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Comment Re:The obvious response (Score 1) 514

Nokia has the patent (I'm too lazy to look up a link) on multi-user phones - that's why only Android tablets (not phones) have the feature (not saying all do, my Nexus 7 did).

I guess computers doing it for decades and phones basically being all-in-one computers wasn't enough to make this too obvious to patent ...

Comment Re:Another breakthrough! News at 11! (Score 1) 218

Twenty-nine years ago, I read about a breakthrough in battery chemistry that would make the common NiCd battery obsolete: the new chemistry had four times the capacity, could stand ten times as many charge-discharge cycles, and had no memory effect.

In the decade and a half that followed, I read about a number of other miracle energy-storage technologies: hydrogen, methane, methanol, and ethanol fuel cells; sodium, zinc, and lithium battery chemistries, and a number of other breakthroughs. None of them ever seemed to turn into an actual product I could buy, though.

I kept following that chemistry I first read about in 1988, seeing it pop up from time to time in uses such as electric vehicles or laptop batteries, but never in a form I could make use of. And finally, in 2003, I was able to go to a store and buy a set of those NiMH batteries to use in my digital camera.

Comment Longest ad-hominem ever (Score 2) 185

Mostly the text appears to be an attempt to smear Snowden, although who knows what's in the redacted bits. He may have been in contact with Russian intelligence (they'd be stupid not to try), but he claims he got rid of his own ability to access the documents before going there, leaving that all in the hands of journalists.

Comment Re:Great for 10% of the population (Score 1) 220

Nuclear power has ramp-up and ramp-down times measured in hours or days. Because of this, it is strictly a baseload power source, just like coal. For peaking power, you need hydro, natural gas, or storage.

(Solar and wind are strange critters from a load-management perspective. They have the response times needed for peaking power, but not the availability.)

Comment MakerBot was most hyped, not first, best, cheapest (Score 3, Interesting) 274

I initially preordered a Thing-O-Matic, but was quickly warned off while waiting for it to cancel and get one of the many great RepRap kits available. I'm glad I did. Anyone that spent more than an hour or two a week trying to 3D print stuff quickly came to realize that MakerBot printers were to be avoided. They cost more and were less capable than most of the alternatives. When people can 3D-print their own custom designs and thereby rapidly improve existing 3D printer designs, mass-producing printers on a long product life cycle is a losing proposition. As far as I can tell they only got as far as they did on Bre Pettis' cult of personality and hype. While Thingiverse is handy it is/was also subject to their whims and censorship, and they blocked any weapons or weapon parts from being uploaded there, highlighting the need for other methods of sharing 3D printing designs. All I can say in conclusion is good riddance to MakerBot, long live 3D printing.

Comment Re:because (Score 2) 274

If you did a lot of 3D printing, it might make sense to print prototypes of a part to make sure you've got it right, then send it off to somewhere like Shapeways for the final part. I've built and used two 3d-printers, which can be super handy if you know how to use them, and I've ordered stuff from Shapeways. They each have their place but I think it's a pretty useful combination.

Comment Re:It's been dying since KDE3 (Score 1) 515

Honestly it's been so long since I used it, I don't remember exactly. I just remember there being things I wanted to do, that Gnome could do, that it didn't support. I recall trying KDE4 to get those things but it being buggy and incomplete. Sorry, I know that's rather vague, but again it's been a long time.

Comment It's been dying since KDE3 (Score 2) 515

FOSS developers are free to do what they like. I was quite happy with KDE3, although it was getting a bit outdated. However starting with KDE4 it seemed like too much attention was being given to gimmicks and core functionality and stability were suffering. I tried to go back a few times but never could. IMO that was the beginning of the end. I've run most of the major desktop environments on linux, and many of the minor ones, and for workstation use I'm currently happy with i3. On laptops Gnome is fine or Unity is acceptable. I'm not a teenager/20-something who cares about customizing everything on every computer anymore. I just want something stable and that works consistently across releases.

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