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Comment: What's wrong with hubs? (Score 1) 301

One is fine for a laptop, where I try to keep as few things connected at once as possible (less of a chance of dropping the laptop and destroying the thing plugged into it, like I did with my USB thumb drive). In that rare 1% of cases where I need more than one plug, USB hubs are cheap and easy to come by.

I'm especially interested in playing with one of the new USB-C plugs.

Comment: How much energy does it take to produce? (Score 1) 486

TFA's infographic shows the plant being powered by "ecological power generation," but this thing requires, say, a 40 acre wind farm to produce 200 liters a day then there wouldn't be much benefit. The figure to beat is whether it costs less energy to generate this synthetic diesel as it would cost to charge a battery-powered (e.g. Tesla) car.

Comment: Luck of the draw (Score 5, Insightful) 160

by barlevg (#49559747) Attached to: Google Officially Discontinues Nexus 7 Tablet
My 2012 N7 is still going strong (if a bit sluggish under Cyanogenmod 11). And I've heard from a few iPad owners who've had their devices die within months. Consumer electronics is a crapshoot--sometimes your device is essentially immortal (got a 2005 Dell Inspiron that's still doing great), sometimes it dies well before its time. I'd love to see aggregated statistics for median longevity for various tablets from various manufacturers. Would guess that the N7 wouldn't top the list, but would also guess it wouldn't be on the bottom either.

Comment: RIP (Score 2) 160

by barlevg (#49559595) Attached to: Google Officially Discontinues Nexus 7 Tablet

I own a first gen Nexus 7. IMO, it's the ideal size for a personal video-watching device--not large enough to be cumbersome but with a big enough screen to make TV show watching thoroughly enjoyable. It's also ideal for reading articles and great at viewing "full web" (non-mobile) pages. The price (under $200) was the main selling point to me, and I really did feel like it was amazing bang for the buck (especially compared to my wife's similarly-priced Kindle Fire).

Lollipop rendered my N7 basically unusable (would randomly shut itself off--mine, luckily, wasn't one of those whose device got caught in the infinite reboot cycle), but Thank God there's Cyanogenmod, where my N7 is a big sluggish but still perfectly functional. The sluggishness would probably have been enough to make me consider buying a replacement, and I'm sad that there isn't one (I will never buy another Samsung mobile device, and I hate the Kindle Fire series).

Ah, well. I'm used to being part of an unpopular and unprofitable niche market--I'm still waiting for someone (anyone) to release a new full QWERTY keyboard phone.

Comment: The really cool part of this... (Score 1) 171

by barlevg (#49537599) Attached to: USGS: Oil and Gas Operations Could Trigger Large Earthquakes

...is that the oil and gas companies were enthusiastic participants in the study, providing the data. Their rationale was one of enlightened self-interest, I'm sure: THEY don't want to get sued if they cause an earthquake, and the USGS analysis will tell them where/how it's safe to drill.

(My source is an interview on either NPR or BBC World News, which I can't find a link to at the moment)

Comment: Dual_EC_DRBG (Score 1) 686

by barlevg (#49536515) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

No matter what age you are, if you're at all tech-savvy and security-conscious, Snowden is owed your thanks for this reason alone. (Or from Wikipedia, if you prefer).

Related: There's a widely-circulated conspiracy theory that the NSA has solved P vs. NP and broken RSA (and most other forms of) encryption. The fact that Snowden hasn't leaked any documents confirming this seems to be to be pretty strong evidence that the theory is false.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton