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Comment: I would have said one... (Score 1) 43

...until I recently got a brand new laptop. The internal wifi cannot work properly at the same time than the internal bluetooth (thanks Dell!), so I need to disable one in the BIOS and add a USB wart. Then with all the variants USB2, USB SuperSpeed, USB3, USB Power, to which to add eSata with possible USB, all of those incompatible in mysterious ways, that makes at least 6.

Comment: Ungrounded Lightning (Rod) to Stop Using DietPepsi (Score 1) 448

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49564133) Attached to: Pepsi To Stop Using Aspartame

Aspartame has problems for some people (like my wife and brother-in-law) and not for others (like me).

Sucralose has problems for some people (like me) and not for others (like my wife).

Seems to me the thing for Pepsi to do is to bring out another formula - with a different name - using Sucralose, put them in the stores side-by-side (they get a LOT of shelf space to play with), and let the customers decide.

Changing the formula of an existing brand strikes me as a stupid move. I suspect Pepsi is about to have it's "New Coke!" moment...

Comment: problems with making stuff invisible to drivers (Score 1) 76

The bit you're apparently not grasping is something called a spatial light modulator. ... Couple it with a microwave radar or ultrasound sonar, and you can track individual raindrops and then cast shadows on them.

Then construct an object that appears to the system to be raindrops and you can put an invisible obstacle in the road. B-b

Comment: Don't forget legacy BROWSERS. (Score 4, Insightful) 98

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49563663) Attached to: JavaScript Devs: Is It Still Worth Learning jQuery?

A site may wish to continue using JQuery because some of its clients are using older browsers that don't support the new features that allegedly obsolete JQuery code.

Drop the JQuery code and you drop those customers. Develop future code without it and the pages with the new features won't perform with people using legacy browsers. And so on.

I've seen similar things happen over several generations of web technology. Use care, grasshopper!

Comment: Re:ESPN delenda est (Score 2) 251

by mrchaotica (#49562979) Attached to: ESPN Sues Verizon To Stop New Sports-Free TV Bundles

Most of the shopping channels get on your cable system though having a local TV transmitter. Cable companies are "required to carry" any and all local over the air stations. It was the "deal" that was made to allow cable systems to exist, many decades ago. So you are going to get those no matter what.

[Citation needed]

I mean, that's true in theory, but in practice, since the [OTA] digital switchover, the cable company where I live has been getting away with downgrading stuff that would be 1080i with an antenna to 480p (unless you pay an extra bribe for them to leave it HD), and omitting broadcast subchannels entirely.

Comment: Re:Why would a non-sports person have cable? (Score 4, Insightful) 251

by mrchaotica (#49562725) Attached to: ESPN Sues Verizon To Stop New Sports-Free TV Bundles

If I could have gotten a cable package without sports channels (which would have been much cheaper than anything actually offered), I might actually still have it. As it is, the cable company lost me as a customer in part because of their dumbass deal with ESPN.

Comment: Re:Allow me to be the first to call bullshit. (Score 2) 249

Strawberries are typically grown as annuals. I live in Florida and we have many acres of abandoned orange groves still producing oranges with zero input from anyone. It is simply too expensive to pick them and bring them to market. Nobody will pay that much for an orange. It's interesting because every once in a while when OJ prices spike due to a bad harvest somewhere you will see people show up at these groves and clean them out. But typically they just fall off the tree and rot.

Comment: Re:What are the emissions? (Score 1) 360

To make the fuel, the following reaction occurs:

H2O + CO2 + energy -> synthetic diesel

Then, when burning the fuel, this reaction occurs:

synthetic diesel + air (O2, N2, etc.) -> energy + CO2 + H2O + normal diesel pollutants (soot, CO, NOx, etc.)

The advantages over regular diesel are that the carbon started in the atmosphere instead of the ground, so putting it in the atmosphere isn't a problem, and that (unlike dino-diesel) this fuel isn't contaminated with sulfur, so there isn't any SO2 produced. In other words, in terms of emissions it should be cleaner than regular diesel and tied with biodiesel.

The advantage over electric cars is that it works with our existing vehicle fleet and fueling infrastructure, and that it doesn't take an inordinately long time to refuel with it.

Comment: Re:Curse you, Entropy! (Score 1) 360

All well and good, but doesn't exactly solve the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.

Yes it does. The problem with CO2 as a greenhouse gas is that we're taking carbon that was part of the long-term carbon cycle (i.e., fossil fuels) and making it part of the short-term carbon cycle. In contrast, this process takes carbon that was already part of the short-term carbon cycle and keeping it as part of the short-term carbon cycle. It's "carbon-neutral."

Using synthetic fuels like this (as well as biofuels) won't stop the global warming that's already happening (for that you need to actually sequester the carbon -- i.e., take carbon that's part of the short-term cycle and make it part of the long-term cycle), but it also won't add to the problem.

Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 3, Informative) 249

People say the average worker isn't making as much as they used to, but I think that people are just buying a lot more stuff than they used to.

That's a statement of median salary vs. GDP, which is only tangentially related to spending (i.e., only in the sense that consumer spending affects GDP). And wages and salaries really have been falling relative to GDP over the past 50 years.

Cellular phones, cable TV, Internet, and computers. None of this stuff existed 50 years ago. Our budgets may be stretched, but a lot of it is because of the things we have decided are necessary.

On the flip side, there are a lot of things that are cheaper today than they were 50 years ago, such as clothing and food (according to this article, those two expenses went from about 42% of the average household budget in 1950 to about 17% in 2003).

Dead? No excuse for laying off work.