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Submission + - Give us your personal data or pay full fare

ebh writes: "Noted in an AP story about how fees make it difficult to compare air travel costs, is how the airline industry is moving toward tailoring offer packages (and presumably, fares) for individuals based on their personal information. Worse, "The airline association said consumers who choose not to supply personal information would still be able to see fares and purchase tickets, though consumer advocates said those fares would probably be at the "rack rate" — the travel industry's term for full price, before any discounts." Now, about those Amtrak upgrades..."

Submission + - World's Longest High Speed Rail Line Opens in China (

An anonymous reader writes: Today China continued rolling out the future of high speed rail by officially unveiling the world’s longest high-speed rail line — a 2,298-kilometer (1,428-mile) stretch of railway that connects Beijing in the north to Guangzhou in the south. The first trains on the new route hit 300 kph (186 mph), cutting travel time between the two cities by more than half.

Submission + - Windows 8: Now Cherokee-friendly ( 1

Velcroman1 writes: It’s a holiday present from Microsoft — the gift of language. The Windows giant has added support for the Cherokee language into Windows 8, more than 20 years after Tracy Monteith, a Cherokee from North Carolina who worked for Microsoft, asked his employers to make the settings, pull-down menus and error messages speak his language. "Microsoft will not make millions off this project, but they will help keep our language alive," said Cherokee principal chief Bill John Baker. It marks the first time that a Native American language has been “fully integrated” into the operating system.

Comment Re:Solar panels are cheaper but the rest isn't (Score 1) 735

Ahh. Your program works differently from ours. We got a loan from the power company against ten years' projected SREC production. At the time, SRECs were trading at over $600. It looked on paper like we were getting hosed when we locked in at $425/SREC, but we knew that NJ was about to cross some magic amount of renewable energy production, which would eliminate a whole class of fees the utilities had to pay to the state. The line was crossed a couple months after we went online, and now SRECs are trading at less than $100 but we're still earning $425 each against the loan. Oh, and we're also producing more than the projections, so we're paying the loan off faster, too.

Also, someone asked whether this would have worked without taxpayer dollars. The answer is yes, but it would have taken a good bit longer to get in the black. The state tax credit program expired before we built. We did, however, get a 30% federal tax credit. That's the only taxpayer money involved, since we got the loan from the (private) utility company, and paid the rest out of pocket.

Honestly, though, our thinking was that even if it ddn't entirely pay for itself, we'd rather spend money on renewables than send it to Saudi Arabia.

Comment Re:Flooded batteries (Score 5, Informative) 735

We have 35 panels on our roof. We lost nine trees during Sandy, but there was no damage to the solar panels. We also have solar canopies and things like that all over town, and I only saw minor damage in one installation. Our only real vulnerability is if a tree falls on the panels themselves.

Comment Re:Censorship (Score 5, Interesting) 369

There's a definite difference between helping my kids with their homework, and doing it for them. Like what happened a couple weeks ago: "Dad, I'm stuck on this math problem."

I take a look at it, and sure enough, it's ugly. Yet it's not. I say, "One word: parentheses." It took him a couple more minutes but he got it and saw why it wasn't nearly as ugly as it looked.

Did I do his homework for him?

ObTopic: Yes, I've been known to suggest search terms that would be more effective than the ones he was going to use.

Comment Re:Damn... (Score 2) 602

I want to get a T-shirt that says, "Asperger's is hereditary--you get it from your kids."

You and I and a bunch of other adults I know have all been through that scene where the doctor describes the traits of our kids' newly-diagnosed AS, and we realize that the doctor is telling OUR life story.

Comment Re:Online storage?! (Score 1) 330

That's why, when the drives (or surrounding technology) get old, but before they die, you copy them to more modern media. Just for fun, I might try reading data off one of my old ST-506 drives, but I stopped depending on them for data integrity almost 25 years ago. At some point I'll do the same with data on my current SATA drives.

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