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

by roesti (#30362428) Attached to: CRIA Faces $60 Billion Lawsuit

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

by roesti (#29774737) Attached to: Google Street View Wants You to Direct New Tricycle Imager

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

by roesti (#29197091) Attached to: British Video Recordings Act 1984 Invalid

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

by roesti (#28448207) Attached to: Switching To Solar Power, One Year Later

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.

Comment: article is both correct and naive (Score 1) 613

by roesti (#26522045) Attached to: Do Nice Engineers Finish Last In Tough Times?

I can see many replies here that say the anecdote is obvious, and I can also see many that say it's rubbish. Both are correct, from my experience, but neither tells the full story.

"Stuart" didn't get fired because he was the nice guy. He got fired because nobody noticed how good he was at his job except the people under him. "Doug" kept his job through manipulating "Kelly": had she been doing her job properly, she would have spoken to "Stuart" as well to make a better decision about who to keep and who to fire.

The truth is that some people are simply stronger than others. It's possible to be a jerk and a coward at the same time, if you have jerks around you that are strong enough and loyal enough to protect you when you screw up. Similarly, it's possible to be a nice guy and still remain strong enough to stick up for yourself, if you want to end up sticking up for other nice guys as well. I've seen the former first-hand - actually, I've been the victim of it - but as for the latter, it might be a while before I can say how well that works.

Someone here has already posted that if the office-political nonsense is more influential than the work itself, and you're not prepared to play these sordid little games, then maybe "Stuart" and his ilk are better off to leave. I would definitely agree with this. This is the sort of situation that highlights the superficial nice guy who is really a jerk underneath, and these are the people you have to watch out for the most.

I'm in a bit of a dilemma about this again myself. I don't really want to leave my current job, but I can't stay in it unless its gets better. That, in turn, depends on a few people who are in the way, who have been in the way for months, and who don't seem to be getting out of the way. I suspect that there are some superficial nice guys at play: they seem nice, but they won't stick up for a nice guy like me because they're really jerks underneath and are in it more for themselves. It's true that it might not be the wisest move to quit, but I'm miserable here and I should at least be evaluating my options.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan