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Comment: Re:Anybody know? (Score 4, Interesting) 222

by LoRdTAW (#47556207) Attached to: Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

I remember when Crysis came out it was secured with SuckROM. The idea was you inserted the DVD and SuckROM would verify the DVD was in the drive and the game would start, most of the time.

During the process of running crysis.exe securom would start and your mouse cursor would have this colorful CD icon attached to it. If securom failed to work properly (crash) which was every 1 in 3 or 4 times, the mouse cursor would stay a disco ball looking CD and your CD/DVD drive was rendered inoperable. A reboot was the only solution to solving it.

After a week of that I downloaded a cracked exe for a game I legally bought with my hard earned cash. And you wonder why the consumer hates DRM. That is part of the reason intrusive, rootkit like DRM needs to die in a fire.

Comment: Re:Even my DVDs are streamed (Score 1) 146

by LoRdTAW (#47551985) Attached to: What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?

I think the GP was saying that instead of ripping the DVD themselves, they save time and download a ripped copy. So they have a license for the media in the form of the purchased DVD. They just let someone else do the work for them. That should constitute fair use of the media.

From your post it appears that the ripped copy is considered a reproduction and needs a new license. Or am I confused?

Comment: Re:Hipsterism at its finest (worst?) (Score 1) 286

by LoRdTAW (#47539111) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

I too thought Apple was "buying" clean energy. But it turns out they have actually built a solar plant at their datacenter along with fuel cell backups.

This article peaked my interest though:

How exactly do they measure energy consumption from a particular power source? If the data center is grid connected the current will flow based on path of least resistance, loads and other factors. How can they be sure a load used 20% coal 30% nuclear and 50% natural gas? Did this information come from the power companies who can estimate the demands and current flows based on grid load? I read the linked Greenpeace report and nothing was made clear about how this was done.

Comment: Re:Hipsterism at its finest (worst?) (Score 0, Troll) 286

by LoRdTAW (#47538961) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

2. Obviously you "know nothing, John Snow...." I've never had a SD card break, let alone stop working. My biggest fear with the MicroSD cards is that I will lose them, they are so tiny... So far so good...

Oh thank god. All this time I was thinking that no storage device is 100% reliable and here you come along and shatter that view. Thank you David_Hart for assuring me that SD cards are 100% reliable and never experience data loss. I am switching to SD cards for all of my backups from now on; both at home and at work! I am sure my boss will love how much money I saved him by switching from costly tape and off site providers to simple SD cards. THANK YOU!

Comment: Re:Why I'm on a well in a sustainable aquifer. (Score 1) 373

by LoRdTAW (#47531551) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

Also forgot to add that some aquifers consist of caverns that were formed from acidic water slowly eating away at the rock. These are stable until they are depleted which allows more water to migrate into them enlarging the cavity until it collapses. So not so much tunnels but natural caverns.

Comment: Re:Why I'm on a well in a sustainable aquifer. (Score 1) 373

by LoRdTAW (#47531467) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

When the underground maze of tunnels is filled with water the land above is stable.

There aren't any caverns or tunnels full of water. Aquifers are composed of sand gravel and other particles mixed with water. When that water is removed, a void begins to form as the space the water once occupied is now empty. The void can grow to an open cavern with no roof support as it is all sand and gravel. Once the roof collapses, the effect cascades until it reaches the surface which might be a hundred meters or more. That is how a sinkhole forms.

Ah, the special tang of a fermented corpse in the water fountain makes a trip to Orlando so interesting and it hasn't harmed Mickey Mouse one bit.

I've drank the water in Orlando and believe me, the flavor and odor the corpse would impart would be an improvement.

Comment: Re:110 or 240v (Score 1) 260

by LoRdTAW (#47514749) Attached to: Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

"And unless you really need 3-phase, split phase is easier to deal with - with 3-phase you need to monitor all three phases to ensure they are working (failure of one phase is a common failure mode that requires immediate shutdown of the other two phases lest any dangerous currents develop)."

Losing a phase will not result in dangerous currents in the supply system. The most common three phase load is a motor. If you start a three phase motor and remove one of the phases the motor will continue to run on a single phase BUT it will try to draw more current to compensate for the loss of the phase. You now have overloaded windings and the motor will quickly burn itself out. You use phase protection relays on your motors to open the contactor when a phase loss is detected. So you only need to protect your motors.

A DC power supply that runs on three phase won't be affected much but the bridge rectifier can be overloaded and output ripple will increase. It will also attempt to pull more current through the remaining phase and blow a fuse or breaker. So again, its only dangerous to the load. If a 3 phase heater loses a phase, then guess what? You get less heat. That's it. Resistive heater loads can tolerate a phase loss with zero electrical problems. Your process will be affected but thats about it.

A three phase alternator does not care what the load balance on any of its phases is as long as they aren't overloaded. Same goes for a transformer. Many homes are ran off of a three phase 120/208 Y (sometimes spelled wye). Homes still get single phase 120/208 but are connected to the supply (phases A, B, C and Neutral) as follows:

The split is repeated for homes and they balance out the grid nicely. Splitting each of the three high voltage legs from a feeder into a neighborhood and stepping it down using center tapped 120/240 transformers makes balancing a problem. You can't interconnect any of the three separate 120/240 lines as the neutral or center taps must be grounded. Now you have 3 sets of 3 wires to deal with and you have to ensure you even distribute loads across three separate 120/240 supplies. Are you going to run 7-9 wires down a block to balance out that mess? No, of course not. So now you have individual blocks of 120/240 which may be unevenly loaded. Three phase is much easier as three houses in a row can easily balance out a 3 phase feeder. Both systems are used in residential neighborhoods (and at random might I add) but anything new is always three phase fed.

My home in Queens NY is serviced by a 120/240 center tapped 100kVA transformer that feeds only our street from corner to corner. The neutral connects to the other poles but everyone else in the surrounding area is on three phase. The poles do have 2400/4160 three phase feeders on top so getting three phase is not an issue. How we became a 120/240 island is beyond me but it might have been a leftover from old practices, never upgraded or left alone for a specific reason. Out on long island the neighborhood I lived in for a short while has 120/240 and only a single high voltage leg running along the pole. So they have to balance out the load on the feeder side.

Comment: Re:But (Score 1) 110

I would worry more about condensation of the cool steam in the turbine itself. The only way this would be good for a turbine is if the steam can be further heated via a solar super heater.

This is why power plant boilers have a superheater which passes the steam from the boilers steam drum through a heat exchanger in the hot exhaust stream of the boiler. This brings the steam temperature up well past the boiling point of water and prevents steam from condensing in the turbine. Imagine a turbine spinning at 3600 RPM (for a 2 pole 60Hz alternator) in which droplets of water form and begin to collide with the blades. All you need is one blade to fail from getting pummeled with water and it's game over for the turbine. The steam is condensed once it exits the turbine exhaust which creates a vacuum effect which increases the turbines efficiency, you pull steam through it. The steam is condensed using cooling towers, water cooled heat exchangers or fed to a district heating system and customers pay to do some of the condensing (and maintain the infrastructure while increasing efficiency).

Comment: Re:PWM? (Score 1) 202

by LoRdTAW (#47450817) Attached to: New Raspberry Pi Model B+

If you look at the pinout diagram from here:

You will notice GPIO_GEN0->6. Perhaps those are 7 hardware PWM's.

But if not then go grab a PWM breakout board such as
I have used their 16 channel PWM breakout and it was a pleasure to use.

Comment: Saw this the other day on SN (Score 4, Interesting) 132

by LoRdTAW (#47426567) Attached to: How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business

This was discussed already and the general conclusion was the restaurant had very poor service. Poor service will kill a reputation faster than anything else. I remember going to a restaurant that was short staffed. They were trying to accommodate people, and were nice about it. But after waiting 30 minutes for bread, we left. You can always expect bad reviews based on food, you can't please everyone.

Plus I don't think Google information can kill a place in just a few weeks. People have phones and call ahead to confirm hours, seating availability, location and even directions. I know I always call. It's lazy people who just browse Google and believe everything they see without confirmation.


Yelp Reviews:

Trip Advisor reviews:

Google Maps entry:,-77.295876,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x89b6360d0a8fbba5:0x79a2bbe49b2f3a1e

Most of the reviews complain about very poor service. Waiters not checking up on the tables, one guest said they had to wander around to find a water pitcher and refill it themselves. People have waited 30+ minutes to receive the menu and bread. One guest claimed they were there for over 3 hours in total waiting for various courses. Guests would arrive only to find there was not host/hostess at the podium to seat them. Guests complained about rude staff both in person and over the phone. And these aren't recent complaints, they go back to 2010.

Comment: doubtful (Score 1) 109

by LoRdTAW (#47380853) Attached to: Can the NSA Really Track You Through Power Lines?

They would have to have data recorded 24/7 about load distribution throughout the entire country. And if the person leaves the country to rendezvous with a reporter? Are they recording the electrical loads in Mexico? Brazil? Poland?

Perhaps they are monitoring EMF using receivers around the country, recording them and using triangulation. But how does this help them? If I blow the whistle to a reporter I am not doing it in my home town. Most people would go somewhere else to a neutral location. So then the tape surfaces weeks or months later and the NSA or whoever triangulated the location to a parking lot without any surveillance. They could do some old fashioned sleuthing but hopefully a whistle blower will try to cover their tracks.

Comment: Re:Old hardware... (Score 1) 176

by LoRdTAW (#47372469) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

I had shelves of that P2/3 stuff. Threw a lot of it out as giving it away or selling it was a non starter. Pained me to do so but being a pack rat isn't an option anymore.

Though I did keep a lot of my more interesting hardware: Dual Pentium 233 on an Tyan
Tomcat IVD w/128MB EDO RAM, Abit BP6 w/dual Celeron 333's OC'd to 450 MHz and 768MB RAM. And my First real PC, a Micron 486DX2 66 w 16MB RAM. I replaced the 486 Motherboard with the Tyan Tomcat but I still have the 486 Board with a pentium overdrive and the 486 chip stuck on some ESD foam. I also have some interesting vintage systems and hardware I got from work, mainly 286/386 hardware.

Really cool stuff: MITS Altair 8800b, Franklyn ACE 1200 (Apple IIe clone), NeXt Station (no monitor), Sparcstation IPC, ATT PC7300 and 3B2 (Unix PC's, I got a video on Youtube of one booting), IBM System 80, SGI Octane 2, SGI Origin 300 rack and a non working SGI Origin 2000. Also a few Vintage dumb Terminals namely an old ADM 32 and two VT100 terminals who's mfr escapes me. I am also starting to collect some Apple Gear as well, have a dual G5 tower which won't boot due to a bad motherboard/CPU (boots only when the 2nd CPU is removed). Now I realize I have too much crap lol.

Comment: Old hardware... (Score 3, Informative) 176

by LoRdTAW (#47327165) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

Old hardware is your best bet. Anything new would be unsupported by the older 2.2/2.4 kernels, PCIe, SATA, chipsets etc.
*Slot 2 Pentium II or III CPU's and Socket 370 CPU's are perfect. If you want multiprocessor, a Tyan or Supermicro dual slot/board is a good bet but stay away from any board with RDRAM using the i820 or i840 chipsets. They did however realize how big a mistake RDRAM was and Intel made SDRAM->RDRAM bridge chips so those chipsets could use PC-100/133 SDRAM. Tyan made a dual processor i840 board with dual slot 1 and SDRAM using the bridge chips.
*At least 256 meg of ram, 512MB - 1GB is ideal. Make sure your board supports the RAM you have.
*An AGP Riva TNT card or better yet, a Geforce 1, 2 or 3 graphics card. 3D support may not be available*
*Sound Blaster Live!, Ensoniq, Turtle Beach or Aureal sound cards should all work. Though the Sound Blaster Live! is probably your best bet.
*You are also going to need an ATA hard disk (2+GB) and CD/DVD rom drive, I am unaware of any P2/3 board that supported USB booting so you need the optical drive.
*If no onboard LAN card is present (most common scenario) you want a PCI 3Com 3c905B/C, or any PCI card based on the DEC Tulip chipset (21040/21041/21140/21142/21143). Many older Netgear FA311 cards also worked flawlessly, based on a well supported National semi chip that I think was a tulip clone)
*Bonus: decent 19"+ Trinitron CRT monitor. I still have a 21" Sun Trinitron.

Stay away from ISA cards as much as you can. I had a hell of a time getting my old ISA Sound Blaster AWE 64 Gold sound card running under Mandrake back in the day. And that was a "plug and play" card without jumpers. As for why to use Pentium 2/3 boards and not a pentium 4, the p4's after socket 432 willamette generation might not run a 2.2 or early 2.4 kernel. Socket 478 gained things like SATA and PCIe so its a crap shoot. Pentium 2/3 is a guarantee.

*Nvidia hardware 3D support does not appear to be supported on 2.2 kernels. I checked the README for the oldest Linux Driver and 2.4 and 2.6 kernels were mentioned. Have a look here: and check the hardware issues section in the README!

Have fun kickin it old school.

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