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Comment: Re:math err? Re:Beyond what humans can do (Score 1) 522

by FireFury03 (#47770049) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

Oh yeah, I'll also point out that the original poster's numbers stuck out like a sore thumb before I even looked up the figures: Petrol is lighter than water, so its immediately obvious that 4.75 tons is going to be over 4750 litres (at current forecourt prices, about £6000) and I know I don't buy anywhere close to that amount of petrol each year. Doncha just love the metric system for making such things so obvious. :)

Comment: Re:math err? Re:Beyond what humans can do (Score 1) 522

by FireFury03 (#47769999) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

The numerator above seems off: what is 6445 ?

4.75 tons of petrol is 6445 litres. Since petrol is 85% carbon, we can divide the 6445 litres by 0.85 and we get 7582 litres of petrol containing 4.75 tons of carbon.

For the weight of a big tub of petroleum containing 4.75t carbon, I think you'd have:
4.75 tons of carbon / .85 = 5.938 tons of petroleum.

Your answer is wrong: 4750 Kg of carbon / 0.85 = 5588 Kg of petrol. It looks like you divided by 0.80 instead of 0.85?

5588 Kg of petrol / 0.737 = 7582 litres of petrol.

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 1) 334

by FireFury03 (#47766611) Attached to: Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

Secondly why would anybody pay for broadband internet, and only use it like ISDN or DSL?

Ok, I have a home connection that does 40Mbps down and 20Mbps up. It is capped to 100GB/month during the day (no cap at night, and this is when I run off-site backups and such). I never come close to exceeding that cap - the speed is useful for downloading the odd film, watching streaming HDTV, uploading photos, etc. for short periods. If I need to download a new Linux distro or something, I can do it in 10 minutes - doing this stuff over ISDN would be either very painful (requiring planning a download a long time in advance of actually needing it) or just plain impossible impossible. ADSL, again, would be rather a pain for the occasional large download.

On the other hand, if I were running bittorrent 24/7 I would be able to blow through 15TB of bandwidth in a month, were it not for the cap. But I'm not interested in doing this, so I don't understand why those people who are interested in shifting 2-3 orders of magnitude more data than me should expect me to pay more in order to subsidise the build-out cost of the ISP upgrading their network to support them.

The bittorrent crowd would characterise my 100GB monthly cap as terrible because, at full speed, I could blow through it in 5 hours. The thing that they completely fail to understand is that I never have any interest in blowing through it - I like a fast connection because it lets me do things quickly, not because I can download lots.

Comment: Re:Beyond what humans can do (Score 4, Insightful) 522

by FireFury03 (#47765689) Attached to: Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

single average-sized car puts out 4.75 metric TONS of carbon every year

That sounds an unreasonably high figure.

Petrol weighs about 737g / l, so 4750Kg of petrol is 6445 litres.
Wikipedia says the carbon content of petrol is up to about 85%: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...
So 6445/0.85 = 7582 litres of petrol contain 4.75t of carbon.
Wikipedia suggests average fuel economy is somewhere around 5l / 100Km: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F...
7582*100/5 = 151640Km - I'm pretty sure that the average car doesn't travel 152Mm/year!

Lets assume you're talking about tons of CO2 rather than tons of carbon.
Apparently we multiply litres of petrol by 2.331 to get Kg of CO2 emitted: http://www.carbontrust.com/res...
So 4750/2.331 = 2038 litres. At 5l / 100Km, this gives us 2038*100/5 = 40760Km - ok, a vaguely more reasonable figure.

Apparently the average company car does around 30,000Km/year and the average private car does about 12,000Km: http://www.racfoundation.org/m...

So the average is going to be well under 41Mm and around an order of magnitude less than the 152Mm you claimed!

I'm certainly not saying that climate change is nothing to worry about - I think it's a big problem and whether or not you think it's man made, dumping vast amounts of crap into the atmosphere can't possibly be a bright idea. But I really wish people wouldn't just invent bogus "facts" to back up their arguments - the arguments should stand up for themselves, if you need bogus data to prop them up then you've got something really badly wrong somewhere.

