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Comment: Re:Comment from a Chemist (Score 1) 432

by sharkytm (#47105539) Attached to: Has the Ethanol Threat Manifested In the US?
Since this discussion is still ongoing, here's a bunch of papers about biofuels: http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/how... The take-home is the same as I stated, and I quote: Both the ICSU and UNEP reports are very critical of current production of ethanol from corn, noting the high environmental costs including increased coastal nitrogen pollution and indirect land-use changes that aggravate global warming, as well as the relatively small amount of energy produced. Lose-Lose.

Comment: Re:Comment from a Chemist (Score 5, Insightful) 432

by sharkytm (#47088043) Attached to: Has the Ethanol Threat Manifested In the US?
Here's where your net-carbon-zero falls apart: It takes energy to ferment and distill the ethanol. Where does that energy come from? Electricity, mainly produced by coal, natural gas, and oil. So, your tying a food commodity price to fuel, burning coal to do it, and causing the resulting fuel to be less efficient. Ethanol in fuel is a lose-lose. The only reason that it doesn't cause fuel prices to rise is that the government is paying farmers to grow the corn in the first place, artificially depressing the price.

Comment: Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (Score 1) 355

by sharkytm (#46997975) Attached to: Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?
I don't disagree. I was heavily involved with HD video for a while, so I'm aware of the prevalence of FW connections in that realm. However, that's hardly mainstream. I daisy-chained FW400 and FW800 stacks, and appreciated the speed, but 99% of the consumers out there wouldn't know that it was even possible. They were willing to accept slower transfers in return for cheaper devices. The tragedy of the commons strikes again.

Comment: Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (Score 2) 355

by sharkytm (#46996349) Attached to: Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?
This is exactly what I came here to post. It's a shame, because FW400 was far superior to USB2.0. The problem lay with the peripheral manufacturers who didn't want to put in more expensive controllers and dual-ports on their enclosures. Heck, wasn't the iSight the only webcam for Firewire? No demand=no supply=high prices. FW800 was pretty much the same. Better tech, limited market, high prices, bang, whimper. I love that my old Mac Mini can transfer data between 3 daisy-chained FW400 drives much faster than it can transfer to a single USB2.0 drive, but the fact that enclosures are expensive and basically non-interchangeable with any of my other devices makes it a pretty niche market. Thunderbolt will probably follow the exact same progression, right down to the "new" faster Thunderbolt. Sure, its PCI-E, but 95% of consumers don't know, care, or need that capability. They buy on price and availability, plain and simple.

Comment: Re:Buy new (Score 2) 259

by sharkytm (#42788009) Attached to: The Only, Lonely Protester at CES (Video)
This is a response to both the "Buy New" and "Smaller and smaller" comments. You are both correct with regards to consumer-level point and shoots. HOWEVER, you are incorrect when it comes to DSLR cameras. Digital SLR's are expensive, and hold their value relatively well. A simple shutter malfunction, which can be repaired by Nikon (including shipping and tech-time) for $200, could save a camera that would cost $500+ to replace. Ditto with a bad button or cracked LCD. Cheap parts, which if available, could save lot of useful cameras. I own a Nikon DSLR. I know that if I ever want it fixed, I'll have to send it to Nikon, or buy a differently-broken one from eBay and hope that the local shop will be capable of fixing it. Its a shame that the parts aren't available, but I know it. I'm on the fence about this man's plight. In one hand, his industry is dying. In the other, the MFR's are purposefully putting him out of business by not providing parts.

Comment: Re:What this probably really means (Score 2) 61

And this is not necessarily a bad thing, since it creates an income for the country. Even if most of it disappears into the pockets of corrupt politicians, the situation for the general populace will probably improve over time because of it.

Please tell me that you are joking... I don't think its possible for this to be more untrue. More money into corrupt governments usually results in more draconian laws and increased military spending. Neither of those result in the "situation of the general populace" "improving"...

Comment: Re:Hot damn, it's about time (Score 1) 181

by sharkytm (#38958093) Attached to: First Run of Raspberry Pi Boards To Be Completed Feb 20th
The unlocked boot loader that Asus promised was removed, and replaced with an encrypted, locked boot loader. The wifi signal issues are still a problem on many units, but you are correct, they didn't downgrade the specs. And yes, the GPS is the only one that was actually downgraded/removed from the specs. They also promised a delivery date of Dec 8, actual stock wasn't delivered until Jan 8-9. Missing the Christmas gift season is a pretty big no-no in the commercial electronics industry. I was trying to be amusing... there was a lot of buzz about the delays and problems. To be honest, the Prime is a heck of a tablet, and makes me reconsider my Toshiba Thrive + 3-year-old Asus EEE netbook. I could have both in one unit if I cared to sell them both.

Comment: Re:Hot damn, it's about time (Score 1) 181

by sharkytm (#38953793) Attached to: First Run of Raspberry Pi Boards To Be Completed Feb 20th
Wifi Issues caused the initial delay, which was promised to be in early December 2011. BB and Amazon (and Asus) said it was for sale on pre-order for Dec. 8th. The total number of units shipped to cover the preorder was far far too little, and the retailers canceled quite a few of the preorders. Then we found out about the 128-bit encrypted, locked bootloader (even though Asus had talked about how much they liked the ROM community, and wanted to support.... after some pressure, Asus later "allowed" you to unlock at the expense of your warranty, which I can sort-of understand), plus the GPS being removed.

Comment: Re:Hot damn, it's about time (Score 1) 181

by sharkytm (#38952983) Attached to: First Run of Raspberry Pi Boards To Be Completed Feb 20th
Or the Asus Transformer Prime Method: Where the specs are repeatedly downgraded, delays arise, specs are downgraded again, delayed again, and finally its released without several features that were promised upon release. Features that are broken are simply removed from the spec sheet.

Comment: Thrive! (Score 1) 356

by sharkytm (#38537810) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Android Tablet For Travel?
I bought my wife a woot refurb 16gb Thrive for Christmas ($300), and its AWESOME. Full-sized ports are the key for her usage (reading journal articles [USB Thumbdrive plugs right in], watching Netflix [HDMI out], revising her thesis [keyboard plugs right in too], working on photos [full-size SD Card slot+Photoshop Touch] and using SplashtopHD to use her research computer at work). The added bulk/thickness isn't an issue for either of us. I rooted it in, oh, about 10 minutes. It seriously took me longer to download DaleP's files from the thriveforums than it took to root. Just install ADB, boot into fastboot, install CWM, flash image, voila. I like the transformer, but the price doesn't justify it for me, even with the dock. Why bother having to have a proprietary dock when you could just use a case and a regular USB keyboard. I think there are still refurb 32GB ones on eBay for $349, yup: http://www.ebay.com/itm/370564672605. That's a screaming deal.

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