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Comment Re: If you don't like it, don't watch it. (Score 4, Insightful) 195

Most of the people complaining have never watched it. They are just writing letters because that's what the group is rallying against this week. The kind of people who write letters to the FCC aren't the ones who stay up late to watch pay cable.

Comment Mostly old news (Score 2) 393

As a Fairfax county resident, those machines haven't been widely used in years. Most people get scantrons. The machines are mostly just for blind people and the non-english speakers, because they have audio out and can read the ballots in multiple languages. The last time everybody used them was 2004, which coincidentally was the last time the state voted for a Republican president.

Comment Re:Needs a much lighter OS (Score 2) 111

Nowadays you don't see nearly as much gain from overclocking. You still get 200Mhz, but that's only 10% more performance instead of 50%.

Benchmarks. Note the memory score as well as the Integer and Floating point scores. Half of the speedup comes from the cpu crunching, and the other half comes from the memory and GPU.

But you don't have to take my word for it. If you has Raspbian installed you can try it yourself in like 60 seconds. Just run raspi-config and go into the overclocking menu. You do have to reboot afterward, but that's pretty quick. You will probably be surprised at how noticeable the difference is, especially when working with memory hungry applications like Chromium.

Comment Re:Physical books are better (Score 2) 134

When I want something that can fit in my pants pocket, ebooks fail - but paperbacks deliver.

What kind of e-reader are you using? A regular size Kindle is way thinner and about the same size otherwise as a typical paperback. It is also quite a bit lighter. Even if you put a protective case on it, the thing will still be no less portable than a dead tree book.

I read most of my ebooks on my phone, which obviously fits in my pocket just fine.

Comment Re:As a library patron, i dont see much change. (Score 1) 134

I'm currently reading A Clash of Kings via Overdrive. I also read the first four books of the Culture series, a Canticle for Liebowitz, the Forever War, the Martian (the waitlist was epic for this one--good thing it is a quick read), and the Hyperion Cantos.

Amusingly, my library offers Game of Thrones in two formats: a 4 book set with the first 4 books of A Song of Ice and Fire, and a 5 book set that also includes the most recent one. I thought they were awfully optimistic about my ability to read all 5 books of A Song of Ice and Fire in 3 weeks.

Overdrive has a couple of quirks. The first is that the "online reading" mode sucks ass. Never use it. Always download the book to your device. Trust me. The other is that renewals are handled somewhat awkwardly. The book still self destructs on your device and you have to download it again every time you renew. It does at least remember your place in the book when you do this.

The best thing about Overdrive is that it is on my phone, so it is always with me. If I ever find myself with time to kill, I can just fire it up and read a few more pages. It's not quite as nice as a dedicated e-reader, but the convenience factor is huge. I liken it to the way cameraphones killed off point and shoot cameras. They aren't as good, but the convenience factor outweighs the downsides. How many times have you been stuck in a waiting area going "I should have brought a book"? Never again.

Comment Re:Needs a much lighter OS (Score 1) 111

Empirically, the "Turbo OC" setting in raspi-config roughly doubles the effective speed of the device. It only bumps the CPU clock from 700Mhz to 1Ghz, but it also increases the memory and GPU clock which has a dramatic improvement on performance. If your Pi becomes crashy in that setting, try scaling back the GPU (Core) clock speed first. The CPU and Memory seem to overclock better than the GPU.

Like I said, the Pi behaves a lot like a late 90s desktop, back when overclocking was worth the effort.

Comment Re:Needs a much lighter OS (Score 1) 111

Are you using USB Wifi? USB is notoriously CPU hungry and Wifi USB is the worst.

As for the videos, the playback depends. If they are encoded in a format that you can offload to the GPU, then the Pi will be great. I've played plenty of 1080p video on the Pi over the network using the built-in ethernet using omxplayer. The one big caveat is that it only supports a few codecs, and if you try to play a video encoded differently it will go to the CPU and be unwatchable (less than 1 frame per second). It does support the most popular codecs at least (DivX and H.264).

I'm not sure why you're having so much trouble with X. Once it is started I usually get along just fine, although you do have to be careful not to blow the memory budget. If you start to swap the thing will become horrible. You have to use the machine with the same mindset you would have used with a 15 year old Pentium III machine. Don't ask it to do too much at once and be mindful of your memory use. Keeping to the commandline is also a big help.

Seriously though, look at the built-in overclocking options. They make a huge difference, and they don't even void the warranty unless you go whole hog and start editing the boot.conf file by hand and set crazy voltages. It's just like the old Pentium days where overclocking could dramatically improve a machine instead of being some incremental dick measuring contest like it is today.

Comment Re:Needs a much lighter OS (Score 1) 111

What are you trying to do on the Pi? I have an original Raspberry Pi (the 512MB model) and while it's not winning any speed contests it is certainly not unusably slow. I even run Chromium on it, most pages take a few seconds to load but work alright after that. I don't try to open lots of tabs though, the Pi is too memory constrained. Mathematica (which comes bundled with later versions of Raspbian) takes forever to start up, but once it is going it does alright.

I'm even making it drive a 1080p display. I did go and use the raspi-config script to overclock it. It's not totally necessary, but it makes a surprisingly large difference. Upping the memory clock is a huge win in particular. At the "Max OC" setting I was able to keep Quake 3's framerate up in the mid-30s or so.

Comment Re:Why not start now..and take if further? (Score 1) 373

That way you'll never know how much your trip will cost until you're literally at the gate. Airlines could even play with the price per kilo numbers to make themselves look better on Travelocity or whatever while still being expensive (see also: baggage fees). It also makes reimbursements for business travelers a hassle since the quoted priced on the ticket won't be the final price of the flight. Plus you get the fun of getting the kids to sit still on the scale when boarding, and also the need for the extra delay at the gate so the scale can properly register, and to make sure the guy behind you doesn't have his foot on the scale by accident...

Air travel sucks enough already guys. Please don't push so hard to make it worse. It's not like you're going to save money, even if you are thin. This would purely be a surcharge that every airline would implement, just like baggage fees.

Comment Re:Why not start now..and take if further? (Score 1) 373

Because it would be an enormous headache. I don't know if you've flown recently, but most people don't go to the ticket counter to buy their tickets anymore. They buy tickets online, and if this policy was in place you would have to make the passenger input their weight and their luggage weight into the system when they buy the ticket, potentially months in advance. Then you need to verify their weight when they get to the airport, even though the only people who go to the counter currently are people who are checking bags or have some sort of emergency and need to spend half an hour going through the ticket buying process and make everybody behind them in line hate them.

There are already policies that make extremely fat people buy two seats which helps catch outliers.

"Is it really you, Fuzz, or is it Memorex, or is it radiation sickness?" -- Sonic Disruptors comics