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Comment Re:Hey Slashdot Editor! (Score 4, Insightful) 341

"Coal spews more radiation than a nuclear meltdown"

I'd like to see a source for that. More radiation than a properly functioning nuclear plant, maybe. But accidents like Chernobyl or Fukushima: no way!

Plus: the radioactivity released by coal plants is mostly in the fly ash, which is filtered out in modern plants. So it's essentially comparing near zero amounts of radioactivity.

Comment Re:Still shitty consumer protections (Score 1) 148

Self-reply: the Dutch version actually has a link to the T&C, at :

Rough translation of section VIII: The publisher is not allowed to [generate artificial traffic]. In case of a violation, the publisher is instantaneously and without warning subject to a fine of EUR 50,000 plus EUR 500 for every additional day of violation.

Comment Re:Still shitty consumer protections (Score 1) 148

a website could put in T&Cs ... terms for $1,000,000 per day penalty for late payment on an account worth $10,000 in it's total life.

In 2008, I got an email inviting me to participate in an affiliate network. I was curious, but the T&C indeed had a statement along the lines of "if you generate invalid clicks, as judged solely by us, you will be obliged to pay EUR 50,000 fine". I wonder what would have happened if I had done business with them. As a business-to-business deal, consumer protection laws would probably not have applied there.

The website still exists: ; they are still fishy: there is a form to apply as a publisher, with a checkbox for accepting the T&C, but no link to the T&C.

Comment Re:You can have 2: cheap, realtime, or resolution. (Score 1) 549

An analog filter doesn't peek ahead either, and is therefore limited in what it can do. But such a limited analog filter should be trivial to simulate as a digital no-peak-ahead filter.

Give me one example of something that can be done with an analog filter which is not trivial to simulate in a zero-delay streaming digital filter.

Comment Re:You can have 2: cheap, realtime, or resolution. (Score 1) 549

"all of the cheap ways to do digital signal processing add intolerable amounts of latency, so hearing aids are stuck with hybrid analog+digital designs"

I don't see what kind of analog filter circuits would would be so difficult to simulate digitally with more than 1 sample of latency. An analog filter is essentially a network of components that subtract, add, multiply, and accumulate voltages. That's trivial to do with a low end dsp which acts on a digital stream and has a couple of bytes storage.

Comment Re:The iPhone effect? (Score 1) 280

"I have three spare batteries (ie 4 batteries) to make damn sure I can use it!"

I used to carry a spare with my previous phone, but I found it a pain to keep track of which one needs charging. Plus, you need to power cycle the phone both to switch batteries and to recharge the spare, which is annoyingly slow on a smartphone.

Nowadays I carry a usb cable to charge my phone from my laptop, and a Duracell portable recharger in case I don't have a laptop around. The portable charger is good for about 2/3 recharge of the built in battery of my htc Desire S.

Comment Re:So how really do they account for the swirling (Score 1) 105

According to TFA they didn't account for Coriolis effects. The overall rotation causes 60 pixels of shift per hour, whereas the differences in rotation speed are only good for 3 pixels per hour.

I don't know much about hydrodynamics of gas giants, but I suppose that there is a mechanism that prevents the formation of hurricane-like structures that are big enough and rotating fast enough to show up on photos of this resolution. Typical photos of Jupiter show only small scale eddies. Except for Jupiter's big spot, but even that one doesn't change shape on a timescale of a few hours.

Comment Re:Did the signal degrade, or the noise increase? (Score 2) 615

"make your router and computers with directional antennas so your gear can just ignore interference. using a phased array antenna"

I've built improvised directional antennas for wifi routers out of cardboard, paper, and aluminum foil. Bend a sheet of aluminum foil on paper (25x15 cm will do) into a curved shape and mount it on the router antenna. Convenient if placing the router in the center of the house is impractical. Because the wavelength is 12 cm at 2.4 GHz it won't generate a tighly focused beam, but it will help reducing interference with transmitters behind the reflector and boost the signal in front.

See e.g. here for inspiration.

Comment Re:Hot aisle containment (Score 1) 87

"...many data centers use gycol as it caries more heat than pure water."

No it doesn't. The heat capacity of ethylene glycol is only half that of water. But mixed with water it acts as anti-freeze, which is convenient since the evaporator that cools the water may reach freezing temperatures occasionally.

Comment Lending your phone to a stranger (Score 1) 285

A friend of me lost his phone that way, so it does happen. (busy station in Amsterdam at 9 am).

I once received such a request. I let him tell me the phone number and the message and I made the actual call. (in the train)

I once made such a request myself (flat battery, on the platform at 6 pm, needed to tell that my train was 2 hours late). Fortunately the other one didn't make a big deal out of lending me his 40 euro feature phone. Composing an sms on a phone with a different UI is tough, though...

I'm fiddling with my phone most of the time when I'm waiting for something in public (often reading slashdot, see signature). I might be an easy target for someone who just sneaks up on me, grabs it, and runs away with it.

Comment Re:First impressions (Score 1) 24

it seems at first glance that a bit too many of the entries relied in part on turning code into ascii art.

If you have been hacking for a week to squeeze a complex program into 2 kB (excluding whitespace), which by itself will lead to hard-to-read code, then spending another half hour on creative formatting is just the icing on the cake. Actually, the contest rules state that ascii obfuscation doesn't count towards the scoring; the jury will run it through a C beautifier anyway.

That said, the program endoh2 generates an ascii-art obfuscated program. The program 'deckmyn' uses the white space in the source code as data.

I find it pretty impressive what the authors manage to squeeze in tiny programs. Notable things in previous years that I remember include a C compiler and an x86 virtual machine, if I recall correctly. This year, the 'tromp' program is an interpreter - although I don't fully get what it does. :-)

Too bad that this slashdot story draws so few comments.

Comment Re:Biking is better (Score 1) 342

You are probably right about the risk of no-lights at night. Besides the Orlando study, I have read, somewhere, that the most-vigorously enforced cycling safety law in the Netherlands is that one.

Well, "vigorously enforced"... Typically, about 30% of the cyclists in the cities don't have a light. In practice the enforcement means that the police sets up a trap when it's dark during rush hour and fines everyone cycling through without light. That would happen a couple of times at various locations in the bigger cities every winter. I think a car driver has a far greater chance of being caught speeding than a cyclist cycling being caught without lights.

Comment Re:Winter Biking? (Score 2) 342

A soft compound, knobby tire results in a smaller area, higher pressure and thus melting snow.

The freezing-point depression of ice induced by pressure is 13 MPa/K. If you concentrate 100 kg (1 kN) on 1 cm2 of ice, the freezing point will go down from 0 C to -0.8 C. So that won't make much of a difference. And even if it would, it's not clear to me why this would help you while cycling in the snow.

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