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Comment Re:It's all fun and games... (Score 2) 61

Apparently we have a statistically incorrect over-abundance of mature players in the region I play then...
Yes, I know what you mean with the unsavoury kind of 'players'. However, if said people pop up here and begin ruining the gaming experience for 'the ****** smurfs/frogs' because of "MUST DO WAR EXPLICITLY" it won't take long before they are shunned by both sides. May take a bit longer if said player was more of a regular. We had one on the opposite faction becoming quite dictatorial in handling the area he lived in, also to his fellow team-mates, making demands to do this or that. Let's say he now has to do all the legwork himself if he wants to have any chance of a lvl5+ portal near him.

After some huffing and puffing, things cool down and we soon go back to our friendly games of capture, recapture, sneaky guardians, P8's, either naturally developing or by planned event (and associated game of interception) and a city/region enveloping field once every few months. When sides meet there is a nice talk 'about the weather', followed by some exchange of neutral in-game topics (game changes from the latest updates, that sort of stuff), some questions about unexpected activity of regular/long-time players everyone in the area know about but suddenly retired or re-entered the field, sometimes talk about immature players mentioned earlier... and then we go on our merry way.

Comment Re:They forgot something (Score 5, Insightful) 141

Possibly these $50 phones will get better security update support than most $500 phones-with-hardware-vendor-goo. Simply because the operating system on these will be provided directly by the operating system manufacturer (Google) and by contract no vendor-goo will be allowed.

My phone got pretty much every update between 4.0 and <current release> and I expect to receive updates promptly for quite some years to come. By the way (if you didn't get enough hints), this phone (and my phone of choice) is a Nexus...

There is only one other significant party in the smartphone market that has the same edge... but the phones they make are too locked down for my personal taste. So I only use those when I have to... at work for testing purposes. (I write app software for both iOS and Android.)

Comment Re:Why not have someone do it for you? (Score 4, Insightful) 114

Why? We're talking about Linux drivers here. Why not let the open source community write optimization profiles? Yes, you (AMD) have (has) to make some sort of interface and some documentation for it.
But the beauty is, now the community is selecting the best options for applications, doing their own testing which, with my limited knowledge, for AMD seems to be a very time and resource (paid testers) intensive process. Which is why it's lagging behind, for the Linux drivers, in the first place. Of course only software that's used by community members actually wanting to put time in creating these profiles, will eventually have good profiles. Like every other open source project. It will only improve if there are community members willing to put time/effort in it. And maybe, if you open up this process, game developers wanting their games to have a solid performance on AMD cards will write their own profiles.
Today nobody can optimize graphics performance beyond the usual resolution/AA/shader toggles on a per-application basis, except for a hand full of inside developers. And we know of some 'AAA' games coded so badly they are virtually unplayable without serious driver 'tweeks'. Why not give the open source community the possibility to optimize the games they think are worth it?

As with all open source software, it only gets better. Unless no-one cares. But then... who cares?

Comment Re:If it sounds too good to be true (Score 1) 243

NiCd starts at 1.2V. But nobody (should be) use(ing) those any-more. My experience is that most good NiMH cells start at 1.4-1.5V and maintain 1.25V during most of their in-use-time.

It shouldn't be too hard to switch on the boost circuit this Batteriser supposedly has, only when a reasonable current is drawn by the device. A current sensing circuit should not add that many components. That should prevent the Batteriser from drawing power to keep the boost circuit running when the device is switched off...

-Unfortunately I'm unable to show you the ASCII art I had made... So here is a description of it:
Main circuit, in series: +bat --[>|-- [R2] - device - -bat (ground).
Booster circuit, 4 leads: on both sides of the diode, ground and Current detection sense input.
Current detection circuit, 3 leads: on both sides of R2 and Current detection sense output.

Something like this (just a rough idea. I'm a radio amateur, not an electronics engineer): R2 is very small and in series with the device (and the battery). Current is sensed over R2. A diode (pref. a low drop one) maintains most of the original battery voltage over device as long as little current is drawn. When boost circuit kicks in, voltage is boosted, the diode prevents the surplus voltage from running back to the input of the boost circuit. Drawback, R2 will dissipate some energy and its resistance depends on how sensitive you can make your current detection circuit. Also, the current detection circuit itself may use some energy but if devices with a 'soft' standby can be battery powered and drain the battery in a matter of multiple years instead of days (I'm looking at calculators and those small bike LED-lights), so can this Batteriser.

There is only one sort of device I can think of which may not be able to deal with this. I know some devices that have a stand-by current in the micro-ampere range that still do need a rather high supply voltage, else they reset, restart, draw lots of current while restarting and then go back into stand-by. If the booster circuit shuts down while they are in standby, it would mean and endless cycle of restarts, draining the battery even faster. Of course those devices already would drain the battery faster in the original situation. When the battery voltage would become low the first time, the device resets. Then because of the internal resistance of the battery, the voltage would drop even more by the current drawn by the start-up sequence.... resulting in a reset ... rinse and repeat. A boost circuit should have a capacitor at the device side of things (if only to smooth out the high frequency noise from the boosting). If you can make it rather large (in capacity) and have a voltage sense circuit over it that turns on the boost circuit on for a bit if the voltage drops under, let's say 1.4 volt, maybe you can remedy that problem. But how much room is there for a supercap in such a small device as the Batteriser?

Comment Re:No morning coffee yet (Score 3, Informative) 76

In a floppy disk drive there is a stepper motor which drive the read/write heads. That mechanism is used in normal operation to select the correct track/cylinder to read from/write to (a floppy drive is much like a modern hard disk drive in that respect, except the information density is way less and the 'disks' are of course portable).
In the instance of this musical instrument/organ it's 'abused' by letting the stepper motor step with the frequency of the tone you want to play. The friction between the read/write heads and the rails they are gliding over makes the whole floppy housing vibrate a bit with the selected frequency. The housing acts as a resonance box and the vibration is transferred to the air where it produces sound waves in a frequency (the same the stepper motor vibrates with), you can hear.
Because the stepper motor doesn't rotate smoothly but in steps (hence its name) the produced sound is rather 'sharp', 'blocky', or whatever you may call it (I have some difficulty here finding the correct musical jargon - English is not my native language). There are a lot of higher harmonics in it.
Maybe if you saw the video in the original article, you noticed some random gaps in some of the notes played, where, if you knew the pieces played (they are rather popular numbers so I'll assume you know at least some of them), you would expect the note to continue. Those are caused because the head has reached the end of the track and now has to reverse (and so does the rotation direction of the stepper motor). That takes a moment in which no 'music' can be played.

Comment Re:Make a federal case out of it - learn this term (Score 4, Interesting) 42

I already think of myself as European. I'm Dutch as well, by the way. There are many more who think the same. There are also quite some people who do not. European integration is already at work for at least half a century. With mixed results, I have to admit... but one thing it did do right; 1945 was the last year there was an active war between European nations (there has been quite an ugly civil war (Yugoslavia) and Russia doesn't seem to play nice, recently. But France, Germany and the U.K. seem to have lost their imperial aspirations). Let's hope people are smart enough to see the benefits and be wary of things that should be better - and keep voting accordingly.

Comment Re:Looks like a shipping container, with a roof (Score 1) 71

Well ... it should weigh less than 100 KG (200 pounds?)... I don't know of any shipping containers that light. The smallest 'common' shipping container according to the wikipedia website (20') weighs at least 22 times as much. And it should handle heat/cold a lot better than a big metal box.

To me it rather looks like other 'usual' temporary housing things. Those white houses they set up at big outdoor events. The only one that comes into mind close where I live, where I've seen them and an event with (quite) some international renown are the yearly 4-day marches (in Nijmegen, the Netherlands). They have a number of those houses (a big one and some smaller ones) at the start/finish site, for example where medical personnel can treat people with feet problems caused by the long walk. Only, those are not insulated at all... just made out of white plastic segments and a sheet roof.

Comment Re:Obvious Usefulness (Score 1) 157

Only... we already have kind of natural light houses for galactic-scale navigation already. In multiple types even.
Pulsars (fast spinning neutron stars) are the first that come to mind. Their pulsating frequency seems to be very stable which makes them easily recognizable and distinguishable. There are multiple in our own galaxy (of 14 of them, their characteristics were depicted on the Pioneer Space Probe plaque. One of 'our' early 'Hello, aliens' attempts). They should be perfect for intra-galactic travel. Pulsars have also been observed in other galaxies but for inter-galactic travel I would rather use... Quasars.
Quasars are like 'very distant' radio beacons. With 'very distant' I realy mean 'very distant'. The scientific consensus is, quasars are compact regions in the center of massive galaxies surrounding a central supermassive black hole. The signal they emit comes from the perpendicular jet of energy released as matter falls into the super massive black hole from its accretion disk. The emission is extremely red-shifted which makes them for us, 'light up' heavy in the radiofrequent part of the spectrum and gives us the impression of them being that 'very distant'. Their position shouldn't move a lot, while you travel to your vacation home in the Small Magellanic Cloud.

Comment Re:Because capitalism, idiots. (Score 5, Interesting) 245

This (for quite a part) USED to be government work. Half/3 quarters of a a century ago, at least. Research, also into medicine, was university sponsored work and universities mainly got sponsored by government (at least in large swaths of Europe.... don't know how it was in the '50's/60's/70's in the U.S.A.) However in, 'first world' nations, those that actually 'have/had' resources to develop new drugs, things got privatized, subsidies got cut down because government spending had to be cut down because of .... because Republican/Liberals/howeveryouwanttonameit. Result: Drugs are left to the market and so only what the market sees as profitable gets developed.

Perfect, if you really like it that way, and according to election results, a lot of people in the developed nations think it's all roses (pun intended).
I'm not someone wanting everything and our lives state owned but I do vote socialist. Just because I see, time and again (and I'm not even fourty...), things the free market can not solve. Even in a 'perfect' capitalist system. Which, I'm afraid, we have not one of, in this world.

Public transport, Medicine, Communications/utilities/transportation infrastructure (emphasis on infrastructure, not services), Fundamental research/sciences, Nature development...
Some things you should do as a community, others you should leave to the free market.

And be damned, pay your f*cking taxes, all of you! Also the rich. Yes, I'm looking to you too. You should get enjoyment from living in a country where things are arranged properly. Your investments are worth double if you don't have to fear the troubles that come when a significant part of your fellow human beings live below the poverty line. Your spending into security should be insignificant in a well managed nation... How much extra does that dwelling in a gated community cost you? Talk about living in a cage...

Comment Re:Solution: Decouple wired buisness from company (Score 1) 255

(Disclaimer: A small part of the hyperbole in this post is because of fun. The rest, sadly, is the honest truth.)

Hey! That map only includes HALF of Europe!

You forgot 90% of the Scandinavian peninsula including the entire territory of Finland (I'll forgive you for not adding Iceland and the Baltic, small as they are) all of which have excellent internet services. Then there is a bunch of European countries at the east side which, at least, have internet options comparable with those in the U.S. (sad but true): Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland... If I would be really anal, you should include Belarus, the Ukraine and parts of Russia and Turkey as well. Try to lose that!

Also Sweden isn't roughly the size of California... it's California-and-a-half, having 1/4th the number of inhabitants and a climate more akin to Alaska. It should be MUCH harder pulling off a high-tech internet infrastructure there. But instead, theirs is amongst the most advanced... in the World.

The most preposterous argument is that of total U.S. land size that limits your abilities to provide internet access to most of your population. As if 99% of your population lives in the desert (don't make me laugh; you're not Saudi Arabia, not by a long shot). You have States, haven't you? And you Americans are proud tot let States do what States should do, and Federal government what only Federal governments can accomplish. Printing dollars is Federal. Nuclear weapons, that's Federal. Education, that's State business, as is Transportation. Why isn't providing basic utility services (like internet access) as well?
Here in Europe, many countries are united in the European Union. That European Union has regulations regarding these sort of things. But they aren't set in stone! Each country does its best to implement them, in a way that suits that country best. In that regard, it isn't (or shouldn't be) that much different than the U.S. and its 50 states.

And don't get me wrong. Over here, almost everyone thinks of internet access as a basic utility service. Like running water, electricity, gas... If you're (self) employed or if you run a company it's even an essential service. You couldn't do your taxes otherwise. And every year more local/state government-populace interaction (like requesting permits, applying for identification papers, driver license) is available on-line which saves... tax dollars/euros as less paper mail and administrative personnel is needed to get that work done. That should warm at least every Republican heart. Less taxes because of a more efficient government!

I'm surprised you Americans haven't already started a class-action lawsuit against the big teleco/cable companies for wilfully limiting your freedom of information rights (part of freedom of speech). How can you guys keep yourself informed if you have to crawl every part of the (information high-)way? They seem to actively hamper the development of high speed internet access by not investing in their networks and using their monopolies to prevent healthy competition. It's so un-capitalistic I'd be sick about it! You should be screaming your discontent off your rooftops and use those four boxes you're so proud of having (soap-, ballot-, jury-, ammunition-, in that order). We only have the first three here... you should be more free than us, not the other way around!

Comment Re:Hope it has GigE. (Score 1) 180

Probably a combination of:

1) High bandwidth consuming action scenes (actual bandwidth demand can fluctuate quite a lot over the runtime of a movie)
2) Not enough buffering (I guess that primarily depends on the media playing software)
3) Congestion on the WiFi channel (neighbour(s) also streaming video... and even if you can't find another SSID doesn't mean there isn't another non-WiFi appliance or a 'silent' WiFi using that bandwith and your access point has to 'packet switch' around the nuisance... )

Never choose WiFi over wired unless you really (it's less reliable), really (it's less secure), really (it consumes limited resources) have to.

Comment Re:Cyptowall is very sophisticated (Score 5, Informative) 181

First, the machine pulling backups has completely different interaction with the 'world' than your average system-to-be-backed-up. I assume you're not reading e-mail, PDFs or surf the web on the system you use for data backup. Also, it should not execute any of the data it's backing up so the actual backup process should not be an attack vector for malicious software.

If you still want more security you could choose for the machine pulling backups to actually have a different hard and/or software platform than the machines it pulls the backups from. For example, you could have windows desktops and shared SMB partitions that contain the stuff to be backed up and a Linux NAS with Samba client doing the backups using a cronjob. Make sure that, if the NAS does have Samba server as well (for network shares) your backups are not available through them because, as we know of Cryptowall, it will also encrypt network data the infected system have write access to.
There is virtually no malicious software that can infect multiple distinctly different hard / software platforms in the same attack. Although in this particular instance (Cryptowall 2) it does make use of two processor architectures, x86 and AMD64 to do its things...

Comment Re:Wrong conclusion (Score 1) 269

My Creative Zen Xtra (2003) is still going strong. 30GB harddisk (also available in 60 GB), large blue-backlit LCD, excellent user interface, IMHO. Replacable battery, however the Li-ion cell it came with is still doing what it's supposed to do. Built like a brick, however the front aluminium cover which gives access to the battery compartment hasn't got the sturdiest of closing mechanisms. Not a 'scroll wheel' of course because that was patented technology at that time. But side buttons and a jog wheel for volume and selection works for me.
I did install the 2.10.03 'plays for sure' firmware to make it WMP 10 compatible. Apparently that didn't always work out well for it has a reputation as "Zen killer". But I never had any problems with it...

I also still have (but don't use) my Creative D.A.P. Jukebox (Disc-man sized, blue/silver, 6GB HDD, pre-ipod era). Fond memories... but 6 GB is just too small.

May all your PUSHes be POPped.