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Comment LEDs and dimmers (Score 1) 710

I love the idea of LED bulbs (much more so than CFLs, since those die quickly in our 25-year-old house), but they've currently got the same problem that CFLs do: they won't work with a dimmer. Yes, I know that some CFLs are dimmer-compatible now, but they're hard to find.

I'm nothing resembling an electrician or electrical engineer, but I have a conceptual idea of how you would make it work. Add a microcontroller that reads the incoming voltage. As the voltage steps down, turn off individual LEDs in the array in a fixed sequence. Half voltage == half of the LEDs are off, for instance.

Is the science sound on this? And would it add more than, say, $2/bulb?

Comment Re:Veterinary Clinic App (Score 4, Interesting) 655

b) Stop the users typing so fast.

Typing too fast caused people to die, in one case:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therac-25

Specifically, go down to near the bottom of the entry where it mentions that: [t]he equipment control task did not properly synchronize with the operator interface task, so that race conditions occurred if the operator changed the setup too quickly. This was missed during testing, since it took some practice before operators were able to work quickly enough for the problem to occur.

Space

Submission + - Netherlands loses comms satellite on launch pad

Ynsats writes: "The Register is reporting that SES New Skies of the Netherlands lost a Boeing NSS-8 satellite on the launch pad when it's Zenit launch vehicle exploded on the launch pad. The launch pad is a converted oil rig and is operated by Sea Launch. The resulting blast engulfed the rig in flames but fortunatly, there were no injuries due to the remote operation of the rig keeping the crew at a safe distance. The launch vehicle was carrying a communications satellite "equipped with nearly 100 transponders for high-speed internet, broadcasting and other services". The Zenit rocket is a multi-stage, kerosene and liquid oxygen-fuelled rocket that Sea Launch has had 23 successes with with one failure in 2000 due to a valve problem in the second stage of the rocket."

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