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Submission + - Fluid dynamics of Splashback (bbc.co.uk)

r_jensen11 writes: Affectionately known as the "Wizz Kids," a pair of BYU physicists have pushed past the bounds of toilet humor to publish their research on splashback: the paradox of going to the bathroom without suffering from urinary ricochet. Many have tried to tackle this problem (my favorite idea comes from You Don't Know Jack's skit, "The Shield"), however few have studied the subject as thoroughly as Prof Tadd Truscott and Randy Hurd. Using high-speed cameras set up in their Splash Lab, Truscott and Hurd took notes on how to best address the Plateau-Rayleigh instability phenomenon. Some highlights from their research include:
  • The closer you are, the better
  • The angle of attack matters
  • Toilet designs also matter

And like all proper researchers, the duo concludes that further research is necessary to determine "the optimal approach for urinal usage"

Comment Re:Distortions (Score 1) 55

It's not a lens problem. The lenses are trying to correct for the fact that current games display 3D images meant for display on flat surfaces. The lense is there to distort to image and make it wrap around your eyes, but the portion of the image you're wrapping is distorted and lacking detail, even before the lens smears it across your peripheral vision. This is a method for making the initial image much better and full of data so that less aggressive smearing is necessary, and the per-smear image has more data in it to begin with.

Wouldn't the next-step solution be to use curved OLED screens and develop rendering engines which take into account the spherical nature of the monitors?

Comment Re:Currently searching - some Brother ref (Score 2) 381

I'll second Brother for the occasional printing at home. We have the MFC-7860DW, which replaced our old Dell USB laser printer (similar to the 1110) I used for the previous 8 or so years. The MFC has been very nice for us, however I've noticed that the ethernet connection has been more reliable than the wireless connection (wireless has sometimes had issues waking up from standby.) IPv6 support, duplex support, both wired & wireless support for when you need to use the printer on the go, it's been well worth the investment.

I've thought about adding a dye-sub/thermal photo printer to our collection at home, but concluded that they're too expensive for us. Photo printing at home is more expensive than either shutterfly or CVS/Walgreens, and we've determined that the price premium for the convenience of printing at home isn't worth it for us since we feel comfortable waiting for a package to arrive from Shutterfly or swinging by the pharmacy when we're in the area.

Comment Re:A $600 Mac mini is also UNIX(R) (Score 1) 471

But like the most family car owners who dream of having a muscle car, mac mini owners dream of getting a Mac Pro - even if they don't need it.

[Citation needed]

I'm going to go out on a limb here and venture to guess that I'm like most Mac Mini owners in the sense that I already had a working monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and determined that spending an extra $500-$1000 for an integrated display and couldn't care less about the Mac Pro because I'm not even close to taxing the Mini with my day-to-day usage (hence no noticable increase in value.)

Comment Re:Finally (Score 1) 116

Tablets are designed to require even less computer skills than PCs.

Says who? I thought they were different tools for different purposes. Tablets are designed as consumption devices, whereas PCs are designed to be more general-purpose and production devices. There are many people who are perfectly capable of performing the task they need done on a PC, even if they don't know the difference between bash and sh

Just because a tablet is designed to be a consumption device doesn't mean that it has to be associated with Fisher-Price

Comment Re:Can someone please explain ... (Score 2) 658

why we're trying to over-complicate this? Take the odometer reading at annual inspection and be done with it.

Because this fails under two scenarios:
Scenario (1) - Out-of-state drivers/cars registered out of state (e.g. university students who have Mom & Dad pay for registration & property taxes) driving into/through the state
Scenario (2) - Oregon residents who have the audacity to drive their vehicles out of the state

While it's not perfect, taxing gas has been a very practical approach to dealing with the tax issue. Now that we're looking at electric vehicles in addition to liquid fuel, perhaps a similar approach would be to meter charging stations and tax on that?

Comment Re:Peope use what works (Score 1) 337

I will venture that you were never an Excel power user then.

Real power users figured out the keyboard shortcuts to access nearly anything in the menus. Surprise, surprise that 99% of those keyboard shortcuts still work or work with very minor altercations. Freezing window positions in excel is Alt > W > F > F instead of Alt > W > F. Pivot tables are Alt > D > P. For commands which aren't in the menus, you can throw them into the shortcut bar, a.k.a. "Quick Access Toolbar" and then use keyboard shortcuts to access those commands (this is what I did for Copy as Picture.)

If you want more real estate space, you can minimize the ribbon (which gives you an extra ~5 rows, significant when using a 12"-15" laptop screen) and still access everything through the same keyboard shortcuts.

Comment Re: Tiniest violin (Score 3, Interesting) 292

My favorite Dell customer support experience had to do with the floppy disk drive getting jammed. We tried pushing the eject button, but couldn't depress the button to release the floppy. Despite the fact that this was clearly a mechanical issue that should still be able to work when the drive is unplugged from the computer (and hence not have any power), the rep still insisted that we:
1) Restart the computer & report what errors were showing up in the Add/Remove Hardware window (hint: there was no reported error)
2) Uninstall & reinstall the drivers for said floppy drive
3) Unplug the computer from the wall, wait n seconds, plug computer back into the wall, then repeat #1 & #2

After going through this process, the rep concluded "Well, I don't have a clue what could possibly be wrong! I suggest you mail the drive back to us so our specialists can take a look at it and give you a replacement (which is what we immediately asked for when we finally got in contact with a person.) here is your RMA number...."

And this was when we called their customer support for enterprises!

Comment Re:Hardware partner (Score 1) 880

Having had to adjust to Vista and Windows 7, I don't feel too bold in saying that switching from Windows to Linux with Gnome 2 or Gnome 3 wouldn't be a stretch for anyone. Windows typically frustrates me, the new Office Ribbon whatever crap is HORRIBLE, etc.

I keep seeing this, yet I haven't personally experienced this frustration (and I use the hell out of Excel every day.) Initially, yes, I was annoyed that I couldn't find what I was looking for within the menus. Then I noticed by accident that 99% of the old (i.e. 2003) keyboard shortcuts still work -- they're just not advertised. Alt+E+S still brings up Paste Special, Alt+D+F+F still applies auto-filter, Alt+I+W still inserts a new worksheet, &c. The only real frustration I've had is that some of my macros needed some QA during the conversion and pasting pictures of graphs into PowerPoint is pretty ugly.

I can't comment on Word because we don't really use it in my office, but I'd gladly gain the extra functionality in Excel (multi-threading (huge win for me!), data sets greater than 65K rows, increased memory limits, the list goes on) for the little bit of frustration that I've experienced.

Comment As much as I want to promote my Alma Mater... (Score 1) 185

The site seems to be a waste of energy when alternative sources exist with a much greater volume of activity. The prime example that comes to my mind is the Iowa Electronic Markets. I understand the Big Ten rivalry, but why reinvent the wheel? Do they honestly expect to get valuable commentary in conjunction with the votes?

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