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Comment: Re:Tesla enables Edison to win the endgame? (Score 1) 597 597

by Tangential (#49794113) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage
While HVDC might be more efficient (no impedance I guess) there are a lot of infrastructure folks who are not big fans of HVDC. Back in the 80's I was a transmission engineer for Ma Bell and a lot of time and effort went into trying to protect our facilities near high amperage DC installations (like subways.) A fault condition in those can cause significant electrolytic damage to metallic plant. Its inconvenient in telephone plant, painful in water pipes and a serious problem in gas lines. We were constantly checking bonding, placing sacrificial anodes, etc and we weren't the only utility out there doing it.

Of course, over time we put less metal into our infrastructure (plastic pipes, fiber optic cables, etc) but there is still a lot of metallic infrastructure in place that could be adversely affected by DC fault conditions.

Comment: I guess my folks dodged this bullet (Score 1) 784 784

by Tangential (#48831033) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone
From the ripe old age of 7-11 I hopped on my bike everyday and rode it 2.3 miles to school in the morning and back home in the afternoon. In the summers I rode 5-6 miles out to the municipal airport to hang around planes and generally goof-off. From age 6 on, my friends and I trick-or-treated alone, camped out alone, etc...

I can't imagine the trouble my parents would be in now for allowing such behavior.

Comment: It has nothing to do with the antitrust case (Score 1) 742 742

by Tangential (#46322831) Attached to: "Microsoft Killed My Pappy"
My dislike of Microsoft has nothing to do with the antitrust case (although I will admit that I enjoyed it when they were convicted.)

I dislike Microsoft because they so dramatically lowered users expectations for software and computing. Prior to Microsoft windows and before that MS-DOS, users did not expect software to be a continual fail. In the 70s and early 80s users never expected us to have to reboot our mainframes or minicomputers many times a day and users certainly didn't expect to lose a lot of their work. Microsoft changed all that. By the mid 90s users were conditioned that software was flaky, operating systems were buggy and that they were going to lose their work several times a day. It actually took mobile apps to get users back on the side of computing and software and Microsoft clearly had nothing to do with that.

Comment: We need a higher level of functionality (Score 2) 124 124

by Tangential (#45976339) Attached to: BitTorrent's Bram Cohen Unveils New Steganography Tool DissidentX
I'd like to see someone come up with a steganographic RAID-ish storage volume. I'd like a driver that scattered encrypted data throughout my media files but presented that data as an updateable storage volume. It would need enough redundancy to survive the loss of some of the files (hence the RAID-ish part.) If I could hide writeable encrypted data throughout my iTunes, Photo, Video files and access/update it without actually changing the size, mod dates, etc of the files it would be very handy and reasonably hard to detect.

Comment: Like the man-on-the-moon (Score 4, Interesting) 1030 1030

by Tangential (#45494167) Attached to: A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP
To me we need clean affordable energy whether Global Warming is real or not. We need cheap energy to keep our economy going and we need our children's children to be able to drink clean water and breathe clean air.

What we really need is a President who will tackle energy with the same kind of committment that JFK gave us for the space program. As a country we invested mightily in the program and the process of getting that man on the moon created huge technical advantages for our nation. As a viable program it all went to crap after we reached that goal but we had already made the gains in technology that propelled us for the next few decades.

A similar effort that yielded clean affordable energy would also yield lots of new technologies. We need that and a coordinated effort by the Federal Government is probably the quickest way to get there. That being said, it cannot just exist as a way to reward the President's supporters and just end up as money stuffed into pockets like Solyndra.

Gravity brings me down.

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