Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Nice (Score 1) 120

Docking station tech is lame at best. First the battery charging logic
is flawed. The charger should disconnect from the battery once it is charged.
It should test the battery once an hour thereafter and decide what to do. I cannot
tell you how many batteries I have had die from long term over charging and
lack of correct dynamics in use.

A docking station should have cooling designed to keep the battery as well
as the CPU/logic cool. Most obstruct air flow and do neither well.

This depends entirely on the laptop/battery. The last two Lenovos I've had both offered smart charging where the battery would optionally not begin charging until below X% and would stop when the battery signaled it was full. The charging threshold could either be directly specified by the user or determined by the laptop based on usage pattern.

My previous machine I set to not recharge until below 85%. It was a power hog so the battery was pretty much a pack-along UPS. 15% represented a fairly small number of minutes of operation.

My current Thinkpad is vastly better on battery. I can get well in excess of 4 hours of casual use from a single charge. I quite often use it unplugged so I have the threshold set higher since I'm more likely to need that extra capacity.

Comment: Re:One hole at a time (Score 1) 129

by patchmaster (#43626289) Attached to: EPA: No Single Cause For Colony Collapse Disorder

I don't really want to get into a debate about whether it is or is not a good idea to ban any particular insecticide. Frankly, I'm not qualified to argue either side of such a debate.

This is exactly why I do think it makes sense to listen to the experts hired by the U.S. government to study the issue. It appears the experts feel that banning one class of pesticide won't solve the problem. Unless you think they were all paid off by Bayer or aren't really scientists or are maybe all Canadian, there would seem to be little reason to disregard their conclusions, even if they do seem to contradict those arrived at by Salon.com.

Comment: Re:Hello, Nirvana fallacy (Score 1) 129

by patchmaster (#43625601) Attached to: EPA: No Single Cause For Colony Collapse Disorder

You're conflating two different things, no doubt due to the confusing nature of the post. The quote about patching holes was from a participant in the study that looked at a wide range of factors, including pesticides and viruses, and concluded there was no single culprit.

In the midst of this the OP mentions Europe banning "neocotinids" [sic] for two years. This has nothing whatever to do with the study mentioned or the quote from the study participant. So the patching holes quote isn't suggesting we shouldn't follow Europe's lead in this as that was not the topic being addressed.

Comment: Re:One hole at a time (Score 1) 129

by patchmaster (#43625481) Attached to: EPA: No Single Cause For Colony Collapse Disorder

Patching one hole in a boat that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from sinking

But it is one less hole to worry about.

True, but if it costs you $billions to patch that hole and you save no colonies due to the many other factors, that's $billions wasted. I don't think the original quote was suggesting that we do nothing, but that we be highly selective about which holes we attempt to patch.

There's a great tendency with situations like this to feel that we need to do something, randomly pick something, do it, then feel good about yourself for having done something regardless of whether you've lessened the severity of the situation.

Comment: Re:wait, will wiping off help? (Score 1) 275

by patchmaster (#43613939) Attached to: Condensation On Your Beer != Good

So either we start seeing stein-shaped koozies at our local dive bar... or nothing will really change from this "finding".

Bodum, the French press people, have a line of double-walled glasses that would seem to be just the thing for avoiding condensation. They even have some they call beer glasses, though, sadly, they only hold 13 oz. They also appear to have a reputation for being incredibly fragile. And rather expensive. Probably not the thing for the local dive bar. Might work at home though.

Comment: Re:incompetence (Score 1) 130

by patchmaster (#43540553) Attached to: Unanimous: Provo Utah Council Approves Google Fiber

Perhaps it was all bunk, but I think one does need to keep in mind we were not looking for underground water. We were looking for iron pipes that just happened to be carrying water. If this is the only concentration of iron in the area it's pretty clearly going to have an impact on the magnetic field in the immediate vicinity. If metal deposits can have an impact on magnetic compasses, it doesn't seem too far fetched for them to have some effect on steel rods that may have a slight magnetic or static charge.

My recollection is that it didn't work on newer homes that had copper pipes coming from the water main. Use of copper pipes for carrying water was still a relatively recent development at that point. Most homes at that time had iron pipes coming in from the street.

Comment: Re:incompetence (Score 1) 130

by patchmaster (#43539061) Attached to: Unanimous: Provo Utah Council Approves Google Fiber

Decades ago I worked during the summer for the water department. One of our jobs was to find and mark water lines. We actually did use divining rods. No stick with a fork, though. Ours were two pieces of wire, each bent to form an 'L'. You loosely hold the shorter side, keeping the longer sides parallel to the ground and initially to each other. As you pass over the water main the wires cross. It worked quite reliably as long as the water main wasn't too deep. I always assumed it had something to do with magnetism.

Comment: Re:Same is not good enough (Score 1) 163

Actually, it wasn't my intent to express a preference. I was simply pointing out that government interference prevents a free market from forming. Regardless of where you stand on whether this interference is necessary or not, if you're being honest, you have to admit it distorts the market, in this case to the point that nothing remotely resembling a truly free market is allowed to form.

