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Comment Re:Makes sense. (Score 2) 109

My in-laws lived in rural Peru, and had 13 children. Five of the first eight died before their third birthday. Then they moved to the city where they had access to clean water, health care, and a variety of foods, and the next five lived to adulthood. If they all lived to 100 years old their average life span is under 63.

Comment Re: Well, once the panels are installed (Score 1) 415

this is not a positive stat for solar

That's only a problem if you see people having jobs as a bad thing. At one point the petroleum industry was insisting that Venezuela modernize its extraction processes to lower its labor costs. Chavez replied, "Those labor costs are jobs that support families. Now pay for our oil bitches." They eventually did modernize to some extent, but it was more because of worker safety and environmental concerns.

without subsidies
When are you going to propose that the fossil fuel industry function without subsidies?

Comment Re:Get it now (Score 1) 52

NASA did the same thing several times during the Shrub mAdministration. At one point they were told to turn off some aging space probe, Pioneer I think. Not "stop monitoring" but "turn it off so that no one else can monitor it" (not that anyone else has the equipment), and were openly annoyed that the ability to do so didn't exist. Repeatedly NASA was instructed to **destroy** data, which they did only after handing a copy over to other parties (generally the Planetary Society). In at least one case staff was instructed that it would be considered cause for dismissal to allow distribution of the data (the early Pioneer data tapes), which they defied.

I'll never understand the conservative mindset. "If I can't make use of it then no one else will be allowed to." I just don't get it.

Comment Re:This keeps happening because mfgs won't fix it (Score 1) 75

how come said printers were hooked up to the Internet directly?

Stupid/lazy IT guy and stupid/lazy bosses. Boss wants to print from his laptop when he's lazing in the coffee shop downstairs. Too stupid and/or lazy to use a VPN, so the stupid and/or lazy IT guy (probably a contractor) drops it outside the firewall. I've been told to do this with security equipment so that the customer could view their cameras from home, and refused. Customer was pissed off. My boss was pissed off. Customer's IT staff thanked me and wrote a letter of appreciation to my employer.

Comment Re:Uh, wait (Score 1) 75

Oh, most certainly, some of them in branch offices of multinational corporations. The better ones have hard drives for storing print jobs, FTP and configurable web pages, etc. I know of one local company which was appalled to find that their printer was being used to host a kiddie porn FTP site.

This is actually a fairly common configuration when the IT guy doesn't know how to set up a VPN (don't they teach that in computer classes any more?). They just drop it on the outside of the firewall, maybe set up DDNS from the built in configuration, and VIOLA! Now their clueless boss thinks they're a wizard because they can print from anywhere.

More disturbing to me is the amount of security equipment hanging off the Internet, an appalling amount of it with default or stupid passwords. I'm a physical security professional, key cards, security cameras, alarm systems, and the like. On the LinkedIn forums the question is fairly often posed "How do I let my customer view video from off-site?" Nine out of ten of the resulting answers are, "Put it on the Internet outside the firewall and configure DDNS." A ridiculous percentage of the IoT DDOS attack last year consisted of security cameras and DVRs/NVRs.

Comment Re:Junk Science (Score 1) 78

In spite of half a century of work on robotics there is still nothing as flexible, adaptable and efficient as living creatures. Ma Nature has had four billion years to get it right, so a dragonfly can zoom around all day refueling in mid-flight while a robotic imitation needs a tether or a battery that runs down in a couple of minutes.

Here's a practical application; want to check for gypsy moth caterpillar damage in the upper canopy of the closest forest? You could climb up a couple dozen trees, or send the robot dragonfly. Which do you think is the more efficient, safer and less damaging choice?

Comment Tie-ins are key (Score 2) 155

Most of the people that I know (including myself) who use the Echo a lot have it connected to their music profile on Amazon, Spotify, IheartRadio, or Pandora. The Dot has an audio output that will work with most people's stereo system, or Bluetooth to newer audio equipment like Sonos sound systems. I've found checking bus schedules, weather forecasts and traffic to be much more convenient that getting out a laptop/tablet/phone. Alarms and timers are more convenient than messing with clocks, and you can have multiple levels of them from multiple devices. My niece has tied hers to Wikipedia, so her kids use it for homework. We haven't gotten to playing around controlling other devices yet, but our friends say they can't even find their WeMo controller as they haven't had to touch it since configuring them on the Echo.

Sure, some people will try it and say, "Meh". I expect to see a few of them on Craigs List in another month or two. By and large though, once you start using it you tend to use it a lot. Besides, Alexa is the only one in my house that actually does what I tell her to.

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