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Comment: Re:Lemme pour some solar in my tank... (Score 1) 189

by Chas (#48944887) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

Okay, if we have a market that can absorb the use of biofuel in liquid format right now, exactly how would we truly be better suited towards saying "fuck it" and replacing it with a bunch of solar panels that:

A) Don't fill a fuel tank
B) Requires new solar panels to be built, usually in a country that doesn't give a shit about environmental impacts
C) Requires massive investment in reworking and expanding the transmission and delivery infrastructure
D) Essentially requires that more vehicles be built to then take advantage of the power?

Now, ARE biofuels truly carbon neutral or carbon negative? No.

Still, I'm in favor taking steps, even baby steps, that help lower carbon emissions in a real way NOW. Rather than having someone saw on and on and on (and on and on and on) about how this pie-in-the-sky OTHER thing would be SOOOO much better if only it were implemented now, and never actually gets implemented for numerous reasons.

It's all the people living in dreamland, thinking there's some magical way we could cease carbon output "tomorrow" that are holding up real (even if smaller) REAL progress.

Comment: Re:Reminds me of a joke (Score 1) 70

by drinkypoo (#48944661) Attached to: Cutting Through Data Science Hype

I used to have a car with a back seat truly the size of a sofa, a 1960 Dodge Phoenix (2dr dart... before they shrunk it). But alas, although I actually was having sex regularly, the car had no working parking brake so I couldn't do it in the car. Haven't had a vehicle with a big enough back seat to get my freak on since. I may never lose that purity point.

Comment: Re:Is anyone surprised? (Score 1) 114

Martin has something like two or three times as many plots going on, and he must spend have his time keeping the plotting straight.

Apparently a lot of writers have Wikis now, if he doesn't have an equivalent he's only fooling himself.

I imagine actually drawing the conflict out from early to late on a whiteboard if I were trying to construct a work of any kind of scope, so I could simply look up and see it any old time, taking pictures as I meddled with it so I could see where I'd been.

Comment: Re:"GRR Martin is not your bitch" (Score 1) 114

by lgw (#48944231) Attached to: George R. R. Martin's "The Winds of Winter" Wiill Not Be Published In 2015

I'm not a fan of the television series, but do enjoy the books

I enjoyed the first few, but the latest book was rubbish and I've entirely lost interest in the story thanks to the pace of his writing. He doesn't seem to have much in the way of original plot ideas, so it's mostly about character moments, and you have to keep that sort of writing coming for me to stay interested in those characters.

The series, however, I rather enjoy. While it's probably the first series to ever make me say "there is such a thing as too much gratuitous nudity", the pacing is vastly better than the books, the important character moments are all there, and the gaps between seasons aren't so long that I forget who everyone is.

Comment: Re:Slight OT: USB-bootable virtualbox? (Score 1) 243

by drinkypoo (#48943545) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

But I want to run multiple Windows systems on a USB stick. I wouldn't bother with virtual box if that was the case.

Well, if you want to run them at the same time, you'll need a VM. But you can install multiple versions of Windows on the same PC so long as you put them in different physical primary partitions and install them in proper order from old to new.

If you use virtualbox (or really any VM) in that context then your filesystem performance is going to be ugh and your response is going to be augh, even with USB3... unless it's a mobile SSD, and not just a stick.

Comment: Re:Um, duh? (Score 1) 189

by lgw (#48942805) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

More fundamentally; the only reason to insist solar do baseload is quasi religious.

It's the only thing that can scale, unless fusion ever stops being "just 20 years away". Think of the energy needs of 11 billion people at American consumption levels (~40 TW), which isn't at all a far-fetched projection and of course it won't stop there. Even ground-based Solar hits scaling issues there - it's one thing to shade everything that's already paved, and maybe all the salt flats, but at some point you get significant ecological effects.

Comment: Re:Slight OT: USB-bootable virtualbox? (Score 2) 243

by drinkypoo (#48942683) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

Performance of USB3 sticks is more than adequate and this might be a way to create a way to create a single stick that could run multiple operating systems from bootup without needing any host storage.

