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Comment: Re:I'm shocked, SHOCKED! (Score 1) 190

by CozmicCharlie (#48796965) Attached to: Tesla vs. Car Dealers: the Lobbyist Went Down To Georgia
The customer gets screwed only if they agree to buy, and then it isn't getting screwed. If you don't like the proce the manufactuer sets, then don't buy the product. If enough people do that, then they will lower their proces. If you're then only one, then you own the problem. The secret here is that free-market commerce is vuluntary, and therefore no one can get screwed. You only agree if you agree.

Comment: Re:Second Vote for Insteon (Score 1) 189

by CozmicCharlie (#48777469) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Options For Cheap Home Automation?
I looked at Insteon when I began my HA project. The fact that you're stuck with a single vendor solution bothered me. Plus, when I went to their site I saw them selling all sorts of "questionable" technology. So I kept looking and finally settled on UPB as the protocol -- we have a farm and I want to be able to communciate with devices in some out-buildings, UPB's signal is a pulse-position modulated 40V spike on the trailing edge of the AC wave-form, which is a fairly stable place to put such a signal. I am able to control devices 300' away through 3 sub-panels without dificulties. (I do have 1 reverse phase coupler that links the two legs of the 240V AC, and will add 1 more this Spring to help boost communication between devices on opposite phases.) All of my hardware so far has been from Simply Automated [http://www.simply-automated.com/]. Their products are quite versitle, with interchangeable faceplates that allow you to tweak things like scenes and loads. They also have an amazing Tech Support department that has helped me solve multiple little issues. (Note, I'm not affiliated with SAI, other than being a satified customer.) My goal with the project has been more about being able to control lights and devices. There's been many nights where we look out at the barn only to see that the lights ad been left on. Getting dressed to run out in the snow for that sucks. Pushing a bedside button, not so much. We also have most of the devices set to turn "ON" to a reduced level--I calculated the extra usage of the smart switches and then reduced the max output such that my total load is the same. That combined with having lights left on far less often has made the electrical usage a wash. Though I do take pride in knowing that the devices' capacitive voltage divider power supplies are improving the power lines' Power Factor, ever so slightly.

Comment: Re:Um no (Score 1) 224

by CozmicCharlie (#46602621) Attached to: Introducing a Calendar System For the Information Age

On the shortest day of the year, sunset is just after 4:30 PM here. Sunrise is 7:15. I see maybe 30 minutes of sunlight in a given day during that time of the year. I work in a basement office with no windows.

Just wait! Any day now they're going to remove you from the payroll.

They're just waiting for someone to fix the glitch. Remeber to take the red stapler with you as a parting gift.

Comment: Re:Triplicate idea (Score 1) 113

by CozmicCharlie (#40088267) Attached to: Inventor of the TV Remote Control Dies
My dad invented one in 1962 called "Chuck"... as in "Chuck, get up and change the channel." "Chuck, get up and turn the volume down." "Chuck, get up and turn the God-damned boob-tube off and go out side!" (Yes, my dad calls it a "boob-tube" to this day... His favorite phrase back then was "Garbage in, garbage out!")

Comment: Re:Ridiculous, Impossible, Etc. (Score 0) 398

by CozmicCharlie (#40086633) Attached to: Legislation In New York To Ban Anonymous Speech Online
I undestand your concerns. However, we can move between states much more freely than we can move between countries. When one state makes draconian laws such as this, we can always move to New Jersey or somesuch... Who wants to bet that weeks after this law gets enacted that there will be a mass exodus out? Also, we the people, can have more influence over state legislation than we can at the Federal level.

To the systems programmer, users and applications serve only to provide a test load.

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