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  • Does MS test their electronics for off-gassing?

    Just looking again at the recommendations for room pressure in residential buildings. They keep recommending negative pressure for the reason that moist air otherwise pushes into crevices of the building and that is said to create moisture damage.

    So either the building gets "sick" from getting moist or I get sick from the offgassing, dust buildup and smoke from outdoors that the negative pressure pulls in.


    "Outgassing toxic gases are of great concern in the design of submarines and space stations, which must have self-contained recirculated atmospheres"

    Add home offices to that list if you're at home a lot more than "normal" people.

  • Does MS test their electronics for off-gassing?

    Short answer, no. I have eg. some SATA cables that were outdoors for 1 year due to the smell and they still smell. I doubt many of the small manufacturers have a lab (if they even care) for analyzing what their product emits into air after sold when it's clear from the effects I get that not even the big corps pay attention to this given how I get similar reaction to the Apple keyboard w/numpad (2013) and the MS keyboard (model 1366). I just had forgot about the Apple keyboard but I took it out of the closet and the chemical smell was intense (it had been in nearly air tight bag).




    Well I think the health problem really is a combination of the excessive outgassing products (more biodegradable or cheaper/changed plastics - in 90's only pci cards,motherboards had strong smell, now things like cables and keyboards "smell" (some use deodorizing to hide the smell but it does not do anything to the non-smelly hazardous gasses), negative pressure "design" (residential building standard, probably to suck the moisture from showers) in building and poor ventilation because I have no control over the temperature of air coming in and when it does come in, there are houses nearby that burn wood and lets not get into people smoking.


    So I think I now have answer why having office at home is a problem, creating temperature controlled constant positive and negative pressure spaces in mix of cold/wet/hot climate in residential building is "tricky". This explains why I see people with laptops work from coffee shops or library etc. They are avoiding the negative pressure residential space... or perhaps are faking to be employed to their SO or something.

    One non-workable solution I have thought about is insulating the office room, then removing a lot of the window insulation and making sure the pressure is positive. Then rig the heating to heat the space up. This should create positive pressure in that one room but the problem here is that because there's still outdoor pollutants, smoke coming in, I know that once it gets in, in a positive pressure room it tends to stick around. If I then open the office room room, the smoke gets pulled to rest of the apt.



    I have reason to believe new plastic products are made more biodegradable. I take this to mean they are more prone to decompose all the time. In some countries the "building code" is to have apts. at negative pressure for energy saving and possibly other reasons (cost of building apts). If you read commercial facility recommendations, they recommend positive pressure. The result from the negative presure at apt if you work from home is that the offgassing products are now pulled out from the electronics instead of kept in.

    The "question" I have is, how do you create a positive pressure in a residential building so that there is no noise and the bathroom etc have negative pressure (because of shower) to and so that things inside stay warm while its very cold outside. And how you do this is cheaply in a apt you rent? When the apt has large air leaking windows on every side of it, combine this with mechanical exhaust ventilation you have no control over and it's impossible to control the pressure. I could open up the windows until the pressure is positive, this would freeze apt inside and then once I close windows the mechanical exhaust ventilation quickly makes the pressure negative again (it ramps up 3 time a day).

    I don't think there is any good solution to that. There are "air source heat pumps" that make noise installed by some residential building owners but I don't want fan noise and I don't own the building.


    I don't know how much these problems affect work place offices, probably because there is so much more gear and gadgets, if there was negative pressure it would be "deadly" at the workplaces.

    The previous chart/pdf shows what stuff the gadgets emit (plastic,glues in floor/carpets are another big source in modern building especially if building was made in a rush or when old glue/plastic flooring material is left below new one like is being done a lot in apt. renovations), so that's the answer for "few days".. The consumable, modern more "green" materials I would speculate to degrade even faster so that when they end up in trash, their decompose quicker.

  • Does MS test their electronics for off-gassing?

    (as I point out, this isn't exactly unique problem to MS & I had another MS keyboard without this problem before)

    I have MS wired keyboard 600 (among other things) that repeatedly seems to cause some sort of health response (weak breathing, irritability) when it's under my nose. It's quite subtle but given how much other gear I have, it's probably "tip of the iceberg" that just pushes the levels to where I can notice. I have had it for years and removed it 3 times while trying other keyboards only to find I didn't like the layout, lack of media,calc keys etc of the other keyboards .. but when I return to this I start getting health effect.

    Funny enough, this keyboard has a big red "HEALTH WARNING".. but it's only talking about RSI, not off-gassing symptoms.

    I previously had Comfort Curve 2000 that broke (and was too big) and didn't have this issue.

    And yeah.. I once ordered some cables from ebay (china) that were so stinky I had to junk them. I started getting eye and skin irritation immediately when going near them! Think I got a refund for those.


    The health issues from these things can be subtle, varied and there's lot of other sources of indoor air pollution (VOCs), but since keyboard happens to be straight under your nose, that should receive special attention at the factory in terms of what kind of paint and plasticizer etc is used.




    src with some more figures: http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/seminars/mckone/mckone.pdf

  • Cool videos



    Few cool videos there if production of old movies is of interest.


    edit: this was in suggestions. The main interesting point is how much time was spent on making each 1-2 second effect. I kind of think that sometimes when you have a work method that is slow it also may allow to come up with ideas to do things better, whereas with fast method you get the work done before having come up with ideas how to make the end result better. If you can iterate many times, then no problem, but when fast methods are available to competition, that drives down prices as people think they can come up with same ideas faster with better tools when infact I would argue the good ideas don't come up any faster even if your tools allow to work faster.


    It mentions it took 3 months to paint the matte of the warehouse used in Indy.


    Another thing I read affecting music in movies - in past it was frequent to have say, orchestra for a movie score and themes ritten based on the scenes, while now if you pick from a library of pre-made themes, you'd need a ton of time to go through the library to find something similar that a composer would come up with if they composed to the scenes as described.


  • Surface Book launches in UK!

    I see Amazon com just has SB on discount. :D

    Microsoft Surface Book (128 GB, 8 GB RAM, Intel Core i5)


    List Price:$1,499.00
    Price:$1,498.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
    You Save:$1.00
  • 2016 market forecast



    That is, if it doesn't crash up or down big soon...



  • Cool videos


  • Windows Phone, may ye rest in peace... the clone wars are over and the droids are winning.

    re: 'full computer in a phone with win32 etc'

    Well I'm not the one trying to pitch this idea but I'll take a shot at how this would work with the assumption that the part of the pitch is having your customized Windows install with you always.

    So : data locally available, up to date, sync+backed up, unrecoverable incase someone grabs that phone off you etc. would be atleast some things that would need to happen so easily you don't really have to think about them. (because if this stuff is complicated, I'd rather just not carry my data with me)

    The way I could see this going is that larger displays contain the PC (AIO=all in one pc) and then your phone contains the SSD that acts as the system drive when plugged into the monitor-pc (AIO). That way you get to carry your own customized OS install and always take advantage of whatever you have available on desktop/station.

    - requirement to have a set of "cloning systems" such that if you go to home with the phone and plug in, it always asks whether you want to sync the changes in the phone ssd to the backup ssd - or if you think your install on the phone was compromised, you can replace that with the install on the backup.


    - lets say you get a phone call while your phone-ssd is plugged as system drive on the monitor-pc (AIO). In this scenario what should happen is that all the old changes on the phone have been synced to the ssd on the AIO-pc (monitor-pc) - if they haven't and the "phone ssd -> desktop cable" disconnects, the desktop probably needs to suspend to avoid need to do 2-way data merge. If the phone was in sync, then the phone can act as a  phone or camera while disconnected while the ssd on the AIO takes over, allowing to keep using the AIO while using the phone/camera disconnected. But ofcs anything win32 etc in the phone should not work now. Yeah you could keep wirelessly syncing the data but if you walk away from the AIO it needs to have synced all the data to the phone and the scramble the SSD key until you come back.

    So both AIO and phone SSD enc.keys need to potentially scramble when one walks away. The keys probably need to be transmitted through wire but a line-of-sight type signal (additional key that expires?) would be needed present or the keys get scrambled. So someone trying to snoop the keys from air with large directed antenna and amplifiers would not get anything.


    Obviously the ridiculous part about this whole security + carrying data around deal is that government wants secure devices for themselves but not for others, yet business of course don't want devices that can be compromised by some foreign government. So if there's any hint that the system is not secure, it really becomes worthless and back to not carrying data around.

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  • Anyone know of ultrasonic measurements of computers?


    So according to this paper while people don't necessarily hear 16-32 Khz, such frequencies, possibly leaked by switching power supplies etc are perceived by brains similar to "mosquitos"... distracting, annoying, perhaps even promoting some level of fight/flight response (just a guess, paper doesn't say that) (when I am at computer, I tend to be more easily annoyed and when trying to improvise musical stuff, it's much harder than with computer off - could be related to why some people say they get their best ideas in the shower or when in bed - though I suspect the visual stimulation from processing what's on the screen could also play some part in limiting whatever drives creativity - or the 'mapping' process of the brain as called by some).

    The paper also says, very high frequencies 50-100 khz atleast when produced by 'analog' sources can be measured to have some sort of reinforcing positive effect in combination with heard sounds.



    "slowly reducing the intelligence of everybody on Earth by emitting a 60 Hz "hum" from their "Mind Bending Machine". "


    Well perhaps it may turn out the 60hz hum wasn't as bad as the 16-32 khz noise which you may not hear but may still have some effect. Unfortunately it's not very easy to measure if ones computer is sending out such noises given how the audio codec/adc are made to filter out the high frequency on hardware level - in my measurement regardless of what setting you put into the soundcard driver, they still filter those out.