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Comment Re:The path humanity should take: (Score 1) 98

One of the "problems" with fusion is that you get neutrons. You can just slow down these neutrons to generate heat, which gives you some energy of course. Or, you can use U238 (very abundant!) to breed plutonium, which you can then burn in a conventional (fission) reactor. So unfortunately, while the fusion aspect may be clean, you're just leaving money on the table if you're not running a fission reactor from the byproduct...

Comment Re:Really?"Carbon free"??? (Score 1) 98

Do you also cry foul when a car manufacturer states the mileage their cars get? When an LED or CFL lightbulb says how much juice it draws?

There's a time and a place to be pedantically literal. But it's perfectly legitimate to ask (implicitly) what the incremental -- excluding manufacture of plant -- CO2 output is per unit of energy, just as it's perfectly legitimate to ask what sort of mileage a car gets, excluding manufacturing costs.

Comment Re:If I want IoT I'll make it myself. (Score 2) 123

About 5 years ago I built a little relay box to control household outlets (inspired by http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Coff... ). So I can control my lights/stereo amplifier/etc. with a dinky web interface or via SMS (through Google Voice emails). Security is dubious (to say the least!), and yet somehow, I haven't been the victim of an attack, "friends" aside ;)

Also, the HDMI CEC on the Raspberry Pi allows me to control basic features of my A/V system remotely (my TV and receiver are not internet-enabled). Really handy given that I don't have line-of-sight access to my receiver. Much better than v1.0, which was to use a mirror...

Comment Re:This is how it begins (Score 1) 248

Sure, but that's not always how it plays out. In the USA, Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus -- but it was restored at the end of the civil war. Granted, that's not exactly the way the Patriot Act has played out, but still...governments aren't always nefarious entities, and sometimes they even do The Right Thing at the end of the day.

Comment Re:What about Log tables (Score 1) 220

Since starting grad school, I've had to work with decibels a bit. I've really found that thinking in dB/log10 can be extremely useful, especially for back-of-the-envelope sort of calculations. And I'm absolutely terrible at mental arithmetic.

Though I guess mostly I just memorize that 3dB (10^0.3) is ~2, 5 is ~pi and 10 is 10. One rarely needs to know the mantissa better than that ;)

Comment Re:First systemd, now LSB (Score 1, Insightful) 220

Sure, but some of us have had Just Plain Bad experiences with systemd, regardless of startup scripts.

A server (running Debian Stable) I was rebooting for a kernel upgrade wouldn't reboot -- it just hung at "Reached target Shutdown" (similar, I believe, to this bug). Of course, it had already stopped sshd, so I had no idea what was going on until I dug out a monitor and plugged it in.

Another server had an entry in /etc/fstab for an external USB disk that was occasionally used. One time after upgrading, systemd decided that, because the disk wasn't plugged in, it would just hang there because it couldn't mount an fstab entry.

Another time I go to turn off my computer and...it just hangs there, telling me the system is powered off (I had to physically turn off the power, though of course everything was cleanly unmounted so not a problem).

Yes, some -- or maybe even all -- of these problems can in part be blamed on me. The first one could be fixed with "systemctl reboot," the second one with "noauto" in fstab, and the third with "poweroff" instead of "halt." But that's not the point. The point is, when my *completely working system* decides to stop working on numerous occasions, and it can all be traced to one source, it just Isn't A Good Thing in my opinion. To each his own, though.

Comment Welchia, the 2003 "helpful worm" (Score 1) 79

The Welchia worm, also known as the "Nachia worm", is a computer worm that exploits a vulnerability in the Microsoft Remote procedure call (RPC) service similar to the Blaster worm. However, unlike Blaster, it first searches for and deletes Blaster if it exists, then tries to download and install security patches from Microsoft that would prevent further infection by Blaster, so it is classified as a helpful worm.


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