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Comment: Re:My LED bulb didn't last! (Score 1) 328

by markus (#49247493) Attached to: New Crop of LED Filament Bulbs Look Almost Exactly Like Incandescents

I converted the whole house to LED about a year or two ago. And yes, that required rewiring some of the fluorescent fixtures. It's generally not a big deal, although it took a bit of effort to rewire the fixture in our range hood. Thank God for pop rivets :-)

But I just saw that Home Depot has started selling LED lights that apparently are compatible with electronic ballasts. They no longer require rewiring of the fixture. I am a little skeptical and haven't tried them myself, but Home Depot has an excellent return policy. So, if I had any remaining fluorescent fixtures that needed converting, I'd probably give the Home Depot product a try first.

Comment: Re:Just pick the study you want (Score 2) 243

by markus (#49121881) Attached to: Study: Peanut Consumption In Infancy Helps Prevent Peanut Allergy

Our pediatrician recommended that we can start feeding eggs within a couple of months of starting the kids on solids. The nutrients in eggs are great, and the risk of food allergies is not particularly extreme.

Having said that, he recommended we gradually start with small amounts and then slowly increase the serving size, just so that we don't unnecessarily put the kid at risk of having a really severe reaction, if they turn out to be allergic. Also, he suggested to initially only feed soft-boiled egg yolks as they are less likely to trigger allergies than egg whites.

This all naturally worked out quite easily with our schedule of introducing solids, as we did "baby led weaning". Once they showed interest in solids, we just offered them some of our food, picking easier and softer foods initially (e.g. toast, tofu, smoothies, puddings, finely cut veggies and meat/fish...). This also meant, our kids knew how to drink from a straw at about 10 months old -- such an amazingly useful skill when taking them to restaurants!

We never bothered with ready- or home-made baby foods, as right from the beginning we could always find some of our adult foods that our kids happily started chewing on.

Comment: Re:I got a butt chewing for giving my daughter hon (Score 1) 243

by markus (#49121727) Attached to: Study: Peanut Consumption In Infancy Helps Prevent Peanut Allergy

The advice against feeding honey to babies is not because of allergies, but because there is an -- admittedly small -- risk of it being contaminated. A baby's immune system isn't sufficiently mature yet, and this type of infection is potentially fatal.

So, yes, most parents are probably not going to notice anything bad about giving honey to their little ones. But as there is no particular unique benefit to eating honey, even the minor risk is worthwhile avoiding. This is the same reason, why pregnant women are advised against eating fresh cheese and raw fish. The risk is small, as evidenced by Japanese women eating sushi during pregnancy. But there still is a minor risk for an infection that could prove fatal to the unborn. Why take chances, if there are so many other alternative foods. And it is only for a couple of months anyway.

This is all very different from allergens. While allergies are not fully understood, there does appear to be some evidence that early exposure to allergens can reduce the statistical likelihood of developing allergies later in life. This must be traded off with the risk that allergic reactions can happen unexpectedly (i.e. somebody suddenly becomes allergic to something they previously didn't have problems with) and food allergies can easily be so severe that they are life threatening.

I never bought into the theory that avoiding peanuts for infants somehow helped them avoid developing allergies. So, these newer findings don't surprise me much. But I did buy into the precaution of avoiding peanuts for really young children, as a possible allergic reaction would almost certainly put them at increased risk of dying from anaphylactic shock.

The conclusion for us was: no raw fish during pregnancy, no raw honey or peanuts during the first year of life, but no additional restrictions after these times. We still carefully watch the kids, when they eat nuts, though -- just in case. And we generally encourage a diverse diet, always asking the kids to try new things.

Comment: Re:Mailing lists (Score 3, Interesting) 139

by markus (#48294815) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Useful Are DMARC and DKIM?

All of the work-arounds for mailing lists are broken in one way or another. Often so much so, that it breaks the overall usability of the mailing list in quite subtle and annoying ways.

All mailing lists that I am subscribed to have taken the more expedient option of banning Yahoo users from subscribing to their lists. This has the nice side-effect that it makes users switch to a more modern e-mail provider in the process. After everything was said and done, most users were actually quite thankful for this...

I think, Yahoo would have been smart to wait with the switch until after they worked on getting OAR to work. But that would actually require putting some work into this project; and as of lately, I am not sure Yahoo is really clear on which technologies they still want to seriously invest into, as opposed to putting everything into extended maintenance mode.

Comment: Re: Not really interested in faster wifi (Score 1) 116

by markus (#47136297) Attached to: Huawei Successfully Tests New 802.11ax WiFi Standard At 10.53Gbps

Sounds like interference from a microwave oven. You need to find the frequency that this microwave operates on, and you should then avoid that channel. The good news is that it is most likely one of your immediate neighbors. So, you could ask them to check on the label or in the manual for the microwave.

+ - Hubble Sees First, "KILONOVA", 1000 times brighter than regular Nova->

Submitted by littlesparkvt
littlesparkvt writes: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has detected a new kind of stellar blast called a kilonova, which happens when a pair of compact objects such as neutron stars crash together. Hubble observed the fading fireball from a kilonova last month, following a short gamma ray burst (GRB) in a galaxy almost 4 billion light-years from Earth.
Link to Original Source

+ - Lavabit forced to shut down

Submitted by clorkster
clorkster writes:

I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on--the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.

No doubt this has much to do with Snowden's use of the provider

Comment: Re:Um... (Score 4, Insightful) 612

by markus (#43235241) Attached to: Wrong Fuel Chokes Presidential Limo

Have you actually driven a car with a modern Diesel engine?

I had a Diesel rental about 20 years ago, and was impressed how little difference there was to a gasoline engine. But yes, you are right, back then Diesels did lack some of the "oomph" that I had come to expect from a high-powered gasoline engine.

In the last couple of years though, Diesel engines have gotten so good, there really is no reason whatsoever to buy a gasoline engine -- unless of course, you drive an incredibly small number of miles, in which case fuel efficiency doesn't matter and the slightly higher cost for the Diesel engine does.

Other than that, modern Diesels drive just like gasoline cars, are a lot more fuel efficient, and are extremely clean. I have read (slightly tongue in cheek) research saying that tail pipe emissions tend to be cleaner than the intake air :-) It's pretty much just CO2 and water.

Comment: Re:To be fair (Score 1) 484

by markus (#38161366) Attached to: Lego Bible Too Racy For Sam's Club

According to Wikipedia, 33.3% of the world population considers themselves Christian, 21.0% considers themselves Muslim, and 0.2% considers themselves Jewish. All of these are Abrahamic religions who recognize the bible. Although they might not all agree on the interpretation and on the relevance of all parts of the bible, in particular of the texts in the New Testament.

All of these religions also have additional written or oral traditions that go beyond the texts in the bible.

In other words, about 55.6% of the world population believe that the bible tells the truth or part thereof; at the very least, they believe that it is the truth as perceived by its various authors. Of course, as with any historic text, it is difficult to understand more than the most superficial meaning without also knowing the author's background and the frame of reference of the targeted readership.

Historians and religious scholars both continuously work to sort out these details. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they later discover that they got things wildly wrong. This isn't exactly easy research, and has often be the cause of political and religious conflicts and wars.

Comment: Re:Two comments (Score 2, Interesting) 319

by markus (#32630426) Attached to: Verizon Hints At Scrapping Unlimited Data Plans

What you are asking for is arguably a very specific feature and something that is probably too complicated for typical end-users. But it is nonetheless quite useful and something that should in fact be available for power users who don't get confused by the fact that they might accidentally disable all data-communications on their device.

On GSM/UMTS devices, you can probably do most of what you want to do by installing APNDroid from the Android market. It allows you to selectively disable non-Wifi data connections. There are a few other applications (e.g. Timeriffic) that are aware of APNDroid and that can be configured to en-/disable data based on other factors (e.g. time of day). I believe there are similar applications that can trigger based on location, but I haven't tried that myself.

Unfortunately, I believe that this option is not really available for CDMA devices such as the Droid. Last I checked, APNDroid only worked on devices that actually use APNs -- and that's a GSM/UMTS technology.

Normally, in a situation like this, I would suggest you look at community-firmware such as the Cyanogen project, as they tend to be quite good about adding a lot of features for power users. But again, I think that won't help you. Last I checked, the Droid was difficult to work with and didn't have much in the way of community-firmware.

Sorry that I can't be of more help. But maybe some of these suggestions will give you an idea on where to look for a solution.

Comment: Re:Two comments (Score 1) 319

by markus (#32626336) Attached to: Verizon Hints At Scrapping Unlimited Data Plans

Android phones will use Wifi if available and only use 3G for existing TCP connections. The latter should be far and few between, and they are unlikely to use much data. You'd only have those if you started a connection on 3G and then walked into an area that has Wifi.

By default, Android phones disable Wifi when the phone is not in active use. So, background applications can still incur some 3G usage. This setting made sense on older hardware (e.g. G1, ADP) which needed a lot of power to keep Wifi connections active. Having Wifi permanently turned on would result in sharply reduced battery life.

For more recent Android hardware (e.g. Nexus One), it is generally a good idea to change the Wifi "sleep policy" to never. This will keep Wifi active even when the screen is turned off. And in fact, it often results in better battery life. It turns out, on these devices Wifi is a lot more efficient than 3G. So, not only are you conserving your data quota, but also your battery power.


Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes After All 269

Posted by Soulskill
from the act-now-while-supplies-last dept.
cremeglace writes with this excerpt from ScienceNOW: "You've heard the controversy. Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up the Earth — physicists say that's impossible — and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole." That said, they estimate the required energy for creating a black hole this way to be roughly "a quintillion times higher than the LHC's maximum"; though if one of the theories requiring compact extra dimensions is true, the energy could be lower.

The Perfect Way To Slice a Pizza 282

Posted by samzenpus
from the equal-distribution-of-the-pie dept.
iamapizza writes "New Scientist reports on the quest of two math boffins for the perfect way to slice a pizza. It's an interesting and in-depth article; 'The problem that bothered them was this. Suppose the harried waiter cuts the pizza off-center, but with all the edge-to-edge cuts crossing at a single point, and with the same angle between adjacent cuts. The off-center cuts mean the slices will not all be the same size, so if two people take turns to take neighboring slices, will they get equal shares by the time they have gone right round the pizza — and if not, who will get more?' This is useful, of course, if you're familiar with the concept of 'sharing' a pizza."

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke