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Comment My running electronics. (Score 2) 169

First off, you need to protect your electronics from perspiration. Both my wife and I have destroyed MP3 players and I have destroyed a cell phone due to perspiration. I put mine in ziploc bags or use those plastic bubbles used for shipping things.

Best option for marathons is one of the dedicated GPS watches. I have a Garmin Forerunner 405 and it was capable of lasting through a marathon (5+ hours for me.) At present I use a running app on my Nexus 5x and use it with a Moto 360. The advantage of that is:
- choice of running/activity apps.
- watch eliminates need to pull phone out to start/stop/pause
- watch has configurable screens for whatever stats I want to see.

Downside -
  - Moto 360 battery won't last through a marathon. (Maybe with the right app...)
  - Requires the phone - but a newer Moto watch has a built in GPS. Might still need the phone for the HRM though.

At the end of the race when I'm hot and sweaty it can be really difficult to stop the run on either watch or phone. Touch screens don't react well to sweat tracks.

Comment Re:Article is FUD (Score 1) 144

... only if you are running an outdated firmware (like Kit kat). ... update to Jelly Bean on this device ...

You apparently did not know that Android versions are named in alphabetical order. Jelly Bean (4.1) predates Kitkat (4.4) You cannot "upgrade" to Jelly Bean from Kitkat.

Apologies if your post was sarcasm. I interpreted it as ignorance.

Comment Re:Why wireless charging? (Score 1) 208

Personal preference, I guess. I really like being able to set my phone in a dock and it charges. And I do not need a proprietary dock. Same for automotive use. I just stick it to the dock and it's charging.

Yes, one more piece to have but for me so much more convenient. I guess it's a matter of personal choice.

My current phone is a Nexus 5 that developed a cracked screen over the weekend. I was ready to pull the trigger on the Nexus 5x but I'm having second thoughts. Maybe a Nexus 6 which does support wireless charging.

Comment Re:It's a good study in human nature (Score 1) 435

Why do I have to do anything? I don't do anything to use IPV4. I just plug stuff in and it works.

That's not strictly true I suppose. I did have to configure an SSID and password on my WiFi router. And I do need to select the AP and type the password for my devices. That's about it. I reserve an IP address for my home built NAS and a few other items but a lot of folks don't even do that.

Why can't IPV6 be that easy?

I recall trying to enable it in my PC and router a couple years ago. Nothing worked and that was the end of my experimentation with IPV6.

I guess I should look into it again.

Comment Re:What's old is new again. (Score 1) 320

As for the A-29, pilots loved the A-10, which was essentially a flying tank. It had an armoured cockpit and was the first aircraft engineered to be shot at and keep fighting. What's not to love?

From Wikipedia (A-10 Thunderbolt) "The aircraft is designed to fly with one engine, one tail, one elevator, and half of one wing missing" What's not to love indeed!

I suppose the real problem is cost or more accurately profit for the defense contractors. Whereas the A-10 seems to be about $12 million each the F-35 is coming in at over $200 million each.

I'm not a warrior or aircraft designer but it seems to be well known that something designed to perform various different functions usually does none of them well. Too many criteria conflict and require compromise.

Comment Re:The first fuse I pull (Score 1) 451

Stick shift and automatic are entirely different beasts. (I'll ignore DSG transmissions for the moment and stick with automatics that use planetary gears.)

In a manual transmission, gears slide on splined shafts and engage or disengage to change ratios. The movement from one ratio to the next requires a friction device called a synchronizer to match gear speeds or the parts clash. That's why you have to take your foot off the throttle.

On an automatic transmission with planetary gears, the gears do not change position. Ratios can be changed by holding or releasing parts of the gear set with hydraulically operated clutch packs or bands. Since gears are not engaging or disengaging, the shift can happen much faster with one clutch/band being released as the next one is grabbing.

In older transmissions this was done via hydraulic controls called a valve body that included a governor. The throttle cable connected to the valve body so that the shift points could be altered when throttle position changed.

Comment Re:Not Very Hard (Score 1) 285

The nastiest bugs are almost always race conditions, which are by their nature non-deterministic and may not be reproducible across time or certain hardware.

That is certainly the problem with one of the toughest bugs I faced. It boiled down to a flag and value being set in a main thread to pass information to code running in an interrupt routine. The only thing that revealed it was exhaustive testing. Once in thousands of tests it would screw up. I studied the symptoms and postulated that the only way this could happen is if the ISR operated based on the flag setting but the value it needed hadn't been set. I examined the code and found that the flag was being set and the value assigned in the next statement. (Doh!) The only time the bug bit was if the ISR fired between the two assignments. Reversing the assignments solved the problem.

Comment What's the chance... (Score 1) 285

Mine wasn't particularly hard but was particularly funny. I was working on "blocking" for a guided vehicle system. Vehicles followed a guidepath buried in the floor which was broken into segments. It was (mostly) sufficient to make sure that no vehicle was in a segment before another vehicle was allowed to enter it. While developing this code a developer on another project ran into a problem where a small circle in the guidepath could be filled with vehicles which would then deadlock because none had an empty segment in front of them.

I realized my project had a similar configuration, a system with 5 vehicles and a circle with 5 segments. I thought "what is the possibility that all five vehicles will be in the circle at the same time" and did nothing about it. Within 15 minutes of getting all five vehicles working on site they were all sitting deadlocked in the circle. I manually moved one out of the circle to break the deadlock and they soon wound up back in the circle. It was comical, like they were drawn to that area so they could deadlock and take a break.

What I hadn't realized was that the vehicles had to traverse some part of the circle to go between to any two destinations on the guide path. I remind myself of this any time I'm tempted to ignore a problem just because I think it unlikely to happen.

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne