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Comment: Re:Is that even correct ? (Score 1) 185

by kaiser423 (#49719879) Attached to: Navy's New Laser Weapon: Hype Or Reality?
The error is that the mirror absorbs a photon and then emits one. That's how mirrors work -- they don't physically reflect photons, they absorb and emit new ones. Thus, the mirror would have to be capable of handling a 5kW instantaneous flux without degradation. That's hard to do on an external surface that's prone to getting a bit mucked up. I mean, the mirror helps, but there are practical considerations with respect to making one good enough to handle that level of incoming power flux.

Comment: It would have worked if they had the right team (Score 1) 123

by kaiser423 (#49578395) Attached to: Crowdfunded Android Console Ouya Reportedly Seeking Buyout
They had a good idea that generated a ton of interest. They got a ton of money to do it. But the team that they put together just didn't have the right skillset mix to pull off something so ambitious. Some of their team posting in their forums and their official updates showed a pretty serious lack of knowledge in some crucial areas. Their original UI and framework was a train wreck (haven't checked back in a year). A number of people bought it to serve as a kind of media aggregator -- run Plex, XBMC, some emulators and original Indie or other content. Then they panicked that lots of people were so interested in getting XBMC/Plex onto it that let out some updates that borked the ability to do that, and really burnt a lot of people

I was ok with the media center parts of it being worthless. I understood that they had a vision for gaming and were focused on it (although executed it poorly), and so was begrudgingly ok with the fact that they were throwing up a walled garden focused on gaming, rather than nurturing a vibrant hacker community. They killed that community, which it turns out was a lot of their customers and things withered. They really could have been a Raspberry Pi with a controller. But their controller just absolutely sucked. Their kickstarted called it "a tribute to all classic controllers out there. This will be the best controller ever." or something to that effect, which was one of the key reasons I bought it. They made it sound like they had spent some very serious effort building an awesome controller. The controller was really, really bad. If you can't play games well with the system, then it's not going to succeed.

Comment: Re:Why such crap? (Score 2) 263

by kaiser423 (#49577595) Attached to: Crashing iPad App Grounds Dozens of American Airline Flights
No, but mis-printed pages, illegible pages, pages falling out of binders, getting out of order, having coffee spilled on them, etc. all have happened. My guess is that the incidence rate might actually be lower with iPads. Printing 35lbs of paper for each and every flight of which there are thousands of a day, which is different for each and every flight is not something that happens error free. In fact, it's something that absolutely screams automation and computer-based workflow. I've seen numerous bad flight books, or having to rush new flightbooks to the plane because the other ones were wrong. I bet that the total incidence rate is lower with the iPad version. It's just that this makes news.

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 2) 263

by kaiser423 (#49577471) Attached to: Crashing iPad App Grounds Dozens of American Airline Flights
This. So much this. I don't get why people don't understand staggered roll outs. Do an update on one, wait two weeks, then update the other. Or heck, do a tick/tock update where they're always on slightly different versions.

Google does this for a reason with all of their updates in the Android store, and lots of major devs do it also. It's built into the deployment tool, where you can specify all at once or how to dole it out so that you see major bugs before they affect you're entire group. I can only assume that they have a similar mechanism that will allow it to happen simply for their custom iPad app.

Comment: Re:Talk about creating a demand (Score 5, Interesting) 334

by kaiser423 (#49568627) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage
Don't forget that adding solar panels is a virtuous cycle with respect to HVAC. You're not only capturing energy, but you're also not dumping that solar load onto your roof and attic. Here in Albuquerque, some of my friends that have put panels up found that even before the panels went live, their electric bills dropped 20+% just due to the panels providing shade for a portion of the roof. Then they found that their solar panels were oversized since they hadn't expected that reduction, and exceeded house demand essentially from 8am to 6pm. Most of them are providing above 90% total load month to month, even in the winter (natural gas heating). Another panel or two and some energy storage and they'd be there.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 356

Yup. I loved mobile sites on my BlackBerry, my old original Moto Droid, my early iPhones, etc.

But now, I pretty much loathe them. With double-tap to zoom getting it right to the content at most times, Chrome's "zoom in on ambiguous link click" to let you get at the right one, and just the resolution of modern phones giving you a good enough view of the screen, there just isn't a big reason for mobile sites anymore. Often times, they're much worse (looking at you Kickstarter -- no search on the main page for the mobile? Seriously?). Then some, like ExtremeTech are even worse -- I get the desktop site, zoom in and get about 3 sentences in and then it reloads the whole site in the mobile version, making me wait for a whole re-download of the page. Then it's a gimped version, and I can't do anything.

I particularly hate the "responsive design" pages, because there's no way to request the regular site! You're just screwed! Sometimes the feature I need is only on the regular site, and there's literally no way to get at it.....

Comment: Re:But....Profits! (Score 1) 281

by kaiser423 (#49450321) Attached to: The Myth of Going Off the Power Grid
At least locally, the upkeep costs the utility companies are proposing vastly outstrip their actual costs (aka, if every solar owner paid it they'd more than triple their maintenance budget). Second, the energy distribution is necessarily local (aka they're not shipping your residental solar power to somewhere hundreds of miles away), and has been shown to actually defer costs -- an internal report that the residential solar load lessened the amount of power needed to the city, putting off a major line upgrade costing tens of millions for at least 5-10 years. A cost that the utility otherwise would have had to distribute out, so at least in some instances it can lessen capital costs since major line upgrades for extra capacity are needed less often -- a nice benefit of distributed generation, you don't need such massive trunks lines.

I don't have solar, but can definitely see this for what it is -- trying to crowd out something that they don't like.

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 671

by kaiser423 (#49176245) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial
See what they did to Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning. They locked her up in solitary for extended periods and really did just about everything that they could to make her mentally break. Very punitive, and if you ask me god-damn un-American. Lots of people tried to draw attention to the fact that the judicial system was totally fine with mentally and physically breaking a person before even going to trial, but hardly anyone even cared. If I was Snowden I would've seen that, and decided to get asylum somewhere until I was able to reasonably ensure that they wouldn't do the same to me, and then come back for trial. Snowden has always indicated that he is fine with standing in court over his actions -- but he is not fine with cruel and unusual punishment before the conviction and a railroaded process. I say bring him back and show that we can put on a fair trial and treat our accused with at least the most basic human dignity.

Comment: Re:Is this really a problem unique to devs?? (Score 1) 347

by kaiser423 (#49144713) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates
Great post. This then doubles with EVMS -- the new government way of creating estimates and schedules. You have to hack out the software development so fine that at the proposal or initial program startup phase, you better know every class and architectural detail, because you're not allowed to add anything without an expensive replan, but you're also not allowed to have non-specific tasks, or tasks that take longer than 44 days -- but that's the baseline task, so typically the software portion of it can't be longer than ~10-20 days. I do pretty good with getting the schedules in, but that's because I'm a PM that writes lots of code too, and does EE/RF work, so I can hack it in. But in a lot of other schedules from other people, it's really just GIGO -- garbage in, garbage out.

HEAD CRASH!! FILES LOST!! Details at 11.