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Comment 320x240 (Score 1) 176

Personally I don't see the monitor as part of the "learn programming" goal. The monitor that fits that goal is your TV

If you happen not to be able to afford a new TV, then you'll have to use the CRT SDTV that you already own or can get at a pawn shop. Good luck working at close to 320x240* like they used to back in the days of 8-bit microcomputers, as that's all a standard-definition NTSC TV can display through composite.

* True, analog video doesn't have discrete horizontal pixels, but composite video does have a luma-chroma crossover filter at 3 MHz, and sampling luma at the Nyquist rate of 6 MHz over the 47 microsecond width of the title safe area produces about 280 usable pixels. And though SDTV is 480i, interlace produces far more objectionable flicker in text than the nonstandard 240p mode used by pre-Dreamcast game consoles.

Comment Used TVs (Score 1) 176

With the switch to HDTV, every cheap little TV out there has HDMI inputs

New ones do, I'll grant. Used TVs at pawn shops and charity shops still don't. I see CRT SDTVs in local charity shops that don't even have composite in; all they have is RF, with an analog tuner that only picks up low-power stations exempt from the switchoff.

Comment Electric farm machinery; organic fertilizers (Score 1) 776

If oil prices rise and remain high [...] near-universal poverty would reign across the land.

Poverty might increase where there's no wind and little sun, I'll grant.

We need [fossil fuel] to work the fields [...] transport it

Or electric power from wind, PV, or solar thermal.

produce the fertilizer

Thinking petroleum is the only way to make fertilizer is both bullshit and batshit. Literally.

produce the pesticides

There are alternatives as strong as chemicals.

so we can eat it instead of the bugs

Or maybe we could eat the bugs too. There's a reason food is called "grub": insects have protein.

Comment Analog-like noise (Score 1) 358

As I understand it, that's because bitrate peeling drastically reduced the "analog-like noise" advantage of vector quantization over the more warbly scalar quantization used in MP3. But with several Moore's law doublings of transistor count since the release of Vorbis, reencoding shouldn't be quite as painful anymore.

Comment All countries should be exporters (Score 1) 776

if all were exporters who would consume?

The other markets would buy things and export other things back to us. That's what trade is supposed to be about. Under the Balassa-Samuelson model, the quickest way to increase a currency's value is to ramp up export production. If all were net exporters, on the other hand...

Comment Eventually (Score 1) 362

Listen, the web evolves and evolves according to standards.

And because Android allows multiple competing web browsers to compete for standards support, it picks up support for these standards sooner than iPhone. Firefox for Android appears to support WebGL as of version 24 according to this table. Safari and Safari wrappers, on the other hand, support standards only once Apple makes the business decision to no longer deliberately exclude them. For example, iOS supports WebGL, but only in iAds approved by Apple. The limits of Safari and Safari wrappers appear calculated to encourage application developers to buy an additional computer and a developer license and develop a native application instead of not buying a Mac, not buying a developer license, and developing a web application instead.

All proprietary lock-ins will naturally be kicked out eventually.

The universe will die of heat death "eventually". To exaggerate slightly less, anyone can make an iPhone "eventually" once copyright in iOS expires. To exaggerate even less, if I eat "eventually", I will die of starvation first. People making applications for the phones that exist now need to eat now. I was referring to the foreseeable future, not 95 years from now.

Comment 36em out of 120em (Score 1) 291

So what's the best practice for a web site to use all 116em* of a 1920x1200 monitor's active width without making the main text column wider than the 30-36em** that's best for readability?

* Assuming the default font size of 16px per em, minus 2em for scrollbars and 2em for outer margins.
** Assuming the 80-character line length and just over 2 characters per em.

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