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Comment: Re:Old School Amateur Radio Nut and Electronics Te (Score 1) 728

by muridae (#46736987) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?
Butane torch (or methane/methanol from brewing), or a small sealed container in a wood oven at about 200F for a short time would heat the solder to the melting point. Sure, 200F is a ways away from the fire of a hot oven, but it's achievable. To re-solder the pieces, rosin from pine + tin/lead/silver from metal work (or saved from desoldering work) and the same hot oven box or a torch and a heat sink like a solder iron tip or screw driver. Heat tip, touch pad, repeat. BGA parts would be a beast, but who's going to need many of them?

Comment: Re:Some of the oldest trades become useful. (Score 1) 728

by muridae (#46736935) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

I started my hobby at the other end of the fabric spectrum. I can weave bobbin lace, make nets, and crochet and tat lace (knitting eludes me), Basic metallurgy and small foundry construction, and low power electronics (if it can be powered by a lemon and metal, or a chain->magnet+wire) for data storage (picture wiki on a raspi, pedal a bike until you are done with your research!). And growing spices, as well as preserving them. We might need an economy to get started, but we could team up and kick ass.

As for reproduction issues that you bring up, rubber trees. Synthetic latex may not be available (i don't know how easy it is to make) but natural rubber (and the rubbers one could make with it) would still be around. But with out modern medicine, and the inherent increase in infant mortality rates, I don't foresee that being an issue for many people. To protect a woman, sure. To prevent the chance of becoming pregnant before safe, sure. But after they are safe and want to have kids, I'm not sure that birth control would be an issue. After all, each couple should have 3 or 4 kids (childhood and young adult mortality rates) just to keep populations stable, and to do that a woman might need to give birth to 10 babies. Scary, but I came from families that had that problem not even 70 years ago; without antibiotics and an OB-GYN and sterile tools, we'd be looking at rates similar to the worst periods that we humans have survived.

Comment: Who cooked up this headline? (Score 1) 676

by muridae (#46458837) Attached to: 70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

Seriously, it starts with "checks to individuals" and makes the firsts 38% of those Medicare/caid and ACA. Those checks aren't going to individuals! I never see a check from Medicaid, the doctors I go to might but it will be made out to their billing service. The check never goes to the hand of a single person! 21% is 'poverty programs' which, again, other than SSI/SSA don't go to individuals. Food stamp funding goes to the state, and the state disperses it; same as Medicaid actually.

So that's a chuck that doesn't make their numbers add up. Now they don't explain how they get that 0.5% of the budget goes to the top 1% of wealth. Could be as . . . . anything given the games they are playing with the other numbers. Sure, 10 billion is upsetting, but that's just a small chuck of the budget. Does it go to them as Medicare? Is it part of the various subsidies (farm, corn, ethanol, solar) that happen to be run by those people? What's the math? This is important since they blow so many other details.

Comment: Re:Yep, they are indeed "meal-replacements" (Score 1) 543

by muridae (#46047149) Attached to: 20,000 Customers Have Pre-Ordered Over $2,000,000 of Soylent
Some are meal replacements (like high protein and fiber ones) while others are meal supplements. Check the calories and protein and all the rest, if it's not about 30% of the DV then it isn't a 'meal'. I've lived off a few of them for a few days (intestinal surgery sucks: liquid only for a few days, clear liquid for 2 days with the nastiest antibiotics...) but I really don't recommend it. I suppose that with the right gelatin & oil based multivitamin you could get by on them. But it's cheaper, if you don't worry about sodium, to grab a $0.99 microwaveable meat+starch+vegi frozen food (pot pie, sandwich, pizza, whatever) and then use the meal replacement shakes as a supplement to round out what the other food doesn't get you.

Comment: Re: Don't stop your meds! (Score 1) 218

by muridae (#45780561) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Working With Others, As a Schizophrenic Developer?
Mania, or the manic phase of bipolar disorders, are completely different from straight depression. The drugs used to treat "just depression" can trigger severe manic episodes. Additionally, mania and manic phases are often accompanied by the psychosis views that I disclaimed. That makes the rationality of the medication harder for the person to understand.

Comment: Re:One suggestion... (Score 1) 218

by muridae (#45763855) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Working With Others, As a Schizophrenic Developer?

I haven't had an internship in several years (unrelated illnesses) but when I was still working while doing my undergrad CS degree, I was very forward about suffering depression and anxiety/panic disorders. Not a single person cared in a negative way, and if I missed a meeting because of a panic attack I'd get help from coworkers (programming some stuff for a tai-chi exercise game, seifu was working with us on that one). The other students understood, mostly, and even opened up about their issues.

Part of that is setting, I'm sure. The university undergrad scene is much younger than the "old guard industry programmers". But staying silent just means that the "old guard" never have to learn or accept; they can just go on being ignorant of these issues. And that doesn't help anyone.

It's still a very personal choice. You have to make the decision that fits you best.

Comment: Re:Don't stop your meds! (Score 1) 218

by muridae (#45763783) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Working With Others, As a Schizophrenic Developer?

In a previous life, I worked with mostly medicated kids in a clinical K-12 setting. It was absolutely the norm for them to be inconsistent with their meds.

