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Comment Re:I like some parts (Score 1) 51

I would like to see a series of detailed plans that show, for example, the R Value of the insulation, especially with the broad window exposure, the kWh capacity of the panels, the storage capacity, and more.

You can see most of the construction documents on the Solar Decathlon site. They have to be published as part of the competition rules.

Also, it needs upscaling for real-world families. For a young couple with no kids and both working outside the home, who only need a place to sleep, it appears ideal. That ain't me or my family. Where's my office for my writing and programming? What would be the impact on the energy system of the five computers I use constantly, or the ones others in my family use? Where's my media room, the big screen for my movie enjoyment?

Where are the bedrooms for my kids and grandkids when they visit?

As part of the competition, they needed to specify who their target market is and they are limited to 1000 square feet no matter what they choose, so the house will be on the small side for a family.

PV Water heat sounds nice, but for how much water? How does it handle a real winter? Is there propane backup for winter use?

Still, there are some good ideas here. Maybe When I build the next house, I will use some of them.

That is the real purpose of the Solar Decathlon - to get people to think about energy usage and to spur development of better clean energy technology.

Comment Re:Okay, sounds good... (Score 1) 51

When I participated in this event in 2011 (I was on the University of Maryland team which won that year), the rule was that the estimated cost of the house - were it to be made as a regular building by regular contractors - could not exceed $200,000.
The rules have only changed a bit since then - the new limit is $250,000.

You can see the full rules here:
The affordability contest rules are at the bottom of page 25.

Submission + - NIST to offer Accelerometer Calibration Service (

yakatz writes: While your games probably don't require this level of accuracy, the use of super-accurate accelerometers is growing in the Internet-of-Things. The US National Institutes of Standards and Technology is getting ready to offer a new calibration service, sensitive enough to detect motion over distances as small as a few nanometers and frequencies up to 50,000 Hz.

Comment Re:Hmmm (Score 1) 205

As for the "pull down mirror", that isn't even remotely new technology. Other vehicles have had those for a decade or more. But of course because America - and the American media especially - love Toyota with a great passion, we regard it as a technological marvel.

Toyota has had it also. Not sure why this implies it is new.

Comment Re:Not an inherent problem. (Score 2) 18

Agreed. Not sure why this is news, or honestly, why it is worthy of being published at all. This is part of the design and if people choose to login even after - the as the example says - Google or Facebook OAuth prompt says You are sending the following information to this site: (as those login methods do), that is their own problem.

Comment Re:Credible Source? (Score 1) 186

I am involved with several organizations that are members of Google Grants. As long as you meet the eligibility guidelines (when we applied, you were not automatically accepted if you were a 501(c)(3), but it could have changed), they give you the same benefits.

Google recently renamed the program: It used to be called "Google Grants" and you would get all the benefits at once. It appears that you now need to request each one only if you plan to use it.

Submission + - Dyn (formerly DynDNS) Discontinues Free Service

yakatz writes: Several years ago Dyn cut back significantly on their free Dynamic DNS service. In an email sent to users today, Dyn announced that the service will be ending on May 7th.

The full email:

To our Dyn free hostname users:

For the last 15 years, all of us at Dyn have taken pride in offering you and millions of others a free version of our Dynamic DNS Pro product. What was originally a product built for a small group of users has blossomed into an exciting technology used around the world.

That is why with mixed emotions we are notifying you that in 30 days, we will be ending our free hostname program. This change in the business will allow us to invest in our customer support teams, Internet infrastructure, and platform security so that we can continue to strive to deliver an exceptional customer experience for our paying customers.

We would like to invite you to upgrade to VIP status for less than $20 — a 25% discount good for any package of Remote Access (formerly DynDNS Pro). By doing so, you'll have access to customer support, additional hostnames, and more.

Here's how you get this done in two easy steps:

— Login to
— Click here to add Remote Access to your cart at the 25% off VIP rate. The discount will be applied upon checkout.

We thank you for your usage of Dyn through the years, and hope to continue to support you through Dyn Remote Access or other products for years to come. Visit our FAQ page or this blog post for more information.

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.