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Comments

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Tor Executive Director Hints At Firefox Integration

AmiMoJo Re:This isn't going to work. (105 comments)

Perfection isn't required, it just has to be better than the current "private browsing" modes. It would prevent a lot of mass surveillance and corporate tracking. Should break geolocation nicely too.

11 hours ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

AmiMoJo Re:Survival (449 comments)

Tesla claims 3000 cycles for their batteries. That gives a theoretical life for the car of 900,000 miles (300 miles, 3000 charges) and they have tested up to 750,000 miles with about 85% capacity remaining, so it looks reasonable.

Of course, that assumes you do full cycles every time. You can get significantly more life with only 10 or 20% over capacity.

yesterday
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

AmiMoJo Re:If government wants to get involved... (449 comments)

They should instead allow the true cost of solar and other power sources be reflected in the price

Electricity is a basic utility for most people. They can't live a reasonable life without things like electric lighting and refrigeration. More over the economy would suffer greatly if the true cost of electricity was reflected in the price that industry pays.

That's why almost all sources of electricity are heavily subsidised. The question is which ones do we want to encourage, and the answer isn't coal.

yesterday
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

AmiMoJo Re:net metering != solar and 10% needs new physics (449 comments)

The UK has had this kind of thing for many years. The electricity company provides special outlets that it can switch on and off remotely. They switch on when energy is cheap at night. People connect water heaters to them, and then keep the water in an insulated tank for use during the day. Some people connect other stuff to them as well, like EV chargers.

yesterday
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

AmiMoJo Re:choose 4 hours by direction (449 comments)

So what you are saying is that a small battery pack, a few kilowatt hours, would really improve the situation. Such packs are quite cheap - used 24kWh EV packs go for a few k bucks. Like solar panels, the price is falling fast.

yesterday
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

AmiMoJo Re:Fine. Legislate for externalities. (449 comments)

That sounds simple in theory. In reality? You're just blowing smoke - because online storage in the capacities required simply doesn't exist.

Energy companies have a choice. They can sit in their arses and wait to die, or they can try to find solutions to these problems. If I were them I'd be calling up Elon Musk today and asking to discus ways of building grid scale batteries. 50MW batteries have been deployed in Japan for a few years now, so the technology is coming and they can either benefit from it themselves or miss out and find that individuals have installed them at home already.

Batteries are not the only solution. There are options. They are not easy, do-nothing options, but that's the way of the world. Evolve or die.

yesterday
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

AmiMoJo Re:Fine. Legislate for externalities. (449 comments)

Nobody is quashing an emerging industry. What they're saying is that they don't want to have to buy electricity from everybody.

What they are saying is that they want to keep generating dirty, polluting electricity because it is profitable and easy for them. Unfortunately that has costs for society and the rest of the economy, so we are going to have to transition away from it.

yesterday
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CloudFlare Announces Free SSL Support For All Customers

AmiMoJo Re:Now how about the third party ad networks (66 comments)

Old browsers can still use the non-HTTPS site. I think covering 90% of users with HTTPS is a worthwhile improvement.

yesterday
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The Odd Effects of Being Struck By Lightning

AmiMoJo Re:The Last Sentence of the Summary (187 comments)

It sounds a lot like chronic fatigue. Something breaks and your body just doesn't deliver energy to the muscles properly any more, including the brain. As well as being tired you can think straight and become forgetful. There is no way to fix it.

2 days ago
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Why the Z-80's Data Pins Are Scrambled

AmiMoJo Re:C=128 (165 comments)

The 6502 may have run at a little under 1MHz, but it was efficient. Most instructions were one or two cycles and they did a lot. It's actually a really fun processor to write for because it's both a nice architecture and very challenging to get the most from.

3 days ago
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Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

AmiMoJo Re:I still don't get this. (301 comments)

That's how Steve Jobs always presented new iPhones. Faster, thinner, longer battery life, one or two major new features. The major new features no one else has part seem to have gone, and while faster the 6 is in most common operations about the same as a Nexus 5. Battery life is about the same. So they cling to being slightly thinner.

I had a funny thought. The only other product I can think of that is obsessed with getting thinner is condoms.

3 days ago
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Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

AmiMoJo Re:Yes, reality is a defense (301 comments)

Last I heard they were admitting to nine reports of bending, but the reality is we don't have a true figure at this time. It was the same with the antenna problems. They denied many people had them but eventually fixed it anyway with a free bumper.

I imagine somewhere in Apple's labs they are testing strengthened cases

3 days ago
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Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed

AmiMoJo Re:30-46% less force is required to deform?! (301 comments)

The problem seems to be twofold. Firstly it's weaker than average for a high end phone, and people probably associate metal with being stronger than plastic so expect more from it. It's also a big change from the pervious model.

Secondly phones made of other materials return to their original shape much more easily. Of you look at most of the images of iPhones that were bent in people's pockets the bend is slight. Other phones recover from that, the iPhone 6 remains bent.

3 days ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

AmiMoJo Re:Really? (489 comments)

that legal system for selling electricity was jury-rigged

That phrase... I do not think it means what you think it means.

Germany is in the middle of the transition. There are still 10 years to go. Things can get a bit extreme at times, but it's basically working really well. Short term price increases (still not the most expensive in Europe) and increased CO2 in exchange for being nuclear free, down heavily on coal and gas, and up massively on renewables by 2024. It also makes Germany the world leader in renewables, so German companies are getting all that business overseas too.

Luckyo, you seem to have either not understood or ignored my reply last time, or maybe you just feel butthurt that your cool nuclear tech is being pushed out in favour of hippy windmills and solar panels. I'm sorry you feel that way.

3 days ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

AmiMoJo Re:Not so.... (489 comments)

Actually, the cost of subsidizing solar and wind has doubled the cost of power in Germany

Sure, although even now it isn't the most expensive in Europe. The cost will be high for a while, and Germans seem to accept that. Change costs money, but the end result is worth it.

And Germany's power industry is increasing the amount of energy generated with coal.

It's reducing the amount of coal burnt: http://energytransition.de/201...

3 days ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

AmiMoJo Re:cut utility profits from 8% to 41% (489 comments)

Subsidy of solar tends to pay for itself. In the end we all have to pay for new capacity, be out through energy bills or taxes. Solar more than pays for itself, reduces pollution and tends to encourage the owner to be more efficient.

Also, often the subsidy is actually a loan.

3 days ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

AmiMoJo Re:Really? (489 comments)

Look at Germany. Solar has made coal and nuclear unprofitable. They were replacing all the old coal plants with new, more efficient ones, but have now cancelled many of them and will simply reduce capacity. Even the new ones are unlikely to make any money now.

I don't think utilities can stop this happening. They will die kicking and screaming but ultimately the industry must shrink.

3 days ago
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Nearly 2,000 Chicago Flights Canceled After Worker Sets Fire At Radar Center

AmiMoJo Re:single point of failure? (221 comments)

If only it worked like that. As long as planes don't actually crash they only need one radar, and all the disruption can always be blamed on someone else. Why spend money on preventing things you won't take the blame for?

In other words, they want maximum profits and minimum costs, not reliability.

3 days ago
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Security Collapse In the HTTPS Market

AmiMoJo Re:So offer a cost effective replacement (185 comments)

Your consumer protection laws are weak. You should lobby your elected officials to strengthen them.

For example in the UK you could complain to the Financial Services Ombudsman. That instantly costs the bank money so they ate keen to avoid you doing that. The FSO then makes an impartial decision based on the rules. In your case it's hard to see how you could have lost. Costs you nothing beyond the time you spent writing letters anyway, and the FSO will accept email as well.

4 days ago
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Security Collapse In the HTTPS Market

AmiMoJo Re:So offer a cost effective replacement (185 comments)

Apple Pay requires you to put your card details into the phone, an insecure environment which leaked NSA slides claim to have full access to. With the recent celebrity hacking and the absolute facepalm of allowing remote dictionary attacks against iCloud they need to earn trust, not simply claim they are secure.

I prefer stored value cards and eWallet systems. In the former case you buy the card with cash and it's basically anonymous, beyond the fact that purchases can be linked. Simply return the card and get a new one periodically to limit that. The eWallet systems make the charges appear on your phone bill, so they don't store and credit card details on the phone itself and the per transaction limit is low.

