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Comment: Re:First RadioShack, now Future Shop!? (Score 1) 197

by Guspaz (#49362535) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

What was once Radio Shack in Canada is still operating today. They're called "The Source" today, and they're just as bad as Radio Shack ever was, with terrible selection and insane prices. I never see anybody in the stores, so I don't really understand how they're still operating. I'd say they were a mob front (my normal explanation when a store or restaurant stays open despite having no customers) except they're owned by Bell Canada these days.

Comment: Re:A long time coming for some stores (Score 1) 197

by Guspaz (#49362531) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

This was also true where I grew up. They opened a Best Buy there more than a decade ago, right across the street from a Future Shop. They've been operating like that ever since. I can imagine it's one of the places that they're going to close the future shop, even though it's a better location (smaller mall, easier access, bigger store) than the Best Buy.

Comment: Re:in further news show tanks (Score 2, Insightful) 660

by Guspaz (#49345763) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

The only other form it has existed in was cancelled, and the only reason the franchise survived was because they relaunched it with Clarkson. It has yet to be proven that any other form of the show could succeed in the UK without him... particularly if the three hosts end up going elsewhere to host a similar show. Many viewers could consider such a successor show to be "the real Top Gear" even if it had a different name on a different network.

Comment: Re:Wouldnt NiFe be a better battery chemistry here (Score 1) 185

Cost is one reason, although NiFe is already more expensive than Li-Ion, and rapidly becoming more and more so. Particularly when EV batteries are available so cheap. They also ought to last more than a year or three. NiFe's cost also needs to take into account the fact that they require a massive increase in infrastructure compared to lithium ion. What you can do with a single building worth of lithium ion batteries would require twenty buildings of NiFe batteries. That's not an insubstantial difference!

It's also worth noting that nobody uses NiFe batteries for backups either: they use lead acid. That's not a coincidence. Lead acid is still at the point where the lower costs negate the lower efficiency, although that may eventually change.

Comment: Re:Wouldnt NiFe be a better battery chemistry here (Score 1) 185

NiFe batteries have great longevity, but very poor performance compared to Li-ion. Lithium Ion batteries can store ten times as many watt hours per kilogram, and twenty times as many watt hours per litre. NiFe is also not any cheaper than lithium ion, and when you consider that Tesla is going to be producing a large number of "worn out" battery packs that are still perfectly usable for grid applications, NiFe will end up a bunch more expensive too.

Also, weight and size definitely do matter. Shipping stuff around isn't free, buildings have load limits, and real estate isn't cheap.

Comment: Re:This is why NASA needs to privatize (Score 4, Insightful) 59

by Guspaz (#49305639) Attached to: Report: NASA May Miss SLS Launch Deadline

Boeing is doing SLS on a cost-plus contract. SpaceX' work for NASA is a fixed-price contract.

What that means is that, with a cost-plus, if a contractor goes over budget, then NASA will pay for the overage, no matter how much it is. With a fixed-price contract, NASA pays a fixed amount, and any overages are up to the contractor to absorb.

There are certain justifications for cost-plus, for example a small company where a fixed-price contract could bankrupt the company if something goes wrong. In that case, NASA gets nothing, because there is no opportunity to fund the overage. But with a cost-plus, the safety net is there, where NASA would have the choice to either terminate the contract, or pay the overage.

The problem comes when you have big companies like Boeing doing cost-plus contracts, who are perfectly capable of absorbing cost overruns without going bankrupt. They have no incentive to stick to any sort of budget or schedule.

Comment: Re:Getting sued costs money (Score 4, Informative) 52

TekSavvy didn't get sued. They made the mistake of trying to protect their customers' privacy, and the court decided that they should not be compensated for the costs of doing that. They never actually objected to the subpoena for customer information, they just insisted on privacy safeguards and advanced notification of customers and ensuring accuracy of the list of people they would be forced to reveal the information of and such things.

Turns out that doing the right thing doesn't pay.

Comment: Re:I don't buy it. (Score 4, Informative) 166

by Guspaz (#49303693) Attached to: Internet of Things Endangered By Inaccurate Network Time, Says NIST

Exactly. The vast majority of Internet-of-Things devices can solve the problem by just installing ntpd and being done with it. My refrigerator or coffee maker or dehumidifier don't need hyper-accurate timing, and in the past year my devices running ntpd have never been more than around a tenth of a second off, which is still more accurate than anything that I actually need.

I get that you may need hyper-accurate timing for some things, but if something is so critical that a few milliseconds of clock skew can kill people, it shouldn't be connected to the Internet anyhow!

Comment: Pocket change (Score 4, Insightful) 54

by Guspaz (#49299031) Attached to: Target To Pay $10 Million In Proposed Settlement For 2013 Data Breach

They're simultaneously trying to scam Canadian suppliers out of $1.5 billion in unpaid bills. They declared bankruptcy, and now they're trying to claim that they are their own biggest creditor, so all the money from their liquidation should basically go to themselves. All the while, the parent company is making billions in profit.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"