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Comment Re:Can someone explain this guy's logic to me (Score 5, Interesting) 367

Here in Colorado we have net metering, so two meters aren't needed. If my solar generates more than I use the excess is sent back to the grid, "State 3" in your post, I sell my electricity back to Xcel at wholesale prices, not what I pay if I get the power from the grid, "State 1" from your post. Lets say I need power from Xcel, I would pay them (for simplicity) 10 cents per kw, but if I generate more on a sunny day I sell it back to them for 6 cents per kw. Please point out to me how are they getting screwed again?

Us fine folks here in Colorado passed a law several years ago that 20% of electricity has to come from renewable resources by 2020, so Xcel would benefit from having more people getting solar on their houses, but they want to have the generation facilities to keep their monopoly.

Plain and simple, this is just a money grab by Xcel as they are going for the triple bonus of not having to generate as much electricity (less money spent on coal), getting a "connection fee", and getting closer to the requirement of 20% renewable without any capitol outlay.

I think most all power companies are scared that their monopoly on electricity production and distribution is in jeopardy with advances and the new smart grid. Power companies are the single biggest roadblock to any advancement of our aged and ailing electrical grid. They refuse to look at any other way of doing business other than having huge power plants and huge power lines feeding. (sound familiar? Music industry anyone?) I realize that there will always be a need for power plants and lines, but there are many ways to get the job done better.

I am guessing that you work for a power company?

Submission + - Are laptops OK on bicycles? (

bshell writes: I commute to work by bicycle and I've been strapping my PowerBook to the bike rack carrier on the back of my bike. It's enclosed in a typical computer carry bag, and strapped down by bungie cords, but it gets all the road vibrations on there. After years, there seems to be no adverse effects. Do other Slashdot readers concur? Does anyone think that subjecting a laptop computer to the daily bumps and bangs of a bicycle commute is harmful to the machine, or are laptop computers fundamentally constructed to handle this sort of treatment? Your experiences might be instructive to other readers.

Submission + - Keeping Emails (

mgv writes: "In a rather fascinating admission, the government of Western Australia has stated that they do not back up email for longer than three months. This came to light when the director general was identified as having email communications with Mr Brian Burke, the ex-premier of Western Australia (equivalent to a state governor). Mr Burke is more famous for the time he spent in prison for corrupt deals with companies, whose subsequent collapse cost the state government around $600 million dollars. However, this leaves the interesting question of the missing emails. Which poses questions for Slashdot: What can be done to get the emails? How many mail servers can even be configured to delete the body of a message, but not the headers? And what justification could there be for a 3 month message deletion policy? It seems hard to believe that anything this recent is gone, especially when the government claims it still has the email headers, just not the body of the messages. For the record, the government uses microsoft exchange server."
The Internet

Submission + - Is it time to abandon traditional domain names? 2

jadin writes: "We started with .com .net .org .gov .edu etc which worked as a good way to remember URLs, as well as to a limited degree identify the type of website. Things have since expanded to include countless others. We've more or less abandoned a general identifying system. In addition many of the best website names are registered, not by people making websites, but by people looking to make a future profit. So is there any reason we can't abandon it completely to allow unlimited domain name types? This would provide endless possibilities for unique and interesting domain names. This could encourage a lot more creativity in thinking up the perfect domain name. While unlimited domains won't eliminate squatters, it would definitely open up a lot more opportunities to people actually producing websites, and make it a lot harder to monopolize .coms etc. Some random examples: http://micro.soft/ http://campbells.soup/ Is there any reason why this wouldn't work? Technical or otherwise?"

Submission + - Europeans get vacations, Americans get the shaft.

End Program writes: According to this article, American workers are getting the shaft when it comes to vacation time and perks. I also noticed the same sentiment is echoed in the new Michael Moore movie Sicko.

I have been working in the tech industry for almost 10 years now and have not passed the two-week mark for vacation time. I also tried to convince my latest employer to start me with three weeks vacation but to no avail. Has the Slashdot community seen the same stingy attitude while working for American corporations?

Comment Re:I can hear it now (Score 2, Funny) 168

SpaceCo: Thank you for calling SpaceCo technical support, my name is David (pronounced Dahveed) how may I help you?
ISS: I am having trouble with my 2nd lab computer
SpaceCo: What I need you to do is make sure the power cord is plugged in. I will wait while you check.
ISS: Yes, it is plugged in! The mouse pointer isn't moving when I touch the touch pad.
SpaceCo: Ok, now what I need you to do is to plug the power cord into a different device to confirm that is is working correctly. I will wait while you check.
ISS: WTF? I just told you that the mouse pointer isn't moving! The computer is powered on and I can see the screen!
SpaceCo: Ok, now what I need you to do is make sure that the lights are green on the monitor and computer. I will wait while you check.
ISS: Listen skippy this shit isn't funny. The computer is powered on and everything seems fine except for the mouse!
SpaceCo: Ok, now what I need you to do is...

Submission + - Ubuntu problems?

LWATCDR writes: It seems that that Ubuntu Version 7 is having more than it's fair share of WiFi problems. When I installed the release version of Feisty Fawn I couldn't get log onto my WAP. My system is using a well supported (prism 2.5) chip set and I can find the WAP but no luck in logging on even with all security on the WAP turned off. Of course I figured that I was just doing something wrong so I hit the forums. Ubuntu WiFi Poll It seems like a lot of people are having problems with Feisty Fawn that had no problems under the last version. Was Feisty rushed out the door? Are other people having the same issues? And although I have seen a lot of comments about WiFi issues on the Ubuntu forum I haven't seen a lot of news on it.

Submission + - How do you use your battery?

mcorner writes: "As part of a University research project my group is studying, how, when and why users charge their devices (laptops, phones, music players, etc.). We have been looking at this in a variety of ways, including having users install a battery logging tool on their laptops (we have done phones as well). After studying some of the preliminary results we saw that users frequently leave a lot of energy left in their devices when they plug in. So one way of taking advantage of this observation is to try and predict when users will have "excess" energy when they recharge, and use that energy proactively to benefit the user (screen brightness etc.). We have had some success in building such a system. At first blush, many people say: "but I just want my device to use as little energy as possible!", but in reality people are always trying to balance their experience with battery life, and usually are using more than the minimum. At this point, we thought AskSlashdot would be a good place to look for: (i) you opinions on using "excess" energy, (ii) what other things to do with "excess" energy (synchronizing, etc.) (iii) how and when do you recharge your other devices, and (iv) more volunteers for the logging survey. If you are interested in installing our tool (Mac 10.4.x or Windows XP, I promise it is quite innocuous, with source available) please download it and install."
Linux Business

Submission + - Linux's target: 1Bn users by 2015 writes: Microsoft's business plan is to double the number of Windows users by 2015. What is stopping Linux winning these new users instead and breaking Microsoft's monopoly?

Most of these users will be from markets where Microsoft's current monopoly is easier to overcome, and have a large incentive to keep there money in the local economy rather then flowing out to a US firm. The growing tend for copyright protectionism is making even pirate copies of Windows less attractive.

Surely Linux evangelists could do more could here then fighting on Microsoft's home ground.

Submission + - Geek gifts for non-geeks?

guruevi writes: "I have a simple question for my fellow geeks and geekettes. Are geek gifts accepted these days by non-geek members of society or is it still a niche market reserved for geek girl- and boyfriends, coworkers or self?

Geek gifts are sold everywhere from the Apple iPod to Caffeinated Soap on ThinkGeek and I can imagine the iPod being a popular gift. But do people accept the fact that we are geeks and thus bring in things from our world to theirs (like the exchange of beads for gold and firewater in the 1500's) or do they just chuckle at it or do they get a glaze in their eyes as to say "why didn't you just get me some cologne"."
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Alternative uses for a Playstation (Original)

carolinamagi writes: "Hey all! I've got an original Playstation collecting in my garage and hardly ever use — mostly when I've got a fix for Final Fantasy VII. Anyhow . . . I've been poking about the internet and keep coming across neat mods and interesting setups for items like mini lcd screens or an Xbox or whatever. I know the original Playstation is a dated system but I can't help but wonder if there are any "after market" or non-game mods which others have tried (with success) to give their Playstation some new life. The catch is that I'm a total novice when it comes to mods (although I am handy around the house and around a computer) and I would still like the ability to play games with my post-mod Playstation. Any ideas?"

Submission + - I want my own enterprise dynamic DNS server!

Biff98 writes: We manage thousands of hostnames for field gear with It's always been our intention of configuring our own DDNS server and bring it in-house. Given the recent DynDNS outage due to a DDOS attack, resulting in the inability to resolve names for multiple days, there has been "encouragement" from management to move forward on bringing DDNS in-house. The problem is I can't find any easy-to-use, scalable software to accomplish this task! BIND doesn't scale well, and I don't consider MintDNS an option due to the required platform (Windows Server w/ AD & IIS). Has anyone out there solved this problem before?
The Internet

Submission + - Why are T1 lines still expensive?

badfrog writes: Over the last 10 years, DSL and cable modem has upped its speed (although in some instances only slightly) and dropped its price. However, the price of a T1 has stayed almost exactly the same. If you had asked me 10 years ago, I would have predicted any geek that wanted to would have fiber or their own T1 line to the house by now. What is with this sad state of affairs that a 'business class' 1.544Mbit connection is hundreds of dollars more than a 6Mbit cable connection? Is it a legitimate case that a high upload rate should increase cost so significantly?

Submission + - Copyright vs Exclusive License

cdanzig writes: "My company recently hired a development house to do some contract work for us. They did great work, but they are claiming that they now own the copyright on the code and are issuing us a permanent and exclusive license. My bosses are concerned that this will hamper our ability to make changes to the code or prevent us form being able to claim the software as a company asset. What is expected protocol between a client and a development house? What is the long-term difference between owning a copyright and owning an exclusive license? If we paid for the development of the code is it fair for us to demand ownership?


Submission + - Redundant Terminal Services Servers

thundergeek writes: The company I work for is purchasing thin clients, lots of them! I am responsible for the integration of these thin clients into a redundant failsafe server system consisting of two server 2k3 servers (not my choice) on an Active Directory domain. I want to know from the rest of you admin geeks how I should go about creating some sort of rsync between the two which mirrors, in real time, all the session data created by the clients. What needs to happen in the event of a server failure is a seamless transition to the back up server with minimal data loss and down time. Is there a software solution, or an easy robocopy hack?

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