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Comment Re:And you think it is magic? (Score 1) 293

I would love to see what just a 1080p TV signal actually looks like. As far as I know there is no way to get, say, a football game (which really would benefit from fine detail with fast motion) in 1080p. I watch on a DVR and boy, you can really see the compression artifacts and combing on a freeze-frame.

On my set, "motionflow" (interpolating frames in post-processing) is useless because it looks glassy smooth for a few frames and then judders for a few.

Comment Re:"miniscule" (Score 2) 190

Okay, from what I'm reading here, this sounds like a gross over-reaction and a lot of rich old people taking shit way, way, way too seriously --

Have you heard about the covenants in gated communities? (Hope you don't want to ride a scooter!) You are talking about a bunch of rich guys. Their self-appointed function in life is to tell other people what to do, because they know better. The Augusta National golf club just started admitting blacks in 1990 and women just last year . Let us ponder on that for a moment.

Comment Re:Stack Overflow (Score 2) 211

Well, I am going to defend Stack Overflow here, because I think it fills a very useful niche, which is "what is the best way to do X." There is no way that a "single-source" documentation, such as the API documentation or a book, can foresee all those specific questions. I do not go to stackoverflow to search for information, but very often when I use google to search, stackoverflow has the first useful information. As opposed to a straight wiki, what makes it useful is the (slashdot-like) moderation system.

Comment Re:Where were the professionals. (Score 3, Insightful) 268

It must be a digital display, because you can clearly see when a needle (like a speedometer) is pinned.

I think there is a real takehome lesson for designing instrumentation here. A device should not show the value "100" for "everything greater than 100." Under overload it should just show a row of hyphens or something. Even my cheap little digital kitchen scale does this.

Comment Re:Doing what you love (Score 1) 226

You just need to learn to love work that puts bread on the table. Electrical engineering is good at that.

It was, but is becoming less so. Would you feel entirely comfortable steering your kids towards a shrinking field? Read the following:

Computerworld - The number of electrical engineers in the workforce has declined over the last decade. It's not a steady decline, and it moves up and down, but the overall trend is not positive.

In 2002 the U.S. had 385,000 employed electrical engineers; in 2004, post bubble, it was at 343,000. It reached 382,000 in 2006, but has not risen above 350,000 since then, according to U.S. Labor Data.

There's also been some concern about the data coming out this year. In the first quarter of this year, unemployment for electrical engineers reached 6.5%, a figure the IEEE-USA, at the time, called "alarming."

Comment Re:Why bother patrolling? (Score 1) 157

If you're going for automation - why not just fixed cameras and other sensors covering the whole area?

There's still a fairly low limit on how many video streams one person can attend to, especially if it's busy. Roving robots may not be useful, but what is happening is the cameras are getting smarter in where they look, and when to alert the operator:

It's not just law enforcement that has taken note of this. Retail outlets such as Macys, Babys âRâ(TM) Us, and CVS have installed systems in some of their stores that can spot shoppers who do unusual thingsâ"such as remove many items from a shelf at once, open a case that is normally locked, or walk suspiciously through the aisles.

Comment So, who pays? (Score 5, Interesting) 341

In general it is good to make people accountable for the costs of their own actions. In the case of global warming, many of the people who burned much of the fossil fuel will be dead by the time the consequences occur, and in addition it's a global cause.

I wonder if we wouldn't just be better off writing some laws now that say, "look, don't come crying to us when your expensive beach-front property goes underwater. Factor that into the price before you buy."

We need a carbon tax just to speed the transition to less less-polluting energy sources; if we instead use that money to repair thousands of miles of coastline and keep burning fossil fuel, we solve nothing.

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We must believe that it is the darkest before the dawn of a beautiful new world. We will see it when we believe it. -- Saul Alinsky