You can just write a filesystem to a USB device, or you can partition it and write to it like it was an HDD. So putting multiple operating systems on a USB stick has always been not just possible, but trivial; you do it just the same way as you do it on a HDD.

I made a go at rolling my own with Ubuntu, but because I trying to do it with an older version of VMware workstation running under Windows it seemed to hose up on the USB stick installation.

Get vmware player and the gparted CD ISO, and you will have all that you need to accomplish your goal. ;) Make sure to set the boot order before installing anything because it's much easier to get into the BIOS then. Can't you point VBox at a physical drive, though?

There might be too many gotchas in terms of hardware drivers for the host Linux environment, but it seemed like a sweet solution if would work.

Once you manage getting both nvidia and ati drivers installed at the same time, the rest is child's play.

If you've got a fat USB stick, I advocate installing some lightweight edition of Ubuntu to do the job you're trying to do, perhaps lubuntu. I've never tried pointing vmware at a partition, only at an actual raw device. That worked well as long as I made it an IDE device. This is on an Ubuntu host and using a SATA HDD, and later an SSD. If I told it that the disk was SCSI or SATA then Windows 7 got confused. Telling it that the virtual disk was IDE and pointing it at my SATA disk worked great.

The question I have, though, is why not just use vmware player? It costs the same as virtualbox. Last time I checked, it was vastly superior. It doesn't involve Oracle. Seems better all around.

Comment: Re:VMWare is worth the money (Score 1) 243

by drinkypoo (#48942623) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

KVM could work, but is still maturing and hasn't quire reached the same level yet -- plus, it's nowhere near as portable to any host.

I also like that VBox inherits any improvements made in QEmu.

Portability to any host isn't the point of KVM, it's intentionally Linux-centric. So yeah, if you want to host on things other than Linux, you probably want something else. On the other hand, KVM is used through qemu, so you get the same sort of benefits with KVM as you're expecting with VBox. I just installed The Foreman on a Debian system so that I could manage KVMs, but I haven't actually started fiddling with it. Tomorrow, I think. There's always the command-line tools.

Comment: Re: If it ain't broke... (Score 1) 243

by drinkypoo (#48942557) Attached to: VirtualBox Development At a Standstill

Yeah. I mean I totally buy into innovation for innovation's sake. But VirtBox just works. Sure when a new OS comes out there's work to be done to make it so it will boot in Virtual Box but still. It's worked well for me for years where when I upgrade my OS, VMWare Fusion refuses to work until I pay them (again).

How odd. I was using VMware Server on Linux, because that was free. But then VMware Player became the free product, so I moved to that, which also didn't cost anything. Then it went through several versions, and I still didn't have to pay anything.

I also firmly believe that software which is currently working and working well for most, doesn't need constant attention and "updates" to keep it relevant.

The thing that I personally have noticed has substantially improved in VMware Player is 3D graphics. I've occasionally been in the habit of using it to let me run Windows games (in a window no less) while I do serious things on Linux. Recently I decided to try installing Windows (7) in a VM using the physical drive mapped to the VM and then boot it on the bare metal, which worked brilliantly. I have to admit that it's been a little while since I tried Virtualbox's 3d support, but last time I did that it crashed pretty much every game I tried, except for when it was crashing the VM. Some of those games worked great on vmware player 3.x, let alone 5.x. Most of them work wonderfully on 5.x.

I'm now exploring using KVM on Linux, but not where I want graphics, just for servers. I think that's a much more sensible way to go than messing with anything with which Oracle is involved. Eventually KVM will be better in every way, and not in just a couple. In the meantime, I still have vmware player, which cost me nothing and which IME works better than vbox.

Comment: Re:Not for me (Score 1) 94

by drinkypoo (#48942467) Attached to: Wi-Fi Issues Continue For OS X Users Despite Updates

It's very random, which leads me to the conclusion that it could also be an issue with the AP and/or all the wireless networks around me,

If an AP your NIC is not connected to is causing your NIC problems other than low signal or perhaps low throughput, then your NIC is at fault. OTOH, if your router (AP, whatever) is actually causing you problems, then yes, your NIC deserves a pass. However, IME most of the time if a Linksys router has a problem, it's usually hanging. YMMV, I suppose.

I sometimes wonder why works at all.

Most of the hardware designed before most of the problems were solved is now gone, or at least sitting in a drawer someplace. Sure, I own devices invented before WPA2, but I don't actually use them.

Comment: Re:"Wi-Fi" is fundamentally broken, period. (Score 2) 94

by drinkypoo (#48942431) Attached to: Wi-Fi Issues Continue For OS X Users Despite Updates

The problems with "Wi-Fi" are numerous. The end result is that generally speaking, Wi-Fi is a hot mess of broken tech that doesn't work.

Oddly, I find Wi-Fi to be the only wireless technology which does work reliably. Bluetooth? It's pure bollocks, it never works. Well, that is, when you're trying to do anything the least bit fiddly. And they permitted all kinds of things which abuse the shit out of the spec to call themselves bluetooth, like PS3 controllers. And my problems with cellular technology are legion. But Wi-Fi tends to just keep on ticking along for me. Routers, those shit themselves, but completely and not just the Wi-Fi.

Actual implementations of Wi-Fi are all over the map in terms of quality, with ridiculous things like: advertising support for an extension that it doesn't actually support; criminally severe bugs in a production implementation; vendors that try to work around bugs that other vendors introduced but in turn create yet more bugs, causing a vicious cycle of workarounds to workarounds; "hide and go seek" with extensions and spec interpretations; ridiculous driver implementations that hold exclusive access over very coarse-grained locks in the OS kernel for long periods of time, causing freezes and/or panics; poorly designed antennas; buggy firmware that never gets updated; etc.

You can have all the same equivalent problems with normal Ethernet, though. Many vendors still sell ordinary 100bTX(etc) chipsets which are total garbage, and people still buy NICs using them and stick them into their machines. I have a whole raft of sketchy tulip clones here because they were $1/ea some years ago at Fry's, back when that was still a really amazing price and not just what you'd expect on eBay. They work OK if you only put one of them in a system, which pretty much crapped on my plans for them, but over the years they've occasionally come in handy. Problem is, PCI is goin' away...

The spectrum WiFi uses is open to be used by literally anything else that complies with a few simple rules, [...] Ever lose your WiFi when you turn on your vacuum cleaner, or microwave? That's what's happening.

Well no. My vacuum and microwave are both brand-name products which seem to have adequate shielding, they do not seem to negatively impact my 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi in the least. In case you're wondering, the vac is a Dyson.

If USB and its "device class" specifications (Mass Storage, Battery charging spec, RNDIS, audio class, etc.) is a ringing success story of how standardization can promote interoperability,

It isn't. Most devices don't use the generic driver, even when it would be better than whatever they actually did.

What sucks about Wi-Fi is that when you have a lot of networks near one another, they crap on one another harder than they are supposed to. It takes extra-special care to make this not happen, and then any dillhole who brings his own battery-powered AP with him can still totally hose your network. But otherwise it mostly works, and often better than the other stuff that's supposed to be better. I had way less radio-related problems when my WISP used Wi-Fi than I do now that they're using some custom CDMA crap. No weather problems either, even though I'm more than five miles from the site. It proves nothing of course, except that the Wi-Fi is more mature technology than whatever they were using.

Now, I have yet to try Chromecast, Miracast etc. but I'm starting to think harder about that, so maybe I will finally learn to hate Wi-Fi. But in general, the only real hardship I've had is with chipsets whose drivers don't support master mode under Linux. This taught me to buy intel and Atheros. Even then you don't get a guarantee, but odds are great and you can always check ahead of time. The thing is, that's good advice anyway, both what to buy and what to do before you buy.

Comment: Re:Um, duh? (Score 1) 189

by lgw (#48942381) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

Oh, sure, for now, but Solar for now can't be baseload anyhow. Orbital can. It will be a while before panels get cheap enough and enough not reliant on scarce materials to scale. It seems inevitable now, but it's still a ways off. Meanwhile, private space efforts keep making progress. In 50 years, when solar has wide adoption and we're struggling with baseload at night, and in bad climates, I think orbital will be a viable choice vs nuclear or gas.

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. - Voltaire