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Comment Re:A way better solution (Score 1) 232

Literally never seen another stuck signal, and that was a temporary kit pulled from the trailer of a work vehicles. What makes you think this is a big problem?

And signals should change periodically WHETHER OR NOT the loops detect a vehicle. Anything else is a design flaw. It just adjusts the timing if vehicles are detected on one and not another.

P.S. traffic lights pre-date mobile phones by quite a bit. It's not a problem. Guess what country had the world's first?

Comment Re:A way better solution (Score 1) 232

Technically, you don't.

And any accident you're involved in by choosing to do so will be deemed (at least partially) your fault too.

I have actually witnessed this exact thing one (it was temporary lights for works, and it got "stuck" on allowing one direction of traffic and never switched to the other.

Literally, you were stuck there. Even when people know what's happening (after they've waited for what should be 2-3 cycles, they tend to realise), they do not want to proceed. And you can't. Because the other side might well be - as in this case - stuck on green permanently and not expect you to try.

We turned around, rang the police, and we weren't the first, and they sent out a car to fix it. Ten minutes later when we came back that way again, it was working.

What makes you think that a red light stuck on red is any safer than one NOT stuck on red to cross? It might well - with modern traffic management systems - be stuck on red for a reason.

Comment Re:A way better solution (Score 1) 232

Really?

In the UK, red means DO NOT CROSS the line of the traffic light. If you're already past the line by the time it goes red, you're on your own (e.g. traffic jam in front but no yellow box forcing you to keep the junction clear and nothing moves for a whole phase) but it's not an offence.

It's quite simple, with our rules. Yellow means "It's about to go red". Red means "You CANNOT cross that line" (and the line is physical - drawn on the ground).

If you cross the line on red, you've broke the law, whether it was red for 0.1 seconds or 10 years (note: you can't even cross it if an emergency vehicle appears behind and you need to cross it to let them pass... it's AGAINST THE LAW to cross the line once the light is red).

The yellow phase has a prescribed minimum time dependent on the speed of the road, but it's basically "this is your warning" and then the red is "do not cross". What decision you make in between is up to your but our red-light cameras trigger on a beam on the line that is activated when the light goes red.

Once you've passed that line on green or amber - no matter what the lights then change to show, you've not broken the "traffic light laws", but you might still be driving dangerously, parked in a yellow-hatched box when you shouldn't be etc. but you aren't automatically fined for the light offence.

That anyone is arguing over tiny timings and when they activate means that people are trying to get out of being fined for their bad driving habits, and local authorities are caving because of bad feeling.

You should just make it very simple:
When the light goes red, the beam activates.
If you're IN the beam at that point, you cannot progress forward (we'll take your picture if the beam suddenly becomes unbroken).
If you're already past the beam at that point, you can do what you need to (we won't take your picture).
If you TRIGGER the beam at that point, you get a fine (we take your picture).

So long as the yellow phase is a legally-safe period of time to come to a safe and controlled halt from the maximum speed of the road, everything else is moot.

Comment IP tunnels (Score 4, Interesting) 49

Not at all sure that any kind of tunnel is appropriate in this day and age, anyway.

Hell, just push all your traffic through us! It's fine! All that unencrypted email and DNS lookup? Don't worry, we're just converting to IPv4 for you!

My home router has every IPv6 option known to man, including all kinds of tunnel and DHCPv6 etc. kind of connectivity.

My ISP supports none of them. The problem is not that I couldn't get on the IPv6 net. It's that my ISP has zero interest in helping me do so. Until that's fixed, it's pointless worrying about another way to get to the same sites/services as I already do.

Comment Re:Modern consumer solar (Score 1) 125

Sigh.

This is the FOURTH school I've worked at that has the same problem. The others I've worked at have deliberately refused solar installs after doing the sums.

In certain places, solar is just POINTLESS.

I'm in the UK, a major developed country the same latitude as other huge centres of population the world over. (Please don't say "Ah, yes, in the UK you won't get...." - this is exactly my point, solar is not a panacea).

And it's currently reading... ZIP. Literally I have to interpret the decimal points, so it's less than 100W. It's 1pm, it's got cloud cover but not raining, etc. and is daylight enough that you don't need a bulb in the office. We're in the middle of 28 acres of farmland (which tells you just what kind of school we're talking about here).

It's a school so it's electrically checked annually. They are paying for support, so it's verified to be working . It's cleaned every term. It's on a feed-in tariff and they are pushing their green credentials to parents, so they have an interest in seeing it work. I've seen it read nearly a KW, in the Summer, in direct sunlight, on scorching hot days, if you're lucky.

It's on an unobstructed roof, faces South, no trees or other cover.

It's 10KWp. It's about five years old (please don't say "Oh, you need to replace it to get the new.... what's the point if every five years you have to replace a system that takes 20+ to pay itself off?).

In over five years, it's generated 24408 KWh. That's everything, total, complete.

We are not alone. Selling solar to schools is a known con for bursars in the UK. The suppliers do exactly what they promise (and they never promise a minimum), the kit does what it can (and the kit is all third-party so you can verify others do get the maximums). It gets installed properly and schools that have it ALL complain how little it actually does, no matter what company, panel, etc. they use.

Honestly, fourth school I've had this at, all of them the ONLY schools to actually have solar.

Comment Re:Modern consumer solar (Score 1, Interesting) 125

Good for you.

The solar roof installed on my workplace (a large school) costs tens of thousands and won't pay for itself in 20 years.

It isn't even warrantied for that long.

It very much depends on where you are, not whether your panel is vertical or not (sure, it's BETTER to be vertical, but if you don't have enough sun in the first place, it makes virtually no difference).

We even have one of those "this is how much energy you're generating, CO2 you've saved" screens inside the building it's on. It's currently generating.... 45W. I could run a small incandescent bulb from it. Before losses.

Fortunately, we don't try and push that into battery storage or anything, because it's just not worth it. I was once asked if we could show the stat to parents on the website. Ironically, the servers, network switches, etc. in use to display that stat on the school webpages would use something like 10 times more power than it would be generating, just to do so.

Comment Re:Much cheaper than the iPhone (Score 1) 103

I've bought at least three 10GBP ones from Amazon Today's Deals.

There's one hanging in my office window now. No idea of brand (it's just plain and blank, but I think it puts up a logo when you turn it on, I just can't turn it off at the moment as it's on wireless and does stuff all day long).

We use them as everything from digital signage to server monitors.

Comment Re: Uptime (Score 1) 48

As quick as Windows Update.

What makes you think they'd target my Office 365 account rather than myself directly anyway?

And I can get another IP in about 10 minutes from my ISP, or use one of the multiple other ranges / connections that I have. Or just connect my phone.

That's at home. In work, it's even easier.

Nobody buys Microsoft cloud services because of DDoS protection of their office suite.

  If anything, having a cloud office suite is actually the problem there. I can work in Word just fine while my external connection is down.

Comment Uptime (Score 3, Insightful) 48

Technically, if I measure uptime for the Google Cloud, the Azure Cloud and iCloud against my in-house servers (which are nothing spectacular and most people here wouldn't be impressed), over the last three years, I win hands-down.

And that's not counting "theoretical" outages, but actual outages where it happened in the working day in our region for services we use.

Cloud is just another computer. Use it as such. Supplement it with a replica / backup / alternative.

Comment Re:Honest question: what is the best... (Score 1, Insightful) 103

Go cheap.

I bought my gf a tablet from Amazon that was the cheapest Windows 10 tablet I could find.

It came with a one-year's Office 365 subscription and cost 100 GBP (that's about $124). It had a removable keyboard, just like the Surface, it functions well as a tablet, runs "full" Windows (she uses it for her Steam games, Skype, etc.).

There's no need to pay $300+ for an iPad when you can have a Windows laptop for that, or three Windows tablets of a similar size

The "brand" was something like Linc or similar. Who cares? It's in the "throwaway when it goes wrong" category, after the first year of warrantied use. She's had it now for over 2 and still uses it every day.

Comment Re:Much cheaper than the iPhone (Score 3, Interesting) 103

It amazes me that the iPad is so damn expensive in the first place, given what it is.

That they bolt on about 50% profit for the phone model is chickenfeed in comparison.

Honestly, I bought a GBP 5 Android tablet the other day. Technically it beat most of the iPad Mini specs that are its closest rival. Sure, you can argue "screen resolution" but why would you on such a tiny device to start with?

Comment Sigh. (Score 1) 319

Have your students never heard of Google Earth? You don't need to buy a single thing, it's free for educational users.

And that gives a damn-near perfect, rotatable, zoomable view of anything you like and you can even get plugins that compare area, measurements, etc. using proper sphere-following routes.

But, no, let's continue printing things out on 2D paper that is GUARANTEED to be distorted, and then argue about what distortion we prefer.

Comment Re:In 18 years, a college degree will cost $0 (Score 4, Interesting) 374

I think you misunderstand education.

Putting a bunch of people in VR-space with all the resources in the world generally teaches them nothing. Otherwise we wouldn't need universities, you'd just rent the books from the library and then pay the exam boards to sit your degree.

Aside from the lectures, which are just by-rote education that could be replaced, you have to assess, understand, inspire, assist and generally be useful to the students. That's why the biggest expensive of education is generally staffing. Those Dr's, PhD's, Professors, etc. don't come cheap, and their time in teaching is limited (you buy them off by making them teach in exchange for being provided facilities and funding for their research).

Given that, it's a human-hungry industry, resources are secondary. Almost all universities today publish their entire courses online, with all the materials and all the coursework. They were doing it when I did a degree almost 20 years ago (back then it was all on the FTP server, which everyone had a login to and quite a lot was available publicly).

And you can't just assign twice as many students to the same staff, you would need to hire more staff, who all need to be educated too.

If you think that any part of education is about providing reading material and then letting kids and/or adults just get on with it, you severely misunderstand how the world works.

In fact, if anything, all those dorms, teams and frats are the anti-thesis of education and likely the first thing to go. No other country does the last two with any seriousness, for instance. You don't get to Oxford just because you're a decent rower.

If anything, education's future is firmly in being available offline. Sure, you can do online degrees, but they are held in contempt for the most part. The online parts are secondary to the whole purpose and who's going to pay more than the bare minimum for them to reprint last year's PDF just to sit an online degree that's worthless?

You can modernise it - providing video streams to an lecturer or assistant for one-to-one sessions, but you don't need less people, actually you need more to do that.

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