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Comment: Re:Already considering uninstalling firefox (Score 1) 362

by rcw-home (#45213205) Attached to: Firefox's Blocked-By-Default Java Isn't Going Down Well
Java updates every 3 months. Every release they do fixes a gaggle of remote-exploit-without-authentication security holes, and comes with a warning such as "Due to the severity of these vulnerabilities, and the reported exploitation of CVE-2013-1493 "in the wild," Oracle strongly recommends that customers apply the updates provided by this Security Alert as soon as possible." Exactly what reason do you have to believe that their latest release not only has no known vulnerabilities at the time of that release, but will have no known vulnerabilities for the entire time that that release is current, when there has been evidence to the contrary for *every* past release for *years*?

Comment: Re:The 44.7% efficiency requires 297 suns (Score 1) 165

by rcw-home (#44976615) Attached to: New Solar Cell Sets Record For Energy Efficiency
I was curious so I did the math. sqrt(297) is 17.2, ergo, the light is concentrated from an area which is at most 35mm square. There's no details here about what the focal length is. With a fresnel lens it can be quite short, but let's say it's f/1 and your focal length is 35*sqrt(2)=50mm. The most extreme day-to-day movement in an analemma is slightly less than 0.4 degrees, at or around the equinoxes. At f=50mm, 0.4 degrees will put you 0.35mm off center. It's very likely the beam is focused onto most of the square rather than just the center, so you will lose a bit of power (certainly not all of it) by only setting it every two days near the equinoxes. Constant tracking throughout the day is certainly not necessary.

Comment: Re:The 44.7% efficiency requires 297 suns (Score 1) 165

by rcw-home (#44970191) Attached to: New Solar Cell Sets Record For Energy Efficiency
Assuming you rig the axes in a polar alignment, you only need to set one of the axes (ascension) constantly. The other (declination) can be adjusted every few days (less often if you are concentrating fewer suns, i.e. have a bigger target to hit). Also if you use these in a linear format (analogous to the parabolic trough mirror setups) then you don't need to track constantly on the ascension axis either.

Comment: Re: Here's the real problem (Score 1) 363

by rcw-home (#44585375) Attached to: Studying the Slow Decay of a Laptop Battery For an Entire Year
Starting a car uses less than 1% of the car's battery capacity (source: go on Youtube and look for videos of people who have replaced their car's lead-acid battery with a much smaller array of supercapacitors). Ergo, a car that only has a small fraction of its battery capacity remaining is OK, but a laptop that only has a small fraction of its battery capacity remaining is not.

Comment: Re:First strike! (Score 2) 727

by rcw-home (#43104621) Attached to: North Korea Threatens US With Preemptive Nuclear Strike
Before NK started on developing actual nukes, their "nuclear option" was (and very arguably still is) artillery pieces. Thousands of them, including a few hundred 170mm guns and 240mm rocket launchers that can potentially reach Seoul. North Korea has stated that they can rain 250,000 shells per hour down on Seoul, although South Korean estimates are that they can do, at best, 20,000, and more realistically 2,400.

Comment: Re:Dual power supplies (Score 1) 280

by rcw-home (#43015237) Attached to: West Virgnia Auditor Finds Cisco Router Purchase Not Performed Legally

Maybe you can, at least, put the 2nd UPS on a different phase (if L-N connected like 120 volts in NA or 230 volts in EU) or phase pair (if L-L connected like 208 volts in NA or 400 volts in EU if that's a step-down UPS). That way you have a chance of ridding through single phase outages which sometimes happen.

Some big caveats to this:

In North America, residential power is "split-phase" which is still considered single phase - it is a pair of hot wires delivered to you, with neutral off the center tap of the transformer on the pole, tied to ground at the service entrance. It's actually very rare for just one of those phases to die (I have yet to see it happen), as it would require a break in one of the hot wires running from your house to the pole. These are low voltage lines so they are typically bundled together, so if run aerially, a tree would snag both of them at once, and if underground a flood would damage both at once. A dead transformer or a dead power line anywhere upstream of the transformer would kill power to both.

Three-phase failure modes often leave you with only one phase out of three working, but never two. This is regardless of whether you are drawing phase-to-neutral power or phase-to-phase power. Imagine the phases of a three-phase system as three dots in a triangle, and the connections between those dots are the power you can draw. If one of the dots goes away, you're left with just one remaining connection between the remaining pair of dots. Remember the neutral is only generated locally at the transformer, so it does not provide any sort of redundant path for anything outside of the building.

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 467

by rcw-home (#42860959) Attached to: What To Do When an Advised BIOS Upgrade Is Bad?

Not in the last 7-8 years it hasn't. I tried for 3 hours on the phone to get a laptop hard drive replaced under next-business-day warranty. They wouldn't budge, because I couldn't produce the output of the diagnostic tools that were loaded *on that hard drive*. In the end, we got the replacement drive when they felt they could get around to it.

These days, there's little point to getting a hot-swap RAID server from Dell, because to get a replacement drive from them they will ask you to take the server offline and run the diagnostic checks on it. This is a far cry from 10+ years ago when I got replacement drives via UPS SonicAir over holiday weekends.

Comment: Re:I hate them all. (Score 1) 316

by rcw-home (#42758153) Attached to: Current favorite still-image camera type:

There's actually a pretty good range of ultra-wide APS-C lenses now. Canon has a 10-22mm. Nikon has a 10-24mm. Sigma has an 8-16mm, a 10-20mm, as well as circular and diagonal fisheyes. Tokina has a 11-16mm. Tamron has a 10-24mm. There's others. They're very proud of them too, judging by their prices.

I went a cheaper route and got the Samyang 8mm fisheye. When I want rectilinear output, I convert it with hugin.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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