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Comment: Re: Strong public relations (Score 1) 197

by gadget junkie (#49312231) Attached to: NZ Customs Wants Power To Require Passwords

[...]"It also doesn't solve the problem of, "We've identified these GMail and Facebook accounts as yours. Please login to them or go to jail."

Sorry, I thought people knew about this.

And by the way, my answer to the relevant police is "officer, let me give you the password for that volume, that's where I stored my id/passwords or Gmail and Facebook, bank accounts etc."

Comment: Re: Strong public relations (Score 4, Insightful) 197

by gadget junkie (#49299317) Attached to: NZ Customs Wants Power To Require Passwords

It won't happen. It's been demonstrated over and over again that people are willing and often eager to comply with the authorities' requests. More likely, other countries will follow soon and the day will come when this is law everywhere. We live in the Surveillance Age now. Deal with it.

Of course they are. the great unwashed do not see the point, and the others use some form of plausible deniability encryption.
This is the usual PHB event in which a high official misread some bad science in a hairdresser magazine, asked that something be done about it to an even more ignorant burocrat, and lo and behold, something was eventually done.
nothing to see here.

Comment: out of curiosity.....how much? (Score 1) 148

by gadget junkie (#49054935) Attached to: Report: Samsung Replacing Its Apps With Microsoft's For Galaxy S6
this will not have been done out of charity purposes. my guess is that MS gave something on the order of 2 billion dollars. Mind you, I don't have coy qualms: the problem is, they'll have a built-in incentive to "monetise" the apps ["premium" content, degraded base versions, making sure that alternatives do not work]. to give an example on how these things work, you cannot install the Western digital cloud client on the Amazon Kindle, since it would cannibalize revenue out of amazon cloud.

Now, the one (or two) billion dollar question is: will Samsung still retain an hardware edge big enough to get buyers to swallow the minimal choice of software in respect to older versions of Samsung hardware?

Comment: Recyclers anyone? (Score 3, Interesting) 91

Hey, we have all this hardware and software laying idle, why not do a cost reduction exercise and sell the effing thingie in the commercial market?

Seriously tough, I have to wonder if the Chinese, Russians and all the other minions (Iran, North Korea) are not thinking this is a brilliant disguise to be able to deploy an extensive Anti Satellite system.

Comment: Re:soo.... (Score 1) 327

by gadget junkie (#48512925) Attached to: You're Doing It All Wrong: Solar Panels Should Face West, Not South

hedge your bets and go 50/50 south and west. Maybe 50% southwest, 25% west, 25% south and setup a water wheel and perhaps an agrarian society.

A course in financial math would be helpful as well. the reasoning holds only if the grid overpays electricity according to source (gee, who would have thunk it?), otherwise the best thing would be to maximize production (i.e. set panels facing local south) and "time shift" to use as much of the self produced electricity as possible: producing hot water, setting up the laundry machine to start the cycle at 12.30 .... and remember, when the buyer (and the taxpayers!) buy the panels, all the producibility forecasts are calculated for a south facing panel: shift the orientation, and it gets cheaper to buy olimpic cyclists and set them on a dynamo.

Comment: Tax advantage? (Score 1) 395

by gadget junkie (#48481839) Attached to: France Wants To Get Rid of Diesel Fuel
actually, there's no tax advantage at all, if you count by type of fuel: the days of low price for diesel/high price for petrol have left Europe long ago. aaaannd, good luck with the truck industry: Diesel has a kind of economy of scale whereby you can easily build large diesel engines, but it's actually quite difficult to build economical, big petrol engines.
Luckily, the central case is much more benign: since such a measure cannot be adopted by a single EU state, this slimy politician will gain brownie points by looking enviromental [ akin to a wookie "fly casual"], all the while knowing that it cannot and will never be adopted, with all the practical hassle involved. move along, nothing to see here.

Comment: Re:They WILL FIght Back (Score 1) 516

by gadget junkie (#48416125) Attached to: Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

In the craphole region in which I live they've already passed ordinances about things like wind turbines within city limits. They call it an "eye sore" and "disruptive." That's how the utility companies will outlaw solar paneling after donating generously to their politician buddies. Either that or they'll so [overregulate]withdraw subsidies from them that the price will skyrocket beyond most people's financial reach.

there, fixed it for you. I can understand the Deutsche bank analyst, he knows which way his bread is buttered, but people at the end of the line should know, or be told, that their normal electricity price includes renewable sources subsidies. until and unless consumers are told a "raw" price without subsidies, they won't know if this is economical or not.

Mind you, if anybody thinks it's worthwhile and has 5 grand burning a hole in his pocket, feel free to buy that. But he's not using his own money now, he's using other people's money, and that's a harbinger of bad decisions if I ever saw one. and believe you me, I 've been in the investment business 30 years, I've seen my share.

