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Comment Re:Go to a real lighting showroom (Score 1) 2

I was actually at two, one pointed out to me that it was a problem for them that manufacturers were pushing these, the other had already given up fighting the manufacturers and felt that the best Can lights they had were the integrated ones, they recommended manufacturers who did make replacement elements available, but these are still proprietary, not standardized.

Submission + - SPAM: Don't change the bulb change the fixture. 2

brainbuz writes: I've been shopping for lighting fixtures because of work I've been doing on my house, I'm amazed at how a great technology (LED lighting) has encouraged terrible design. It seems like most of the lighting fixtures now on sale feature integrated LEDs where the lighting element is part of the fixture. This might be ok for an ultra slim surface mount panel, but a fixture such as a recessed can light can require ripping apart a ceiling to replace. Even where the elements are claimed to be replaceable there aren't standards so you have no guarantee that in 10 years you'll be able to obtain the correct element. With replaceable bulbs you can also easily change your mind about the light output or the color temperature.

In another room I repainted a fixture manufactured between 1910 and 1925. After the paint job, I purchased new ceramic sockets of the same type that had been used to build it a century ago. It will be going back on the ceiling and getting new LED bulbs that look like Edison's MAZDA bulbs from when it was brand new.

Comment Re:Moose, Moo, Mo (Score 1) 271

If you want to stay in programming you need to know current tools. Converting your last project to a current Perl Toolset would be a resume selling point. Right now there is a high demand for Perl Programmers, there's even been an uptick in new Perl Projects (and if Mojolicious keeps gaining converts its going to be in a lot of job reqs). A project lead looking at you for a Perl job would be concerned about the need to re-teach you Perl and probably prefer a Ruby programmer who was willing to learn Perl over you. On the other hand there is still tons of gnarly ancient Perl code out there that needs to be maintained, and you're well qualified.

Comment Expand the auxilliary airports (Score 2) 203

The thing I always hated about LaGuardia is that it is Taxi accessible only, I could never fathom why the N didn't get extended to resolve that. Other than doing that I think investing in LaGuardia is a mis-allocation of resources.

Several Million People live in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, but to catch an airplane they need to drive past MacArthur/Islip Airport on their way to JFK or LaGuardia through rather intense traffic or take the Long Island Railroad (which may depending on when they're travelling and which line still be slower than sitting in traffic). Spending the money expanding Islip would both add significant capacity for the region and provide a lot of convenience.

Considering New York-Princeton-Philadelphia as a single very large market, Trenton is the most interesting of the Auxilliary Airports. It is not only the shortest drive airport for Central New Jersey (Princeton and New Brunswick), but it is also the shortest drive for airport for the Northern Philadelphia Suburbs including the Northeastern corner of Philadelphia itself and King of Prussia (which is the economic centre of the Philadelphia Market, not downtown). Right now the transit connections to Trenton are awful, but with about 6 miles of track to build there could be direct service from Trenton Airport on three lines to Center City Philadelphia, Camden NJ and New York City. Politically the region either needs to either be taken over by a state or regional authority or get an exemption from the outdated federal restrictions on commercial flights at private airports and be privatized because the Municipal authority that owns it changes their mind every few years as to whether they want to expand it or shut it down entirely.

Because of the tangled politics the money will probably be wasted on a renovation of LaGuardia (probably without the subway extension its always needed and no added capacity or other benefits to travellers than a shiny terminal), rather than on ISP or TNN expansion which would provide much greater benefit to travellers.

Comment He is doing us all a service! (Score 1) 305

If the self appointed RealNamePolice hadn't made such a stink, ello wouldn't have gone viral. Suddenly facebook, a company I loathe and despise and use only with fake names, has competition. I haven't seen their service, but ello have a good manifesto, and plan to use a business model where their end-users are customers rather than assets. Facebook has achieved a degree of critical mass they've been using to revert the internet to AOL. Unless an open distributed social networking protocol emerges (unforunately, Diaspora wasn't able to make it happen), someone has to run the backbone of social networking, and I'd rather it wasn't Facebook.

