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Comment Re:$65 now, how's TDP? (Score 1) 120

Interesting thought, but no need to partner if I wanted to get into that. I've been an EE/comp-sci for all my rather long life (starting before PCs). I'm not a big fan of bitcoin, personally..I prefer shiny stuff you can drop on your toe and say "ouch", tools, skills, infrastructure. More lasting value and can't be removed via internet kill switch.

Comment Re:$65 now, how's TDP? (Score 2) 120

A killer-important question for my apps. I use a decent (currently around 5) number of pi's on my off-grid solar powered homestead, and they need to be on 24/7/365 to do things like control my power and water systems, collect weather data (internal and external) from buildings on my campus, do security, handle anticipatory HVAC controls, and in general make my life easier more quickly than I get weaker from old age. TDP is huge when there are times like right now - solar panels covered with snow and main batteries getting low.
Being able to segment and prioritize power use when it's a limit - yet utilize all that nature happens to be providing at the moment (be that water, heat, power) is critical to my life. Can't do that if the thing doing it is itself a big load, or too expensive to partition into lots of separate functional units that CAN be shut down selectively when power is low - though it's better to never have to shut data collection down.

While mips per watt is really important - plain old watts are too. A setup that can handle a decent peak computational loading had better be good at idle too. Just like solar power - the need for computation is a famine or flood situation. Sometimes you need a lot - sometimes not. With solar, assuming a decently sized system - a system that can handle Feburary in "conserve" mode is dumping so much power on you the rest of the year you might as well be using for an electic car (which I do). A good systems design handles things like this that we can't really change, gracefully.

Comment Re:The RPi's "secret weapon" (Score 3, Informative) 120

Yup - rather than mod up an already +5, thought I'd chime in myself. It's the community, and the existing popularity - the network effect, that makes the pi a win. I tasked myself with designing a "LAN of things" for my off-grid homestead, intended to last, well, forever - as long as I'll live. LAN because security, and my life depends on Neuman's little helpers. Will I be able to get a replacement for an also-ran that will go off market the instant it's not a huge success, as has happened many times from this source already? I'm not going to count on it.
Tell me again what advantage there is in X86 if I'm not going to use assembler? Anything running a modern opsys - any of them - will have "issues" doing real time hard-deadline stuff, because the opsys will preempt your code now and then to do its thing - which is why I hang an Arduino Uno or a Teensy off most of the Pi's in my setup - the hardware support for little fiddly bit-bang stuff stinks on all these class of boards, but linux (well, it's all there is, but I'd have chosen it anyway) - and its apps - from NGINX to MySQL, name it, absolutely rocks on a pi.
It's a total no-brainer if I might want to have a hot spare available well down the road. If not new - so many have been sold I'd bet there's even a thriving used market by the time I'd need one.
I don't sell anything, I give what I develop away - GPL or just copyleft, I have no reason to care. Interested people might want to check out my forums under software to see some of what I've managed so far along the LAN of things lines. I like to say that surviving off-grid is actually the oldest profession - you have to be alive to do that other one that claims to be the oldest, after all ;~).
I have nothing against Intel - all my regular PC's are intel, and I like them - including the NUCs (I'm posting from a Haswell one with 2tb of spinner and 500gig of SSD right now). It's not the point, the point is - will they abandon this if it doesn't make money fast? Track record speaks for itself.

Comment Re:Loss of content (Score 1) 150

I could be somewhat silo-ed - I've been planning to work on that more, at any rate. Dunno. What I see is more dupes out there than even slashdot - which I quickly detect, so the amount of truly new content that isn't trivial is still going down from my POV. I'm no spring chicken on the inet - so perhaps my perception is different, due to having seen all this go by a lot more than most. I particularly laugh at all the "press release gimme a grant" science, having books from the '50's that describe much of the same stuff, but our new specialists don't know they've merely rediscovered something I have in an old book already. And you gotta love those headlines and abstracts that promise the world - and deliver nothing at all. I've learned to read those faster, or well, skim and reject, which might be part of it. "Oh, Piebald, you took nothing and made it into words!"

