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Comment Re:Huh? (Score 2) 159

When I was young... (yes keep off the lawn please!)
I participated a school-chess evening, and drove my contenders mad... just searching for reasonable valid options, not having a strategy, end-play ect., they were thinking "why the f**k does he do that? he has to have some meaning for that stupid move".
Eventually I got 7th in the pool. (of 7) so my strategy did not work. but had a good evening.

Comment Re:250MW ? (Score 1) 937

250 milli-Watt hours you say? that is quite a bit.

the only reason that kilo is a small k, is that you write kg for unity kilogram, and km for unity distance, and have different units for Mm or Mg (megameter and megagram.

every decade below 1 unit is small and above is a capital letter.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 183

No. The LNB has gotten better, the 'antenna' that a dish uses, they used to be 1.2 dB, and 0.9 dB if you wanted something expensive. todays standard is 0.3 dB, so you have enough with about a quarter of the original signal.

My not so expensive 6 year old dish system still receives the same signal strenght.


2012 Mayan Calendar 'Doomsday' Date Might Be Wrong 144

astroengine writes "A UC Santa Barbara associate professor is disputing the accuracy of the mesoamerican 'Long Count' calendar after highlighting several astronomical flaws in a correlation factor used to synchronize the ancient Mayan calendar with our modern Gregorian calendar. If proven to be correct, Gerardo Aldana may have nudged the infamous December 21, 2012 'End of the World' date out by at least 60 days. Unfortunately, even if the apocalypse is rescheduled, doomsday theorists will unlikely take note."

Comment Re:How to interface with a 'smart meter' (Score 2, Informative) 224

The IR is also using a simple RS232 interface (9600,8,n,1) with some fixed password XOR encryption.
I did program(move program into device, set clock, set tarifs)/analyse(= read fault reports)/readout (check readings) these some years ago in a factory which made them for the european market.

I did not have the time to break the encryption, but had some work on coupling these things to GPRS modems. wired connection used the same encryption back then.

just using a breakoutbox and a second PC-port sniffing the serial data.


Security Holes Found In "Smart" Meters 224

Hugh Pickens writes "In the US alone, more than 8 million smart meters, designed to help deliver electricity more efficiently and to measure power consumption in real time, have been deployed by electric utilities and nearly 60 million should be in place by 2020. Now the Associated Press reports that smart meters have security flaws that could let hackers tamper with the power grid, opening the door for attackers to jack up strangers' power bills, remotely turn someone else's power on and off, or even allow attackers to get into the utilities' computer networks to steal data or stage bigger attacks on the grid. Attacks could be pulled off by stealing meters — which can be situated outside of a home — and reprogramming them, or an attacker could sit near a home or business and wirelessly hack the meter from a laptop, according to Joshua Wright, a senior security analyst with InGuardians Inc, a vendor-independent consultant that performs penetration tests and security risk assessments."

Comment How to count manual votes in the Netherlands (Score 1) 239

I was a voter in last weeks european elections, and stayed until the votes for the office were counted. (you are allowed to stay after the office closes)
Almost nothing can go wrong, and can always be detected and mostly corrected.

voters are counted, handed out votes are counted, incorrectly filled in votes are counted and marked 'invalid' and stored seperately.
received votes are counted as they are inserted in the box.
After closure, all counts are compared.
Then the box is opened, and all votes are counted and compared to previously counted.
Then votes are sorted and counted to the results and added back up to give vote count again.
All counts are written down on official paper, votes are sealed and paper and votes are brought to central counting office of city where they can be counted again the day after (first tallies are reported upstream.)

Counting is fair by having counters of several political parties and city officials at every voting office
a typical office has 5 people . 1 checking Identity, 2 counting voters/checking revoked identities, 3 counting and giving votes, 4 counting received votes, 5 extra for toilet-visits

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