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Comment: Re:How fast to charge. (Score 1) 426

by RobinH (#48794211) Attached to: Chevrolet Unveils 200-Mile Bolt EV At Detroit Auto Show
This is pretty obviously meant to be a "second vehicle" aka "grocery getter". Our 5-person family has a minivan, plus a Ford Focus as a second vehicle, which I drive to work and to run errands but never take on long trips. I can't actually fit the whole family-of-five in the Focus, but it works as a second vehicle. This Bolt would also work exactly as well.

Comment: Re:If your decision is.... (Score 1) 512

by RobinH (#48768251) Attached to: Publications Divided On Self-Censorship After Terrorist Attack
This is an odd situation. This isn't a Streisand effect. The cartoons aren't information that they're trying to suppress, they're just viewed as offensive, the same way we would view cartoons of someone dismembering a baby as offensive. (Note that I would still support publication of any of those cartoons, even if I found them offensive.) If journalists wrote about the horrific things ISIS was doing and those journalists were attacked for criticizing ISIS then the proper response is to make sure that information gets out there. On the other hand, if I put up a sign pointed at my neighbor's house with (hand-drawn) pictures of dead babies and he over-reacted and shot me, I think he should be charged with murder, but I don't think the response from the neighborhood should be to put up more such signs. I'm pretty sure freedom of speech is about informing other people about stuff, not about yelling in someone's face continually when they've indicated they've long since stopped listening.

Comment: Re:Jeavon's Paradox (Score 2) 82

by RobinH (#48705591) Attached to: Pew Survey: Tech Increases Productivity, But Also Time Spent Working
Yeah, but it's backwards. We've been making individuals (even unskilled ones) much more productive, and total productivity is going up, but interestingly that's not driving higher demand for unskilled labor (since about the 70's). It does seem to be driving some demand for skilled labor. That plus deregulation is what's driving income inequality. I would have thought the Jevons paradox thing should be increasing demand for unskilled labor.

Comment: Already doing it some places (Score 2) 84

by RobinH (#48539099) Attached to: US Treasury Dept: Banks Should Block Tor Nodes
I setup a Raspberry Pi as a tor *relay* (not a tor exit node) just as a weekend project this year. Within a couple of days, we couldn't log into our bank (TD Canada Trust). I was able to log in by VPN'ing into my work PC. I took the tor relay offline, and within a couple of days I could log into my bank again from home. Both relays and exit node IPs are public knowledge, but I still think it's wrong to block relays.

Comment: Utilities will be the biggest users (Score 3, Interesting) 461

by RobinH (#48531569) Attached to: Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

This will revolutionize the grid. I was reading that lithium ion batteries are around $500/kWh right now wholesale (and I've seen some you can buy from China that make me believe that's roughly true). Then there's a projected cost as low as $180/kWh in about 5 years after Tesla's factory ramps up (and no doubt others start to come online).

Right now (in Ontario) I can buy peak electricity at about 13 cents per kWh and maybe 7 or 8 cents per kWh at night. Imagine a system of batteries where I buy power at night, store it, and then use that during the day. I worked the rough numbers and at today's battery prices I'd be hard pressed to get a return on my investment in 20 years, and that's only considering battery cost. However, if you use $180/kWh, suddenly you might see the payback period on a system like that drop below 10 years, and if I can do it at that price, what can a utility do with its economy of scale?

The addition of economical grid-level storage will radically change the way the utilities run their business. You won't need so much idle generating capacity such as natural gas or coal sitting around to service peak loads because you can charge up your battery banks at night using nuclear and during the day with solar and consume them during the peak periods.

Comment: Reverse discrimination (Score 1) 333

I'm sure a lot of women think this is great because it's just doing to men what they perceive has been done to them, but I fail to see how this is fair when the victims of the discrimination are young boys, who haven't even had a chance to do anything wrong yet. This is punishing them for alleged wrongs that they could never have had any part in. It's going way too far.

Comment: Re:Was impressed until.. (Score 4, Informative) 144

by RobinH (#48405017) Attached to: What the US Can Learn From Canada's Internet Policy
At least in Canada I know what I'm buying then. I get X GB per month, and there is (at least in my area) 3 different ISPs (1 cable, one DSL, and one independent) that I can go to. I go to the one that gives me more bandwidth, higher caps at a lower price (duh). It's $48/month for 300 GB, and there's an unlimited package for about $60, but we just don't seem to ever break that cap. (We came close once but reduced it by lowering the bandwidth settings on my wife's Netflix profile :)

Comment: Not just cameras (Score 5, Interesting) 321

Cameras are a problem, but it's not just cameras anymore. Nest thermostats, for instance, have occupancy sensors and they connect to the internet to work. So your thermostat tells a server on the internet if anyone's home (potentially). Smart meters have similar problems. We recently bought a temperature sensor (AVTECH brand) for our small server closet, and it automatically connected to GoToMyDevices.com as soon as I got it on the network, and started uploading sensor data. There was nowhere in the device's built-in web interface to enable or even disable this "feature". Nothing in the documentation. I looked online and found a forum where it explained that you had to telnet to the device, and at the main menu you had to select a hidden menu item, and then type a command to turn off this feature. It's that kind of absurdity that makes the whole "internet of things" just a house of cards waiting to collapse.

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