I've been told that the segment of people on meds for psychological disorders who go off their meds when they shouldn't, at some point in their treatment, approaches 100 percent. (And when I say "when they shouldn't have," I mean the solution for the problems that inevitably arise ends up being to get back on the meds, or similar ones.)

I could almost believe that. Most of the drugs are still in the "we think this is how they work" category. You have a psychological disturbance that results in paranoia (which can and does happen to people even with no diagnosed illness or even on medication), and the medication is an easy thing to lash out at. Or you experience tons of the listed side effects (either real or imagined, it wouldn't matter) and can't convince a doctor to change the medicine. The latter happened to me, real side effect was losing memory; found notes that I had told the doctor several times over a year, and he did nothing. I called their 'emergency assist' phone, left a message that I would stop unless I heard back from them. Never did, so I went cold turkey and switched doctors after the weekend was over.

Had mine been for anything other than pain and depression and insomnia, that withdrawal could have been hilariously amusing; instead I just sat up reading a book for over 48 hours til I passed out.

But my depression is a strange one; mild sufferers (by the DSM meaning of mild depression or any other illness or axis) of illnesses with no Axis 1 or 2 components who doesn't suffer from delusions aren't likely to stop taking meds that work. Additionally, barring a massive incident, most non-psychosis and non-paranoia disorder sufferers are very likely to stay on a med that works; without something that alters perception of reality, they have no reason to go back to the pain and suffering of before. Incidents like moving (the wait list for a psychiatrist here was over a year!), insurance covering a different doctor, losing a job/house/etc, that are outside the individuals' control shouldn't be counted.

Comment: Re:Ours goes to 11 (Score 4, Insightful) 110

by muridae (#45500403) Attached to: Intel's 128MB L4 Cache May Be Coming To Broadwell and Other Future CPUs

Let's see, the tiny amount of L1/2/3 cache currently is dictated by the energy budget of the CPU. Looking at the energy budget of the 4900MQ and the 4960HQ chips, you can take some wild arse guessing to get that the 2 megs of L3 cache sacrificed got back enough to power the 128 megs of L4. Then consider that there is only 64K (yes, kilobytes) of L1 or 256K L2 per core on the Haswell chips, and at 3.9GHz desktop chips you are looking at 84 watts of power dissipated . . . you can start to work out how much of that is due to leakage current from the 6 transistor L1/2/3 cache design.

Let's face it, SRAM isn't tiny, it leaks amps like a sieve at the tiny process size that everything is done at now days, and it's main advantage is that it doesn't take a controller to access and it's bloody fast and the bandwidth can be pretty sizable. A gig of SRAM on die would, I suspect, heat a small room; that much DRAM per core would slow the cores down due to the inherent latency of accessing DRAM.

So, sure, DRAM chips may be cheap, but putting them on the CPU die would be horrid. And SRAM still isn't cheap; either in die space, energy budget, or dollars!

Comment: Re:Win95? (Score 2) 110

by muridae (#45500313) Attached to: Intel's 128MB L4 Cache May Be Coming To Broadwell and Other Future CPUs
If you are writing the OS and your code is down at the machine level, you do know what's going on in the different cache pools. You can abstract it away and trust your compiler to get it right, or you can fiddle the bits yourself; it isn't magic contained in the blue smoke of ICs.

Comment: Re:So in the real world? (Score 5, Informative) 110

by muridae (#45500301) Attached to: Intel's 128MB L4 Cache May Be Coming To Broadwell and Other Future CPUs

Photoshop? Considering that the adobe rgb or other color spaces combined with the file sizes of some of the larger images coming out of cameras, your gains in latency would really depend on Photoshop and the OS being able to handle the L4 cache and keep the right part of the image in the cache. Video editing, with file sizes into the gigabyte range would probably see no gains at all. Video conversion, with a program that keeps a reasonably sized buffer, should see a good performance gain; but it would require code that knows the L4 is available or the OS to predict that L4 is a good place to put a 10-50-100MB buffer. The real gain will be in common things: playing a video, browsing the web (seen how much memory a bit of javascript or the JRE can eat up lately? Or Silverlight/Flash?) and email clients (cache all your email in L4 for faster searching).

As for battery life, I have no idea. It might use more power, since DRAM requires constant power to refresh data where SRAM is pretty stable; but the lower leakage of using a single transistor instead of 6 might prove to be a benefit. It would take a good bit of time and some pretty good test code to figure the difference, I suspect.

Comment: Re:alternatively (Score 2) 193

by muridae (#45445925) Attached to: Nathan Myhrvold's $500 Cookbook Now an $80 iPhone App

With the number of counter-top vacuum preserver devices, doing sous vide in home is not that hard. It's not as perfect as a full industrial vacu-sealer, but it works. Additionally, LN isn't too hard to get in small amounts as an engineer; and for in-house use you could use dry ice or LCO2 from a fire extinguisher.

But I'm one of those home cooks who likes trying crazy chemistry shit, and has the gear and respect for the chemicals to do it safely. Might have gone to the cooking industry if I had gotten into cooking sooner. So the big set of books is still something I want, but couldn't justify the $500 for. Bet they'd look pretty in PDF format, even if the pictures were lower resolution.

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