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Comment: Re:Need to make SIMPLE changes. (Score 1) 349

by Mspangler (#47421297) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

"Then require that all new construction below 5-6 stories will have on-site AE that will equal or exceed its HVAC usage."

So what form of alternative energy will work in the Inland Northwest's freezing fog, where you have no wind, all-day fog, high temperatures in the mid 20's (F), and the day is barely 9 hours long, and sun (if you could see it) is no higher than 25 degrees above the horizon?

Now if you are going to use an annual average it might be doable, because right now I have 15 hours of daylight, and so far this summer I've used 4 hours of AC. Last year I used the AC mode of the heat pump 10 days total, as compared to the 7 months with the heating mode engaged.

Comment: Re:Not to be snarky (Score 1) 538

by Mspangler (#47290819) Attached to: Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

"*Not* being a college graduate is a certain guarantee of a lifetime of poorly paying jobs."

False. Chemical plant operators earn six figures with their overtime and shift differential. They may be working a rotating shift, wearing Nomex, and carrying an escape breather wherever they go, but it's not a poorly paying job.

Comment: intel and power efficiency (Score 2) 230

by Mspangler (#47180145) Attached to: Intel Confronts a Big Mobile Challenge: Native Compatibility

"They've been actively focusing on increasing power efficiency for a number of years now, so I have no doubt they'll be able to bring strong competition."

It Intel wants to, they can bring strong competition. They used to have their own ARM variant, but sold it off. They decided that there was no future in low power. Oops.

When they do get a low power chip they seem to lose interest, and then crank up its performance, and its power budget. Then Steve Jobs would yell at them, and they would produce another low power chip. Then repeat the cycle. Now that Steve is gone, will they go back to thinking a 135W CPU is acceptable?

In Intel's world, Grand Coulee dam exists to power their CPU, and the rest of the hydropower on the Columbia is to run the cooling system for that chip. Institutionally they haven't figured out that we have all the cycles per second we need, and battery life is now the critical parameter. Obviously if your dream PC has a 1000 W power supply on a dedicated circuit you will not care about power the same way you will if your phone keeps going dead every time you need it.

As is often the case, the problem is Management, not Engineering.

For the record, I'm using a 2.5 Ghz Core 2 Duo P8700. It's 6 year old technology and entirely fast enough. It has a 25 W power budget. The "ultra-low power" 2 core Haswell has a 35 w power budget. So they have gone backwards. Remember, I don't need more speed, so I don't care if the Haswell CPU is faster.

The question is does Intel get this point? If they say "you are not our target demographic" then fine, and I'll pay them just as much attention as I pay to Miley Cyrus. Which is to say none.

Comment: Satellite too. (Score 1) 340

by Mspangler (#46945747) Attached to: Average American Cable Subscriber Gets 189 Channels and Views 17

I dumped Dish earlier this year. Same reasons; too many commercials on the few channels I did watch, and their last price hike crossed the $50 line.

They tried to convince me stay by offering a free upgrade to HD, but I told them I didn't have an HDTV. That is not strictly speaking true, my TV will do 720P, but it does not have an HDMI input (it has component, composite and S-video.) But close enough. All these HDMI-only boxes are useless (including yours Apple.) And no I'm not replacing my TV until it dies.

They finally gave up and went away. I got a bottom end Roku for watching the few things that might interest me. The one "local" TV station (only 120 miles away) has a Roku channel, so I get some local news and the weather.

Comment: Re:Awesome if true. (Score 1) 865

by Mspangler (#46924865) Attached to: Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

"The only reasons to buy a manual are cost and 'fun to drive',"

and better mileage;
and ability to push start;
and better engine braking;
and safer on snow/ice; (clutch removes all drive from wheels, and can you step on the pedal when you see the ice coming. )
and ability to skip gears entirely if needed
and avoiding WEEEE-woooo-WEEEE-woooo all the way up any moderate grade. Yeah I can shift the silly PRNDL down myself and stop it, but it's supposed to be an automatic transmission.

Comment: Re:No, thank you. (Score 1) 865

by Mspangler (#46924779) Attached to: Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

"I say "keyless" because my Nissan has a physical key hidden inside the key less remote fob to open the door if the car battery is dead."

So there is a key in the keyless system. I always wondered what you were supposed to do when your car battery died. Smashing the window with the nearest rock just to get the hood open in order to put the jumper cables on the battery didn't seem very sensible.

Fortunately my vehicles have normal keys, so this never came up.

Comment: Re:They're nuts but right (Score 1) 1374

by Mspangler (#46895943) Attached to: "Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

"We already have proximity keys on automobiles. How often do they let people down? How often are people locked out of their car because the key doesn't work?"

Quite often until I cut the wires going to the power door locks. Note to self, never buy a car with power locks again.

Actually the problem is slightly different than you describe, the truck arbitrarily locked its doors at random times while parked. That still deons't improve my confidence in the locking control system. And that is relevant to the discussion at hand.

Comment: Re:Upload is the key, but there are other factors (Score 1) 224

by Mspangler (#46837761) Attached to: How much use would you get from a 1 gigabit internet connection?

And in the other factors list, lets not forget the '286 apparently slogging away uploading the data at the other end.

The last mile is no longer my bottleneck, but getting the data on the fiber in the evening seems to be a challenge for someone upstream.

Comment: Re:Paper Forms/ freefile fillable (Score 1) 386

by Mspangler (#46763323) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I use the freefile ones, after running the numbers on the paper forms. This let's me double check everything.

Then file electronically. I agree though, filling out the electronic W-2 copy is a pain in the butt. Come on IRS, you already have it! Or will have very soon after my return gets there. Why do I have to re-enter the data you already have?

Comment: obligatory: everyone fears the Inquisition (Score 1) 676

by Mspangler (#46460097) Attached to: 70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

"They really didn't fear INS at all. However, each said they very carefully paid their taxes to the IRS each year, often omitting some questionable deductions to which they might be entitled."

So they also fear the Inquisition err IRS?

Inquisition Retraining Service? Now you have me thinking. That would explain a lot.

It's always a good year when you can use the short form.

This is an unauthorized cybernetic announcement.