145 posts • joined 13 Aug 2013
Re: "manually adjust thermostats"
My son in law gave me one and it was kind of cool to read my house temperature from a wifi-enabled bus somewhere in the desert south of Jericho, Israel. Pointless, true, but I knew that the power was on and no burglar had broken in and turned up the heat so he could be comfortable whilst he pinched my kit.
I was also able to turn up the heat while an hour away from home, using the wifi at a service center. That was minimally useful. And no phone data used.
Still easier to just twist the dial down when we go out.
A while ago, I visited a school in the mountains of Uganda. There was a bunch of fairly new PCs (they had flat screens) and the adult ed class was learning how to run Microsoft Office. I asked them what they were going to use their training for. They had no idea, since there were no office jobs and internet service was slow and expensive.
I left them some Ubuntu disks, haven't gotten any word as to what they did with them.
Re: No one will notice
We complain about range, but we only need to go as far as our bladders can take us before we need to get out and micturate. Thus if our cars can recharge in a reasonable amount of time during our personal maintenance, no problem. But finding a charging station, and recharging quickly, is where we're stuck now. It has nothing to do with range, unless your charging stations are 600 km apart. If they're 60 km apart as petrol stations are, the range problem is solved.
The only defense?
Possibly the only good defense against these is NoMoRobo, where you forward your call to nomorobo and the caller has to key in one number to be forwarded back to you. I haven't tried it yet.
We get daily calls from "Bridget" who wants to "lower our interest rate". Most of these guys spoof phone numbers so when we see some bizarre area code we let the answering machine take it. Many of them will hang up when they hear the beep, which is possibly a robot doing the hanging up. I wonder if I could start with a beep just to force the hangup.
Harrassing the caller or wasting their time would only work if everybody did it all the time. These places spring up like mushrooms on cow shit and getting just one to stop won't work.
Re: Have they finally solved strobing?
LEDs don't run on voltage - they run on current. I wish I had a whiteboard and ten minutes to explain.
But you need a driver between the (fluctuating) voltage source and the LED that wants a constant current. The design of the driver has everything to do with the flicker. One can design a nice smooth constant current driver, but it will probably use a more expensive storage inductor. Or, you can use a resistor and string a lot of LEDs in series, which will only conduct on the voltage peaks, creating a power mains frequency flicker. That is a lot cheaper, but runs a lot of peak current through your LEDs. Also, the current regulation vs. voltage input is not good.
Yes, incandescents were easier to shop for. Don't get me started on reliability claims.