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Comment Re:Internet of Things (Score 1) 157

If the funding they get is so meager why would it matter if it were cancelled? Our local PBS station (WTTW Chicago) always claims during pledge drives that the funding they receive from government sources is very small compared to donations and sponsorships. For some reason during pledge drives they replace their normally excellent programming with special programming that, in my opinion, is mostly very low quality and I tend not to watch during those two weeks every quarter. If the government funding stopped and they quit with the special programming (except Geoffrey Baer's excellent tour shows) I would probably increase my support.

Comment Auto update (Score 2) 432

I am curious if the Nest has a way to turn off the auto update feature. I do not currently own a Nest but I have thought about getting one. I could see this being a major headache for someone who might be away for a long trip and not be able to "reset" a thermostat because of a problem with an update. I prefer to be around when a device is being updated so that I can intervene if there is a problem. I would want to be home for at least a day or so after an update. I don't allow Windows to auto-update, so why should I allow a thermostat to?

Comment Valmeyer, IL (Score 1) 172

Valmeyer, Illinois was moved after the flood of 1993. I think that a lot of these communities that are mentioned are somewhat smaller than Kiruna. The linked article seems to say that they intend to move the town center farther west, but it is the west end of the town that is in danger of collapse. I would think moving the center farther east would make more sense in this case.

Comment Route around (Score 1) 384

Ever since my local paper went to Facebook comments (and even turns off comments for certain stories), I have wondered how difficult it would be to set up a website that simply has links back to the stories and allows anonymous comments. A browser extension would allow the associated comments from the commenting website to appear beneath the story when one browses to it. Maybe such a thing already exists, but I don't know about it.

Comment Re:The root problem - Crappy wiring and stupid use (Score 2) 148

The operating temperature rating of the cable would likely mean that it is perfectly safe, but would be uncomfortable to hold. For example, THHN cable is rated for 90C. The cable itself is safe (the insulation won't melt), but I sure wouldn't want to hold it. Hopefully, the 2 AWG cable you are using is at least rated for 75C, otherwise it is likely undersized according to the 2011 NEC.

Comment Re:Programming suite != PLC (Score 1) 106

I agree, although I have been unable to determine what the two .dat files are for. I think that Rockwell is on the right track as far as securing the data tables in the PLC is concerned. They just need to come up with a way for one to define which devices can change tag values (and exclude all others). Since v18, it has been possible to deny access to a tag by defining its "external access". It's really all a matter of scale. A piece of simple equipment that sits off in the corner of the plant is unlikely to ever be connected to the internet and therefore doesn't need the level of security that one would use on a PLC that is controlling an entire plant process. The equipment that my company manufactures uses PLCs and operator interfaces from Rockwell. I recommend to customers that they NOT connect these to the internet or phone line unless there is a problem where we need to make a remote change to the logic and once we are completed I tell them to unplug. SCADA software is a steaming pile that is going to take a massive rethink to fix. IDEs are buggy and inconsistent. (Is it a "screen", "display", or "graphic"? -- I don't care what you want to call it, just call it the same thing throughout the IDE!) I have seen these packages eat up 70% of CPU usage even when they are supposedly idle. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that they are just checking to make sure that the license is valid every millisecond.

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A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do. -- Dennis M. Ritchie