128.7km/h
74.5mph =~ 120km/h (this is the motorway speed limit in Ireland)
70mph =~ 112.65 km/h (this is the motorway speed limit in the UK)

Comment: Re:Stick With What Works (Score 1) 364

by Tomahawk (#40885057) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Take Notes In the Modern Classroom?

Agreed. Most lecturers make their notes available, so print out a copy and takes not on this. Pencil/pen on paper is still the best - easier to highlight points, scribble in the margins, etc. Technology is good, but not as good as the old-school methods. (Plus your pencil and paper won't run out of battery power)

I did a Masters last year and i wouldn't have been able to take as many notes on a keyboard or tablet. Plus a pencil is more accurate than a stylus, and much higher resolution than even a Retina display (due to it's pretty analogue nature)

Good luck with the studies.

Comment: Re:How is Android less intrusive? (Score 1) 478

by Tomahawk (#38134264) Attached to: Are There Any Smartphones That Respect Privacy?

Google don't sell your data to the advertisers. Of the advertisers we want to target a group, google's algorithms will decide, based on your data, if you are part of that group. No human looks at the data, just the cloud computers.

The sheer number of people using Google products ensure individual privacy, as there is just far too much days there to talk through.

Comment: just turn off synchronisation (Score 2) 478

by Tomahawk (#38134220) Attached to: Are There Any Smartphones That Respect Privacy?

When you first login to the Android phone, you have the option to turn off sync for any services you don't want to sync with the cloud. You might leave on mail, but disable contacts, calender and gallery. This way, none of that data will be sent to Google, our pulled down from Google.

Also, remember that a LOT of people use Google - 200m Android , 550k new daily - so unless there is a very specific need for Google to look at your data, they won't. You can assume that to a fairly high degree your secrets will be safe.

Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman