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Time is an illusion. Compile time - doubly so.

Category: Stuff


Commuter physics

I've recently taken upon using the public transit again, since I no longer have a car. Whenever taking a bus or the metro, I try to position myself in a way that will save me time later (to be near an exit or a tunnel or whatever I'm expecting at my destination). This just moves some future walking to take place now, but I don't need to value my time while still waiting for the transportation. Yes, seems like a minuscule optimization - but wait, there's more!

In some cases, when I caught the bus in the last second, I might have gotten on the back side, whereas the optimum would be to reposition in front. There are three choices on when to reposition, provided that the bus is empty enough:

- while the bus is moving at a constant speed;
- while the bus is accelerating (which forces you back, impeding your movement)
- while the bus is decelerating (which makes it easier).

Being bored, one day I pondered on which of the three is optimal. By the Law Of Universal Misery And Suffering I suspected it to be #2, but it is indeed the last one. When you're moving forward in a decelerating vehicle, you're reducing the mass that needs to be stopped, so less braking force is required and the brakes last the tiniest bit longer. Similarly, when you're moving back in an accelerating vehicle, the engine doesn't need to push the whole bus and you, so a minuscule quantity of fuel is saved.

In summary, this is one of the rare occasions where the physics laws cancel out in your favor. The profit is almost nothing, of course, but it cheered me up :)


Posted in category Stuff -- clock 27 Jan 2015, 19:43, 4 comments


thought

Marketing wisdom

Recently I got some antiviral software as a gift - Panda Internet Security - in a neat box:

Image

The box is just a normal one... but something pushed me to take a closer look at the print, and I noticed, that the year "2012" is revealingly underlined. And looks odd.

Image

Waaaait a minute... Isn't it... oh

Image

Surprise!

I haven't opened the box to check whether its really 2011's software rebranded as 2012, or its really 2012 inside, but they didn't have the new boxes for it. Anyway, the Panda programmers have written a decent online update facility (I guess), so it's not terribly important which version exactly you're installing - you end up with the most recent one anyway. But nooo, the marketing genius probably figured out the users won't buy a product that old - everybody knows that dozens of viruses appear each day - so it won't protect at all.
Oh. My God.


Posted in category Stuff -- clock 19 May 2012, 12:33, 0 comments


thought

Sticker

While there are some obvious drawbacks to having an Apple product (I won't go in depth about them), they all are completely moot in the light of this absolutely awesome feature that no apple-hater can brag about. And it's this: when you purchase (or get as a gift, in my case) an Apple product, there are e few logo stickers in the box - very realistic, 1:1, with an indestructible silver-nano-sphere coating... and those stickers... are necessary... for the most important... application... EVARR!!!:

Image
(Two stickers in the box. Two laptops. Coincidence? I think not.)


Posted in category Stuff -- clock 26 Aug 2011, 11:50, 0 comments

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