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Comment: Re: Storage (Score 1) 370

by sjames (#48467573) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

That's because they don't properly trim trees, they hack off whatever might be near the lines. If they would actually trim the trees so they don't look like the crippled survivors of a war, people wouldn't gripe.

There are a couple trees near me that they 'trimmed' such that they will almost inevitably fall over onto the road sooner or later. That's what happens when you cut all the branches off of one side. It's a classic "somebody else's problem now" sort of 'solution'

Comment: Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (Score 2) 177

by MightyMartian (#48467503) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

Toxic to whom? Bill Clinton left office in 2000 with astonishingly good approval ratings, despite Gingrich's and Co's endless attempts to destroy him.

Now Hillary Clinton is no Bill Clinton, but I don't think the Clinton name in general is nearly as toxic as, say, the Bush name (although, in Jeb's defense, I don't think he's the mumbling bumbling alcohol-fried moron his brother is).

Comment: Re:You write of reading comprehension, yet ... (Score 1) 124

by dbIII (#48466745) Attached to: Regin Malware In EU Attack Linked To US and British Intelligence Agencies

I assume the anon is you, by the way, turning on the anonymous box in order to be a dick. Good job.

What a nasty and uncalled for insult. Just because you reject a simple solution in favour of complex one that depends on trusting every single driver supplier on the planet with a key that can 0wn a computer and lock the real owner out is no reason to get nasty.

Comment: Re:Cost. Pure and simple (Score 1) 370

by dbIII (#48466635) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

Our electricity price has gone up by 200-350% depending which state you're in.

I suggest you also look up how much the dividend payout to the owners (almost all State Governments that get to write their own rules) has gone up by. The dividend to the Queensland Government for instance is enormous and all the pockets of electricity consumers. You may hear more about that with elections coming up, however the previous Government did something similar but with a lesser amount.
Cost increases are not a great deal more than profit increases, and with decreasing demand in some areas some of the infrastructure the actually is driving a slight rise is very hard to justify.
I used to work for QEC before the artificial market with only one real supplier started. We seemed to be expanding the network more then for less money and certainly had a lot more staff doing it. What you see now is a lot more padding for profitability.

Comment: Re:depends where you live - some figures (Score 2) 370

by dbIII (#48466539) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?
Sadly it's meaningless numerology without an indication of what the numbers actually stand for.
When I was in the power industry I had access to a wonderful series of books by ESRI with plenty of illustrated examples of what happened when you drove various power station components far beyond the realms of sanity - all US examples (compiled by a US based org of course, so that's why all US). Whatever the average is there are at least some utilities in the USA that drive their power plants to destruction through lack of maintainence or poor operational procedures. So many millions that could have been saved by employing one chemist or engineer instead of just an untrained Homer Simpson at the controls.

Comment: Why? Protected monopoly (Score 1) 370

by dbIII (#48466495) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?
Why? Protected monopoly. The price for having such a money spinner granted by a government is supposed to be to supply good service, but for various political reasons, up to and including outright graft, that's not always written into the contract or there are loopholes. Hence ridiculous shit like fires when Hurricane Sandy hit 1920s infrastructure with too many live wires in contact with wood! The third world has bad shit but not that bad.

Comment: Re:You are a bit over a decade out of date (Score 1) 124

by dbIII (#48466459) Attached to: Regin Malware In EU Attack Linked To US and British Intelligence Agencies
As distinct from the complex web of trust described above where all it takes is yet another leaked key to break into it and render all that TPM stuff irrelevant - IN ADDITION to privilege escalation on the MS platform and a wide variety of problems that do not even need privilege escalation.
Somebody clicking on a link in an Outlook message is all it takes to open up Internet Explorer to run whatever it finds in an "asp" script on a hacked MS webserver and next thing you've got files on network shares encrypted and some criminal demanding money - all before the MS or any other antivirus gets a chance to block it. While that's a good test of backups such a situation clearly demonstrates that there is a very long way to go before clueless fanboys can brag about complex solutions to simple problems without being laughed at. The MS ecosystem is sinking into the malware swamp faster than some good but late attempts at decent security can bail it out.

Comment: Re:Super-capitalism (Score 3, Insightful) 370

by Kjella (#48466099) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

Comparing the U.S. the little toy countries in Europe is silly. They are about the size of one of our states. It is much easier given their pop. density to keep their little toy grids up and running.

The countries with lower population density in Europe has more stable power supplies. The countries with higher population density also have more stable power supplies. Those "toy" networks put together supply more than twice the US population wtih power. At least with ISPs the Chewbacca defense could say the US has more long haul domestic traffic, when it comes to the power grid....what? Snip all the interstate lines then and one state will be the size of one EU country and supply its own population and US power supply will be great. That's what you're saying, because you built one big network it must be crap. And it has to be crap, because...?

Comment: Re:would prefer EA, Comcast, or Haliburton myself (Score 1) 152

by v1 (#48466013) Attached to: Sony Pictures Computer Sytems Shut Down After Ransomware Hack

Companies typically run two sets of books, one for the IRS, one for stockholders. It's legal.

While I don't know if it's legal or not to show your shareholders fraudulent books, I do know it's illegal to try to pull on the tax man. Federal charge of "keeping books" refers to keeping two separate sets of accounting, one for tax purposes and the other being an accurate reflection of your earnings. Basically it's ironclad proof of "premeditated tax evasion".

In many ways, the EPA and IRS have more destructive authority than any other government agencies. So exposing a company's wrongdoings to either of them typically leads to catastrophic results. And you almost never get to cut a deal with them, they'll take you to the cleaners because they know they can.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein