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Comment Re:I Already Do This, But Probably Less Intense (Score 1) 115

I teach computer science, and I occasionally get students asking how they could work for a living and still be able to travel, go outdoors, etc. and not be stuck in a cubicle. Do you have any advice for them, such as how to find jobs or clients to work on? How did you get where you were today?

Comment Re:Worst. Summary. Ever. And a lie to boot. (Score 1) 1034

> The fans said no. The choices we're stuck with suck. We'd rather not vote for anyone.

I don't think you can equate the people who voted in these Hugos with the fan population in general. Maybe they match up, maybe they don't. But you can't just say they're the fans speaking, when it's very clear the 40% uptick in voting at the Hugos this year was due to the controversy. Both camps attracted additional people for political reasons, and more anti-puppies signed up than pro-puppies.

Just because they voted the way you wanted them to doesn't mean you get to use bad statistics and say they're "the fans" or representative of "the fans".

Comment Re:So using a 20 year old subset of the instructio (Score 1) 57

>If you really want to prove that the benchmark is crap, then by all means make meaningful suggestions to _any_ of the existing machine benchmarks.

That's a bit facetious. If you've been around the benchmarking world as long as you say you have, you'll know that the compiler settings are *always* a cause of controversy.

Nobody is happy when compiler settings are made that don't favor their side (whatever it is).

Comment Re:$68 Billion for high speed trains (Score 1) 599

>Instead of spending $68 Billion on a single high speed rail line between 2 cities that are already linked by several adequate transportation options, maybe we should use a fraction of that money for water projects?

We passed a $45B water bond last year, but about 90% of it is going to be wasted, it seems.

Comment Re:outrageous (Score 1, Informative) 363

>Since the decriminalisation in 2001 drug usage has actually dropped in Portugal.

For some values of "dropped".

From Wikipedia, since decriminalization: "Reported lifetime use of "all illicit drugs" increased from 7.8% to 12%, lifetime use of cannabis increased from 7.6% to 11.7%, cocaine use more than doubled, from 0.9% to 1.9%, ecstasy nearly doubled from 0.7% to 1.3%, and heroin increased from 0.7% to 1.1%"

Comment Re:AT&T Autopay - Ha! (Score 2) 234

When I moved into a new house, there was a problem with my landline, and it was randomly dialing numbers. Constantly. We had the police show up randomly a couple times as it dialed 911 for us, and I once got a bill for a couple thousand dollars.

They eventually got around to waiving the fees and repairing the problem with the line, but my handiman almost got arrested when the police showed up and found a guy on a ladder drilling a hole through a wall.

Comment Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533

>Power meters don't have to be designed to measure current both ways.

If you have solar, you will have a meter that spins both ways. That's sort of exactly the entire point of having a grid-tied solar system - to run the meter backwards during peak hours, to reduce your kwh consumption.

Most modern power companies will do even better. My system has a smart meter that reports power consumption/generation wirelessly to PG&E on a continuous basis. They know exactly how much I'm producing, and I know they know since I can access it from their web site.

> Just because someone makes something does not mean it's compatible with the grid. If someone hacks together some random garage equipment (and not some government certified power controller box) and plugs it into the grid, that grid is now touching everyone else's house nearby.

Which is why they inspect and approve only certain equipment that has been demonstrated to be compatible with their grid.

>What I am saying is it should be very clear what the requirements of the grid are

It is.

While your objections would be perfectly valid for a solar system going up in Somalia, these issues have actually been address for a long ass time around here.

Comment Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533

> As the amount of electricity you draw from their generators goes down, they're going to reach the point of needing to charge you a flat fee just for the connection to the power lines, plus the usual fees for actually using their electricity.

We already do. PG&E charges $10-$15 a month for a "grid maintenance fee" for solar users. So even if you are net-zero, you still pay them to keep the grid maintained.

Which is reasonable - if you look at their maintenance costs and divide by the number of users, it's in this ballpark.

The trouble is that PG&E is flat-out lying that solar customers are "free loading" on their grid, and want to raise these flat rates. An uncritical local newspaper ran their drek basically word for word without fact checking any of it. So I wrote (and got published) a correction, but it's still indicative of how shady the power companies are acting in this area.

You scratch my tape, and I'll scratch yours.