As for Walmart, I'm afraid your one-word argument is not sufficient. It's not at all obvious to me how Walmart prevents the market entry of competing companies. I'm thinking right now of a particular Walmart I'm familiar with. Within five minutes of this Walmart are two other similar discount department stores, one smaller department store, a major electronics chain store, four grocery stores, two hardware stores, and literally dozens of other smaller specialty stores that compete with Walmart on the goods they sell. All these stores have been doing business in these locations for at least five years.

Comment: Re:Same is not good enough (Score 2, Informative) 163

The free market works fine. The problem is you don't have a free market. There are three or more levels of government with multiple agencies, each with their own agenda, all creating barriers to entry (i.e. regulations). If it was just a matter of paying for right of way and building the infrastructure you'd see loads of competition. Admittedly, the cost of entry is high with systems like land lines, cell phones, and wired internet, but you would see it happening a lot more without all the regulations and control by various levels of government.

Initially, the competition would be for the areas most likely to provide a profit. Economically depressed areas would get slighted. But that's the free market. You take your product to the customers who are most likely to buy. Insisting that everyone have access to the same level of service for the same price may be considered fair by many, but it's not a free market.

My understanding is Google is being very selective about where they roll out service in KC. Make a deposit to demonstrate your willingness to pay for our service. When enough people in your neighborhood join in, we'll provide you with service. KC wanted this badly enough to keep their regulatory instincts in check and allow Google to develop the service with free market forces.

Comment: Re:News Flash! (Score 1) 315

It'd be like Pepsi complaining that Coke were trying to use a Trojan Horse to dominate the market, if Coke gave away free drinks, and also made the recipe freely available.

Clearly the schools are failing badly on the classical education front. This is the third time recently I've seen Trojan Horse misused. (Not the quote. That's pointing out the flaw in the complaint.) For Android to be a Trojan Horse Google would have to be somehow disguising their attempt to capture the mobile market. I don't think they've fooled anyone.

My favorite was when Obama referred to a Republican plan as "disguised as a Trojan Horse". Think about that. It would be like Clark Kent dressing up as Batman. Or maybe it's like those nesting Russian dolls. It only looks like a Trojan Horse on the outside. Open it up and inside... surprise!... it's a Trojan Horse.

Comment: Re:Agents do have some latitude (Score 1) 427

by patchmaster (#43361983) Attached to: TSA Log Shows Passengers Say the Darndest Things

smile at them -- they may be idiots with no real training in some cases, but they respond to polite a whole lot better.

Be polite? Sure. Smile? What have you got to smile about? You're in a hurry. You've just been made to wait in a long line, empty your pockets, remove your shoes, unpack half your carry-on luggage, and risk having your valuables stolen while they sit unattended at the end of the conveyor while some clown in blue is checking your package for heaven knows what. What you have to look forward to is putting your shoes back on without benefit of any chairs in the area, repacking your carry-on while passengers behind you are impatiently waiting for you to get out of the way, and being sure you've actually collected all your personal effects before rushing out of this island of traveler terror. Unless you're really into having strangers of the same gender fondle your privates, smiling would seem to be one of the least natural responses to the situation. Downright suspicious.

I always do my best to look bored and mildly annoyed. Since that's how I usually feel, it's not much of a stretch. Acting natural is the best approach and I can't see smiling as a natural reaction to this major annoyance.

Overall, I think your advice is pretty good, but I'd keep the smiling to an absolute minimum. At best they'll think you're weird for apparently enjoying this circus of inconvenience and annoyance. At worst they'll think you're trying to act non-threatening and pull you aside for even more security fun.

Comment: Re:Well, does the law force compliance? (Score 1) 316

by patchmaster (#43353741) Attached to: WA State Bill Would Allow Bosses To Seek Facebook Passwords

Perhaps this depends on the state, but when I last filed for unemployment the state withheld it for several months. When I finally got hold of someone there they said my former employer claimed they'd given me a big severance package so I wasn't eligible. I laughed and said I'd not only NOT gotten a severance package, but it was like pulling teeth to get my last regular check from them. The person from unemployment said, "Oh. Okay, you're approved. You should see a direct deposit in a couple days for the full amount we owe you back to your original date of eligibility."

The most arduous part of the whole thing was playing phone tag with the unemployment folks. They accepted my word on everything.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 3, Insightful) 474

by patchmaster (#42651759) Attached to: Valve Starts Promoting Steam For Linux To Windows Users

Also, once you get good on Linux the power of having a Unix command line available really becomes a boon. It took me a good year to 18 months of primary use on Linux, but at this point I truly feel more comfortable and efficient in Linux than in Windows.

This would be a valuable observation if you had first spent 18 months at the Windows command line. Of course, very few people are going to be willing to spend 18 months to get up to speed with using an OS.

For the expert, the command line is hard to beat for speed and efficiency. For anyone who isn't an expert, the command line is a major hindrance. They do far better with the point and click graphical interface. So I'm not sure better efficiency after 18 months of training is really a big selling point to most people.

Those who can, do; those who can't, write. Those who can't write work for the Bell Labs Record.

Working...