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Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 256

If I've understood correctly, HDMI displays support DVI signaling, which they can fall back to in the case of an adapter being used to convert an old non-HDMI aware DVI output to HDMI.
However, in HDMI mode the displays receive HDMI packets, which can also encapsulate audio. What if the closed source driver detects that there's an adapter being used and changes the DVI port's output from DVI signals to HDMI packets, thus enabling audio support? If it doesn't detect the adapter, then it assumes it's connected to an old DVI display and just signals with the DVI standard, which the HDMI display still understands just fine, but there's no audio.

Though how audio works with the open source driver and cheap adapter, that I don't know. Perhaps the open source driver uses a different method to detect that there's an HDMI display connected and HDMI mode should be used.

As it often is with these kinds of internet storms, the culprit is not necessarily malice, just perhaps overly cautious engineering.

Submission + - Al Lowe is bringing back Leisure Suit Larry and needs your help

Gubbe writes: Al Lowe and his fellow Sierra veterans have reunited as Replay Games and are remaking Leisure Suit Larry In The Land Of The Lounge Lizards from the ground up!
The project is fully independent and fan-funded, and needs your help to reach the goal.
They have set up a Kickstarter page for the project and are offering sweet rewards in exchange for your support. Head on over there and chip in! Tell 'em Ken sent you!

Comment Re:Blade depth is rubbish? (Score 2) 200

For hover applications where the air doesn't need to be moved fast, maximum rotor diameter is always the best, because it lets you move the blades relatively slowly, avoiding parasitic drag (air friction) while still moving a lot of air. That's why helicopters have such big rotors. With this hoverbike, practical matters dictate that the prop diameter is very limited, meaning that in order to move enough air, you need to spin the blades really fast. In order to not waste all energy on air friction, the blades need to be very slim and low-drag.
Think of the wings of a jumbo-jet. At low speeds for landing, slats and flaps are extended to make a big curved wing. It creates more lift, but it's inefficient. It wastes much more of the kinetic and potential energy of the plane, slowing it down. At cruise speeds the slats and flaps are retracted, making the wing very streamlined and giving it maximum efficiency.
Finally, there's the pitch or steepness of the propeller. The propeller has the lowest drag when cutting the air at zero angle. Of course at that point it doesn't generate any lift either, so the efficiency sucks. When the angle is increased, the prop starts pushing air and creating an equivalent induced drag. The propeller is still almost parallel to the air, so the parasitic drag remains small. Since most of the drag is induced drag at that point, the efficiency is high. If the pitch is increased further, the propeller cross-section against the air increases and parasitic drag goes higher. Sure, it pushes air faster when spinning at the same speed, but since the parasitic drag is high, it can't be spun as fast anymore. High-pitch propellers are used in fast planes, because when the planes move quickly through stationary air, the effective angle of attack of the propeller (the angle at which the forward-moving prop meets the non-moving air) decreases, making it efficient again! In hover applications the prop doesn't move forward through the air at anywhere near those speeds so it's most efficient to use a low angle that provides the optimum lift and minimum drag.

Comment Re:Bitcoin is good, but problematic. (Score 1) 280

When mining slows, scarcity increases and value of individual bitcoins goes up. Now would be a good time to offer goods and services in bitcoin, because the bigger slice of the pie you amass now, the more it will be worth when more people are sharing the rest of the pie.
Of course, when the value goes up enough, mining suddenly becomes profitable again and the pie grows.

Or at least this is how I understood it was supposed to work the last time I checked up on it...

Comment Re:academic Vs. real-life (Score 1) 86

Meh, it's more like this:
There's a big bright LCD showing mindless ads about tampons, coke and whatnot, that you're already used to seeing and ignoring.

You: "Hmmmm - I think I'll have a mars bar"
Vending Machine (notices your stubble): "Quality razors 10% off today."
You: "Mmmm, mars bar..." (ignore the ad as usual)
You: "Fuck, shaving the other day with the dull blade was annoying as hell. Might as well grab one of these while I'm out of my mom's basement."

Comment Re:Sorry, no. (Score 1) 108

It's not his point.

His point is that if you use the help of a "large social-networking site," to limit availability of your information, then everyone that you want to make that info available to either HAS to be a member of that social network or be left without access.
The problem with this is, the social network isn't an open, egalitarian system like the web or, say, e-mail. Instead it is a single service run by a private corporation that sells your data to the highest bidder.
This can result in a situation where, with a critical mass of your contacts subscribed to these sites, you can no longer communicate with your friends in an efficient manner, unless you also choose to share your personal details and communications with a private corporation with no accountability.

To reiterate, he's not saying that it's illegal or wrong for people to control their information, but he is saying that by using Facebook as the means to do so, we're moving from open communications platforms to a monopolistic corporate lock-in model that undermines the openness of the Internet.

And I fully agree with him.

Comment Re:Not more "safety features" please (Score 1) 157

You are both missing the point.

Suddenly trusting a new chip that has to have been tested 100% reliably never enters the picture.

You're not going to wake up tomorrow and see an ad in the paper saying "New Toyota Nauris: Now without steering wheel!"

No, it'll be gradual. Already we're seeing park assist, lane assist, adaptive cruise control, all that. Bit by bit they add these features. First as expensive options, then as standard and later when they are thoroughly road-proven, they come as features that you can't even turn off. This has already happened with ABS and ESP. In most new cars you can only turn them off momentarily in low speeds for special circumstances.

This will slowly happen with all computerized assistance features until at one point the car can drive itself in pretty much all conditions and you only grab the wheel if you feel like it. And then, when your private car automatically takes you to work while you shave and read a book, and when manual driving becomes a boring chore that limits you to the slow detour routes where old manual steering cars are still allowed, you'll find yourself happily buying a car without a steering wheel, just like you now happily buy a car whose engine you don't have to tinker with. Those who still enjoy tuning and piloting a hunk of metal will take up karting or motocross as a hobby.

All these current driverless cars are, are development platforms, from where mature enough components trickle down to the production lines. It won't be a revolution. Now, obviously the same idiots that follow their satnavs off a cliff today will at also misuse these individual features tomorrow. There will be lawsuits, the users will get the blame because they were not following instructions and the manufacturer will make the components more idiot-proof. And then you don't drive your car anymore.

Comment Re:How about using thermals? (Score 5, Informative) 104

What everyone seems to ignore is that ridge lift has little to do with thermals.
Thermals are streams of warmer air rising up through colder air and caused by temperature differences, just as the parent mentions.
Ridge lift on the other hand is caused by wind encountering a slope and having to move up to get over it, thus creating an upwards vector that can be used by gliders to soar.
The wind that creates ridge lift is of course ultimately caused by air moving in to balance pressure differences, which are formed by air being displaced by temperature differences, but that doesn't mean that ridge lift is the same thing as a thermal.

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