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Comment Re: OK, now DO SOMETHING about it. (Score 1) 693

There is evidence that an East - West facing roof can be effective as well. It took me a year of searching to find this property with little solar obstruction and the perfect orientation. That was after ten years of research for the best materials at a reasonable cost. Friends have good results on existing houses. Do what works best for you and your wallet.

Comment Re:OK, now DO SOMETHING about it. (Score 1) 693

Sorry, my panels are from SunPower, made in the USA. In two years I've saved over 18 barrels of oil from being consumed, equivalent to about 70k pounds of CO2 so, yes I do feel good about this. Sorry that doing something make you assume I'm conceited. I was responding to "some places have weather" post. I'm not in CA, have "weather", and can still be energy positive with a small carbon footprint.

Comment Re:OK, now DO SOMETHING about it. (Score 1) 693

I'm in DE and have put up about 11KW of panels. I'm in a roughly zero cash-flow situation as my monthly gas and electric bills are virtually $0 after payment from the utility company for my generated power. My breakeven point will be in less than 4.5 years after installation. Of course I planned for this by building a super-efficient (LEED qualified) home with the roof facing solar South. Large overhangs prevent passive solar heating in the Summer but encourage it in the Winter. With the external blinds drawn and no supplied heat, my living room can reach 80F on a sunny day while the external temperature is at freezing.

So, it is possible to have a low carbon footprint and still improve your quality of life.

Comment So soon they forget (Score 3, Interesting) 93

As someone that was part of the team that pioneered iris recognition in the late 80s, I can say that this is totally the fault of the current software. We had various techniques implemented from the start that would prevent this kind of problem. Controlling multiple IR leds to provide a changing specularity pattern. This would guarantee that the eye was shaped as expected, rejecting all flat copies. Checking for the normal pulsation of the pupil would reject dead eyes. There were various other checks, like verification of facial features (there were two eyes, etc.). Checking for the proper occlusion of the eyelids was also part of the process. With only a few captures our testing has not shown this kind of issue (and we did try perfect eye replication). I've heard this kind of thing from the beginning, nothing new here. Again, we implemented all of these features in our original work, but implementors felt that these should not be included in their products.

Comment Re:The mistake was in the audience (Score 1) 92

You hit the nail on the head. If it weren't for a $200 "loyal customer" incentive I wouldn't have bought my Priv. That said, I'm not sorry I did. BB10 was pretty good, not nearly as synergistic as WebOS, but very usable and a far cry better than Android's jump from app to app approach. Unfortunately, there was a dearth of apps and the Android emulator only partially filled the bill. The Hub implementation on Android is getting better with each release, but it is still a far cry from the experience on BB10.

Part of AT&T and Verizon's problem selling this unit is they take way too long to update. The Priv's software was pretty immature when it was released but got better (smoother and faster) with each update. Non-carrier phones have been upgraded to Marshmallow for months and there is still no sign of it for the carrier locked phones.

One of the things that may scare off people is the locked bootloader. If Blackberry stops supporting the Priv then there is no way to load an alternative OS. This is a far cry from my WebOS Pre 3 that has an active homebrew community making sure that as standards change (carrier APIs, Google APIs, etc.) the phone continues to be a winner. If it weren't for the fact that there isn't any modern hardware (LTE, etc.) support I would keep rocking with WebOS.

Comment It takes a certain attitude to make it work (Score 1) 318

I've been working at home on and off for 35 years (mostly on). I've been very successful at making my work at home experience both productive and pleasurable. When I start working I get "in the zone" and produce high quality work in short order. Then I tried to put together a team, each working at home, to do development, QA, and documentation for various projects. Documentation was the only piece that I could claim worked. I found that, left on their own, my development team became unproductive and the QA team drifted away from the goals I specified and documented. I ended up doing much more micro-managing than I imagined to keep the team productive and focused. My productivity went dramatically down and the quality of my work was suffering from all the interruptions.

As for finding work to do at home, I ended up doing it by circumstance. The company I worked for shut their doors at a really bad economic time. I started a company to develop software products, but ended up mostly consulting and designing hardware and software under contract to keep bread on the table. I developed a reputation for quality work so when a former client started up a new company, he didn't balk on my request to continue to work at home across the country.

The hardest part of working at home is training your family that you shouldn't be disturbed during work hours. I don't know if I would entertain someone working for me at home again unless I saw the same commitment that I have. The worst part of working at home is the isolation from your colleagues and co-workers. I think my company keeps my visits to a minimum because I try to make up the time I wasn't interacting when I come.

Comment I'd be very surprised (Score 1) 113

I hung onto my WebOS Pre 3 phone until I could no longer find any more Verizon devices on ebay (the last one I cannabilized two broken ones into one working one). For the last few years I was trying to find a suitable replacement. I tried iOS, Android, and Windows phones but none could match the elegance of WebOS (yes, I know that all stole many features from it over the years). I ended up with a BB10 device which provides a well thought out design. It feels like it might be what WebOS would be if development didn't stop. It's "Just Type" implementation is superb. BB10 seems to be the same whipping boy in the media that helped kill WebOS.

Personally, I think this is a rumor due to the "Knox" security created by Blackberry for Samsung Android phones. How many times has the media reported falsely that Blackberry is about to be bought by Samsung, Microsoft, etc. John Chen has shown vision and grace in dealing with the detractors, even when they take things he says out of context and make him look like he's giving up on Blackberry. He's not afraid to push the envelope on phone designs, just look at the Passport. I'm hoping that the slider keyboard phone that comes out this year will be a Pre 3 killer and available on Verizon. It may be enough for me to leave Verizon if their customer sales and support bad-mouth it like they always do for anything that isn't Android or Apple.

If you like your Android or Apple phone then fine, but don't bash something just because it's not mainstream. I can guarantee that Blackberry phone and BB10 features are already being copied as we speak.

Comment Welcome to the Monkey House (Score 1) 692

Kurt Vonnegut wrote about just such an event in a short story in the book "Welcome to the Monkey House". In that story he suggested that families would be confined to living together in a single house, with pecking order dependent upon age ranking. The eldest got to pick what to watch, got to eat first, etc. In this story one of the family members decides to water down the elder's anti-aging medicine so he would age and die. It has a strange and interesting twist at the end so I won't spoil it.

Comment Re: 100% of models are in error (Score 1) 525

Thanks for the information. I spent a little time reading about this. However, at some point the model predictions have to be matched with real-world results. This becomes difficult as climate models predict long term trends, not actual results in a short term. This opens them to criticism and denial claims. It's a tough sell to people without a technical math and science basis.

Comment 100% of models are in error (Score 1) 525

Anyone who develops simulation models will tell you there are tradeoffs and unknowns that cause errors. The real issue is how significant are the errors. Weather models fall apart quickly as the predicted time frame get's large. Anyone trust the weather prediction for several weeks away? Global warming predictions are in the same vein because there are too many possible variations to the system. What the models can tell us is, given the things we know about, trends emerge.

What I find amazing is that people without understanding the limitations of the models will take them as fact or fiction when they are somewhere in-between. Because one weather model accurately predicted a hurricane when all others missed it everyone started using that model. The next hurricane was completely missed by that model, whoops!

Personally, I believe that there is substantial empirical evidence of GW even if the model predictions are off.

Comment Re:Personal morality and pandering (Score 4, Informative) 653

I'm very confused. Wasn't Carla Fiorina an instrument of HP's down-slide with her involvement in the "Pre-texting" scandal where she hired private investigators to spy on the other board members? How soon we forget. It was a similar situation with RCA's board near it's end that pushed the decision to sell to GE.

Comment Seems that the shoe is sometimes on the other foot (Score 1) 681

After getting my BSEE I begain my career designing integrated circuits, I soon started writing software to aid me in design and then migrated into the in-house design automation software group, working on projects such as gate-level simulations and circuit synthesis. I tried to get into the computer science program for my masters in the BIG local university. I was told flat out to forget it as EEs didn't have the necessary background to get into the program. I then went to another school where I completed masters in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science. It's let me work productively with Physicists, Mathemeticians, Engineers, and Computer Scientists. There is room for all to coexist and learn from each other, but experience has made me skeptical of pretty much anything my co-worker's say until I do the research myself. That skepticism has served me well throughout my career.

I think that Bill's generalization should be taken with a grain of salt until actual data supports his suppositions.

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