Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:As the phone company, I fail to see... (Score 1) 170

But yet Apple does it all the time. So does Google if you bought a Nexus directly from them. Why can't the rest?

Apple does it because you are still incentivized to buy a new iPhone every 18 months, and probably lust after it in a shorter period than that.

Google can update the nexus because it's usually a "bring your own device, off contract" thing. I.e. you bought it without a plan by paying for it up front, and in exchange you get updates and the ability to do exactly the thing carriers don't want you to be able to do: switch carriers. So they charge more on the plan, and you pay maybe 30% of the extra amount (say $10 a month instead of $30 a month to get a subsidized over 18 months iPhone thrown into the deal).

The rest can't do it because you aren't willing to pay full cost for their phones up front, because frankly, the phones are crap compared to an iPhone or a Google Nexus. The only way you can sell them at all is on a subsidy plan, which suits the carriers just fine, since that gets you locked into the contract.

They tolerate Apple, because as long as they keep coming out with new shiny, people put on the contract handcuffs voluntarily.

They tolerate Google because they tolerate "bring your own device" as a marketing means of providing the illusion of choice, when they know that only a tiny minority is going to exercise that choice. If everyone started paying cash up front for their phones so they could go month to month, the carriers would come unglued, since they only axis they'd have available to compete on would be service.

Comment Re:uranium runs out (Score 1) 292

Yeah, that's still an issue.'re running your laundry on a timer now.

The models you listed on that link do not have start timers. Electronic controls, yes; but without timers, all that means is you can't mechanically set a setting, and then have a timer power the thing on at a specific time. Nor do they have protocol based external management, so you could trigger them at a particular solar generating level that's sustained over a period of time to avoid using grid power, and program a (much smarter) external system to run them.

These appliances are not as smart as they'd need to be, and even if they are, they're not smart in the right direction, nor are the external control management systems there yet for doing things like coordinating the dishwasher vs. the laundry.

Just have it set to run twice each week on different days instead of twice in one day, back-to-back.

Dude or dudette, I totally promise not to tell your SO that you just put their favorite yellow shorts that they've had since college in with your new blue shirt and turned them green. But you *will* be buying them that expensive dinner by way of apology.

Us laundry ninjas know you can't just throw in anything with anything else. Some things will simply shred if you put them in with some other things, like delicates and thick towels, instead of putting them on a different cycle. What this boils down to is that any given laundry day requires multiple loads.

Put in the next load before you go to work, take the dry clothes out when you get home, no problem.

And forget this, if you have kids: there's no such thing as a small amount of laundry, or two day a week laundry.


Look, personally, I want local energy storage: I don't want to have to change everything, just because I'm going to be powering everything with the big fusion reactor up in the sky, instead of the little fission reactor down the coast. At some point, it becomes a quality of life issue, and that point hits pretty hard with solar in a different way.

As soon as there's enough solar capacity, and people aren't home to use it, then it redefined "off peak" and "on peak". The "off peak" hours are during the day, when generating capacity exceeds demand, and the "on peak" hours are during the morning and evening, when you're at home and awake, but the sun isn't shining, so there's more demand on the grid, because everyone else keeps the same hours you do.

One of the reasons the PUC in Nevada got rid of net metering was because Nevada was on a trajectory to eventually hit this "solar tipping point", and it was obvious to the utility company that at that point, they'd be paying spot market prices for energy, mostly in the evenings, and they'd end up pretty screwed.

Unless I can have local storage, and it's got to be able to store everything I can generate all day, assuming it starts out dry, the "grid battery" approach looks to be doomed to jacking my utility bills right back to where they used to be, so the power company can maintain revenue under the pretense of "we have to maintain the grid, but all these people have solar, and aren't paying us enough for us to be able to afford to maintain it".

The only viable alternative is to be able to pull the plug completely. And sadly, solar is just not there yet.

Comment Re: Fuck mdsolar (Score 1) 292

You are letting your little far right extremism brain.

Sorry, I think you have "nuclear" confused with "big oil". If you want far right extremism, that's the next door down.

Carter stopped it, rightly, and raygun restarted it.

And then it was stopped again.

In addition reprocessing is not the right solution.

What is the solution, then? It's not the sun shining day and night, and it's not the wind blowing all the time.

Comment As the phone company, I fail to see... (Score 1) 170

As the phone company, I fail to see how allowing you to push an update that you've not re-certified to not break our network, over our network is going to lock consumers into a new two year contract every 18 months.

We also fail to see how not incentivizing the purchase of a new contact subsidized phone gets the customer locked into a new two year contract every 18 months.

Comment Solution: Buy legislators. All of them. (Score 5, Interesting) 170

Captain Obvious Competition.


These companies already have your money, so updating a device that's already been sold is a needless expense. There's also a good argument to be made that updating a device hurts future sales. If your phone isn't updated, it will start to feel old, so you're more likely to buy a new phone sooner.

