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Comment Not SpaceChem (Score 1) 951

I've been playing a lot of SpaceChem recently (got it from the Humble Bundle a while ago) and was surprised to find out it runs much better on Ubuntu than Windows. The Windows version has cleaner sound (bugs in the Ubuntu sound drivers) but the Ubuntu version has a bunch of extra features. The big ones are saving movies of solutions, and the ability to see the action inside factories while zoomed out in the landscape view (Windows offers only waiting markers in the latter case).

Comment Re:people loose internet access? (Score 1) 281

A) no, mobile phone penetration is not that great - I don't think it's 50% of mobile phones yet, it's certainly less than 50% of the population.

B) If trees take out the power lines, you'd be stupid to waste your limited battery power just wasting time on the internet, you might need it for an emergency.

C) What makes you think cell phone towers are immune to power and connectivity losses?

Comment Good luck, storm-targeted folks (Score 1) 281

I was on a long drive south yesterday (out of Sandy's path, but not as an evacuation - just returning to where I live) and saw a lot of cherrypicker utility trucks convoying north. I saw maybe 50 trucks in the space of 20 minutes in groups of 6-10. Hopefully the long warning time for this storm will let the utilities prepare sufficiently...

Comment Re:So...um... (Score 1) 116

Oh, I was definitely being snarky (perpetual motion? infinite mass?). I understand the aerial refueling idea - a certain Mr. Clancy always wrote lovingly of the KC-135. Sometimes figuratively, and once more literally when he called it something like "airplanes having sex". In general I'm in favor of any idea that will reduce the orbital debris problem.

Comment MSE is good enough - but teach him to reinstall (Score 5, Informative) 503

Microsoft Security Essentials is the only thing I have running on most of the Windows computers I administer (note: they're XP, not 7). I've never had any problems. Install that and don't worry too much about it. Install noscript on Firefox and tell him not to use IE; that will avoid most of the remaining problems. Let all software autoupdate as much as it wants.

You do want to do two other things. 1) Keep that install disc, and make sure the kid knows how to install Windows himself, plus install his games himself. I think WOW and probably LOL are both cloud-based saves so wiping the HDD is no issue. Reinstalling Windows is generally 1/4 the time and hassle of actually fixing a malware problem.

2) Let him know that he is only likely to get viruses doing things he shouldn't. Drive-by downloads on legit sites are rare. Drive-by-downloads on warez, gold sellers (for WOW), and porn are a lot more common. If he is going to do that stuff (you can't stop him) at least make sure he knows that those are dangerous sites. If his computer is acting funny after visiting one, and a reboot doesn't fix it, then wipe the install.

Comment Re:All Edison's fault (Score 1) 1080

If you're getting 400-500% efficiency, this means you're inventing energy as you get 100% max. Any more, any more and you're opening up a hole from another dimension to let energy in. I want to know how to do that.

He said it's a heat pump operating in heating mode. It is quite literally importing heat from someplace else - usually the outside of the house where the external unit on the A/C is. He is using one unit of energy to run the pump to import another 4 units of energy from outside the house - thus 4 units from 1 unit, 400% efficiency. It's just outdoors, not another dimension.

Comment Re:Much more expensive than I was expecting (Score 1) 282

They caught up after the Slim redesign and many years of effort - in the early going it was pretty rough. You may recall there were folks who bought multiple PS3s at launch to resell on eBay for inflated prices, only to find they couldn't even sell them at MSRP. I agree with you that the PS3 is fine now, but its launch was widely considered to be a failure.

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