4 days ago

Submissions

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Tesla plans to power its Gigafactory with renewables alone

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about three weeks ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "In his press conference, Elon Musk stated that the factory will produce all of its own energy using a combination of solar, wind, and geothermal. Engineering.com looks at the feasibility of the plans. Spoiler alert: it looks possible, though some storage will be required. Fortunately, if there is one thing the Gigafactory won't be short of it's batteries."
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Buffalo's to release USB hub that accepts upside-down cables

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a month ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Buffalo is releasing a new USB 4 port hub that allows cables to be plugged in either way up. No more problems with USB super-positioning using ordinary A type plugs. In addition to 4 reversible sockets the hub's own male A connector that goes to the PC is also reversible, so can be plugged in upside down."
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EU rules limit vacuum cleaners to 1600W from the 1st of September

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a month ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "New EU rules are limiting vacuum cleaner motors to 1600W from 2014/09/01. The EU summary of the new rules explains that consumers currently equate watts with cleaning power, which is not the case. Manufacturers will be required to put ratings on packaging, including energy efficiency, cleaning efficiency on hard and carpeted floors, and dust emissions from the exhaust. In the EU vacuum cleaners use more energy than the whole of Denmark, and produce more emissions than dishwashers and washing machines."
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200GB Blu-ray discs aim to compete with tape in the data centre

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a month ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) has developed a specification for a new doubled sided disc with a capacity of up to 200GB, called the BD-DSD (Double Sided Disc). The discs store 100GB per side using existing multi-layer technology and are designed for use in cartridges that can hold several. Robots in data centres will swap the discs, giving access to vast amounts of robust, long-life storage media. Unlike tape the discs are random access, so the overall access time for a given file is lower. There is no wear from a read head touching the disc either."
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Daimler's solution for annoying out-of-office email: delete it

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a month and a half ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Sure, you can set an out-of-office auto-reply to let others know they shouldn't email you, but that doesn't usually stop the messages; you may still have to handle those urgent-but-not-really requests while you're on vacation. That's not a problem if you work at Daimler, though. The German automaker recently installed software that not only auto-replies to email sent while staff is away, but deletes it outright."
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One trillion Bq released by nuclear debris removal at Fukushima so far

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 2 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says more than one trillion becquerels of radioactive substances were released as a result of debris removal work at one of the plant's reactors. Radioactive cesium was detected at levels exceeding the government limit in rice harvested last year in Minami Soma, some 20 kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi. TEPCO presented the Nuclear Regulation Authority with an estimate that the removal work discharged 280 billion becquerels per hour of radioactive substances, or a total of 1.1 trillion becquerels. The plant is believed to be still releasing an average of 10 million becquerels per hour of radioactive material."
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TEPCO planning to use Windows XP up to 2019

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 3 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "TEPCO, operator of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, plans to continue using 48,000 copies of Windows XP until 2018-19, when they will be replaced. The Japanese government has urged companies in charge of critical infrastructure to upgrade from XP due to the risk of cyberattack. When asked about potential problems TEPCO said that it has "taken technical measures of various kinds", but declined to detail them "for security reasons.""
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Stan O'Neal may not have requested the "right to be forgotten"

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 3 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Yesterday Slashdot reported that Stan O'Neal may have requested that a BBC News blog post be removed from Google's search results under the EU "right to be forgotten". Late last night Robert Peston, the author of the article that made the original claim, updated it to state that in fact the blog post was still indexed when searching for "Stan O'Neal", speculating that it may in fact have been one of the commentators who requested removal when searching for their name."
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Germany's glut of electricity causing prices to plummet

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 3 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Germany is headed for its biggest electricity glut since 2011 as new coal-fired plants start and generation of wind and solar energy increases, weighing on power prices that have already dropped for three years. From December capacity will be at 117% of peak demand. The benchmark German electricity contract has slumped 36% since the end of 2010.

“The new plants will run at current prices, but they won’t cover their costs” said Ricardo Klimaschka, a power trader at Energieunion GmbH. Lower prices “leave a trail of blood in our balance sheet” according to Bernhard Guenther, CFO at RWE, Germany’s biggest power producer. Wind and solar’s share of installed German power capacity will rise to 42% by next year from 30% in 2010. The share of hard coal and lignite plant capacity will drop to 28% from 32%."
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Japanese court rules against restarting Ohi reactors

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 4 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "A Japanese court has ordered the operator of the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, not to restart 2 of its reactors, citing inadequate safety measures. The plant's No. 3 and 4 reactors were halted for regular inspections last September. Local residents filed a lawsuit asking that the reactors be kept offline. They said an estimate of possible tremors is too small, and that the reactors lack backup cooling systems. The operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, has insisted that no safety problems exist."
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Japan surpasses Kyoto Protocol emission target

