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Comment Re:Doesn't pass the smell test. (Score 1) 428

Their claim in the summary is that the primary savings is in the shipping costs. If you've ever moved a full pack of asphalt roof shingles, you know they are EXTREMELY heavy for their size. Apparently, these solar shingles are lighter (which is also true with metal roofing products, usually), hence much lower shipping costs. I'm skeptical but traditional shingles do weigh enough that it *might* be possible. Plausible but unconfirmed.

Comment If they can deliver... (Score 1) 428

If they can deliver, I happen to be in the 1-3 year market for a new roof. If it really is price competitive, I might actually give it a try. However, I'm guessing it will be rolled out geographically and will be hard to get for a few years, even when they do finally make it available, so I don't hold out much hope.

Comment NES Fascinating (Score 4, Informative) 95

Nashville Electric Service is a fascinating entity. It is technically owned by the Metro Nashville, which is the merger of old Nashville city proper and Davidson County, yet it serves areas outside Nashville. For example, I was on NES despite living in an adjacent county when I lived in the area. I did not know at the time it was owned by the city, with a board appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the metro board (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashville_Electric_Service). That makes a lot of sense in this context, since the city then technically "owns" all the NES poles in the city as well. The status of AT&T (previously BellSouth, previously AT&T) poles would be debatable, since utility poles are somewhat...odd...assets. They can be owned by the locality outright, owned by the utility outright, owned by the locality but leased by the utility, etc... I'm curious to see how this plays out for the legal aspects, far more than because it involves Google Fiber.

Comment Re:Before it's too late (Score 4, Informative) 161

As stated well by a ham in the comments to the linked article... "Amateur radio is explicitly not for traffic that needs to remain private. It exists for limited purposes not including routine communication that can be served by other means (e.g. a phone or ordinary internet connection). It is chiefly for education and research/experimentation in radio. It is not for general personal communications or commercial use." http://www.kb6nu.com/if-gotenn...

Comment Re:As Some Who Worked in PCI... (Score 1) 76

If only the credit card companies and retailers hadn't had a spat ten years ago or so regarding the fees on debit cards that ran as credit cards, Americans would probably be far more likely to embrace chip-and-PIN rather than just chip. Everyone I've watched use the chip cards seems to have no issue with them and actually laments when they can't use their new chip card as a chip transaction, but I've also talked with friends and family about it and I get the impression from this and reading comments online (purely anecdotal but I think I'm on to something) that the perception is PIN=user fee. This means even credit cards that SAID they had no fee would be viewed dubiously when asking to use the PIN. This is much like how a person reacts when a dual credit/debit processable card gets asked for a PIN...they're like heck no I'm not paying. Had the companies not played that game about forcing PIN transactions with fees on all debit cards, I strongly suspect chip-and-PIN would be easier to implement. There is, of course, also a lot of inertia in business and banking circles to overcome, too.

Comment Excellent sensor package, terrible design... (Score 4, Informative) 58

I bought a MS Band 2 to replace a Basis B1 after Basis basically dropped support for the B1 the moment the Peak was announced, and also broke a number of promises, etc... I picked it because it had the best sensor package around, even including a UV sensor. I found it very useful. I also found it very flawed. My band was replaced FOUR times under warranty due to cracks in the non-replaceable band at where it met the device. Microsoft was very good about replacing it, but it just never really solved the problem, just bought me a few more months of use. The magnetic attached charger also had some issues, and the software has always been a little buggy...especially syncing with the app...which right now includes claiming the battery died and the clock reset basically every few hours. It was a brilliant sensor package hindered by lousy industrial design. When my band breaks again, which I'm sure it will, this means the end for my Band.

Comment Absolutely my experience as well (Score 1) 120

This is absolutely what I've been experiencing. About 75% of my Marketplace transactions get a "follow up" email. Usually my failure to respond results in a second email before they give up. If I do leave feedback, and it is anything less than 4/5 or 5/5 for the PRODUCT, I'll get calls on my cell phone (credit card number of record) about 10% of the time. I average around 75-100 small Amazon purchases of a few dollars each during the year (I really hate going out to stores), and so I get at least one or two calls every quarter. Amazon says they are either unable to offer any action or to block only that seller. What really shocked me was when one Marketplace seller called me on behalf of the manufacturer when I complained about the design of a particular TV wall mount, offering me a free one if I'd change the feedback. Amazon needs to get their house in order.

Comment Add-on Syndrome (Score 1) 134

Any thoughts on how to address the "add-on syndrome" that plagues SBCs like the Pi products? As in the board is $35, but then after a power supply, case, SD card, wifi (if not equipped), USB hub, etc... you hit around $80-100. It makes it hard to run multiple projects at once, plus the quality of packaged hardware from retailers is often questionable at best.

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