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Comment Re:Cinema speakers can be damaged too (Score 2) 526

You would think that cinema speakers ... would be impervious to damage but some movies occasionally overdrive the speakers to a point that the drivers are damaged. ... there was 7 seconds of high pitched buzzing on reel 4 that could destroy the speakers.

A big difference is that those are speakers with separate woofers and tweeters. A typical audio signal has the vast majority of the acoustic signal in the low frequencies, so a loudspeaker capable of handling 100 W could have 90 W for the woofer and 10 W for the tweeter. If you send a maximum-amplitude high-pitched sound to the speaker, it will fry the voice coils in the tweeters. (I've had this happen when I tried to check whether I could hear up to 20 kHz from my loudspeakers ....)

One could wonder why tweeters are not fused, though. Apparently this is not trivial.

Anyway, laptop speakers are most likely a single driver for the whole frequency range, so tweeter overloading is not an issue.

Comment Slashdot on mobile (Score 1) 2219

Slashdot classic even if the code wasn't broken somewhat is great for a desktop but horrid on a mobile.

If you have a web server with cgi/perl support somewhere, you can try installing this: Avantslash. The main page loads in 33 kB and a typical comments page is below 100 kB at threshold 2. And it is optimized for efficient use of screen real-estate and low CPU demands. Works even on my ancient Nokia N82 (2008-era, 64 MB internal memory).

Comment Re:Wasn't this a movie? (Score 1) 237

Overwrite your data once and it's gone. Even if you don't overwrite it randomly no data recovery group have been shown to be capable of recovering overwritten data

That's if you want the data to be overwritten and you're the owner of the drive. If you want to delete data on someone else's drive, you would have to ensure that the drive does not have some custom firmware installed that messes with the overwriting process...

Comment Re:Ridiculous premise (Score 1) 267

"I don't understand why we don't have driverless trains"

For one, unionized train personnel has a lot of power by the threat of striking. I once talked to an engineer doing railway systems design. He told me that they have to tread very carefully when introducing any technology that might appear to take away the autonomy of the driver.

Another thing is that a train driver is supposed to be able to deal with hardware malfunctioning, maybe even getting out to move a stuck switch.

Comment Re:I've always wondered that about antihistamines (Score 2) 351

"Things like fever and coughing are part of the body's immune response,"

But not necessarily effective ones. If your lungs are irritated, you cough, whether or not there is something that needs to be expelled. Worse, extensive coughing can cause irritation, which leads to even more coughing.

If you are coughing up mucus, take an expectorant to decrease the viscosity of said mucus (e.g. bromhexine, acetylcysteine) and make the coughing more effective.

If it's a nonproductive dry cough, you should don't hesitate to take an anti-tussitive (cough suppressant), e.g. codeine, noscapine, dextromethorfan.

There's also a theory that common cold symptoms are an allergic reaction that's best suppressed with 1st-generation antihistamines. At least, runny nose and coughing don't expel the virus which is multiplying IN YOUR BODY CELLS.

Disclaimer: I am not an M.D..

Comment Re: Oh yes (Score 1) 459

If you've only been at it for 5 years, sure. I've been touch typing QWERTY for 20 years

5 years of touch-typing, after 10 years of hunt-and-peck. I think I could do about 400 cpm (80 wpm) on Qwerty (Two minutes, English prose) and nowadays after 18 years of Dvorak it's about 500 cpm. (Incidentally, touch typing combined with a few bad habits and lack of breaks thanks to multi-tasking Linux back in 1996 is what caused my RSI)

Having to switch to Dvorak would be hell, and would take years to get as up to speed with as I am with QWERTY.

You do not really provide an argument other than your beliefs that it would take that long. At least I have one empirical data point.

Comment Re:Lock code.. (Score 1) 201

any cop, if I recall correctly, where they just plug in your phone and sluuuuurp! Done! ... US government has agreements with all those companies and there are backdoors in everything

I find it rather unbelievable that this is possible in general for any smartphone. Indeed, the site of your first link writes:

many Android Gingerbread, Honeycomb (and, of course, Ice Cream Sandwich) devices are on the long list of products unsupported by the software.

The extraction process would be similar to rooting an Android phone. Online, you'll find many rooting HOWTOs which may give a hint to how easy it would be. On some phones, you just have to place a zip file with the appropriate /system/xbin/su binary on the SD card, and boot the phone in recovery mode. (For sluuurping, one would of course put a system binary in the zip file that would dump the entire system onto the USB cable).

For otther phones rooting requires that USB debugging is enabled (not the case with most people) or that the bootloader is unlocked - which may result in a factory reset that wipes (or just deletes?) existing user data.

Comment Re: Oh yes (Score 3, Interesting) 459

For someone who has touch-typed for years, it would take years to get up to speed with Dvorak

As someone who moved to Dvorak after 5 years of touch-typing Qwerty, I can tell you that this is not the case. A lot of the effort of learning to touch-type is in the motor/coordination skills in the fingers, not in memorizing which letter goes where. I think it took me about a month to get up to speed in Dvorak; it didn't help that I was recovering from a rather painful RSI at the time. I ended up being faster on Dvorak than I ever was on Qwerty.

Comment Re:eh, it's not that bad (Score 1) 459

Chances are the work computer uses Windows, which comes with support for Dvorak, so you don't need to install any software either. It's just a configuration change (which doesn't require administrator privileges

However, Windows does not have a simple way to put the Control key on where normally the CapsLock is located. It requires editing the registry and if I recall correctly, it is a system-wide setting, which will also change the physical keys needed to log in (Ctrl-Alt-Del). Fortunately, my employer's IT support were willing to do this on my work computer.

(I really don't understand how the CapsLock ended up on the home row, even though Ctrl is used much more often by the vast majority of people.)

Comment Re:An interesting factoid... (Score 1) 340

Not all planes are equal. In some I get gps reception, but more often than not there isn't a single satellite in view, even with the receiver held against the window.

I think windows in newer planes have an infrared-reflecting coating for thermal insulation, which happens to reflect gps waves as well. I've the same issues in trains, by the way.

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