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Comment Against it! Especially in Florida (Score 2) 613

Unlike most of the US Eastern time zone, DST causes Floridians to have to get up in the dark. That's completely ridiculous. The whole premise of daylight saving time is that you have an extra hour of daylight in the morning, which Florida never had. Because Florida is the southernmost state in the Eastern time zone, and also because Florida is west of most of the Eastern time zone, 6:00 AM EDT is ALWAYS before sunrise everywhere in Florida. Florida needs DST about like we need snowplows. My first choice would be for the Florida legislature to exempt Florida from DST (which they can do). The rest of the country can do whatever. I'm also heartily sick of changing the time on like a dozen gadgets twice a year. I have seen one plan for year-round DST which I can support. It also re-aligned the time zones, putting Florida into the central time zone. This results in Florida staying at GMT +5, which is the same as EST now. For most of the country, DST might make a certain amount of sense -- in the summer. In the spring, fall or winter, it's just silly. The rationale that DST saves energy is probably obsolete -- especially in Florida. In the old days, the primary energy consumption was lights. Now it's air conditioners. When people come home early in the afternoon, it's hot, and they run the AC more. It's very likely DST is wasting energy. DST has picked up a weird constituancy over the years. Many people have never lived without it. A lot of people believe either literally or emotionally that DST is responsible for nice spring weather and longer summer days. Belive it or not, the days were as long, and the weather as nice without federal legislation.

Comment Sports worst feature of 3D Re:scam (Score 5, Insightful) 457

Actually,sports is the worst programming for 3D. For previous technology advances, sports was obviously better. Sports looked great in color, and sports looked great in Hi-Def and that helped those technologies gain acceptance. Not so for sports in 3D. 3D works best when the "director" can carefully control the strength of the 3d effect, and keep it consistent throughout, as is done in (well-made) movies, and in video games, where everything can be calculated in advance. I watched one of the first (US) football games broadcast to theaters in 3D. It was a painful experience.

While watching 3D, you can gradually get accustomed to the infra-ocular distance used to film the scene, which may differ from your view of the natural world. When adjacent scenes use different camera configurations, your mind takes time to make the adjustment to the new 3D perspective. This is one of the contributors to the headache effect.

In sports, the action is unpredictable, and may move towards or away from the camera(s) unexpectedly. Cuts from one view to another are frequent. This causes the viewer to continually readjust to new 3d perspectives. IMHO, this problem is the unavoidable Achilles heel of 3d sports. Remember, this is technology-independent. It doesn't matter what kind of glasses are being used, or whether no glasses are used -- this problem still exists.

Comment Re:Goes for cameras too. (Score 1) 674

.. everyone is taking crappy pictures with crappy cell phone cameras. Why did we bother?? ...

Maybe they *like* their photos that way. Hell, they're taking photos with (fairly decent, now) smart phone cameras and deliberately injecting the flaws you saw in 30-year old cheap film cameras using software like Retro-Camera and Instagram. The look of such photos is actually a novelty to kids who've always had their photos taken with DSLRs.

Comment Mobile Phone Voice Latency and HDTV Audio Latency (Score 1) 297

Latency is particularly annoying when you are trying to have a two-way conversation. Talking over a mobile phone adds 100s of milliseconds of latency. If both ends are mobile, the latency is double. This escapes most people's direct notice, but it causes those awkward moments when both parties start talking over each other, pause, and then do it again. This is a horrible amount of latency, and they virtually all do it. This is one of the reasons to still prefer a land line.

Another unbelievable latency issue is HDTV. The audio often fails to be synchronized with the video. It is particularly annoying when the video is behind the audio. This happens frequently on all types of telecasts. I have spoken to a TV station engineer about this, and incredibly, there is no standard way to ensure that the audio and video of HDTV are in sync. Someone at the station can make an adjustment for a particular program, but the offset can be completely different in the next program.

I see this often on direct reception via antenna. No telling what weird latency problems are added when the signal is transmitted through a cable or satellite system.

HDTV in general has at least two or three seconds of latency compared to analog. When you're watching a "live" event, you're not.

Individual TV receivers introduce varying latencies. If you have multiple TVs set to the same channel, you can see and hear this. That ought to be a published spec on TVs, as well as the other gadgets mentioned in the article.

Comment Any High Tech artifacts that last even 100 years? (Score 1) 191

Our technical civilization won't really be "advanced" in my view unless we can and do make things that last a long, long time. What technology exists that is still working or workable after centuries or millenia? I think there are a few telescopes over 100 years old that are still in use. Pretty impressive. Older than that, and what?... Stone knives? I heard irrigation ditches and terraces have worked for 100s or thousands of years, but these are pretty static, and have required intensive labor to keep them operating. What *could* we make that would still be operable and interesting in, say 500 years?

Comment Longevity Award Re:PAF (Score 2) 292

PAF aka Personal Ancestral File.
Weirdly, this software, developed by a church, wins my award for the very BEST Macintosh software ever, in the category of Compatible With The Most Versions of Mac OS.

Originally, this program cost money, but not very much. I bought it for the Mac 512 or thereabouts. It came on floppy disk, probably about 1985. Years later, when Macs had color, low and behold, the PAF screens were in color. They had followed the compatibility guidelines, and put in simple color years before anyone could see color on a Mac. The SAME version of software continued to work for decades, through major system and processor revisions that broke almost everything else. I think it finally stopped working with System X, (about 5 computers later, for me) when it wouldn't work under Classic for some reason.

Pretty much everything else became incompatible once or more during that time, including Microsoft and Apple. Amazing!

Comment Re:Get a Sat Phone (Score 2, Informative) 376

(1) It is possible to rent a satellite phone, a lot of places. Why is the OP "waiting" for a satellite phone? They are not any more expensive than a lot of ham radios. The airtime charges are expensive, but presumably limited to important or emergency situations.
(2) Remember that some personal locator beacons can be used to send a simple non-emergency message to a pre-defined email address. Usually "OK" and your lat/long coordinates. Would this solve your problem? Personal locator beacons are the greatest backcountry safety device to come along in years. Get one, and then do everything you can to make sure you never need to use it.
(3) For hiker-to-hiker communications in the US, why not FRS/GMRS radios? These are cheaper than ham radios, and about as likely to give line-of-sight communications in the mountains. Licensing requirements are none (FRS) or trivial (GMRS).

Comment Re:Seeing depth for the first time (Score 1) 495

when I first experienced depth perception, I first experienced depth perception I just about fell out of my chair. While I haven't investigated trying to correct the vision problem,

Maybe you should. It used to be considered impossible for someone to acheive depth perception later in life if they didn't develop it as a child. This famous story is about a woman neuroscientist who did so: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5507789

Comment Re:Easy Not quite (Score 2, Informative) 74

Disconnect those systems from the internet

Remember, a lot of these are old school systems. I know that a lot of remote SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) equipment was never on the Internet. Why? Because it had a modem instead. The electric utilities upgrade their stuff at glacial speed. I bet a lot of that stuff is still out there, and still has a modem connected and has weak to no security.

Comment Or Jotti Re:Upload to virustotal.com (Score 2, Informative) 255

I agree, virustotal answers the original question of an online-resource to check a file. A similar scanning service is http://virusscan.jotti.org/. Remember, take the answers with a grain of salt. These are both multi-scanner services, in which the file is examined by multiple virus-scanning software packages.

Comment Running Very Lean Re:Same old snake oil (Score 5, Interesting) 379

It's been known for a long time that engines will run very efficiently if you run them very lean. In TFA, you will see that's what these guys are doing. The problem is that the engine then runs very hot, and the thing wears out in short order, or you have to make it out of unobtanium. They are also using unusually high pressures and temperatures. In the fine print, you will see they still have some work to do on verifying that the engines will last very long under this treatment.

So, yes, it will get great miles/gallon, but probably not very many miles/engine.

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