3772 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010
Re: Every one already?
>anywhere I can verify that from?
If you Google it, the articles that appear in the results would appear to support the assertion, if not address it directly. For example: "Federal transportation officials have been pushing local governments for several years to switch to brighter, more energy-efficient LED traffic signals." -2010,
This little article that mentions a real-world issue:
Because LEDs generate so little heat, they can be obscured by packed snow and ice, a problem in northern states. In April of last year, a truck driver ran a red light covered in snow at an intersection in a Chicago suburb and killed a 34-year-old woman turning left and injured four of her passengers.
Re: LED lighting instead of fluorescent 'haz mat'
>I *like* the cooler, more natural white light of good LED lamps, much better than the sickly yellow light produced >by incandescent lamps. Guess people just don't like daylight, preferring instead something that is basically an >industrial artifact from a time when proper light wasn't practical.
The power-efficient LEDs do not replicate the shape of natural daylight perfectly, they have their own bias. What people 'prefer' depends upon the time of day and the task in hand, and our circadian rhythms.The effect of different colour temperatures upon us is still being researched, but we know that, for example, fitting a 24 hour police control room boosts the concentration of the officers in the early hours of the morning. We also know that working night shifts under artificial lighting has been linked to rises in some cancers.
We associate red light with full bellies, sat around the embers of a camp fire, soon time to sleep zzz. I use a piece of freeware called 'f.lux', which changes the white balance of my monitor according to the time of day (by world location and calender, of course) so that 'white' on my monitor closer resembles a sheet of white paper that is held next to it- bluer during daylight hours, warmer when the room is artificially lit.
A local publican has replaced the hideous 12v halogen down-lighters above his bar (hideous because halogen bulbs were never designed to sit in enclosed spaces for thermal reasons... they prefer being suspended in space between two LV cables) with RGB LED units, which can cycle through a range of colours. Curiously, under their impression of an incandescent bulb, I can't tell a blue Rizla packet from a green one.
Second product plug: Tescos have a home-branded 2xAA flashlight with a CREE LED for £10. Brighter than anyone needs to walk to the pub across the fields, its fits in your pocket, and you can be more philosophical about losing it than you would a pricier branded model. I wish more cyclists on a budget would use them in place of the flashing white LED units that project next-to-no light and make it harder for a motorist to judge their speed and distance (the movement of a constant cone is easier to judge than that of an intermittent point light, duh). I use them with nickel metal hydride batteries, which are so much better than rechargeables were when I was a child.
Re: Just ban Apple products
>Just ban Apple products... so crime will go down again. Simple.
Aw, FFS. It used to be care stereos that were stolen. They stopped bothering after almost every car came with a reasonable stereo- there was not much of a market any more.
Sat nav units have been a popular target, but again, they have dropped in price.
Re: We used to have the same problem
It has been a good few years since I read in New Scientist that the IMEI blacklist had been extended to operators across Europe, so that thieves couldn't simply pass on stolen phones to their cousins in other countries.
>Industrial quality 3D printing is useful for prototypes
And sometimes for end-use parts, too. Choosing between any manufacturing processes usually depends on how many you want to make.
Generally, aerospace and some high-end motorsport parts aren't made in large quantities, so are a candidate for 'additive manufacturing'. With processes such as Selective Laser Sintering (for materials including titanium), you can make parts with 'property gradients', should you choose.
I agree though- there is a lot of hype. How many people do you know own a 'Dremel' -like tool? A few, maybe, but not household. I can't think of a 'killer application' that would require everyone to own a 3D printer, though the wider availability of 3D scanning (or its pseudo cousin: clever software tricks on a series of 2D photos) by 'Kinect'-like devices might open it up to a wider group of people.
Re: Dangerous lines
> being a sex offender does not automatically mean they are a pedophile.
No, not if a teenage girl can be considered a sex offender by the law for daftly sending pictures of herself to her boyfriend. However, there maybe be studies as to how well (or not) the more dangerous individuals are able to control their urges...
In an ideal world, there would be two online gaming environments- one for children, one for adults. The main advantage would be that adults can play without encountering racist, homophobic 15 year-old 'squeakers'. Protecting said 'squeakers' from predatory adults would be a bonus.
