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Measuring How Much "Standby Mode" Electricity For Game Consoles Will Cost You 174

Posted by Soulskill
from the trading-money-for-convenience dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Modern game consoles have a "standby" mode, which you can use if you want the console to instantly turn on while not drawing full power the whole time it's idle. But manufacturers are vague about how much power it takes to keep the consoles in this standby state. After a recent press release claiming $250 million worth of electricity was used to power Xbox Ones in standby mode in the past year, Ars Technica decided to run some tests to figure out exactly how much power is being drawn. Their conclusions: the PS4 draws about 10 Watts, $10-11 in extra electricity charges annually. The Xbox One draws 12.9W, costing users $13-$14 in extra electricity charges annually. The Wii U draws 13.3W, costing users $14-$15 in extra electricity charges annually. These aren't trivial amounts, but they're a lot less than simply leaving the console running and shutting off the TV when you aren't using it: "Leaving your PS4 sitting on the menu like this all year would waste over $142 in electricity costs."

Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station 134

Posted by Soulskill
from the have-to-protect-the-wormhole-from-the-carassians dept. writes with news that Russian officials are talking about working with NASA to build a new space station as a replacement for the ISS after its operations end in 2024. Igor Komarov, head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, was unambiguous in his support for such a partnership. He added, "It will be an open project. It will feature not only the current members of the ISS." NASA, while careful not to discourage future cooperation, was not so enthusiastic. They said, "We are pleased Roscomos wants to continue full use of the International Space Station through 2024 -- a priority of ours -- and expressed interest in continuing international cooperation for human space exploration beyond that. The United States is planning to lead a human mission to Mars in the 2030s, and we have advanced that effort farther than at any point in NASA's history. We welcome international support for this ambitious undertaking." They reiterated that there are no formal agreements in place as of yet. These comments come as three crew members arrive at the ISS, two of whom will be up there for an entire year.

Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the cool-toys-with-no-off-switch dept.
rtoz writes: A group of scientists in California have successfully created eye drops that temporarily enable night vision. They use mixture of insulin and a chemical known as Chlorin e6 (Ce6) to enable the user to view objects clearly in darkness up to 50 meters away. Ce6 is found in some deep-sea fish and often used to treat night blindness. The solution starts to work within an hour of being applied to the user's eyes, and lasts for several hours afterward. The test subject's eyesight returned to normal the next day. The organization Science for the Masses has released a paper detailing the experiment on their website.
The Courts

Ellen Pao Loses Silicon Valley Gender Bias Case Against Kleiner Perkins 309

Posted by timothy
from the she'll-resign-her-commission dept.
vivaoporto writes As reported by the New York Times, USA Today and other publications, a jury of six men and six women rejected current Reddit Inc CEO Ellen Pao's claims against her former employer, the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Ms. Pao's suit, that alleged employment discrimination based on gender, workplace retaliation and failure to take reasonable steps to prevent gender discrimination, asked $16 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages. The jury decided, after more than two days of deliberation and more than four weeks of testimony, that her formed employer neither discriminated against the former junior partner for her gender, nor fired the complainant because of a high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit against the firm in 2012. She alleged that Kleiner Perkins had promoted male partners over equally qualified women at the firm, including herself, and then retaliated against her for raising concerns about the firm's gender dynamics by failing to promote her and finally firing her after seven years at the firm after she filed her 2012 lawsuit.

Comment: SI tones (Score 1) 497

I'm seeing lots of people recommending the use of SI tones ["SIT tones" is tautological].

I'm in Canada, first, so that may have some strange influence. Second, I'm on our national do not call registry - noting that one of the first things our government did was sell the list to spammers and robocallers, increasing the volume of nuisance calls for 100% of the people who supposedly "opted out".

About 10 years ago, I set my answering machine up with its default outgoing message beginning with the "Intercept" (number changed or disconnected) SIT. Having collected call statistics since before then, I can say with a high degree degree of certainty that **NO automated callers have EVER respected the SI tones**. Ever. Not a single one.

YMMV, of course.

Comment: Re:U.S., cough, international pressure much? (Score 1) 166

You obviously don't know any artists and aren't one yourself.

Many if not most of the artists I know, have met, or worked with [both inside and outside of academia] do what they love in such a way that what you're talking about [pay them by the hour] is not even remotely feasible.

Among other things:

* They tend to work for enormous lengths of time on only one thing. Writing a book, for instance, can take years - and often if not usually requires such a devotion of time that doing anything else - like making money by some "normal" means so they can just plain survive, let alone afford to work on their creation - is next to impossible.
* They never get paid -at all- for 80-90% of their "work" [yes, I'm making up numbers, but based on personal experience and observation and interaction with MANY artists this doesn't seem like an exaggeration]
* Most of the artists I have met and known -never- recover anything like what their time "should" be worth for their works of art, even if they do get paid for them. Many works of art -never- make money enough for the artists to even cover total materiel costs let alone how much time it took to create them.

Funny thing is that I'm usually on the side of the argument that you are - I think that copyright as currently implemented in most countries is ludicrous. I also think that the idea of perpetual royalties is outright stupid, and that copyright terms should be shorter than they are.

