Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 1) 277 277

The actual spec is behind a paywall, as with most tech specs, but Wikipedia says.

cable of about 5 meters (16 feet) can be manufactured to Category 1 specifications easily and inexpensively by using 28 AWG (0.081 mmÂ) conductors.[107] With better quality construction and materials, including 24 AWG (0.205 mmÂ) conductors, an HDMI cable can reach lengths of up to 15 meters (49 feet).[107]

You may be right, and this is just the physical consequence of the spec, but 28 AWG is quite thin wire. (One poster said his long cable has a booster, so maybe that's another way, but that's not "cheapest" either).

Comment Re:"This could help extend the lifetime of the pho (Score 1) 54 54

You mean Samsung would know when to tell the phone "not" to open as per their planned obsolescence policy.

Hey, now, this isn't Sony we're talking about. ("Sony timer" was a common phrase in Japan for a few years, with a strong urban legend that actual timers were built in to pop the day the warrantee expired. My favorite urban legend was that Sony employees carried a remote that could expire all your Sony timers early if you annoyed them.)

Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 1, Troll) 277 277

If offered a $45 HDMI cable over a $2 one, save your money and go cheap, heck by 3 of the cheap ones incase it breaks while installing it, you will be money ahead and you won't hear the difference EVER.

I hope you don't work with technology in any way. Sure, buy the cheapest cable that meets spec, but remember the first rule of engineering: the vendor is a lying bastard. There's a reason the cheapest cable is the cheapest cable. Paying $45 for a 6-foot HDMI cable is silly. Paying $45 for a 50-foot HDMI cable isn't.

Also, for HDMI specifically, the different numbered specs matter depending on use case. If your doing "4K" video, you'll want the HDMI 1.4 (or above) cable. If you want high color depth for a specific application, you'll want at least 1.3.

Sure, cheap is good, but as always in life, avoid the cheapest crap in the store.

Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 2) 277 277

I've had cheap longer mini-jack cables fail - just break inside the insulation. I've had cheap RCA cables break, short, and most annoyingly have the center-pins break off and get stuck in my equipment.

Yeah, avoid the $40 job with the weird connectors, but a $4 patch cable can save a lot of headache over a $1 cable.

Comment Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 5, Insightful) 277 277

This comes up whenever audiophile cables are discussed, but it's worth repeating: don't buy the cheapest cable.

There may be no useful difference between a $10 cable and a $1000 cable, but very often there's a real difference between a $10 cable and a $1 cable. Even for digital data, really cheap cables often don't meet spec, and can cause frustrating intermittent problems. You don't need anything exotic to avoid that, just avoid the bottom tier.

An example from my living room: I use a 45 foot HDMI cable to plug my TV directly into my HTPC (for reasons of convenience that aren't that interesting). The spec calls for thicker-gauge wiring for HDMI cables over 30 feet (IIRC), and you'll quickly see the price jump between cables that meet that spec and cables that don't. Don't buy the cheapest junk possible, that's all it takes.

It used to be that Dayton Audio was the only "solidly built, not too expensive" brand I knew about for cables, but Amazon changed that - now there are a bunch of options, including some sort of Amazon store brand that seems to be fine.

It's worth paying a bit more for solidly-built cables that meet spec (and especially for Ethernet cables, for some guard on the cable that keeps the clip from snagging or breaking off it you need to pull it through a tangle). Anything beyond that is a bit silly.

Comment Re:May you (Score 2) 281 281

Let Paris implement its own Grand mur de la France, behind which it can spend what it takes on a search engine with a Forget Me feature.

France did try building a Grand mur de la France once, of course, but then the Germans just went around it. Google search results are already filtered in France as needed to comply with French law, but France seems to be upset here that the Germans (or French with a VPN) are getting around it. Somehow, I don't think they'll learn this time, either.

Comment Re:IE all over again (Score 3, Interesting) 329 329

I'm pretty sure this was arrogance, but not malice, on MS's part: they really want to shift the IE userbase to Edge and drop IE support in some future release. Can you blame them? But in their arrogance they didn't remember (or didn't care) that quite a large portion of Windows users don't run IE in the first place.

Comment Re:Efficiency (Score 1) 861 861

I'm actually a huge fan of the idea of an electric car with an external-combustion range extender under the hood. High-efficiency turbines (of the sort they use in industrial power generation, not the sort in aircraft and the M1 Abrams) are very durable, but also quite heavy. However, if we're talking about a 40 HP generator in a 400 HP car, it can afford to be 3x as heavy per HP as a normal car engine. Doubling the efficiency is worth something.

Comment Re:Jeremy clarkson does not approve (Score 1) 861 861

Not, dealers don't charge you for recalls - ever. That's why they're recalls. They charge the manufacturer, and usually make a bit of money in the process. Some things they won't fix unless you complain, but there's a list of things they'll fix the next time they see your car, if it needs them (because they're fast and the dealer makes a little money doing them). There's often a non-descriptive line buried in the invoice somewhere that lists some recall numbers or just mentions them obliquely, with no charge associated, so most people never notice.

How much this varies by brand, I don't know, but certainly the luxury dealers do this, and for safety-related recall everyone does (for the safety ones you'll probably get a postcard about the recall, but the dealer will still just do it automatically). It's not like they hide all this, they just don't call attention to it.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 861 861

Complaining about Whole Foods' prices is like complaining about the price of a Mercedes S-class.

Except that an S-class is actually good, while Whole Foods is explicitly a sort of scam designed by a conservative to separate foolish hippies from their money (this isn't a secret or anything). While WF didn't invent the "call it organic and charge twice as much" idea, they sure did capitalize on it.

They've really nailed the presentation of goods to fool hippies (well, more accurately, middle-class, middle-aged people who still think hippies are cool) into paying more for food. The model doesn't work so well for young hipsters though, which is why the corporation is creating a new chain of stores just to have a different presentation to target hipster suckers separately.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 861 861

At some point, the freeway system will go autonomous only with no set speed limit. That will be the day the last non-autonomous, non-just-for-fun car gets sold.

You live in a city, don't you. And anyhow:

I strip away the old debris that hides a shining car
A brilliant red Barchetta from a better vanished time
I fire up the willing engine, responding with a roar
Tires spitting gravel, I commit my weekly crime

Wind in my hair
Shifting and drifting
Mechanical music
Adrenaline surge

Comment Re:Jeremy clarkson does not approve (Score 1) 861 861

Most cars get "automatic updates" from the dealer whenever you bring it into service. There's usually a long list of non-critical recalls that neither the manufacturer nor he dealer is keen to tell you about, but if you get service at the dealer all the fixes will be quietly applied. More and more, these are firmware patches.

So, to answer your question "so commonly that most people never realize there was an update". Tesla is somewhat unique in adding new features this way, but fixes are quite common.

Comment Re:Efficiency (Score 1) 861 861

They can potentially be powered by unicorn giggles, but there's still a lot of coal power in the US, and coal-powered cars aren't great by any measure. Worse, the only "renewable" (what a BS buzzword) power that scales is solar, and that's a poor choice for the mostly-nighttime load of charging cars.

There's no energy shortage in the first place to be worried about: the only good reason to buy an electric car is if it's a better car for the price. The Tesla Model S still isn't really, at the price, unless you're buying for 0-60 times (which I might well do), but for the first time it's close. The real test will be the Model 3 - potentially revolutionary, but so are a lot of things you can't actually buy.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen