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+ - Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Incremental improvements have slowly but surely pushing solar power toward mainstream viability for a few decades now. It's getting to the point where the established utilities are worried about the financial hit they're likely to take — and they're working to prevent it. "These solar households are now buying less and less electricity, but the utilities still have to manage the costs of connecting them to the grid. Indeed, a new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory argues that this trend could put utilities in dire financial straits. If rooftop solar were to grab 10 percent of the market over the next decade, utility earnings could decline as much as 41 percent." The utilities are throwing their weight behind political groups seeking to end subsidies for solar and make "net metering" policies go away. Studies suggest that if solar adoption continues growing at its current rate, incumbents will be forced to raise their rates, which will only persuade more people to switch to solar (PDF)."
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Comment: Re:Why is it necessary to reverse engineer this? (Score 2) 165

by Z00L00K (#48010599) Attached to: Why the Z-80's Data Pins Are Scrambled

Add to it the great book Programming the Z80 by Rodnay Zaks.

That book is one of the best books I have encountered when it comes to how to utilize a device.

Personally I think that it should be in the collection of books even if you don't aim to program specifically for the Z80 because it explains a lot of general CPU architecture and logic as well.

Comment: Re:The story (Score 3, Interesting) 165

by Z00L00K (#48010557) Attached to: Why the Z-80's Data Pins Are Scrambled

The news what why it was that way.

And the Z80 was a major player in computing in the early personal computers before IBM PC. Even today it's still around in variants, and many have seen a variant of it in the Nintendo Gameboy. It was popular enough to render some clones as well, however they weren't always fully compatible, mostly on the undocumented instructions - which caused for example the Sinclair ZX80 to not work unless you had a real one.

+ - Why the Z-80's data pins are scrambled->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Z-80 microprocessor has been around since 1976, and it was used in many computers at the beginning of the PC revolution. (For example, the TRS-80, Commodore 128, and ZX Spectrum.) Ken Shirriff has been working on reverse engineering the Z-80, and one of the things he noticed is that the data pins coming out of the chip are in seemingly random order: 4, 3, 5, 6, 2, 7, 0, 1. (And a +5V pin is stuck in the middle.) After careful study, he's come up with an explanation for this seemingly odd design. "The motivation behind splitting the data bus is to allow the chip to perform activities in parallel. For instance an instruction can be read from the data pins into the instruction logic at the same time that data is being copied between the ALU and registers. ... [B]ecause the Z-80 splits the data bus into multiple segments, only four data lines run to the lower right corner of the chip. And because the Z-80 was very tight for space, running additional lines would be undesirable. Next, the BIT instructions use instruction bits 3, 4, and 5 to select a particular bit. This was motivated by the instruction structure the Z-80 inherited from the 8080. Finally, the Z-80's ALU requires direct access to instruction bits 3, 4, and 5 to select the particular data bit. Putting these factors together, data pins 3, 4, and 5 are constrained to be in the lower right corner of the chip next to the ALU. This forces the data pins to be out of sequence, and that's why the Z-80 has out-of-order data pins.""
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+ - Your medical record is worth more to hackers than your credit card

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "There's a Reuters article on new types of fraud using stolen medical records.

Last month, the FBI warned healthcare providers to guard against cyber attacks after one of the largest U.S. hospital operators, Community Health Systems Inc, said Chinese hackers had broken into its computer network and stolen the personal information of 4.5 million patients."

+ - 2015 Corvette Valet Mode Recorder illegal in some states->

Submitted by innocent_white_lamb
innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "The 2015 Corvette has a Valet Mode that records audio and video when someone other than the owner is driving the car. Activating the Valet Mode allows you to record front-facing video as well as capture audio from within the car so you can help keep your Corvette safe when itâ(TM)s in the hands of others.

Well it turns out that recording audio from within the car may be considered a felony in some states that require notice and consent to individuals that they are being recorded and now GM is sending notices out to dealerships and customers alerting them to this fact as well as promising a future update to the PDR system."

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+ - Why India's Mars probe was so cheap 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Alan Boyle has some interesting thoughts on why it cost India so little, less than the budget of the movie Gravity, to build and send its probe Mangalyaan to Mars.

The $74 million Mars Orbiter Mission, also known by the acronym MOM or the Hindi word Mangalyaan (“Mars-Craft”), didn’t just cost less than the $100 million Hollywood blockbuster starring Sandra Bullock. The price tag is a mere one-ninth of the cost of NASA’s $671 million Maven mission, which also put its spacecraft into Mars orbit this week. The differential definitely hints at a new paradigm for space exploration — one that’s taking hold not only in Bangalore, but around the world. At the same time, it hints at the dramatically different objectives for MOM and Maven, and the dramatically different environments in which those missions took shape.

Read it all. It gives us a hint at the future of space exploration."

Comment: Re:LastPass, 1Password, KeePass.... next question (Score 2) 191

by Z00L00K (#47991531) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Keep Students' Passwords Secure?

Set up a proxy system to access them. Use your dedicated password to access the proxy, then the device password can be in the open because it's behind a proxy.

Not idiot-proof, and if you can cross-access the devices it leaves holes in the solution unless you can segment the network they reside on.

Comment: Re:Not going to happen (Score 3, Insightful) 590

by Z00L00K (#47984211) Attached to: Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

Especially since 4chan now seems to have more censorship than ever and new clones have been appearing with less censorship. Seems to me that 4chan is already dying.

Either you have censorship on a site or you will have sites with questionable content that nobody really believes in. The trolls will find new forums and channels. Lately there's an app for mobile phones called Secret that has been used for questionable activities.

Comment: Re:Mind boggling (Score 1) 167

by Z00L00K (#47980657) Attached to: Now That It's Private, Dell Targets High-End PCs, Tablets

But in fact it do make a company less competitive - some shareholders take interest in the short term gains, not the long term. Buy a share, cut down on the expenses - company sees a short bump of improved profit, sell shares and make a profit for yourself while the company has been slowed down and left behind the leaders in the competing race of new technology.

It has happened before, it will happen again.

+ - Do specs even matter anymore for the average smartphone user?->

Submitted by ourlovecanlastforeve
ourlovecanlastforeve (795111) writes "While reviewing a recent comparison of the Nexus 5 and the iPhone 6, OSNews staffer Thom Holwerda raises some relevant points regarding the importance of specs on newer smartphones. He observes that the iPhone 6, which is brand new, and the Nexus 5 launch apps at about the same speed. Yes, they're completely different platforms and yes, it's true it's probably not even a legitimate comparison, but it does raise a point: Most people who use smartphones on a daily basis use them for pretty basic things such as checking email, casual web browsing, navigation and reminders. Those who use their phones to their maximum capacity for things like gaming are a staunch minority. Do smarphone specs even matter for the average smartphone user anymore? After everyone releases the biggest phone people can reasonably hold in their hand with a processor and GPU that can move images on the display as optimally as possible, how many other moons are there to shoot for?"
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The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.