Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Comment We actually have a use for them... (Score 1) 261

My company actually has a quasi-legitimate use for curved screens. We make airplane flight simulators, and some of our larger ones have 180 degree wrap-around vision using 5 screens (ok, well, actually [pulls out a calculator] 225 degrees, being 5 sides of an octagon, but you get the idea). Correctly done, curved screens could make the experience more seamless.

Which is not to say that I don't consider them to be a gimmick intended to drive sales.

Comment Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score 1) 767

Something I wouldn't have thought of, seeing as how I'm living in sunny Northern California these days, and snow is a distant memory. I kind a miss digging it, well, hmm, exactly not at all. Nope. Still don't miss digging out of the snow. Ask again next year. :)

Still, surely there are ways of dealing with ice and snow that don't involve sending people 'round to knock it off with broomsticks. Airplanes deal with it all the time. At least in this case you don't get big hunks of metal falling out of the sky if they fail, and there are fewer issues of extra weight, aerodynamics and current draw that need to be considered.

"Point is that there is no winning here. Everything is a compromise."

I'm not sure "winning" is the goal here, and I'm not sure where to draw a line that shows "winning" on one side and "losing" on the other. But I don't think this is a zero-sum game. A compromise, yes, everything is, but I think an improvement, on balance. If you have to install heaters to melt the ice, you save less than if you didn't, but on balance you should save more than if you heat the lights all the time.

It's a problem that needs to be addressed, but it doesn't completely negate the advantages.

Comment Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score 1) 767

I like you guys. You do it much better than here.

There are ways to recycle that stuff here, too, but mostly we're not as good at making it convenient. And it's variable from place to place. How good it is in any one place depends on the whims of the state and local legislatures.

Comment Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score 1) 767

Me, I glue them into the socket. When I have to change the bulb, by God, I'm gonna replace the entire fixture!

Pisses off the landlord, too. Nothing is better for knocking bux off your deposit return short of trashing the place!

For my next trick, I'm going to pull up all the carpet and staple it to the ceiling. That way it stays clean and I won't wear it out.

Comment Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score 1) 767

Eh, perhaps. We came up with various ways to make light, and each one was an improvement over the last. The Edison bulb was simple, cheap, easy to make, portable, and so on so we used it for a few generations until we found a way to improve on it. Now other technologies have caught up and are surpassing its value, so we're starting to convert. One of the reasons it's taking so long is that the existing technology is entrenched; people want to keep using their old equipment, and they don't want to change how they're using it, so the new technology has to LOOK just like the old technology, while still providing an obvious improvement. e.g. It's easier to design a new lamp around LED technology than it is to design a replacement Edison base LED bulb that throws as much light as a 100W incandescent, but people want to replace their bulbs without replacing all their lamps.

So anybody with any sense of perspective will actually be able to figure it out. Otherwise the same could be said for ANY techological advance. Recording audio on sticky tape and rust? How stupid is that? Solid state makes MUCH more sense!

Comment Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score 1) 767

"the only hard part is a switching power supply".

These days, switching power supplies are easy. I think the REAL hard part is heat dissipation. That's especially true when you're trying to make your light bulb fit into an existing socket; your form is limited by the function of an older technology. Whereas if you get to design the lamp from the ground up, you've got a bit more leeway.

And it's why high-wattage replacements are harder to find, very expensive and weigh a ton. I don't think I've seen anything higher than 100W equivalent in an Edison screw base yet.

"And it's revolutionized other industries - aircraft lighting is rapidly going LEDs..."

Absolutely. Probably the airport runway stuff too. I've seen lots of LEDs on commercial trucks, especially the marker lights, and a lot of newer car models use them for signaling. Also I've noticed a lot of traffic lights have gone LED. I think that's a tremendous savings. Not just the power, but consider how much it costs to change one of those suckers. (Remember: you have to roll a truck with a cherry picker, and redirect traffic... at least.) Swap one out every 20 years instead of, I dunno, once every year or two? And they can take damage and keep running -- I once saw one doing a perfectly adequate job with about 1/3 of the LEDs dark. Try THAT with an incandescent.

Let's organize this thing and take all the fun out of it.