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Comment Re:Hydro = from the sun (Score 1) 137

Hydro, wind and solar are all powered by the Sun.


The sun heats air, generating wind.

The sun heats water, causing evaporation and then rain that falls in the mountains for hydro.

This. Get the power right from the source. Even nuclear fission power comes from heavy elements fused at the center of the sun and spat out during an early nova outburst.

But direct solar power it getting more interesting just in recent years, the cost of solar power has come down from "astronomical" (as in it was only cost effective for satellites) to "competitive with fossil fuels" :

Comment Re:More use if it had some network connection (Score 1) 216

Yep, but it's a 100TX USB adapter. The guy in the link that I forgot to include plugged in a GbE USB adapter and manage to push 220Mbps

Not bad, compared to, say, the odroid C1 which has a built-in GbE port but people have reported only being able to push ~270Mbps through it.

So cutting the crappy 100TX USB adapter integrated in the Raspberry Pi A to get it to the $5 price point is probably for the best, since now you just throw on exactly whatever USB NIC you really need, whether it's a GbE dongle, or a wifi dongle, or an LTE dongle, a straight host-to-host usbnet cable, or whatever.

I'm just surprised there aren't more usbnet switches out there, even if they're just a bunch of "normal" switches with a usbnet dongle built in to each port.

Comment Re:Allow me to predict the comments (Score 1) 216

Let me add a legit complain. They only have one USB port, and ethernet/harddisk will have to share it. It means it would suck as an NAS server. For $5 it would be a cool throwaway card for various projects though, like you know a intelligent garden lighting or whatever.

Exactly. The Pi is not a replacement for a computer (though the fact that you can manage to use it as a cheap replacement for a computer is a bonus). It's job is to get the bits there. That's all. Say you were just using the Pi to serve stuff straight from RAM, so your USBHDD / USBNIC contention wouldn't be an issue. Even at the $5 price point, and assuming you could use all 512MB of RAM to serve memcached, it would still be cheaper to just add a 2GB of RAM to your server for $15. It does not make sense to use any Pi to replace a desktop, tablet, or server. They can all do it better for cheaper (once you factor in the cost of all of the Pi's "necessary accessories").

Think, instead, of the Pi as a way to put a USB port on anything, and report back to your server cluster. Log to rsyslog when your garage door opens or closes, when the doorbell rings, when someone flushes the toilet. Maybe add a $15 USB webcam to snag a picture or video snippet of the event. That kind of thing. But the first thing you should ask yourself is: "Would this application be better served by a $35 Amazon Fire Tablet or Chromecast dongle or a $15 Arduino clone or a "real" mini-ITX PC with exactly the RAM/GPU/SDD you need for your application which is actually more price/performance competitive with the Pi than you might think".

Comment Re:More use if it had some network connection (Score 1) 216

Meh, USB ethernet is faster than the built-in 100TX port on the Pi B+ / Pi 2. So buy a USB ethernet adapter.

I'm actually a bit surprised no one has started selling USB network switches without CAT5 or RJ-45 connectors (well, maybe one for the uplink).

Oh, I meant to include a link with that... http://www.midwesternmac.com/b...

Comment Re:More use if it had some network connection (Score 1) 216

I give the folks as Raspberry credit for giving the computer away for nearly free, but then making a fortune off of the "accessories" necessary to make it work ;-)

But I'm still dreaming of building a beowulf cluster of these so they can run a micro-cloud of docker containers with services offloaded from my little ION server.

Submission + - Why CIA is smearing Edward Snowden after Paris attacks (latimes.com)

JoeyRox writes: "Decent people see tragedy and barbarism when viewing a terrorism attack. American politicians and intelligence officials see something else: opportunity. Bodies were still lying in the streets of Paris when CIA operatives began exploiting the resulting fear and anger to advance long-standing political agendas. They and their congressional allies instantly attempted to heap blame for the atrocity not on Islamic State but on several preexisting adversaries: Internet encryption, Silicon Valley's privacy policies and Edward Snowden."

Submission + - Why Car Salesmen Don't Want to Sell Electric Cars

HughPickens.com writes: Matt Richtel writes in the NYT that one big reason there are only about 330,000 electric vehicles on the road is that car dealers show little enthusiasm for putting consumers into electric cars. Industry insiders say that electric vehicles do not offer dealers the same profits as gas-powered cars, they take more time to sell because of the explaining required, and electric vehicles may require less maintenance, undermining the biggest source of dealer profits — their service departments. Some electric car buyers have said they felt as if they were the ones doing the selling. Chelsea Dell made an appointment to test-drive a used Volt but when she arrived, she said, a salesman told her that the car hadn’t been washed, and that he had instead readied a less expensive, gas-powered car. “I was ready to pull the trigger, and they were trying to muscle me into a Chevy Sonic,” says Dell. “The thing I was baffled at was that the Volt was a lot more expensive.” Marc Deutsch, Nissan’s business development manager for electric vehicles says some salespeople just can’t rationalize the time it takes to sell the cars. A salesperson “can sell two gas burners in less than it takes to sell a Leaf,” Deutsch says. “It’s a lot of work for a little pay.”

Jared Allen says that service is crucial to dealer profits and that dealers didn’t want to push consumers into electric cars that might make them less inclined to return for service. Maybe that helps explains the experience of Robert Kast, who last year leased a Volkswagen e-Golf from a local dealer. He said the salesman offered him a $15-per-month maintenance package that included service for oil changes, belt repair and water pumps. “I said: ‘You know it doesn’t have any of those things,’” Mr. Kast recalled. He said the salesman excused himself to go confirm this with his manager. Of the whole experience, Mr. Kast, 61, said: “I knew a whole lot more about the car than anyone in the building.” "Until selling a plug-in electric car is as quick and easy as selling any other vehicle that nets the dealer the same profit, many dealers will avoid them, for very logical and understandable reasons," says John Voelker. "That means that the appropriate question should be directed to makers of electric cars: What are you doing to make selling electric cars as profitable and painless for your dealers as selling gasoline or diesel vehicles?"

Comment Re:Muck Fozilla (Score 1) 315

Right now, I have 40 open tabs in this Firefox session, opened from different points in time and which I've never closed b'cos they contain interesting tidbits which would be tricky to search for again.

If I knew that there was something that would help me w/ this, I'd use it.

Ever heard of bookmarks?

Yeah, that place where web pages go to die, never to be seen again until their URLs become invalid? I've long stopped maintaining those graveyards, since my searchable browser history tends to do a great job remembering which sites I I actively leave open for long periods of time.

Comment Re:This is the only answer that matters (Score 1) 373

yeah, that's what I thought too, but the wife and kids actually love it. Now instead of taking his computer time away from him when he doesn't finish his shit, he's always running around trying to find more things to do to earn more minutes... an extra piano practice here, a round of dishes there... Everyone's much happier compared to the oppressive old days.

Comment Re:This is the only answer that matters (Score 2) 373

Well, here's my obligatory plug for the 2-headed dual-GPU nVidia box I built for my kids' Minecraft PC a few years ago:

Bought all the parts used from Craigslist ($400 for the system, $150 for each video card, and $5 each for a 21" CRT), and it's still better than my gaming PC. There's enough Minecraft mods on it to keep them busy, but they also each have their Steam account on it that they can use for Altitude, Alien Swarm, Portal 2, DOTA, etc. And sometimes World of Tanks, but it's annoying that the updater doesn't seem to work and we usually have to do a full reinstall using PlaysOnLinux each time there's an update.

In my dreamland, they'll eventually get around to using it for productivity apps, but someday....

The best part is I have their accounts controlled by kidtimer (https://github.com/grover66/kidtimer) to control their access time, and made a Rundeck webui to let my wife grant them login time after they've done all the other stuff they're supposed to do.

Comment Re:In other words... (Score 1) 387

Yep, I appreciate all of that. One of my favorite challenges from GT4 was actually the NASCAR-like thing, where you're put at the back of a pack of 6 identical cars, and you essentially have to draft the cars ahead of you in order to gain any speed advantage that you can use to gradually overtake them one-by-one. And of course, the one time I got past the first car too early, and then he proceeded to draft and overtake me again right before we crossed the finish line. :-P

But that's exactly what Nye is arguing for... NASCAR can preserve all of that and still add some relevant competitive advantage to the element of driver hypermiling skill simply by tweaking the rules a bit, as practically every other racing category has already done.

Comment Re:In other words... (Score 5, Informative) 387

Or just abandon the thread here and go read the Arstechnica bit on this from last year:

Excerpts from the NASCAR section at the very end:

This section, like the [indycar section] that precedes it, is going to be short. That's because NASCAR, while immensely popular in the US, is about the least technology-driven form of motorsport around.

It might be easier to talk about the technology that NASCAR doesn't allow; the series is stubbornly resistant to the onward march of technology, only switching to unleaded gas in 2007 (12 years after leaded gas was banned in the US) and finally moving to electronic fuel injection in 2012, decades after carburetors vanished from our showrooms. There are no driver aids like traction control or semi-automatic paddle-shift gearboxes, and even car-to-pit telemetry is highly restricted.

And yet, you shouldn't get the impression that there aren't a lot of clever people doing a lot of clever things with those machines. To start, they've been designed to protect their drivers from the kinds of crashes that happen when dozens of cars race in packs two-, three-, or even four-wide at up to 200 mph. (That is no small feat.) It's also a highly aerodynamics-dependent racing series, which means plenty of computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel research.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead