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Comment Malwarebytes (Score 1) 896

This is the one I use and reccomend to my not so tech savvy friends. It's very simple to use, free (for the basic version, which includes everything but scheduled scanning), and doesn't require registration. Its the only thing that got rid of that annoying fake windows security virus, so I've been really happy with it. www.malwarebytes.org

Comment Re:Significance is NOT probabilty (Score 1) 429

The central limit theorem holds only when some strict conditions are met -- like finite variance of the contributing probability variables.

There are other stable distributions than the normal. Check this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stability_(probability)
"Important special cases of stable distributions are the normal distribution, the Cauchy distribution and the Levy distribution"

The Cauchy has neither variance neither expected value. Levy distributions also do not have higher moments.

Comment Re:Microsoft (Score 1) 896

AVG 8.5 installed on a co-worker's computer didn't catch a WONDERFUL webpage spoofing attack that asked for her pin number. Luckily she called me. I went to try Avast, but now it was harder to register and they took out the options to make the program operate silently (ie it forces you to use a dialog box for restart or force a restart, whereas in 4.8 there was an option for "Update on Next Restart", an awesome feature).

Just heard a good review the day prior of MSE and installed it, updated definitions, did a quick scan which found 3 other things, and then a full scan which found the main culprit. It also apparently cleaned (not deleted) a Windows Backup file with the virus on an external drive, ensuring that their backups are actually working properly. I've had Avast delete these on me in the past, losing vital backups.

It takes up little resources, is free for ANYONE (ie, most are only free for Home AND non-commercial use...which means non-profits are shit outta luck), and JUST WORKS.

I heart it. so. hard.

Comment Re:Boom. (Score 2, Interesting) 325

Forget crush (It's not that difficult to armor the batteries)... What happens when you short one out? I remember seeing a video of a firefighter cutting someone out of a hybrid. They went to cut the seat supports, and accidentally cut the 400v DC positive line that was running under the center console (It runs in a tunnel from the trunk up to the engine compartment)... It instantly welded the cutting tool to the ground, and proceeded to destroy (rather catastrophically) the batteries. The firefighter suffered some minor burns, and the victim was taken out of the car quick enough (Using a rapid extrication technique) to avoid further injury... The car was, needless to say, a total loss.

Between airbags and these large battery packs, cars are becoming more and more dangerous (Airbags do save lives, but have you ever seen the aftermath when a firefighter accidentally cuts the nitrogen cylinder to one? Or gets in the way when one accidentally goes off?)... I remember another video where a firefighter was holding C-Spine traction (Holding the victims head still, to prevent spinal injuries from causing more damage) on a 2 seat BMW. One that had explosive actuated rollbars that came up only in the event of an accident (I assume to maintain the aesthetics of the car). Well, while they were freeing the victim from the wreckage, the rollbars were somehow triggered. When it came up, it hit him in the neck right below his jaw and killed him on the spot.

Don't forget, safety is always a trade-off. Usually it's between safe and usable. Sometimes it's between safe under normal conditions for more dangerous in edge cases. Still others, it's safe vs practicality (which is where these home batteries probably fall). I'd imagine that building code would be altered shortly after these things start popping up in homes to mandate fire suppression systems where they are installed (or at least a fireproof compartment that they get stored it). Would that alter their usability? No. Would it make them less worth it? Well, that's for consumers to decide...

Comment Other considerations (Score 3, Informative) 325

Some of these technologies are of no use to those of us that live in areas where the cost of energy is consistent all day and night and year round.

Part of that maybe the problem (no intelligence in the infrastructure). But in the meantime if I were to have solar or any other resource put up that would benefit from stored energy for later use, it'll throw the payback vs normal utility curve way off to where I'd have to live here for decades to get my money back in anything but smugness.

As far as LI battery technology, it seems that the Prius used NMhd batteries because the number of charge discharge cycles was greater, since the batteries in the story were expected to have a cycle per day, the owner would have to replace them realistically every 3-4 years.

As far as the greater energy content of LI batteries, that is a risk that is always present with batteries. As long as the controller / charger is smart and has a layer or two of fault checking, the risk of runaway thermal events is pretty low. (The problem people had with Lithium Ion AA cell batteries where they are available was when people put them into standard NiCad or NiMh chargers, which apply too much current too quickly and make them pop to start fires. Since this is an integrated system by Panasonic with no capacity to mix and match technology evident, I'd say the risks is low.)

It would be possible with standard deep cycle lead acid batteries, but than you have to have climate control for your batteries above and beyond that proposed, and than your dedicating a good chunk of floorspace to batteries (You can't stack them because of heat buildup when discharging). I know the Central Offices I've been in have had a good chunk of their floorspace dedicated to just power, and even than only for the few minutes it takes for the diesel to kick over .. and you don't want to know what happens to expensive telephone equipment when it starts getting fed progressive amounts lower than 48VDC.)

Comment Re:Buy a second box (Score 1) 254

Except that there are no cheats for online games, since modded consoles can only run backups, which must be signed, so any modification to the game would make it not run. So do hold on a bit to those applauds, at least until you can find a better argument.

This has not been the first time that Microsoft has banned users that broke the TOS. What's different now is the disabling of other functionality besides access to Live. That's the part that most people are objecting to.

Comment Re:BLOAT (Score 1) 139

Pushing functionality into the browser instead of relying on scripting means longer launch times, more failure points, and more disparate functionality from browser to browser for developers to consider.

This isn't true insofar as it is relevant to the issue at hand, and isn't relevant so far as it is true. First, HTML5 local storage doesn't push "functionality into the browser instead of relying on scripting"; the browser functionality relies on JavaScript scripting. Second, because it pushes local storage for which there are demands and existing, but not common, implementations (like Gears) into a standard form (HTML5), it reduces disparate functionality among browsers.

Comment Re:Good bacteria? (Score 2) 237

being able to fairly safely eat a sandwich with your hands?

      You have your own blend of bacteria, and shouldn't have trouble with a sandwich even if you haven't washed your hands. After all, those Peyer's patches should count for something in identifying and producing antibodies for your home blend of bacteria.

      The trouble is when a) someone prepares your sandwich without washing their hands, thus inoculating you with strange bacteria and b) when you touch other people, things other people have touched, or bodily fluids from other people. I say people but some rare (nowadays) diseases can be acquired from animals. Of course you can get sick by eating food that hasn't been prepared properly and has acquired pathogens from the environment, too - then no amount of hand washing on your or the cook's part will help you with say the Potato-Mayonnaise-S. aureus salad, good old undercooked-eggs-and Salmonella typhi salad, or the famous Not-Quite-Canned-Preserves-with-Botulinum toxin...

      Most courses that teach hygiene, in and outside of medical school, recommend washing your hands approximately the duration of the "Happy Birthday" (c) song - about 30 seconds with regular soap for "everyday hand washing". For minor surgery, about 3 minutes per hand including the wrists, scrubbing the hands and under the nails, and for major surgery 15 minutes per hand and forearm up to the elbow, with a scrubbing brush. Do remember to wash between your fingers. But remember, you will rarely make yourself sick (unless you have some auto-immune problem). It's other people/things that make you sick.

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