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Comment: Music has been about tech for decades (Score 1) 153

by thogard (#49780317) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Will Technology Disrupt the Song?

Most popular music was a result in changes in technology that allowed for new sounds. Elvis and The Beetles couldn't have made their sound a decade before due to differences in the technology of microphones, recording and playback equipment. The same is true for many of the groups that produced top hits and most major groups in the last 9 decades had a tehcnological edge over the music they replaced.

Comment: Tech stock inflation is very simple (Score 1) 104

by thogard (#49771745) Attached to: Tech Bubble? What Tech Bubble?

Its like trying to buy a gift and you only have one shop open and you need something for a party in 10 minutes, so what ever you buy will suck.

There are a group of stock traders that have the problem that they have to spend $1,000,000,000 this week because another billion will come in next week and they told a bunch of suckers that they only invest in high gain, high risk stocks. There simply isn't anything left for them to buy that is a good buy so they pick some ramdon tech stocks and pour the money in.

Comment: Re:Root cause = speed over security (Score 1) 71

by thogard (#49740597) Attached to: 'Logjam' Vulnerability Threatens Encrypted Connections

There are things that can be done and things that shouldn't. For example there is a byte table of sines in MD5 that help scramble bits. If you scramble that table at all then you have a hash that is as strong as MD5 but unique as if someone tacks on a 2^2048 extra seed. It also keeps off the shelf hardware from trying your hash.

If you do the same thing with the DES S-boxes you can end up with a cryto that is so weak you might be able to decrypt it by inspection.

Comment: Icky water? (Score 2) 278

This works so well on cruise ships as hardly anyone ever gets sick on those. A tiny hole in a filter membrane is huge to bactera and viruses.

Lots of people are worried about bacteria but 99% of the bacteria on the planet doesn't like humans and is safe to consume. The bacteria that lives with humans or comes out of humans is what will kill people.

Then there are prions which will pass through these filters which is why the systems that don't concentrate diseases always have a large natural buffer that is full of creatures that mess with whatever manages to get pass the sewage treatment systems. The places that are talking about bypassing a large natural reserve is asking for trouble. A large lake or a river have plenty of life that will kill off most of the nasty things but if that cycle is short circuted, there are plenty of things that survie in fairly pure water for days or weeks.

With the cost of deslinating water, it makes more sense to use ocean water than water with too high of human waste and the health risks are far lower as well.

Comment: Copays? How about cash price? (Score 2) 78

by thogard (#49605051) Attached to: Hacking the US Prescription System

When you try to get a prescription filled in a pharmacy they take your ID and insurance card and send that off to your insurance company. If you have a prescription for something simple and cheap like penicillin that cost say $3 the conversation looks something like this:
Pharmacy (to insurance co): Joe Sucker gave me a $25 co pay card for penicillin.
InsCo: Tell him that it is $30 and you now owe us $22.
Pharmacy to Joe: You owe us $25.

If Joe had asked cash price, the conversation would have been:
Pharmacy (to Joe): That will be $3.
Joe: But I have a $25 co pay
Pharmacy: Do you want to pay $3 or $25?

Comment: Re:Tesla battery also far larger than needed (Score 1) 334

by thogard (#49573901) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage

Then you are neither the problem nor the solution.

Oddly enough though, I am the market.

I expect my numbers are right on the sweet spot for a 10 kWh system. Large battery systems should help but most of the rest of the costs will scale linearly with maybe a 10% drop at 4 times the size.

So if the numbers don't really make sense for you, imagine how stupid they are for me?

My power generator will sell me power for $.025 a kwh under a contract. The rest of the $.22 is the grid, billing system, peak cost overruns and taxes so I don't see this a an electricty generation problem but more of a middleman problem and those tend to get worse as time goes on. I expact that since the grid goes past the house that in 30 years I'll get an electricty bill for about $100/mo (in todays dollars) even if I'm not cnnected.

Comment: Re:Tesla battery also far larger than needed (Score 1) 334

by thogard (#49567617) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage

I only use about 10 kwh a day. A 5 kw solar system is about $3600 plus inverter. The 10 kWh system complete with install and the 5 kw of panels would cost a bit less than $20k. I currently pay about $.22 a kwh plus about $1 a day just to have the grid there. The ROI is 16.6 years assuming no maintenance cost, interest or increase in grid costs assuming I can go fully off grid. It goes over 20 years if I still have to pay to have the grid hooked up (or some "grid goes by the house so pay" type fee)

Comment: Re:Is that proven? (Score 1) 442

by thogard (#49557199) Attached to: Debian 8 Jessie Released

Lots of useful things can happen even if most file systems don't mount.

I have systems in data centers half way around the world. I want sshd to wake up as soon as the networking is up. Once the whole thing is up and stable, I want the initial sshd to be killed off and the normal production one started. The sshd started early uses no shared libraries and uses a config that lets root login. This means that if the machine is screwed up, I can get in if things are broken without depending on the lights out management card or some other virtual console hack.

Remember that on very large systems there are always errors on a disk and some systems are large enough that their mean time between failures is always now. That doesn't mean the systems aren't still useful in production.

"Your attitude determines your attitude." -- Zig Ziglar, self-improvement doofus