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Comment Re:How much reduced sleep is tied to long commutes (Score 1) 710

"I know people who are losing two hours of their life a day commuting each way, "

I commute well over 2 hours, 4 days per week. I don't see it as lost time. I'm reading slashdot and other sites in the train like now (plenty of space since I travel after the peak hours). In addition, 15 km of cycling per day, which is my only exercise. Fortunately the climate over here allows cycling.

But the idea of driving a car for 2 h/day horrifies me...

Comment Re:Oblig Prior Art Question (Score 1) 56

When a patent is filed, I believe the USPTO keeps it confidential for a long time (a year?) until it is well along in process, to avoid revealing its secrets long before the patent is decided.

In the standard procedure, the application is kept secret for 18 months; then the application is published; the USPTO will then wait another year or so (depending on the back log it could be much more) before deciding whether or not to grant the patent. In this time slot between publication and decision, competitors could point out relevant prior art to USPTO, which would affect the decision.

In the US system, one can also file a provisional patent application and wait 12 months before filing the final application, which will essentially stretch the confidential period from 18 to 30 months. This was the case here. The final application can differ from the provisional application (errors corrected, more examples provided, reworded claims, etc.). In case of relevant prior art that was published between the provisional and final application, the provisional application will count.

Comment Re:Has this ever happened to you? (Score 1) 216

"a big portion of what you experience with regards to a temperatures bearability is based on humidity. In a very dry climate, 40C won't feel bad. In a very humid climate, you can start sweating at 16C."

In addition to that, the temperature is only sampled at one point. There can be quite a difference between temperature of supply and exhaust. I think a normal office should be ventilated at 100 m3/h

A human, with computer and lighting (250 W) can generate 8 C temperature increase. If you're unlucky with the airflow patterns, you could have people sitting in zones on both ends of that range. Moreover, between summer and winter, the walls may have different temperatures, which will affect both the local air temperatures and the energy balance of thermal radiation between warm bodies and walls.

Comment Re:BMI is a lie! (Score 1) 329

Bah, 99.9% of the people who complain that their BMI is high because of muscles don't have that much muscles. This is Olaf Tufte, former olympic champion

Well, that's an example of a guy who, as you say, are almost pure muscle. Go and Google for "strongest man competition". Most of those guys have quite a bit more fat, but I doubt that their overal body fat percentage is that high.

Comment Re: Our patent system is totally broken (Score 1) 152

"he's hard pressed for time. The patent office is over worked, understaffed, and runs on quotas"

I'm actually amazed about what these examiners can achieve. Depending on what you assume for the hourly rate of an examiner, including all organizational overhead, they have 4 to 8 hours to read and understand the application, search prior art, and write their response.

I sometimes have to proofread draft patent applications of my own inventions, and it takes me typically 4 hours to review those (check that what the attorney wrote is a correct description of what I think the invention is). They turn my 2-page description of an idea into 25 pages of dense legalese, but at least I believe that I should have some advantage in understanding the idea, compared to the examiner.

Comment Re: Simple: So people will buy them. (Score 1) 482

You live in Europe. Where exactly? Europe includes Ukraine, part of Russia, and a few other non-EU countries. Even within the EU, it can vary.

"you have always been able to slap your SIM card into any phone you buy since 1995 or so. ... In Europe you always bought your phone from an electronics shop and SIM from a carrier."

Well, it has always been an option, but in Netherlands and various places where I've been on holiday, it's not what all consumers opt for. Plenty of people who get a new smartphone every 2 years. A phone bought together with a SIM often has a SIM lock, which means that it will only work with one carrier. Most shops here do not offer iPhones without contract.

In Netherlands, it seems that the 3G capacity is saturated. At least, data plans are expensive, especially with pay-as-you-go and MVNOs. MVNOs are only competitive as long as you stay here. Roaming rates tend to be the EU maximum, whereas the main providers often have better deals.

Comment Re:Amazing discovery in this article (Score 3, Informative) 99

i think both of Google's founders were smart enough to understand they were GEEKS and not try to run the business themselves. So they went out and got Eric Schmidt

TFA explains that Page was not very cooperative to get a mature CEO. Essentially, he had Schmidt shoved through his throat:

Page had never been behind hiring [Schmidt] -- or any CEO, for that matter. Google's investors made him do it. (...) And for a long time, Larry Page was very unhappy.

Comment Re:More money does not always buy better things. (Score 1) 288

"The $150 Formica counter top at my rented flat and my mother's 30-year-old granite one beg to differ."

Last time I was looking into kitchen hardware, the salesman warned me that natural granite is a bit porous and tends to get stained irreversibly from, say, wine spills, and that you have to re-impregnate it regularly. Not something I want in my kitchen. On the other hand, all synthetic counter tops, including granite-look composites, are not guaranteed to handle hot pans. I ended up not buying a new kitchen...

Comment Re:Useless (Score 2) 187

"you can walk around outdoors without electric lights even when there's no moon."

I doubt that you can do that comfortably if there are trees blocking the little star light that's available or if it's a bad road surface combined with you not wearing rugged boots.

Apart from that, especially women don't feel comfortable going around in dark places where they perceive that there can be rapists hiding in the dark.

Comment Re:13 deaths? (Score 2) 518

Cars would probably be a lot safer if they were made more simply, and they didn't change the design ever 2 or 3 years. Stick with time tested designs and get all the bugs out and you'd end up with a car that was reliable and safe.

That is a strong assertion. Can you back that up? Over the years, cars have become safer both for the people inside and other road users (well, the latter probably doesn't really hold for SUV monsters), and also got much better fuel economy. A lot of that you can't achieve by debugging an existing design. Think of aerodynamics and crumple zones, which are integrated into the entire car design. Over here (Netherlands), the minimum age and frequency for mandatory technical inspections of old cars have been relaxed over the years, apparently because of the increase in durability.

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