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Comment: Re: Wrong! (Score 1) 374 374

"Solar is important. Biggest advantage is that it requires very little infrastructure. In the southern US, solar may not be as usable since it won't run an A/C, but in cooler climates, it would provide enough power for a house, assuming a decent fuel source for heating. Wind is also similar." This is one of the weirdest things I have seen written about this subject. Places with heaviest AC use benefit the most. The time when AC usage is the highest is also the time when solar energy is generating at its peak. In addition, solar panels on the roof reduce the heat load dumped into the attic for another very slight benefit. Sure, it's best in arid climates that don't need as much AC at night - humid areas need AC mostly all day. But the highest drain on AC in the hottest time of the day is when the utilities struggle to generate enough juice to keep up. This is why they will pay you $$$ to install a smart thermostat which is connected to the smart grid - so they can turn off your AC for short periods to help with the load spike. Solar is a huge benefit at that time because it can be a huge reduction in the AC spike for a couple hours a day - regardless of if the owner comes out ahead or not. Anywhere that is hot generally also has a lot of sunshine. That's good for solar. However - in many parts of the Midwest and Deep South USA - you will want to make sure you get hail resistant solar panels...

Comment: Re:Not really happy (Score 1) 171 171

The whole "HTTP/2 stink" thing seems to be a bit of a meme, but it's remarkable how the people who state it vaguely wave their hands around and make unsupported claims.

1. HTTP/2 is *fantastic* for higher latency connections. If you're a small site and you can't afford to have geolocated servers around the globe, HTTP/2 offers a much better experience for those high latency connections. I've been using SPDY for a couple of years to service clients in Singapore from a server in the US (which for a variety of legislative and technical reasons I can't replicate there). It is absolutely better.

2. HTTP Pipelining is when you know that someone is just doing the "I oppose" thing and searching around for objections. HTTP pipelining is not supported by default in a *single* major browser because it has critical, deadly faults that render it useless. When people bring it up to oppose HTTP/2, their position is rendered irrelevant.

3. HTTP/2 removes the need to do script and resource coalescing. It removes the need to deal with difficult to manage image sprites. All of those are bullshit that are particularly onerous and expensive to little sites.

4. HTTP/2 makes SSL much cheaper to the experience. This is very good.

HTTP/2 is a *huge* benefit especially to the little guy. Google can do every manner of optimization, they can deploy across legions and armies of servers around the globe. This can be expensive and logistically difficult for little sites, especially if you want SSL. HTTP/2 levels the playing field to some degree.

Comment: Re:"risks serious damage to the system" (Score 1) 138 138

It isn't about "a chip". It's about a system that is designed for a specific thermal and electrical load. nvidia probably got flak from notebook makers who were facing dissatisfied customers.

You only have to look at a lot of the nonsense comments throughout, such as yours -- people just contriving how "easy" everything is, and how simple it is. Yeah, and I'll bet all of you design notebooks. No? Then shut up.

Comment: Re:What's the evidence this will work? (Score 1) 156 156

To the best of my knowledge "head starts" in letters and numbers make no difference in long-term outcomes. I'm disappointed to hear Gates pushing for this sort of thing. Solid educational resources at the right developmental stages are critical for long-term success, not some sort of fast-track to the ABCs.

+ - SWAT teams in MA assert they are private entitites not subject to FOA->

sam_handelman writes: The North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, an umbrella organization for SWAT Teams in MA, has asserted in court that they are a private entity not subject to freedom of information act requests. According to a report in the local paper, the Eagle-Tribune They have taken down their website, which was cited by the ACLU and contained the following gem: that NEMLEC was established in 1963 out of a fear and distrust of civil rights advocates.
Link to Original Source

+ - A new technology for astroturfing (and the same old Union corruption)

sam_handelman writes: New Voice Strategies (N.V.S.) has developed a technology which takes astroturfing to a new level: VIVA Idea Exchange(TM). You give them a message, and they will find you stakeholders whose input, using "proprietary algorithms", will then be molded to reflect your message. The former President of the Mass. Teachers Association (MTA), Paul Toner steered a contract to purchase N.V.S.'s services for the National Education Association (parent of the MTA). Who would have expected, the leaked preliminary N.V.S. NEA report shares action items with the report that Arizona Charter School Association purchased. In comments on the report, the teachers who wrote the N.V.S. NEA disclose that they were pressured, but still wish to pursue their algorithmic appointment as spokesmen, so the technology works to that extent. In other surprising news, Paul Toner, having lost his bid for the NEA board, is now President of N.V.S..

Comment: Aluminium (Score 5, Interesting) 187 187

"In the mid 1880s, aluminium metal was exceedingly difficult to produce, which made pure aluminium more valuable than gold.[51] So celebrated was the metal that bars of aluminium were exhibited at the Exposition Universelle of 1855.[52] Napoleon III of France is reputed to held a banquet where the most honored guests were given aluminium utensils, while the others made do with gold."

Comment: Re:Oblig. Xkcd (Score 1) 247 247

This got a lot of publicity but it doesn't really add all that much security. Supposing you choose 4 words from a dictionary of 200k (roughly the order of magnitude of the OED), you arrive at about 70 bits of entropy. Conversely, choosing a 10-character password from a 62 letter alphabet (a-zA-Z0-9) yields 59 bits of entropy- the difference is only a factor of 1024. Attackers aren't so dumb as to just try choosing random characters- they have very good priors on how common any particular character sequence is in the typical password and will mix and match entire words, with or without leetspeak substitutions, etc.

Of course no matter how rigorous your policy, it all goes out the window once your users type the same password into some other random site.

Comment: Complexity is a red herring (Score 2) 247 247

Complexity matters mainly if your attacker gains offline access to your hashes. Far and away the main source of password compromise is non-uniqueness (using the same password elsewhere). This is actually the main benefit of forcing a periodic password change. Graphical and gesture passwords are horribly insecure from shoulder surfers.
If you can, support as many factors as possible. Multiple factors gives your users flexibility- they may not always be able to receive an SMS or have a card reader handy. TPM-based virtual smart cards are super handy for remote auth from a domain-joined device- no cards or readers required.

Comment: Re: 2 Questions (Score 2) 294 294

Can't believe that to be the case, because that would mean the people in charge of Tesla's Marketing Department are complete morons - never has a new car salesman tried to "steer" a potential sale to their competitors.

Remember - most dealerships sell multiple makes. If one of their makes gives the dealership more kickback - the dealership pushes that make. Also, dealerships sell many models. They push the models they want - instead of simply answering questions, informing the consumer, and helping the consumer into an appropriate configuration. Finally - dealerships make a ton of money on "add ons". If a particular model has fewer available after sale add ons available - a dealership will avoid that model. This is all before considering the profits they make on service. Can't sell oil changes to Tesla buyers - so let's push the BMW or Porsche instead... Look. Tactics like these laws are simply fear. Dealerships suck. Everyone knows they suck. The only people I know who defend dealerships are people who work there.

The computer is to the information industry roughly what the central power station is to the electrical industry. -- Peter Drucker