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Comment Re:Enron down under (Score 1) 269

If you have a problem with costs, fine, but that's new in this thread. You appeared to be complaining about energy losses, which as you see are not a problem per se.

So short of learning telepathy and clairvoyance to guess your next objection, what are you suggesting that I ought to be doing? I *am* fairly familiar with HVDC parameters. You appear to be flailing randomly to justify your explicitly stated ignorance.

Meanwhile please drop the rude tone and condescending attitude please.

Comment Re:Enron down under (Score 1) 269

Really, this is silly.

The facts are established and widely published (3%/1000km). I don't have any to find, and it's not my duty to Google them for you. It's you denying that they apply somehow, it seems.

The distances in Oz are not outlandish, eg compared to existing interconnectors, and really quite a lot of loss may be better than hitting the ceiling on MWh rates.

Rgds

Damon

Submission + - Running Solar Off-grid Internet servers from SheevaPlug to Raspberry Pi B/+/2... (earth.org.uk)

DamonHD writes: The Raspberry Pi that has been running all my primary Internet servers from my home/office since mid-2014, entirely off-grid-powered, has been doing a fine job, and it's great to be using actively-supported hardware and Linux distro. (Before Pi, partly or fully off-grid were a SheevaPlug and a laptop...)

It really is possible to run production Web, mail, and other always-on servers from a few watts, from solar PV off-grid, in un-sunny UK.

Here's the latest round of the story!

Submission + - China Achieves Orbital Refueling (strategypage.com)

schwit1 writes: At the end of June China revealed that a recent test of a space satellite capable of refueling other satellites was a success. Many satellites are equipped with small rockets so they can move to different orbits but the fuel only lasts so long. One reason the United States built its Space Shuttle was because it provided an opportunity to keep expensive spy satellites operational by refueling them and even replacing components that failed. But the Space Shuttle program was shut down in 2011 because of cost. The U.S. does not plan to test a similar refueling satellite until 2020.

Submission + - New Bat Houses on Long Island Await Their Guests

HughPickens.com writes: Arielle Dollinger writes at the NYT that the town of North Hempstead on Long Island has approved the construction of bat houses in several parks to attract more bats to the area because despite their less-than-desirable reputation, bats possess a remarkable ability to control insects especially disease-carrying mosquitoes. “Bats can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes per hour,” says Judi Bosworth. “That’s extraordinary. A pesticide couldn’t do that.” As mosquito season heats up, bringing with it the threat of the West Nile and Zika viruses, the bats make very welcome neighbors. Aedes albopictus, known as the Asian tiger mosquito, is found on Long Island and is capable of transmitting Zika in a laboratory setting and as of October, 490 cases of West Nile and 37 deaths resulting from it have been recorded in New York since 2000. "If you minimize the mosquito population you minimize the possible incidence of the Zika virus," says Larry Schultz. "If you reduce the mosquito population, you make parks more accessible." The myths surrounding bats have long shaped public perception of the night creatures. “I grew up and I always heard, you know, these old wives’ tales, that bats will swoop down on your head and get tangled in your hair,” says Bosworth. “Bats really have been very maligned.”

Submission + - How Feynman Diagrams Almost Saved Space (quantamagazine.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Richard Feynman looked tired when he wandered into my office. It was the end of a long, exhausting day in Santa Barbara, sometime around 1982. Events had included a seminar that was also a performance, lunchtime grilling by eager postdocs, and lively discussions with senior researchers. The life of a celebrated physicist is always intense. But our visitor still wanted to talk physics. We had a couple of hours to fill before dinner.

I described to Feynman what I thought were exciting if speculative new ideas such as fractional spin and anyons. Feynman was unimpressed, saying: “Wilczek, you should work on something real.” (Anyons are real, but that’s a topic for another post.)

Looking to break the awkward silence that followed, I asked Feynman the most disturbing question in physics, then as now: “There’s something else I’ve been thinking a lot about: Why doesn’t empty space weigh anything?”

Comment Re:Been there, haven't done that (Score 2) 68

The ads smelt so badly of deception that I just blocked them all (and there were a lot of variants) in my AdSense account to protect my visitors and my sites' reputation.

And I'll keep doing it to any ad that offers clearly deceptive generic 'download now' ads/buttons that are intended to confuse visitors into thinking that they are downloading from the host site.

Rgds

Damon

Submission + - How a Bad UI Decision from Microsoft Helped Macro Malware Make a Comeback (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Macro malware is a term to describe malware that relies on automatically executed macro scripts inside Office documents. This type of malware was very popular in the '90s, but when Microsoft launched Office 97, it added a popup before opening Office files that warned users about the dangers of enabling macros. Microsoft's decision had a huge impact on macro malware, and by the 2000s, this type of malware went almost extinct. Lo and behold, some smart Microsoft UI designers starts thinking that users might get popup fatigue, so in Office 2007, Microsoft makes the monumental mistake of removing the very informative popup, and transforming the warning into a notification bar at the top of the document with only six words warning users about macros. Things get worse in Office 2010, when Microsoft even adds a shiny button that reads"Enable Macros", ruining everything it had done in the past 10-15 years, and allowing macro malware to become the dangerous threat it is today.

Submission + - Germany Considers Paradigm Shift On Renewables (dw.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Germany, which has been seen as a trend-setter in the move to renewable power sources, may be turning a corner by adopting policies that slow the growth of solar and wind power in order to stabilize electricity prices and allow transmission infrastructure to catch up to the changing generation landscape.

The federal cabinet has adopted measures that would switch market policies away from the administrated pricing set up to a competitive bidding system

The new policy, mandating utilities purchase electricity with 20-year contracts that go to the lowest bids, has yet to be debated in Germany's parliament. Part of the rationalization at the cabinet level, however, is to benefit customers, while allowing utilities to build up infrastructure. German Economic and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel also said that grid operators last year had to pay “ billions of euros for wind power capacity that went unused.”

Submission + - Online Voting Is A Cybersecurity Nightmare

erier2003 writes: Internet voting isn’t online banking or video calling or tweeting. Voting is a special activity, and trying to do it online poses special problems, most of which security researchers don’t yet know how to solve. Through conversations with cybersecurity experts, political scientists, a former Department of Homeland Security official, and a representative from online voting vendor, the Daily Dot's Eric Geller explores why we're a long way off from casting ballots online.

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