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Comment: Re:Why bother with a radar / laser jammer? (Score 1) 666

by kevmatic (#45304821) Attached to: Atlanta Man Shatters Coast-to-Coast Driving Record, Averaging 98MPH

Hah, I remember that happening around Pittsburgh. It was on the news. They eventually ticketed a lawyer and that put an end to it- Appeals court said no.

I believe they ended up refunding the ticket monies.

I've seen people drive that fast around here. I've driven past them as they lay at the side of the road upside down (never actually seen one flip in person, though).

Comment: Re:The story of the 2003 blackout (Score 1) 293

by kevmatic (#44697249) Attached to: US Electrical Grid On the Edge of Failure

I wonder how much of it has to do with population density. I'll betcha a LOT. I assure you that the Japanese, per capita, has a tiny amount of electrical grid wiring compared to the US. We have a ton of people like me living in rural areas, and we have long power lines feeding us. That's a lot more opportunity for a tree to fall and knock out power to a lot of people. You don't think that might account for the .099% difference in reliability?

  In my area the houses are far enough apart that each house has its own transformer. Gives me very stable power, though.

Comment: Re:reliability (Score 1) 139

by kevmatic (#44542797) Attached to: BlackBerry Officially Open To Sale

I have a company-supplied Bold, and it is easily the worst phone I've ever touched. Its not reliable at ALL. It only syncs when it feels like it, reception is poor, and the battery life is so bad its never charged anyway. And for some reason, if the battery starts to go low, it just turns off the cellular modem but doesn't turn it back on when its put back on charge. Basically, if you keep one eye on it, it'll just stop getting emails.

The innovative ways that Blackberry devised to suck are impressive. The battery life is about a day (if you don't use it), it doesn't really have a keypad lock as its designed to live in its huge holster, the speaker phone is so bad its useless (the one in my dumbphone Samsung Convey is immensely superior), it has a gazzillion buttons that I don't even think do anything, etc.

Maybe OS 10 is an improvement, but the older versions are so hard to work its not funny. There's Setup, Options, Preferences, and then individual options and preferences in each application it ships with. If you want to change an email option, which of the five options menus is it in? Well, just try them all. Mine's stuck with the French spellcheck library, but I can't find the option to fix it. I found the one for the whole phone, which is set in English, but does that affect the spellcheck? Of course not. Oh, it must be under the "SpellCheck" options menu. Nope, not there either.

The funniest is the charging. When you plug it into a PC to charge it, it lights up with this nice clock thing. Put the PC to sleep, and it'll stop charging. But its still connected to the PC, right? So the clock thing stays on. In an hour or two, your battery will be dead. Even though its getting power in the USB port.

Maybe they should have sold phones that people wanted to use rather than positioning themselves as the provider of phones that your employer makes you use.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 161

by kevmatic (#43772933) Attached to: NWS Announces Big Computer Upgrade

Where did you find information on the USA's spending on weather forecasting? Is it really that much lower than that of the European countries?

People seem to see all the embarrassment behind the fact that the European weather forecasting system is so much better, but Europe consists of 50 countries with a total population of 750 million. I don't know how many of those countries put into that weather system funding pot, but I'll betcha its most of them.

The fact that our system, from one country with half the population, is comparable at all seems impressive to me. After all, we're being compared to a continent.

Comment: Re:Arrgh! Where's my 16:10 (Score 1) 311

by kevmatic (#42266105) Attached to: LG Introduces Monitor With 21:9 Aspect Ratio

Have it. Love it. 1920x1200 is only a little more expensive than 1920x1080, which makes sense since its a little bit more pixels. Its really the highest resolution you can get at a decent price, unless you maybe count high end Apple monitors. But I refuse to buy a monitor with a fan in it.

Comment: Re:In my corporate environment.... (Score 1) 1307

by kevmatic (#35858476) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do I Give IT a Login On Our Dept. Server?

Actually, he doesn't say where the server is located. It might be at his house! He's asking for a hole in the firewall to get to his server... He didn't say which way he needed to hole to go. I think that he wants to access an off-site server via the hospital WiFi.

Which makes his surprise about being asked for an account significantly less surprising.

Comment: Re:It's worse then that. (Score 1) 347

by kevmatic (#34996212) Attached to: How Chrysler's Battery-Less Hybrid Minivan Works

I don't really get this. What, exactly, prevents the computer from downshifting the transmission, you know, automatically? Aren't they called Automatic transmissions for a reason?

My car (6 speed auto Ford) downshifts itself when descending hills when the Cruise Control is on to try and maintain speed. Of course, it doesn't work all that well because engine breaking usually isn't enough to keep a car slowed on a hill, and hitting the brake turns off the cruise...

Heck, my dad's diesel pickup (also Ford) doesn't even have to be in cruise control. Just hitting the brake is enough to cause it to downshift and engine brake.

Comment: Re:intel also needs more PCI-E lanes as just X16 f (Score 1) 116

by kevmatic (#34745246) Attached to: Intel Sandy Bridge Desktop and Mobile CPUs

That's 16 lanes coming directly out of the CPU; the chipset also provides an additional 8 lanes.

This means that in order to get data from a discrete GPU to a PCIe lightpeak card will require a journey from the GPU, through the CPU PCIe lanes, through the CPU, down whatever they're calling the Frontside Bus this week, into the Chipset's PCIe controller, down those lanes and into the lightpeak card. I don't know if that will affect performance much.

Of course, I doubt we'll see GPU support for Lightpeak monitor connections OR Lightpeak monitors for at least a year after Lightpeak itself comes out, so its unlikely to see use this CPU generation.

Comment: Re:Hows this bug work? (Score 1) 487

by kevmatic (#34090458) Attached to: iPhone Alarm Bug Leads To Mass European Sleep-in

I used to use my Nokia 1100 as an Alarm clock, as I slept in the top bunk and I could toss it in between the bed rail and mattress. Thing is, though, is that while it would always go off at the time it was supposed to, it would randomly go off at other COMPLETELY RANDOM times. If I set it at 6:15, it might go off at 1:30 or 5:50 or anything, but it would always go off at 6:15 too. It would say "ALARM" and all that, and I'd go into the alarm clock setting to see when it was set, and it'd be set at 6:15... but it had just gone off at like 2:42.

Googling finds that the issue with my cell phone was isolated, though many complaints that it just won't go off...

I stopped trusting cell phones to wake me. I use a Chumby now.

Comment: I expected this to be about USB Ports (Score 1) 484

by kevmatic (#32733700) Attached to: Dell Selling Faulty PCs

The college I went to up until last year used nothing but Dells in all the computer labs. What a nightmare.

They all always seem to RUN, but they ALL have input device problems. We had these P3s in the one lab, and you'd get halfway through class and the keyboard and mice would fail on about half the machines. New mice and keyboards didn't help, and they locked up if you plugged most USB devices. All you could do is sit there and look at your inaccessible work.

The PIV and Core 2 Insipirons all had major USB port problems. For one thing, they pointed at the ground at a 45 degree angle, and only detected USB thumbdrives about half the time. Sometimes, plugging anything in would lead to an instant reboot.

The Core 2 Inspirons were the worst, because they didn't have have PS/2 ports. For some reason, unless you plugged the keyboard and mice into the top two slots on the motherboards, they didn't work. Even then, it usually took several reboots after unplugging them. It took us hours to get them all to work when we moved them to set up for a programming contest.

When someone comes into an IRC channel and moans about USB Port issues, I usually respond "What Model Dell?" The reply is usually Inspiron.

I had to repair a PIV Inspiron once, but I had to ask for the keyboard for it because none of the USB keyboards I had would work and it didn't have PS/2 ports. Its kind of embarrassing.

Comment: Re:Not so legacy hardware... (Score 1) 558

by kevmatic (#32015856) Attached to: The Mystery of the Mega-Selling Floppy Disk
I'm thinking the BIOSes only give the drives a couple of seconds to respond with the CD information and sometimes the drive doesn't make it in time. I usually get around situations like the ones you've mentioned by warm booting a couple of times. Relatively speaking, optical drives frequently take an eternity to respond.

Comment: Similar to Spore (Score 3, Interesting) 297

by kevmatic (#28703787) Attached to: New Service Converts Torrents Into PNG Images
I'm suprised no-one has mentioned this, but Spore Creation files are PNGs with a picture of the creation, with the data needed to create it in the game hidden in the alpha channel. This scheme, obviously, just generates a blurry group of pixels, but I wonder if you could change it somehow so the png looks like its contents... Like text of what's in the .torrent.

Your fault -- core dumped