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Comment Re:This is surprising! (Score 1) 29

I think one of the craziest ideas a marketer ever had was to put up ads with a sexy woman pretending to send you a private message saying she only lives 2 miles away from you and she wants to have sex, right now!

The craziest idea being the ads which are essentially the same except with a fat, ugly granny. And I browse for teen-midget-in-clown-costume-on-donkey action, so I have no idea how the tracking cookies dumped me into such a distasteful marketing list...

Comment Re:I'm a consumer whore! And how!! (Score 1) 191

The masses don't replace their own screens, so how difficult it is doesn't matter, just how much it costs to get someone else to do it; price seems to vary more by shop than by model as far as I can tell (corrections welcome). And judging by the number of people who walk around staring at the screen oblivious to all else, I'd say forethought and disaster preparedness isn't the selling point you might think.

When it comes to batteries I'm of two minds: now the battery in my phone is dying I'd like to be able to replace it without having to buy a pentalobe driver and deal with an expensive, tiny jigsaw puzzle. However, it's taken three and a half years to get to the point where I want to change the battery once, so on balance the extra volume required for a quick release mechanism, which is a point of failure in itself, isn't worth it to me. And if it's about using more than one battery in a day, is there really such a difference between carrying around spare batteries and carrying a modest battery bank? Think about it: battery banks aren't model specific and work with any device that charges from USB (and if you're like me you've probably had a drawer full of useless batteries for obsolete or dead devices at some stage), they usually have several times the capacity of a replacement battery for the same price, and it's only one thing to plug in at night. The only real down side is having to plug the phone in for ~1 hour for a full charge, but the trade-off is you don't need to shut down the phone as you would when you change an internal battery.

Put simply, I doubt the boost in sales from either of those ideas would be significant enough to be compelling for a manufacturer.

Comment Re:Oh :( (Score 1) 7

I've been thinking the same thing. We have the rise of populist demagogues, the resurgence of nationalistic tub thumping, at least two expansionist empire-building nations, one encroaching on a creaky defence pact in Europe...the area of major unrest has gone south (haven't we all?) from the Balkans to the Middle East, but otherwise conditions are very similar to pre-WW1. What concerns me the most is the glorification of dead soldiers without equal condemnation of the world leaders whose failings killed them; perhaps humans as a whole inherently can't see beyond their own experiences, and this lesson needs to be relearned every couple of generations.

And hey, lots of people do little significant things every day, it's just that the world rarely notices unless it's something destructive, or at the very least, crass. Taking care of business isn't news, but it makes the world work.

China

Chinese State Company Unveils World's Largest Seaplane (theguardian.com) 157

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: China has completed production of the world's largest amphibious aircraft, state media has said, the latest effort in the country's program to wean itself off dependence on foreign aviation firms. The state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) unveiled the first of the new planes, dubbed the AG600, Saturday in the southern port city of Zhuhai, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The aircraft, which has a maximum range of 4,500 km (2,800 miles), is intended for fighting forest fires and performing marine rescues, it said. At around the size of a Boeing 737, it is far larger than any other plane built for marine take off and landing, Xinhua quoted AVIC's deputy general manager Geng Ruguang as saying. The AG600 could potentially extend the Asian giant's ability to conduct a variety of operations in the South China Sea, where it has built a series of artificial islands featuring air strips, among other infrastructure with the potential for either civilian or military use.

Comment Re:No, Not Good (Score 5, Informative) 361

Propylene glycol is also known as fog juice, the stuff that goes into stage smoke machines, and it's used as a food additive. It metabolises to lactic acid and is considered safe, which is why it's used in e-cigs.

Antifreeze is usually ethylene glycol, which is toxic. However, both salt and ethanol can also be used as antifreeze, and while they can be lethal in sufficient quantities they too are considered fit for human consumption. Calling something "antifreeze" tells you no more about its toxicity than calling something "natural" (i.e. snake venom) or "organic" (i.e. benzene).

Comment Re:Mine Research Papers. (Score 2) 255

Colour would be an improvement, but not as much as you might think. CMYK is no problem, but the RGB hues are limited by the quality of the inks/toner, paper, the mixing pattern and print resolution versus dot size...to have a safe error margin you wouldn't want to use intermediate hues, so realistically that's three bits per dot. Since a scanner can't tell a halftone from a faded print it may not be a good idea to vary the print density, though this could be mitigated with reference colour bars, in which case each dot would be three bits plus a remainder which could be paired with an adjacent dot(s) to squeeze out some extra bit depth. On the down side, each dot would have to be large enough compared to the scanner's optical resolution to prevent colour errors due to aliasing.

(NB: deliriously tired, probably miscalculated the possible bit depth, but you get the idea)

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