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Comment Re:Another outrage article (Score 2) 214

One thing I hate about energy star ratings is that it shows a scale based on a range of unspecified other devices

You're doing it wrong. Just ignore the comparison, and instead look at the "annual energy cost". If one item costs $100 more, but costs $20 less in energy use, then you should buy it if you expect to use it for at least five years.

Comment Re:Truth a discussion about the UL (underwriters l (Score 1) 214

The embedded software has to have a thread that launches every few milliseconds to have the processor check it's own operation.

Regular integrity checks are a normal part of embedded system design. This is a reasonable requirement, although I have never seen it done with actual context-switching "threads", so I am assuming you are using that word loosely. Of course, you still need a separate WDT ... which UL also requires in many cases.

Comment Re:Another outrage article (Score 5, Informative) 214

The Energy Star program costs almost nothing. There are zero government employees actually testing products. Instead, it is done on the "honor system" where manufacturers can voluntarily test their own products and then use the official label. Compliance is enforced by consumer groups and competitors rather than proactive government action. 3rd party testing has shown that this all works pretty well.

It is cost-effective, non-coercive, and works. So it makes sense to eliminate it since it doesn't fit the right-wing narrative of bloated and ineffective government. We can use the money saved to buy another windshield wiper for the F-35.

Comment European vacuum cleaners, regulatory consequences (Score 2) 214

All regulations have unintended consequences. And the best intentions sometimes backfire. For example, take the new European standard for electrical consumption of vacuum cleaners. In essence they've now banned the larger models. But it's not going to save any electricity. Now with smaller models that can't create as much vacuum and thus induce a much smaller CFM of air flow. Hence they work less efficiently and more slowly. So any electrical efficiency gains are offset by the poorer performance overall, requiring longer use and just as much electricity. Besides that, even if all things were equal, the greater electrical use (and subsequent CO2 generation) from the bigger vacuums probably can't even be quantified for most people since vacuum cleaners are used so infrequently compared to computers, lights, heating, and other electrical devices.

This is, in my mind, a clear example of well-intentioned Energy Star -like programs and regulations that just don't apply well to many things and shouldn't. And this is why people, including trump supporters, get so upset with government interference in their lives. Most people I know aren't stupid. If they buy a new freezer, they do want to save money and energy by buying the newer, more efficient models. I think this would continue even without Energy Star, should it ever disappear entirely.

Besides that, if you really want to change things, a carbon tax is better than efficiency regulations. If the true cost of energy is passed on to consumers you can bet they'll make different choices and drive demand for energy-efficient devices. Rather than set fuel efficiency targets, tax a vehicle's registration based on its fuel consumption. Lets people have the freedom to drive an old, less-efficient vehicle if they wish, as long as they are willing to pay for it.

Sure direct regulation is easier for the government, but it's not always the best way. And it always has unintended consequences and leads to regulatory capture of the market by a few large companies.

Comment Re:Er...so it was about greed? (Score 3, Informative) 139

Should be? How about is be?

No. According to the FTC: "Exclusive dealing or requirements contracts between manufacturers and retailers are common and are generally lawful." The FTC also says: "Most exclusive dealing contracts are beneficial because they encourage marketing support for the manufacturer's brand.", which is, of course, total bullcrap.

Under current law, exclusivity agreements are only illegal in very narrow circumstances, and it falls on their competitor (Sanofi in this case) to sue for relief at their own expense.

Comment Re:Er...so it was about greed? (Score 5, Insightful) 139

In other words, it's about greed, right?

It is also about bad laws and poor regulation. They are able to use their near-monopoly position to push their customers into exclusivity agreements, reducing competition, strengthening their market dominance, and unfairly harming consumers. In most cases, exclusivity agreements should be illegal.

Comment Re:This is retarded conservatism to help 'coal' (Score 2) 339

Coal is dead.

Sure. Even if Trump rolls back some regs, no one is going to build a new coal plant with a 50-60 year lifetime. The regs will come roaring back in 2020 or 2024, along with new carbon taxes. The worst that will happen is that a few old dirty coal plants may delay retirement.

Helping coal MINERS makes sense

That depends on the type of "help". Handouts that encourage people to put off hard choices often do more harm than good. Development funds for Appalachia have traditionally been a bottomless pit of waste. There are good reasons that nothing other than resource extraction has been successful there. Transportation is difficult on mountain roads, and the people are poorly educated, close-minded, and unambitious.

By far the best way to help these people is to assist them in MOVING SOMEWHERE ELSE.

Disclaimer: I was born and raised in Eastern Tennessee. I have many relatives there, and all of them are doing poorly. I also have many friends and relatives that, like me, moved away, and they are doing much better.

Comment Re:Windows is Bloated (Score 1) 121

To be fair, your average Linux distro is pretty fat too. A basic installation of, say Linux Mint, can still run several GB. Granted the default installs of most Linux distros include a fair amount of utility programs and full-blown applications, such as LibreOffice, that Windows does not include.

It is pretty embarrassing for MS to have 40% of an EXE consist of this unnecessary XML code.

Comment Re:Poor life decisions (Score 2) 344

For instance the coast guard isn't protecting Tennessee

I'm usually polite on Facebook, but this comment is inane.

If CA were a separate country and had to support their own Coast Guard, there would just be another national border along the California border with the US, and you'd be patrolling that instead. It is indeed in Tennessee's best interests to help pay for the cost of patrolling national borders.

But the main reason this comment is so stupid is that Tennessee also depends on the Coast Guard, as they operate on the Mississippi River and other large bodies of water. Even if they did not, all that shipping up the Mississippi comes from somewhere, and the bulk of it isn't from elsewhere in Tennessee.

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