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Comment: Re:should be higher (Score 1) 74

If you set the threshold that high, new users will probably be turned off by the price of entry.

It doesn't prevent them from playing their games, it just prevents them from hassling other users.

If you want to spend $4.25 on a game on Steam, you can play that game to your heart's content. You just can't start spamming other users.

So no, new users will NOT be probably turned off by the price of entry into the community, even if the threshold is $50. Personally, I think the threshold should be $25 and three months of use.

Comment: Re:Ask the former residents of East Germany (Score 1) 208

by Jane Q. Public (#49505975) Attached to: The Upsides of a Surveillance Society
Yes, the out-of-context issue is a very real danger, what with comments people make in one conversation taken out and presented in the context of something else, making it seem as if that person meant one thing when they really meant another.

I know this one well; it has been pulled on me many times.

Comment: Re: Ask the former residents of East Germany (Score 1) 208

by Jane Q. Public (#49505951) Attached to: The Upsides of a Surveillance Society

Look, it's really simple: we live in the Surveillance Age now, there's absolutely nothing we can do about it, might as well find a few upsides. You know the old saying "when rape is inevitable, relax and try to enjoy it"?

Another "downside" to pervasive surveillance: a disturbing degree of fatalism.

Comment: Re:"Surge Pricing" (Score 2) 47

by BasilBrush (#49505631) Attached to: How Uber Surge Pricing Really Works

Many stores will simply close altogether; it's not worth staying open in an emergency subject to price fixing laws if they can just sell at the same price after the emergency is over anyway.

Sure it is, because the stock will sell far faster - assuming it's the kind of store that sells practical items.

Given that they would be open when the emergency is over anyway. All that period of high sales would be wasted opportunity.

And that's just from the purely selfish capitalist angle. Mostly shops are run by decent human beings so will strive to be open in times of need anyway because they don't want to cause even more suffering.

Comment: Re:Solar is here to stay (Score 2) 209

by Maxo-Texas (#49504915) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

You can drive an 18500 BTU window unit with 6 solar panels. What you need is a control box that will turn it on when power is sufficent and turn it off when power is insufficient. (even better if it can scale the cooling to available power as long as power is available).

If you cool during the day, the house stays cool and you don't have to cool it for several hours when you get home.

Battery cost has dropped by 94% in 20 years. I think that's going to be a key element. Instead of grid-tie, you just have some of your utilities on a parallel solar power system. Meanwhile, your central air unit still draws from regular power.

Say you could put a panel on your roof and a plug in your room that would provide 16 hours of 100 watt power + live power during daylight. It won't drive vacuum cleanersfor long but it will drive TV's, cable boxes, a light fixture, laptop, electric shaver, toothbrush, etc.

Comment: Re:I'm shocked, I tell you! (Score 3, Insightful) 114

Including the almost complete lack of minorities. And by the odds at least two of the characters were gays in the closet. Probably church goers too. Many of the men-- WW2 vets with PTSD were beating their wives and everyone was driving drunk. Any of the teens who were gay left for New York- and if their parents found out they were cutoff and tossed out. Some of the men-- probably Andy-- were getting some on the side since you couldn't divorce and when the wife stopped putting out (because the men knew very little about how to please women sexually) you found the town slut or snuck something with the secretary or other office girl.

The businessmen portrayed in the show were dumping pollution in the waterways so fast that a decade later, rivers would be catching on fire- necessitating another set of government intrusion.

Things were easier with a much lower population density and less ability to move around. It was a surveillance state by the sheriff and the religious community. As that population grew and became more mobile, more government intrusion was required.

I *love* the andy griffith show. But it was fiction when it was being shown. It was a pleasant ville.

Ironically, the entire show was an intrusion of government preventing tv shows from showing reality. Men and women slept in separate twin beds, never had sex addictions, never were adulterous.

The show portrays a great time to be alive if you were a successful white male in a monochrome homogenous society.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 5, Informative) 209

by CrimsonAvenger (#49504849) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

There's something to this claim. The power electric companies traditionally have control over all inputs to the system. Home solar changes that.

Unfortunately, the power company is still expected to make sure that the power comes in at the right voltage and frequency. And with control on only part of the inputs, that's a lot harder. The fewer inputs they control, the harder...

Theoretically, you can design a control system that'll handle the problem. But, so far, noone has bothered to, because noone's had a need to. As solar becomes more common that'll change, and the problems will go away.

One part of the problem is NOT going to go away however - they have to pay to maintain the lines. Right now, that cost if covered by your electric bills. As the amount of electricity you draw from their generators goes down, they're going to reach the point of needing to charge you a flat fee just for the connection to the power lines, plus the usual fees for actually using their electricity.

If you steal from one author it's plagiarism; if you steal from many it's research. -- Wilson Mizner

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