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Comment: Lame. (Score 1) 121

by Volund (#38339132) Attached to: HP Reviving the $99 Touch Pad On December 11th
Ebay melted under the load.

I signed in right before the sale started, and clicked "buy it now" as soon as they dropped the price. This took me to a sign-in screen again, and as after signing in again, the next page timed out.

After about 20 minutes of hitting reload to try to get the payment page to load, the listing was removed. Then I moved on to the 32GB version; when I tried to buy it, it would give me a database error every time I tried to buy one. If I hit refresh on the listing, I could see the number go up on the purchase history, so other people were buying them, it just wouldn't let me.

Finally, after about 45 minutes, I managed to get through to the check out, and went all the way through the checkout process with Paypal, only to have it tell me the item was no longer available on the last screen, after I'd already confirmed everything.

Now it doesn't even do anything when I click "buy it now" or "ad to cart."

Lame.

Comment: Wow, for once I'm glad I live in the Midwest. (Score 1) 216

by Volund (#38263738) Attached to: For 1 kWh of electricity, I pay ...
Factoring in the fixed "customer charge," I pay about 8.4 cents per Kwh. Indiana FTW.

If I owned my house I'd do a PV installation, even though there is zero financial incentive for me to do so. I just think that if every building south of the Canadian border had solar panels on its roof, and more urban commuters drove EVs or hybrids, energy use would be a much smaller problem.

I rent the north side of a duplex, though, so the best I can plan for is a small portable array to help offset my energy usage.

Comment: Re:But how does it compare to a solid heatpipe? (Score 1) 132

by Volund (#37863384) Attached to: Cutting Open a Heatsink Heatpipe To See Inside
Ahh, I didn't realize that's what a heatpipe was. I always thought that kind of cooling was called "phase change" cooling. Thank you for for shedding light on the darkness of my ignorance. :) And d'oh to me for not thinking to consult the oracle before I posted that comment.

Comment: Don't trash it! (Score 1) 585

by Volund (#36173732) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: DOSBox, or DOS Box?
"Or can I now truck all this stuff down to recycling without a twinge of guilt?" Nonono. Ebay. Also, just because a game will run in Dosbox doesn't mean that it'll satisfy your nostalgia. I've recently learned that the music in Tyrian sounds like crap in Dosbox (and the music in OpenTyrian sounds like crap on a modern soundcard), nothing at all like it sounded on my Awe32. Ditto for Dune 2 and my PAS16.
Education

Best OSS CFD Package For High School Physics? 105

Posted by timothy
from the why-not-stop-at-algebra-I? dept.
RobHart writes "I am teaching a 'physics of flight' unit to grade 11 Physics students. Part of the unit will have the students running tests on several aerofoils in a wind tunnel. I also want to expose them to a Computational Fluid Dynamics package which will allow them to contrast experimental results with those produced by the CFD package. There are a number of open source CFDs available (Windows- or Linux-based are both fine), but I don't have much time to evaluate which are the simplest to use in terms of setting up the mesh, initial conditions, etc. — a very important issue as students do not have much time in this unit." Can anyone offer insight about ease of use for programs in this niche?
Real Time Strategy (Games)

+ - AIIDE 2010 StarCraft AI Competition 2

Submitted by bgweber
bgweber (1676858) writes "The 2010 conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE 2010) will be hosting a StarCraft AI competition as part of the conference program. This competition enables academic researchers to evaluate their AI systems in a robust, commercial RTS environment. The competition will be held in the weeks leading up to the conference. The final matches will be held live at the conference with commentary. Exhibition matches will also be held between skilled human players and the top performing bots.

Competition details are available at: http://users.soe.ucsc.edu/~bweber/starcraft.html"

Comment: Re:FU HP (Score 1) 231

by Volund (#30068498) Attached to: HP To Acquire 3com For $2.7 Billion

As a current HP bastard (who didn't post this, BTW), this pissed me off. We've endured pay cuts, benefit cuts, no raises, mass firings, hell, my local office can't even purchase paper plates & disposable spoons, and somehow there's enough money to purchase another company.

Obviously you don't work in sales. When I left because I hadn't gotten a raise in four years and they were slashing my tuition benefits, they were offering used JAGUARS from the sales fleet on the portal.

I wish you the best of luck in finding greener pastures.

Comment: Patterns. (Score 1) 1007

by Volund (#30054944) Attached to: Best Tool For Remembering Passwords?
Come up with a system that somehow deterministically transmutates the name of the site or item you're making a password for into something else. For example, a password for Key Bank might be "K3y_b@nk-banking_site" or something like that. Bingo: strong password that's unique to that site, and easy to remember as long as you're consistent. Just don't tell anyone your pattern.

Of course, consistency is difficult when some sites don't allow passwords longer than eight characters, some don't allow special characters, and so on.

Comment: Re:Protectionism (Score 1) 229

by Volund (#30040904) Attached to: The Big Questions
Interesting article. More of an editorial than a review, but it was thought-provoking, even if it does seem like it's wasted on the book that the editorial is about. However, that is not what I'm commenting about....

"The seller now has to sell their own cameras for $60 to stay competitive, so they are worse off by at most $20 -- however, if they voluntarily switch to some other business, then they'll be better off than they were when they were selling cameras for $60, and therefore worse off by some amount less than $20 from their original position."

This line made me want to argue with the internet. In addition to all the humanist and environmental considerations brought into play elsewhere in the comments, I think this argument is simply an oversimplification. The problem with cramming complex issues into nice little premise-sized chunks is that they don't always fit. This statement assumes that the American company is -capable- of selling cameras for $60 or switching to some other business, and completely ignores whatever damage might be done to the system by the American company going out of business (now the employees of the American company have $0 to spend on anything). I'm not saying I believe in protectionism, just highlighting what I perceive to be the flaw in the argument.

It's been years since I took a logic class and I almost thought about getting this book to refresh myself, but I think I'm going to pass on it. I think I would pop too many blood vessels upon reading it. You can't answer questions or solve problems with logic -- it is a filter to ensure that solutions are correct, not a solution itself.
Google

Startup Claims Google Copied Web-Annotation Product 167

Posted by timothy
from the evil-or-coincidence dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Web annotation startup ReframeIt claim Google copied their web annotation product when releasing Google Sidewiki. At first glance, the products do look quite similar, and this eWeek article has some interesting evidence, including suspicious user registrations by Google employees and an attempt by Google to hire off ReframeIt's lead engineer."

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.

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