I can't agree at all with the idea that artists try to somehow get paid hourly for what they do, though. There are too many reasons that idea is utterly impracticable.

Comment: Re:NIMBY (Score 2) 436

by dexotaku (#44089677) Attached to: The Aging of Our Nuclear Power Plants Is Not So Graceful
>I can't imagine where you could live and see only five minutes without power per year. I've never seen that level of reliability anywhere I've lived:

Where I live [Manitoba, Canada] and have lived most of my life since 1975, I could count on one hand the number of times I've seen the power go out longer than an hour. Outages lasting longer than a minute [from lightning strikes to transmission equipment, for instance] are few and far between [2-3x per year]. Outages lasting a few seconds occur now and then for similar reasons [weather], but still happen less often than 10x per year. Brownouts are rare in the extreme and almost always caused by nearby equipment failure [also usually because of weather]. Not sure if if would total more than 5 minutes on average but my guess would be - no.

Our power generation here is mostly hydroelectric, but we also have a gas-turbine plant nearby for use during the winter [and it's not always on]. There's also a backup coal generator beside it but it's rarely used nowadays.

Comment: This doesn't *have* to be a bad thing..but it's EA (Score 3, Informative) 303

by dexotaku (#43030479) Attached to: EA Building Microtransactions Into All of Its Future Games
I don't think that microtransactions are an inherently bad thing, but in this case - well, it's EA, so it can ONLY be bad.

Take a look at Need For Speed World for some indication of the future.. the worst-implemented and maintained MMO that I'm aware of [noting that I know I'm not an expert on MMOs, but NFSW is truly shite].
The game is ostensibly "free to play" and centred on multiplaying racing.. but:
* As with most EA fare, the game is run almost entirely by the marketing department [I actually feel sorry for the devs, as it's evident that they're effectively bound & gagged by the marketing department]
* the devs and marketing people actually stated, "You can't buy victory," despite the fact that the best of everything are available only for real money, and the best of everything totally affect gameplay and shift all advantages easily and quickly to any fool with a credit card
* There's effectively no matchmaking most of the time, so the chances of being able to enter a public event with even remote chances of winning a round depend mostly on how much you've put into real-money-only cars that make up nearly all of the top performers
* there's no chat system for users to communicate publicly; they had to disable it >1 year ago because the devs aren't competent enough to make anything even remotely robust or secure, script-kiddies would constantly cause the game to crash for other players with simple buffer overflows
* EA obviously don't get what the "micro" in "microtransaction" is supposed to mean: all transactions are in dollars or greater; if you were to compare NFSW to any other NFS title and try to get the same gameplay out of it, it would cost thousands of dollars of your real money to even get close [and there are players who've put in thousands, insanely]
* "Exclusives" cost up to $50-75CAD for things that are only special because of a repaint by the art department [exclusive monacle, anyone?]

I could go on and on.. yeah, it's only a game, but compared to their off-the-shelf titles this "free to play" game is effectively several orders of magnitude more expensive.. which make little sense given that the real multiplayer aspects of the game are either disabled, broken, or simply not present. The game is basically, at this point, not really a multiplayer game.

This is the future of gaming, going by EA's ethics-free "screw the customer" business plan: make the client free, but bleed players dry hundreds if not thousands of times over if they want to "achieve" the same things they can by buying last year's single-player+muliplayer title down-to-$10 at any brick&mortar store.

I feel sorry for the smallish studios that EA keep buying up - the devs lose all freedom to determine the direction they want their games to go, and live under corporate policies that amount to "leave the customer completely in the dark while charging them as much as possible." The future of gaming, indeed.

Comment: Re:Left-Handed Dvorak (Score 2) 165

by dexotaku (#42921581) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Keyboard Layout To Reduce Right Pinky/Ring Finger Usage?
As someone with similar issues [but with the opposite hand; my left is nerve-damaged and I can't use the fingers independently] I have to throw in here that the Dvorak-RH layout - which I've been using since 1993 - is a doGsend.

I still use QWERTY on other peoples' computers, or when forced to by software that ignores the user layout, and I can still type reasonably fast [~45wpm] with only one hand, and I have to say that the Dvorak layout doesn't really help in terms of speed - but it helps incredibly in relieving the strain that typing on QWERTY [and stretching your fingers all about] causes in abundance.

If you're favouring one hand over the other - even if the one is still somewhat useful - it may make sense to switch layouts just to relieve the strain of stretching across widely-spread keys. You can still assist with the less useful hand.

The best thing about the Dvorak one-handed layouts is their wide support: every OS I've used since the early 90s supported the layouts, more recently with relatively simple user settings.

Point of advice though: *don't buy a dedicated Dvorak keyboard* since they're usually ridiculously expensive. reflecting the fact that the only issue I've ever run into is converting an average QWERTY keyboard to the layout [which is a requisite for learning, for most people] is that a lot of current keyboard manufacturers [all of the big names, from my testing] purposefully makes their keyboards such that keys can't be simply re-arranged [assholes!]. Last time I went looking for a replacement keyboard I went through 4 [from logitech, saitek, maybe belkin, and lastly a no-name Chinese wireless] before I found one that could be re-arranged. Otherwise you may have to resort to using key-top labels which can be found relatively inexpensively.

Thrashing is just virtual crashing.