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Comment: Re:instant disqualification (Score 1) 643

by labnet (#48858433) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

Visual Basic is not suitable for anything, except perhaps as a form of torture.

I've never understood the hate for VB. I program mostly in C and C#, but back in mid 90's I needed to write a large program that drove a real time thermometric titration system. VB6 was a fantastic GUI RAD that was able to everything I needed, including the creation of custom windows that were dynamically generated from SQL tables, to hooking into of DLL libraries that did BSpline array manipulation. I would have gone nuts writing that in C back in the day.
The verbose syntax of VB makes it easier for a broader range of abilities to be introduced to programming without all the symbology of C like languages getting in the way.

Comment: Side tabs should be default (Score 1) 116

by labnet (#48848661) Attached to: With Community Help, Chrome Could Support Side Tabs Extension

I used the side tab in chrome before it was dropped. As soon as it was dropped I deleted chrome from my system. Every PC I setup for anyone has Firefox with side tabs. I can have over 50 tabs open and it's the only sensible way to navigate on a 16:9 screen. There is a forum that discusses this, and the engineer who dropped it says very few used it. Well duh: you had to execute obscure commands to even enable it. Side tabs should be the default mode for any browser.

Comment: Re:Lost!? (Score 1, Insightful) 375

by labnet (#48502519) Attached to: The Cashless Society? It's Already Coming

The book of Revelation has the ultimate answer for "It's bulky. It can be forgotten, or lost" and "My wallet is on a chain"

It forced all people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to have a mark on the right hand or forehead.
Without the mark of the name of the Beast or the number of its name, it was impossible to buy or sell anything.
Solve a riddle: Put your heads together and figure out the meaning of the number of the Beast. It's a human number: six hundred sixty-six. (Revelation 13:15-18 MSG)

Comment: Been there, didn't work. (Score 4, Informative) 342

by labnet (#48495303) Attached to: Breath Test For Pot Being Developed At WSU

I worked with a chemist 15 years ago to develop such a product. A professor had found a salt, Fast Blue B, would change color specific to THC.
We were charged with trying to commercialize this, BUT, we couldn't prove that blood ratio had anything to do with breath concentration.

Breathalyzers for Alcohol are calibrated with an inferred ratio of 2100:1, of blood/breath concentration ratio. This is usually a fairly accurate assumption. The alcohol molecule is very volatile. THC on the other hand is a very different beast. If someone has smoked Marijuana, what you are reading is the residue on the lining of the airways which has a very poor correlation to what is in their blood.

This alone was enough to kill the idea, because ingesting vs smoking would give wildly different results.

Comment: Re:Capitalism does not reward morality (Score 1) 197

by labnet (#48423103) Attached to: Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?

Great Post:
The USA has allowed capitalists to subvert government to impoverish its people... but look at northern Europe: highly socialist while allowing capitalism and I think a much more mature society than the USA.
Even in Australia, we are much more socialized than the USA, and yes I hate the high taxes, but it provides a much better safety net for the poor.

Comment: Re:Yawn ... (Score 2) 167

by labnet (#48420907) Attached to: Microsoft Azure Outage Across the Globe

Yeah, but it's never really been about the reliability. It's always been the "not paying your own IT maintenance staff" thing that's the big draw.

I priced 10 2core VMs. It was 24k/annum. We do that internally on an R720 that cost 10k and needs about 3 hours a month maintenance. So for mainly internal use networks, where is the value?

Comment: The Cause (Score 5, Informative) 111

by labnet (#48388469) Attached to: An Applied Investigation Into Graphics Card Coil Whine

I've designed lots of these little switch mode supplies. (SMPSs)
The noise comes from the inductors. Inductors are coils of wire around a ferrite. When the current changes through the wire, the wire physically expands and contacts from every other wire. This is the source of the noise. (SMPSs normally switch from 200kHz to 2MHz, so well outside our audio range)
There are a few things a designer can do.
1. Encapsulate the coil. This holds the wire tighter together and can minimise noise, but is only usually used in large inductors like those in invertors for UPSs or solar.
2. Eliminate subsonic oscillation with good multi-pole compensation. Switch mode power supplies have, have first second and third order responses which require filters to damp them. If you don't design these filters well, you can get subsonic oscillation which falls into the audio band. The power supply still regulates OK, but you can get that annoying whine.
3. Occasionally the noise can also come from a periodic load with that falls into an audio range. More capacitors on the output can help that.

Also, very very occasionally, it can come from ceramic capacitors that use a high k dielectric that are microphonic, but in my experience it is usually the capacitor acting as a microphone that upsets the circuit.

"There is no statute of limitations on stupidity." -- Randomly produced by a computer program called Markov3.