Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Anti-Tesla Rhetoric! (Score 3, Informative) 348

What I find most annoying about all this is less the could of smug, and more the fact that household electricity use is such a small slice of the pie of overall US energy use. From wind power to this DC nonsense, it's obsessing on feelgood measures of little importance to the big picture.

This biggest slice of the pie is industrial energy use where electricity isn't part of the picture: "Primary energy use" by heavy industry for blast furnaces and the like. Industrial electricity use is the next biggest slice, followed by IIRC industrial transportation.

Comment Re:So what's up with those bitcoins? (Score 1) 104

If you're thinking "but wait, that means there wouldn't be enough bitcoins in existence to allow everyone to withdraw their deposits", then congratulations, you understand how banking works.

With BTC denominated accounts if everyone tries to withdraw their BTC at once the bank has a big problem. They can try to buy BTC to cover the withdrawals but there is no guarantee they will actually be able to.

Now you understand how banking works. That's now a flaw in the system, that is the system. A savings account is a sort share in the bank, it's not at all a bundle of money in the vault.

Comment Re:So what's up with those bitcoins? (Score 1) 104

Sure, all that's true, but most modern recessions aren't caused by lack of money supply, but instead lack of demand. If businesses don't see any worthwhile investment opportunities at any interest rate, additional supply won't help. You can't push on a rope. Stability (and its counterpart, uncertainty) is the chief concern for most recessions: when businesses and consumers reach the point where they believe they understand the "new normal", can cope with it, and have survived, only then do they start spending again.

Comment Re:So what's up with those bitcoins? (Score 1) 104

Traditional currencies have inflation because they are printing money faster than old bills get destroyed.

The amount of "printed currency" in circulation has almost nothing to do with the size of the money supply. It's amazing how many gold/bitcoin fans don't understand this. Heck, the US recently concluded "QE", in which a couple of trillion dollars were created by the Fed without any of it being physically printed.*

When you deposit $US with a US bank, in a savings account or CD, it can loan out 100% of your deposit. If banks offered BTC-denominated savings accounts, they'd work the same way. If you're thinking "but wait, that means there wouldn't be enough bitcoins in existence to allow everyone to withdraw their deposits", then congratulations, you understand how banking works.

There's only ~$1.3 T in physical US currency, but there is ~$10 T in total bank deposits (of various kinds). That wouldn't change if we adopted gold or bitcoins as the national currency.

*To further complicate things, the money supply actually didn't grow during that time, as bank deposits with the Fed grew at about the same rate. When the banks start finding investments better than the rate the Fed pays, we'll start seeing the inflationary effects - it's a very new idea by the Fed, and time will tell how crazy it was.

Comment Re:Found? (Score 4, Funny) 104

Given the mass incompetence of how Gox was run, that's the least surprising thing. They had paper wallets scattered around the city that that only Mark knew the password to.

So, you're telling me that Magic the Gathering Online Exchange stored its assets by printing them on paper cards? I never saw that coming. I hope they were at least kept in protective sleeves!

Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 1) 377

The actual spec is behind a paywall, as with most tech specs, but Wikipedia says.

cable of about 5 meters (16 feet) can be manufactured to Category 1 specifications easily and inexpensively by using 28 AWG (0.081 mmÂ) conductors.[107] With better quality construction and materials, including 24 AWG (0.205 mmÂ) conductors, an HDMI cable can reach lengths of up to 15 meters (49 feet).[107]

You may be right, and this is just the physical consequence of the spec, but 28 AWG is quite thin wire. (One poster said his long cable has a booster, so maybe that's another way, but that's not "cheapest" either).

Comment Re:"This could help extend the lifetime of the pho (Score 1) 59

You mean Samsung would know when to tell the phone "not" to open as per their planned obsolescence policy.

Hey, now, this isn't Sony we're talking about. ("Sony timer" was a common phrase in Japan for a few years, with a strong urban legend that actual timers were built in to pop the day the warrantee expired. My favorite urban legend was that Sony employees carried a remote that could expire all your Sony timers early if you annoyed them.)

Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 2, Insightful) 377

If offered a $45 HDMI cable over a $2 one, save your money and go cheap, heck by 3 of the cheap ones incase it breaks while installing it, you will be money ahead and you won't hear the difference EVER.

I hope you don't work with technology in any way. Sure, buy the cheapest cable that meets spec, but remember the first rule of engineering: the vendor is a lying bastard. There's a reason the cheapest cable is the cheapest cable. Paying $45 for a 6-foot HDMI cable is silly. Paying $45 for a 50-foot HDMI cable isn't.

Also, for HDMI specifically, the different numbered specs matter depending on use case. If your doing "4K" video, you'll want the HDMI 1.4 (or above) cable. If you want high color depth for a specific application, you'll want at least 1.3.

Sure, cheap is good, but as always in life, avoid the cheapest crap in the store.

Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 2) 377

I've had cheap longer mini-jack cables fail - just break inside the insulation. I've had cheap RCA cables break, short, and most annoyingly have the center-pins break off and get stuck in my equipment.

Yeah, avoid the $40 job with the weird connectors, but a $4 patch cable can save a lot of headache over a $1 cable.

Comment Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 5, Insightful) 377

This comes up whenever audiophile cables are discussed, but it's worth repeating: don't buy the cheapest cable.

There may be no useful difference between a $10 cable and a $1000 cable, but very often there's a real difference between a $10 cable and a $1 cable. Even for digital data, really cheap cables often don't meet spec, and can cause frustrating intermittent problems. You don't need anything exotic to avoid that, just avoid the bottom tier.

An example from my living room: I use a 45 foot HDMI cable to plug my TV directly into my HTPC (for reasons of convenience that aren't that interesting). The spec calls for thicker-gauge wiring for HDMI cables over 30 feet (IIRC), and you'll quickly see the price jump between cables that meet that spec and cables that don't. Don't buy the cheapest junk possible, that's all it takes.

It used to be that Dayton Audio was the only "solidly built, not too expensive" brand I knew about for cables, but Amazon changed that - now there are a bunch of options, including some sort of Amazon store brand that seems to be fine.

It's worth paying a bit more for solidly-built cables that meet spec (and especially for Ethernet cables, for some guard on the cable that keeps the clip from snagging or breaking off it you need to pull it through a tangle). Anything beyond that is a bit silly.

Comment Re:May you (Score 2) 330

Let Paris implement its own Grand mur de la France, behind which it can spend what it takes on a search engine with a Forget Me feature.

France did try building a Grand mur de la France once, of course, but then the Germans just went around it. Google search results are already filtered in France as needed to comply with French law, but France seems to be upset here that the Germans (or French with a VPN) are getting around it. Somehow, I don't think they'll learn this time, either.

Comment Re:IE all over again (Score 3, Interesting) 367

I'm pretty sure this was arrogance, but not malice, on MS's part: they really want to shift the IE userbase to Edge and drop IE support in some future release. Can you blame them? But in their arrogance they didn't remember (or didn't care) that quite a large portion of Windows users don't run IE in the first place.

To iterate is human, to recurse, divine. -- Robert Heller