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OpenSSL 1.0.2 Released

DamonHD Re:Obligatory reminder that an alternative exists (96 comments)

If you look at my code for example at random.hd.org then you'll notice that it's something that user space can do just as well. The kernel has no magic other than direct access to a few more noisy things.

Rgds

Damon

5 days ago
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OpenSSL 1.0.2 Released

DamonHD Re:OpenSSL and the Internet (96 comments)

+1

The security should work independently of details of the underlying medium and without relying on its exact implementation. A byte stream (observed or not) is just that. Likewise an unreliable packet stream.

This is what we have abstraction for.

Rgds

Damon

5 days ago
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Why Run Linux On Macs?

DamonHD Re:a better question (592 comments)

Oooooo, thanks for that. Damaged one of my eyes falling off a Segway (1st world geek problem or what?) and anything that helps is welcome!

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re:No Cheap Power (172 comments)

We don't have peak demand from aircon in the UK (GB grid) either. Ours comes on (winter) evenings when, for example, meals are being cooked for kids home from school.

Do you have a link to your utility's site?

Yes, of course you shouldn't take my word on spec over your local guy's, but I'm stubbornly continuing to assert that your local load profile can't be completely flat and with rock-steady frequency even if not as tortured as elsewhere.

For reference here's my 'local' grid (GB) live balancing stats:

http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/b...

I am truly sympathetic to your wish to overcomplicating things and making them more complex and fragile: I just don't think this stuff will be 'over'-complexity for a huge chunk of the purchasers, it will be more like an essential and pay for itself in upfront balancing payments off the purchase cost in many cases.

Here are a few of my wacky ideas on the topic, one of which got me through the first round of a competition sponsored by National Grid and another of which has been discussed with an electricity supplier:

http://www.earth.org.uk/domest...

I will still try to turn some of these into niche (but simple) versions of consumer products. You only buy these ones if they meet a need for you and no one else is lumbered with the extra complexity...

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re:This "invention" will bring down the grid (172 comments)

Goodness, that's rather offhand and completely wrong at lots of levels.

Clearly there a peaks at national and supra-national level. Have a look at some of these for just one example:

http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/b...

Flattening demand would reduce costs of infrastructure that otherwise has to cope with unrestrained peaks; we already do this so it is only a matter of degree and where exactly we do it. Further, allowing demand to follow non-dispatchable load will also help make better use of renewables as well as cope with failure of conventional plant more gracefully.

Also, different parts of the grid will have different problems, eg while the grid may be fine overall at a given moment one substation may be having a torrid time with its much smaller consumer sample, eg that may have a bunch of locals arriving off the same bus or train putting the water for a cuppa, or have a cable fault in one phase, or whatever.

Further, sensible secure schemes will devolve as much as possible of the detailed timing to the appliance so that they cannot all be commanded to 'come on' or 'go off' at once but apply a randomisation algorithm much as Ethernet does for example.

Just because you may have decided up front that there are no good solutions doesn't mean there aren't any. Some of the people that have them know a lot more about stats than you and I both, so can we at least accept that there are entire chunks of maths and computing that have interesting secure distributed randomised algorithms that deal with exactly these sorts of issues all the time?

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re: Silly assumptions. (172 comments)

So, I'm all in favour of efficiency, but it's invariably seen as some kind of left wing conspiracy at least in the US and UK in certain sections of the population and politics.

Thanks to that improved efficiency my (somewhat larger and nicer) fridge/freezer uses half the energy of my previous one and I don't call being gouged on price, for example, though I remain cross with some misrepresentation by the manufacturer.

Our government has been rather cynically watering down building efficiency standards for very short term and minimal savings while condemning people to a future of inflated bills, which it also complains about. Also our trades seem often to regard the care required to improve building performance as an assault on their manliness or something.

Remember also that shifting and reduction are separate worthy goals. A more efficient device that drew all its power at the least good moments would be sub-optimal.

We have to work on all fronts, even if not ideal.

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re: Silly assumptions. (172 comments)

Have you looked at the credit ratings of, for example, the big EU utilities?

The tone of your text is unnecessarily harsh and I think that you are also completely wrong factually.

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re:No thanks. (172 comments)

If you want to claim absolute rights to kill or maim others in order not to bother putting a sweater on, then I'd go along with that.

The world is not binary and we don't have absolute rights to do unnecessary things that hurt others.

72F is warmer than I would like a house, and might be foolish if you haven't bothered insulating and/or are expecting others to subsidise you, eg with external effects of burning coal on their health, but I can't really see 72F as being a felony on its own.

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re:There are certain appliances that this works fo (172 comments)

You can only adjust the frequency of the whole grid by adding or removing gigawatts of load (or generation)! Or have the same effect by cutting into someone's mains supply and mucking around with it directly, in which case they might as well blow up all the target's stuff outright!

So the point is is possible to do some stuff with *NO* additional comms or security hazards, and some with some highly secure comms and very constrained changes in behaviour with those comms across the Internet or not. All are useful.

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re:No thanks. (172 comments)

Slippery-slope arguments are rather weak by themselves: what happened if we were to accept any old slippery slope argument, what would happen next?

However, it is true that the energy system is changing, since for all sorts of reasons we can't carry on as we were; one element of the new system will be trying to get people to use preferentially energy when it is abundant and defer use when it is not. ToD pricing and dynamic demand are two likely elements of that.

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re:No Cheap Power (172 comments)

I don't know your situation and location of course but it it highly likely that your utility guy is simply wrong. I'd be most surprised if any significant grid does not need "balancing" services of some sort. Some of those can be provided centrally or distributed over appliances. Both have some costs in terms of energy, and both have other cons and pros.

Tell me more about your service district; I'm intrigued.

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re: Silly assumptions. (172 comments)

You are wrong.

The change from selling more energy to selling services which happen to involve energy is called "decoupling", eg selling streetlighting rather than the energy to run street lights. The market is already changing and demand falling and utilities are up sh*t creek if they don't change to avoid a "death spiral".

Eg http://uk.reuters.com/article/...

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re:Silly assumptions. (172 comments)

The physics is very simple here: not heating/cooling your house takes less energy than doing so constantly, and many heating/cooling systems will work more efficiently somewhere near their maximum output.

If you let temperature drift too far from the set-point that you want then your system may struggle to get back there in time, but it is possible to work back from the set point and time and have the system work out when to come on to get you there ("optimum on" in trade jargon), and also thus the furthest the temperature can be allowed to drift.

Partly that depends on outside temperatures ("weather compensation") and largely it depends on the capacity of your heating/cooling system and how well insulated your house is.

(I try to do some of this very crudely in our OpenTRV device and I'm sure that I do not have it right yet, and I am allowing 3C setback if the system is fairly confident that you are not likely to be around.)

BTW, wholesale electricity prices can go *negative* in extreme cases and up 100x normal at the other end, so though only maybe 50% of your retail bill is the energy cost, there is still plenty of scope for passing on big savings if the user wants to accept time-of-day pricing.

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re:Radio communications from electric company? (172 comments)

And as I say, it has very mixed results. Not all good, not all bad. But also a lot of RF pollution.

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re:no thanks (172 comments)

Crude net metering is very crude economically for all sides as it does not allow microgenerators to charge a premium when their power is most valuable and it forces the 'grid' to buy it at retail rates all the time even when it is not valuable. You're solving the wrong problem. There are examples of how to fix the politics and the economics.

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re:Silly assumptions. (172 comments)

TMP112

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re:no thanks (172 comments)

Do you think that energy prices are NOT going up anyway?

Managing the grid well should help keep those price rises in check.

I could point you to the figures that the GB grid spends on balancing, and cutting that would be nice. A smarter grid with smarter appliances does that.

But wholesale fuel (eg natural gas) prices have had a far bigger effect over recent years.

So, was that a straw man argument?

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re:No thanks. (172 comments)

BTW, what we're working should give extra savings on top of district heating (where it makes sense, which is not everywhere). An early installation was in a flat on a district heating system in Denmark...

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago
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The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

DamonHD Re:No Cheap Power (172 comments)

Your utility rate still implicitly contains a cost for providing peaking power and frequency support amongst other things.

If your appliances do some of the work silently then some of those costs go away for your supplier / ISO.

Rgds

Damon

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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RIM co-CEO stomps off in huff

DamonHD DamonHD writes  |  more than 3 years ago

DamonHD writes "The BBC asks in an interview if "security" issues for example in the Middle East and India have now been resolved and Mike Lazaridis throws a hissy fit. It seems to me the question is fair, however uncomfortable."
Link to Original Source
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Reducing UK housing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050

DamonHD DamonHD writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DamonHD writes "The Low-carbon Strategy from the Environmental Change Institute http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/ at Oxford University identifies the policies needed to deliver an 80% cut in carbon emissions from UK homes by 2050. These cuts are achievable but will require a quantum leap in commitment from Government and a radical new approach.

The policies have been designed not only to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, but also to be delivered equitably. The poorest households will be prioritised for assistance and fuel poverty will be wiped out. The scientific consensus is that for the UK to play its part in helping the world avoid a rise of more than 2C, we must reduce our carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. The household sector represents 27% of our total emissions and achieving deep cuts here is an imperative.

The low-carbon revolution starts at home.



Their previous work at http://www.40percent.org.uk/ from two years ago is also very interesting and thorough.

I'm amazed to find that with some simple measures at my home/office my family seems to have hit something like the 2014 targets already..."

Link to Original Source
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Dead Milk Tanker for Zero-Carbon London Home

DamonHD DamonHD writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DamonHD writes "Is it possible for a small urban (London, UK) home to be powered entirely by locally-collected Renewable Energy, both for electricity and for heating?

An important issue is that there is only ~20% of the solar energy per day in winter compared to summer, so one way to make the whole project more likely to work is to store energy from the summertime to the winter.

This article looks at storing enough heat energy out of the ~26GJ used by one house per year for water and space heating to last the winter, 'charged' by solar thermal panels year-round.

And yes somewhere between 1 and 3 dead water-filled milk tankers buried in the the ground could hold the required energy!"

Link to Original Source
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UK store chain giving away 1m CFLs on Saturday

DamonHD DamonHD writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DamonHD writes "Timed for when the clocks go back, Sainsbury's said it wanted to encourage people to save electricity during the dark months ahead.

To claim their bulb, customers will have to take an energy-saving pledge that urges people to recycle bags and switch to showers from baths.

Sainsbury's typically sells an average of one million green lightbulbs a year."

Link to Original Source
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DamonHD DamonHD writes  |  about 8 years ago

DamonHD writes "Is hungover New-Year-Europe having an Internet outage to go along with the mandatory seasonal glitches in the banking networks ("I was standing in the pub and suddenly all my cards stopped working")?"

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