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Comment: Re:Comparing Nonsense (Score 4, Informative) 103

by Rei (#49179093) Attached to: The US's First Offshore Wind Farm Will Cut Local Power Prices By 40%

Wow, way to not link to a study, but rather a Smithsonian blog talking about a Wordpress blog talking about a study. You clearly love your primary sources!

FYI, the study is just one of many. The study itself cites others, including:

20,000 birds/yr (Sovacool, 2012)
10,000–40,000 birds/yr (Erickson et al., 2001 and Manville, 2005)
20,000–40,000 birds/yr (Erickson et al., 2005)
440,000 (Manville, 2009)
573,000 (Smallwood, 2013).

The latter two include lattice towers, which are largely being decommissioned as unsafe to birds.

But hey, having varied numbers clearly means that if you can find a blog linking to another blog linking to a study that shows high numbers (among many different studies), then clearly the GP is "plain wrong", right?

And yes, even if we go with your choice study's mean of 234,012 annual bird deaths, that's still orders of magnitude less than many other types of human activities.

Comment: Re:The coping mechanism is to fix the room (Score 1) 79

by Malc (#49178661) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Wireless Microphone For Stand-up Meetings?

Yep, you can improve acoustics a little with soft furnishings and plants for instance. Bonus is a better environment.

Polycom isn't necessary. I work with two remote scrum teams who both try standing around a shared desktop in their rooms for their stand-ups via Lync. One of them has great audio, the other doesn't. Both are in large echoey rooms. The only difference in systems is their mic and room decoration.

The team in the room we can't hear clearly have resolved the issue by doing all meetings from their desks using headsets. They also now have long drawn out stand-ups. Hmmm, proves the point about standing up.

Comment: What's the key spacing? (Score 1) 48

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49178401) Attached to: A Versatile and Rugged MIDI Mini-Keyboard (Video)

Is the key spacing the same as a standard piano keyboard? If not, how does it deviate?

Can it, in combination with some particular, commonly-available, MIDI software package(s), be programmed to have the same touch characteristics and sound as a piano, harpsichord, etc.? If so, are the configurtation parameters to produce equivalent performance already available?

Comment: Re:It's not the PC microphone ... (Score 1) 79

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49177877) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Wireless Microphone For Stand-up Meetings?

Or bypass the problem completely by using a USB microphone. These digitize the audio right next to the microphone proper, with everything floating at the same voltage so nothing substantial is picked up betwen the air pressure sensor and the A-D converter.

Bluetooth headsets work great for this, too. Most current generation laptops already have the bluetooth central-role radio onboard. Or get a cheap low-profile bluetooth dongle.

Comment: It's not the PC microphone ... (Score 1) 79

by Ungrounded Lightning (#49177857) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Wireless Microphone For Stand-up Meetings?

4. PC/laptop microphones suck. I don't know why no one bothers to test them to the same level as your average cheap dumbphone speakerphone. They pick up all kinds of system electrical noise, ...

The problem usually isn't the microphone. It's the way it's wired (per the standard) and the way the desktop/laptop is powered.

PC microphones are wired UNbalanced: They have a signal and a ground wire, rather than the + and - signal wires and everything-but-desired-signal cancelation of the balanced wiring setups typical of professional microphones.

Laptops typically use power supplies that are not grounded, so they don't require a three-prong outlet. This usually ends up with the stray capacatance to BOTH sides of the line wiring capacitively coupling equally to the laptop "ground". That means the "ground" of the laptop is at half the line voltage - about 60 volts of AC (a rotten approximation of a sine wave plus lots of other junk it picked up at an assortment of frequencies). The capacitance is substantial - not enough to shock you if you touch the laptop and ground, but enough to feel a buzz if you rub your hand lightly across a "grounded" metallic part of the device.

Plug in the unblanced microphone and hold it, put the headset on your head, or just leave it sitting on the table. The "ground" is at 60V and you are driving maybe a couple MA of it down the shield wire. The voltage drop of that current (along with any other pickup) adds straight onto your audio input. The best microphone in the world will perform horribly if hooked up this way.

Try this: Unplug the laptop and let it run on battery. Notice how almost all of the noise disappears. You can also get rid of most of the noise by tying a decent ground onto the laptop. (Unfortunately, many meetings last longer than the laptop batteries...)

Plug in a VGA monitor with a three-prog power plug, which grounds the case of the laptop via the shield and the two hold-in screwd. I've done that without actually hooking up the monitor (which would have disabled my laptop screen) by adding a couple of the nuts scavenged from another DB connector as conductive spacers so the actual signal pins are not quite into the plug. And done this on a docking station, so the laptop headset was quieted when the laptop was docked, even though I used none of the docking station features except the power input.

Make a second cable with a three-prong plug to bring a ground up to the laptop. Green wire from the third pin to a screw into or clip onto such a chassis ground point.

Or bypass the problem completely by using a USB microphone. These digitize the audio right next to the microphone proper, with everything floating at the same voltage so nothing substantial is picked up betwen the air pressure sensor and the A-D converter.

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 3, Insightful) 541

by Rei (#49176087) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

The number of grammatical cases is irrelevant. Question: What's the difference between a grammatical case without stem changes and a postposition (opposite of a preposition? Answer: A space.

  That which is challenging, apart from stem changes, is the same thing that is challenging with helper words in general: when to use what with what. Picture a person learning English and trying to remember what to use with what. "I was scolding her.... over it? for it? about it? to it? around it?" "We were unhappy.... over it? for it? about it? to it? around it?" "She was dedicated.... over it? for it? about it? to it? around it?" And so forth. It's the same for people trying to learn which declension case to use in which context. But if the declensions are just suffixes without stem changes, then they're no different from postpositions. And often stem changes where they occur follow pretty predictable rules, often for pronunciation reasons.

Comment: Yes? (Score 3, Interesting) 96

First off, TFA is crap.

What SPECIFIC regulations does Tim Hoettges want applied to Google / Facebook? And WHY those specific regulations?

Is Grandma's Facebook page the same as a "blog"? Grandma probably does not run her own webserver. Is she using wordpress.com or something similar? Would they be regulated?

Where are the follow up questions?

Sometimes Google does something that has an adverse effect on a business. So he throws that into the first topic. They are not the same.

Still less than Apple. WHO CARES? But throw that in, too.

"... snoogly-googly ..." Better throw that in, too.

"... known in the SEO industry as the âGoogle Danceâ(TM)*." Think about that. An entire INDUSTRY has popped up because some business are adversely effected by Google changing its algorithms. Bad for A but good for B means A pays C to be placed higher than B. As long as A or B or C are NOT Google, what is the problem?

Comment: In the U.S., also. (Score 1) 167

by Futurepower(R) (#49172535) Attached to: Marissa Mayer On Turning Around Yahoo
Dictionary definition of Yahoo: A person who is very rude, loud, or stupid.

It amazes me that technically knowledgeable people choose names that limit their success.

TeX is 3 letters from another alphabet!

Gimp means: Usually Disparaging and Offensive. A term used to refer to a person who limps or is lame.

+ - Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules-> 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The NYT reports that Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act. “It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” says Jason R. Baron. A spokesman for Clinton defended her use of the personal email account and said she has been complying with the “letter and spirit of the rules.”"
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