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Comment: Apple used to have security for firmware updates (Score 2) 163

by ZorinLynx (#48664241) Attached to: Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector

With older (PPC?) based Macs, to update the firmware you had to power off the machine, then turn it on by holding the power button until you got an extra beep or sound. This would physically un-write-protect the firmware EPROM so that it could be updated by open firmware.

In their quest to make everything as "user friendly" as possible, they took out this hardware security feature, allowing the update to just happen without any physical action.

Bad Apple, no donut.

Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 291

by ZorinLynx (#48662559) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

Hotels will make you pay just to use an electrical outlet in a meeting room.

They charge for every little tiny thing, simply because business execs will just sign off on all of it and not care about a "paltry" $100 "outlet usage" fee.

Meanwhile, these fees can be big problems for smaller budget conventions, such as fandom cons. The artist alley at half the furry cons I've been to have a policy keeping artists from plugging in their stuff to charge because the con gets dinged hundreds of dollars in penalties by the hotel.

It truly is a non-customer-friendly business if you're not a big company flush with cash.

Comment: I thought power companies were happy to shed load? (Score 2) 280

by ZorinLynx (#48560569) Attached to: Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

We have a load control transponder here which allows the power company to temporarily shut off the air conditioner and/or water heater, basically creating a "rolling blackout" of just those devices when demand for power exceeds supply.

The fact that they deploy such devices suggests utilities would be happy to shed some load, especially during the brightest time of day when solar works best and air conditioners are working hardest.

So what's the deal? They want us to use more power after all?

Comment: Li-Ion batteries aren't good for this role (Score 5, Informative) 41

by ZorinLynx (#48388079) Attached to: Facebook Testing Lithium-Ion Batteries For Backup Power

Lead acid batteries last longest when they are fully charged and kept that way, and discharged infrequently. This makes them excellent for use in standby power situations, where they are almost always topped up ready for the power to go out.

Li-Ion batteries last longest when they are actively used. Keeping a Li-Ion battery fully charged all the time is bad for its longevity; the battery structure breaks down faster at a high state of charge. This is why it is recommended to store Li-Ion batteries half-charged in a cold environment, and why cars like the Tesla Model S normally only charge up to 80% unless you require a "full-range charge" for a road trip. Not topping off to 100% extends battery life.

Maybe Facebook intends to keep the batteries at 80%, but it's hard to believe the economics are going to work in their favor.

Not to mention that lead-acid batteries are mostly water and non-combustible sulfuric acid. A Li-Ion battery fire is 50 times nastier than a lead-acid battery fire, and produces a hell of a lot more noxious gases.

Comment: These idiots are going to ruin it for everyone (Score 5, Insightful) 132

by ZorinLynx (#48375863) Attached to: Drone Sightings Near Other Aircraft Up Dramatically

Drones are so much fun and you can get so many cool photos and video from them.

Yet these morons flying drones near airports are going to ruin it for everyone. Expect to see them heavily regulated or banned soon.

This is why we can't have nice things. :(

Comment: WHY are men trying to scare women away from gaming (Score 4, Interesting) 728

by ZorinLynx (#48110843) Attached to: Why the Trolls Will Always Win

I truly don't understand this. When I was a young awkward geek with very specific interests, I would have absolutely LOVED there to be women around with those same interests. Us guys totally loved the few geeky girls that were around and always wished there were more.

Yet today we see guys trying to scare the women away. What the hell changed?

Comment: Re:Practically speaking as a CPA... (Score 1) 410

>-always try to arrange so you owe a little money come tax time

This this this this this.

You can tweak your allowances with your employer so you always get a small tax bill. No worries about losing your refund money, AND you get the money throughout the year instead of in a lump sum.

Some idiots claim they like receiving that check every year, that it's a nice "bonus", when in actuality it's just you lending Uncle Sam your hard earned money interest free and getting the loan repaid in April. I keep hearing about people with refunds well into the four figures, and want to slap them silly.

I bet the IRS wouldn't give YOU an interest free loan if you stopped withholding... why should you give THEM one?

Comment: List the STL? Seriously? (Score 5, Insightful) 479

by ZorinLynx (#47975701) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

>technical question like listing all the container classes in STL from the top of my head

Do experienced devs even know this? I've programmed in several languages and I could never give a list of functions on demand. That's what reference material is for.

You honestly dodged a bullet with that one; any company that asks for such a thing has a damaged tech culture.

Comment: Re:yet if we did it (Score 1) 463

I feel the same, and recognize that any person would and should be calling for the officer's head.

However, there was no criminal negligence or intent. That would be necessary to charge. He was operating within the law. Now, we citizens need to push for laws that hold officers to the same distracted driving standards that citizens are bound by, because those laws are based on human nature, not government edict.

"Show business is just like high school, except you get paid." - Martin Mull