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Comment Another use case (Score 3, Informative) 229

I'm getting older. I don't need glasses yet, but after many hours of looking at a nearby screen my vision gets blurry. Looking at something far away keeps my eyes happier. So now I use a bluetooth mouse & keyboard, plug my box into my big screen, and browse/read/CLI/program from the couch. Television means distant seeing; just what I need.

Comment something easy (Score 1) 288

Give them each a fairly sizable usb stick. Make it boot linux with persistence. Linux mint or linux lite would be my choices. Set their computers to boot the usb stick first. If they have any problems, they can just pull the stick and have their windows back. Tell them the truth - Linux is free, has regular updates, is so unlikely to catch malware that people generally don't install anti-virus software, and is closer to what they are used to than windows 10 is. If it's a fear of changing brand names, the requisit car analogy would be along the lines of "When all you've driven is fords, switching to a chevy may be less painfull and more rewarding than you think."

Comment Re:Energy efficiency (Score 1) 557

This, oh so much this. A residential heat recovery air exchange unit will make your home smell (and be) fresh all the time. Intakes in the bathrooms, kitchen, and basement, fresh air outputs in bedrooms & most used living spaces. You'll be glad you did. Just don't forget de- and re- humidifiers, depending on your region.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What options are there for cheap Home Automation 2

goose-incarnated writes: I'm looking at cheap and simple home automation. Unfortunately I'm not too clued up on what my options are. There are such a wide array of choices, none of which seem (to me) to be either cheap or simple. I'd like to:

Turn switches on/off (lights, wall sockets, general relays, etc)

Read the status of on/off switches

Read analog samples (for example, temperature sensors)

"Program" switches based on analog samples/existing switches; for example program a relay to come on at 30C and go off at 25C thereby controlling the temperature

Similarly, program switches to go on/off at certain times

Record the samples of analog or digital inputs for a given time

I'd like to do the above using smartphone+bluetooth (for when I'm in the vicinity of the room), or smartdevice+WiFi (for when I'm in the house, somewhere), or even in a pinch, using HTTP to access a server at home from 600km away (which is what I'm willing to do). I'm definitely not willing to stream all my requests/data/responses through a third-party so third party cloud subscription solutions, even if free, are out of the question.

Finally (because I know the Slashdot crowd likes a challenge :-)), I'd like something that is easily reprogrammable without having to compile code, then reflash a device, etc. What languages for embedded devices exist for home automation programming, if any. A quick google search reveals nothing specially made for end-users to reprogram their devices, but, like I said above, I'm clueless about options. If it exists I probably wouldn't find it anyway without your help.

Submission + - Intel CEO shows off wrist-worn drone (

mpicpp writes: Chief Executive Brian Krzanich demonstrated a tiny computer built into the button of his jacket and a wristband that was capable of transforming into a flying camera at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Intel, known more for its computer chips, is attempt to expand into the area of smart gadgets that you can wear. Krzanich said during his keynote that Intel was pushing to create computerized apparel and other gadgets equipped with sensors, an area that Intel hopes is rife with growth as the demand for smartphones and tablets begins to taper off, according to a Reuters report.

Dubbed Curie, the button-sized computer that can be worn is planned for release this year, and it will include a Bluetooth radio and a low-power chip from Intel’s Quark line. It’s a largely new area for Intel, which has not released much in the wearable gadgets market until now.

He said such technology could be worn on rings, bags, pendants, bracelets, and other types of clothing in addition to a jacket button. The company is also working with apparel firm Oakley to create a gadget for athletes.

The drone on his wrist is called Nixie, and it can be launched into the air equipped with a camera and is capable of navigating around obstacles.

Krzanich said he had learned from Intel’s past mistake of not moving quickly enough to create chips for smartphones and tablets, causing the company to miss out on that market. Krzanich has been the company’s CEO since 2013.

Comment Linux Lite (Score 1) 210

Linux Lite is what Mint wants to be. All the right stuff, none of the useless fluff. It's the only distro that I can start using right after the install without spending an hour or more personalizing and reconfiguring. And yes, it is ubuntu/debian based. It uses the ubuntu repositories, so you CAN reconfigure it and install what you want easily, if you are so inclined.

Comment Linux Lite (Score 1) 303

Every distro I've ever installed required lots of post-install personalizations. Changing the default editor, mail client, and media player, installing "restricted" codecs and other software, adjusting which services launch when; there's plenty to do before you can call it finished. The one distro that saves me the most of that time is Linux Lite. It's a pleasure to install and to use.

Comment developer ego (Score 4, Interesting) 324

By far the most annoying permission is abused by developers on every OS I've tried: Launch at boot. Of Course, YOUR app is so very important that it HAS to use time and resources just so it can be ready at all times. Get over yourselves: I'll launch it when I want it. I'd be WAY happy to just be able to deny that one permission on Android.

Submission + - Weak statistical standards implicated in scientific irreproducibility ( 1

ananyo writes: The plague of non-reproducibility in science may be mostly due to scientists’ use of weak statistical tests, as shown by an innovative method developed by statistician Valen Johnson, at Texas A&M University. Johnson found that a P value of 0.05 or less — commonly considered evidence in support of a hypothesis in many fields including social science — still meant that as many as 17–25% of such findings are probably false. He advocates for scientists to use more stringent P values of 0.005 or less to support their findings, and thinks that the use of the 0.05 standard might account for most of the problem of non-reproducibility in science — even more than other issues, such as biases and scientific misconduct.

Comment Re:Not all good (Score 1) 328

You aren't considering the case where the subconscious WANTS to quit. You may think some people are too stupid to quit, but a psychiatrist I know commented that he's met many people who were too smart to quit. They could come up with all sorts of reasons for just one more, oh it fits so well here, I have to for thus and such reasons.

Comment Re:Not all good (Score 3, Interesting) 328

You have it backwards. Asians are one of the few human lineages that haven't developed an adaptaion to the consumption of alcohol. Specifically a liver pathway for dealing with ethanol rather than a more generalized one. It's a little slower to metabolize the ethanol into the first step, an aldehyde, and the one produced has a different feel to it. Less euphoria, more blushing red face IIRC.

Comment Security by obscurity (Score 1) 438

The convenience of an open network can't be beat. So I put my AP in my basement. Easy to connect to anywhere in the house, but no signal before you reach the edge of my yard. Neighbors line of sight is thru many feet of rock, wardrivers see an unconnected void. You'd need a helicopter to get a connection.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.