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Comment Re:Copy machine at stores (Score 1) 160

The main use I can see for such a machine is printing replacement parts for the cheap bit of plastic that breaks in a load of consumer equipment, but where the replacements are too difficult or expensive to buy. Unfortunately, doing that well will also need some kind of 3D scanner so that you can put in the broken bit and modify it (e.g. put in two parts and then drag them around until you have a single object).

Comment Re:CyanogenMod is the only hope for some devices.. (Score 1) 73

Unfortunately, it's not so great at that. I have an HTC Desire (Bravo in the USA) that still works and I'd like to reuse as a SIP client. Unfortunately, it only runs CM 7.2. That would be fine if it were a patched version, but the latest nightly build was 2013 and that's so old that it doesn't contain an up-to-date certificate list or an SSL client library that supports modern versions of the TLS protocol, meaning that you can't use it for anything network connected.

Sure, the device is pretty old, but it has a 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, and up to 32GB of flash on the SD card: that's ample for a lot of uses (it wasn't so long ago that I was using a desktop less powerful!) and throwing it away seems horribly wasteful. It was launched in 2010 and the last release (not nightly) from CM was 2012. That's less long-term support than Apple gives for iOS devices and Google gives for Nexus devices. Unfortunately, there's not much money to be made in supporting hardware that the manufacturers consider to be obsolete.

Comment Re:It's not that easy (Score 2) 179

Time zones compensate for the problem that, in different places in the world, the sun is not at its highest point at the same time. They provide a quantised approximation of a solution so that the sun is at approximately its highest point at noon. Time zones are sufficient wide that the error from being in a different place within a time zone is significantly larger than the error from the small changes in rotation that leap seconds compensate for. If we didn't have leap seconds, this would remain true for about the next thousand years. I propose that in 1,000 years one of the following will hold:
  • The position of the sun will not matter too much to the majority of the human race.
  • Humans will be extinct.
  • Civilisation will have collapsed to the point where a universal time standard is irrelevant.

It's really hard to come up with a scenario in which the problem that leap seconds solve actually exists.

Comment Re:I don't mean to belittle you (Score 1) 176

This is probably a localisation error. English and American use similar words, but for very different meanings. For example:

English: I don't mean to belittle you.
American: I mean to belittle you.

English: With all due respect.
American: With no respect.

English: You're almost right.
American: You are completely wrong in every possible way.

English: I'm sorry but...
American: I'm not sorry, this is your fault.

I hope this helps.

Comment Re:My PowerPoint Rule of Thumb. (Score 1) 38

There are a few horrible misfeatures in PowerPoint. The worst was copied by Keynote in later versions: automatically resizing text to fit. Most of the templates have a large enough font that you can only fit a few key ideas on the slides. That's fine, because you don't want your audience reading the slides, you want them as things to refer to while you're talking. The automatic size reduction feature means that you can just keep adding text until it's illegibly small, long after the point when you'd be unable to keep the attention of the audience while you're speaking.

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