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Comment: Re: Who likes their utility? (Score 1) 96

I don't know if San Francisco itself wants that. The Bay Guardian was agitating for it for years, but that doesn't mean the city as a whole was in favor of it. Besides, they've got the Hetch Hetchy Dam providing much of their power supply, and it's been more reliable than much of the rest of the Bay Area's power.

Comment: Who decided CEO needed reputation-washing? (Score 1) 96

What's a publicly-owned utility doing trying to hide the negative reputation of its CEO? Leave aside the question of whether the folks they hired to do it could do the job at the price they were charging, they still should have the guts to admit that the CEO they hired is the CEO they hired, and if they don't have the guts to do that, they should have hired somebody who didn't need reputation-washing.

Comment: Re:Latest LEDs are Too New To Fail Yet (Score 1) 237

by billstewart (#47446461) Attached to: My most recent energy-saving bulbs last ...

Reasonably priced LED light bulbs that put out enough light to be useful for room lighting are a pretty new thing. I haven't seen =$10 bulbs with lumens equivalent to 60-watt incandescents until last year, though it's possible they've been around slightly longer, and I'm still waiting to see cheap LED bulbs that are equivalent to 100 or 150-watt incandescents. And yes, CFLs have been around for a while, and have probably been cheap for 4-5 years, and most of the hard-to-reach light fixtures in my ceilings have them, and sometimes they burn out. These days, if they do, I replace them with LEDs.

Comment: Smart Watches I've Owned (Score 3, Interesting) 358

by billstewart (#47441053) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

I haven't owned any of the current generation of cellphone-accessory smartwatches. The ones I have owned:

-- Casio GPS watch - It was a gift from my wife, back before GPSs had taken over the world. It was big and clunky, got me all kinds of geek cred at work, didn't work very well as a GPS but the fact that it worked at all was amazing.
-- TI EZ430-Chronos watch - programmable, using their MSP430 microprocessor set, had a reasonably flexible display. It didn't have a lot of sensors, and I didn't end up hacking it very much, but it was a lot of fun. It had a low-power radio link that let it connect to a heartbeat monitor band, so you could use it for things like watching your heart rate while jogging.
-- Watches with various other functions built in, like moon phase, tides tables for surfing, that kind of thing. One of them had a screen saver for entirely no good reason, just because it could.

In practice, I find that almost all of the time I'm either in front of a computer screen with a clock display in the corner, or in an environment with clocks around, or carrying a cellphone with a clock display on the main screen, or in an environment that's not very friendly to watches, or in a social environment where I don't really care what time the clock says it is, so I've stopped wearing watches most of the time.

When smart-watches get smart enough to be the phone instead of being a peripheral display for the phone, maybe. But is a smart-watch phone that needs a Bluetooth headset and needs reading glasses to use more convenient than a cellphone with big text that can use a wired headset? For me, it's really not.

Comment: Board with a Display System or without? (Score 1) 182

One of the cool things about the Beaglebone Black and the Raspberry Pi is that they've got GPUs powerful enough to drive an HDMI display, and give you 1080p graphics if you make sure there's enough electric power and not too much interference (my RPi was a bit wonky on the last display I tried), so you can drive a decent monitor for programming or use it as a TV video player.

But if you don't need that, because you're doing X windows or just doing a bunch of ssh terminal sessions, you've got more potential choices, possibly lower power, possibly more memory. It depends a lot on what the target platform for your development is going to be, and on how much effort you plan to spend getting things set up, compared to just taking the BBB or RPi and calling it a day.

Comment: Who's the Spook? (Score 1) 215

You may or may not have noticed that the US press hasn't mentioned the name of the departing CIA Station Chief, but they haven't. Why not? Because it's A Secret! The Germans know who they're kicking out, but the US press goes along with the pretense that it's secret, and other people he might spy on in the future won't know he's a spy, and people who he's hung out with in the past might be exposed as having been spies too. In some cases it's illegal for US government officials to reveal the names of spies, but if they leak them for administration political purposes, like Scooter Libby outing Valerie Plame, they get pardoned, and if they get leaked by accident, like a White House Press Release "notice what name is missing" oops a few months back, the press politely pretends they didn't see anything.

If the Germans are really mad? Merkel can tell the German press the guy's name, and ask them to print it and put it online.

Of course you can't flap your arms and fly to the moon. After a while you'd run out of air to push against.

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