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Comment: Re:MR Responds (Score 1) 59

by theEnguneer (#45443723) Attached to: Real-Time Radio Search Engine From Music Industry's Nemesis
Or also, something like MP3tunes but instead of uploading music, just have it broadcast from the radio. Again, same problem of matching up end of song and beginning of next song. But once that's solved, I think many possibilities open up. These 2 just came to me off the top of my head Oh here's a 3rd, but it's kind of far off: Detect when a radio station stops playing music and starts playing commercials, and then switch to another station that's playing music automatically. I'm not sure if the radio station broadcasts some kind of flag that says "THIS IS COMMERCIALS", but if it doesn't, it would involve some kind of signal analysis to classify sounds as music or commercials.

Comment: Re:MR Responds (Score 1) 59

by theEnguneer (#45443669) Attached to: Real-Time Radio Search Engine From Music Industry's Nemesis
I wonder if you could combine your Search with an AI similar to Pandora's. So for example, the AI determines what music you like to listen to, but instead of paying someone for rights to play the song, it instead just uses your Search to find that song playing free one a radio station. Obviously, the major problem is to make it so the beginning of the next song lines up with the end of the current song. This would be ok if the next song on the same radio station was acceptable. Even if you had to switch to another station, with so many radio stations, chances are you can find one starting around the same time (maybe with a threshold of a few seconds).

Comment: Re:Matlab (Score 2) 465

by theEnguneer (#45157001) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Language To Learn For Scientific Computing?
Matlab is great for testing out ideas, but it is slow compared to Python or C. Also, for doing Data Mining, Matlab is a poor choice because the whole point of Matlab is to make it so the user doesn't have to worry about variable/data storage, which is the thing that data miners need to optimize.

Comment: Re:How can you win over facts? (Score 1) 432

by theEnguneer (#44651067) Attached to: Canadian Hotel Sues Guest For $95K Over Bad Review, Bed Bugs
As far as I know, you can only be found guilty of defamation if what you said was untrue. So if the guy said "the hotel had bedbugs everywhere" then he may indeed have to pay damages. As long as he just said something along the lines of "my room had bedbugs", which is true, then it is not defamation, no matter how damaging the statements were to the hotel's reputation and business.

Comment: Re:There is no license to cover serious topics (Score 1) 182

by theEnguneer (#43469455) Attached to: Did Tech Websites Exploit the Boston Marathon Bombing?

Right. But the idea that tech blogs should stick to tech stuff isn't. People categorize information because it helps them manage the information overload of their daily lives. I go to tech sites to read about tech things. When I want politics, if ever, I go to a political site. When I want entertainment news, if ever, I go to an entertainment website.

That is only one way to look at it. Another viewpoint is that a website should cater its content to what its audience is interested in. In the case of Tech blogs, their audience is predominately techies, interested in the latest gadget and such. However, techies are also interested in major events. If the world is going to end tomorrow, I want to see that announcement on slashdot, gizmodo, engadget, and every other tech blog.

Comment: Re:This is not a Microsoft issue (Score 1) 295

by theEnguneer (#41465361) Attached to: Microsoft Pollutes To Avoid Fines
Actually, I forgot to mention something in my first post, which shows that other users are also affected by Microsoft's overestimation of their demand. The reason is that the utility must pay the same amount to all generators. It starts with cheap sources, like wind, nuclear, and hydro, then adds on more and more expensive generation, such as coal, natural gas, etc. Microsoft overestimating its demand will cause the utility to turn on their next cheapest generator, which will be more expensive than all the generators already turned on. However, it must then pay the new price to all the previous generators as well. Also, when they run the electricity market, it's the typical demand vs supply curve (see http://www.mikeonads.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/supply_demand_11.JPG), meaning that because the price of electricity just went up, some guy just lost his bid to be powered. (Technically, it's the independent system operator (ISO) that runs the market, and the utility collects the fine for the ISO, but that's not important here.)

Comment: Re:This is not a Microsoft issue (Score 2) 295

by theEnguneer (#41457443) Attached to: Microsoft Pollutes To Avoid Fines
I work in the power industry, so I can tell you that this is not necessarily the utility's fault. It is often the case that it costs utilities EXTRA when large industrial/commercial (ie non residential) consumers UNDER-consume. For example, if you tell the utility you want X megawatts of power the next day, they will bring on extra coal generation to meet that load, which is considered base load, while using cheap wind to fill in the peaking load. However, if you suddenly decide you only need half of that power, the utility can not switch off that extra coal generation, because coal plants have long ramp up and ramp down times. So since the utility can't turn off the coal, it has to turn off the wind. However, due to other contracts, the utility often still has to pay the wind generators the same amount, as if they were still buying electricity from them. So now suddenly the utility is stuck with extra costs of having to burn extra coal, while at the same time wasting the cheap wind power. This is the reason for the fines for underconsumption. This is also the reason why sometimes, on a windy day, you see wind turbines not moving--it is not the utility being stupid. The real culprits here are the people at Microsoft responsible for estimating how much power their servers will require, so that they can draft contract that better matches their actual electricity needs.

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