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Comment: Re:What's it good for? (Score 5, Insightful) 236

by hab136 (#48432553) Attached to: Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

>So, what exactly is the point of manned space stations?

For one thing, testing various methods for keeping humans alive, healthy, and sane in space.

We need to expand beyond Earth. To do that, we'll need space stations as jump-off points, and we'll need to know how to survive extended periods in space (months and years). To do that, we need somewhere to test survival, like the ISS.

> Or would the money, time and effort be better invested in some other types of space activity - automated experimental stations, or - let's dream - building a "real" base in space?

The ISS cost $150 billion over 20 years, or about $7.5 billion a year to construct and maintain. The US currently spends about $3 billion a year to keep it going - or about $8 per person. It's not a lot of money. Think about that - watching a movie about space costs more than actually maintaining a real life space station.

We have to start somewhere. All the work put into building and maintaining ISS was necessary experience before would could build a "real" base. We can design all we want but there are a lot of lessons to learn when you try to put theory into practice.

Yes, for each individual experiment, automated experiments are cheaper and easier. They're still done: http://www.space.com/27003-rus...

We don't have to do ISS *or* automated experiments - we do both.

Space is the future and it takes big investments right now. They do pay off now, and they'll pay off even more in the future.

Comment: Re:Why can't (Score 1, Troll) 349

by hab136 (#47368471) Attached to: Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

Bandwidth isn't like water or electricity. You either use it in the moment or don't. You can't save it for later.

Not using bandwidth at 3am doesn't help the traffic jam at peak time (6pm). ISPs have to build enough infrastructure to handle peak times - they have to have larger pipes - but it doesn't actually matter how much bandwidth you use except for peak times. There's no good reason to meter traffic during non-peak times.

I'm not saying metering is a good idea - as I understand it, simply increasing bandwidth is often a cheaper option and better for users - but metering during non-peak times is just greed.

Comment: Re:Umm, ctrl+c/ctrl+v? (Score 1) 681

> I get to do 2 clicks if I use a mouse or windows key + start typing

You can do the same thing in Windows 7 (Windows key + start typing, or click on "Start" button and start typing), plus you have the organization of nested menus.

For items you use often, you can pin them to the menu instead of digging through "All Programs".

The start screen isn't an improvement in any way for desktop users. It is better for touch screens since the icons are larger and easier to click.

>especially ability to pin apps to a monitor.

Pinning apps to a monitor has nothing to do with start screen vs start menu. There's no reason that functionality couldn't be added to normal desktop windows ("always start this app on monitor x, fullscreen/windowed"), and in fact by default Windows 7 will remember where you last had an app and restore it to that monitor (not always correctly, but it tries).

The Metro interface is not only less functional for keyboard and mouse users, but confusing as well. There's no obvious way to close a Metro app, and swiping from the top is hard to do with a mouse. Alt-F4 works, but non-techie users don't know that. There's also no obvious way to shut down the computer! Swiping from the right is non-obvious and again, hard to do with a mouse. Remembering a keyboard shortcut (Win+C) is difficult for "normal" people. Yes, they could press the power button (on supported hardware), but decades of telling people to always shut down via software have made them nervous about that.

I've had a Windows 8 laptop at home for about 1.5 years now. Once I learned Win+C and Win+X, and customized the start menu a bit, it was fine. But I'm a computer person; all the "normal" people I know hate it and just want XP back (or something that looks like XP).

Comment: Re:Top Gear was worse. (Score 3, Informative) 544

by hab136 (#46655329) Attached to: 60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

1. Teslas don't need oil changes. You know what's better than a great dealer experience for required maintenance? Not needing maintenance in the first place!

2. Tesla doesn't have a dealer network, but they do have a service center network: http://www.teslamotors.com/ser...

3. You want a loaner? You'll get a loaner. From http://www.teslamotors.com/ser...:

Tesla Valet Service
Tesla is putting in place a valet service, so that your car is seamlessly picked up and replaced with a loaner and then returned as soon as we are done. There is no additional charge for this.

Tesla Rangers Come to You
Tesla Rangers are service technicians who make house calls. For an additional fee, they can come to your home or office to perform most maintenance and warranty repairs.

4. "air conditioned seats, rear DVD, 360 degree camera surround support, automatic parking, adaptive cruise control, automatic crash braking". Ok, Teslas don't have any of that.

