whbboyd's recent activity

  1. Comment on Apple has acquired the Dark Sky weather app - Android version and website will shut down on July 1, API active through end of 2021 in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    If you're in the US or looking for US forecasts, I highly recommend NOAA (https://www.weather.gov/). Forecasts at least as good as any other provider (often significantly better), no profit...

    If you're in the US or looking for US forecasts, I highly recommend NOAA (https://www.weather.gov/). Forecasts at least as good as any other provider (often significantly better), no profit motive, and if you want to geek out about meteorology, it's an endless rabbit hole.

    However—it is, by nature, US-only, which significantly limits its utility (even for Americans—I've thoughtlessly loaded the page up for a quick forecast when traveling abroad).

    8 votes
  2. Comment on What is something that you learned/were taught wrong? in ~talk

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    To be clear, because when I learned about the equal-transit-time fallacy this confused me immensely, airfoils do generate lift because the airflow over the top is faster and Bernoulli's principle...

    To be clear, because when I learned about the equal-transit-time fallacy this confused me immensely, airfoils do generate lift because the airflow over the top is faster and Bernoulli's principle means that causes a low-pressure zone. The fallacy is that the flow is faster because it must meet up on both sides—in fact, wings produce enormous amounts of trailing turbulence because it does not and the airflows over the top and bottom of the wing are traveling at very different speeds when they meet.

    it seemed absurd that a simple curve could lift a heavy plane off the ground

    This works because airplane wings are enormous. A 747 wing has more than 520 m² (5,600 ft²) of surface area; an average pressure differential of 0.08 bar (1.1 psi) is enough to support the plane's 400-tonne maximum takeoff weight.

    6 votes
  3. Comment on Why doctors hate their computers in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    In case you were worried, Epic is widely despised by doctors and other medical professionals, as well (though most of their competition is apparently significantly worse). But really, most of the...

    In case you were worried, Epic is widely despised by doctors and other medical professionals, as well (though most of their competition is apparently significantly worse). But really, most of the issues with it are a symptom of the state of healthcare in the US. Electronic medical record systems aren't a patient care tool; they're a billing tool, meant to record billable actions in a format insurance companies find acceptable, and any benefits to patient care are incidental.

    13 votes
  4. Comment on Introducing a simpler, more organized Slack in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    The web client is categorically superior to the Electron client. If you tolerate text interfaces and/or are nostalgic for the old days of IRC, wee-slack (a plugin for the weechat IRC client)...

    The web client is categorically superior to the Electron client.

    If you tolerate text interfaces and/or are nostalgic for the old days of IRC, wee-slack (a plugin for the weechat IRC client) provides massively improved performance and a highly customizable interface over any UI Slack provides.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Why medieval cats look like… that in ~arts

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    The wild ancestor of the modern domestic cat still exists (it's the African wildcat), and looks exactly like a ticked tabby domestic. It's possible that domestic cats diverged from that appearance...

    today we have many beautiful breeds that have been cultivated by enthusiasts for generations, but hundreds of years ago they were much less differentiated and mongrely, and probably did in fact look weird compared to what we're familiar with

    The wild ancestor of the modern domestic cat still exists (it's the African wildcat), and looks exactly like a ticked tabby domestic. It's possible that domestic cats diverged from that appearance in the Middle Ages and have since returned to it, or that African wildcats have changed appearance significantly in the past few thousand years, but both scenarios seems very unlikely.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on Health experts want to stop daylight-saving time in ~health

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    Really? Daylight was far more important than time of day up until very recently, civilizationally-speaking; essentially until the wide distribution of electric lighting, just over a century ago....

    Really? Daylight was far more important than time of day up until very recently, civilizationally-speaking; essentially until the wide distribution of electric lighting, just over a century ago. Moving time to line up with daylight made far, far more sense than ignoring daylight in favor of time (or just ignoring time outright), since you couldn't ignore daylight.

    Of course, DST has long since outlived its welcome; but its historical origins are sound.

    14 votes
  7. Comment on Programming trick questions in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    Thanks! That's a much better feature to appropriate for that functionality than any of the ones commonly used on Reddit (before they rolled out explicit spoiler-tagging).

    Thanks! That's a much better feature to appropriate for that functionality than any of the ones commonly used on Reddit (before they rolled out explicit spoiler-tagging).

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Programming trick questions in ~comp

    whbboyd
    (edited )
    Link
    I recommend actually looking at these before reading discussions about them. Spoilers Personally, I think the second and third questions are really more quizzes of esoterica (about the...

    I recommend actually looking at these before reading discussions about them.

    Spoilers

    Personally, I think the second and third questions are really more quizzes of esoterica (about the distribution of perfect numbers and semantics of unicode, respectively) than "programming trick questions", though I suspect a lot of people have the right ("wrong") amount of background to fall into the trap (i.e. remember the definition of perfect numbers, but only the values of the first two or three, and certainly not that the sixth one is greater than 8.5 billion).