Yes. I have a high-end preamp-processor, updatable over the net. Plenty of bugs. Did they ever fix them, much less add new features? No. Did they release a new model? Yes. I have a high-end camera. Updatable over the net. Plenty of bugs. Did they ever fix them, much less add new features? No. Did they release a new model? Yes. I have a high-end radio transceiver. Updatable over the net. Plenty of bugs. Did they ever fix them, much less add new features? No. Did they release a new model? Yes. And so on.

The whole "we can update your device" bit is a scam (and often, so is the "we can update your software" bit.) The only way a corporation is likely to actually update hardware responsibly is if legislation forces them to. And good luck trying to get THAT in place when corporations outright buy the decisions of the legislatures.

Submission + - Free Speech Under Attack as Facebook Plays Judge, Jury, Executioner (

NathanBachman writes: Freedom of speech is under attack, and the perpetrator is none other the king of social media, Facebook. In recent times, the company, now a popular face of online censorship, has been shamelessly blocking accounts, removing pages, and deleting posts that either failed to strike a chord with the moderation team, or were brutally honest to the extent of becoming intolerable for the people in position of power. Will Facebook get away with playing god and silencing millions of pro-Kashmir, pro-Kurdishs, and pro-freedom of speech voices around the globe?

Comment Re:Uber is not "Ride Sharing" (Score 1) 441

Taxi's potentially compete with Uber (and Town Cars), but Uber (and Town Cars) does not compete with ad hoc taxi service.

The person called Uber instead of a taxi. You don't call that competing?

Not with taxis.

With town cars, yes. With the SuperShuttle, yes. With me getting on the phone with my friend Phil, and begging him to come pick me up, and if he does, I'll buy him a six pack of that nasty ale he drinks, "Just please, PLEASE don't make me take a taxi!", yes.

But with taxis? No.

Comment Re:What is it that you say? (Score 1) 441

I constantly get there are no Cars available messages when ever I try to use Uber. With a taxi, I can prearrange specific pickup times and the every time I have done this, they show up 10 minutes early. I can't rely on Uber to get me to the airport on time, I can with a Taxi.

Yet by your own admission, you keep trying to use Uber anyway, and only use the taxi after you get the "no Cars available" message from Uber.

There must be something you like better about Uber than taxis, if you keep trying to use it, or you'd just be using taxis all the time.


Comment Re:uranium runs out (Score 3, Insightful) 292

Since uranium runs out, the subsidies for nuclear never tend to zero the way the do for solar which can produce energy without bound long after subsidies end.

Uranium doesn't "run out" if you use breeder reactors. They effectively have fuel indefinitely.

Solar panels are good for about 20 years. That's what the three major Solar sales companies in the Bay Area said, when they visited my house, and we talked about it. Sadly, on the lease program, Solar City was not willing to install updated panels when better panels became available: I was stuck with them for the "full lifetime of 20 years". Also on the lease programs, all three companies owned the panels on my roof, which means that they, not I, got the tax subsidy for them.

Basically: none of them produced quite enough power for both my house and my cottage tenant, they all wanted me to use PG&E as a battery, but admitted that the Nevada PUC decision to disallow net metering was probably going to happen soon in my area as well, since the electric companies really dislike net metering, and they agreed, that because the Smart Meters(tm) required to have Solar in the first place allowed differential rates of payment at different times of day, that I would likely get paid less during the day when my panels were generating electricity, and have to pay more in the mornings and evenings (when I was actually home from work, duh!).

Their suggestion was to put all my appliances on timers so that they ran while I was at work; I asked for their advice on where to buy a robot to move clothes from my washer to my dryer, so that I didn't have to run the dryer at night, either. They had no answer.

With the nuclear waste problem, subsidies for nuclear likely increase without bound. You've misunderstood the situation.

What nuclear waste situation? Oh. You mean the one Jimmy Carter created on April 7, 1977, when he ordered support cut for the Barnwell reprocessing plant or the construction of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor.

The one we could make "go away" pretty easily by reversing his executive order.

That nuclear waste problem, right?

Comment Re:Reminds me of a crazy, hot girlfriend (Score 1) 292

Nuclear energy is the crazy hot girlfriend of energy. She may be nice, kind, and wonderful for days, months, or years - maybe decades. But someday, somehow, she's going to go berserk on you. 100% chance.

She wouldn't have gone off on you, if you hadn't also been porking Coal, Oil, Solar, and now that bitch Wind!

Comment Re:What Envirmental Wacko caused it? (Score 1) 292

Why is why those cleaning products have labels on them that say "do not mix with any other cleaning product".

I believe the thinking (such as it is) goes something like:

"They're just trying to get you to not buy a competing product, once you've bought theirs... they are both cleaners, right?"

Slashdot Top Deals

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." -- George Carlin