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Comment The ballad of Solyndra (Score 1) 37

Solar power is showing a nice pattern of gradual gains and is becoming quite competitive with fossil fuel. As much as conservatives complained about the bungling of Solyndra, the govt's general investment in multiple solar companies sparked the industry and made solar cheaper.

China's gov't jumped into the field also, creating a kind of solar "space race", which cranked up the rate of R&D. It's a good "fight". (China was later caught under-pricing their solar products to drive out foreign competitors, but that's another story. I took a nasty stock hit due to that.)

Thus, even though Solyndra was a lost battle, it seems Obama won the solar war. Over-focusing on the failures has made many conservatives miss the bigger picture.

Solyndra was a really cool idea: paint the roof white and use regularly spaced solar-collecting tubes. It was especially useful for low sun angles, resulting in fairly even power throughout all seasons . It just didn't pan out because flat panels eventually got fairly cheap due to flat panel R&D such that flat panel INefficiency at low sun angles mattered less.

Comment Enterprise & custom hardware [Re:Good Riddance (Score 1) 139

It's not the they sell "bureaucracy", it's that they lock you in and charge too much.

Their products are indeed targeted toward "enterprise" applications, where you want stability and reliability, which is sometimes called "bureaucracy". If you are a smallish risk-taking start-up, then Oracle products are probably not for you.

However, Oracle's problem in the enterprise arena is that they gradually trick you into paying an arm and leg over the longer run. Now that MS-SQL-Server is focusing more on the high-end, and there are open-source products like PostgreSQL and MariaDB, customers are migrating to alternatives, at least their low/mid-sized systems. Oracle will bleed customers if they continue their vice grip ways.

I thought DB-centric hardware was a potential growth industry for them: custom-built database servers that are optimized for Oracle databases potentially could kick the competition's rear ends, kind of like how custom/dedicated neural net (AI) hardware is now "big".

But for some reason it didn't pan out and they are laying off DB hardware people. Any server hardware experts out there who can explain why AI-dedicated hardware is paying off BUT NOT dedicated database hardware?

Why can neural net custom/dedicated hardware kick generic server arse while DB hardware cannot? Is it something about RDBMS's in general, or does Oracle simply suck at hardware?

Comment Re:It's not gonna happen (Score 1) 62

I completely disagree. 126kbps AAC would be pretty much transparent even in good listening conditions. 126kbps MP3 would probably be pretty bad. Depending on the source and encoder, it could be as annoying to listen to as tape (but with different flaws). Tape mostly had hiss, wow/flutter, and poor dynamic range. The hiss was not usually a big deal except in fancy-pants music with quiet components... this was not a problem for my rock/pop listening. The poor dynamic range was something that my brain seemed to adapt to fairly quickly. The wow/flutter was really annoying, and a stretched tape or low batteries really made for a poor listening experience. MP3 does not suffer from any of those things, but it does have really nasty artifacts - especially on things like cymbals. I have to admit that these are so terrible what I will usually take the time to find another source. With that said, AAC does not have this problem (though it still has other artifacts), especially at anything over 100kbps+.

Submission + - Trump withdraws US from TPP 1

MrKaos writes: On his first full day in office, US President Donald Trump has lived up to his promise of killing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

President Trump began recasting America's role in the global economy on Monday, canceling an agreement for a sweeping trade deal with Asia as one of his first official White House actions.

Trump has told union leaders the TPP “wasn’t the right way,” and that he would pursue one on one deals with countries rather than multinational agreements.

News of the order is being carried by CNN, BBC, and The Guardian.

Comment Re:So it you watch someone draw the pattern... (Score 1) 127

I don't know, but I'm working on configuring my phone to use fingerprints, but perma lock the print sensor and require only a passphrase after 5 bad attempts (so just bounce on it with an unregistered finger if in danger of compromise).

Haven't quite gotten there yet, but trying.

Comment Re:Sad to see Trump... (Score 5, Insightful) 219

I don't know that it's fair to attribute this to Trump (and I voted for him). However, even if it was, why would this make anyone sad? Are you so partisan that you would actually lament the fact that 50,000 people in Pennsylvania are going to have new jobs? Have you become so cold and heartless that you would have people suffer just to advance your own political agenda?

I'm old enough to remember a time when the Democratic Party stood up for the working class; when they were the party of compassion; when they stood up for civil liberties like free speech. Sadly, the party has long since left all that (and me) behind. And if the last election was any indication, a lot of people in formerly blue states think the party has left them behind too, states like Pennsylvania.


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