    4 votes
  9. Comment on What do I need to know about switching to a vegetarian diet? in ~health

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    If you're not going full vegan, a B12 deficiency is unlikely. Eggs and dairy both provide it. I will absolutely second making vegetarian dishes instead of vegetarian versions of meat dishes. When...

    If you're not going full vegan, a B12 deficiency is unlikely. Eggs and dairy both provide it.

    I will absolutely second making vegetarian dishes instead of vegetarian versions of meat dishes. When in doubt, roast it—there are surprisingly few veggies that don't come out delicious when roasted with salt, pepper and olive oil.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on In smart apartments, is tenants’ privacy for rent? in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    You can't script-kiddie lockpicking. It's not tremendously difficult, but the bar is still much, much higher than downloading a phone app to unlock a completely broken bluetooth lock.

    You can't script-kiddie lockpicking. It's not tremendously difficult, but the bar is still much, much higher than downloading a phone app to unlock a completely broken bluetooth lock.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on In smart apartments, is tenants’ privacy for rent? in ~tech

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    The issue, of course, is that many of these "locks" are so brutally insecure they don't require substantial time and effort. Also, cracking a "smart" "lock" leaves no obvious evidence it's been...

    substantial time and effort

    The issue, of course, is that many of these "locks" are so brutally insecure they don't require substantial time and effort. Also, cracking a "smart" "lock" leaves no obvious evidence it's been broken into, which substantially increases the already significant likelihood of getting away with it.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on How doctors die in ~life

    whbboyd
    Link
    In my opinion, as the spouse of a doctor, this is an interesting case of experts having views about their field that are widely divergent from those of the general public. Tech professionals have...

    In my opinion, as the spouse of a doctor, this is an interesting case of experts having views about their field that are widely divergent from those of the general public. Tech professionals have bizarre computer setups; mechanics are infamous for driving rustbuckets on the verge of breakdown; and doctors are extremely selective about the care they accept for themselves.

    Of course, the stakes are much higher in medicine as opposed to tech or auto repair or whatever other example you might care to name—literally life or death—and so it captures the imagination more strongly, but it seems to me to be the same general principle.

    14 votes
  13. Comment on Fortnightly Programming Q&A Thread in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    Rust's strings are UTF-8. This is actually considered a safety guarantee: it is not possible, without using unsafe, to put bytes which do not correspond to a valid sequence of UTF-8 code points...

    Rust's strings are UTF-8. This is actually considered a safety guarantee: it is not possible, without using unsafe, to put bytes which do not correspond to a valid sequence of UTF-8 code points into a string.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on What I want to see from 2020 ThinkPads in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    You need enough volume for airflow, otherwise you end up with Apple's problem that if you actually try to use your laptop, the fans spin up to jet-engine speeds, the processor throttles, the whole...

    If it's thick and light, is it full of empty space? If so, why not make it thinner?

    You need enough volume for airflow, otherwise you end up with Apple's problem that if you actually try to use your laptop, the fans spin up to jet-engine speeds, the processor throttles, the whole thing gets very hot, and the experience is unmitigatedly unpleasant.

    Otherwise, yes, obviously I don't want pointless thickness in a laptop. I'm just not interested in prioritizing it over other concerns.

    NVMe is preferable of course because it's so much smaller and faster. SATA feels like IDE to me at this point. Eliminating SATA logically leaves more space for batteries and I/O.

    The benefit to SATA is that the drives are easily swappable (usually with one or sometimes zero screws) and can safely be tossed in a bag. They're also cheaper and I already have a handful of them sitting around my workshop for projects or spares. But yes, mSATA and NVMe are more compact. I don't believe the performance differences are compelling.

    4 votes
  15. Comment on What I want to see from 2020 ThinkPads in ~comp

    whbboyd
    Link Parent
    Making the battery removable replaces the one external wall of the laptop with three (the inside of the battery compartment, inside face of the battery, and outside face of the battery), along...

    Making the battery removable replaces the one external wall of the laptop with three (the inside of the battery compartment, inside face of the battery, and outside face of the battery), along with requiring a connector, latching mechanism, and hopefully some protection circuitry to deal with the fact that your connector could really get anything shoved into it or plugged in wrong. All that is a small but nontrivial amount of volume, weight and manufacturing complexity you can save by just slapping some bare cells in under the palmrest and calling it a day. Presumably Lenovo has concluded, rightly or wrongly, that few enough people care about the removable battery that the lost sales will not eat up the cost savings or additional sales from lighter weight and greater battery capacities. (As a nice "bonus" to this reasoning, potential customers who care probably have no alternative options because the laptop market is uniformly shitty right now; thus, they are less likely to switch away even if they want to.)

    3 votes