Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Really, because I have a robot that does it for (Score 1) 161

by microcars (#49207179) Attached to: Why It's Almost Impossible To Teach a Robot To Do Your Laundry

I was just going to make this comment! I love my washing machine robot.
But to add to it: If I wanted to completely automate the task of cleaning my clothes from the time I removed them, I would not have a "robot" use an existing washer and dryer.
I would think it would be more efficient to have a device that automated the entire process so it it controlled as many variables as possible.

My mother-in-law has never done her own laundry despite owning a washer and dryer. She already has a "robot" that does it for her.
The "robot" comes to her home 2X a month to wash clothes and while the clothes are being cleaned, the "robot" also tidies up around the house as well.

Comment: Re:Not Sure If Good Or Bad (Score 1) 164

by microcars (#49061265) Attached to: Researcher Developing Tattoo Removal Cream

On the plus side, it makes it much easier to get rid of that tattoo I got last night while drunk.

FTFA: it works best on tattoos that are more than 2yrs old.

On the minus side, it makes it much easier for someone to remove your tattoo in your sleep.

FTFA: it will apparently take several treatments, it is not instant.
But I must admit I was thinking of those same pros and cons before I actually read the article....

Comment: THIS! (Score 1) 248

by microcars (#49051409) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

my wife used to use an iPad in the kitchen to display a recipe she found, then she gave up on that and just brought her laptop instead.
Then she gave up on that.
Most of the time she uses recipes she has printed out on paper and who cares if they get stuff spilled on them, she just prints out another one.
Or she drags out the "recipe book" from the top of the fridge that has all her olde recipes that she saved on a bazillion scraps of paper.
It's just easier than pulling them up on the computer or the iPad or something else.

same with most everything else around the house.
I tried using an iPhone app and a dongle to replace all the remotes for the TV and things but that ended up being more clunky than 4 remotes.
I would say it was because we are "old" but our late teen grandkids seem to have zero interest in "smart" devices other than to flip them around in the air and do "tricks" with them like "drop" them so they break.

Comment: Smart/WiFi Thermostats work great though (Score 1) 248

by microcars (#49051321) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

We installed a new boiler last year and the board kept throwing error codes to the point where it would shut down.
We couldn't leave the house for more than 24 hours for fear the boiler would lock up in the middle of winter.
Coincidentally we had sprung for a Honeywell WiFi thermostat and I could manually check the setting remotely on my phone very easily.
The thermostat would also send an alert through the app if the temp exceeded parameters. This, coupled with a new DropCam aimed at the boiler's control panel (which did NOT have the ability to alert us other than throwing a code and flashing a red light) allowed us to leave for trips and contact the installer for repairs if needed and we had a neighbor let them in. Never ended up needing that as they eventually fixed the boiler.

The WiFi Thermostat has come in handy in other ways since then:
We installed one in the apartment we rent out to replace the crappy one that the tenant could never figure out how to use. Now when they call or text about issues with Heating or Cooling I can instantly check their thermostat remotely and "fix" it.
We also installed one in my MIL's home. She lives alone and keeps screwing with the thermostat. She is supposed to leave the FAN ON all the time so the humidifier runs even when the forced air heat is not supposed to come on. Instead of driving over there to check it, *again* I just check it via the app on my phone. I can turn the FAN on/off, check settings, re-do them if necessary.

No issues with reliability after more than a year of operation.

Comment: Re:Confession - I didn't like Interstellar (Score 3, Interesting) 289

by microcars (#48492431) Attached to: Physicist Kip Thorne On the Physics of "Interstellar"

I see so many people going on about who great this film was but I can't help but wonder what it was that I missed?

The film is about Love. Everything else is window dressing.

If you try and make the film to be about something else, you will be disappointed.

Comment: Re:LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS (Score 1) 907

by microcars (#48002151) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

There seems to be a "sweet spot" of just how much cash most people can come up with for used vehicle and it appears to be around $4K max.

I don't know if you mean cash literally which would make sense, but most people can qualify for loans from their bank or credit union.

I meant CASH as in CASH. Literally. Not figuratively.
I meant people paying CASH for a car. The segment of the population we are talking about in this thread does not use banks or credit unions.
That's one reason why they end up getting these horribly financed vehicles.

Comment: Re:LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS (Score 1) 907

by microcars (#47995659) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

That may be true, but if you have the $5K, chances are you are not going to be shopping at one of these places in the first place.
These loans are for people who are are literally living week to week.

There seems to be a "sweet spot" of just how much cash most people can come up with for used vehicle and it appears to be around $4K max.
Case-in-point: I advertised my 12 year old pickup for $4500 and had several "offers" and tire kickers. I figured it was a very fair price for decent truck, but the buyer ended up being a dealer with a small lot of work trucks. He paid the full amount.
I asked him how much he thought he could get out of it. He said $8999.
How could a dealer find a buyer for that price when I had trouble at $4500? The difference was that they could finance it for the buyer.
Buyer had to put down maybe $2-3K, the rest was financed at a fairly high rate.

Comment: Re:Opt out of the credit scam (Score 1) 907

by microcars (#47995083) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

and if we want a house we should just save up for 50years?

of course! after a year or two of living on the street, you will have saved enough money to buy a car.
Then you can live in that until you have saved enough money to buy a house.

or borrow the money from your parents like everyone else. (Romney joke)

Comment: Yes They Do! (Score 1) 907

by microcars (#47994723) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

The dealer will buy a car at auction for $2000, then offer it for sale for $5000 but you HAVE to finance it through them. They will NOT let you pay cash.
They take advantage of the fact that there are a large group of people out there that are employed at low wage jobs who need a car to get to and from work.
They take $500 or $1000 down, or more if possible. Once you make a few payments, the dealer's initial cost for the vehicle is paid and if you don't make the payment, they repo the car and sell it to someone else for the same amount, financing the deal again.
These dealers can sell the same car over and over again without having to buy new inventory.

Comment: Most important: (Score 1) 130

by microcars (#47847265) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Service To Digitize VHS Home Movies?

Make sure the service you find does cable straightening or uses "MASSIVE" brand cables.
This ensures all the 1's and 0's get through. Cables with kinks can cause some of the 1's to get stuck.
I use 1 inch diameter cables to import all my VHS video footage.
Why would you trust your VHS footage to anything less?

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis