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Comment: PID FTW (Score 1) 14 14

I remember watching some BBQ competition TV series (figures, right?) and the winner was an asian dude who built his own PID BBQ fan controllers and used them with cheap grills. It's not impossible for a human to get that kind of consistency, but it's not expensive to let a computer do it any more.

Now, why aren't all the things PID? People regularly retrofit even digital appliances to be PID because they aren't already, how insane is that?

Comment: Re:The Final Nail (Score 1) 97 97

There's a clawing feeling that it was somehow 'My Fault'.... and it probably was. With hindsight, maybe I should've set it to run the backup while we were in the building, rather than at home over the weekend. I could've used an external drive to keep one locally too. There were probably a dozen things that I could've done that'd stop it.

Only one thing which really mattered... verifying your backups. If you don't do that, there's almost no point in making any. (It gives you something to pray for...)

Comment: Re:EVs are a PITA (Score 1) 240 240

Obviously the outcome was suspected before going, but he does claim that he did call them up and be very clear before he was going where he was going, and that the card still didn't work; a subsequent call solved the problem, but in the moment it would still be highly frustrating. But returning to the first point, if you suspect it will go this way, then yes the whole video is an attempt to sell us the idea (for whatever reason) that if you buy an i3, you'd better buy the range extender. I, of course, am using it to sell the idea that EVs need lots of range, and since there are some relatively cheap ones coming out which suit the description better than the i3, which is not quite BMW's message. With that said, I wouldn't buy a Bolt, either :)

Comment: Re:Biofuels? Hmm (Score 1) 240 240

The problem with biofuels is you need to grow them somewhere and if they're normal plants (as opposed to algae)

Well, your comment does include the solution. Algae can be grown at most latitudes and in most water. The waste from the process can be composted safely anywhere. What's not to like?

Comment: Re:EVs are a PITA (Score 1) 240 240

and yet, everybody that owns EVs (real EVs, not hybrids like the volt or the I3),

You can buy the i3 as an EV. It's got piss-poor range, though.

Why? Because they are far less hassles than ICE cars.

Look, the average age of the American fleet is currently at a record high of 11 years. That means that of the people with money for new cars, most of them have still got warranties. So what are they going to buy? They're going to buy what's familiar. If you have a warranty and a decent dealer then it's not a big deal if your ICE fails. You get a loaner and they replace your motor, or whatever. Who cares?

I have argued frequently and passionately that EVs will be superior to ICEs once they get the range up around the same place as ICEs. But you can get cars with ICEs that get over 600 miles on one fill, and it's unusual for one to get less than 300 on a tank. There's lots of reasons to love EVs, but cars are about convenience and it's not convenient to have to rent another car. I bought a car so I could go places in it, not so I could rent another car when I want to go far away.

Comment: Re:Carbon Footprint (Score 2) 240 240

I suspect that switching from my petrol-powered car to an electric vehicle would actually increase the amount of greenhouse gas emissions I generate.

you would be wrong, even if 100% of your power comes from coal you'd still reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. you do however increase your radioactive isotope emissions...

Comment: Re:The reason is more simple (Score 1) 240 240

There's a good chance the vehicle that'll need replacing will be the minivan. There are no electric minivans.

There will be, sooner or later. The crossover trend is going to double back around and become the minivan again. If I were to build one myself, though, I'd start with a Previa. The mid-engine layout ought to lend itself. Most of the existing ones are VW microbuses, but those are expensive and also instadeath in a big collision.

Comment: Re:Preening Progressive Prius Pricks (Score 3, Informative) 240 240

No law needed, once the government stop subsidizing oil diesel and gas vehicles will be as expensive to drive as they are in other countries and electric will start to look a lot more attractive.

Without government granting bullshit patents we'd have carbon-negative biofuels for our diesels by now. They'd still make acid rain, of course, but they wouldn't be contributing to carbon release. And you'd fill them up with bio-based crankcase lube, too — it's better when you run biofuels, because of the compatibility of the blow-by gases.

Comment: Re:There should be a wavier on birth (Score 1) 99 99

As to insurance companies... wrong. If that were so then car insurance and home insurance etc would be sky high expensive.

Ah yes, as you continue the argument from ignorance. Car insurance costs you vastly more than it costs to provide it, and a great deal of that is the way the insurance industry manipulates the situation. They total repairable vehicles, for example. And my landlords are paying two grand a year just for fire insurance.

why is uniquely health insurance so expensive?

It isn't.

Of all the organizations that are responsible for the high cost of medical case, health insurance companies are the least to blame.

The more health care costs, the more they can skim off. It's not rocket surgery. They also manipulate the system by preferring to pay for procedures in which they've invested.

You blame the health insurance companies for the high prices. Explain to me please how they conspire to inflate costs when somehow their profits are so low? Where is the money going if THEY are keeping it?

Into private pockets, obviously. Also not rocket surgery.

Comment: Re:Competent Authorities (Score 1) 123 123

Sure, not sharing your messianic opinion of Assange and wanting him to be judged like a normal person is capitulating...

Not even that> Assange asked for asylum (and now, like the fox with the sour grapes, suddenly he never wanted it), and France sees no reason to give him asylum. Firstly, because he is not in France. You have to be in France or in a French embassy to get asylum in France. Second, because they don't find any reason to grant him asylum. No fear for his life, no fear of an unfair court trial.

+ - How much did your biggest "tech" mistake cost?

NotQuiteReal writes: What is the most expensive piece of hardware you broke (I fried a $2500 disk drive once, back when 400MB was $2500) or what software bug did you let slip that caused damage? (No comment on the details — but about $20K cost to a client.)

Did you lose your job over it?

If you worked on the Mars probe that crashed, please try not to be the First Post, that would scare off too many people!

Comment: Re:That was the funniest part to me (Score 1) 123 123

The claim that Sweden would hand him over to the US. Were I to worry about anyone in the EU doing that, it would be the UK. [...] So they would be the one I would peg to hand him over all quiet like, if anyone.

What's hilarious is that the reason why this isn't a realistic threat is contained in the comment to which you just replied: "Under an EAW surrender, the sending state has certain rights and responsibilities - for example, if a request comes for extradition to a third party, it has to not only go through the receiving state's judiciary system, but also the sending state's judiciary system; the receiving state can't just hand off someone that they received under an EAW at will." By traveling to the UK, Assange made himself harder to touch.

The other thing I find amusing is that this same thread contains people complaining about Assange not releasing every bit of information he has wholesale, and people assuming that he doesn't know things that he's not telling everyone, and in many cases they are the same people.

If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong. -- Norm Schryer