I don't count entertainment/social/sports, as from my old-fart POV, those things are unchanging human nature, and essentially trivial and boring. I don't care who is famous for being famous anymore, who is porking whom, who won the game (with credits for the script at the end!) and so forth one bit.

Comment Re:Loss of content (Score 1) 150

Ok, here's the link - and no, I'm not trying to self-promote (no need), just point out the >1600 comments and no moderation. This probably changed recently, own experience was different. Got quite a few views...and they'll be back - we made that breakthrough I predicted.

Not that I disagree with the other commenters. As I said - it's like the world just went dark. Even /. just doesn't have the story flow which has been not only slowing, but becoming more derivative of the other sites I read. It all seems to be copy-paste, little real journalism anymore. In fact, it seems to me that outfits like Vice at least *originate* things once in awhile, not just copy from the wires who themselves no longer put many in the field. And it's not just "news", but science reporting (my gig is science), tech (same old, little innovation), and most of everything else I can think of at the moment. As if the stuff on social media was ever of great concern to any but the most shallow. To actual humans, it seems pretty boring and almost totally meaningless, except as a warning to "don't go there with your life, get a real one instead".

Comment Loss of content (Score 3, Interesting) 150

I'm not so sure Vice is all-negative, after all, they did a pretty cool and positive feature on my fusion work. You can search youtube on my username for it if you care.
What does concern me is that it used to take me almost all day to read everything new that day on the 'net - and now it takes only an hour, if that, and I don't really read faster than I used to.
While it seems even the tinfoil hat crowd aren't talking about explicit censorship, either the world is kind of going dead, or something like hidden chilling effects are happening. I really don't like that one bit - no matter which it is - the creeping lack of new worthwhile content doesn't bode well at all. Yes, I read more widely on more topics and specialties than most so maybe it's more obvious to me, but gee, it's a huge change over the last few years. Seems as though society is just giving up, whatever the reason.

Comment Re:However... (Score 2) 145

I use perl daily, still. It's kinda fun, and while no one was looking, it got to be fast and pretty bug-free, along with well, CPAN. Perl 6 evidently tossed the language and runting optimized into one another for the JRI...and fixed what wasn't broke - it really didn't need any more syntactic sugar. I use perl 5.xx in my Lan of things as it's quick to program and is even fairly fast on small cpus - as in raspi and friends. 6 won't match that, and I don't have time to learn new quirks.

Comment Money for nothin... (Score 2, Informative) 456

Not a fanboy of Apple or most (all?) of the big corps myself, but it seems people are too dim to realize there's no "their money" for governments to take (and waste). It's our money. Corporations run at whatever profit, period - Apple being prime in the case of simply setting prices high enough to get the margins they desire, and people paying them whatever.

"It doesn't work like that."

Taxing them more simply means higher prices for all the customers. That would be us, not them. If they keep prices the same, it means less investment by them in jobs, or higher prices for us, period. Further, while most people see reports of huge "cash in the bank" values for some of these outfits, they fail to look at the financials of same to discover that there are loans against most of the balance in most cases, often as not used to buyback shares to keep earnings/outstanding share up and thus share prices (and C-suite compensation) as well - most companies don't actually have a lot of that cash in hand (though some do). At any rate, a tax on them is simply a tax on the customers in the end, there's no free of that sort in this universe. I suppose one could make the argument that since I'm not a customer of theirs, I wouldn't care - and I'm not - but costing for example, Apple customers more would trickle down to me in the form of other raised prices I'd pay for things made by their customers in the end, anyway.

It's dangerous to live in a world of flat-broke spendthrift governments who use words like "fair" to mean "gimme more of your money to buy your votes with" - whether a company or an individual. Consumption taxes are effectively regressive... While profits have a poor record of trickling down, losses seem to always do so; is that rain, or are you p*ssing on my back? TANSTAFFL

Comment Re:excess strain on CA grid (Score 1) 313

My 2012 Volt has never placed a strain on any grid, I've not been connected to one since 1979 - my solar system suffices - it's never been charged on a grid, and has used ~ 100 gallons since Oct 2011 when I picked it up. Ok, most didn't invest, but I did, and I have a fair amount of company in that. Systems like mine - and there were some tens of thousands back in '70 already - have never been counted in the stats, FWIW. Not everyone is grid-tie, which is all that's counted.

Comment Re:The wikipedia has the quote (Score 1) 184 octane booster (which was cheaper than just better refining - one should always follow the money) was required to eliminate knock and ping due to self-ignition from high compression.
. High compression gives better thermodynamic efficiency, but higher temperatures (and due to that, increases NOX emissions). No metallurgy will fix knocking - it ruins engines no matter what you make them out of, and wastes energy by pushing on a piston that is still on the upstroke.
Those of us who live in farmland think NOX is just fine - free fixed nitrogen. Those idiots who built LA in a permanent temperature inversion feel differently of course. Emissions standards jammed down our throats by those turkeys created quite a bit of externalized cost to the rest of us in increased fuel consumption due to lowered efficiency, caused by having to lower compression ratios to reduce octane requirements and reduce NOX. We've learned since how to do more with less, but there was that time - probably before most here had licences (or raced, as I did), when it was a pretty big deal. Diesel got let off the hook (follow the money again - big trucks and trucking) and doesn't have the knock issue due to fuel injection timing such that it's a smoother burn than self ignition on the compression stroke, combined with a slower burning fuel. But the tradeoff is higher NOX, higher particulates (which are truly nasty on the lungs) unless all cost savings are negated by fancy emissions control schemes - like the ones VW tried to cheat on due to, you guessed it, follow the money. You were just following the wrong money - a pittance compared to the issues I mentioned.

Comment Not just the TLAs (Score 1) 298

Heck, they learned this from the gun grabbers who jump on every shooting and demand more laws, when by golly, the existing laws, if enforced, would do. (see for example, Fast and Furious, laws for gun-free zones, laws against murder no matter how you do it, and so on forever, already existing) Never let a crisis go to waste. Always consider the source...I think this behavior is ghoulish, personally. And when Ed Snowden "hurt" the TLAs, they have a lot of balls to say that hurt the USA - as if they alone were the USA - it helped the vast majority of actual citizens who, unlike them, do obey the laws of the land.

Comment Already there (Score 1) 232

My on-campus data center, such as it is (right now, half a dozen each of x86 boxes, mostly NUCs, and a similar number of raspi-2's driving a bunch of arduinos and teensys for data aq and control of off-grid stuff) - has been running on solar, with batteries, and gasoline and diesel backup - since 1979. Of course the mix of machines has changed, but it's plenty for a couple of users - and my fusion research lab.

I call what I'm doing "the LAN of things". Anyone who puts all that sort of thing "out there on the internet" is frankly crazy or doesn't know squat about security.

People called me crazy for spending that money (incrementally) while much of this gear cost more than it does now. I'm not so sure...haven't paid a power bill since '79 - have a phone/internet bill, and that's it. Yeah, car insurance (A Volt gets me to the beer store), property taxes and so on - but net-net - I'm making out like a bandit. Yes, I have to run the backup gennies sometimes, but not very often. The thing about solar in the mountains of SW VA - February...we don't always have enough sun, and no way can you have enough batteries - self discharge alone kills that plan - to handle that. But it's a pretty decent system, I rarely notice any limitations, and our uptime is far better than the local power company to boot - I am essentially running on a huge UPS all the time. In fact, one of the pis is in charge of monitoring and controlling that, along with controlling the backup gennies - all I can say is, it works. Doesn't hurt I used to make my living as a hardware/software/systems/product designer so I knew how to build all this.

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