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Comment: I like the idea in principle (Score 1) 33

by JanneM (#47571821) Attached to: Google, Linaro Develop Custom Android Edition For Project Ara

I like the idea in principle. I do think it's really useful to customize a few specific parts - one person might want a high-performance (and large, and expensive)) camera module both front anb back; another prefers just a minimal camera and gets a larger battery instead; a third has a job where cameras are banned and opts to get none at all. A fingerprint reader, a headphone jack, or an SD card slot are other options people may want to add or skip.

But I do not think upgradeable phones are meaningful. After 2-3 years with a phone, it's pretty beat up. Screen is scratched and dimming, the case is scuffed and creaky, buttons don't quite work, connectors are getting glitchy, the battery is dying and both CPU and memory are getting old. I'd want to upgrade all of it - I want a new phone, not throw money at the old one.

Comment: Soft-focus world (Score 1) 543

by spaceyhackerlady (#47531625) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

I'm nearsighted and have worn glasses on and off since I was about 10. I wore contacts through most of my 20s, but returned to glasses in my 30s.

Now that I'm in my 50s I'm in that stage where my near vision is starting to deteriorate and I'm slowly becoming far-sighted. The first real manifestation of this was when flying at night, when I was experiencing massive eyestrain reading charts in my lap, but could see outside the plane just fine. So I got progressives the last time I got new glasses, and I'm fine.

I don't wear glasses when I'm not driving or flying. I prefer a soft-focus world. :-)

Am I a candidate for laser eye surgery? According to the web sites, not really. I could get good distant correction, but would then need glasses for reading. Since I need glasses to drive and to fly anyway, I'm not sure this would buy me anything.

...laura

Comment: Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (Score 1) 543

by JanneM (#47531315) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

"They can fix astigmatism now?"

Yes. Here's the Wikipedia entry (though it feels written by a proponent): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

Basically, they measure the retinal reflection from lights coming from a number of different angles to map the lens aberration (just a linear approximation, but with a grid of lights that's plenty close enough). Then they use that to map shorter, more focused laser pulses to reshape the cornea appropriately.

If I understand it right, you normally get rid of all primary and secondary astigmatism (such as coma), but you can still have a small bit of residual astigmatism afterwards. In practice it's night and day; once my eyes stabilized (it took two months) I don't have double vision or any of the other annoying effects of astigmatism any longer.

Comment: Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (Score 2) 543

by JanneM (#47526243) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

I'm 45 and I've had presbyopia for five years, bad enough that I always need separate glasses when reading or working in front of a screen, or even using my phone. I still went ahead with surgery last winter. And I'm very happy I did.

I had pronounced astigmatism in addition to nearsightedness. When you add presbyopia it becomes almost impossible to get a pair of lenses that will correct all of it anywhere but right in the center of vision. In practice I had to movemy head instead of my eyes when reading, playing games, programming... It was frustrating and gave me increasingly common headaches.

With LASIK (a fairly new type that maps the eye and removes the stigmatism) I now have 15/15 and only need glasses for presbyopia. I have one pair for close-up work, that now lets me see in my entire field of vision; and my old favourite pair has no correction at all except at the bottom, where mild close-up power lets me see my phone, read labels and stuff like that when I'm out and about.

It may not sound like much of a difference since I still often wear glasses. But it's night and day - headaches are gone, I really see much better now (I actually see towards the sides again!) and for many activitites such as snorkeling or photography I need no eye correction at all.

Comment: Too secure == insecure (Score 1) 280

The problem with crazily-complex passwords is that if you can't remember them you write them down, and, at a stroke, have compromised security. One of the worst I've encountered is the U.S. Customs eAPIS web site, for sending advance information when you want to fly a private plane or sail a private boat to the U.S.

The other issue is that you risk locking out legitimate access.

My bank does the password plus security question thing. My security questions (you can make up your own) are more than a little interesting. :-)

...laura

Comment: Colour temperature vs CRI (Score 1) 278

by spaceyhackerlady (#47432963) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

This was an educational experience for me, learning the difference between colour temperature, which is really only valid for continuum sources, and colour rendering index, more applicable to spectral line sources. Low CRIs don't necessarily have a low colour temperature, but they definitely distort perceived colour, whether they're too blue, or the weird orange of sodium vapour lights.

The most stringent CRI requirement in my home is my makeup mirror. Which is the last incandescent bulb...

...laura

Comment: Three years and counting (Score 1) 278

by spaceyhackerlady (#47408247) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

I installed my first CFLs in 2011. They're still going strong.

The choice I made at the time was between startup behaviour and colour temperature. They either come on immediately but have a blue cast, or take a minute to warm up but have a warmer colour. I have the former in my kitchen, the latter in my living room and bedroom.

LEDs are interesting but their "white" is such a weird colour I'll pass on them for now.

...laura

Comment: Re:Why is it cheaper in China? (Score 4, Insightful) 530

by JanneM (#47404693) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

But an assembly line manned by robots? Why should that be cheaper in China? Is capital that much cheaper?

Even if wages and other costs were equal, the location advantage is substantial. It's not that it's cheaper in China, but that it's cheaper in the huge manufacturing hubs. You have suppliers and manufacturers for just about every single component you need without long-distance shipping, and a deep pool of design and manufacturing expertise working in the area.

That's not to say you can't manufacture efficiently elsewhere (we have plenty of recent examples such as the Raspberry Pi), but that the advantages has as much to do with the concentration of resources as with the cost of labour and regulations. And of course, as this inudstry becomes ever more automated, it no longer matters much for jobs where it happens any longer.

Comment: Safety. Always. (Score 1) 468

I'm intrigued.

The visibility from the cockpit of many planes is actually quite mediocre. This was an issue, for example, for American flight 191. The pilots couldn't actually see the DC-10's engines from the cockpit, and did the wrong thing in response a perceived engine failure. Anything that helps pilots process and interpret information is A Good Thing.

Another bit of fictional prior art: the Far Star's control system in Foundation's Edge.

...laura

Comment: Moderately, I suppose... (Score 1) 163

by spaceyhackerlady (#47307233) Attached to: I suffer from jet lag ...

Funny you should ask: I just got back from a trip to London. Eight time zones worth of jet lag.

I find the first night there or back is no problem to get to sleep, because I'm so totally wasted I can't hold my eyes open anyway. It's the second night that's the killer. After that I'm fine. Getting up at the right time is a challenge on flights to the east coast, but is rarely an issue for Europe.

Unless you're making a phone call or having some other sort of live interaction, the time at home is irrelevant. Don't even think about it. The time where you are is the time that matters.

...laura

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.

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