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Comment: Anti-SLAPP (Score 0) 209 209

This is clearly a case for application of anti-SLAPP laws. My understanding is that California already has pretty good options in this area, but many other states and the federal system do not. A good anti-SLAPP law allow the defendants in these cases to request dismissal of the case prior to the very expensive discovery phase AND allow for recovery of legal fees.

Comment: Re: Bad men could do bad things with this tech! (Score 3, Informative) 105 105

Why does it matter? The garage probably has a dozen different tools and garden or sports implements hanging on the wall that would make opening the door a trivial exercise whether locked or not. A person willing to break into the house once would certainly have no problem doing it twice.

Comment: Re:what will be more interesting (Score 4, Insightful) 662 662

No, people do realize what a "pompous asshat" Jeremy Clarkson is, and they either don't care given how good he is at what he does, or they admire those traits. Large segments of society are not on board with the PC, wimpy, constantly-whining-about-bullying-and-____ism that is pervasive in media, especially an institution like BBC. Clarkson is a figure who pushes back at that trend, and many see him as a hero (now perhaps a martyr) for it.

Comment: Re:Net metering is little more than theft (Score 2) 374 374

Utility companies can raise their prices if they wish.

No they can't. They can propose rate increases and pitch capital expenditures or R&D, but they cannot do it on their own. Utilities operate in regulated markets and virtually all rate increases, fee levies and capital expenditures have to be approved by state and/or local public utility commissions (sometimes called public service commissions). Often then, there is a mostly-fixed profit margin imposed on the utility companies leading to rather inflexible pricing and investment options for the company. Like any quasi-government body, the PUCs are susceptible to lobbying interests, single-issue candidates, busy-bodies, histrionics, endless red tape and the various other plagues of politics which essentially tie the hands of the utility companies when it comes to business decisions.

Comment: Re:Net metering is little more than theft (Score 1) 374 374

Any connection to individual or community health is tenuous at best. The whole issue with PV panels is that they are not net energy positive for their anticipated service life when installed anywhere but the sunniest areas. Fossil fuels are being burned in places like China to manufacture panels that, over the next 30 years, will not produce a greater amount of energy than went into the creation of the panel (and inverters, etc). I agree that burning coal, and to a lesser extent, natural gas isn't a great solution for generating electricity; however PV solar does not improve the situation, and in many cases, probably makes it worse. See also: corn ethanol.

Comment: Re:Net metering is little more than theft (Score -1, Troll) 374 374

Agreed entirely. It's not only theft from the utility companies but theft from the rest of us who recognize PV solar power as the obvious scam that it is in all but the sunniest areas of the world. My rates inevitably will go up because the utility is forced to pay retail or higher for solar in net metering schemes when they should be buying bulk power from the lowest cost providers.

Comment: Re:Incompetent IT in a health care industry? (Score 1) 223 223

I would suggest that security should be the top priority ahead of everything else.

I would rather they have patient care as their number one priority. Their focus should be the health and welfare of patients, because if they don't, people literally die. If it comes down to doctors spending their time treating patients and nurses double-checking medicine doses versus keying in lengthy crypto sequences on their tablet and meeting with IT vendors -- I would much rather they choose the former.

Comment: Really? (Score 3, Informative) 228 228

To be fair to Zuckerberg and Facebook, the company must obey the law of any country in which it operates.

No it doesn't. Big companies don't obey laws unless it's cheaper to do so than not. Slashdot in particular can't stop fellating Uber over what is probably a largely illegal operation. Comcast, Verizon, Microsoft, and basically all of the rest routinely violate laws as they see fit, pay a fine and move on.

Comment: Re:Implement locally? (Score 1) 145 145

3: Why didn't they clear with you first?

How would you know what number an incoming emergency call would come from whether you knew you were the emergency contact or not? If your wife is hurt at work will a call come from her cell phone, her supervisor's cell phone, desk phone, main business number, the HR office, one of hundreds of hospital numbers, etc?

Comment: Re:Illogical (Score 2) 172 172

On a very large scale (like an entire city) the random distribution does take over and level itself. However on a smaller scale, like a subdivision or a neighborhood the spiky effects are quite evident -- approximately one-third higher than in a similar area with controlled demand. Why does this matter? One reason is that it allows the utility to spend less on hardware like transformers and wires, which keeps the billing rate low. It also reduces the chance of peak load failure of transformers and breakers during the peak air conditioning days, which have major expense of unplanned outages and emergency repair costs. It is so much cheaper for a utility to be able to set back AC units in an area of town where the transformer is dangerously overloaded than it is to do rolling blackouts or risk a catastrophic failure.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming