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Comment Declare SSID's expensive (Score 4, Interesting) 192

When setting up an access point, it should be possible to designate it as "expensive", and by default devices should adhere to this and try to limit unnecessary data usage. I get annoyed when I use my phone as a hot spot and discover that my computer has fetched upgrades, my other phone has downloaded a bunch of podcasts, and so on. It would also allow me to keep a backup wireless SSID running permanently, knowing that the devices will go for the cheap SSID first.

I bet that quite a bit of bandwidth usage on planes is due to phones thinking they are switching from expensive (but actually dirt cheap) 3G/4G to cheap (but actually really expensive) wifi.

Comment Re:I don't see the problem (Score 1) 98

The problem is that we have valuable die real-estate being taken up by this shit when additional L1/L2 cache, a core, or other SIMD instruction sets would be better.

L1/L2 caches have hit the maximum sizes you can build before the added latency of larger caches makes the trade-off fail. You can do L3, but the performance benefit is not very impressive for desktop workloads and if you are Intel you do not want your desktop chips eating your server market. Extra cores, same deal: great for server tasks, not for the desktop. SIMD just does not take up significant die space, and the gains are minuscule except for specialized workloads.

Intel is pretty desperate to find something to use transistors for.

Comment Re:Very sad - but let's get legislation in place N (Score 1) 705

Your house is exposed to a relatively benign security environment where you can expect criminals who try to break in to have a reasonable risk of getting caught and punished. The perpetrators are likely to be within reach of law enforcement, and the average house sees way less than one attempt per year.

Contrast this with the Internet, where security gets probed at least hourly and the criminals are likely to be in Russia, out of reach in the vast majority of cases.

At this point security breaches should be treated like we treat natural disasters: Building codes and risk of prison for those who endanger others by not following best practices.

Comment Re:wish this existed in silicon valley (Score 1) 258

Roundabouts are bad for cyclists. It is very difficult to devise a sensible solution. So far the best option is to put a bicycle lane around the outside, at good distance from the actual roundabout, forcing the cyclists to stop for the cars when they cross each road. This is reasonably safe but ssssllllloooowwww for the cyclists.

Comment Re:Get the power from source to consumer (Score 1) 528

Transmission costs are a fraction of production costs. This is unlikely to change.

Storage is a legitimate concern, but "luckily" large parts of the US are heavily dependent on air conditioning. Some areas need air conditioning at night as well, but I am sure people will start getting creative once daytime energy costs trend towards zero.

Comment Re:It's all about the routes, dummy (Score 1) 654

Tell all that to the Danish rails please.

Or perhaps realize that things are not so simple. Adding a plough to the front of a train has exactly the same problem as adding a plough to the front of a car: If the wheel friction is insufficient, the train is not going to move anywhere. Real snow requires dedicated snow ploughs, both on rails and on roads.

Heated switches are great, but when the train passes and large lumps of ice are shaken from the train into the switch, even 10kW heaters give up. Then the switch is stuck until someone gets to it and removes the ice.

Comment Re:It's all about the routes, dummy (Score 1) 654

Tracks are cheaper than a dedicated new road for buses (factor in maintenance, plowing, etc).

That would surprise me greatly. Do you have any numbers?

Maintenance and plowing would seem to favour road even more. Roads are relatively easy to plow. Rail switches tend to get stuck, particularly if the temperature hovers near freezing.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz