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Comment DIY wiring harness? (Score 1) 242

I've started to lay out and lace together wiring harnesses for my machines. This is actually pretty easy for monitors, so I start with them: one standard power plug, one data cord (either DVI or DisplayPort for my stuff) and typically one USB cable for the in-monitor hub. Once you've arranged your other hardware on the desk, you can then start grouping together other bundles and tying them off to your main trunk. You end up with a nice, sturdy, self-contained structure, rather than a tangled mess. Later additions can be threaded into the harness as needed, or if you use twist or velcro ties you can rebuild the harness on the fly.

It takes some upfront work, but the end result is satisfying and keeps the whole mess out of the way.

Comment Re:More debris in space :-( (Score 1) 409

The US intentionally targeted a satellite on a re-entry trajectory, both to provide a plausible excuse (keeping the hydrazine tanks from reaching the ground intact and poisoning somebody) and to avoid making a killer cloud of orbital debris. China didn't have that degree of discretion.

On the other hand, we did accidentally EMP half the planet that one time.

Comment Re:Yes, but .... (Score 1) 92

Rawhide: Dr. Banzai is using a laser to vaporize a pineal tumor without damaging the parthogenital plate. A subcutaneous microphone will allow the patient to transmit verbal instructions to his own brain.
Observer: Like, "raise my left arm"?
Rawhide: Or "throw the harpoon." People are gonna come from all over. This boy's an Eskimo.

Comment Re:Proprietary Hardware (Score 2) 151

"People with viable ideas can borrow money."

Perhaps you haven't heard, but there's this liquidity crisis going on right now that makes banks *really* loathe to loan anything to anybody for any reason, least of all for a business venture. Kickstarter is helping a lot of people bridge that funding gap in other ways.

Comment Re:Offer people what they want (Score 1) 1004

re: anime, the market there is not as deep as it might seem. Anime releases in the US market went though a huge boom-bust cycle a few years back. The BitTorrent download numbers made it look like a lucrative market, since a fair portion of the fanbase watched ~80% of the shows airing each season via fansubs. US licensees were buying up every mediocre property they could get their hands on, but it soon became apparent that US anime fans would, generally, only buy DVDs of shows that they loved madly. As a result, most of the US licensees went belly-up around 2007 or 08. These days, I get most of my anime through Crunchyroll, but when I count the number of shows I watch I think the amount spent per episode viewed is under $1 -- and I'm not sure I'd pay much more if it came to it. HBO would balk at handing out Game of Thrones for a buck a hit, and I'm not sure that they're wrong, but that may be what it takes to win the BitTorrent crowd over. Is it so surprising that they'd want to protect their current business strategy, in that context?

Comment Re:This really sucks (Score 1) 92

If Trimble wants four figures for SketchUp, they'll need to do a ton of work on the dimensioning and documentation tools. Producing a good, readable set of construction documents in LayOut is nearly impossible, but it's something the competing tools from Autodesk make simple. As it stands, $500 is a fair price for something that is great for modelling work, but has to paired with 3rd-party software to make a worthwhile drawing set.

Comment Re:This really sucks (Score 1) 92

I don't have any data to back it up, but my gut feeling is that there's no way that Google couldn't have been turning a profit on it. There was never much of a development team, and SketchUp Pro has long been a de-facto standard tool for architects and designers. At $500 a pop for Pro licenses, you don't have to sell many copies to pay for all your developers. That's before you count intangibles like free 3D data to improve your other services. SketchUp may be a better institutional fit for Trimble, but it almost certainly had to have been a net positive for Google's bottom line.

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