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Comment Re:In film, frame rate = exposure time (Score 1) 607

You could have exposure times longer than 1/framerate. The simplest way would be to use multiple sensors. Say you are shooting 48fps and you want 1/24s exposure. Simply have each of two sensors looking at the same picture recording at 24fps and interlace them into the video. It might look unnatural because of the overlap between each frame, and if people don't like 48fps I doubt they would like this, but besides that I don't see any problem with it. You might also be able to design a single sensor that gives the same effect, basically by basically accumulating light for the first image from time 0-1/24 and accumulates light for the second image from 1/48-3/48.

Comment Re:Hypersonic shaped Paper Airplane (Score 1) 183

I invented a design that sounds like yours. Basically I do this design: and do a third fold before folding the wings. It makes an extremely fast plane with a deadly sharp point. It won't hold up in a pure distance competition unless you can throw it very fast, but it is accurate and has very low drag.

Comment Re:The mobsters are licking their lips at this.... (Score 2) 473

Don't forget the credit card companies charge merchants fees. Usually something on the order of $0.30 + 2%, but maybe less for a very big merchant.

If pricing is random, as many transactions will round up as round down, meaning the net result is no change. If merchants are careful with their pricing, they might be able to get more transactions to round up, or they can just increase all their prices by $0.025.

Comment Re:Manufacturing jobs worldwide are dying (Score 1) 1303

That's a fairly standard automated PCB assembly line. I can tell you with 99% certainty that Foxconn workers aren't placing surface mount parts by hand. Machines that can do it are relatively inexpensive (On the order of $1 million) and work many times faster than humans (and many times faster than the machines in that video) with near-perfect accuracy. They will also work 24/7 without creating controversy in western media.

What human workers at Foxconn are doing is final assembly work, such as putting the device together, and maybe packaging it. Robots to do that would be more complicated because a lot of dexterity may be required, and programming them for new products may be difficult because of the wide range of possible movements. For a SMT pick-and-place machine, programming is as easy as giving the machine some design files that tells it where to put the parts, and the basic movements are the same every time. To make a robot that places an assembled board into an enclosure, for example, is more difficult because the enclosure could have any number of shapes.

Here's an example of a modern pick-and-place machine: Even with a virtually unlimited number of workers, there's no way you could match the output of even one of those machines. Humans make mistakes, so the yield would never be good, and it is extremely difficult for humans to place parts with the fine precision required for ICs with a high pin density.

Comment Re:Why use utility poles at all? (Score 1) 153

Ha! 5 years is an eternity for a road around here. There's one section in particular that is resurfaced literally every few months. In just a few months it gets giant potholes that will destroy your car if you hit them. It gets worse faster if it rains (We don't even get much frost here). I don't know why they refuse to dig it up and put in a proper base. Last time I saw them working there, they had removed the road surface to reveal clay soil with big loose rocks (fist-sized, maybe) underneath. It looks like cheap fill that is probably not stable at all especially when wet and probably has no drainage. The base is so rough that when they put down the new layer of asphalt it isn't even smooth (or maybe they just do a bad job with that too).

I can't imagine that getting a crew out there every few months is cheaper than digging down an extra layer and putting down a solid base. They already do 3/4 of the work by tearing up the road and re-paving it, so why not do it right for once?

Comment Re:Water shortages? (Score 1) 321

The Colorado river, which supplies most of the water for southwestern cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas, no longer reaches the ocean. All of the water is diverted and used up along the way, mostly for agriculture.

Comment Re:Clueless guy visits a fulfillment center (Score 1) 112

If you are ever going to be around their warehouse you can place an order and select "will call" for the delivery method and go pick it up yourself a few hours later. The nearest McMaster warehouse is about 30 minutes away, and I've been there a few times. I would love to take a tour, but I'm also happy just to see it from the door.

Their delivery is remarkably fast. One time I placed an order, I don't know what time, but they showed up at my house with it at 8pm the same day in an unmarked van. It was an oversize box, so it was cheaper for them to drive it to me than use UPS.

Comment Re:You think the housing collapse was bad (Score 1) 917

Georgia has the Hope Scholarship funded by the state lottery. Students who make a 3.0 GPA in high school and maintain that in college will get 90%of tuition per semester paid for, and if they make at least a 3.3 they pay no tuition. Of course, that's not including the $544 and rising "USG Institutional Fee" and various other fees.

Comment Re:Why not link to the original video? (Score 1) 105

I haven't been there, but I've been to Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona, and the one on Mauna Kea (but we couldn't stay on top of Mauna Kea much past sunset, sadly). Mauna Kea was surreal even during the day because it feels like you are on top of the world.

The most amazing view of the night sky I've seen was at Kitt Peak. It really does look a lot like this video, but not as bright and without all the color. To be able to see the sky like this requires an absolutely dark location, and you will be seeing at the lower limit of your vision. The rods in your eyes are more sensitive than cones, but they cannot see color well or at all.

The times in the video when it looks like the sun came up are actually the moon. With a camera, it doesn't take HDR to be able to see stars at the same time as the moon- just set it so the moon is overexposed and the stars are correctly exposed. With your eyes, though, you won't be able to see that many stars once the moon is out because it will temporarily ruin your sensitive night vision. When the sun actually comes up in the video, everything goes white since it looks like they are using a fixed exposure setting.

Last time I tried night sky photography with a camera, I couldn't use long exposures because even in the relatively short exposure time the stars would move enough to leave short trails. They might have done this video by registering several shots from a short time frame on top of each other. Or they might have a better camera than I do. It would take a fast lens and a sensor with low noise at high ISO settings.

In short, it would be worth a trip to camp there, or somewhere similar. You won't see a bright, colorful sky, but you will probably see at least as many stars as there are in this video. Seeing the milky way at night never ceases to amaze me, and it is sad how little of the night sky we can see in most places because of light pollution.

Comment Re:Factory farming should stop, really (Score 1) 298

I'm allergic to soybeans, but only mildly. And I'm only allergic to forms containing protein, so soybean oil and soy lecithin are OK (otherwise I wouldn't be able to eat 99% of mass produced food on the market). Soy flour is questionable but OK in small quantities. Hydrolyzed soy protein seems to be OK since it is normally used only in small quantities as a "flavor enhancer", and the process seems to denature the protein enough. Even if I do eat soybeans, I won't die from them since it is a relatively mild allergy. And I'm fairly good at avoiding things with soy. If I can prove that I'm only allergic to GMO soybeans, I wonder if I could sue Monsanto?

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