Re: the tablet shall perish
I was reading a recent interesting article on Tom's Hardware the other day... comparing Intel's new Atom chip to ARM competitors... the gist is that "In general, our analysis suggests that the ARM-based CPU core is excellent at doing nothing, but starts to require considerably more power during computationally-intensive workloads.
"The secret of Atom’s power efficiency is simple. The CPU's handicap at idle is overcome under load, when work is actually being performed, and by a more efficient memory subsystem that is always active. Although Intel continues to use branding many enthusiasts associate with underpowered computing and graphics in cheap netbooks, the Z2760 is a different chip than the N450 so many of us remember."
Re: It's best
Troll. That said, if one uses Windows for their productivity apps and general faffing around on the internet, than it's not a bad idea to have a Linux installed for online banking and purchases- there would just be fewer opportunities for it to contract a nasty, regardless of any security advantages it might have. And of course, you can use it as a recovery environment for your Windows installation too.
Re: *nix philosophy?
Likewise, if you then want to play a game, you add a joystick. Make music? Add a MIDI adaptor. Illustrate a document? Add a graphics tablet. Make an audit of your warehouse's stock? A barcode or RFID reader. Survey a construction site? A laser range-finder.
For many tasks, a computer with a keyboard is no more useful than a computer without a keyboard, if you don't have the input device you need. (Though of course many applications benefit from some kind of text entry, if only for changing file names or adding notes)
Re: Tablet vs laptop/desktop
>Fondleslabs consume content but _can_ be used for creative/productivity tasks, just not as conveniently.
Depends on the task... ideally, for content creation, I would like to see a tablet integrated with the desktop/laptop software- using the tablet to house desktop tool-bars would be a simple example of this, or using the tablet as a digitiser.
Re: Oh Yeah, Anglo Claptrap
>Jacquard is interesting in inventing the printer a century before the computer.
But did he invent printing consumables that were more expensive than thoroughbred Stallion seed, millilitre for millilitre?
As David Hockney said:
"Always live in the ugliest house on the street... that way, you don't have to look at it."
Re: What's more to the point is...
>Last I heard, the Google Corporation Inc had "invented" and "patented" that sort of topical/seasonal alteration to a website's livery
Nah, I remember Christmas Lemmings back in the Amiga days... and I'm sure it wasn't the first. Psygnosis became SCE and was broken up this year, so you're in the clear.
Have just wasted 5 minutes hunting down the Lemmings 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' MIDI file, to find that it just don't sound right on a wavetable synth... come back FM!
>regardless of what kind of crap is inside that case
'Obviously!' is generally ignorant. Inside the case of the iPhone 5 is one of the fastest ARM-based phone SOCs around.
Performance obviously depends on workload, but it's clear the iPhone 5 is a big step forward from the 4S and tends to outperform the latest ARM based Android smartphones. As the rest of the ARM based SoC players move to Cortex A15 designs they should be able to deliver faster devices in the first half of 2013.
Re: After Windows 8, was Vista's bad reputation REALLY deserved?
Re Bad Rep:
I didn't use Vista Pro, but Home Premium wouldn't allow you to turn off the 'feature' that automatically restarted the machine after downloading updates. This meant that you couldn't leave it running, say, some rendering or downloading, and be guaranteed to find everything running when you got back. Okay, I can see the argument for getting security updates installed when MS realised that many users weren't restarting their machines for weeks- but MS's solution would loose people any unsaved documents. (Yeah, I know, but...)
The UAC was fairly obtrusive, too.
Other than that, I found Vista stable (when attended!) and usable, though it was on a new machine. I was a bit miffed that I apparently didn't have the RAM to do things I had done on an older machine, though.
I think a lot of the upset over Vista was over misleading hardware requirements re existing machines, which understandably annoyed businesses, and I remember something about longer start-up times, too.
Re: As Mr ChriZ said
>I find yellow sticky-notes are useful aides to remembering these sorts of tediously long numbers.
...whoever down-voted Bonkers for that has no sense of humour. G'dam, we should have requested a "Joke: missed" icon during the last commentard consultation.
Re: that reminds me...
You just embed a microSD card in a floorboard, wired to some dummy nails. To access it, you place the bare ends of USB cable (stripped to the inner cables) on the heads of the nails and weigh them down.
You don't have to be a criminal to think this way- I can't think of anything more mainstream and middle-class than musing on the details of 'perfect crimes', a la Sherlock Holmes, the creations of Agatha Christie or ITV's entire drama output.
What was that decades-old story about a code hidden in Braille in the frieze encircling a room?
Re: pull the power cord
I was investigating a discrepancy between [used+free space] and [total space] of roughly 8GB (his RAM size) as displayed by Explorer on my mate's Win7 computer the other day... first Google result suggested a hibernation file could be responsible. It was. He has never used hibernation, so is this file just reserve the space for OS feature, or does it actually contain RAM contents?
No biggie, just curious.
[Edit: Ryan's comment below would suggest that it contains RAM contents]
Re: "so why does it keep pestering you"
>"As far as I can make out, anyone of importance on Wikipedia is either a d*ck or an ar*ehole."
>There's a larger underlying problem here, and Wikipedia is not alone in suffering from it.
Malcom Tucker: "You don't get in this room without bending the rules".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOiW4R2uNTs curiously, its Safe For Work.
I dunno, he made a post the other day that was almost comprehensible... I do hope he's alright.
Re: So, presumably
That's an interesting example of 'artificial'* selection, if true! The opposite could also be true (that Samurai, like many warriors around the world, take their inspiration from animals), as could a combination of the two processes.
*(Used to denote selection by humans... but since we humans are the product of natural selection, some argue that our actions are natural, and thus should we ever colonise Mars, that life on Mars would also be natural. Bah, tis nowt but semantics!)
Processes akin to 'iterative engineering' perhaps, but not strictly 'engineers'. But hey, I'm loving your enthusiasm for it! : D
Re: Ichneumon wasp
Have a read of this, mate:
The whole ichneumon wasp subject benefits from knowing the context of the arguments at the time (people being threatened by a lack of 'morality' in nature), and in this Professor Gould comments upon the human reactions to it, before concluding:
[It is amusing in this context, or rather ironic since it is too serious to be amusing, that modern creationists accuse evolutionists of preaching a specific ethical doctrine called secular humanism and thereby demand equal time for their unscientific and discredited views.] If nature is nonmoral, then evolution cannot teach any ethical theory at all. The assumption that it can has abetted a panoply of social evils that ideologues falsely read into nature from their beliefs — eugenics and (misnamed) social Darwinism prominently among them. Not only did Darwin eschew any attempt to discover an antireligious ethic in nature, he also expressly stated his personal bewilderment about such deep issues as the problem of evil. Just a few sentences after invoking the ichneumons, and in words that express both the modesty of this splendid man and the compatibility, through lack of contact, between science and true religion, Darwin wrote to Asa Gray,
"I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton. Let each man hope and believe what he can."
[Stephen J Gould guest-stared in an episode of the Simpsons as himself, taking money money from Lisa to perform a test he then doesn't carry out, before running off laughing. He was not too proud to portray himself as a fraudster, when in fact he was far from it]
Re: IT connection
Another IT connection:
Some spiders can up the resolution of the eyes by introducing vibrations to them. Imagine you took a photo, and then shifted the camera to the left by half the diameter of each CCD receptor... and then shifted it up by the same. You would have three images that could be interpolated to resolve more detail than any one single image. Some engineers have built cameras based on this principle.
Re: IT connection
On the web, no one really knows what you really look like.
Re: So, presumably
Well spotted Hugo. The researches didn't mention it, but there are some advanced sexual behaviours in some species of spider. 'Dancing' on a web, for example... though it has been observed that some male spiders get it on with the female while their competitor is still showing off... all the gain for no pain (save being eaten alive by your mate). This is an example of biologists call 'sneaky fucker' behaviour. Please excuse the f-bomb, but seriously, that's what zoologists call it.
Re: I wonder if
...and the spiders are still awaiting a job offer from Jim Henson. The biologists didn't have the heart to tell the spiders that he is no longer with us.
>I believe (and hope) that gravity will continue to work today and tomorrow.
Yep, 'belief' is a way of making information processing efficient enough for our brains to handle it. If I had to build everything up from a priori sensations every time I made a decision, I wouldn't get anything done. Actually, I probably wouldn't be dissimilar to a newborn baby.
Re: Are they going to side with us or the insects?
...in an insect nation!"
Here's one to Bill Bailey! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2mmTDT6W7E
Yeah, just to clarify: 'Mimicry' applied to 'hover-fly looks like wasp' is not the same as a child mimicking their parent's turns of phrase. Mimicry in that sense does in nature- Mynah birds, parrots and song birds being easy examples.
Re: So, presumably
Indeed, some countries have bird-eating spiders (though that is in part due to the small size of some birds in some parts of this ever-surprising world).
Hmm, it might not be that the predator is threatened by the big decoy 'spider', but rather chooses it as the bigger meal, giving the real spider a chance to escape.
Nothing is proven. Even stuff you think is. For example, the internal angles of a triangle do not add up to 180º, but they add up to [180º] * [a function of the area of the triangle]. However the discrepancy between this theory and the actual sum of the angles is less than the diameter of a hydrogen atom if the sides of the triangle are a lightyear in length. Therefore, this discrepancy between Plato's idea and reality does not prevent it being a VERY useful theory.
Similarly in the case of natural selection, it gives biologists a theory of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, which in turn informs health policy. Not quite replicable and repeatable, but close enough to Occam's Razor and Leary's Reality Tunnels to be getting on with.
Personally, I believe the world was created 8 minutes ago, and memories I have of the world before then have been placed there by His noodley appendages. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_teapot
Re: So, presumably
Your girlfriend's instincts are good. Though here in the UK there are no spiders that can do us serious harm, that is not true of much of the world. She, like all of us, have ancestors that have lived amongst spiders since before we were small furry things.
Snakes, similarly- there are many species that can harm us if we threaten them, and our instincts 'know' this. In some people (Indiana Jones, for example) this fear is stronger, and harder for our concious minds to overcome.
I've heard it said that the sale of lion poo is prohibited in the UK after the poll tax riots when protesters used it to scare police horses. Horses might not have lived on the continents as lions for a few thousands of years, but their instincts tell them that this smell is associated with something to be avoided.
Re: So, presumably
The textbook example of this happening in short time scale is that of moths in England over the historical period known as the Industrial Revolution. Moths (nocturnal, so inactive during daylight) would rest against the bark of trees, appropriately camouflaged to the species of tree they preferred. Soot from the burning of coal ('dark satanic mills') darkened the appearance of trees in many areas, and this placed a strong 'selection pressure' on generations of moths- favouring those that exhibited a mutation that made them darker. Pale moths would be readily seen by birds and promptly eaten.
This happened in decades, if not years. Moths, like spiders, have many, many offspring.
If billions of years seems to short a time-scale, please do bear in mind that there are other mechanisms in place- not least sexual reproduction. Sex not only allows beneficial mutations to be shared around, but, in the case of this spider, could also accelerate the process: If a female exhibits a preference for a male spider that makes decoys, her offspring will not only have the genes for that preference, but also the genes for the subject of that preference.
Also, mutations don't have to create everything 'from scratch' every time... say for example, an animal population had colonised a perfectly cave system... there would no longer be a selection pressure to retain eyes. The genes for the eyes wouldn't be 'deleted', but rather they would no longer be preserved against random mutations- and over many generations the eyes would diminish and disappear. These mutations might be small, but would prevent the eyes from developing. An analogy would be changing a few bytes on your HDD's table of contents that would render it unreadable- but most of the HDD's data is still there. Should this blind animal population find itself in an environment with light, a few mutations over generations might reinstate eyes- the 'building blocks' are still there. By the same process, 'throwbacks' occasionally occur, such as humans with vestigial tails, or Julius Ceasar's five-toed war-horse.
A mutation might also be along the lines of changing 'Goto 10' to 'Goto 20', and thus place, say, an enzyme in the 'wrong' place. It is thought such a mutation replicated an enzyme found in the eye (to break down foreign substances) into the digestive tract of bovines, allowing them to break down cellulose and thus digest grass.
It is endlessly fascinating, and I would recommend Stephen J Gould over Richard Dawkins should you want to read more.
Spider mech warrior? Where have I seen that before? [ insert JPG of that boss from Doom here]
Alas, mimicry as a survival tactic (birds that look like the plants they perch on, flowers that resemble female insects so that males 'mate' and thus pollinate them, hover-flies that look like wasps, butterflies that have large 'eyes' on their wings, stick insects that look like sticks...) arises from the successive selection of randomly occurring mutations.
Re: Is it not an "obvious" thing anyway?
Well, here's the rub: The whole point of these phone UIs is to make the device usable to an average newcomer. Therefore, a good number of the UI elements should, almost by definition, be obvious.
(Though of course, many things are obvious in hindsight)
Re: In the words of Eddie Izzard
I think he also advocated giving monkeys guns... and then throwing them over the wall of Charlton Heston's house. So yeah, I'd vote for him.
Re: Why is it illegal to slap a politician?
I never listened to Marilyn Manson, or liked his image... but when I heard him talk in Bowling for Columbine, he seemed the only sane contributor.
I still don't listen to his music, but he seems someone you can have a beer with.
Okay, now attempt your best Marlon Brando impression:
"They train young men to rain fire upon people, but don't allow them to write 'fuck' on their airplanes because they think it is obscene".
Re: A story about Google....
Re: Self-evident wisdom
>Baseball World Series
It seems there were two competing leagues which both allowed their winners to be called "American Champions", so a more grandiose name was required.
It reminds me of the Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Earth competitions in competition.
The Leap device of the headline looks very interesting- I have posted in Reg forums before about the Kinect not fully reaching its potential for content-creation applications, but this Leap device appears to have got a fair few peoples attention, and generated some interesting discussions, from the specific (does it work with X? could it do Y?) to the more general:
For now, they state that their focus in on hand/finger tracking (I've seen 3rd party demos of the Kinect doing similar) rather than the '3D object scanner on the cheap" that have also been demoed using the Kinect. Interesting times if you're into computers and making things.
They don't say exactly how it works at this time, but it seems to do its thing by different means to the Kinect, and with far cheaper hardware.
I was under the impression that MS is considering contact-less gesture controls for future laptops, but haven't heard anything lately due to all the noise around Win8. Oh, re OS choice, Leap say "At this time, our focus is on Windows and OS X, with Linux being on our agenda." It is encouraging that they are still platform-agnostic, and haven't been bought by a big player as FingerWorks (multi-touch gesture-based input devices) were by Apple.
Fingers crossed that it is as good as it seems and it takes off.
Re: Winter cleaning?
Google and Microsoft are based in the Northern hemisphere. I think that press statements along the line of "its now time to do some Winter cleaning- that's Summer cleaning for our antipodean users..." would be both cumbersome and patronising, and doesn't take account of users in the tropics, where seasons as we know them don't apply.
Re: Massive underground dykes!!
Really? I must check my bed...
... nope, none there. Lucky that, I'm tired.
Re: A fool and their money ...
So how is then that these 'fools' still have the money to buy a Mac, then?
No really, please do expand on your reasoning.
(do bear in mind that any price difference between PCs and Macs is no more than a few hundred dollars if that, whereas even the most basic 'upgrade' package on a new car, for example, is far, far more. Hell, in the UK, Ford charge £250 for a wretched DAB radio to be factory-fitted to your new Focus, never mind fancy wheels, leather upholstery or upgraded sound system etc. A slightly nicer house? Thousands. A couple eating out once more per month over a year? One extra pint of beer per week, over a year? Hundreds. You don't need a spreadsheet to get the gist.)
Re: The joke icon...
>I personally regard Bill Gates as a modern day Robin Hood
Helping thousands if not millions of unfortunate souls in devolving countries with healthcare, disease-eradication efforts and basic infrastructure, by causing years of minor irritations to Windows users (such as myself). Ah well, I can live with that.
Then you get the niches that screw the figures... teenagers with fairly expensive gaming PCs, who haven't yet matured to the point of charitable giving - or of they do, it was because they were 'chatted up' by an attractive charity mugger on the street.
>not very christian, is it?
Rastafarianism seems to have more parallels with Judaism than Christianity.
Re: Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people.
Wasn't there a case a few years back when the KKK got permission to stage a demonstration march, but near to the time decided to cancel it? The cops had prepared to police the event, and when the KKK called it off, the cops decided to sue them for the cost of their unnecessary preparation: The KKK were sued for NOT putting on racist march!
(I know this because it formed part of my post-doctorate in "What some bloke told me down the pub", so please correct me if wrong)
Re: the badly inbred Phelpses of WBC are plain wack
Fair play to US servicemen for their restraint and self-control, is all I can say. When the WBC routinely picket the funerals of dead soldiers- attended as they are by soldiers who are very much alive, kicking and combat trained- I'm surprised that no-one in the WBC has been seriously hurt.
- Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?
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