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Comment: Re: Storage (Score 1) 516

by 400_guru (#48494199) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?
We have a co-op rather than a private utility. They trim every year and if you don't allow that they add a cutoff switch to your leg so that when branches/trees/etc fall on the lines you get cut off and the rest of customers still have power. They then only repair your leg when the weather improves enough for it to be safe for their linemen to work there. The system isn't perfect of course as not every tree can be trimmed far enough back to make the lines immune to damage but our power rarely goes out even in high winds, storms etc and we're out in the boonies.

Comment: And the extra heat goes where? (Score 1) 216

by 400_guru (#47017187) Attached to: Who controls the HVAC at work?
As an IT guy I know it's easy to know how much cooling a data center requires, just look at the input power and do the math. 3,413 BTU out per kWh in. But once extracted to keep the servers cool, where does it go? Mostly it gets dumped outside. If you're in Texas that probably makes sense. Here in the Midwest of the U.S. we had a brutal winter with lows approaching -20F (-29C) yet most DC heat went right out the window while the furnace worked overtime. Am I the only one that thinks this is stupid? I don't care what your stance on Global Warming/Climate Change/etc where's the economics in buying all that heat twice?

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 1) 798

At my high school this was also the norm in the late 70s. You could have armed a decent size militia from our student parking lot. Then add various other items like axes, chain-saws, knives etc to the mix as well. Likely 75% of all students had a pocket knife with them at all times and it was normally very sharp. There were exactly zero stabbings, shootings, or other injuries from weapons in my three years there. There was never a concern spoken about any of this because parents taught their children to respect others and any student who got in trouble at school was in BIGGER trouble at home. Today it's nearly automatic for the parent to take the student's side even when the student IS in the wrong.

Comment: Re:Won't work (Score 1) 342

by 400_guru (#46695231) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

If you simply change everyone's temporal frame of reference by the exact same amount, you have done nothing, really. Everyone will simply account for the 500ms delay, and trades will still execute in the same order.

Exactly. So look up IEX. Their solution is to 'position' themselves electronically to be *EXACTLY the same number of ms away from all the major exchanges in the U.S. So when they execute trades across 5 exchanges they all happen at EXACTLY the same time on all the exchanges. Thus those HFT guys react too late, all the needed buys for the specific transaction have already occurred. HFT Guys loose. Bummer.

It's not all about speed it's about timing.

Comment: Re:In a society that has destroyed all adventure (Score 1) 364

by 400_guru (#46657289) Attached to: Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light
I ask you to show me a single law that says coasting is illegal because you're makin' that sh** up. Sure I suppose kicking your car out of drive so you can roll 1/4 mile at 10 to 15 might be frowned on. However there is no way you're going to get me to stay at the speed limit until I have to lay on the brakes lurching to a stop like a bad bus driver just so you can hit the slip lane 4 seconds sooner.

That said around here you would be one of the 10% that know what a signal is for. If I see the vehicle behind me with a signal on and I can make way for it to turn I will always accommodate that if it means moving up, moving over a bit or even speeding up on occasion. I will NOT do that if the vehicle is flashing it's lights, sounding it's horn or tail-gaiting.

Additionally 90% of my driving is two lane rural roads where slip lanes simply don't exist and stop signs are the norm. If I roll up to the car ahead of me as it rolls away taking it's place at the stop sign I have perfectly executed that intersection. Even if there are 50 cars behind me I am hurting exactly nobody.

I also think you need better brakes! My vehicle has 145,000 miles and is 8 years old and still has the factory brakes, inspected just last month. 6 months? Really???

Comment: Re:In a society that has destroyed all adventure (Score 1) 364

by 400_guru (#46654051) Attached to: Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light
And coasting is a problem why? If I get there before the light changes or shortly thereafter thus NOT turning kinetic energy into heat by means of friction, that is a good thing all around. Less fuel burned. Less brake wear. Less damage to roads due to lower speeds. Improved safety as I have no need to wonder if the coefficient of static friction between my tires and the road, or snow, or ice is sufficient to slow my vehicle before it impacts the vehicle ahead of me. When a tailgaiter blows past met just to get to the red light before it changes I think to myself: "Yep rather have a poor driver like that ahead of me where I can see them, rather than behind me where they have the ability to do me harm." In 38 years of driving, in Michigan where it rains, sleets, snows, and freezes, I have rear-ended exactly one car (at less than 5 MPH) and been rear-ended exactly once. Safe driving works.

Comment: Re:Understandable, but... (Score 1) 378

by 400_guru (#45823863) Attached to: Surge In Online Orders Overwhelms UPS Christmas Deliveries
Yes I do and our stuff WAS on time but knowing the roads and massive number of trees down around here that WAS impressive. The trucks were spending extra time and miles figuring out how to get to various addresses but not everyone was even accessible. We were told as many as 6 days to get power on but it was only 2. Yes it went off a few more times and our generator got a workout but as you say, live where we live and be prepared! Fedex called me to meet them down the road so they would not get stuck having to back a 53 footer away from a downed or 'low hanging' tree.

Comment: Re:Understandable, but... (Score 1) 378

by 400_guru (#45798885) Attached to: Surge In Online Orders Overwhelms UPS Christmas Deliveries
The logic is good BUT said drivers, being retired, are not likely to want to work Christmas or New Years. Also they need to maintain their endorsements and physicals etc which many choose not to do. On a fabulously smaller scale my wife hires drivers and prefers that most of them be part time. This gives her maximum flexibility to scale up and down easily week by week as routes vary. This week every driver is working maximum daily hours because they got Christmas Even and Christmas off but the job is getting done. Her methodology doesn't work as well for a massive truck fleet.

Comment: Re:Understandable, but... (Score 1) 378

by 400_guru (#45798191) Attached to: Surge In Online Orders Overwhelms UPS Christmas Deliveries
But you need drivers. And as it works out in the Midwest of the U.S. Christmas happens when the weather is often 'quite frightful'. I do work for trucking firms and know that getting GOOD drivers is a full time challenge. Need to staff up at Christmas and you're not going to get the best drivers. Then put them in old trucks. Now put the poor drivers in old trucks on sloppy slippery icy roads and you can imagine that incremental capacity is no where near as cheap as you think it might be.

Comment: Re:Understandable, but... (Score 1) 378

by 400_guru (#45798119) Attached to: Surge In Online Orders Overwhelms UPS Christmas Deliveries
Then you balance out my excellent UPS Service. We live in a rural area that was CLOBBERED with Ice on Dec 22, over 75% of our county had no electricity. My UPS packages still arrived on time. Speaking to the driver he admitted some did not because he could not reach the homes due to downed trees and blocked roads. Six days later, power is STILL out in areas around here (mine is out now in fact) so a delay in delivery is not at all unexpected.

Comment: Re: There must be a very good reason... (Score 1) 579

by 400_guru (#45797945) Attached to: Utilities Fight Back Against Solar Energy
Ludington MI has had a pumped storage for more than 40 years on the shores of Lake Michigan. Its a 2.1 GW facility that draws water from the big lake during low electric usage and lets it flow down generating power when needed. The concept is simple as was previously mentioned but the cost to build is not. Additionally special care must be taken not to pump fish through the system. This is the sort of thing we would need a LOT more of to support huge increases in Solar or Wind energy on the grid. And they would need to be located 'closer' to the generation point. THAT is a hard thing to do!

Comment: IBM i on a POWER7 system (Score 1) 2

by 400_guru (#34302544) Attached to: Best IT-infrastructure for a small company
IBM i on POWER would absolutely be my choice for the server. A 128 but address space allowing unlimited growth, Apache, PHP, DB2, and even MySQL plus no antivirus needed on the server. Available from 2U up to full rack sizes you can get any size you need. Select Internal or SAN based disk depending on your capacity requirements. For workstations I'd likely go the laptop w/ docking station route if your employees need portability and personally despite they are no longer IBM, the Thinkpad line brings a solid and reliable platform with many choices of size and performance. Despite my love for Linux I'd still select Windows 7 64 bit as the best desktop O/S for now. I wouldn't use IE or Adobe though leaning toward Chrome and Foxit for everyday use. Despite the up front cost I also prefer Cisco for both the firewall and the network including switches and wireless gear. Their new 2960 switches bring GbE down considerably from the 2950 family and with 20 users you'll likely get away with just one switch. To me the measure is reliability and performance in that order as the last thing needed is support headaches.

Comment: Re:For the record (Score 5, Interesting) 320

by 400_guru (#32835410) Attached to: Inside the Fake PC Recycling Market
I pick up several thousand pounds a year of old computers from my customers. My family and I pull them apart and recycle as much as possible. Batteries, Steel. Copper, Aluminum are the primary money makers. By weight at least 95% gets recycled and once broken down is worth money. Last trip to the local recycler was several hundred dollars US. Some lessons learned from this activity. 1) IBM is the very best at building computers that come apart. Few different fasteners mean fewer tool changes. Most materials also separate quite easily. Even their hard disks come apart quite easily yielding their substantial aluminum content. 2) Compaq was pretty good at this as well. 3) Dell PCs are HORRIBLE to get apart with nothing standard whatever. Every model different, every fastener unique. 4) No matter what the brand, power supplies are the worst. Lots of copper and aluminum in them but also lots of capacitors - the number one contaminate in PCs. 5) There is a lot of labor in proper recycling so once old enough to get a real job the kids lose interest quite quickly. Better design for recycling would make the process much more cost effective.

+ - Do "Save the Environment" footers help or

Submitted by 400_guru
400_guru (942410) writes "I got another email today with a nice footer that read: "Consider the environment before you print this..." It then blathered on about it for 64 words and a big long row of *s totaling 502 bytes. While that doesn't seem like a lot, these are attached to every email that company sends and they are NOT alone! Now consider how many copies of this same footer are stored in their outboxes, in their outbound logging equipment, transmitted across the Internet, checked for virus' at the destination, stored on the destination (perhaps more than once if redundancy is involved) and maybe again on the destination users desktop. This simple 500 bytes could turn into 4K quite easily increasing disk usage on no less than 6 different computers possibly more. Consider that each system needs to be bigger, spin more disk units, have more memory, and consume more power just to tell me not to print. Multiply this by the bazillions of emails world wide with a similar message and the question is begged, does this request help or HURT the environment?

Oh and I don't think I've printed more than 1 email a month for the last 5 years anyway...."

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- Aesop