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Comment: Re:Useless (Score 2) 184

by hankwang (#46744927) Attached to: First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

"you can walk around outdoors without electric lights even when there's no moon."

I doubt that you can do that comfortably if there are trees blocking the little star light that's available or if it's a bad road surface combined with you not wearing rugged boots.

Apart from that, especially women don't feel comfortable going around in dark places where they perceive that there can be rapists hiding in the dark.

Comment: Re:13 deaths? (Score 2) 518

by hankwang (#46629389) Attached to: Department of Transportation Makes Rear View Cameras Mandatory

Cars would probably be a lot safer if they were made more simply, and they didn't change the design ever 2 or 3 years. Stick with time tested designs and get all the bugs out and you'd end up with a car that was reliable and safe.

That is a strong assertion. Can you back that up? Over the years, cars have become safer both for the people inside and other road users (well, the latter probably doesn't really hold for SUV monsters), and also got much better fuel economy. A lot of that you can't achieve by debugging an existing design. Think of aerodynamics and crumple zones, which are integrated into the entire car design. Over here (Netherlands), the minimum age and frequency for mandatory technical inspections of old cars have been relaxed over the years, apparently because of the increase in durability.

Comment: Re:Never drink water! (Score 1) 285

by hankwang (#46608875) Attached to: I prefer my peppers ...

acidic beverages like fruit juices, beer, etc. that disolve the oil.

I highly doubt that. Firstly, beer is not particularly acidic (pH 4-5). Secondly, capscaicin can only react with acids on its amide group. However, this will only occur with strong acids (think concentrated hydrochloric or sulfuric acid), not with a fruit juice at pH 3.5.

Comment: Re:SHU (Score 1) 285

by hankwang (#46608851) Attached to: I prefer my peppers ...

Who the hell actually knows the SHU of the food they eat?

Very few; at most they know what is written on the label or on some website. The standard (American Spice Trade Association) way is that Scoville heat units are a measure for the concentration of capsaicin in chili peppers, in terms of dry weight. Dry weight is about 10% of the fresh weight of chilis. For chili sauce, they rarely specify whether the Scoville rating is in terms of "wet" weight of the sauce, or on a dry weight basis - leave alone what the water content is of those sauces.

And especially for super hot chilis (Bhut Jolokia and so on), the numbers reported are for one particularly hot batch. That doesn't tell much abouw how much heat an average specimen, grown under average conditions, will get you, but you can be pretty sure that it will be less than the batch that was tested with the aim of getting into the Guiness book of records.

Comment: Re:Depends on the dish (Score 1) 285

by hankwang (#46608805) Attached to: I prefer my peppers ...

Protip: When the recipe says to use gloves and eye protection, use gloves and eye protection. Even if you think you're a big shot chilihead because you just ate some of your hot peppers the day before.

My experience is that the desensitization to capsaicin from eating chilis regularly is mostly body-wide, although I give you that the pain threshold differs from place to place. I have touched freshly cut chilis (including Trinidad Moruga Scorpions, which were the world record hottest) with my fingers without issues. Peeing nowadays mostly hurts from the capsaicin dissolved in the urine, not from what's left on my fingers. :-)

But the first time I handled hot chilis, the toilet visit was a bit more painful...

Comment: Re:Physical access? (Score 1) 150

by hankwang (#46575479) Attached to: Remote ATM Attack Uses SMS To Dispense Cash

"So, this method requires quite a bit of physical access to the ATM. "

I did once peek over the shoulders of a guy servicing one of those in-store ATMs (i.e., one that looks like a stand-alpne cabinet, not one that's integrated into a wall). Apparently, it's not all that tightly locked down, hardware-wise. The guy told me that only the compartment that contains the banknotes and the counting mechanism have heavy physical security, and that he couldn't access that part. That was why he was allowed to service the machine by himself, in the middle of a busy store.

Comment: Re:Black box radio beacon ? (Score 4, Informative) 227

by hankwang (#46549365) Attached to: New Information May Narrow Down Malaysian Jet's Path

"they already have such beacons which ping for 30 days after activation. Why are they not picking any of that? "

Typical detection range is 5 km. Say the plane can be in a 2000x2000 sq km area. Then you have to search in a search path that is 200x2000=400,000 km long. That's 10x around the earth and will take a while.

And the ocean is 4 km deep once you're well away from land; because of the vertical distance you have less horizontal range.

Comment: Re: Great (Score 1) 87

by hankwang (#46509461) Attached to: EU Project Aims To Switch Data Centers To Second Hand Car Batteries

"you can only extract 20% of their capacity from them before you damage the battery by sulfating the plates."

You're confusing two issues, I think. Sulfation happens if a lead acid battery is kept in a (partially) discharged state for too long (weeks). That will happen with deep-cycle batteries as well.

The issue with starter batteries is that the plates are thin and tend to crumble during a deep discharge, when a large fraction of the lead plate is electrochemically converted.

Comment: Re: Combined with the ringing phones ? (Score 2) 382

"individual phones actually *poll* towers every few seconds"

I highly doubt that. A 2G gsm phone left next to an audio cable will only generate the familiar "bidibip" noise once an hour or so. I assume it does that in response to an "are you still there" request from the tower.

The radio transmitter in a cellphone is about one watt. For battery lifetime, you really don't want the transmitter to activate every few seconds.

Comment: Re:Not sure what you're talking about (Score 2) 254

by hankwang (#46405757) Attached to: The New PHP

"WIth a VM you have to install, maintain, patch and monitor everything yourself"

My experience with shared hosting is that they change system configuration all the time without informing me and thereby breaking my scripts. Never have that problem with a VM, but I admit that setting up a VM with dns, apache tweaks, iptables, and so on, is a major effort for someone who doesn't do that for a living, like me. But after that it's very little maintenance.

By the way, the site in my sig runs on shared hosting, including perl CGI and ssh, for EUR 7.95/yr. Cheaper than my time in figuring out how to setup multi-domain email in CentOS on my VM. But I had to tweak my scripts to deal with the peculiarities of this hoster and live error logs only available via directadmin...

What hath Bob wrought?