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Comment: Re:Fixed vs mobile longevity? (Score 1) 299

by karnal (#49551679) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Typical sealed lead acid batteries in my UPS devices last at most 5 years. That's with minimal use (one large outage a year, drained at most 50%, smaller minute-based outages) and no vibration to contend with for the plates within. I've seen cars and motorcycles last 7-8 years before failing. Of course, the car doesn't tell you the battery is failing until you either notice the starter moving slower under load or the car just doesn't start. UPS devices (good ones) will test the battery at least once a week to ensure fail-resistant use.

Given that these probably aren't SLA batteries, they could last much much longer depending on depth of discharge allowed. li-ion, for example does remarkably better (2000 more cycles) at only taking the depth of charge down to 75% as opposed to 30% or lower.

Comment: Re:A smart phone is rarely convenient (Score 1) 248

by karnal (#49054605) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

I've thought for a while that this would be a very neat, extendable thermostat controller for the house based on a cell phone. Instead of paying hundreds to get a device that does it for you, you can pick up a pre-paid phone and wire it up. The only thing I don't know about is the controlling functionality - perhaps if you're not so savvy, base it off of wireless and control something arduino based off of the furnace - or find some way to directly have the phone interact with the existing wires coming up from the furnace... would be an interesting hack.

Comment: Re:A smart phone is rarely convenient (Score 1) 248

by karnal (#49054597) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

There's a fairly extensible app called llama for android that could be integrated into this. You can set up triggers - at least for things on the phone - so that if your cell phone sees certain cell towers/wifi, it knows where you are - you could get more advanced and also program in time of day for triggers (i.e. if I hit the cell towers 5 minutes from home and it's > 3:00pm, turn up the heat/AC so it's ready when I get home.)

I don't know about the back end integration with a thermostat, but I'm making an assumption that this could be done based on it's triggering mechanism for apps etc.

Comment: Re:Regulation Strikes again (Score 1) 194

by karnal (#49003197) Attached to: Farmers Struggling With High-Tech Farm Equipment

Some cars with keyless ignition do have column locks. My 2008 Lexus ES350 auto-locks the column:
1. if I shut down the car before opening the door, the act of opening the door locks the column.
2. if I shut down the car after opening the door, the car dings at me with the seatbelt chime, warning me that the column is unlocked. Upon shutting the door after exiting the car, the column locks.

Comment: Haven't gone thru comments yet (Score 1) 263

What about something that I've thought about? Using a cheapie Android phone (i.e. pay as you go, can get an LG Fuel - rootable - for $10 on sale from time to time). Obviously only if you're really into digging into coding if you want absolute security, but I'm sure there's something out there perhaps pre-packaged in an app to do what you want. I've thought of this as a sort of hacked-together security system for home just to upload video of anyone coming and going from the house. And yes, I know it's not really security - but honestly, I'll defer to a monitored service if I want the "security" portion.

Comment: Re:Anyone know how Zotac cards hold up? (Score 1) 66

by karnal (#48949235) Attached to: GeForce GTX 980 and 970 Cards From MSI, EVGA, and Zotac Reviewed

I've had late 90s motherboards (think AMD Athlon xxxxXP chip timeframes) from asus with bad caps; had a customer who loved to keep equipment well past serviceable date blow a few up. Since then, Gigabyte boards with solid caps - haven't had a bad board since, even though I've read reviews of others on newegg/amazon with some DOA concerns.

Ditto with EVGA; bought 2 cards direct, no issues - however if I have a choice at the time of build, I'll usually go with something with a quieter than stock aftermarket cooler attached. EVGA has (had?) a trade up program, but I upgrade so rarely that I've never taken them up on it.

Comment: Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 823

by karnal (#48878781) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

What's done in some instances is that they'll make a "sport shifting" mode that is selectable and it forces the CVT into locked gear ratios like a normal transmission.

My wife and I have had a Ford Freestyle for quite some time now, and it is slightly different from a normal auto... in fact her drive in the car on the way home she was doing 80mph on the freeway because she wasn't used to the sound yet!

Comment: Re:"Engineer" (Score 1) 78

by karnal (#48839329) Attached to: Engineer Combines Xbox One, PS4 Into Epic 'PlayBox' Laptop

If I'm not mistaken, I think that was the Gamecube.

After reading, there's some back and forth about it. People speak of the same rotational direction, but potential reading outside in rather than inside out as in normal discs. The bigger deal is a "barcode" or region of keys that are used to decrypt the image potentially...

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