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Comment: Re:HP Calculators (Score 1) 667

by willy_me (#46793165) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?
An amendment. Forget USB - add inductive charging. Now you do not require any physical ports. The keyboard membrane should be designed so that it also provides a watertight seal between the keyboard and the electronics. Now you have a calculator you can use in the rain, on a ship, or anywhere else you do not want to use a cell phone. Engineers can use it in the field - without taking off any gloves.

Comment: Re:HP Calculators (Score 1) 667

by willy_me (#46793127) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Someone needs to start a Kickstarter project to create a decent calculator. A solid case and keyboard as per the older HP calculators. Color display - they're common enough. Embedded ARM CPU as you would expect in a cell phone. And similar to a cell phone, a rechargable battery. Add in bluetooth, WiFi, and USB for communication and your hardware is done.

The interesting part would be on the software end. One could attempt to emulate an HP calculator - but a standard Forth VM would also be interesting. Synchronizing with a PC is a huge area where things could be improved. It would be great to share a workspace with a computer so that once you solve a problem on the calculator - the requred functions would be available on the PC allowing you to automaticaly integrate the solution into your own code / spreadsheet / etc.

An open calculator design would open up lots of possibilities. Cell phones are great start but regardless of how impressive the software is, it still lacks a physical keyboard. Automatic type correction works great for text - not so much for calculators.

Comment: Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (Score 1) 298

by willy_me (#46557865) Attached to: Iran Builds Mock-up of Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier
One of the big cost savings is in not having to constantly maintain and operate aircraft and pilot skills. With drones you just leave the thing packed up in storage until it is needed. Just look at how many hours your typical F18 has on it before it is ever used in combat - that's a big expense that an air-to-air drone would not have.

Comment: Ambient noise does not have to be a problem (Score 1) 63

by willy_me (#46424431) Attached to: Samsung Galaxy Glass Patent Plans To Turn Fingers Into a Keyboard
Multiple microphones can be used to triangulate the different sources of incoming noise. Some intelligent filters that take into account the expected 3D position of the speaker can then be used to filter out ambient noise. Cell phones are already doing this - at least the good ones are. This is why the iPhone has multiple microphones. I imagine Samsung is doing something similar. You can learn more and see some impressive examples in the Stanford on-line artificial intelligence lectures. I believe they were posted in iTunes University a couple of years ago. I now use a Linux desktop so I can not verify that they are still available.

Comment: Re:Similar to most studies (Score 1) 427

by willy_me (#46399131) Attached to: All Else Being Equal: Disputing Claims of a Gender Pay Gap In Tech

The guy donated some genetic material. The woman had the thing grow inside them for 9 months. Who's gonna be more connected?

You are correct that the woman is more connected and that it has to do with time - but not for the reasons you've implied. It really comes down to the fact that men can reproduce more frequently then women so they have less invested into each individual offspring. Women only get so many chances so it is worth it for them to invest the time to maximize the success rate. Men maximize their DNA propagation by procreating as frequently and with as many women as possible.

Men and women are different both on the outside and inside. Different brain chemistry leads to different behaviour. Why do some people (not parent poster) find this so hard to understand?

Comment: It will have problems in the real world. (Score 2) 242

by willy_me (#46391955) Attached to: Walmart Unveils Turbine-Powered WAVE Concept Truck

Anything that light will have serious issues with cross-winds. If current trailers can blow over just imagine how bad it will be when you reduce the weight by 4000 lbs.

Some time ago, I recall reading on /. how Walmart was researching new energy efficient tires for use with trucks. Looks like they are being used here - a single large tire to replace the current standard dual-tire configuration. But this makes me wonder what the impact of a blow-out would be. Perhaps they have it figured out - or perhaps there are good reasons why this will never become a production machine.

Comment: Re:I'm confused (Score 2) 144

by willy_me (#46369395) Attached to: How An Astronaut Nearly Drowned During a Space Walk

Not all gallons are the same. Muros must have thought this was obvious. I thought it was obvious.

If two people independently read the same meaning in a message you've written, it's unlikely the problem is with the reader.

Only true with a small audience. When read by thousands, the two that could not figure it out are to blame.

Comment: Re:No radiator in a Leaf (Score 2) 236

by willy_me (#46350379) Attached to: Tesla Used A Third of All Electric-Car Batteries Last Year

I have a Leaf, there is no radiator of any kind. Heat comes from resistance (pre 2013) or heat pump (2013 and beyond).

Heat pumps still require radiators. They are much simpler and less maintenance then a typical automotive radiator - but they are still there. Just look at the back / bottom of your refrigerator for an example.

Comment: Lower power towers.. (Score 1) 105

by willy_me (#46343219) Attached to: Crowded US Airwaves Desperately In Search of Spectrum Breathing Room

The solution is to build / install multiple mini-towers to replace large towers covering a larger area.

Dialling down the transmit power of both the device and tower will reduce the congestion. With fewer devices on each tower, bandwidth will increase. Also, devices will require less transmit and receive power so their batteries will last longer. And when in a more rural setting with fewer devices, service providers can still go with a larger tower to cover more area.

This is the only real solution but it requires an investment in infrastructure. From the perspective of a service provider, it is far more cost effective to convince the government to give / sell them more bandwidth. Regardless of how much bandwidth they have, they will always be begging government for more.

Comment: Re:Not pro-business? (Score 1) 917

by willy_me (#46343093) Attached to: Apple Urges Arizona Governor To Veto Anti-Gay Legislation

No, I can't agree with that. You can't force the proprietor of the business to do anything the customer wants. Let's say the baker's kid just died, is it okay for a customer to demand that the baker ice the cake saying something nasty about the dead kid? It's freedom of speech, right?

Sorry, but your analogy is horribly flawed. I do not think anyone is claiming that business owners have to serve jerks. It is only a issue when a business refuses to perform a service that they would otherwise perform based solely on the sexual orientation of the customer. With the bakery, it was only a problem because the baker would gladly draw genitalia for straight customers - but not a gay couple.

Comment: Re:Its too bad.. (Score 1) 357

by willy_me (#46254187) Attached to: Under Armour/Lockheed Suit Blamed For US Skating Performance

Exactly, the Olympics has turned into yet another pointless profit driven media frenzy. It's not even about the athletes anymore.

You're wrong about that. It has not turned - it was never that way in the first place.

The Olympics is a huge money-making business where they do not have to build their own facilities (host Countries/taxpayers do that) nor do they have to pay their athletes. They stoke the flames of patriotism to get people interested then sell them the rights to watch the event. It's the ultimate low risk, high income business to be in - and there is no competition.

I am not a fan of professional sports but at least the NFL/NHL/NBA etc. pay their way. Their athletes are well paid and they do not burden the host cities with the cost of their facilities - generally speaking. But the Olympics rub me the wrong way. If they did something positive with the billions they get for media distribution rights it would be different but they just pocket the money.

While money can't buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.