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Submission + - Did the politicians do all the math on solar energy? (

gadget junkie writes: Funnily enough, Northern European countries have put the most solar panels in place. in this story on the Daily Telegraph, some of the foreseable problems seem to emerge: grid bottleneck, wide differences between peak output and average output. The suggested solution is mindboggling to an economic analyst like me: install them at an angle which would cause them to generate the most energy in the afternoon (namely: face west, and all will be fine). This adds to the cost obviously, since it is less efficient. Why is it practically impossible to get an unbiased economic study on alternative energy?

Submission + - Am I late for the earthquake? (

gadget junkie writes: "Geological fault lines are well known, and Italy has a long story of big and small earthquakes, so predicting where an earthquake il likely to happen is not hard. But here, as elsewhere, predicting "when" has proven impossible....or has it? not accoording to the worthy Italian magistrates who have indicted the whole Big Risks Commission, which is a mixed scientific and administrative board, for wrongful death and injury in relation with the april 2009 L'Aquila earthquake, for not having predicted it."

Submission + - win7 runs better than XP.....just barely (

gadget junkie writes: "An interesting Article by Extremetech does a quick and dirty comparison between Windows 7, Vista, and good ole Windows XP. none of the tests are real life tests, and the hardware was dated, but "[...]For the most part, these tests don't show Windows 7 soundly trouncing XP. But for an operating system that's far richer in features and more advanced in interface, Windows 7 is quite close to the older OS and tops it in several tests. Most impressive among Windows 7's wins were its JavaScript and shutdown time results."
One phrase was rather defensive, tough:"For gamers, the results are pretty much a wash between XP and Windows 7. In any case, power gamers are far more likely to be buying for a new high-end machines and not upgrading an old XP system."
Now, I am not a big geek, but I DO play games .My quad core intel runs on XP, and you'll have to pry it from my cold dead fingers; and many other people I know choose hardware sellers on one big service they offer: they do the downgrade from Vista or Win 7 to XP.
I do not have the time and resources to buy a win7 machine for inhouse testing, expecially the user experience: what's the score for slashdotters on this one?"

Submission + - is Virtual Desktop going mainstream? (

gadget junkie writes: "Thin clients have waxing and waning for almost a decade now. I've worked for a number of companies in Italy, and seen others, and no meaningful example has come across my path. Now the Wall Street Journal runs a story about the increasing use of virtual desktops in corporations and educational environments. Since the WSJ is not a specialist publications, there are what I reckon some oddities in the article, for example there's a vague suggestion of a link between the debut of Win7 and the increase in use of thin desktop. Is it the start of a glorious revolution, or the PC will remain the mainstay for years to come?"

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982