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Displays Toys

Interesting Uses For a USB LED Screen? 403

Hogwash McFly writes "My boss gave me one of those USB-powered red LED scrolling displays as a Christmas gift, and while cycling the usual 'I read your emails' and 'ID10T Error' messages will be entertaining for a day or two, I was wondering if it could be put to more constructive uses. The configuration file is plaintext and supports different scroll speeds, flashing, bitmaps, and WAV sounds. The font is defined as 5x5 pixels per character, also stored in plaintext as 5 hex values, one for each vertical line of pixels. A dynamically generated message could prove useful in my day-to-day work on the helpdesk, but are there any interesting uses beyond network notifications and news feeds?"
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Interesting Uses For a USB LED Screen?

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  • by JerBear0 ( 456762 ) <> on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @02:04PM (#26224557)

    Combine it with a motion sensor near your door, and have it warn you to duck under your desk.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @02:05PM (#26224567)
    Never underestimate a technology's capacity to be used for porn.
  • Re:pong or tetris (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Decameron81 ( 628548 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @02:07PM (#26224601)

    Tetris can't be crappy.

  • Re:pong or tetris (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Aklyon ( 1398879 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @02:15PM (#26224677) Homepage

    neither can pong.

  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @02:27PM (#26224793)

    I hope our far-left overlords are more benevolent than the far-right ones were.
    If you think that the incoming President is far-left and the old President was far-right, then you need a refresher course in both politics and civics.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @02:33PM (#26224851)
    Clearly anyone with such a clock would need to keep track of that.
  • Re:Keep safe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @02:35PM (#26224875)

    I don't know what the 'threat level' is today and I feel pretty safe.

  • Re:For kids (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NekoXP ( 67564 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @02:42PM (#26224937) Homepage

    Why don't you just TELL them?

    I dread to think what you got them for Christmahannukwanzaa this year.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @02:49PM (#26224985)

    George Bush is NOT on the far right, at least not what the far right used to be. He's invented a whole new category, and moved a bunch of people from the right into that.

    I can't speak to the claim about Obama, I don't know the subtle nuances of the factions on the left. I can say he's against gay marriage, and his health care plan is only about 10% of what a real universal health care plan would be.

  • of course, if he doesn't work in a call center, but is instead one of a few IT people, putting that outisde of his office with a message saying something along the lines of "SQL Server down for update, will be up at 4pm" will stop perhaps one or two people from knocking on his door to ask why the server is down and when it will be back up.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @03:14PM (#26225213)

    That isn't half as annoying as those people who zip up and ride on my bumper when I'm already in the left lane trying to pass someone -- so fast I didn't see them coming -- and then they try to swerve over and get around me on the right side the moment I'm a car length ahead and about to pull to the right myself (and probably signaling my intentions to do so).

    Yes, I know I'm supposed to be on the right when not passing -- SO GIVE ME THE @#%#%^@! time and space to get over there safely when I'm done, preferably without forcing me to cut off the person I just passed.

    For every slow and clueless driver in the left lane I'll bet somewhere there is an impatient and dangerous left-lane tailgater. I need a sign saying "I was already passing when you zoomed up. Give me a moment and I'll be pulling to the right out of your way, asshole".

  • by ReverendLoki ( 663861 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @03:15PM (#26225229)

    What planet have you been on for the last 8 years?

    I know it is sometimes an easy mistake to make, but far-stupid != far-right.

  • by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @03:15PM (#26225231) Journal

    "If I passed you on the right you are in the wrong fucking lane"

    I had just put my turn signal on, you dumbass, and I was waiting for the lane to clear when you zipped over to pass me. If you'd been the least bit patient, you wouldn't have had to slow down even.

    A quick lesson: The turn signal indicates my intention to maneuver. It is not an instruction for you to maneuver into the space that I've indicated my intention to occupy. Especially when I'm just trying to get out of your way.

  • by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @03:23PM (#26225295) Journal

    If you're driving around where I live, people will actually mostly respect your turn signal. Unless you're a dumbass and have it blinking inanely when you could have successfully completed the action ten seconds ago, but I trust you're not one of those people.

    As a result, when I complain about idiots driving slowly in the left lane, it isn't because they couldn't get over. It's because they could have and they were too stupid to do so. If they really can't get over, I can wait until they can, but they sure as hell better take the opportunity when they can safely move over.

  • by dzfoo ( 772245 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @03:23PM (#26225297)

    I guess his reasoning, misguided as it may be, was that the rightmost lanes would normally have more people driving at mismatched speeds, merging onto traffic, or crossing over in order to make it out through an exit ramp. Therefore, the left lane would have less opportunity of collisions.


  • by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @03:40PM (#26225465) Journal

    "Safe"? If someone else can zip around you, you had plenty of space to safely move to the right. (Even if what they did was unsafe, you had a full car length more than they did.)

    The key thing is: If you're moving faster than the car to your right (and you'd better be, if you're trying to pass it) and there's no reason for you to slow down or stop in the near future (easily determined by looking ahead), there's absolutely no reason why about two car lengths isn't enough space to hit your blinker and start moving over. Much more than 2 car lengths, though, and the person behind you is going to get irritated (especially if you're doing a slow pass instead of finishing the damn maneuver and getting over to the right).

  • by BenEnglishAtHome ( 449670 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @04:00PM (#26225605)

    Please stop talking about things you obviously haven't thought through and don't understand.

    If I pass then move over after just two car lengths, I've pretty much demonstrated the classic definition of cutting someone off. The only result is that they are then caused to either tailgate me or unexpectedly slow down, potentially causing a problem for the person behind them. Just because the guy flying up my butt is anxious is no reason for me to be a dick. His tailgating means we have two cars in an unsafe relationship and if we have a wreck we can at least have a hope of confining it to one lane. But if I try to get out of Mr. Speedracer's way by cutting off the guy in the lane next to me, we now have two unsafe maneuvers happening at the same time instead of one and I've involved another car and another lane in our potential accident. Bad news. Just because the guy behind me is stupid doesn't mean I want to join him in endangering my fellow motorists.

    When I pass, I wait until I can see both headlights of the car I passed in my rearview mirror. Then I signal and move over. Anyone who thinks I wait too long to move over or who, worse, tries to shoot through the gap between us is an incompetent menace.

  • by tabrisnet ( 722816 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @04:18PM (#26225723)

    Has anyone considered the old rule (that almost everyone ignores, but the cops tend to remember) of 1 car-length per 10 miles per hour? So if you're going 65 and you have 2 car-lengths until the next car, YOU'RE TOO CLOSE.

  • by ThanatosMinor ( 1046978 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @04:30PM (#26225807)
    What you're suggesting is just duplicating the average bumper sticker. What a waste of a something that can generate dynamic messages.

    How about something like:
    "It's raining and I can barely see you. Turn your lights on."
    "You are obviously drunk. Please pull over and take a nap before you kill someone."
  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @04:37PM (#26225865) Homepage Journal
    Not only that..but, the cops seem to look more to the passing lanes for speeders.

    I go fast...I try to stay in the right lane as much as I can...only getting to the left to pass people, and then back to the right lane.

    If someone wants to go faster than me (not that often)...more power to them, they'll hit the speed traps ahead of me....

  • by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @04:50PM (#26225939) Journal

    That's a stupid rule. You don't have to stop in the distance between you and the car ahead of you. You have to stop in the distance between you plus the distance it takes him to stop. Unless he runs into a concrete wall or a semi coming the opposite way, he isn't going to stop dead, and you don't have to either.

    If you're gaining on him, yeah, back off, but if you're able to stop quicker than he is, you still won't hit him.

    Another thing: A car length is a lot shorter than you think. People tend to underestimate horizontal distances... for example, did you realise that sidewalks are generally 4-6 feet wide? What you think is a car length is probably at least 1½ if not 2 lengths.

    Finally, yes, 2 car lengths is too short at 65 miles per hour. However, if there's no reason to expect a sudden stop, 4 car lengths is probably ok.

  • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) * on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @04:56PM (#26225983) Homepage Journal

    This rule will not allow sufficient traffic to move at posted speeds with the number of lanes available in most US highway configurations. So while the rule is a great guide for safety purposes, it is effectively useless in or near a city, because no one wants to spend extra hours on the road on the one hand, and the government won't allow high enough speeds to make those spacings practical for the vehicle density that is a modern fact of life.

    And this, by the way, is one of the reasons I live and work in rural Montana.

    Most US highway designs are so bad - insufficient to the task of safe and timely travel - that the only hope we really have is over-the-horizon technological. Car to car radar and status; automated response to same; deep infrared (heat) sensors; vastly improved light rail; isolation of travel corridors from debris, wildlife and pedestrians; the vague and unlikely hope that inexpensive flying capability will decongest the ground paths (and recover immense amounts of real estate.)

    I've always thought that a truly advanced society would at least master how to contain and conserve light gases and go for personal airship transport, with elevated setups such as monorails for mass and heavy transit. Roads are such a waste of land, such a risk to wildlife, such resource- and maintainance-hogs...

    But then again, we're still using and wasting power with streetlights long after they became obsolete. That whole advanced society thing... not us.

  • by AceofSpades19 ( 1107875 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @05:13PM (#26226091)
    Have you watched fox news lately?, I think they are more closely related then they apear
  • by ObjetDart ( 700355 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @06:00PM (#26226405)

    In the immortal words of George Carlin... have you ever noticed that anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone driving faster than you is a MANIAC!

  • by The AtomicPunk ( 450829 ) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @09:56PM (#26227653)

    Neither one of them are going to do anything to enhance my freedom, or let me keep more of my earnings. Where does that put them, authoritarian?

    I recall reading in history books about when "liberals" were people that didn't trust or like government. Who usurped our word?

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN