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Comment: Re:Things (Score 4, Insightful) 190

by ozmanjusri (#47745179) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

It's all about degrees of disaster. If there's a real disaster, I wouldn't give a rodent's behind about my electronics and I too would be happy with my emergency stash of food and water.

You think so now, but you need recovery plans as much as immediate survival materials and equipment. Getting back to normal life is the real goal after a disaster.

I've been involved in several disaster recovery efforts, including earthquakes, floods, fires, and tsunamis. Each of those events had their own challenges, but there were some clear and consistent ways you can prepare to improve the eventual outcome.

1. Don't be there.
Seriously, this is the best option if there's ANY warning at all, or even post-disaster if you're mobile. Have and share a plan with pre-established criteria for getting out. Know what you're going to pack, what you'll protect in place (eg, plastic wrapped tools etc), and where you're going to go well before any threat is on its way. Stick to the plan.

2. Communications.
In every scenario so far, the most robust means of communicating and getting help has been SMS.If you can keep your phone charged for the duration, your chances of getting help (initially from first responders, then from community and family) is vastly improved. SIM cards are surprisingly robust, but have more than one phone available (eg, an old handset in sealed in plastic). Most importantly, have a car charger or two for your phone. Even wrecked cars can top up a phone battery.

3. Social Networking.
Stay in touch with friends and neighbors. If you're absent minded or mostly antisocial, have a list/schedule of people (in robust storage, and preferably hardcopy) to touch base with every month or two.

4. Entertainment.
Don't underestimate the importance of this. Boredom and depression can be devastating, so plan on ways to keep yourselves informed and relatively cheerful.

5. Documents.
Surprisingly, this has mattered less than I expected as recovery efforts generally take document loss into account. Having said that, things like insurance records etc are worth having copies located in several places (eg, with family or left at work).

Disasters are inherently somewhat unpredictable, but human needs are not. You can make life a lot easier for yourself if you choose to.

Comment: Re:Funny money (Score 5, Interesting) 409

PV doesn't make sense at any scale.

I've just installed a 2.5 kW Solar system on my house in Western Australia, at a cost of just over $2500. Based on initial readings, output from the unit looks like being between 3,500 to 5,000 kWh/year. My electricity provider charges between 30 and 45c per kWh, and pays 8c per kWh for electricity fed back into the grid.

So my payback time for the initial investment is somwhere between 1 and three years if I consume mostly self-generated power. The panels and inverter I've installed have a 25 year warranty,

How does this not make sense?

And I'm not alone in this, Australia faces an unprecedented oversupply of energy, with no new energy generation needed for 10 years. Coal power stations are sutting down, and even new gas power stations are being mothballed as they are unable to compete.

http://www.aemo.com.au/Reports...

Comment: Re:Laugh all the way to the bank (Score 1) 83

Nobody knows for sure (except certain corporate lawyers) what these patents entail.

They do now. The Chinese Government released details of all 310 Microsoft patents used in Android licensing agreements last month. You can download the list here: http://images.mofcom.gov.cn/pe... (warning: docx)

That could be another reason why Samsung is now willing to contest the extortion. Very few of the patents are novel or non-obvious.

Comment: Re:It's not a marketplace.. (Score 1) 258

by ozmanjusri (#47571549) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?

Which confirms what I thought about this market all along, that it was foolish developers chasing nickels in place of dollars.

And I'm fine with that, as long as the market remains a competitive Darwinian pool.

The nature of any rapidly expanding ecosystem is that there will be a multiplicity of variously capable denizens that'll be culled to the fittest survivors, particularly as resources become scarcer. Apple's app store is transitioning from that explosive expansion phase and is now hitting the resource ($) limits as iOS loses ground against their competitors. Other app stores will follow suit as they also reach saturation point, and that's - potentially - a good thing.

The only reason it could become a negative is if App store owner/managers promote products for their own reasons instead of letting competition cull the weakest.

Comment: Re:You had me at (Score 1) 71

nick-nack on some guy's desk == medical implant

Read the next paragraph. I've quoted it below for you.

Cool factor aside, they've been scanning patients' actual bones, optimising them in software and printing titanium replacements (mostly hip joints) there for almost a decade now.

Comment: Re:You had me at (Score 3, Insightful) 71

You had me at "3D Printed Titanium Jaw Implants". Awesome!

It's cool, but not really news.

I was doing some work in Royal Perth Hospital sometime around 2008, and saw a small, beautifully detailed metal skull on one of the managers' desks. I asked him about it and was told he'd taken an MRI of his own skull and had it printed quarter-sized in sintered titanium. It was the best paperweight I've ever seen.

Cool factor aside, they've been scanning patients' actual bones, optimising them in software and printing titanium replacements (mostly hip joints) there for almost a decade now. There's even a few commercial madical 3d printing companies around AU (Anatomics is one).

It's great that SA is making jaws for people now though.

Comment: Re:Why ODF? (Score 5, Informative) 164

I use ODF but no-one else does because MS Office doesn't properly support it, I'm crippling my ability to share documents around purely for ideological reasons.

Microsoft OSs are down to 14% market share.

It simply makes no sense to continue using their outdated lockin-inspired formats. The world needs to transition to document editing formats that're portable across whatever computing devices users want to buy.

ODF was designed by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) consortium to be that set of formats in 2005, and was only derailed by an intense and deeply corrupt effort by Microsoft. It's incredibly sad that we've had to wait for almost a decade for governments to finally start the transition.

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