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Comment Some hints (Score 1) 118

I have a few suggestions for people, having used computers from a very young age and having my own since 7th grade, eye strain has always been an issue.

(1) If you are near sighted (which I am), have your the prescription *slightlt* detuned, so it isn't perfect. Mine is detuned by I think around 0.25. This reduces eye strain by a HUGE amount. You won't be able to read highway signs from far away but who needs to do that any more with gps nav?

(2) Tinge your desktop foreground coloring scheme more towards the greens and do not yet a dead-black background solid, and do not have a bright background picture relative to your windows. This reduces excess contrast while simultaneously allowing you to reduce the brightness of the screen. Excess contrast is a major source of eye strain. If you see characters burning into your retina excessively you have too much contrast.

For example, for xterm's I use the following resources:

xterm*background: #100010000000
xterm*foreground: #7FFFDFFFDFFF
xterm*cursorColor: white

(3) Monitor(s) should be arms-length from your eyes with your fingers stretched out. If they are any closer, you are doing something wrong. Any closer and your eyes will get strain for excessive crossing.

(4) Glasses vs Contacts. I don't know. I prefer glasses myself, but I've never really liked to use contacts so mostly I just don't any more... its glasses all the way.


Comment At Google, Yahoo, Facebook, etc.? NO. (Score 1) 163

At Google, Yahoo, Facebook, etc.? NO.

Remote workers are the people you throw under the stacked ranking bus when it's time to get rid of the people you have no emotional attachment to, so that your friends get to keep their jobs.

There's a reason Yahoo got rid of remote workers, and why they tend not to last long at companies which do stacked ranking in employee evaluations.

Comment Re:That's pretty stupid. (Score 1) 307

With the greatest possible respect because I'm sure that you are very good at something, have you considered that those items you listed are not of an appropriate size to drive tiny little robot parts and that it would be difficult to control dozens of them at once?

You realize that you can drive pretty much everything with two hydraulic lines (one a return line), some check valves, and a mechanical stepper, right?

Did you never take a "Furby" apart?

I think where you are going wrong is with the idea of "at once".

Comment I have an idea! (Score 2) 457

I have an idea!

Why don't we put all the water back into the aquifers we've been taking it out of, instead of letting it out, and down to the pacific?

What a lamentable situation! If only someone could invent something to do that!

Oh. Wait. They did. In 1992.


1992, though, was 25 years ago.

What a lamentable situation! If only a millennial could reinvent old technology in ignorance, thinking it was new, to do that!

Comment Re:That's pretty stupid. (Score 1) 307

Here are some possibly related valves produced by Bosch; I looked at one of the datasheets and it has a 15ms time to move the shuttle from full on to full off, or vice versa.


The truth is that hydraulic controls are entirely capable of performing these functions. That is not at all the limiting factor. It's more about cable management.

Completely agree. And you only have to manage it from the point at which the electronics in a standard robot would start to degrade; standard robot up to that line, hydraulic past that line.

However, this begs the question, do we actually "need something like" "the equivalent of dozens of very tiny stepper motors controlled by hydraulics"? The more I think about this, the more I think that what is wanted is a tentacle, rather than a walking or driving robot.

There's really no reason except good taste not to use a tentacle.

It's Japan... they'd pay 5x-10x premium, if it was a tentacle... ;^)

Comment Re:That's pretty stupid. (Score 1) 307

Fiber optics goes black very quickly in high radiation.

Organic plastic, yes; glass light-pipe (old-school, like that used in 1976 Buick Station Wagon instrument lighting): not a problem.

Getting the extremely radioactive and hot fuel onto a train would be rather tricky.

Pneumatic/hydraulic remote manipulators: no electronics to fry, and it's outside, so telescopic cameras would be good enough. Plus if they go into large tanks of water on the train, it's not going to boil off in time for it to matter, and a couple meters of water will stop all the hard radiation.

Burying in cement is not a bad idea, but they probably need to make sure that the radioactivity isn't generating so much heat that it would melt its way out of an enclosure.

They could talk to the Russians; they've dealt with it before, successfully, with a hotter meltdown.

Comment That's pretty stupid. (Score 1) 307

That's pretty stupid.

The third most obvious thing to do would be to send in a robot with a tether, and include a fiber optic cable, and have the camera outside with the pneumatic drivers for the pneumatic servos and other equipment actually on the robot, making the robot entirely free of all electronics, other than lights.

The second most obvious thing to do would be to load all the spent fuel that's contributing to the ongoing radiation leakage onto the end of a long train, and distribute them around to all the other nuclear power plants in Japan that still have functioning cooling ponds, and stop the leakage -- 10 days, tops, to solve the leakage problem.

The first most obvious thing to do would be to bury the site in cement and call it a day.

The U.S. Navy has offered to do that for them a half dozen times already, but given that the top two executives at TEPCO at the time now work for a Japanese oil company, there's something of a vested economic interest in keeping it an ongoing danger. "No, no: we don't need your help".

Where's Red Foreman, when you need someone to yell "Dumbasses!"?

Comment Re:It does work though (Score 2, Interesting) 68

Compared to what? I personally find it much more convenient that my non-Apple mobile phone works absolutely everywhere which has an NFC reader without a specific negotiation between a bank or merchant benefiting only Apple.

I find it convenient that your NFC phone works that way, too.

I'm the person sitting in the car across the parking lot, staging a pre-play attack against your NFC device while you are doing your transaction, because there's not a one time cryptographic nonce, like in the Apple Pay system, which would prevent the attack.

That's me waving at you now.

Yes, your latest purchase is going to show up twice on your statement, and the amount deducted twice. Thanks for your contribution! You can take it up with your merchant when the bill comes; your money is already in a bank halfway across the planet.

By the way: I also plan on an attack on the chip-and-pin system at the same store, if you switch back to using cards, but I'm going to have to actually sit down and case the joint a bit, before I decide which of the 9 identified (so far) ways to hack a chip-and-pin transaction.

Don't you wish you could go back to the days of the old fashioned skimmers, where instead of you eating the losses (because "the new system is so much more secure"), the banks and credit card companies had to eat them?


Comment Re:Some people ask intrinsically annoying question (Score 1) 477

It isn't always "Homework", sometimes the seemingly arbitrary artificial constraints are there for legitimate reasons and it would just take too long to explain them all, especially since why they are constraints is irrelevant. If you've ever been in this situation, you know to expect a lot of "well why are you doing X? Just do Y instead, that's the right way". I know that's the right way, and if I could do it that way I wouldn't be asking the question and specifically including the conditions that prevent Y from being possible.

I believe the correct response would have been for you to provide the constraints anyway.

You may have arrived at 'X', which is an incredibly ass way of doing the job, instead of 'Y' because of your constraints.

But given your constraints, perhaps a better answer than 'X' or 'Y' would be 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F', 'G', 'H', 'I', 'J', 'K', or 'L'.

By limiting yourself to "how do I make 'X' work for this situation (I am unable to figure this out myself)?" type questions, you are robbing yourself of better answers than bludgeoning 'X' into a 'Y'-shaped hole.

Comment Re:Some people ask intrinsically annoying question (Score 1) 477

If you answer even idiots politely and properly you increase the signal to noise on the internet. If the answer is simply "Go f'n google it" then the next person Googling it may just end up with your unhelpful response, get frustrated, and go find an internet forum.

One would hope that the impolite responses would be moderated away -- in the same way as hoping the stupid questions are moderated away.

LinkedIn has historically had the "fire and forget" problem: someone comes on, ask a question, and then disappears off the face of the Earth. Did they read one of the answers, and get utility out of it? Did Dementors fly off with them, and they are now trapped in Azakaban, in desperate need of someone from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to rescue them? Who the heck knows?!?!

The other problem is when someone asks a question, it provokes a long discussion, with a large number of thoughtful -- and presumably, time consuming posts -- and then comes back and deletes the whole thing, so that their boss doesn't discover that they are getting their answers from the Internet.

Perhaps the correct answer is: most Internet forums really, really suck, and are managed badly by the people who create them.

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