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Comment Re:Why were they storing these? (Score 4, Interesting) 34

This corporate culture of "store everything" needs to go away. At least in the past, we had storage limitations that made this infeasible. But dammit, as a software engineer, if the system requirements tell me to store something that would be bad if it was released, then I'm not storing it unless there is a damned good reason AND it is well encrypted.

Not to mention with child privacy laws, this sort of thing has to be well kept.

For an example - take a look at Nintendo - we lambast them for "friend codes" and awkward DRM. But you realize that the intersection of various child privacy laws worldwide mean Nintendo basically cannot ask for any information - no name, no email address or anything.

And by doing this, they just have to associate a hardware serial number (anonymous!) with purchases (also anonymous!). If you transfer to another console, it's moving the purchases to a new serial number.

But this means you also cannot create an account and re-download stuff (because Nintendo doesn't know who you are), and if your console breaks, you have to bring it back to Nintendo (so they can move the stuff to a new serial number).

Sure today you can create a "Nintendo Network" account that tries to associate your purchases with an ID, but that's optional and you still suffer the same limitations.

it's the only way Nintendo could guarantee even if they were hacked, that there was no private data to take, and legally they couldn't collect any information.

Comment Re:Yes, exactly. (Score 3, Informative) 104

The "many small batteries" approach is what makes it possible to get a decent charge in a Tesla in around 20 minutes... instead of 80+ hours.

If you charge 7,000 small batteries in parallel you'll do it roughly 1000 times faster than charging seven huge batteries with the same total capacity.

More importantly, the 7000 little batteries actually make the system more efficient than 7 large ones. Because of the massive amount of power the motors have (50+ kW), using more cells in series means higher voltages. And higher voltages means lowered currents which mean less wasted power in IIR losses. Double the voltage, halve the current, one-quarter the loss. It's why transmission lines are high voltage, why data centers usually get 208V or higher (besides three-phase) at the racks, etc.

7 lithium batteries only gets you 28V. If we use 56kW, that's nearly 2000A you have to draw - you probably will have to use the chassis split down the middle to carry that kind of current. 7000 lithium batteries as 7x1000 (4000V) series packs means drawing 14A from each pack, or 98A total. Of course, no one runs that high a pack voltage - safety reasons - it's usually closer to 480V or so, which is a large current but still manageable.

Comment Re:It's not Obama (Score 1) 292

And this is totally unlike what every other president did who had a 747 to hop on to?

Ooh, good retort! Anything that another asshole in the white house did before Obama totally excuses him, even if he's wagging a finger at us driving cars while he rides in a fucking airliner.

When did it become OK to be patriotic and yet call the elected leader of this country "that asshole" instead of The President?

Anyone who hasn't called a president an asshole isn't a true American.

I have more respect and love for the country

Do you really not understand the difference between a politician and the country?


Comment Re:I'm going for the Pi... (Score 1) 121

The big reason to go with the Pi is just like going with the Arduino - community.

Community support is essential, and even more than that, continual community support. It's one thing to make a cheap board, another one to make a cheap board and get a community going around it. And quite another if you want that community to not die out after a couple of years.

The RPi community looks to be an ongoing community - even this new board is supposed to look similar to the old boards so support should be ongoing.

Comment Re:What scares me here (Score 1) 37

is that reading and exploiting data that's a mere 25 years old requires almost archeological-like recovery and reconstruction techniques. Compare that to a thousand year old book that's usually pretty much readily readable today.

it's called bit-rot and it takes place in two ways.

First is the media rots - and 25 years is a really long time - most magnetic media, and even pressed optical media (CDs) have already started failing inside of 10 years. Especially finicky things like floppies. Basically the media degrades such that it is no longer readable.

Next is format rot. Where format is both physical and logical. Physical format rot happens when the technology used to access the media is gone - working units either are unavailable or they are all broken because some critical part is gone. There's lots of these - Zip, SyQuest, MO, and many others where the drives are getting increasingly scarcer, and many tape drives are obsolete.

Logical rot happens when the file formats are obsolete and no program other than the original can read or write the file. This too is a big one, and unless it's a common format, there's a good chance it too can be obsolete very quickly - usually well under a decade.

Comment Re:WD Black the 3rd most broken item (Score 1) 105

What strikes me as far more interesting is that people bother with retailers when it comes to WD RMA. WD has maybe the most hassle-free RMA service in the industry, the last thing I'd want to go through with them is the usual "take it to the retailer, wait 4-6 weeks for replacement" spiel.

Not really. Seagate used to have the best - for $10 you not only get an advanced shipment drive, but you also get a label to return the old one - which I always used because $10 is less than half what return shipping is. And Seagate's RMA tracking worked.

With WD, I tried advanced shipping once - and a month later, they still haven't updated their RMA system with the fact that the drive is there. I emailed them proof of shipment (I used FedEx and had tracking and everything), they manually marked it as returned as the drive did arrive and was signed for. Three months later, I get an email saying they got the drive. WTF? And maybe it was a one off, but no, I had another drive fail, returned it (regular RMA this time). Again, nothing - until I started calling them and gave them again all the shipping information. This time a couple of weeks later they shipped the drive, and a month later, they "found" the drive I sent in.

I wish both would just offer an RMA system that works and allow you to buy a label from them - Seagate for me worked the best for RMA because they always got it shortly after it arrives and for $10, I didn't really care about that since the return shipping would cost me $25 normally, so I'd save $15, and the drive would be processed quickly. Alas, I'm told those days are gone.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.