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Comment: Efficiency = bad (Score 1) 209

by John Zero (#36883964) Attached to: Microsoft Suggests Heating Homes With "Data Furnaces"

When heating with an air-conditioner, the efficiency is not too good, but not too bad. 1 kWh electric energy = 5-6 kWh heating energy (equivalent). So there is a ratio of 1:5 to 1:6.

When heating with just electricity, the ratio is 1:1 (1 kWh electic energy = 1 kWh heat equivalent).

In the end: nice joke from Microsoft.

Comment: What IS BitCoin (Score 2) 490

by John Zero (#36175906) Attached to: Mint It Yourself With a Browser-Based Bitcoin Miner

It took me some time to understand what BitCoin actually is.

Basically, BitCoin network is a big transaction database.
One transaction is: "transfer X amount of BitCoins from account Y to account Z." This 'database', or transaction log is replicated and stored on all participating users' computers.
You can be sure a (your) transaction has been recorded, because you can check with many other peers who will verify that it is.

Of course, the inner parts are more complex, and there's a way to generate new BitCoins (but over time you can generate less and less, so it's a finite amount in total).

(I forgot to login before my comment, so i'm posting it again.)


+ - Massachusetts adopts Open XML->

Submitted by
willdavid writes "By John Fontana, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has added Open XML to its list of approved open documents formats. Critics of Open XML adoption, such as Andy Updegrove, a lawyer, Linux Foundation board member and Massachusetts resident, said Microsoft should not be "rewarded for launching a competing, self-serving standard as a next-best defense against erosion of its dominant position." Massachusetts officials acknowledged the criticism, but said the importance of open formats could not be denied. chusetts-open-xml.html?page=1"
Link to Original Source
XBox (Games)

Fallout From the November Console Wars 182

Posted by Zonk
from the whew-i-can-finally-take-off-this-helmet dept.
All three 'next generation' consoles are out, and we can finally stop using that term. The NPD numbers for last month have been released, and there's plenty of information there to discuss. Analysts have already made some observations, with brandintel specifically pointing out the Xbox 360's 'surprising' role in last month's fight. For some more well-reasoned thought, Dean Takahashi's take is the place to turn: "At this rate, Microsoft isn't going to hit its goal of 10 million units by year end ... Sony's number is consistent with its warnings, but 197,000 is worse than what many expected ... the fair fight is really going to be what happens in the year 2007, when all three console makers should be able to ship as many consoles as consumers want. To me, this looks like consumers are hit with a case of sticker shock. The mass market is paying for cheap PS2s, DS Lites, and GBAs." Despite the Wii's success last month, it should be noted that Nintendo is no longer bragging of 1 Million units in the U.S. by the end of the year. So, essentially, it looks like all three companies will fail to hit their console goals for the year.

+ - Patent dispute turns deadly

Submitted by
Mr. Slippery
Mr. Slippery writes "Think disputes about software patents have gotten ugly? You ain't seen nothing yet; it turns out that the gunman who killed three people in a Chicago law firm's office felt cheated over the patent of a toilet he had invented for use in trucks. How long until some poor coder who accidently steps on a software patent, decides to follow his example?"

Did you know that for the price of a 280-Z you can buy two Z-80's? -- P.J. Plauger