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Comment: Right of Way, outdoor enclosures? (Score 1) 338

by awfar (#46064363) Attached to: Google Fiber Launches In Provo — and Here's What It Feels Like

Can anyone comment on the type of enclosures they are using in the public right of ways, from an aesthetic point of view? Are they large? I recall that other communities have been up in arms about their size and placement. If you are the unlucky one where they plop it down right in front of your house is there any recourse?

Comment: Re:Dumbed down musums (Score 1) 53

by awfar (#41503477) Attached to: Computer History Museum Gets the Attention It Deserves

Agreed about the radio, electronics display; on my last trip to the Henry Ford, I was sorely disappointed it was largely gone. I prefer museums that are mostly conservationists, vs. the educational focus; they apparently pay the bills by turning the museum into a field trip destination for schoolchildren. Compared to many, many years ago at the Henry Ford where they had much of their vast collection on display, from steam tractors, dynamos the size of a house, old vacuum cleaners, to electron tubes, much of that have either been sold off or returned to storage apparently to make more room for this education component. It was so frustrating I wrote Henry Ford museum to that effect, and it is simply not worth going back except for the rare must-see thing*. There are already plenty of places to gain an overview about the topics (libraries, classrooms, books, magazines), but not enough places you can actually immerse yourself in the myriad of the actual, detailed, technology of an age, like you could there. *The autos and transportation is still outstanding!

Comment: Re:So how do they know if they actually wrote it (Score 1) 148

by awfar (#38968147) Attached to: New Technique Promises Much Faster Hard Drive Write Speeds

As I understand, if you can accurately write such a smaller magnetic domain with a laser vs. the relatively large area under a write head, you obviously increase the data density. And since higher and more focused energy to flip the domains can now be applied, lessening the problem of flipping their neighbors, this probably means smaller particle and higher coercivity media can be used or developed. This also implies that the tracks get smaller and reduces or eliminates guard areas and tracks. All of which increases the data density. And as a bonus the data rate on read back would also be much faster, even without increasing rotational speed, since the data density has been increased.

Comment: First time northern lights viewer here.... (Score 2) 80

by awfar (#37830498) Attached to: Epic Geomagnetic Storm Erupts

I live in a rural area with little light pollution and where I can clearly see the milky way - and it was quite a sight. All I'll say is that when you see it the first time, unprepared as I was, it can be disconcerting and even alarming. You know something powerfully primitive is occurring, not normal; I imagine like an animal responding to a forest fire.

Comment: Re:This is scientifically impossible (Score 1) 479

by awfar (#37627918) Attached to: Does Italian Demo Show Cold Fusion, or Snake Oil?

Because copper has more protons than Nickel; I understand that the electrical repulsion begins to increase while the nuclear force begins to decrease. Is this why the E-Cat device has lead shielding, but no long term radioactivity, because it is an alpha emitter?

I for one look forward to my hard-drawn, ultra-pure copper, steam-driven Porsche. And blowing up helium balloons in my spare time.

Comment: Re:refillable ink reservoirs (Score 1) 310

by awfar (#36238192) Attached to: My current printer has printed ...

The issue has never been engineering; it is that printers are corporate cash cows. Check EBay for an Epson refillable ink systems w/auto reset. They -do-display the ink amounts and reset themselves when pulled (though I never really payed attention to their accuracy). Quite nice system, using bulk ink, easy to fill. Ink does need refilling fairly quick, but I would prefer that to dried, clogging ink; and there are systems with large reservoirs for larger print jobs. I have had two kids printing on a new/refurbished $39 Epson CX7400 printer/scanner combo. It has never plugged(!); though it needed head cleaning operation when it was paused for a couple of months. Total equipment costs a year or so ago (including ink system) - roughly $65 dollars, and still going very strong today with great print.

Comment: Overloaded, overweight vehicles (Score 1) 932

by awfar (#36039506) Attached to: Draft Proposal Would Create Agency To Tax Cars By the Mile

There is sooo many issues with overweight vehicles that there are no single way to ascertain their costs and contribution to the problem; a tax on static weight won't work. And we have to massively over-engineer bridges and roadbeds based upon the possibility. And, even if enforced, the penalties do not dissuade. Google coal trucks overweight vehicles damage for more.

Comment: Re:problem is, Unity is a disaster (Score 1) 511

by awfar (#35976152) Attached to: Is Canonical the Next Apple?

Unity sounds like Gnome 3.0. I am anticipating a move away from Fedora 15 simply because of it. I understand that 3.0 appears to not be a successor to 2.0, but is a different thing all together. Or that it is like maybe like an android or a tablet GUI instead of a traditional desktop metaphor, even gimmicky. What I have seen using a dev Live version I have to agree. There is a hard-core that vociferously and argumentatively claims it *the* way forward, or, basically, hit the road. They claim that there is a fallback but then say it can only be temporary as Gnome 2.x will not be further developed. But I will wait until the final version + 1 week acclimation + listen to all the screaming before final judgment.
* I may choose XFCE or similar on Fedora instead.
Be sure to look at the Fedora test and user lists.

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 85

by awfar (#35959660) Attached to: DirecTV Plans Netflix Competitor

Exactly. And streaming is wide open for abuse from adding commercials, pop-ups, and junk on the bottom. While admittedly a bit paranoid*, it creeps me out when DirecTv collects viewing stats from my receiver, which is why I now keep it disconnected from the telecom and net. This surely prevents using Directv streaming. At least Netflix doesn't use viewing statistics to target me commercially. Yet.
*If their data collection was used to provide us a better viewing experience, I would participate. But if it was being used that way, they would have already marginalized the scads of ridiculous ad channels that I already don't watch, automatically. Kicking them to the curb. But all they seem to do is add more as revenue streams. i.e., they aren't doing me any favors.

Comment: Re:Well with the stupid rules in place (Score 1) 341

by awfar (#35668288) Attached to: California Healthcare Provider Wants Illness-Predicting Algorithm

Yes, and I could build Ferraris by hand, every day, buying parts from disparate and disinterested vendors and justify the entire accounting at the end of the day.

The fact is everything you mention is done every day, continuously, en-masse mostly without deviation from procedure.

From food service to laboratory their workloads are often like a factory. Unlike a factory, they never reach those efficiencies* by their design.

  *except when it affects *their* bottom-line.

Role Playing (Games)

Why BioWare's Star Wars MMO May Already Be Too Late 328

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-find-your-lack-of-faith-disturbing dept.
Since the announcement of Star Wars: The Old Republic, many gamers have been hopeful that its high budget, respected development team and rich universe will be enough to provide a real challenge to the WoW juggernaut. An opinion piece at 1Up makes the case that BioWare's opportunity to do so may have already passed. Quoting: "While EA and BioWare Austin have the horsepower needed to at least draw even with World of Warcraft though, what we've seen so far has been worryingly conventional — even generic — given the millions being poured into development. Take the opening areas around Tython, which Mike Nelson describes in his most recent preview as being 'rudimentary,' owing to their somewhat generic, grind-driven quest design. Running around killing a set number of 'Flesh Raiders' in a relatively quiet village doesn't seem particularly epic, but that's the route BioWare Austin seems to be taking with the opening areas for the Jedi — what will surely be the most popular classes when The Old Republic is released. ... the real concern, though, is not so much in the quest design as in BioWare Austin's apparent willingness to play follow the leader. Whenever something becomes a big hit — be it a movie, game or book — there's always a mad scramble to replicate the formula; in World of Warcraft's case, that mad scramble has been going for six years now. "
Image

German Kindergartens Ordered To Pay Copyright For Songs 291

Posted by samzenpus
from the easy-as-taking-music-from-a-baby dept.
BBird writes "Deutsche Welle reports: 'Up until this year, preschools could teach and produce any kind of song they wanted. But now they have to pay for a license if they want children to sing certain songs. A tightening of copyright rules means kindergartens now have to pay fees to Germany's music licensing agency, GEMA, to use songs that they reproduce and perform. The organization has begun notifying creches and other daycare facilities that if they reproduce music to be sung or performed, they must pay for a license.'"
Earth

One Giant Cargo Ship Pollutes As Much As 50M Cars 595

Posted by kdawson
from the stink-pots dept.
thecarchik writes "One giant container ship pollutes the air as much as 50 million cars. Which means that just 15 of the huge ships emit as much as today's entire global 'car park' of roughly 750 million vehicles. Among the bad stuff: sulfur, soot, and other particulate matter that embeds itself in human lungs to cause a variety of cardiopulmonary illnesses. Since the mid-1970s, developed countries have imposed increasingly stringent regulations on auto emissions. In three decades, precise electronic engine controls, new high-pressure injectors, and sophisticated catalytic converters have cut emissions of nitrous oxides, carbon dioxides, and hydrocarbons by more than 98 percent. New regulations will further reduce these already minute limits. But ships today are where cars were in 1965: utterly uncontrolled, free to emit whatever they like." According to Wikipedia, 57 giant container ships (rated from 9,200 to 15,200 twenty-foot equivalent units) are plying the world's oceans.

"It's curtains for you, Mighty Mouse! This gun is so futuristic that even *I* don't know how it works!" -- from Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse

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