Comment: solution is like medicine..... (Score 1) 488

by gadget junkie (#48367031) Attached to: Denmark Faces a Tricky Transition To 100 Percent Renewable Energy
....mostly obvious, but unpalatable: let ANYBODY sell electricity on the grid auction: the grid is paid off a percentage of the turnover, BUT:

1. any producer registering on the exchange has to declare both the maximum and the minimum that it can make available to the grid over a yearly period in 30 minutes interval;
2.additional payments to the grid are made by producers on a log scale proportional to the difference between the two, i.e.gas turbine plants, who have a continous productions, would make additional payments (in fact, receive less money) of zero, wind would probably declare a relatively small difference, solar would declare zero as a minimum, and therefore pay the most in reduced revenues;
3. by all means, allow those renewable producers that buy continous availability from others to declare it on a form countersigned by the guarantee producer.

In this manner, pricing of the interruption risk is paid by those who cause it, and the cause-effect relation is evident. Make no mistake, William of Occam is my master, and I am not in favour or against renewables: I treat the matter as the analyst I am, most of my job is "stripping the fudge" from numbers, i.e. analyse and take away the fiscal and regulatory incentives that mask the fact that something is unviable by making somebody else pay without telling him in so many words.This solution offered by the minister is a case in point. let me help there.

[...]"Rasmus Helveg Petersen, the Danish climate minister, says he is tempted by a market approach: real-time pricing of electricity for anyone using it — if the wind is blowing vigorously or the sun is shining brightly, prices would fall off a cliff, but in times of shortage they would rise just as sharply.

that would give the final payer the false impression that the problem is about not having enough renewable energy continuosly, instead of saying that most renewables are inherently unstable sources per se. By making the continous producers making most of the revenue in the brief moments when they are indispensable, you are knowingly exposing them as ruthless speculators, gnawing away at the needs of the People all in the name of profit."Gas plant near Copenhaghen taxes a Citizen 200 EUR a day for its energy!", and so on. All the while making hush-hush deals and promises, to keep the "real" producers from closing the plants for good, we do not want the innocent Danes to know that there is no Tooth Fairy, do we? And if we work out the math for that citizen, i.e. that those 200 Euros are a lump sum insurance payment for energy availability, working out at 55 cents a day, and oh the horror, that the politicians knew this before work had begun on the renewable plants, that they will know.

Comment: welcome to Arrakis (Score 1) 55

by gadget junkie (#48359845) Attached to: NASA Tests Aircraft With Shape Shifting Wings
something like that is present in innumerable Sci-fi works. In dune, the Ornithopters have shapeshifting wings, and in "the mote in God's eye", there are similar aircrafts.
It looks like a case of Submarines, mobile phones etc: engineering is finally catching up with the technical possibilities.

Comment: Re: Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 1) 398

by gadget junkie (#48195493) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

We know the speed limit, the safe stopping distance for the speed, the safe time to cover the safe stopping distance, and the duration of the yellow.

Which raises the question, are cities intentionally creating safety issues ?

Yes. or in other words: "hmmmmmmm...... revenues!!"

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 1) 398

by gadget junkie (#48195477) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

The red light camera issue is easily Googled, many municipalities have found that the companies installing these have turned down the timing between amber and red in order to catch more people running the red.


please remind me where the muni people are dumb enough to deliver the keys to one of their system to a private enterprise on the assumption that "they will act in the best interest of the community", and forget about it. I have to delete my tax records.

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 1) 398

by gadget junkie (#48195461) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

That's quite an accusation you're making there. Do you have any kind of reliable source backing up this claim, other than someone else claiming the same thing on some gaming forum you like to visit for your monthly dose of conspiracy theories?

In other words, [citation needed] biatch.

not in the US, but something akin to that is happening here in Italy.... to me. the law says that speed traps must be preceeded by a road signal, BUT that without additional evidence the judgement will always be in favour of the police. Mind you, I have a dashboard camera.

since I saw that there was NO sign, I save the file with the timestamp, a good image of the police officer etc, and wait. when the ticket arrives, I contest the validity of the ticket, enclose a cd with the file , a short memo, and wait. Lo and behold, the law enforcement officer sends the ticket back to me doubled, saying that "my video was not valid". Meanwhile, the "official" photo has arrived, and there is no sign of the signal, even tough the field of view is wide enough. mind you, it's difficult not to see the road signal in an empty three lane motorway, so in all fairness they should have put me in for another driving exam, since I should have been drunk, blind, incapacitated, or a combination of the three to miss it.

RAM wasn't built in a day.