So thank you RealNamePolice, not for being a dork harrassing Drag Queens, but for stirring up 30,000 Facebook users an hour to go somewhere else.

Comment The Industry is Completely Out of Touch (Score 1) 118

On the other side I've seen artists complaining that when they do get a lot of play on streaming services they still don't get much in royalties. I would venture (meaning I have better things to do this afternoon than research the real numbers) that in terms of revenue to the independent artist that sells their own music, one customer who purchases a download or buys physical product is equivalent to a much larger number (10? 100?) who play them repeatedly on streaming services. From a label or self marketed artist standpoint the streaming services are successors to the record clubs, what makes them more complex is that they also function as radio stations. From the standpoint of an independent artist getting on the streaming services is important promotion, but then every time someone saves them to their streaming service library instead of going to Itunes or Amazon they are getting a tiny fraction of the income. No surprise that established artists who have control over these things aren't available on these services. Further given that the labels probably also believe they should charge a lot more, I'm surprised that there aren't complaints that the agreements call for forced exposure of their developing artists.

An example that most people miss about the record companies not adjusting to technology is that the record companies aren't shifting to DVD Audio. I still buy most of my music in physical format, in large part because of MP3 quality (unreliable). For customers like me who pay a premium for quality there is no excuse with today's technology to deliver less than 48kbps 20bit. DVD Audio can deliver lossless 96x24 when CD is still limited to 44x16. (As for the alternative SACD format, only about 1% of all CD capable devices can decode SACD as compared to about 50% that are DVD players or ROMs).

Getting back to the main point, the Legacy Recording Conglomerates don't know to deal with anything in the new landscape, historically they've had difficulty with change. In the 1940s a startup called Capital Records changed the rules by sending free copies of records by their big signing (Frank Sinatra) to radio stations, eventually the 2 conglomerates of the time (RCA and Columbia) had to do the same to remain competitive. It is the up and coming independents who will figure out how to navigate the new landscape, all the big labels want is a return to the way it used to be.

Comment Pick the horse that will keep on running. (Score 1) 227

Catalyst is one of the oldest MVC frameworks and very actively developed. Catalyst is also very stable, a few years ago the Catalyst team implemented the new Moose Object system for Perl and older Catalyst code still generally works. When I upgrade a system running Catalyst or redeploy my applications to a new system the major headache is from missed dependencies, but once I sort them out it is unusual to have to change code, and deprecations are infrequent and get long notice periods. When the new MOP object system (it is based on the Moose Object extension Catalyst already uses) ships in an upcoming Perl release your old Catalyst Code is still going to work, and as each release of Ruby and the path from Python 2 to 3 show, those other languages don't maintain the stability that Perl does.

Comment Re:Vi yay, Emacs nay. (Score 1) 694

The mechanical typewriter manufacturing lobby will back the move to force vi on the population at large, as 98% of the population will be unable to type anything as soon as the mandate was extended to all wordprocessing (which would be inevitable). The American Psychiatric Association would support an Emacs mandate instead as long as their members didn't have to use it. A truly beneficial mandate would be to require all Text Editing and Wordprocessing software to implement a wordstar compatible control set instead. For those of us who can touch-type the WordStar interface remains the only choice, and JOE is the one true editor!

Comment Making yourself less employable (Score 2) 309

The overall quality of instruction and graduates in many of these tech schools is often pretty low. Technical College not only costs more than Community College, but is an indication that you didn't have the academic chops to get through Community College. I can tell you how I would stack my resume pile if I was hiring and all that hr was providing was a brief summary: Experience+College, Experience (no degree), Self-taught limited experience, College Grad (no experience), Technical Trade School, No apparent Qualifications. Self study, some certifications, and anything you can do to demonstrate competency will put you ahead of the Trade School Graduate and at least equal to the no-experience college grad. Do it on your own or go to a legitimate college that fits your budget.

Comment Re:Color me surprised. Or not. (Score 1) 577

Gary Johnson is even better than Ron Paul.
Former Governor, many similar views -- low spending, anti-war, consistent over time and a two term Governor to boot. He will be the Libertarian Party Nominee this year. Maybe the Republicans have finally marginalized themselves to the point where people are ready to pay attention to the Libertarian Party.

Comment I cancelled Netflix BluRay (Score 1) 1162

All of the copy protection nonsense the industry was doing with blu-ray really sours the customer experience. When a movie comes in from netflix I want it to just play. I don't want to perform a firmware or software update, I don't want to have to rip it to break the encryption (which most consumers aren't tech savvy enough to do anyway). Meanwhile I have a cheap multiregion DVD player and on my computer I have about 10 different programs that play DVDs pretty reliably.

A well mastered DVD looks pretty spectacular on my 27" 720P device, and while some BluRays do look even better, you need a larger 1080 device to really see a benefit from the higher resolutions.

I have 6 computers, and a dvd player that can play DVDs, but only 1 computer than can play BluRay, so there is a big convenience factor,

When I first bought my BluRay player I signed up for Netflix BluRay. Over time I realized that most of my titles were DVD only, and I was watching a lot on streaming, so I cancelled the BluRay option.


What's Wrong With the American University System 828

ideonexus writes "The Atlantic has an excellent interview with Andrew Hacker — co-author with Claudia Dreifus of a book titled Higher Education? — covering everything that's wrong with the American university system. The discussion ranges from entrenched tenured professors more concerned with publishing and parking spaces than quality teaching; to 22-year-old students with unrealistic expectations that some company will put them in a management position after graduating with six-figures of debt; to football teams siphoning money away from academic programs so that student tuitions must increase to compensate. It really lays out the farce of university culture and reminds me of everything I absolutely despised about my college life. Dreifus is active in the comments section of the article as well, lending to a fantastic discussion on the subject."

Southwest Adds 'Mechanical Difficulties' To Act Of God List 223

War, earthquakes, and broken washers are all unavoidable events for which a carrier should not be liable if travel is delayed according to Southwest Airlines. Southwest quietly updated their act of God list a few weeks ago to include mechanical problems with the other horrors of an angry travel god. From the article: "Robert Mann, an airline industry analyst based in Port Washington, NY, called it 'surprising' that Southwest, which has a reputation for stellar customer service, would make a change that puts passengers at a legal disadvantage if an aircraft breakdown delays their travel. Keeping a fleet mechanically sound 'is certainly within the control of any airline,' Mann said. 'Putting mechanical issues in the same category as an act of God — I don't think that's what God intended.'"

Comment USB sticks this is an old vulnerability! (Score 1) 214

Several of the USB sticks I've purchased came with pre-installed malware which Windows dutifully executes when the stick is inserted. A few months ago I made a presentation and stuck one of these in someone else's machine, and their anti-virus actually detected the stick as containing a trojan, about effing time. Given that MS continues to support vendors including viruses (claiming them to be drivers or other necessary software) and executing them, I'm really surprised that a lot more malware hasn't spread this way. I'm also a little surprised that more malware authors have not broken MS Code Signing. As for the target systems it looks like they are living with their heads in the sand, it was just a matter of time for them to be targeted.


Alberta Scientists Discover Largest-Ever Cache of Dinosaur Bones 154

Cryolithic writes "The largest cache of dinosaur bones ever found has been unearthed in Alberta. From the article: '... officials at the Royal Tyrrell Museum say the Hilda site provides the first solid evidence that some horned dinosaur herds were much larger than previously thought, with numbers comfortably in the high hundreds to low thousands. ... Rather than picturing the animals as drowning while crossing a river, a classic scenario that has been used to explain bonebed occurrences at many sites in Alberta, the research team interpreted the vast coastal landscape as being submerged during tropical storms or hurricanes. With no high ground to escape to, most of the members of the herd drowned in the rising coastal waters. Carcasses were deposited in clumps across kilometers of ancient landscape as floodwaters receded.'"

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