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Comment Re:That's no app (Score 4, Informative) 240

Even though app seems like it's short for application it is rather short for "Mobile Application".

Bullshit. People have been shortening application to app for decades. NeXTSTEP, OPENSTEP, and Mac OS X all used .app as the file extension for applications, used NSApp as the global variable that holds a pointer to the current application object, and used App in their marketing terminology since the '80s. iOS apps were called apps because that's the same term that Apple has used on the desktop since it was a company called NeXT, trying to redefine the term to only mean mobile apps is nonsense.

Comment Re:We have laws for this already (Score 1) 328

The founders of the USA created a system of checks and balances to restrain the government. This included splitting powers between the state and federal governments and splitting the power of the federal government between the legislature, executive, and judiciary, all of which were appointed by different mechanisms.

They didn't feel the need to provide similar checks and balances on the power of rich people or corporations, because neither was particularly powerful in the US at the time of founding (if they'd looked at the East India Company a bit more closely, they might have done things differently).

Comment Re:United Airlines at it again (Score 1) 107

A few years ago, United was about the only US carrier to make a profit. Unfortunately, all of them made a loss on the business of actually flying planes. They all buy fuel futures to let them plan their operating costs in advance and United made a fairly hefty profit selling some of theirs when prices spiked. I don't know if they've managed to make a profit operating planes since then, but the economics of operating an airline is deeply strange. RyanAir, for example, gets sufficient subsidies from a lot of the small airports that they fly to that they can make a profit even if the plane is empty, the passengers are just there to justify the subsidies (they won't be renewed if they don't deliver a sufficiently large total number of passengers). Anything that they take from their passengers is pure profit.

Over the last two or three decades, there's been such a race to the bottom for airlines that they're basically having to sell their tickets at below cost and make money elsewhere. They're not the only business to hit this. Some of the supermarkets in the UK got bad press about five years ago for paying farmers below cost for milk. Milk goes off sufficiently quickly that unless you have a second customer lined up, if they supermarket refuses to pay your production costs you either make a small loss selling to them or make a large loss disposing of the milk. In the long term, this isn't sustainable, because it just pushes farms out of the milk business. The same seems to be happening with airlines.

Comment Re:Sigh (Score 1) 165

Huh? Go to Settings. One of the top items (the top one after the block of device settings) is Notifications. Click on it. You are presented with a list of apps. Click on the app. At the top, there is a global toggle to allow notifications. If it's turned on, then you have more options underneath to control where notifications are shown. Control of notifications is centralised, so it's easy to go down the list and disable them for all apps except the ones that you actually want. On top of that, apps are never given the permission to display notifications by default: the first time that they try, you will be prompted to allow them. You only need to go via the settings screen if you want to change your mind later.

Face it, Apple doesn't care about their users, they only care about their revenue.

The same is true of Google. The difference is that Google gets all of its revenue from ads, whereas Apple gets most of theirs from people buying the devices, so they'll make money from you even if you never run any apps that run annoying popups, whereas Google has a big financial incentive to make it difficult for you to avoid seeing ads.

Comment Re:Just turn that stuff off. (Score 1) 165

Turn off auto-sync for your emails too. You don't need to respond in seconds. It's an email.

That's no reason to turn off auto-sync, just turn off notifications for emails. With auto-sync, the emails will be there the next time that you look at your phone, but won't require you to respond immediately.

Comment Re:And what's wrong with such reasonable assumptio (Score 2, Informative) 362

In some cases, because people in management justify their existence (and salaries) by the number of people that report to them. Add more employees, manager's importance goes up. That provides a strong incentive to have employees that don't do anything useful, but do report to you.

Comment Re:Get a cheap PC that 10 years old, add PFSense (Score 1) 316

I'm not sure if your unit is correct... I am quite sure that you meant £1 per kWh (Kilo Watt Hour) per year.

£1 per Watt for one year. Rough estimate, but it's in the right ballpark. I pay 12p/kWh. That's £0.00012 for 1W for one hour. For one day, it costs £0.00288. For 365 days, it costs £1.0512, so an estimate of £1/Wyear is only 5% off. The unit of kWh per year wouldn't make sense: Watts are a unit of power (energy per unit time). 1kWh is one kW (1000W) for one hour. i.e. my price of £0.12/kWh means that it costs £0.12 to have something that draws 1kW on for one hour (or to have something that draws 100W on for ten hours, and so on). I probably should have written £1/Wyear for consistency with kWh or £1/(W/year), but I assumed that readers could figure it out and was lazy.

A 6 wH router would require 52.56 kW to operate in a year (24/7 and 365 days a year)... So, I don't get the part where you are talking about saving. :-?

What is a 6wH router? Even if you mean 6Wh, that doesn't make sense: how long does it take to consume 1Wh (a unit of energy, not of power)? If you mean a 6W router, then will consume 52.56Wh in one year (not 52.56kW, because that's a unit of power and when you divide by time [i.e. over a year] then you get energy, not power). In contrast, a 60W old PC will consume 525.6kWh. At £0.12/kWh, that works out at £6.3072 to operate the small router or £63.072 to operate the old PC for one year. These numbers are very close to my back-of-an-envelope estimate of £6 vs £60, but more accurately the saving is £56.7648/year, or £113.5296 over two years. If you spend £100 on a low-power embedded router board to replace a 60W old PC that you got for free then you will be £13.5296 better off after two years (assuming electricity prices don't go up and you're on the same-priced tariff as me). After four years, you'll be over £100 better off. The one that I bought lasted 5 years before it was too slow for the network, so that's a saving of £283.824 of electricity. The new version of the same board (three gigE ethernet adaptors and enough CPU power to happily handle line rate on all of them) costs £125, probably around £160 by the time that you've added a case and some flash storage. So over the lifetime of the device (assuming it only lasts five years - I'd actually be quite surprised if GigE is not fast enough in 5 years for most home users), the saving is around £120, more if electricity prices go up. The break-even point is just over two years. As an added bonus, you get a small form-factor device that's silent, so can be hidden in a corner in a room that you actually use, or stored in an under-stairs cupboard without overheating.

Using an old PC for this is likely to be a waste of money and be inconvenient. If you can get £20 for the old PC from someone who actually needs a machine capable of running a GUI, then you're even better off!

Comment Re:Paintbrush for Windows (Score 1) 384

Nope. Paintbrush, which shipped with Windows up until 3.11 was a bundled version of ZSoft Paintbrush, with a few features removed and Microsoft branding on top. MS Paint, introduced with Windows 95 (I think, possibly NT 3.x?), was a complete rewrite as a win32 app. The author of TFA doesn't know what he's talking about - it most certainly hasn't been part of Windows since 1985.

Comment Re:Get a cheap PC that 10 years old, add PFSense (Score 3, Informative) 316

You can't do arithmetic: 24 * 365 * 100 = 876000. 24 * 365 * 100 / 1000 = 876. Your 87600 is neither of these numbers and I have no idea how you calculated it. The rough rule of thumb is $1/W/year, with your price estimate it's $1.0512, which is close enough. With 18 cents/kWh, it's $1.5768, but for most of the US $1-2 is the right ballpark. For Germany, it's $3. That doesn't actually detract too much from your main point. You're paying $300/year for power for the 100W machine. A 6W machine that costs $200 will save you over $90 in the first year.

Comment Re:Get a cheap PC that 10 years old, add PFSense (Score 4, Informative) 316

Power here costs about £1/W/year. If you're expecting to keep your router for 2 years, it's worth spending up to £20 to reduce the power consumption by 10W. A typical old desktop will draw around 60W, an embedded router board will draw around 6W. That works out at a saving of £108 over two years, which is about the total cost of the embedded router board (PC-Engines or Soekris). After three years, even if you got the old PC for free, it's still more expensive. I used a PC-Engines WRAP board as my home router for around 5 years before needing to upgrade.

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