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Comment: No sticker from Dell (Score 1) 132

by bjs555 (#49151565) Attached to: Microsoft Finally Allows Customers To Legally Download Windows 7 ISOs

I bought a new machine with Win 8.1 (ugh) on it from Dell last week with plans to put OEM Win 7 on it. Dell said I could do that if I was willing to give up support and that was ok with me. To my surprise, when the machine arrived it had no license key sticker on it at all so I couldn't use a general OEM install program like the ones from Digital River. Luckily I had a Dell OEM Win 7 install disc from another machine and that installed and activated ok using the key stored in the bios. Is this a new trend that machines now come without a key sticker? Should I call Dell and insist on a Microsoft key?

Comment: Re:Ah, Damnit... (Score 1) 514

by bjs555 (#49136527) Attached to: Users Decry New Icon Look In Windows 10

I guess I'm a dinosaur but I finally moved from xp to win 7 recently. One thing about win 7 explorer usability that bothers me a lot is that there is no way to turn off automatic icon/filename sorting except on the desktop. When I change the names of files in a folder, each one jumps to a new position and it's difficult to tell which names I have changed. Even on the desktop there are problems. Try copying icons into a folder or a shortcut to a folder and the positions of the original icons change. Who at Microsoft thought this was a good idea? Does win 10 do the same thing?

Comment: Re:Live the present, not the future (Score 1) 698

This is a good response to your question. Too many of the other responses show that Asperger's Syndrome isn't uncommon among technical people (I'm not sure I can exclude myself).

I want to tell you that you have already given your daughter something that is very important. You say that she has an inquisitive mind and an interest in science and that is likely due to your example as someone with those qualities as well. She will have a happy life with that outlook. The world is such an interesting place if you take time to look and think carefully about it.

Comment: One thing I noticed (Score 1) 160

by bjs555 (#48599351) Attached to: How Identifiable Are You On the Web?

Yes, like many, my result was "Unique". I noticed that one item being measured was browser resolution. Since I was running my browser at less than full screen and the exact window size is a low entropy parameter, I decided to try again after maximizing my browser window. As expected, the result was a lower uniqueness score. That led me to wonder if some technique like modifying the exact size of the browser window by a few pixels each time it's refreshed might help somewhat to hide from these evil trackers. Perhaps modifying other parameters like which extensions are enabled or what fonts are installed on each refresh might confuse them even more.

Comment: Re:Mind blown (Score 3, Interesting) 81

by bjs555 (#48396025) Attached to: Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life

Playing with a slide rule is like saying after sex, "I haven't had this much fun since I first encountered logarithms." In my case, I'd have to sadly admit that I've had more fun quantity wise with logarithms. Seriously, though, I too was in school at the time of the slide rule's demise. They were interesting to use. I recall using electronic analog computers at about the same time. They consisted of a patch board and a number of op amp differentiators, integrators, and gain blocks. You could use the patch cords to model a differential equation with the op amps and then apply power to get an answer as a voltage output. Are things like that still used?

Comment: Re:"Computer" (Score 1) 81

by bjs555 (#48394249) Attached to: Real Steampunk Computer Brought Back To Life

Actually, I've read that Einstein probably wasn't aware of the Michelson-Morley experiment. His reason for rejecting the existence of the ether was based on a thought experiment as mentioned in many non-technical books on relativity. However, nearly all of these books fail to mention what the thought experiment was. I finally found one explanation of it in the book "The Big Bang" by Simon Singh. According to him, Einstein's thought experiment is such:

Get into a vehicle traveling at constant velocity through the ether at the speed of light c and hold a mirror in front of you face. You will see no reflection because both your face and the mirror are traveling through the ether at c and no light leaving your face can reach the mirror. But that would violate the fact that, as long as you are traveling at constant velocity in a straight line, no experiment can determine how fast you are going. Therefore, the ether doesn't exist.

Does my paraphrasing of the explanation ring true or am I missing something?

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 839

by bjs555 (#48163343) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Yes, taxes on unspent income should be higher, not lower as now, on income other than that from labor. As often said, one man's income is another man's spending. Hence, the spending of everyone must equal the income of everyone. For some people to spend less than they earn, others must spend more than they earn. The government and financial industry actively encourage those who spend more than they earn go into debt allowing those with high incomes to drain money from the system and hoard it.

Better, I think, to go back to the high marginal income tax rates with generous deductions for domestic spending that were in effect during the pre-Regan era. That method of taxation would give the one percenters incentive to spend their money rather than hoard it and would give a much needed boost to the economy. Right now the one percenters, having bought off Congress, have a low tax rate without spending and can park their unspent money anywhere, even offshore, effectively removing it from the economy and causing deflation.

Comment: Re:No difference (Score 1) 105

by bjs555 (#47719017) Attached to: Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily

Actually for reading books knowing where you are does help line up the story. (beginning middle or end)

I think that's true. If so, maybe a small progress bar along the top of an e-reader continuously showing where you are in the book could be helpful. I don't know if any e-readers offer such a feature.

Comment: Expanding confusion (Score 1) 225

by bjs555 (#47642747) Attached to: Do Dark Matter and Dark Energy Cast Doubt On the Big Bang?

Cosmology is a very interesting subject. I enjoy reading about it but many of the ideas confuse me (that's easy to do). The explanations of cosmic expansion in most non-mathematical books usually point out that the expansion isn't like an explosion in space but that it's an expansion of space itself. If that's true then wouldn't anything used to measure the expansion be affected by the expansion as well? If I use a magically accurate ruler to measure the width of a sheet of paper and both the paper and the ruler are expanding, how would I know that the width has changed? Wouldn't the expansion of both the paper and the ruler cancel each other out?

I've tried to find an answer online and some explanations that I've seen say that expansion only applies to non-gravitationally interacting bodies I guess that means galaxies and galaxy clusters that are very far apart. But isn't gravity universal? Does it make senses to talk of bodies that are gravitationally isolated? Perhaps the explanations are talking about bodies that are only very weakly influenced by the mass of other bodies. Does the strength of local gravitational attraction tend to overcome the strength of cosmic expansion thereby reducing the expansion to a small and negligible number?

I'd sure appreciate some help about how to understand this.

Thanks.

Comment: Re:NIMBY at its finest (Score 2) 409

Whether the goal is patient treatment or research it seems risky to bring an infected individual into a hospital setting in a populated area. It might be argued that sending a team of doctors/researchers to Liberia would be a burden on the them. But perhaps the patient could be housed in an offshore hospital ship. Apparently the patient is wealthy or his case is interesting enough to justify spending funds on him. If he could stay in a ship 25 miles or so offshore wouldn't that provide some protection and also convenience for the doctors/researchers?

Comment: Re:I doubt it's overdiagnosed. (Score 1) 59

by bjs555 (#47537401) Attached to: Metamason: Revolutionizing CPAP Masks With 3D Scanning and 3D Printing

You're probably correct in your diagnosis of a congestion problem in your nose or throat. No one knows you better than yourself. Maybe you have a deviated septum or larger than normal tonsils or uvula. There might be a surgical solution. If you can you breathe better through your mouth maybe you could try pinching your nose closed at night with something like the clips swimmers use and see if that changes things.

Speaking of finding true causes, let me tell you about a somewhat humorous diagnostic problem that I had recently. I bought a small house about 6 months ago. After I moved in, I started hearing thumping sounds that seemed to be coming from inside the walls. The sounds were especially loud at night and it went on for hours. It was hard to localize the sound; it seemed to be coming from everywhere, not from any spot in particular but it was very regular. I thought it might be plumbing noises like water hammer or heating pipe expansion. I shook every pipe in the house hoping to stop the noise or at least hear some change but couldn't find any pipe that seemed to be the noise source. The sound was so regular that I thought it might be a fan with a bent blade or a motor with a bad bearing but the sound continued even after I turned off all electricity to the house so I had to rule out that source.

After a couple of months I came to think that the sounds were due to thermal expansion and contraction of the house framing and considered calling in a structural engineer to see if there was a solution to that. I asked a couple of friends if they could hear the noise when it was loud to me but they said they didn't hear anything and that my hearing was probably abnormally sensitive. I decided to try recording the sound so I could turn up the volume and demonstrate it to a structural engineer. To my surprise I, couldn't record the sound even when it seemed especially loud to me.

Then one day I was scratching my wrist and noticed that the sound was exactly in time with my pulse. My heart occasionally skips a beat and the sound I was hearing stopped for one thump exactly when my heart stopped for one beat. I tried that test about 50 times and that convinced me that the sound wasn't coming from the outside but from within myself. The fact that nobody else could hear it and that I couldn't record it also pointed to that conclusion.

It turns out that I have a somewhat unusual form of tinnitus caused by turbulent blood flow in the carotid artery that excites my ear drum and mimics thumping sounds from the outside. I'm in my sixties and the tinnitus came on with advancing age. I would swear that the sounds are external but they aren't. I suppose our brains are so used to processing signals from our ear drums as coming from the outside that it's impossible to perceive the signals otherwise. It's comforting to know where the sounds are coming from even if there isn't much I can do about it. From this experience, I can see how some people think houses are haunted. At least I know I didn't buy a haunted house.

Comment: Re:I doubt it's overdiagnosed. (Score 1) 59

Sorry to hear of your problem but congratulations on the convincing diagnosis using equipment you built yourself. Perhaps you could try some of the non-CPAP machine apnea reduction methods like the dental appliance (I don't think an inexpensive off-the-shelf model could do much damage short term) and, using the same diagnosis equipment, see if you wake up less frequently.

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