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Comment Re:Stupid design (Score 1) 121

Current doesn't kill silicon, voltage does. Example, you take an LED. It's a red one that runs at 2V. You can probably dump 3-4x that voltage through it without a resistor, and it won't care as long as the polarity is correct and it has adequate heat sinking. Now, this same LED has a reverse breakdown voltage. Many LEDs now days have native protection about double their nominal operative voltage. So for this LED, it can take upwards of ~4V reverse polarity. You give it 5V or higher in reverse, you will destroy the p-n junction.

This knowledge is what is used to design LED arrays which can run natively off wall power without any power driver circuitry.

V+ and GND are power supply rails, are you claiming that an external device can overdrive the computer (or USB chipset's) power supply without sending enough excess current through it that would trip the fuse?

Comment Re: This is why (Score 1) 225

If she's taking that many photos, you should really consider upgrading her to something with a decent sensor and optics (there is no cellphone that can take DSLR-level photos, I don't care what the Genius at the Apple store says). If money is tight, a use Canon Mk I or II wouldn't be too expensive (yes, I realize the Mk I didn't officially have that designation, but that is how we refer to them - I own one).

Posting anon because I suspect your post was hyperbolic and I don't want to get in a discussion (with you or anyone else) about the merits of cell phone cameras.

Show me a DSLR that will fit into my wife's tiny purse so she'll take it around with her everywhere she goes.

It's not the cost that keeps a lot of people away from DSLR's, but the size and weight. I retired my Canon 40D DSL and stopped using it for travel pics because the camera and a few lenses was just annoying to carry around. I replaced it with a Canon G15 and have been very satisfied. I wanted the bigger sensor of the G1, but wanted the longer zoom of the G15, but found that the tradeoff was worth it, I don't do a lot of handheld low-light photography, so the smaller sensor hasn't been a problem, but I get a longer zoom when I want it.

The reason so many people take so many pictures with cell phones is not because the picture quality is stunning (though today's phones do surpass the quality of handheld dedicated point-and-shoot cameras of a few years ago), but because they have their phone all the time and the picture quality is "good enough".

Comment Re:Bad tool (Score 1) 225

A better tool would be to split the data among smaller files. A 1.44 GB BMP is sure to attract attention. 1440 one MB jpegs isnt. Am I right? Peeps?

I think it's easier to validate that a JPG file is really a JPG than a BMP, or at least it's harder to store arbitrary data in a JPG and still have it decodable as a JPG.

So just store the data as 1 MB BMP's or TIFF's.

Comment Re:Why this is special (Score 1) 132

I hope that is a work desk, that you're in a cubical, and that you tried varied amounts of force. It's not that I don't like you, or anything. I just have this picture of people staring at you as if you're a lunatic and it'd be disappointing were it not true.

Cubicle? That's so 1990's, no one has cubicles anymore. It's just one big open area at work.

but i performed this experiment on my cheap sit-stand desk at home, it's not super stable at full extension, so it's easy to hit it hard enough to move stuff around.

The $1200 desk at work is a lot more stable than my $250 home desk, so it would take a much more substantial hit to get stuff to slide around.

Comment Re:Why this is special (Score 2) 132

For those who'll say "it's been done before:" no, not like this.

Yeah, one of my coworkers has a wireless charging Android phone of some sort, and every time someone bumps his desk it "breaks".

That said, given Apple's track record the past half-decade (in my experience, at least), I wouldn't be surprised if their offering is terribly buggy as well - at least at the software end of things.

I think I'd be more annoyed at people repeatedly bumping my desk hard enough to make my stuff slide around than I would at having to reposition my phone on the charger. Though I just tried it with my desk - my charger is "sticky" enough to grip the phone so when I bump the desk hard enough, the charger and phone slide together, the phone doesn't slide off the charger.

Comment Re:Vampires (Score 1) 167

WHY oh WHY would a cable company need to have the service staying up while I am not watching?

Also to keep the program guide updated.

With over a gigabit/sec of downstream bandwidth available, they *could* just update the program guide every time you turn on the cable box by allocating a little more bandwidth to the program guide, no need to capture it continuously -- they could send out the next 2 hours worth of programming every few seconds to allow you to see what's on right now as soon as you turn on the cablebox, then send out the full program guide less frequently.

Comment Re:Vampires (Score 1) 167

If its a DVR it needs to be on at all times so it can actually record the things you told it to record.

Also it needs to be powered up so it can update when the cable company has something to push to it (e.g. new encryption stuff)

The DVR I owned a decade ago didn't need to stay powered on 24x7, it just used a timer to turn itself on whenever it needed to record.

Likewise, it can schedule itself to check in twice a day to get "encryption stuff" or whatever else it needs. Or it could use a modern low power CPU to do housekeeping like that that doesn't need the entire device to be turned on.

40W a day 24x7 is over 300KWh/year of wasted power - that's more electricity than my household uses in a month. The simple fact is that the cable companies just don't care, it's not their money.

Comment Re:No label = must not be important (Score 1) 169

We call them SCRATCH disks, a carry over from the tape reel drive days, SCRATCH TAPES.

I even do the same with my HDD's for temp downloads etc, I call them SCRATCH. The idea being, you just temporarly scratch the surface with data. Short lived data.

And SCRATCH monkeys, always mount a scratch monkey.

Comment Re:I love it (Score 4, Informative) 442

The alternative is to do away with fines as they are in essence "uncollectible." Or raise the traffic tickets from $15 to $1000 to make them worthwhile to collect.

What do you do when you encounter somebody that has $20 but not $1k? Toss them in jail, crediting them $100/day, while spending ~$100/day in expenses to keep them in jail?

Doesn't take many of them to exceed the money gotten from those who actually have it.

That's not how the modern for-profit justice system works, you don't get *credit* for serving time, instead you *pay* for serving time:

Comment Re:I love it (Score 4, Insightful) 442

This is a perfect example of government and private industry working together. These are COURT fees that are either going to go uncollected, or
will cost more to collect than the debt is worth. Many people are scofflaws; this partnership catches them.

The alternative is to do away with fines as they are in essence "uncollectible." Or raise the traffic tickets from $15 to $1000 to make them worthwhile to collect.

You don't see any problem with police telling you: pay the fine *and* a 25% surcharge to a private company or I'm taking you to jail?

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