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Comment: Re:A lot of inertia (Score 1) 582

by Areyoukiddingme (#49793271) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

Did you actually RTFA? The author specifically talked about 12V DC power being the "low voltage" standard that we need to convert to in the home because it's the native battery voltage.

But it's not. It's not the native voltage of any battery chemistry. Lead-acid cells are native 2.0VDC. Lithium cells are native 3.0VDC. Carbon-zinc is native 1.5VDC. Nickel-cadmium is native 1.2VDC. Nickel-hydride is native 1.2VDC. Zinc-air is native 1.5VDC.

All double digit voltages are an artifact of series connection of cells, and the author missed one crucial fact when invoking the Powerwall product: native cell voltage of lithium ion is 3.0VDC, but the Powerwall puts out 400VDC. It is a high voltage product.

Comment: Re:What about safety? (Score 1) 582

by Areyoukiddingme (#49793205) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

When my 3yr old sticks a forked prong in my DC electrical outlet, what is the safety factor compared to the current AC plugs?

That depends entirely on the voltage the DC outlet provides. If it's a USB outlet, it provides 5VDC and your 3 year old feels nothing at all. If it's a USB 3.1 Power Distribution outlet, it provides 5VDC unless you plug in a qualified cable which can negotiate its way up to 48VDC, and again your fork-wielding 3 year old feels nothing.

If it's the native 400VDC coming off of the Tesla pack, your child dies. High voltage DC tends to make the muscles clench, freezing the victim in place, rather than blowing the victim across the room as high voltage AC does. High voltage anything is dangerous, but low voltage DC requires big fat conductors to power large appliances, and we've lived with high voltage for so long that we're accustomed to the permanent danger. If you have high voltage DC outlets, you want child-resistant designs, exactly as you do for your existing AC outlets.

Comment: Re:20-40% overblown (Score 1) 582

by Areyoukiddingme (#49792997) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

That takes care of the first 20%... but what about the cheap AC->DC transformers that sit between your house wiring and your devices? I'd love to be able to switch each outlet I have between 110VAC/15a, 12VDC/3-5a and 9VDC/500Ma-2a, and do away with wall warts altogether.

You already can come close, since these are products. As more and more devices switch to USB power ports, you'll want more and more wall outlets with USB ports and fewer and fewer with AC ports (of the various and sundry flavors in use worldwide).

It's a little depressing to realize that the one thing that will make AC power in the home hang on long after it should be dead and buried is the humble vacuum cleaner.

+ - US Justice Department Urges Supreme Court Not To Take Up Google vs. Oracle

Submitted by Areyoukiddingme
Areyoukiddingme writes: The Solicitor General of the Justice Department has filed a response to the US Supreme Court's solicitation of advice regarding the Google vs. Oracle ruling and subsequent overturning by the Federal Circuit. The response recommends that the Federal Circuit ruling stand, allowing Oracle to retain copyright to the Java API.

+ - The Tricky Road Ahead for Andriod Gets Even Trickier 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Farhad Manjoo writes in the NYT that with over one billion devices sold in 2014 Android is the most popular operating system in the world by far, but that doesn't mean it's a financial success for Google. Apple vacuumed up nearly 90 percent of the profits in the smartphone business which prompts a troubling question for Android and for Google: How will the search company — or anyone else, for that matter — ever make much money from Android. First the good news: The fact that Google does not charge for Android, and that few phone manufacturers are extracting much of a profit from Android devices, means that much of the globe now enjoys decent smartphones and online services for low prices. But while Google makes most of its revenue from advertising, Android has so far been an ad dud compared with Apple’s iOS, whose users tend to have more money and spend a lot more time on their phones (and are, thus, more valuable to advertisers). Because Google pays billions to Apple to make its search engine the default search provider for iOS devices, the company collects much more from ads placed on Apple devices than from ads on Android devices.

The final threat for Google’s Android may be the most pernicious: What if a significant number of the people who adopted Android as their first smartphone move on to something else as they become power users? In Apple’s last two earnings calls, Tim Cook reported that the "majority" of those who switched to iPhone had owned a smartphone running Android. Apple has not specified the rate of switching, but a survey found that 16 percent of people who bought the latest iPhones previously owned Android devices; in China, that rate was 29 percent. For Google, this may not be terrible news in the short run. If Google already makes more from ads on iOS than Android, growth in iOS might actually be good for Google’s bottom line. Still, in the long run, the rise of Android switching sets up a terrible path for Google — losing the high-end of the smartphone market to the iPhone, while the low end is under greater threat from noncooperative Android players like Cyanogen which has a chance to snag as many as 1 billion handsets. Android has always been a tricky strategy concludes Manjoo; now, after finding huge success, it seems only to be getting even trickier.

Comment: Re:Pick one (Score 1) 446

So the genius marketers came up with this:

http://www.lionel.com/Products...

That's... fanTASTIC. It's like the train ran over the Easter Bunny, *splat*.

Anyway, it probably failed because it's a fashion disaster. I mean really. Who wears lilac and pink at the same time?

Comment: Re:I don't get it. (Score 2) 253

(for the record: i believe that ISP's should -try to- block access to such materials if users ask for it)

If you believe that, then you have failed to understand the Internet at a profoundly fundamental level.

The Internet was designed from the very beginning for all of the intelligence to be at the edges. The network itself is supposed to be as dumb as it is possible to be while still moving everybody's packets around. If you want censorship, it's your job to implement it on the tiny little network in your house, or even individual nodes on that network, and leave everyone else alone. No one else should be spending any CPU time for what you want.

Comment: Re:Blocking access (Score 5, Interesting) 253

And how exactly do you block access?

Easy. You call up the US vendor that sold China their Great Firewall and order another one. This one will be cheap, considering the UK's population is a fraction that of China.

And yes, you can hire enough busy-body bureaucrats to keep the blacklists up to date. China does. Think of it as a jobs program. If there's one thing history has shown, it's that 10% of the population is willing, eager, and waiting to oppress the other 90%, "for their own good." That plus a tiny number of sociopathic opportunists is all you need to get it done.

I'm sure when it's in place that the UK will become a beacon of morality for all the world to admire. Kind of like the Victorian era.</sarcasm>

Comment: Re:Not Surprising (Score 1) 742

The Greek government is a public body. Attacking private institutions to force the Greek government to do something would be, in essence, weaponizing the banking system.

The US did that with Goldman Sachs more than a century ago, and they've been a scourge on humanity ever since. I can't imagine why Europe thinks creating their own banking weapon is a good idea.

Comment: Spielberg pfft (Score 1) 102

by Areyoukiddingme (#49759015) Attached to: Cute Or Creepy? Google's Plan For a Sci-Fi Teddy Bear

Let's go even further back, to Anne McCaffrey's novel The Rowan, which featured a pooka—an animatronic stuffed bear used as a therapy device for the titular character. Published in 1990.

Technically not prior art, since it was a sci fi bear, far advanced of current robotics, with sensors in every hair, and squishable enough to be hugged by a child.

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