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Comment: Comparable efficiency? (Score 1) 194

by pev (#48473579) Attached to: Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

Can someone who understands PV cells properly answer me this - it's my understanding that most standard PV cells get say low 20-something percent efficiencies and that the highest at the mo is around 40% acheived with significant solar amounts of concentration. Is this a genuine like-for-like beating of the best of the current crop or some fudging of the maths?

Comment: USBee or 2nd hand Tektronix (Score 1) 172

by pev (#47226005) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?

Ive a lot of time for the usbee - analog and logic analysis and basic decoding of serial protocols too. I also love the fact it can do long term signal capture / recording too. Yes you can buy chinese knock offs but really, have some decency and support small companies making Cool Shit.

For my own money i have an old cathode tek and an old lcd 60mhz tekscope that i bought on fleabay thats damn handy. Also keep an eye out for cheap old fluke scopemeters too...

Comment: Maybe they could access his files? (Score 1) 374

by pev (#45977461) Attached to: Man Jailed For Refusing To Reveal USB Password

Its long been understood that exposing your capabilities isn't a Good Thing. This brings us to the interesting potential scenario that in fact maybe GCHQ *could* quite easily read his files but wouldn't acknowledge this capability. In essence people can legally be jailed for not revealing access to material they can already bypass the encryption on perhaps? A bit worrying...

Comment: iPad (Score 4, Interesting) 370

by pev (#45631683) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Easy Wi-Fi-Enabled Tablet For My Dad?

Just get an ipad - I got a cheap second hand ipad 1 for my mum (85) and she picked,up using it just fine. I never have to help her much unlike her normal computer.

To the poster who said about CPU / graphics power, potentially don't worry as most older folk are only really looking to use the web and read email, neither of which are intensive.

To the poster who said about full size vs compact : in my mums case she asked me to get her an ipad mini after playing with mine. In her case it wasn't about the screen size but because her arms aren't too strong it's easier for her to hold up and use! The air might be an option these days but it's a lot more money...

In general I think that like children, you shouldn't "dumb down" stuff for old folk unless you absolutely have to. It's not as necessary as many would have you believe. In children having to think more helps them learn and in older folk it helps stop them forget!

Comment: How very enlightened... (Score 5, Insightful) 219

by pev (#45314671) Attached to: EU Considering Sensors In Sewers To Detect Bomb-Makers

So, the bomb makers just conduct their business in a house in the countryside that uses a septic tank instead of connecting to a sewer system. That's a lot of money and effort and false confidence that can be circumnavigated with great ease. Now, if they'd done this without telling anyone then they might have had an edge... Idiots.

Comment: Can someone explain to me... (Score 1) 507

by pev (#45278151) Attached to: How Big Data Is Destroying the US Healthcare System

Given that this is the (crap) way that healthcare operates in the US, why has someone not set up a not for profit health insurance company? We have analogies in the UK with (non-medical) mutual organisations such as the Co-operative group and building societies who have provided great services in markets that had similar problems with being dominated by profit making organisations having people over a barrel. I would have thought that such a mutual organisation would find a happy place in the market and certainly be able to help provide affordable health insurance to most?

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas