My views on software, programming, Linux, the Internet, government, taxation, working, and life.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Low Cost Fluorescent Bulbs Could Cause Fires

Watch out for low cost fluorescent bulbs that are pitched to replace incandescent bulbs. I've switched most of my house bulbs to these. Unfortunately now, however, I'm finding the downside. These bulbs could cause a fire when the base burns out and a paper or plastic shade is too close to the bulb. The bulb may be cool to the touch, but when the base burns out, you may actually see a flame and smell noxious chemicals. Since switching them out 4 years ago, Of the 6 bulbs that burned out, two have gone with such a force that they're leaving funny smells and you see a brown ring on the base where it actually produced a brief flame. They burn out sometimes after as little as four years, which could impact any economic gain you thought you might get by using them.

For now, it's the only affordable option with a decent amount of light. Therefore, just be careful to put them in the right kind of lamp or sconce where you feel it would not cause a fire.

In the future, I honestly feel that both sets of bulbs will have very limited use and the most common household bulb will become the superneon LED that was invented in Knoxville, TN this year. It is extremely low power, low cost to manufacture, and puts out a light that can be as bright as an ordinary 100w bulb. I just can't wait for it to hit the market. I just hope it does before my house burns down.

Arm the Linux Battlestations!

Steve Ballmer hints at litigation against Linux here. I guess since Microsoft isn't successful on several other fronts, they're going for the throats of Linux and Linux applications. Why can't Microsoft just focus on making better software instead of throwing all their toys at the other kids in the sandbox? In the Linux world, if you make a better mousetrap, most end up moving to it. The way you get those eyeballs back on your product is to release a new, improved version -- you compete on fair terms and the eyeballs have a chance of coming back. This is one more case where software patents should just be eliminated.