Comment: Re:Very amusing but... (Score 4, Interesting) 314

>You have to manage an inventory of expensive $20k+ parts that could be stolen,

All inaccessible and underground. They're also fairly useless to thieves; who would they sell a stolen Tesla Model S battery pack to?

The battery packs are heavy, unwieldy, and can't be resold to anyone. If you're a thief, there are much better targets.

>you have multiple sizes and model of battery,

All the loaner packs can be the same size and model.

> and different wear states. The batteries lose power constantly.

Since they're at the charging station, they can keep the batteries topped off. As they wear out, they'll be replaced. Tesla owns the loaner packs. The battery swap is actually a loan, not a true swap like propane. You have to go back to that station and get your original pack back.

>You have to manage liability, if you install a defective battery and it catches fire who pays.

Tesla, since they're both the manufacturer and the battery swapper.

>You have complicated machinery that you need to have many of to handle rushes that go unused at other times

It takes 93 seconds to swap batteries. http://www.teslamotors.com/bat...
They really only need one swapping machine on site for the foreseeable future, and if they get to the point where they need more swapping machines, then they're doing very very well.

Especially since swapping isn't going to be used day-to-day; you'll charge at home or work. Swapping is really only for long-distance trips.

>And you still need to have the same order of magnitude of power available to charge up the swapped out batteries as you would to just charge them in the car.

Of course. The advantage of battery swap is that you can run out your current battery, swap at the station, drive wherever you're going, come back, swap back for your now-recharged pack, and go home. 186 seconds during the trip, versus having to stop and charge for a few hours.

Comment: Re:Good luck. (Score 1) 983

by hab136 (#46463349) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

>A quick check at one service which lists such large amounts, you would be looking at almost $20k/year to keep a single offsite copy of tha

Amazon Glacier would be about $205/year to store 20 TB. A full restore would be like $2,000 though, unless you want to restore 1 GB/month. Still, that's a significant difference from $20k/year.

Comment: Re:Copyright violation. (Score 1) 119

by hab136 (#46011899) Attached to: Nagios-Plugins Web Site Taken Over By Nagios

>But you must keep in mind (as I mentioned above) that to get monetary renumeration--rather than an injunction--you must have registered your work with the Copyright Office before the violation. And it must be registered--before or after the violation--to be able to make a claim.

I thought you were wrong, so I started looked up references. As it turns out, you're right.

The law: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap4.html#412

Slightly more readable: http://thompsonhall.com/why-you-must-register-a-copyright/

Comment: Re:no (Score 2) 479

by hab136 (#46011809) Attached to: An Iowa ISP's Metered Pricing: What Will the Market Bear?

>The idea of unmetered pricing is kind of insane.

Why? If an ISP's peak bandwidth is 600 MB/s, then they have to buy 600 MB/s of bandwidth. It doesn't matter how much you download during non-peak times; the pipe has to be sized for peak bandwidth.

Someone that uses 5 GB monthly, but expects 30 MB/s bandwidth during peak time, means the ISP needs 30 MB/s more peak bandwidth (so 630 MB/s total)
Someone that uses 300 GB monthly mostly during non-peak time, and only uses about 5 MB/s during peak time means the ISP only needs 5 MB/s more of bandwidth (so 605 MB/s total).

Metering by the bit is only vaguely related to costs. If you want to meter by bandwidth, that would make sense - but we already do that. You can have 10 MB/s for $x.xx, 20 MB/s for $y.yy, etc. Why should we *also* meter by the bit when we already meter by speed?

NZ's problem is likely that the trans-Pacific cables meter by the bit in order to increase their profit, and the local ISPs are just passing those costs on. In that case, the trans-Pacific cable operators shouldn't be metering by the bit, since it has no relation to their costs.

Comment: Re:KVM for maintenance (Score 1) 277

by hab136 (#45817969) Attached to: Surviving the Internet On Low Speed DSL

>RDP and VNC aren't much help if that server is waiting in the bios to tell you a SCSI disk is offline.

You can set up a gateway VM (or physical machine) on the same local network and RDP to that, then connect to your iLO/DRAC/IPMI/KVM. The bandwidth-intensive KVM will stay on the same network, and you can use a lower-bandwidth protocol like RDP to connect to the gateway machine.

Many places use this as a security measure - users from the VPN are only allowed to RDP/SSH to the gateway machine, then access internal systems from there. It makes it easy to firewall off systems from the outside.

Physician: One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well. -- Ambrose Bierce

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