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Comment fixing USB TV tuner with a hot wheat bag (Score 1) 258 258

I've also got a wheat bag that you can heat up to relieve headaches. As it turns out, you can fix a USB TV tuner with it as well:
  - http://aarongnielsen.blogspot....

Apparently, if you took off the plastic casing and baked it properly in a medium oven, you could enact a more permanent fix. I haven't been game to try it, though.

Comment issue here is simple (Score 1) 286 286

If I ask a grocer for 2kg of potatoes, and he gives me 1kg of potatoes and charges me for 2kg, I think I have a right to complain. Why do we let computer people get away with that sort of nonsense?

In fact, if Microsoft made a table with 64GB of disk space, but it only made 23GB of that available to the user, you'd all complain about that:

Comment anti-Russian bias (Score 0) 667 667

I love how media outlets - including Slashdot - are making no effort whatsoever to hide anti-Russian bias.

The Ukrainians edited Wikipedia to say that Russians shot down MH17.
The Russians edited Wikipedia to say that Ukrainians shot down MH17.

Every headline complains about Russians editing Wikipedia pages about MH17. Where are the headlines about Ukrainians having already done the same thing? Where is the balance?

Comment Re:CRIA? same as RIAA: they're WESU ! (Score 4, Funny) 280 280

I had previously suggested that RIAA was just a disguise, a mask used by the Big4 companies behind RIAA, and suggested that we actually refer to them by name: Warner, EMI, Sony, and Universal. Together they form the acronym WESU, as in "We sue! Yes, we do!"

That's for the US, though. This is the Canadian affiliate, WESUC.

Comment better idea (Score 1) 115 115

It would be cool to have Street View images of places that aren't already accessible on Google Maps, but I've got a more fundamental question.

Why aren't these places on Google Maps already?

The best way to see my suburb is on foot, via a network of footpaths for pedestrians and cyclists. Not one of these paths shows up in Get Directions on Google Maps. Your favourite park or hiking trail is already walkable, and who knows, it might even be useful - even if it's not as cool as riding a trike through Legoland and calling it work. Besides, I'd rather know it's there and walk through it myself.

Of course, I'm sure it's only a matter of time; they've probably been thinking about this ever since they added the Walking and Public Transport options to Get Directions. In the meantime, I'll just have to settle for cutting a third off my travel time - and the satisfaction of knowing something as a local that Google Maps didn't find out as a tourist. :P

Comment "Britain's choice" (Score 1) 340 340

Not really, because the nation in question - Britain, has signed up to have that as part of the deal.

If Britain hadn't signed up to this and Europe was still enforcing this you'd have a point, but as it's Britain's choice to only allow laws to be legitimate if reported to Europe then it's still a sovereign nation.

Is this the same sort of choice that Britain had to sign the Treaty of Lisbon? If it weren't for 109,965 Irish voters standing up for that choice, the meaning of your post would be a relic to history by now.

Comment waste of electricity, that's for sure (Score 2, Interesting) 541 541

I knew I couldn't have been the only person here who thought that way.

From the original article about the installation itself, they use 17,400kWh per annum - about 47.7kWh per day. This is a staggering amount, even considering that they do work from home as well and have two teenage daughters living at home. By their own figures, their $38,000 solar installation only covers half that electricity (although about three quarters of the bill). As I'm sure NuShrike wondered, what the hell are they spending that electricity on? Do they run the air conditioner all the time? If so, wouldn't they be better off buying ceiling and wall insulation and some decent curtains?

My housemate has been considering a photovoltaic installation at home. (Since the Australian federal government suddenly pulled the rug out from underneath the $8000 rebate, I don't know whether he's still considering it.) By my measurements, he'll waste at least half of the electricity they generate on standby power for the computers and such, and nearly as much again on halogen downlights for the main living area. He's just not in the mindset that having PV power means being more responsible for electricity use. In other words, I suspect he believes that it will give him more electricity to spend as he pleases (invoking Jevons' Paradox, as NuShrike suggested), whereas the sibling post by hoojus shows how easy it is to develop the mindset of having less and using it more efficiently.

Of course, if you can save that amount of electricity, but without solar panels and for a fraction of the cost, it hardly seems worth bothering. You can still have both, though, even if it means a few new habits towards cleaning up after yourself.

Oh, and NuShrike, the idea of scaling renewable energy, rainwater catchment and the like for a community is a fantastic idea and one I have been hoping would see a bit more support. Let me know if you've got any ideas.

Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982