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Comment: Re:We're still in the interval of Heroin Pricing.. (Score 1) 91

by roc97007 (#49793549) Attached to: Cloud Boom Drives Sales Boom For Physical Servers

> Heroin dealers make the first few hits free or really cheap because when you still have a choice, they need to sell you on it. After you're seriously addicted, the price can be raised because you no longer have the ability to say no.

I always wondered if you could circumvent this by getting all of your friends to solicit free or really cheap hits.

Comment: Already done (Score 1) 546

by roc97007 (#49792343) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

When I installed solar panels, I did not connect the system to the grid because I was primarily after fault tolerance rather than lower costs or "greenness". Sine wave inverters (necessary to run motors, like in refrigerators) are expensive, and it made more sense to run a parallel 12 volt circuit to run things that are ok with 12 volts, than try to run an entire 110 - oriented house on 12 volts. Most non-motor appliances step 110 down to a low DC voltage anyway, and it seems wasteful to me to step up 12 DC to 110 AC and then back to 5 or 6 volts DC at the appliance end.

It turns out that there are a plethora of 12 volt choices at the local RV store. Even 12 volt CFLs. Any portable appliance can be run off a car adapter, and even appliances that aren't meant to be portable can be run off 12 volts with careful selection of the right adapter. (Voltage, noise, and current are important.)

Who knows, maybe some day we'll see major appliances with built-in inverters designed to plug right into a 12 volt circuit. Or maybe appliances with DC motors? Not really my area.

The only thing that worries me a little is the current requirements. Approx 1/10 the voltage, it seems to me, would mean 10X the nominal current for the same power, and I don't see running car-starter-cable gauge wire through the house. I'll have to do some measurements. For CFLs and electronics, it hasn't been an issue so far.

Comment: evasive action (Score 1) 408

Apologies if this has been said already. Some number of accidents are inevitable in city traffic no matter who or what is behind the wheel. The only question I have to ask is this: If a reasonably competent human driver had been behind the wheel, was there an opportunity in any of these accidents for the human to take evasive action to avoid the accident, something that it may be currently impractical to program into the autonomous driving system?

Comment: Re:offshore-sorta-proof (Score 1) 420

by roc97007 (#49666633) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving To an Offshore-Proof Career?

Generally true, but consider this -- a person called me Saturday who had a relatively new computer that just stopped booting. It gets to the splash screen and doesn't get any further. You don't throw out a computer for that reason (at least not yet) but Joe User probably doesn't have the expertise or understanding to diagnose and repair it. He found the original media (which was very fortunate -- many users have no idea where they put the disk) and I was able to talk him through the repair without losing his files. I don't think any offshore tech support person would even *try* to provide that level of service, let alone succeed.

Comment: offshore-sorta-proof (Score 2) 420

by roc97007 (#49655101) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving To an Offshore-Proof Career?

I've had fairly good luck in freelance computer repair. I found that there were enough customers to scrape together a living who were tired of "tech support" they couldn't understand and weren't any help.

I'd say, work for yourself, find a job that requires the personal touch, and just be better at it than any offshore or H1B contractor could be.

Comment: Re:Voice? (Score 1) 144

I didn't really understand his response. I carry a low end Android phone that I'm not happy with at all [1], precisely because that's what my company issues. I don't see how this makes anyone a fuck-wit. Maybe because you carry an i-phone and aren't an Apple fanatic?

[1] Not because it's an Android phone, but because it's a considerable downgrade from my previous company issued Android phone.

Comment: Re:When the finals are on ESPN (Score 1) 140

by roc97007 (#49640457) Attached to: Internet Customers Surpass Cable Subscribers At Comcast

I'm really hoping the entire non-demand cable paradigm collapses as soon as possible. It really hasn't been necessary for some time

A lot of people would disagree with you in the case of live sporting events. One well-known example is the College Football Championship Game on ESPN. How should we convince people that it is acceptable to watch the big game a week after the fact?

You have a point -- I don't watch sports at all -- wife is the sports nut in our family -- but I do understand the absurdity of time-shifting sports events -- there is a human need to see it while it's happening -- so I'd say that live streaming -- a well known and mature technology these days -- is probably the answer in cases like this.

Every program is a part of some other program, and rarely fits.