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Comment Re:No Longer An Elephant In The Room (Score 2) 284

Correction: Use a VPN regardless.

VPNs are a lot more sensitive to bad press, because they can be tossed and another one picked up pretty easily. ISPs, you likely have the telco or cable, and that's it. VPNs also offer much better privacy guarantees.

Plus, VPNs also protect against a lot of attacks, from FireSheep-like spoofing of HTTP headers to adding additional HTTP headers for identifying reasons into every handshake, which two ISPs did a few years ago so sites could ID even "anonymous" users. It also locks out people trying to attack via spoofed Wi-Fi networks as well.

Comment Re:The way of the Dodo (Score 1) 224

The average theater is going to not make it. However, chains like the Alamo Drafthouse are still making money hand over fist, just because they offer not just a baby-free, cellphone-free, and chatter-free experience, but decent food and suds.

Theater chains like AMC may still be around for entertaining kids or whatnot, and they will still have a spot, but their market share will definitely shrink. The days of grabbing a XL Coke and popcorn and considering that as decent food are gone.

Comment Re:Modern consumer solar (Score 1) 133

The ironic thing is that both the preppers I know and the hippies both actually like photo-voltaic technology. One camp likes it because it is off grid and frees them from being dependent on a central electricity system. Another camp likes it because it is not throwing pollution into the air. Plus, it is pretty foolproof. You can get electrocuted or have a panel fall on your head... but for the most part, setup is idiot resistant, especially compared to almost any other power generation out there. Plus, once set up, it requires little upkeep other than battery watering (if lead-acid or NiFe.)

Solar power has almost zero downsides. The only thing is requires is energy storage technology, and that eventually will get there, especially with China and other countries looking into this.

Comment Re:My panels are 12% efficient... (Score 1) 133

I've found that the charger you are using makes a difference. If it is a PWM charger that cuts the voltage down to whatever the batteries take, you can lose 25-50% of the incoming wattage. For example (and note, these figures vary widely in real life since batteries require different voltages in different charging stages), a 24 volt panel feeding a PWM charger that is using a 12 volt battery, the PWM charger will not use 12 volts of the 24 coming in. However, a MPPT controller will reduce the voltage and double the amperage.

The difference is quite noticeable when it comes to smaller applications.

Comment Re:Efficiency is useless. (Score 1) 133

We need both:

Panels that are cheap for areas such as building roofs where grabbing every last watt isn't such a big deal, due to the availability of space. It is just getting the solar cells on the area that is the main thing.

Panels where surface area is hard to obtain (satellites is one example.) where every watt is precious. A more realistic example are solar panels on class "B" motorhomes (campervans.) There isn't much in the way of square footage, so the trick is to maximize what can be gotten.

Similar argument can be made regarding PWM versus MPPT controllers. You can buy a PWM controller for $8 which "lops off" excess voltage and passes the batteries what it needs. MPPT controllers require an inductor and coil to change volts into amps and vice versa, so are usually an order of magnitude more expensive... but for areas where space is precious, they allow more energy to hit the batteries.

Comment Ironic that... my eBay/PayPal keyfobs just died (Score 2) 72

I have had a few rebranded VASCO keyfob with eBay/PayPal's label on it. They tend to die after 2-3 years due to battery life, and recently, I was unable to find a link to buy a new one and activate it.

Yes, now we have Google Authenticator, Duo, and other items, but the simplicity of a keyfob which did nothing but display a six digit number made it decently secure, without having to reply on a phone, tablet, or other device.

Comment Re:Yup (Score 1) 143

Same here. HOA pays for my TV [1], Internet comes out of my pocket, so to me, it is the same cost. Even though I watch YouTube far more than TV, it is the same cost for me in the end. Although Spectrum's app for watching TV on a mobile device is a nice freebie.

[1]: Technically, I pay the HOA, and they pay for the TV...

Comment Re:All too true (Score 1) 266

I would probably say that performance is probably dead last on any software company's mind, unless something is so slow that it gathers user complaints of affects the use of a device (for example, an embedded controller in a vend a goat machine is having a software loop that fires off every five seconds, winding up taking 6-7 seconds to complete, or a daily backup taking 26-27 hours to complete.)

Performance can always be improved, but oftentimes, it is a case of diminishing returns. In reality, it will not even be looked at, because most software, the developers are thanking their respective deities that it built, passed unit tests, and was able to be built in an executable. Stuff like security and performance... waaay low on the list.

Comment Re:No, no, no, NO, NO! (Score 2) 130

The problem is that making identity part of the site is one of the reasons people abhor FB, especially if you don't want your personal picture on the account. All it takes is one person reporting the account.

Reddit already does well with getting rid of obvious trolls, be it alerts or shadowbans. We don't need another site demanding "papers, please" to use it.

Comment Re:Android? (Score 1) 64

I agree with you there. Android has the ability to have a useful, hierarchical filesystem and method to organize apps. It just is a matter of it not being implemented.

I've personally given up on the latest and greatest launcher that is thrown at me on a phone, and just use Nova Launcher. That way, regardless of make/model, I have the same look. You are right, it isn't perfect and brings oddball issues, but it at least ensures some UI consistency, which is a strong point for iOS.

Comment My question... why not bigger stuff? (Score 1) 64

I wonder why Android can't have some bigger improvements to it. Google has a lot of developer resources, and some items added might make it a lot more developer and enterprise friendly:

A hypervisor comes to mind, so Android can have a VM for work, a VM for home, etc. This is especially useful with dual-SIM phones, or a phone using the SIM for one VM, and Google Voice for another.

A filesystem like APFS with deduplication, bit rot protection, encryption provisions on a block level, and other items.

A way to have nandroid built into the OS, so not just /data, but the entire phone, ROM, apps, and stored stuff can be dumped out as a backup. This would make life a lot easier should an OTA update cause a bricking.

The ability to scale down the OS to fit on phones 4+ years old, and work well (as in run all existing apps.) If Windows, which is an OS far more complex, can do this, it would be useful if Android could run on devices with far fewer CPUs/RAM/storage, as there is a big market for lower end Android devices, especially as the economy worsens.

The ability to do containerization.

The ability to do OTA updates as compressed diffs, so even if /system was modified, updates can still take.

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