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Comment: Re:Lawsuit incoming? (Score 1) 90

by bitingduck (#49661819) Attached to: How To Set Up a Pirate EBook Store In Google Play Books

Amazon does a decent job of both flagging things and responding appropriately. I've got a small ebook publishing company and we've occasionally picked up the rights to books that were either published by another publisher first, or self published and we help the author do a major edit and better cover and republish. Usually amazon asks us to confirm that we really have the rights to publish something, generally just by declaration, but in at least one case they asked us for a scan of the contract (which was easy enough to supply). They also do a lot of searching in the background and will flag a book if it's got a lot of links in it (this has happened when we had detailed references in books) and if it looks like it's got similar content to someone's blog. Google doesn't seem to do any of that, despite having fairly complete copies of the interwebs back pretty far.

Comment: Re:KOLD = Karbonator (Score 1) 369

by bitingduck (#49646477) Attached to: Keurig Stock Drops, Says It Was Wrong About DRM Coffee Pods

Sodastream is comparable in price to soda water on sale at the grocery, maybe even more expensive.

I drink a lot of soda water, so I got a corny keg, a 5 lb CO2 cylinder, and a soda gun. A good premix gun is hard to find and the most expensive part, but you can use a post-mix gun, too. It's a few hundred $$ up front, but operating costs are a) water from the filtered tap and b) $10 every 6-7 months for a CO2 refill c) $20 every 5 years to get the cylinder proof tested. You can save on the cylinder by getting swappable steel ones from the gas supplier, but they don't look as nice. I go through 5 gallons of soda water every couple weeks and never have to deal with plastic bottles anymore.

Comment: Re:I'd like to see the environmental nightmare die (Score 1) 369

by bitingduck (#49646401) Attached to: Keurig Stock Drops, Says It Was Wrong About DRM Coffee Pods

Get an Aeropress. It's like a giant syringe with a filter on the end, and squeegees itself clean as you make the coffee. You throw away the grounds and a small piece of filter paper, then rinse the end lightly and you're done. I bring one and a hand grinder when I travel for work and use the hotel coffeemaker to heat the water.

Comment: Re:My Grandpa would count (he's been dead since 20 (Score 1) 553

by bitingduck (#49614121) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

Yeah, my dad would count, too. We had tons of punchcards at home when I was a kid, and he at one point mentioned programming by setting a bunch of toggle switches and then pushing the spring loaded toggle at the end to push the byte into memory. I'm at the very leading edge of Gen X and have been using computers pretty much all my life (not as my main thing post school though), and manage to be reasonably current for something that's mostly peripheral to my work. If I had to, I could go to the beach and make a computer from scratch and then program it, though it might take a while.

Now I wish those kids would get offa my lawn! (throws handful of 4004s at them)

Comment: Re:More religious whackjobs (Score 1) 286

only the ali'i and kahuna were allowed on the Mauna, not commoners like them

When Isabella Bird wanted to go to the summit of Mauna Loa in the 1870s, the only major issue was that there were no warm clothes on the island of Hawaii because nobody went to the summit. They rounded up some warm clothes for her (scoured the islands for them) and she did a solo camping trip.

Comment: Re:robotic does get support (Score 1) 179

by bitingduck (#49603633) Attached to: NASA Gets Its Marching Orders: Look Up! Look Out!

But then, there wasn't much interest in Astronauts driving around the moon, because it interrupted soap operas and game shows on TV.

Shuttle stopped making the news a long time ago except when it was threatened with shutdown, hubble was threatened with shutdown, or one crashed. People have been in LEO fairly regularly for a long time now.

Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 1) 628

by bitingduck (#49600937) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

The problem with that is *something* is *always* offensive to someone. No matter what.

If I pick a male face it's offensive because I underrepresent women. If I pick a black face it's offensive because I'm a racist. If I pick an Asian female I'm sexualizing. If I pick a cute animal I'm promoting abuse. And so on and so forth.


Use the six face panel that the onion uses for the person on the street interviews. It's diverse and everybody will recognize the source and get a chuckle. You probably have to get permission though.

Comment: Re:She has a point. (Score 2) 628

by bitingduck (#49600911) Attached to: My High School CS Homework Is the Centerfold

You must have conniption fits when you go to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Or the Los Angeles County Art Museum's Egyptian section.

