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Comment: Re:Do the math (Score 1) 235

by Grishnakh (#47737999) Attached to: New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

Wow, that's a lot. I wonder why they allow so much power per outlet?

Here in the US, the main outlets are only 1.8kW (per circuit), but for high-power circuits, like a water heater, stove, HVAC, etc., they get their own special 240V circuits (current depends on the circuit, usually 30A I think, though HVAC is hard-wired and probably gets 50A or 100A depending on the house). Also, the refrigerator and washing machine usually get their own separate circuits which are 120V/20A each. So the regular wall outlets that normal people plug stuff into on a regular basis are lower voltage and current, but for the devices that need more, they have their own special circuits with higher current and/or voltage.

Comment: Re:Free market (Score 1) 231

by Grishnakh (#47737067) Attached to: When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

Free markets do work well, when such a thing (or something close to it) exists. The problem with the companies in the article is that there's no free market there, these are monopolies or oligopolies.

Comcast: monopoly or oligopoly. In many places, Comcast is the only ISP and/or cableco in town. In others, there's precisely one competitor (usually Verizon). A duopoly is not a free market.

Facebook: monopoly. You can't get an account on some other side and interoperate with Facebook and see your friend's FB posts, because FB is a close, centralized, proprietary platform.

Twitter: monopoly, just like Facebook.

Korean telecoms: I don't know exactly, but if they're telecoms, they're likely oligopolies or monopolies just like the telecoms here in the US.

This is a perfect illustration of why monopolies and oligopolies are a very bad thing, and should be heavily regulated by the government (or broken up if possible). Unfortunately, utilities naturally lend themselves to being monopolies, and having regional monopolies isn't really any better than having a nationwide monopoly since any given consumer still only has one choice, so breaking up such companies usually isn't helpful. So again, what's needed here is a heavy dose of regulation, or maybe even nationalization or competition in the form of municipal (local government-provided) services, such as the municipal ISP in Chattanooga.

Comment: Re:Do the math (Score 1) 235

by Grishnakh (#47737035) Attached to: New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

>As for loud, around here many people insist on keeping their lawns and gardens free of leaves by using noisy and endlessly droning blowers. How about doing something about that noise?

You don't say, but your writing sounds like you're in the UK. Is that true?

If so, I'm aghast that you have this same problem with fucking leaf blowers. I absolutely hate those things. They're all the rage over here in the US too among idiotic "landscapers" (apparently, gardening is passe these days) who just love to spend hours and hours walking around with those damn things strapped to their backs, blowing dust around, making a ridiculous amount of noise, and getting nothing done. Worse, they spew noxious fumes out.

I would have thought the EU would have done something about these, if for no other reason than the fumes. It's not like you have to ban all blowers either; I have a nice, electric-powered (110V at that) leaf blower that's pretty quiet and works just fine which I occasionally use; it's only the big gas-powered ones which are obnoxiously loud, but the landscapers like it that way because it makes them feel powerful, just like driving around in giant pickup trucks.

Comment: Re:Do the math (Score 1) 235

by Grishnakh (#47737009) Attached to: New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

> I attest that the end result is that washing machines with internal heaters are by far more effective in removing stains, but the trade-off is that they require much more energy and time to complete a wash.

No they don't. The amount of energy needed to heat water is basically constant; it doesn't really matter if it's happening in your machine, or your hot water heater. In fact, by heating it in the machine, you're saving a little energy because you're not heating up a whole tank, then wasting heat which escapes out the tank walls while it waits to be used, and then wasting even more heat in your piping as it travels to the point of use.

Also, it shouldn't take any extra time to heat water at the point-of-use, IF you have a sufficiently powerful heating element. From what I've read, point-of-use water heaters ("flash heaters") are popular and commonplace in Europe; these are small boxes mounted in the bathroom near the shower and sink, and heat the water (with electricity) as it passes through. Obviously, this needs a higher-power electric source than your typical US 120V/15A wall outlet, but in Europe with 240V, that's probably not such a problem. I don't know about EU washing machines, but if they incorporate a heater like this, then heating time should not be a problem.

Comment: Re:Coin laundry (Score 1) 235

by Grishnakh (#47736983) Attached to: New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

There's some problems with that idea: if you don't have a laundromat very close by, then you're looking at extra time to drive there. In addition, now you have to sit there that whole time so you can transfer the wet clothes to the dryers. Also, if you walk away from the laundromat during the cycles, you have to worry about people stealing your clothes, or taking them out of the machine mid-cycle so they can use the machine instead (when it's too busy).

Laundromats are horrible for these reasons; I know, I dealt with those problems in college. Having your own machines is much, much, much easier. You just have to have enough discipline to pick a good time to do laundry (like a weekend day when you're home all day, or in the evening), and have enough clothes so you're not desperate that any particular item needs to be cleaned right away and you can afford to let it pile up some.