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 1) 334

by FireFury03 (#47764379) Attached to: Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

They do seem to be rather twisting words to appear not to be imposing limits.

However, my question is: why are data caps such a bad thing? Most slashdotters seem to think that ISPs can provide truly unlimited bandwidth for zero cost, and given that most slashdotters are pretty technical I don't see how they can consider this to be a rational view. If large numbers of customers try to use large amounts of bandwidth at the same time, the only way an ISP can maintain a reasonable service is by upgrading their infrastructure. Sure, there's a lot of dark fibre already laid, but the hardware to put it into use is not free, nor is the engineer time required to install and maintain that hardware, nor is the power that the hardware draws.

So, whilst I acknowledge that a lot of slashdotters seem to think it is their god given right to max out their internet connection torrenting "moviez" 24/7, I have to question why the majority of internet users (who don't do this) should be expected to subsidise the minority who do? Why is it not better, for everyone except that minority, to cap connections somewhere above what the majority of people use, and then charge people extra if they want to download a disproportionately larger amount?

FWIW, here in the UK most of the ISPs provide a wide selection of packages with different (well publicised) caps and associated prices - those people who don't use their internet connection much get a cheap package, those who have a mid-range requirement get a mid-range package, and those who want to max out their connection the whole time either pay for an expensive package or go to one of the ISPs that offer "unlimited" connections (with the expected dire performance you'd expect from an ISP who is exclusively attracting the high bandwidth users). I really don't understand the American attitude, which on one hand is "I don't want to subsidise anyone else" (for healthcare, etc.) but at the same time "I expect to be subsidised by everyone else" (for high bandwidth internet use).

What I do object to, is ISPs using the term "unlimited" to describe packages which are clearly limited. And the terrible thing is that the regulator here has said that this practice is ok. Luckily only the crap, large ISPs seem to participate in that kind of misleading marketing, with the smaller, better performing ISPs preferring to clearly label what you're getting for your money.

Comment: Re:What's up with HP URLs? (Score 1) 135

by FireFury03 (#47764259) Attached to: HP Recalls 6 Million Power Cables Over Fire Hazard

I've been noticing this for several years now ... what the hell is up with URLs at HP?

It's like they've designed their website so nobody could ever actually find anything.

I mean "http://h30434.www3.hp.com/" is one of the most strangely formed URLs I've seen, what is it, the virtual host or something?

I was under the impression that most commercial websites were intentionally designed so no one could actually find anything... At least, that's the only explanation I can find...

Comment: Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (Score 1) 135

by FireFury03 (#47764177) Attached to: HP Recalls 6 Million Power Cables Over Fire Hazard

No surprise there, Apple had a recall because the strain relief on the first generation magsafe plugs was insufficient.

Oddly, the first generation magsafe plug on my wife's old Macbook (which I've now inherited) is fine after around 4-5 years of use. Conversely the new style one (~2 years old) has already broken due to insufficient strain relief on the computer-end (I chopped open the cable, resoldered it and wrapped the whole thing in amaglam tape... no telling how long it'll last though).

Comment: Re:In other news... (Score 1) 216

It may surprise you, but some people buy homes to live in them. Not to flip in 3 years for a profit.

Yep, so do I. I've been in my current home for 6 years. I was in my previous home for 7 years (then I relocated by a few hundred miles). A quick Google shows solar power companies around here quoting break even points of 8-12 years (and its only that low because of the artificially high feed in tariff, which has a very questionable future). So whilst I don't "flip in 3 years for a profit", I have never actually reached the break-even point in either my current home or my previous one. I don't know what I'll be doing in 6 years - I may still be here, or I may have decided that my family needs a bigger house and moved, and 6 years ago I certainly couldn't have predicted how my life currently is.

And I don't believe there's enough data in various markets to know whether or not solar panels would increase the value of a house more than their installation price (which is coming down, by the way).

Ok, I've not done any research into this, but IMHO around here house prices are so high that people are already really stretching their budget to buy a house. If they see two identical houses, one with freshly installed PV cells and the other without, I really can't see them laying down anywhere close to the installation cost of those panels extra to get that house. Yes it might save on the energy bills, but most of those savings are going to be used up paying off the extra large mortgage. Remember, that "8-12 year" ROI doesn't take into account the interest you're going to be charged on any loan you got to cover the cost.

Comment: Re:In other news... (Score 1) 216

Once they're installed, solar panels don't send you a bill every month.

The problem with solar is that it requires an upfront investment that pays back over a long term but does not significantly increase the value of your home. This means its only worth installing the panels if you can guarantee staying in your current property for a considerable length of time. Sure, some people can make that commitment (notably the older generation) but a lot of people can't.

i.e. if I spend £20K on PV panels and then sell the house, no one is going to pay £20K more for it just because it has PV panels on the roof.

Comment: Re:In The States (Score 1) 51

by FireFury03 (#47746317) Attached to: Aussie Airlines To Allow Uninterrupted Mobile Use During Flights

Alaska Airlines (and possibly others) now have USB and 110v outlets on the back of the seat in front of you. No more needing to rush to find outlets in layover airports!

A KLM flight I took from Schipol to Calgary earlier in the year had USB ports on all the seat-backs.

Just a shame the in-flight entertainment system was so damned unreliable - both the flight there and the return saw my screen crash, and the air crew said they couldn't do anything about it without resetting all the screens on the plane.

Comment: Re:$230 (Score 1) 610

by FireFury03 (#47727229) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

so the channels have to choose between "annoying" and "none".

Thats not correct. They can choose between interstitial ads (in the middle of the stream), which Trump does for instance, non-skippable ads, banner ads which can be closed, and ads at the start of random videos.

Each channel has different settings on these.

Yep, and all of those are *right in the video* which makes them annoying. Stick them outside of the content, like traditional Google text ads usually are and that would qualify as "not annoying".

Comment: Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 117

by FireFury03 (#47727217) Attached to: Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3

Personally, if I'm working on my own time on open source then I don't care if someone does not give back or not. It is not my role to enforce altruism or a sense of community. I'm just going to share the code.

And as the copyright holder, thats your right, just as its the copyright holder's right to impose pretty much any licence they choose on their code.

For small projects I'd do the same too, but for big projects (where there is a whole community using them), it seems fair for people who are profitting from them to give back to the community. I'm not demanding that they spend countless development hours improving software purely for the community, but I do think that if they are making those improvements *anyway* then the community should get to benefit.

What I don't get is the (quite common) perception that GPLed code is somehow worse than commercially licenced code - in both cases you have to adhere to the licence conditions and if you don't you get sued. Sure, people "accidentally" include random code they found on the web in commercial projects without bothering to check the licence, and when they are discovered they might have to pay damages and they certainly have to either stop using that code or start complying with the licence - they would have similar problems whether they ripped off GPLed code, or some proprietary stuff from Microsoft (for example). In fact, they're probably better off with GPLed code because at least they then get a "release all the source and you can carry on" option, which the likes of MS wouldn't give them.

Comment: Re:$230 (Score 2) 610

by FireFury03 (#47721747) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

Its not the big bad ISPs who generally do the ads (though they do sometimes participate on the side with DNS shenanigans). Its the people making the content you like.

Got a youtube channel you like with annoying ads? Dont blame the nasty corporations, blame the channel operator who chose what types of ads you received.

From what I can tell, youtube doesn't seem to do non-annoying ads, so the channels have to choose between "annoying" and "none".

TBH I find the youtube ads so intrusive that I do block them. I don't feel particularly bad about this because I figure that if the channels are particularly hurting from the blockers they can go shift their channel to another website that has more sensible advertising policies.

(Really - I wouldn't mind seeing the youtube preroll ads if I was watching an hour video, but when I'm watching 20 separate 3 minute videos, seeing *the same* 30 second preroll ad every 3 minutes starts to grate a bit)

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