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Input Devices

Is the Line-in Jack On the Verge of Extinction? 411

SlashD0tter writes "Many older sound cards were shipped with line-out, microphone-in, and a line-in jacks. For years I've used such a line-in jack on an old Windows 2000 dinosaur desktop that I bought in 2000 (600 Mhz PIII) to capture the stereo audio signal from an old Technics receiver. I've used this arrangement to recover the audio from a slew of old vinyl LPs and even a few cassettes using some simple audio manipulating software from a small shop in Australia. I've noticed only recently, unfortunately, that all of the four laptops I've bought since then have omitted a line-in jack, forcing me to continue keeping this old desktop on life support. I've looked around for USB sound cards that include a line-in jack, but I haven't been too impressed by the selection. Is the line-in jack doomed to extinction, possibly due to lobbying from vested interests, or are there better thinking-outside-the-box alternatives available?"

Comment Negative LOCs (Score 2, Insightful) 597

Some of my most "productive" days have resulted in a net deletion of many hundreds of lines of code. Mostly this is cleaning horrendous cut & paste jobs, and refactoring APIs to dump buggy, unnecessary functionality. That one day of effort probably saves weeks of bug-hunting and spaghetti-unwinding further down the road. It would appear to be negatively productive by any naive metric.

I'd argue coder pay should be proportional to productivity. It's just that there's no shortcuts to measuring a coder's productivity.

Comment Re:Anonymous Coward (Score 1) 102

Please mod the AC up. I was exposed to someone with a confirmed case of H1N1 and came down with symptoms. I everywhere I've called tells me they are only testing patients at a high risk for complications, because otherwise they'd be swamped with people coming in for tests. Supposedly this is the government guideline. So how is the CDC expecting to actually track this thing if the government isn't allowing people to be tested?


Electricity From Salty Water 301

BuzzSkyline writes "It's possible to produce energy by simply mixing fresh and salty water. Although chemists and physicists have long known about the untapped energy available where fresh water rivers pour into salty oceans — it's equivalent to 'each river in the world ending at its mouth in a waterfall 225 meters [739 feet] high' — the technology for exploiting the effect has been lacking. An Italian physicist seems to have solved the problem with the experimental demonstration of a 'salination cell' that creates power given nothing more than input sources of salty and fresh water. The researcher believes that this renewable, environmentally friendly energy source could be deployed in coastal areas and could provide another addition to the green-tech roster. A paper describing the technology is due to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review Letters."

Comment Re:There is a simple solution to this: (Score 1) 740

That is pretty much the way it works now. If you get hit by an uninsured motorist, your insurance picks up the tab. Then they go after the uninsured party. And if they are broke, or run, or lie about their identity, the insurance company is left holding the bag. They eat that expense as a cost of doing business. Which raises the rates for everyone who does pay. Which is why compulsory insurance is mandated by law.

Take a look at the line items on your insurance bill sometime. There's an "uninsured motorist coverage" item in there or something similar. The actual cost varies depending on the number of uninsured drivers in your state.

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 740

Great points. I'd mod you up if I wasn't the GGP :)

To the GP and others who are making a similar point: Believe me, I know the state of public transport in most US cities is terrible. But I don't see how that is a valid justification for breaking the law by driving an uninsured vehicle.

Comment Re:This is a Tax (Score 1) 740

Wow, trolled by a four digit ID. I wasn't expecting that.

If you hadn't botched your analogy, the statement would be "I don't care if a new accounting law disproportionately affects white business owners, if they are the ones disproportionately tanking the economy."

See the difference?

I'd support that law, too. But that wouldn't make a very good troll now, would it?

Comment Re:This is a Tax (Score 5, Insightful) 740

Screw uninsured motorists, IMO. If you can't afford compulsory insurance, you can't afford to drive, period. Take the bus. I don't care if this particular move disproportionately affects minorities, if they are the ones disproportionately breaking the law.

This is a good use for traffic cameras, much better than for catching red light running or speeding, because there's always room for subjective calls on what was safe under the particular circumstance of the infraction. If you are uninsured, that is just a fact and you should not be on the road in the first place. End of story.

I agree that this probably isn't much of a revenue stream, since if you can't afford insurance you probably can't afford the fine.

Comment Re:Out of line (Score 1) 461

Har har, very original. I've been visiting /. for a LONG time, and that feeble attempt at humor crossed a line. I'm not the super sensitive type, I just don't think it is appropriate to put that kind of content in the summary. If that joke had appeared in the comments, I wouldn't have found it particularly clever OR worth objecting to. I do think some of the jokes in this thread are actually pretty funny.

Keep the crass childish humor in the comments section where it belongs, samzenpus.


Submission + - Is a CS degree any good for an old guy?

mbuckingham writes: I'm 39 and have been programming for 20 years. By "programming", I'm talking about the usual business applications type of stuff. Easy stuff really. I went to college for a while, but never got my degree. It bugs me that I've never completed my degree, but since I've always had decent jobs, it hasn't really mattered too much. I'm really bored with what I do every day though. Anyway, I'm thinking about going back, getting the degree, because I think it will make it possible to move towards doing some more advanced system-level type stuff. Does this make sense? Would a CS degree or a Computer Engineering degree be better? I know I don't want a MIS degree, because that would be rehashing everything I'm already bored with.

Leveraging always beats prototyping.