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Comment: Re:I'd settle for appropriate brightness (Score 1) 94

by kimvette (#49565827) Attached to: Smart Headlights Adjust To Aid Drivers In Difficult Conditions

Not true; the arc itself is what creates the light and if you select the correct lamp you can use the same reflector or projector headlamp to get the right beam pattern. The only difference is the old H6054 style sealed beams sprayed light pretty much everywhere but modern composite headlamp assemblies do not do this. You can even get properly designed reflector or projector assemblies and replace the H6054 with the newer assemblies and the beam pattern will be just fine.

In fact many newer cars which offer an HID option will use the same basic headlamp assembly (whether reflector or projector) with either the halogen or HID lamps; the mounting flange will change in order to accommodate the ballast + D2S/D2R lamp asembly or the H7/H4/H3/H1+holder assembly. In either case the light source is in the correct location for proper focus and collimation because it is the arc between the electrodes producing the light, not the entire gas-filled globe inside the lamp.

Comment: Re:I'll be happy with one thing... (Score 1) 94

by kimvette (#49564247) Attached to: Smart Headlights Adjust To Aid Drivers In Difficult Conditions

I use extra bright rear fogs on my car to deal with asshole tailgaters (I love european cars - they come with rear fogs, all you need to enable them in some is a different headlamp switch module, and others you need to add four lines of code using freely-available diagnostic tools) ... and have been thinking about installing a flat array of ultra bright LEDs or even uncollimated laser diodes to deal with the assholes who still don't get the hint. :)

Comment: sports-free bundles please! (Score 1) 284

by kimvette (#49564189) Attached to: ESPN Sues Verizon To Stop New Sports-Free TV Bundles

Yes, I'd pay for bundles which exclude the sports channels. The only sport I've any interest in watching on television is hockey, and I'd pay for that a la carte if I could, and not get the rest... and it would be even better if I could edit the guide to remove them so I don't have to skip over 50-100 channels to get to the next group. :)

Comment: Re:Dell, HP, Panasonic (Score 1) 417

by kimvette (#49545295) Attached to: We'll Be the Last PC Company Standing, Acer CEO Says

I have a Dell Precision Mobile Workstation M6400 that is still going strong (although last summer I did finally have to replace the motherboard). It was knocked off a 4' high ledge onto a asphalt-tiled concrete floor while running and you can't tell it was ever dropped. The thing is a tank - and yes it's heavy but it has a fast chipset. The thing was a beast when it was new. The only reason I haven't upgraded is that newer models have a downgraded screen (1200p to 1080p). I'm hoping the next M6x00 refresh will include a 1440p or better screen. :)

Why I like the Dell Precision Mobile Workstation line:

* Discrete graphics card (they use mobile video chipsets though but that's kind of unavoidable)
* Fast I/O
* Built like a tank
* Excellent screens
* Great full keyboards - for a laptop. I'd prefer mechanical, but no way will a Cherry MX switch fit into a laptop
* multiple hard drive bays (RAID capable although I use it in AHCI mode because I dual boot Windows and Linux)
* Very easy to service and upgrade - no glued-together crap and everything is accessible. I can disassemble it to upgrade a processor and have it back up and running in an hour (upgraded from a Core 2 Duo to a Core Quad Extreme)
* Again, easy to service, so every once in a while I open it up and clear all the dust out of the fans, heat sinks and heat pipes
* no-compromise performance so yes it's heavy

I've had clients who asked about my laptop and switch to these workstation replacement laptops instead of buying desktops any more after seeing my laptop. Their concern was ability to run multiple monitors so I explained displayport to them, and the order them with Quadro video cards for CAD.

Oh and as far as enterprise hardware goes - Dell is pretty okay there. Their documentation is dead wrong on some items (particularly the Perc cards) but if you know LSI controllers you know how to work with them. Dell enterprise support is actually pretty darn good, and don't demand you reinstall Windows for every little problem. Tell them the motherboard died and they'll send someone on site with the replacement part the next day without forcing you to run through their stupid phone script like you would if you had bought an Inspiron... and unlike HP they do not demand you upgrade the firmware on a dead motherboard (???) when discussing the hardware failure.

When it comes to HP I like their chassis and blades but their support folks are generally condescending AND stupid (although I have had very good experiences with HP as well, to be fair but the good techs with them is like panning for gold - you get a lot of crap with a nodes on rare occasion) with most reading from a script. I never encounter that with Dell enterprise support; they're always interactive AND friendly.

Oh.... and HP laptops are crap. I don't like Lenovo either because it is difficult to order replacement parts through their web site, but when it comes to Dell it is almost always very easy to order replacement parts - and if a part replacement is obscenely priced they will often offer you a warranty renewal on the product which is much cheaper than the cost of a brand-new replacement board or screen.

Comment: Snowden and Manning are heroes (Score 1) 680

by kimvette (#49539017) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

I remember the cold war, the very real fear of nuclear war. X generation here, and I think Snowden and Manning are heroes, because they obeyed the supreme law of the land and blew the whistle on unlawful government activities. In Manning's case, s/he refused to obey illegal orders - she was damned if she did, violating the law and her oath, and violating orders if she didn't. She chose to do the right thing and is paying a high price for it right now. Snowden - well, he's a dead man walking right now, unfortunately, but he also did the right thing.

People of my generation and older are generally too trusting of the government, because they view the situation in black-and-white terms, us vs. them, Democracy[sic] vs. commies.

Comment: Re:And the vendor response will be... (Score 1) 279

by kimvette (#49530255) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

I don't mind ads, except when they start overlaying the content, or auto-play video and audio, or try to push popups or popunders (those are surprisingly still a thing even though browsers now block most by default!)

Google and Amazon ads are great- noticeable but not intrusive. They get my attention, are usually relevant and are very effective because they are so targeted that it's usually stuff in which I am interested.

But, obnoxious floating ads, autoplaying audio and video ads... screw that. They are vendors whom I take note of and will not buy from.

Comment: Re:not in the usa (Score 1) 293

by kimvette (#49505639) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

You're confusing HD Radio with satellite radio. Both are digital but HD Radio is free.

The problem with HD Radio is until now you haven't been able to get them in a vehicle, with no to very few models even offering it as an option, and only a couple of aftermarket head units with HD Radio receivers being available. That is only just now beginning to change, with some makes having made HD Radio standard, and others offering it as a premium option. Oh, and AV receivers - very few home AV receivers offer HD Radio as a band, so you need to buy a separate tuner component to receive it.

HD Radio has been a flop for the same reason as AM Stereo (which was actually quite good!); lack of receivers.

Comment: Re:I think one of my locals already has (Score 1) 293

by kimvette (#49505009) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

> I grab some tapes

Cassette tapes? People still listen to those? Can you even buy cassette tapes any more?

I still have a Pioneer cassette deck at home but haven't even hooked it up in years. I still have about 30 blank Type II and Type IV tapes still in shrink wrap. I don't think I'll ever use them.

Comment: Re:About half (Score 2) 293

by kimvette (#49501921) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

Another thing I'd forgotten about; an increasingly common trend with top-end vehicles (not cheap pieces of shit as you claim) is integrating even MORE features from the CAN bus into the head unit, particularly climate control. This is becoming increasingly (and annoyingly) commonplace, and is starting to filter down into midrange vehicles as well.

It's only the cheap pieces of shit and high-end vehicles from a handful of makes which only hand-build cars (Koeningsegg, Spyker, etc.) where volume is too low to justify highly integrated units where you can swap a head unit and not have to jump through hoops to not lose any functionality.

Sure, in most vehicles you can either install a CAN hub or even a passive connector and get the car to run, but you will lose some of the original features and kill trade-in/resale value in the process - and for the vehicles which have jumped on the touch-screen-for-everything trend, good luck selling a car where heat/defrost/AC doesn't work.

"Joy is wealth and love is the legal tender of the soul." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

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