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Comment: Yes, still dangerous (Score 5, Informative) 409

by stasike (#48513013) Attached to: Is Chernobyl Still Dangerous? Was 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda?
There are still places in Chernobyl that are way too radioactive. Some radioactive elements have relatively long half-live, so some places in the exclusion zone will not be suitable for long-term occupation for hundreds of years.

Let me quote Wikipedia:

Particularly dangerous are the highly radioactive fission products, those with high nuclear decay rates that accumulate in the food chain, such as some of the isotopes of iodine, caesium and strontium. Iodine-131 and caesium-137 are responsible for most of the radiation exposure received by the general population.

Iodine-131 has a very short half-live, so it almost all decayed by now

20 to 40% of all core caesium-137 was released, 85 PBq in all.[109][115] Caesium was released in aerosol form; caesium-137, along with isotopes of strontium, are the two primary elements preventing the Chernobyl exclusion zone being re-inhabited.[116] The caesium-137 activity represented by 8.5 Ã-- 1016 Bq would be produced by 24 kilograms of caesium-137.[116] Cs-137 has a half life of 30 years.

So, even after 25 years there is more than half of caesium-137 that was present the moment the reactor exploded. It will take 300 years for that caesium-137 to fall under 0.1% of the original level.
There are other elements present that have half-lives long enough to last until now, and short enough that they release dangerous level of alpha / beta / gamma rays. Alpha rays are not dangerous, as such, because your skin can shield you, yet alpha emitters are very dangerous because if you ingest or breath-in a small particle, there is very high probability that you get cancer later - sometimes many years later - on.

Comment: large and slow fans on case plus air ducts (Score 2) 720

by stasike (#48490433) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Making a 'Wife Friendly' Gaming PC?

I had similar problem.
I am pretty sure you are going to find this post at the end of the thread after slogging through all those helpful posts suggesting that you show your wife who is the boss ;-)

I had similar problems (with computer, not with my fantastic wife!) some time ago and I have solved them by cutting several large holes in the side of the case, installing large fans (12 volt versions, I ran them at slightly lower voltage) and installing a cardboard ducts that directed the airflow directly to the graphics card and to the processor cooler. Take care to provide also air outlets to keep up with large fans blowing in. The best way to let the majority of the air out is through the power source.

I was also able to run those [multiple] large fans off 7V that I got by connecting them between 12V and 5V lead on a power source. Be careful, "your mileage might vary" and your power source might not like being used this way. This was suggested to me by a computer technician that works for the same company I do.

It also helps processor has heat-pipe cooler. Heat-pipe is a copper pipe filled with a liquid and sealed tight, with no external means to circulate liquid. They are used extensively in notebooks and luxury coolers. It works because liquid has better heat conducting properties than copper. Pay attention to the orientation of the cooler suggested by manufacturers - some of them are said to work only in horizontal / vertical position and not upside-down.

Consider getting an SSD. Much quieter than a HDD and you might get computer that feels actually faster even if you under-clock your processor.

Consider replacing small cooler with fan on a chipset [if you have one] with a much larger [passive] heat dissipating cooler. Combine with a large 12V fan fed by 7V or PWM power source blowing on it through cardboard air duct.

Consider building / buying a small PWM power source with variable output that is powered by 12V from PC. I believe those are available commercially for modders, complete with thermal sensors, but building one (without thermal regulation) can be a fun little Sunday project. The PWM source then powers your fans, so they spin fast enough to cool your PC and slow enough not to make much noise. You turn it all the way up before serious gaming session.

Consider under-clocking your processor AND graphics cards when you do not play on your PC.

I have recently purchased a notebook as a replacement of my big rig that had many of the above mentioned enhancements. I bought a notebook, because I was visiting USA and I wanted to buy a better computer there during Black Friday and I strongly disliked the idea of packing a regular desktop PC inside a big checked-in suitcase. So I had to purchase something that I could take with me alongside a company-issued notebook. I had a *strong* case of buyers remorse. Now I can't improve my computer anymore. No installing extra stuff, getting a second disk (large SSD) was complicated and I had to give up [internal] DVD drive. On the other hand, notebook *is* much quieter, especially with an SSD.
So, if you like to tinker with your big rig, like I did, do not make the same mistake. - Unless you are filthy rich and can afford an alienware or similar notebook ;-).

Would Parallels running on the newest 4k iMac be powerful enough for your games? [evil grin ;-)]

Comment: I used to use FreeBSD and later PCBSD (Score 1) 267

by stasike (#48432277) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Workaday Software For BSD On the Desktop?

Twelve years ago I grew tired of trying to make Linux work on a Desktop. I noticed that when I wanted to have some work done I ended up using Slackware. Slackware uses the BSD init type, instead of SVR4 most of Linux systems were using at that time (and that is now being replaced with an upstart or systemd). I also noticed FreeBSD discussion forums that had simple instructions *that worked* for configuring things like switching keyboard layouts in Xwindow.
So I have tried FreeBSD 4.something. It worked great. When 4.8 came along I was already proficient and I had the best desktop ever. I was never this satisfied with a Linux desktop before.
The documentation is fantastic. Whatever you need to configure, just open handbook at the appropriate chapter and follow the script. (It was recommended at the time to do yourself a favor and make csh your default shell instead of Bash you wanted to use as a Linux refugee ;-) ). Note that this was time where KDE was at its peak - around version of 3.8.something.
Installing software was super easy, just use binary ports - ports that somebody else had built on a pointy-hat server farm, so you do not have to spend [many] dozens of machine-hours compiling stuff like KDE.
For smaller stuff, you just identified port you wanted to use, changed into that directory within port structure, typed make install and watched the magic happen.

Fast forward a few years. I grew tired of having to tinker with a computer for a month to configure all the little things, such as Flash every time I wanted to do a major update from scratch. At that time installing things like Flash was highly non-trivial, you had to use Linux version on top of some compatibility layer that emulated RedHat system for Linux calls. So I started to use PC-BSD and I was happy again.

Fast forward a few more years again. FreeBSD kernel of certain generation of major release had problems with my motherboard, and my existing system built on previous major release was getting obsolete. My Flash was old and other important ports couldn't be updated to a desired version. So I went looking for a Linux distro that I wouldn't have to fight with.

I have discovered Mint Linux. Out-of-box it came configured JUST the way I like it. I just needed to install a few little things, like [g]vim built from the most recent vanilla sources, Krusader, and a few others.

I do try FreeBSD out from time to time when an interesting release appears. I am always disappointed with the hardware compatibility. My very good friend runs it as his main desktop at work with a lightweight desktop manager. Besides other things he uses it to host a bunch VMs in Qemu. We (the company I work for) also use FreeBSD for various little stations and small servers for operators in industrial system.
Let me tell you, FreeBSD ain't what it used to be around what I perceive as a "FreeBSD Golden Age" [4.8Release]. Things aren't backward compatible and releases get old fairly quickly. When shell-shock (that nasty bug in Bash) came out I was very surprised that you can't patch an older system - you have to install a fairly recent release. I know, the default shell is tcsh, but some [web]server ports require bash.

Comment: Re:Ba Da ... (Score 2) 400

I was pissed off royally over this, when they introduced this feature. It took a minute of googling to remedy the situation.

Mint Linux is such a good distro [for my personal needs] that I am willing to spend 20 minutes to tweaking it after insall. 1 minute of those 20 is making Google default again. Other steps are installing Krusader, mc, gvim and configuring some things, such as keyboard layout switching to my liking.

Comment: Re:See what really happened first (Score 1) 150

by stasike (#48086257) Attached to: Adobe Spies On Users' eBook Libraries

This outrage is not about syncing books.
This is about Adobe Digital Editions 4 searching the disk for books that have *not* been added to ADE library and sending reports home about those books. Without any permision and without any indication they are sending info about files on your computer to an outside server.
This is about sending the info in cleartext, so every computer along the way from your PC to Adobe server can read about your reading habits and about the files you keep in unrelated directories.

+ - Adobe is Spying on Users, Collecting Data on Their eBook Libraries->

Submitted by stasike
stasike (1063564) writes "Nate at the-digital-reader.com reports that Adobe is spying on any computer that runs Digital Editions 4, the newest version of Adobe’s Epub app. They are not only sending info about what you are reading, they also search your computer for e-book files and send this info too, and all this in clear text.
This is just another example of DRM going south."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Well. (Score 1) 195

by stasike (#46821159) Attached to: How Apple's Billion Dollar Sapphire Bet Will Pay Off

The gorilla glass screens are actually plastic,

Gorilla glass is NOT plastic.
It is a regular high quality glass that is tempered in a molten salt.

Quote from Wikipedia:

During its manufacture, Gorilla Glass is toughened by ion exchange. The material is submersed in molten potassium salt at a temperature of approximately 400 degrees C (750 degrees F), whereby smaller sodium ions leave the glass to be replaced by larger potassium ions from the salt bath. The larger ions occupy more space and are pressed together when the glass cools, causing potassium ions to diffuse far into the surface, thereby creating a 'surface' layer of high compressive stress deep into the glass, a layer more resistant to damage from everyday use.

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane

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