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Comment Re:A cure for which there is no disease (Score 1) 249

Same issue in Quebec (Canada). I didn't have a choice in my home. Either I let them install the e-meter, or I would have to pay Hydro Quebec $200/yr to keep my old, functioning very nicely for 15 years, mechanical meter.

I check my bill every month to see if there's some differences from the previous month or same period the year earlier, but so far, knock on wood, nothing amiss so far.

I am, however, ticked at the craziness of it all. These eMeters are more expensive per unit that the sound mechanical ones, they haven't been around long enough to give anyone a good idea of mean time to failure (MTTF). I've worked with embedded (now called IoT) devices for 20+ years, and no electronic device I've ever heard of has even 1/2 the MMTF of it mechanical device it's supposed to replace.

Not only that, but it contributes to additional wireless radiation and congestion on the wireless frequencies it uses to bunny hop to the closest meter or concentration point.

I can ramble on, but this is just another reason to hate these things.

Comment Crazy monetary systems... (Score 1) 450

All this rigamarole makes me want to indulge my Luddite tendencies, dump all my credit cards and automatic withdrawls, deposits, bitcoins, and any other virtual currencies, convert it all to cash or better yet, gold coins, and move to the middle of nowhere. When I need something, I'll drive my beatup old clunker to the nearest town and buy everything I need with cold, hard, currency...

Comment Missing the point... (Score 1) 572

As others have said, the headline is misleading, and so is the story. However, everyone seems to be missing the point that a 'corporation' doesn't actually do anything. It's the people who are in charge of the corporation that do the things that are liked, disliked or reviled. If we can get governments and the public to remember this, I think a lot of improvements could be made.

Comment Re:Big Screen? (Score 1) 30

I know what you mean. I did a gig with a North American electricity supplier, and spent a lot of time in their Ops Center. They had 2 big screens at the front of the room, and about 8 workareas (semi-cicular desks) with 3 monitors on each of them, all the desks facing these massive 2 projection screens. One screen had real-time traffic and weather camera feeds going (why? I don't know, guess they wanted to know how the commute home would go...) The other screen had statuses for some of the more critical servers. Which was also funny, since I was there when one of those servers went from "green" to "red", and 4 pagers/phones went off in the room at the same time, and the those whose phones rang immediately got on the phone and started to troubleshoot, with the big screens all but forgotten.

In short, it's all for show, not really, truly useful...

Comment Re:Maybe I'm naive.. (Score 2) 86

Quebec is suffering the same issues. Canada established the Canada Health Infoway ( in 2001, has spent more than a $1B (CDN) to date, and just earmarked another $500M in 2010. None of this includes the $600M+ that Quebec has spent (let alone what the other provinces have spent) on Electronic Health Record systems...

The Canada Health Infoway is simply a framework and each province is responsible for setting up its own EHR system to link into it (health care is a provincial jurisdiction in Canada) . Overall, it's been a huge moneypit for Canadian taxpayers in most provinces (

All I can say is good luck to the UK in their quest for EHR...


Submission + - Apple Finally Acknowledges Bad iPad 2 Displays (

tekgoblin writes: "This has been an issue that has bothered me for quite some time, but I have stayed quiet about my frustrations as far as writing for TekGoblin goes while complaining to my friends, and even to AppleCare. Many people that have an iPad 2 have been discussing on Apple’s forums for a long time now about their troubles with light leak issues on their iPad 2 screens. I myself experienced this with two units. The first iPad 2 I purchased had severe light leaks in each of the four corners and slightly less noticeable light leaks on the sides. This is the reason for the exchange that I mentioned in my GelaSkins review, resulting in me taking my GelaSkin off of my first iPad 2 and adhering it to the new one with substantial success. However what I failed to mention in that article is that once I got home with my new iPad 2 unit, I discovered that it, too, had light leaks. Less severe than the first unit, but still, for a product that costs nearly a thousand dollars, I expect perfection."

Comment Re:The situation is much more complicated than tha (Score 1) 364

SpeedyDX has is right, it is a complex issue. I would like to add that it shouldn't be this complicated. If we started to think of internet connectivity in terms of a utility model, like electricity, water or natural gas, that should be the way to do it; in other words, I want to pay for what I use, and I don't want to subsidize someone who uses more than I do, nor do I want to leech off of someone who uses less. I pay a one time fee to connect my house/apt to electricity, to gas, to water, and then I pay per kWh, m3 or whatever. I should be able to do the same for internet, let me pay x cents/Mb be done with all this crap.

Yes, this is an ideal, and yes, I don't think this will come to pass in my lifetime, but hey, one can wish.

Submission + - BMW works on key of the future (

ITShaman writes: BMW is working on integrating a full travel experience into their current wireless/contactless automobile key. In essence, BMW wants to integrate e-booking (trains, planes and hotels), as well as contactless payment systems (like PayPass) all onto their key. Unfortunately, the source article is heavy on the fluff and light on the tech, but the implications are quite extensive.

Submission + - Particle pretends it's iron to slip through BBB (

hlovy writes: The story of drug delivery development these days seems to be increasingly about breaking through that final frontier--the blood-brain barrier. Scientists from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center managed to sneak peptides past the brain's protective barrier by creating a particle that's a kind of master of disguise. It impersonates iron, and then hops onboard the body's iron transport system for a free ride into the brain. Along the way, the researchers say, the disguised particle could be used to deliver imaging agents or treatments.

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