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Comment: American new car companies since WW2 (Score 1) 267

by spaceyhackerlady (#48023347) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

I view Tesla as the best bet for a completely new American car company in a long time.

The U.S. Big Three have been around for eons. After World War 2 Hudson and Nash were hurting, merged to form American Motors, and went bust. Packard and Studebaker were hurting, merged, and went bust. Kaiser/Frazer tried, and went bust. De Lorean tried and got in to all sorts of trouble. Nobody seemed to be able to launch a new car company and make it work.

Tesla, on the other hand, seem to have cracked it. They're selling all the cars they can make. I see lots of them around here (Vancouver).

...laura

Comment: People who can think and learn (Score 1) 392

by spaceyhackerlady (#47922291) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

I'm guided by the experience of the airlines. While you must, obviously, have the right sort of pilot's license, they also want a four year university degree. Not because it necessarily enhances your flying, but because it shows you can learn and accomplish things. If you can learn and accomplish things, and know your way around computers, I'd love to talk to you.

The big problem at most places I've worked is getting promising resumes past HR people who only count buzzwords.

...laura

Comment: Let's be different (Score 2) 93

by spaceyhackerlady (#47920245) Attached to: New Release of MINIX 3 For x86 and ARM Is NetBSD Compatible

I've followed Minix development with interest. The internal architecture is different from most OSs out there. Not different for the sake of being different, but different to show different solutions to problems. The way we do things in Linux et al is powerful, but it's not the only way.

I haven't come up with a compelling reason to use it in my work (yet... :-), but I install each new release on a virtual machine and play with it.

...laura

Comment: Customers going postal (Score 1) 819

The quality of service no longer meets customer requirements, and customers are rebelling. The airlines and airports have done their best to remove any aspect of comfort or pleasure from air travel, and customers, the people who actually pay the bills, have had enough.

Entitled attitudes don't help. I ended up with bruised knees on a British Airways flight from the person ahead of me refusing to negotiate on seat reclining, with the flight attendants refusing to mediate. On a American flight the passenger next to me went ballistic and very loudly demanded to be reseated, because I was wearing perfume.

On my last long-haul flight (Vancouver to London) I did an on-the-spot upgrade to premium economy and had a good flight. I had cashed in credit card points for the ticket, so the extra $$$ was money well-spent.

I think diverting is a lousy way to handle customer disputes, but it scares me that the airlines may start accepting this as part of the cost of doing business...

...laura

Comment: 100% on Ishihara (Score 1) 267

by spaceyhackerlady (#47620069) Attached to: My degree of colorblindness:

I do Ishihara every time I renew my aviation medical certificate.

To respect the spirit of the test I make a point of not memorizing the numbers, and always call the number at a glance.

Some years ago I had a colleague who chose such odd colour combinations for her clothes we wondered if she had issues in this area. This is indeed unusual in a woman, but it happens.

...laura

Comment: Soft-focus world (Score 1) 550

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: 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: 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

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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