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Comment: Re:net metering != solar and 10% needs new physics (Score 2) 470

by mcrbids (#48024285) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Nice to see *informed* input!

I would argue that the problem is the flat rate pricing of $/KWH. A KWH produced at 1 AM has far less value than one produced at 7:00 PM. Why are we charging them the same? Much of the issue you mention would largely vanish if electricity prices were negotiated more frequently. EG: hourly or 15 minute increments. If there really is a surplus of power between 10:00-2:00, as you state, then the price during that time of day would be low to accommodate. This would create an incentive to input power when there's matching demand, and let the utility company profit off the difference.

Yes, it's a significant cost to upgrade the power grid and contracts to work this way, but when has it been bad to connect buyers to sellers in a way that reflects an accurate use of resources?

For example, I read a study a while back that pointing solar panels West of due South resulted in a much better match between electricity use and demand

Comment: Re:I can't see this happening (Score 3, Informative) 108

by mcrbids (#47894449) Attached to: Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

Note that the reverse trend is happening. Thanks to the very low cost of production and distribution, there are many, many, many alternate "shows" out there that you can watch.

Have you missed youtube entirely? What rock have you been hiding under? Also, the place with the most interesting display of documentaries and "non-primary" content is NetFlix. There is a *ridiculous* amount of youtube channels with interesting content.

For example, as a violinist, I like Taylor Davis' work immensely - she mixes violin and many of the themes to movies and games I've loved....

Remember when MTV was a close as you could get to stuff like this?

Comment: Missing the point (Score 4, Insightful) 108

by mcrbids (#47894115) Attached to: Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

I see the exact opposite trend. Netflix is growing by gangbusters, but is the epitome of having many shows that "you aren't paying for". It's not a la carte... at all! You pay a flat rate of $8/month and stream whatever you like.

If you combine horrible customer service, high prices, and synchronized broadcasting, and you have unhappy customers switching to clearly better alternatives. "Paying for channels you don't use" is a symptom. The real problem is that they are horrible companies offering a previous generation, substandard service at ridiculous prices that have risen much faster than inflation.

Comment: Re:Brilliant! (Score 1) 352

by mcrbids (#47885895) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Off Windows Phone Brand Name In Favor of Just Windows

You don't know Microsoft very well, then. They've literally never done anything else!

1) They were late to the party with DOS. They ripped off QDOS and sold it to IBM. It was IBM who launched Microsoft, it was Microsoft's non-exclusive contract with IBM that allowed the IBM compatible market to begin. That had never been done before, and only happened because IBM didn't take the microcomputer seriously.

2) They were late to the party for GUI. Windows was quickly thrown together after trying to work together with IBM and deciding to be dicks to IBM and steal lots of their design work.

3) Windows '95 was a rebrand of "Windows". So was Windows CE ME NT, XP, Vista, Mobile, and RT. In a sense, Windows 7 is the first "debranding" of Windows back to its marketing roots.

4) Microsoft goes through a major change in structure every 2-5 years. It's always made the tech rags, all the way back to the 1980s.

5) Their now dominant office was a rebrand of their MS Word, Excel, and Power Point, which were sold separately.

6) Each of these Office products was a late comer in its field, in part winning due to strange incompatibilities encountered by the "other guys". Remember the phrase "DOS isn't done until Lotus won't run". Lotus 123 was the leading spreadsheet at the time.

and so on.... Just don't pretend that this BS is anything *new*. Market conditions were right, and MS had a combination of luck and determination to make the best of it. The market conditions have changed remarkably.

Comment: Re:Unfamiliar (Score 1) 370

by mcrbids (#47882145) Attached to: The State of ZFS On Linux

Scrubbing doesn't thrash your CPU as much as it thrashes I/O. Remember that both I/O and CPU are part of your "load average". This would be expected; it's reading every block on every device in your system.

You're right about the memory; I've forgotten that detail since RAM is cheap. 1 GB per TB is the recommended amount, though I've worked with far less in practice in low/medium write load environments.

Comment: Re:Unfamiliar (Score 5, Insightful) 370

by mcrbids (#47880939) Attached to: The State of ZFS On Linux

There are so many pros for ZFS that I don't even. Until you try it, you won't "get it" - it's more like trying to describe purple to a life long blind guy. But, I'd adjust your list to at least include:

Pros:
- Data integrity
- Effortless handling of failure scenarios (RAIDZ makes normal RAID look like a child's crayon drawing)
- Snapshots.
- Replication. Imagine being able to DD a drive partition without taking it offline, and with perfect data integrity.
- Clones. Imagine being able to remount an rsync backup from last tuesday, and make changes to it, in seconds, without affecting your backup?
- Scrub. Do an fsck mid-day without affecting any end users. Not only "fix" errors, but actually guarantee the accuracy of the "fix" so that no data is lost or corrupted.
- Expandable. Add capacity at any time with no downtime. Replace every disk in your array with no downtime, and it can automatically use the extra space.
- Redundancy, even on a single device! Can't provide multiple disks, but want to defend against having a block failure corrupting your data?
- Flexible. Imagine having several partitions in your array, and be able to resize them at any time. In seconds. Or, don't bother to specify a size and have each partition use whatever space they need.
- Native compression. Double your disk space, while (sometimes) improving performance! We compressed our database backup filesystem and not only do we see some 70% reduction in disk space usage, we saw a net reduction in system load as IO overhead was significantly reduced.
- Sharp cost savings. ZFS obviates the need for exotic RAID hardware to do all the above. It brings back the "Inexpensive" in RAID. (Remember: "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks"?)

Cons:
- CPU and RAM overhead comparable to Software RAID 5.
- Requires you to be competent and know how it operates, particularly when adding capacity to an existing pool.
- ECC RAM strongly recommended if using scrub.
- Strongly recommended for data partitions, YMMV for native O/S partitions. (EG: /)

Comment: Re:Why not work with Mozilla (Score 2) 80

by mcrbids (#47717349) Attached to: Tor Browser Security Under Scrutiny

My questions are thus... why not move to a model where the entire OS is forced through the tor proxy, This could be done with the use of a dummy network adapter and disabling the current adapter while tor is in use. Yes it would likely break certain OS features during that time, but there it is.

This is a bit like plugging a power strip into itself. It might seem self evident why that should work, but alas, it does not. /s

How do you think TOR communicates with the Internet at large, if not using the OS network stack? And if you coopt that stack, how, pray tell, do you expect TOR to be able to communicate with the TOR nodes?

Comment: Re:Big Data (Score 5, Informative) 181

by mcrbids (#47711565) Attached to: Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

Their own CDN site talks about putting Netflix gear out for free. So they are basically saying they want the free ride. No one gets rack space, power, and connections for free.

I know a guy who is a network engineer at a regional ISP. They are ecstatic about hosting Netflix gear "for free" because of all the money they save! Despite the consensus here, bandwidth isn't free, it's a huge expense. And their largest use case is Netflix. By hosting the Netflix servers at the data center, they cut their network traffic by something like half.

It's a pretty big deal for them.

Comment: Re:Microsoft is a spent force (Score 2) 142

by mcrbids (#47708229) Attached to: Ballmer Leaves Microsoft Board

Revenue for a company on the way out frequently looks really rosy right up to the last bit. Take a look at Nokia which was making massive profits by not investing in smart phones. They had massive market share in "feature phones" that overwhelmingly outsold smart phones. That is, until they became so passe that even the kids didn't want one. Now the pieces are being sold off to... wait!

You know, I didn't even mean to pick Nokia because of its relationship with Microsoft, but it just occurred to me... Whelp!

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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