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Comment: Video too slow (Score 1) 58

by ortholattice (#46292185) Attached to: New 360-Degree Video Capture Method Unveiled
On my 2GHz laptop, the CPU is pinned to 100%, and all I see are frozen frames that skip through the video every few seconds. The dragging response is so sluggish as to be meaningless since any visual feedback is delayed many seconds. I guess this technology isn't ready for prime time unless you have a bleeding edge gamer GPU or something.

Comment: Re:Nootropics (Score 1) 384

by ortholattice (#45959351) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can I Improve My Memory For Study?
Be careful with priracetam. There is anecdotal evidence that although it may make people with low IQ/memory problems smarter, it might also make people with high IQ dumber. Personally, I tried it for a while and it seemed to make no difference. (Does that mean I have an unremarkable IQ? :-) )

Comment: Re:Buttons vs Touch screens (Score 1) 180

by ortholattice (#45663113) Attached to: Smart Cars: Too Distracting?

Buttons vs Touch screens? I must be really ancient, because I still hate the replacement of Knobs with Buttons. There is nothing more user-friendly than a rotating volume control knob you can reach for in the dark without taking your eyes off the road, vs. finding a little button and hoping it's not set to the wrong mode.

Oh and while I'm at it, what's the deal with the "fade-in" response volume control knobs where when you turn up the volume, it only increases a half-second later? Give me the old-fashioned potentiometers that respond instantly.

And get off my lawn.

Comment: Re:2013-11-04 (Score 1) 151

by ortholattice (#45530307) Attached to: Have 100GB Free? Host Your Own Copy of Wikipedia, With Images

I agree that ISO 8601 is much better, but people will still put the year last in informal usage no matter how much you try to convince them otherwise. Among the countries that I've visited (not an exhaustive list obviously), only the US (usually) uses "/" as the separator. The others usually use "." or "-". And only the US has the month first. So an informal convention that usually works for me when there is ambiguity is to interpret "/" as meaning month first, anything else day first.

Comment: Stupid idiot messages (Score 2, Insightful) 526

by ortholattice (#45388551) Attached to: Man In Tesla Model S Fire Explains What Happened

A pet peeve with cars is the stupid engine light that gives no clue what the problem is. I have no idea if it's some lower-priority thing like a polution sensor slightly out of spec or something where I need to stop immediately to avoid engine damage. (I know you can buy the code readers, but I don't carry one around in my car typically.)

So the Tesla, with all its sophistication, says 'Car needs service. Car may not restart.' WTF? They might as well replace it with an engine light to save money.

I do agree that 'Please pull over safely. Car is shutting down.' is a little better, but not much.

Comment: Bandwidth of early space missions (Score 2) 43

One thing that still puzzles me about the early space explorations is the extremely poor quality of the audio. When I see film clips of those days, I often cannot understand what they are saying at all; "Houston, we have a problem" would be like "Hous-acch w-cch acch a pracch-acch". At first I thought it might be that the extra bandwidth needed for clean audio would be prohibitively expensive in those days, yet they were able to transmit live video very early on, which of course uses far more bandwidth.

Wouldn't the barely intelligible audio be a safety issue, or is it just that I'm not trained to understand it? Does anyone with historical knowledge know what the deal with this was?

Comment: Re:ISOhunt had 5-6 million dollars?!? (Score 1) 245

by ortholattice (#45159123) Attached to: IsoHunt Settles With MPAA, Will Shut Down And Pay Up to $110 Million
Actually, if they have 5-6 million, they might as well just use it up on appeals rather than paying the MPAA. In the best case there's a minuscule chance of finding an uncorrupted, rational judge who understands how the Internet works and that an informational link to content they don't host isn't the same as hosting or distributing the content. In any case, once it's exhausted, they declare bankruptcy, and the MPAA will have nothing to collect.

Comment: Re:Net neutrality (Score 1) 166

by ortholattice (#45036563) Attached to: ArkOS: Building the Anti-Cloud (on a Raspberry Pi)
I'm not sure you understand the problem. The outgoing service (free public wireless) allows only outgoing ports 80 and 443, whether I'm using ssh, http, or whatever. The destination (my home) blocks incoming ports 80 and 443. It is impossible to get from one to the other without going through a commercial 3rd-party service, which is the point of my complaint.

Comment: Net neutrality (Score 5, Insightful) 166

by ortholattice (#45034301) Attached to: ArkOS: Building the Anti-Cloud (on a Raspberry Pi)

To me, it seems that providers that prohibit home servers (either by TOS or by actually blocking e.g. port 80) are in violation of FCC-10-201 (net neutrality).

This was brought up before on Slashdot with specific reference to Google Fiber's TOS prohibition of incoming ports. The complaint is described in . I wish someone would pursue this against all major providers, not just Google Fiber.

There is simply no valid reason to prohibit incoming ports. This issue is not bandwidth - most home servers use far less than say streaming video. In any case if it's abused, the providers can use their existing procedures to deal with bandwidth abusers.

This is really at the heart of network neutrality. The only reason I can see for prohibiting incoming ports is to prevent individuals from competing with commercial interests that provide network services. Personally, it really PO's me that my ISP blocks ports 80 and 443. I keep my files on a home server, and although I can access them via ssh, many public wifi services (e.g. at hospitals) block every port, in and out, except 80 and 443. I can't really complain about the public wifi (well, I can complain, but they'll just tell me that it's a free courtesy they're under no obligation to provide, so if you don't like it, don't use it). So, to access my personal files, I need to use a 3rd party's commercial server (cloud or VPN) that allows port 80.

(As for the dynamic DNS, that hasn't been a serious problem for me - my ISP keeps it fixed as long as my cable modem is powered and connected, and the IP only changes when I restart the cable modem. Anyway, that is a secondary and minor problem.)

Comment: My yellow jacket story (Score 5, Informative) 274

by ortholattice (#45025859) Attached to: Asian Giant Hornets Kill 42 People In China, Injure Over 1,500

Last summer I had a huge colony of yellow jackets living in my wall. Maybe not as exciting as killer hornets, but still terrifying to me at the time.

The first sign was coming home to find dozens of yellow jackets in my basement, which congregated around the light after I turned it on. I caught most of them with a butterfly net. Next day, same thing. Two days later, they worked their way up to my bedroom, apparently having eaten through the radiator pipe seal. I focused on my bedroom, catching maybe a dozen per day and increasing. They flew out of my printer when I printed a page. Flying insect killer would only kill the ones I hit directly. I started to feel like I was living in the kind of nightmare you see in movies.

I found their entrance hole in the wall outside the house, with hundreds coming in and out. I tried spraying hornet/wasp killer deep into the hole, but no luck. I was warned against sealing the hole, since they would escape into the house, chewing their way through the wall if necessary.

Being a cheapskate, I didn't want to an exterminator to rip open the wall, with repairs to the wall that might have cost thousands, as was suggested. Instead, I ran a shop vac hose next to the opening, sucking up any wasp that tried to enter or leave the hole. After 24 hours, the shop vac was 1/3 full of solid wasp mass, maybe 10000 of them as a guesstimate. I left it running for a week, each day finding fewer. Then I ran it during the day every couple of days, finding less each time.

After a month or so, a batch of new queens and drones came out among the workers, and eventually nothing. There might have been 50K, maybe even 100K total. It was interesting how the queens were very robust and hard to kill compared to the smaller workers.

Close to wintertime, when I was pretty sure they were all gone, I sealed the hole with putty. I read they don't often return to the same nest, and luckily there was no sign of them this year.

Amazingly, I wasn't stung even once throughout all of this, although I was very careful, donning a raincoat, gloves, and a butterfly net over my head in the beginning. On the other hand, my GF was stung a couple of times on her face at her house, causing lots of pain and swelling, just by casually walking next to a bush where they had a nest in the ground.

Those who can, do; those who can't, simulate.