Comment: Re:Do the math (Score 1) 235

by Grishnakh (#47736927) Attached to: New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

My Maytag horizontal-axis washing machine (this is the US) isn't very speedy either, but it's very water-efficient. More-modern horizontal-axis machines are probably at least as good. Do I care that it takes longer than the shitty old vertical-axis machines? No. Why would I? It's not like I'm going to stand over the thing and watch it run. I put the clothes and detergent in, hit "go", and walk away. A few hours later (or maybe sooner if I happen to hear the buzzer, as it's down in the basement) I'll go back and move the clothes to the dryer. I don't know about you, but I have enough clothes so that I'm not too worried about having any particular piece of clothing cleaned *right now*. I do laundry when it piles up enough, and there's more than enough time to do it since I'm doing other stuff at home while this goes on. I only wish there were some kind of automatic combined washer/dryer machine so that the washer would automatically dump the clothes into the dryer and start it up when the washing is done, so I don't have to waste time manually going down there and moving the clothes myself.

This is completely unrelated to vacuum cleaners. Unless you're talking about some kind of mega-powered Roomba, vacuum cleaners are manually operated, so a more powerful vacuum does indeed result in less of your personal time being consumed.

Comment: Re:Do the math (Score 1) 235

by Grishnakh (#47736903) Attached to: New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

This really isn't helpful information, because it only tells half the story. How much current is allowed per circuit? 230/240V isn't very much power if it's limited to 1 milliamp. US outlets are 120V and 15A (there are special 20A circuits, but that's usually just for washing machines, not your typical room outlet), which equates to 1800W of power.

"240V" doesn't tell me anything, because without a current rating, there's no way to know how much power that is.

Comment: Re:Or you could blame Chile's MPs (Score 1) 148

by Grishnakh (#47728901) Attached to: Microsoft Lobby Denies the State of Chile Access To Free Software

It's not just software that can be deducted, it's anything at all that costs money which your business purchases. If your business purchases a coffee machine for employees to use, it can deduct that. It has nothing to do with software, it has to do with business expenses.

Proprietary software costs money, so of course it can be deducted. However, deductions aren't a good thing; they only reduce your tax liability. You come out ahead by simply not spending the money at all, and paying the tax on it. So if option A is something that costs nothing, and option B costs money, and both are equally good, then option A is better from an economic standpoint.

Comment: Re:Nobody else seems to want it (Score 1) 690

by Grishnakh (#47721711) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

How much device driver programming have you done? It doesn't sound like you've done any, or know what you're talking about.

>Its true that the kernel maintainers (Torvalds & gang) maintain some drivers with the kernel, but not all.

Most drivers are part of the kernel. Any that aren't are "out-of-tree", and are either in the process of being put in the tree (most of these are in the "staging" area), or are not for some dumb reason and their maintainers have to waste time maintaining them separately. In practice, in a normal Linux distro, ALL drivers which a normal user uses for his normal desktop/laptop hardware are part of the kernel, except the Nvidia and ATI proprietary ones (IF the user chooses to use those).

>And what do you mean "tightly tied to the kernel"?

Device drivers call exported functions that are part of the kernel. Those functions have particular arguments. If the interface changes in the kernel, then any drivers which make use of those interfaces must also change. In a fixed API which some detractors call for, these interfaces are fixed and never change. In Linux, the maintainers don't believe in this because it limits flexibility and makes improvements later much harder (you end up creating new interfaces, but also keeping around the old ones for backwards compatibility, leading to code bloat). The way it is now, if they decide they want to add an additional function argument for some piece of hardware, it's no big deal, they just add it in, then modify all the drivers which call that function to add that argument. You can't do that with a fixed API, you have to create a whole new API (e.g., "function_call_V2(a, b, c, ...)").

>Oh, and don't get me started on GNU Hurd...

HURD is a microkernel, which is an entirely different architecture than Linux which is a monolithic kernel.

Comment: Re:I'd love to be in his class (Score 1) 178

by Grishnakh (#47721157) Attached to: Professor Steve Ballmer Will Teach At Two Universities This Year

>Then please, do name one. Please don't say "it's easy to do". If it's that easy, feel free.

I don't have to, just go read through the comments. You'll find a MS-lover sooner or later. No, they aren't nearly as numerous or loud as Apple lovers, but they are out there. If you think there isn't a single MS fan out there in the world somewhere, you're seriously delusional.

Comment: Re:Nobody else seems to want it (Score 1) 690

by Grishnakh (#47720627) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

No, it doesn't. Yes, it does use the Linux kernel, however many drivers in Android are closed-source. It's a real problem for community versions of Android like CyanogenMod, because this means you can only run some hardware on a certain kernel version, because you only have access to a closed-source binary driver. It's been a problem with a lot of other embedded ARM hardware too.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis

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