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Comment European vacuum cleaners, regulatory consequences (Score 2) 272

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:Windows is Bloated (Score 1) 134

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 Repurposing Macs significantly harder than win/lin (Score 1, Informative) 224

Taking an old PC and repurposing it with Linux, or even an older version of MS Windows (say 7) is much easier than working with Macs. Apple's software ecosystem is designed around planned obsolescence. Old computers simply can't run the latest versions of macOS yet the ecosystem pretty much requires it. Much Mac software won't run on versions of OS X prior to 10.8 these days. This combined with Apple's apparently heavy-handed tactics with recyclers really make Macs poor in the recycling department as compared to Windows and Linux. It is possible to run either Windows or Linux on an older Mac, of course. Maybe that's an option for recyclers.

Comment Thought the CBC tests were discredited (Score 2) 296

I read a while back that the tests the CBC had performed have been discredited. In other words, CBC's method of determining the percentage of chicken is not the usual way one goes about it. It's not that the test results are wrong, but rather the test is not the right test. At least that's what I read. Could be wrong, though.

Comment Re:But is Wayland better? (Score 1) 227

Shrug. I guess if you can't take issue with his points you can always stoop to mocking him for forgetting cables.

The context of the talk I posted was not about about tablets, phones, etc, if I recall correctly. He was talking about X11 in general, though certainly X11's use is limited on tablets and other increasingly common devices.

And the limitations of X11 are very much present on desktops. X11 *is* slow. Compositing helped out to make things smooth. But we still have problems with synchronization of framerates. Expanding a window, for example, isn't nearly as smooth as just about any other OS because the redraws of the window decorations isn't synced to the redraw of the widgets in the app. Furthermore X11 remoting is unusable over anything other than LAN. *Especially* on modern apps like gedit that use client-drawn widgets. And no one is willing to go back to putting the widgets on the server. There's a reason why everyone who needs to remote X11 across a WAN uses kludges like X2Go and NX.

Anyone who claims that an X11 desktop is as smooth and silky as Windows or Mac hasn't used either recently, especially the latter.

All I care about is a way to remote individual applications over ssh. I don't care at all about the protocol or keeping X11. RDP will get us there, better than X11 in the long run.

Comment Re:Color me gone (Score 1) 58

I use Wunderlist all the time as well. It's an invaluable tool for sharing lists between people. I have no interest in buying into Outlook or any of MS's other products. So I will be looking for a new shared to-do list solution. Any suggestions that can replace everything Wunderlist currently is, which isn't really that complicated?

- shared lists
- sub tasks
- progress indication
- notes
- attachments (photos mainly)
- ability to review and re-enable previously marked off items (some lists I use again each year)

Comment Re:But is Wayland better? (Score 5, Informative) 227

How this will be solved in the long run remains to be seen. In the short run, toolkits that support Wayland still support X11. Mainly I'm talking about GTK and Qt. Thus KDE, Gnome, GTK, and Qt apps will all run either on Wayland or X11 without recompiling. So for many people, remoting needs can be accomplished by simply using X11 on Wayland and tunneling X11 over SSH. Simply ssh into your remote machine and run the apps. Locally on wayland things are silky smooth, remotely they still work, though a bit choppier (X11 over ssh isn't fast enough for anything but LAN anyway... I use X2Go for WAN remote X11 stuff.

Of course in the long run if Wayland is successfull the X11 backend bits will languish in the toolkits and this will not be a sustainable future. I think essentially RDP will be adopted as the standard remoting protocol for wayland desktops. This will be used to forward individual apps or whole desktops. RDP is already a lot faster than X11 over ssh, due to the way X11 works and the fact that all modern toolkits essentially just push bitmaps these days anyway.

Before criticizing Wayland and extolling X11's virtues, consider watching this talk by Daniel Stone who was formerly intimately involved with X.org and seems to know hist stuff. He makes a good case for Wayland. https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment Why is 4k video important? (Score 1, Interesting) 80

It amuses me how all these SBCs advertize decoding high definition video. Of all the things I can think of to do with a Pi--robotics, remote sensing, UAVs, etc--decoding video is just not on my radar. Besides that I tried using a Pi once for a XBMC/Kodi box and found the experience to be lacking. 1080p video did play just fine most of the time until something crashed.

These devices can be used for amazingly cool projects. But I suspect 90% of them end up in the bottoms of drawers. I've got 4 in a drawer myself, waiting for time to use them in some cool project some day. In the meantime another more powerful one comes along.

Can anyone tell me if this board or any board (BBB maybe?) contains power management, such as suspend and resume, power on or wake on a schedule, etc? For remote sensing that is really what I need.

Comment Re:MS pushing more into older OS or Linux/Mac (Score 1) 238

Hmm, what mouse wheel problems do you have? The mouse wheel has worked for many years for me. Ever since the mouse wheel was invented. I use the mouse wheel every day on Linux. I can't tell any difference from Windows or OS X (other than the backwards scrolling OS X defaults to).

Comment Re:This is going to get messy (Score 2) 112

Frankly, who cares how difficult it is for the ISPs. This is just a fact of life about how the US is set up and runs. Companies already have to navigate state-specific regulations. And if the states can and should regulate and enforce privacy, why not let them do it and assume the burden?

So while I disagree with almost everything the Republican Party stands for, on this I can certainly see their point. Why not let the local government, who theoretically has a better handle on the needs of its citizens than the federal government, decide what privacy is needed and enforce it on companies?

It's actually a similar thing things like car fuel economy regs. Why does the federal government need to concern itself when California already sets high standards? It's not like car companies are going to make two cars, one dirty and fuel-guzzling for the rest of the US, and another clean, lean one for California. But I digress.

Comment Didn't see a N64 in the picture (Score 2) 20

The pic he posted on the thread looks like he used an old N64 powerbrick as a chassis, not the N64 itself. Also it appears he just stuck the innards of a real Switch dock into this, perhaps because it's a more convenient form factor or something. Does not appear to be anywhere as interesting as the /. summary indicated. He's not modding N64 hardware to somehow be used by the Switch. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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