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Comment: Predictable (Score 3, Insightful) 457

by Calibax (#47677185) Attached to: Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

1. Place immature people (of any physical age) in an anonymous, no consequences environment.
2. Give them the ability to address people whom they would never have the opportunity to approach outside of a virtual environment.
3. Supply a conduit such as Twitter or Facebook or email that requires very little effort compared to writing and mailing a physical letter.

The result is completely predictable.

Comment: It's all about the costs (Score 1) 120

by Calibax (#47648087) Attached to: Hackers Demand Automakers Get Serious About Security

Automobile companies make a large number of vehicles - both GM and Toyota make around 10 million per year. Saving just one dollar on each vehicle adds millions to the company profits.

Something as simple as the extra wiring to create multiple data busses in the vehicle could add a couple of dollars to the vehicle cost. The auto makers will not do it unless it is mandated (either by law or their legal department fearing lawsuits) or they see some sort of a competitive advantage (somewhat unlikely) or there's a PR disaster.

Comment: Re:False. (Score 1) 52

by Calibax (#47643095) Attached to: NVIDIA Tegra K1: First Mobile Chip With Hardware-Accelerated OpenCL

nVidia makes the chips and very recently a couple of reference designs and retail tablets. They don't make the OS and other software.

As you pointed out, Google (not nVidia) removed support for CL rendering to push their own product. I'm sure nVidia was unhappy about that as it removed one of their competitive advantages.

With the Tegra K1, nVidia is pointing out (quite rightly) that their hardware supports a bunch of new things. nVidia's literature describes the Jetson-TK1 as a development kit, not a product. It is made available so that people can write software that supports the features in the hardware

I completely fail to see where nVidia has been dishonest in this.

Comment: Re:Most of us have some weakness (Score 1) 267

by Calibax (#47622875) Attached to: My degree of colorblindness:

Neat test. I worked hard on it but only managed a Total Error Score of 236.

I already knew I was color vision challenged. My mother became suspicious when I was playing with crayons and I colored a fire engine green and the grass brown. That's why my wife picks the colors for my clothes and sorts my socks so I don't accidentally wear a non-matching pair - which has happened a few times.

Comment: Re:Load of Horse Shit (Score 1) 502

by Calibax (#47617077) Attached to: Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

There is nothing to stop my neighbors from doing installing solar also - and several have.

Do householders thank their neighbors for the break they get on their mortgage interest that allows them to afford their houses?
Do the various fossil fuel industries thank every tax payer for the huge subsidies that they receive?
Do farmers thank everyone for their subsidies that permits them to grow crops like tobacco that kill tax payers?

Governments have always promoted certain types of behavior with subsidies and tax breaks. There's nothing wrong in going along with their wishes if it benefits you also.

Comment: Re:Load of Horse Shit (Score 3, Informative) 502

by Calibax (#47614375) Attached to: Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

Out of curiosity, what was the pre-subsidy and tax incentive cost, or alternatively what were those subsidies/taxes?

The installation is rated at 8.9 kW DC (7.5 kW AC) and the total cost was $65,000. I received a check from the state of California for $29,000 and a tax credit of $5,000. So my out-of-pocket cost was $31,000 . All numbers rounded and in 2003 dollars.

Comment: Re:Load of Horse Shit (Score 1) 502

by Calibax (#47611803) Attached to: Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

Will home insurance cover these panels in the event of hail and wind damage?

I don't know. I didn't think to ask as I haven't ever seen a hail storm here and we don't get very high winds. However, chemically strengthened glass is used for the panels so they are less likely to be damaged compared to float glass. The panels are solidly anchored to the rafters and the roof is metal tiles so they aren't likely to blow away.

I did check that everything is covered for theft or fire damage as the inverters were quite expensive back then.

Comment: Re:Load of Horse Shit (Score 5, Interesting) 502

by Calibax (#47611093) Attached to: Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

Solar energy provides all the electricity for my house, and has done so since 2003. Not a single electricity bill since that time.

I installed 48 panels on my roof and I run the air conditioning, washing machine, electric dryer, dishwasher, and everything else electric from the roof panels. We do have gas heating and a gas range. I have a modern thermostat and I set the low point to 72 degrees and the high point to 76 degrees and let the system figure out how to keep the house in that range. I leave it set that way all through the year.

In the the year before installing the panels I spent $2800 on electricity, and prices have gone up considerably since then. The costs of the installation (after California state subsidy and tax incentives) was $31,000 so I've fully recovered the installations costs. I expect the panels to continue producing all the electricity I need for the next 20 to 30 years.

Comment: Secret, my ass (Score 4, Informative) 390

by Calibax (#47603771) Attached to: "Secret Serum" Used To Treat Americans With Ebola

Mapp Biopharmaceutical have been publishing articles about their ebola research in scientific journals since 2011. They seem to be a very secretive at all.

Maybe CNN thinks it's a secret because it hasn't been covered in the mainstream press - TMZ and Entertainment Weekly have completely ignored the company.

+ - Google Spotted Explicit Images Of A Child In Man's Email And Tipped Off Police 1

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "A Houston man has been arrested after Google sent a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children saying the man had explicit images of a child in his email, according to Houston police. The man was a registered sex offender, convicted of sexually assaulting a child in 1994, reports Tim Wetzel at KHOU Channel 11 News in Houston. "He was keeping it inside of his email. I can't see that information, I can't see that photo, but Google can," Detective David Nettles of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce told Channel 11. After Google reportedly tipped off the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Center alerted police, which used the information to get a warrant."

Comment: Re:Glad to see you use the term 'assemble' (Score 1) 391

by Calibax (#47591649) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

That's not what I remember. There were no small format hard drives in 1976. Hard disks were the size of a refrigerator or larger. The first hard disk that was not designed for a large mainframe wasn't available until 1980, and that was only 5MB. I begged my boss to buy one but he refused because of the cost (roughly one month of my salary at that time).

By the time CP/M 3 came out in 1983 there were several small format hard disks, but there was no standard interface. Each disk manufacturer created their own interface and drivers. There was no certainty that a hard disk that ran on an IBM PC-AT would run on a Commodore 128 - it depended on what systems and OSes the manufacturer was willing to support. Many manufacturers would only support IBM PCs with MS-DOS. Others emulated multiple floppies and used the CP/M USER command to switch between up to 16 separate emulated floppies on the disk, so the effective maximum size of a hard disk was 16 times the maximum floppy size supported by a manufacturer.

Comment: Re:Glad to see you use the term 'assemble' (Score 2) 391

by Calibax (#47574243) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

8 MegaBytes in 1976? Utter rubbish.

The 8080 had a 16-bit address bus and an 8-bit data bus. It couldn't handle more than than 64 kbytes of RAM. Yes, there were ways of getting more than 64 KB on a system but that involved very expensive memory bank switching. I remember lusting after a 1 megabyte S-100 bus board that was only $3,000, until I found that the memory bank switching made it almost impossible to run CP/M programs that needed more than 32 KB memory.

But 8 megabytes? Absolutely no way. Heck, the large mainframe system I used in my day job had less than 2 MB.

Comment: Customer service? (Score 5, Insightful) 928

Pulling a family off a flight and threatening to summon the police seems pretty intense. They must have done something very bad. What? One of them tweeted about poor customer service before entering the aircraft? That's it?

Did the SWA agent seriously think that threatening the family with not being able to fly and reporting the man to the police (for what?) unless he deleted the tweet would be the end of it? Did the agent think the whole thing would be erased from everyone's memory and it would be as if nobody complained? That's not the way it works. Now everyone in her management chain knows who she is, and not in a good way. Creating a PR incident like this will not go without notice. It's a variant of the Streisand effect.

It's not important to the story, but at least one airline I've flown has figured out that it's good customer service to allow people who spend a lot of money travelling on their airline have their children treated to the same boarding privilege - especially as it costs the airline nothing to do so.

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.