Those are not for children, and they don't require mandatory attendance.

We had field trips to the Detroit Institute of Arts nearly every year throughout elementary school after 4th grade or so, and occasionally later in school, and yes, we did see the racy stuff from the 16th-18th centuries. The trips weren't manadatory, but I don't recall anybody getting opted out by their parents. But in the 70's you could dress your kid as a 50lb bag of weed for halloween and send them to their 3rd grade class and people would say "how cute!" rather than sending them to prison as an adult and confiscating your home.

Comment: Re:'Hidden city' explanation (Score 1) 126

by bitingduck (#49600801) Attached to: Judge Tosses United Airlines Lawsuit Over 'Hidden City' Tickets

You can't have your luggage deliberately fly on a plane without you. It's common for luggage to get on an earlier or later flight when there's weather, delayed planes, or baggage issues, but they'll pull your bags if you check in and check your luggage and then don't fly.

Comment: Re:Can't wait to get this installed in my house (Score 1) 514

by bitingduck (#49594927) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

A battery is a simpler design, requires no maintenance, and it's able to alert you when its capacity drops to a level that's likely to cause you problems if you ever need to use it. That additional functionality makes the battery superior to the point there's good reason to choose it over a gasoline engine even if it supposedly costs more dollars.

I went through exactly this trade in putting together a UPS for my mom when she was on oxygen. She was in a city with occasional severe weather that could lead to blackouts and needed her O2 generator to function so she could move around at all. A friend of hers was at the home depot and saw generators on sale and called her, pushing her to get one. She had him call me, and I had to explain that there was no way it would be useful-- it would have to be stored in the house (out of the weather), maintained, and then if there was a power outage would have to be moved out and started up, probably in the dark with bad weather, by a 68 year old dependent on a high flow of oxygen. After that I put together a 1 kWh battery backup system with a Tripplite inverter/charger and some scooter batteries that her O2 machine ran off and would give her enough time to sleep through most of a power outage without knowing it, and then get to the LOX supply and switch to that. Almost no maintenance and no active operation required for the user. It cost more than a cheap generator, but it met the use case and worked.

Comment: Re: Gamechanger (Score 1) 514

by bitingduck (#49594531) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

It depends on where you live. In SoCal people use the AC for the heat-- it's often ~100+F and 10% RH in the hot months. People sit around in my neighborhood and report the line voltage over email until it goes out completely. I don't have AC - a couple oak trees over the house take care of that about 99.9% of the time, but neighbors without trees run their AC pretty hard.

Comment: Re:Not Holograms (Score 1) 99

by bitingduck (#49589783) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows Holographic Platform

LFD might be slightly better at this but holography is the ultimate solution here.

Holography is much further off than practical LFD, which is further off than stereogram goggles. Realtime holographic imaging with useful performance has only become practical recently, and still only in limited applications. Realtime true holographic display is a whole different animal.

Comment: Re:Not Holograms (Score 1) 99

by bitingduck (#49588255) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows Holographic Platform

There are numerous 3D depth perception cues, among which are stereo-vision,

stereo vision is constructed in your brain from the two slightly different images on your retinas. Your brain does a lot of complicated things in constructing 3D models-- to the extent that you can have perfect refraction in both eyes and perfect retinas, but be missing half of your field of view due to neural damage in between your eyeball and your conscious brain.

depth of field

which is part of the 2D map of photons on your retina. I can construct a 2D image that has proper DOF cues.

prior knowledge of the objects size

which is also in your brain and unnecessary for a 3D display (but is necessary in the computer that constructs the images to project)

LFD can make the job easier so you can be less vomit-inducing without retinal tracking, but it's not necessary.

Comment: Re:Not Holograms (Score 1) 99

by bitingduck (#49587705) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows Holographic Platform

Neither holography nor light-field-display is necessary for a goggle based device. Each retina collects photons on a surface and with a single eye you get a 2D image*. Your brain combines the images from your eyes in very complex ways to create a 3D internal model, but as far as what needs to get shined into your eyes, it's just the 2D image constructed on your retina that matters. Slightly different images to form a realtime stereogram is all that's necessary.

(*although with one eye that moves around your brain can construct 3D models. I've known people with one eye that had very depth perception for athletic things, and have experimented a little throwing and catching with one eye and it is possible to be accurate).

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?