Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:He's good. (Score 2) 139

by HiThere (#49362035) Attached to: Prison Inmate Emails His Own Release Instructions To the Prison

You can tell me that, but I have noticed that as soon as a particular good investment becomes available to those not "well connected", it stops being a decent investment. E.g., CDs and Treasury bond consistently produce less than the rate of inflation. Back when they were only available to a few they produced quite good rates of return. (And actually, for a few years after they were opened up they still beat inflation...but not for long.)

Comment: Re:Socialism (Score 1) 113

While you are correct, I defy you to come up with an example of a form of government (that has been in use) that doesn't/didn't lead to authoritarianism.

In the US it took less than 10 years (see "The Whiskey Rebellion"). The only thing that slowed down the process was the existence of an "open border" along the west. Closed borders foster authroitarianism, whatever the form of government.

Actually, I believe that there ARE forms of government that don't necessarily drift towards authoritarianism, but they would all have the characteristic that desiring power didn't increase your chance of getting it.

Comment: Parent Post Semantic Content: Null (Score 5, Insightful) 252

by FreeUser (#49354007) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

It's only those damn Russians are doing this, all other countries are saint.

Yeah, because that makes it all OK then.

Your comment is designed to distract from the issue at hand, shut down intelligent conversation on the topic, and imply the wrongdoer is just fine because, by implication, "everybody else does it, too" (no evidence to said implication provided, certainly not proven, and probably not true), all without contributing a single creative or new thought to the discussion at all.

Nice job, (Russian?) troll.

Comment: Re:A lot of it about. (Score 1) 260

by HiThere (#49350765) Attached to: RadioShack Puts Customer Data Up For Sale In Bankruptcy Auction

Unfortunately, bankruptcy law allows, and often requires, companies to break a lot of promises. I'm no lawyer, and all I know about bankruptcy law I learned from GrokLaw, but it has all kinds of wierd little "kludges" designed to allow the maximum amount of money to be pulled out of a corpse...usually for the benefit of the lawyers, as they get paid even before the creditors.

Comment: Re: Linux? OS X? Chrome OS? Nope. OpenBSD! (Score 1) 167

by FreeUser (#49349361) Attached to: NJ School District Hit With Ransomware-For-Bitcoins Scheme

Until systemd is removed from a major Linux distro, I would consider that distro to be less secure than even a Windows system.

Some Poettering apologist will probably mark you as a troll, but for completeness there are a number of distros that default to non-systemd init architectures, including but not limited to

Calculate, Gentoo, Funtoo, Source Mage, Dyson, indeed all kinds of distros either default or support running a systemd-free system.

Comment: Re:A lot of it about. (Score 4, Insightful) 260

by HiThere (#49339087) Attached to: RadioShack Puts Customer Data Up For Sale In Bankruptcy Auction

IIUC, bankruptcy laws require them to sell anything they can make money on unless it's illegal. And the people managing the bankruptcy aren't the people who were running the company before. (Usually, maybe they are in this case.)

Keep this in mind whenever a business asks you for information.

Comment: Re:Heisenberg compensator ... (Score 1) 83

Warning: I'm a prrogrammer, not a physicist.

IIUC, one interpretation is that "yes, it's a particle, but it only has a probable location/velocity/momentum/etc.". So it is simultaneously both a particle (as an object) and a distribution of probabilities as characteristics of the particle. It's the probabilities that move as a wave, but it's only the particle that we can detect.

N.B.: I studied this quite a long time ago, so not only are things a bit fuzzy, the "best" way of looking at them may have changed.

Also: Please note that this is just an interpretation of the data. The data appear to be such that multiple (wierd) interprations are possible, and no-"non-wierd" interpretation is possible. My favored interpretation is a variation of the Multi-World (EGW) interpretation modified to include multiple pasts as well a multiple futures so the the universe becomes a directed graph with a (possibly unique) origin and a (unknown) limit. But most state transitions though probabilistic don't make the universe larger because the multiple pasts of each instant-instance merge an (essentially) equally large number of world-lines to the divergence towards the future. So the number of world lines stays approximately constant. Think of it as a really huge state transition table with probabilistic transitions being processed on a system with a truly huge number of independent threads. And all exits from each state are taken with a weight equal to the probability. This is already pretty messy, but then you need to start worrying about the light cones, and the fact that information transmitted via light only experiences time when and absorbtion/re-emission even occurs. (I haven't yet figured out how to handle light slowing down when not traversing a vacuum but also not being absorbed. Does it start experiencing time?)

Comment: Re:SolarCity Are a bunch of hucksters (Score 1) 184

OK. Possibly I misunderstood what was required to allow a push connection to the electrical grid. OTOH, it was a couple of decades ago that we put in solar panels (with a grid connection, and, obviously, not Solar City), so also perhaps the rules have changed.

The bank would also want security for the loan, perhaps you could get better terms from them. If the Solar City salesman you contacted said they don't do "off the grid" installations...that doesn't seem to be what the company currently says. Maybe they didn't, maybe it's flim-flam, maybe your salesman didn't want to do it. From your description he was clearly lousy at his job.

OTOH, this might be related to your experience. However this seems to bolster your point. But this disagrees with that. These were all published at different points in time, so quite possibly the position is in flux. Their site doesn't seem to address the question directly for residential customers.

So I think you are basically correct, if you want an "off the grid" solar installation you should go with someone else until they are ready to make a clear statement. But for the larger installations that they are talking about in this Press Release, attaching to the grid appears to be an afterthought. (It couldn't really be an afterthought, but it seems designed for locations where good grid connections cannot be assumed.)

Comment: Re:SolarCity Are a bunch of hucksters (Score 1) 184

Thinking of them as a utility company is actually more accurate than thinking of them as an installer. But they aren't regulated the way most utility companies are (which has both good and bad points). They are a utility company because they own the generation plant that they install on your property. You are just the only customer of that plant. I'm sorry the salesman you dealt with was unpleasant, but that's not a basis for deciding that the *company* is a bunch of hucksters. (I'm not saying they aren't, they could be. I'm saying that isn't a valid basis for deciding.)

As for your "Any electrician..." comment, yes. But most electricians don't have agreements with the power company to allow them to connect their devices to feed power into the lines. Most solar companies do. Now if you want total grid independence that shouldn't matter to you. So in that case what matters is that Solar City supplies long term financing that most electricians won't give you. If you don't want it, fine. Some people do.

Comment: Re:Screw SolarCity, king of ecoscam (Score 1) 184

Your result clearly depends on local electric costs from the grid. For others it may well not make sense. And perhaps they have more than one package to choose from...with different contracts. (Also, perhaps they offer different such packages in different areas.)

I'm glad you've been having a good experience. I hope you continue to. But realistically you're dealing with a large corporation in a monopoly situation (i.e., you're locked into that contract for a long time). So be sure you understand what the contract says, and what your remedies are if they start defaulting on their obligations.

Comment: Re:Stop using lithium! (Score 1) 184

Perhaps not, but how long will the salt stay molten without additional energy input?

(OTOH, for a city sized plant that might well be a reasonable choice. Small packages have a higher surface/volume ratio. OTTH, last time I posted this someone told me that insulation was now good enough that this wasn't a major problem. Perhaps he's right.)

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them. -- Isaac Asimov