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 5 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Japan's environment minister says the country has surpassed the target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that it pledged under the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Japan had lowered emissions by a 5-year average of 8.4 percent in the 2012 financial year compared to 1990 levels, more than the 6-percent goal the country pledged under the Kyoto Protocol. The 2012 figures are significant as they include the first full year after the March 11th Tohoku earthquake disaster, during which no nuclear power was available."
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Japan marks 3rd anniversary of 11/3 disaster

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 7 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Today Japan marks the third anniversary of the 11th of March 2011 disaster when the country was hit by a magnitude 9 earthquake huge tsunami and severe nuclear accident. More than 18,500 people were killed or went missing. Nearly 3,000 others died while evacuated from their homes, and over a quarter of a million people were still living in temporary housing as of February. Work to build new housing on higher ground is lagging behind schedule.

Three reactors melted down at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the quake and tsunami, but the exact cause of the accident is still unknown. How massive amounts of radioactive materials from the reactors were dispersed is also unclear. Today was also the day when hundreds of former residents announced that they were suing TEPCO, the plant operator, and the government for additional compensation."
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Measures fail to stop Fukushima plant leaks

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 7 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant has been coming up with countermeasures to deal with repeated leaks from tanks of contaminated water. But despite the measures, 100 tons of radioactive water leaked on Wednesday and Thursday. The estimated volume of the leaked radioactive materials caused Japan's nuclear regulator to rank the leak a level-3 serious accident. The international scale of nuclear and radiological events ranges from zero to 7."
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Kickstarter project tries to fire payloads into space from a giant cannon

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 8 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The Starfire Space Cannon project aims to launch small payloads into space from the ground using a large gun. 13.7m (45 foot) gun claims to use multiple charges to reduce the force exerted on the payload, although the pitch is devoid of any explanation as to how this technique might actually work. The creators warn that "we could have a really bad day and the gun could blow up or the trailer could fall apart."."
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Google and EU agree on changes to search result pages

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 8 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Google has agreed to display competing site's results along side those from its own products in search results. The agreement comes as part of an EU investigation into Google's domination of the search market and its promotion of Google products at the top of each page. The EU has published screenshots (scroll down) showing how the changes will look once rolled out."
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Majority of Mac OS users not getting security updates

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 9 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "According to security company Sophos around 55% of home users and 18% of enterprise users have updated to Mavericks, the latest version of Mac OS (10.9). Unfortunately Apple appears to have stopped providing security updates for older versions. Indeed, they list Mavericks itself as a security update. This means that the majority of users are no longer getting critical security patches. Sophos recommends taking similar precautions to those recommended for people who cannot upgrade from Windows XP."
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Ask Slashdot: What next for Slashdot?

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 9 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Most of you are probably aware of the beta site, and there have even been a few survey emails going around. For some reason no-one thought to use the actual site's discussion system to ask about the future of Slashdot. Times are changing and Slashdot needs to make enough money to continue, but at the same time almost all the site's value comes from the user comments. What should Slashdot do to ensure it lives on for the next 15+ years, and what can we do to help?"
Link to Original Source
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Google's wireless charger for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 launches today

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about 10 months ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Google's wireless charger is now available from Play. The charger uses a magnet to hold the device in place while charging, and comes with a 1.8A (9W) power supply, although it isn't clear what the charging rate of the device is."
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Fukushima leak traced to overflow tank built on a slope

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  about a year ago

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "The on-going leak of radioactive wastewater at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been traced to an overflow tank that was built on a slope. Because one side of the tank is lower than the other water slops over the side when it is nearly full. TEPCO estimate that 430 litres of wastewater seeped outside the barrier around the tank and say some of this water may have flowed into the sea, about 200 meters away. They detected 200,000 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances in water pooled inside the barrier around the tank. The safety limit is 30 becquerels per liter.

Officials say that a miscommunication with contractors lead to the blunder."
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GE Canada struggling to find PDP-11 programmers for its nuclear control systems

AmiMoJo AmiMoJo writes  |  1 year,2 days

AmiMoJo (196126) writes "A representative from GE Canada has posted a job offer to the Vintage Computer forum for a PDP-11 assembly language programmer. Apparently the original job posting failed to turn up any qualified candidates to support the nuclear industry's existing robotic control systems, which they say they are committed to running until 2050. If they are having trouble finding anyone now one wonders how hard it will be in 37 years time."

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