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You're Doing It All Wrong: Solar Panels Should Face West, Not South

Existential Wombat Re:What late afternoon sun? (327 comments)

Pro tip: "afternoon" means before sunset, by definition. If the sun sets at 15:30, then 14:30 is "late afternoon."

By definition I thought it meant, well, ‘after noon’...

about two weeks ago

London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

Existential Wombat Re:Well... (127 comments)

Driverless trains have existed in London for many years, too. For example on the DLR: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

There is still a "Driver", but all they do is operate the doors, make passenger announcements, and are ready to take over in the case of an emergency or a system failure.

Doesn’t he have to feed the monkey as well?

about 2 months ago

Fusion Reactor Concept Could Be Cheaper Than Coal

Existential Wombat Re:Wait... (315 comments)

That would be Cold Fusion.t

Someone should combine the best of both technologies and invent coal fusion.

about 2 months ago

Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

Existential Wombat Re:So, it has come to this. (742 comments)

I don’t think they can get out of paying for earned vacation in all cases. Certainly not in CA.

about 2 months ago

California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Existential Wombat Re:Read the GP's comment, fuckface. (288 comments)

I guess I don't get the mathematics of poverty. If I'm going somewhere with a friend, I was already going there anyway and wouldn't charge them gas money. I'd only charge if I was taking them somewhere I had no intention of going and I wanted to be a dick about it.

This is not what it’s about in general. It’s about providing a ride. Not picking up someone on the way you were happening to be traveling.

about 3 months ago

California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Existential Wombat Re: Can we please cann these companies what they (288 comments)

The friend paid $5 for a $3 share of the cost. That's where the "profit" comes from. And I wouldn't be surprised if the original poster agrees with your assertion that this isn't a profit.

I am dumbfounded you cannot see the error here.

about 3 months ago

SanDisk Releases 512GB SD Card

Existential Wombat Re:Fahrenheit? WTHolyF? (210 comments)

Both scales have their advantages and disadvantages. Thing is, most of the world has standardised on Celsius and is easy to convert to scientific units (kelvin).

0C means ice, 100C means boiling. Two common and dangerous points. Most everyday activity falls within that range, and it's easy to tell what something that is 80C is going to be like because it is 80% of boiling water temperature. There really is no reason to stick with Fahrenheit other than tradition.

Weather dude. It’s easier to relate on a scale from 0-100+F which you have been used to for the last 50 years, what the real temperature out there is, rather than 0-30. Well, at least it is for me, as an old fart with a physics drgree, YMMV.

about 3 months ago

Scientists Capture the Sound Made By a Single Atom

Existential Wombat Re:10^5 slower? (100 comments)

10 xor 5 = 15
1010 xor 0101 = 1111

F that.

about 3 months ago

Is It Time To Split Linux Distros In Two?

Existential Wombat Re:Nonsense (282 comments)

How come we can’t mark the OP article Troll?

about 3 months ago

Alleged Massive Account and Password Seizure By Russian Group

Existential Wombat Re:because writing propet software (126 comments)

Writing proper sentances is also hard.

So is spelling, apparently.

about 4 months ago

Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

Existential Wombat Wow, what a non-story. (281 comments)

Incisive journalism!

about 5 months ago

Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe For a Better Oven

Existential Wombat Re:the real question is... (228 comments)

If I want a steak like a steakhouse, I want 800C

640C should be enough for anyone.

about 6 months ago

Swiss Space Systems Announces Plan To Offer World's Cheapest Zero-G Flights

Existential Wombat Re:Cant be cheap!!! (64 comments)


about 7 months ago

CERN's Particle Smashers List Their Toughest Tech Challenges

Existential Wombat Re:CERN Computing Center (31 comments)

Some numbers about the computing power at the CERN computing center (July 2013):

Number of machines: 17,000 processors with 85,000 cores (Source)
All physics computing is done using the Linux operating system and commodity PC hardware. There are few Solaris server machines as well, especially for databases (Oracle).

And Yes, it can run Crysis.

about 7 months ago

New Mars Crater Spotted In Before-and-After Pictures

Existential Wombat Re:Meters? (41 comments)

Gas or Electric meters?

about 7 months ago

Professors: US "In Denial" Over Poor Maths Standards

Existential Wombat Re:Propaganda (688 comments)

You are using a contrived example to "prove" your point by taking a trivial problem and taking the most absurd route possible to solve it. The "Common Core" method (which, by the way, is the method that most people will use intuitively) is used to reduce the complexity of nontrivial problems, not to make a mockery of the trivial ones.

By way of example, what's 426 - 298? Well...
298 + 2 = 300
300 + 100 = 400
400 + 26 = 426

And now... drumroll please... 100 + 26 + 2 = 128.

And you and I both know that if you had faced this problem in the real world that this is exactly how you would have solved it. You probably wouldn't have drawn a box or any such nonsense, but you would have reduced it to manageable chunks like that because that's the sensible way to solve it.

Sorry to have rained on your common core bashing session.

I really don’t get what that crap above is about, but doing it in my head I just took off 300 and added 2.

So you might think you know how I would do that problem, but you’re wrong.

about 7 months ago

SanDisk Announces 4TB SSD, Plans For 8TB Next Year

Existential Wombat Re:How often does your workstation hibernate? (264 comments)

Fundamentally, why are swap and hibernation in separate files? Hibernation is just swapping everything out, as if the computer temporarily had 0 RAM.

Because that way you can get back to having a responding computer in a reasonable time, since it can just do a sequential read to put the working set back into memory. Also, because kernel needs to write its normally non-swappable state somewhere - what processes are running, what files are open, what virtual memory space and address do the pages in the swap file belong to, what interrupt handles are installed, etc.

Plus your OS may actually have swapped out some memory and to to get to exactly the same state will need to access that swap file content. So overwriting with RAM contents is going to create potentially an unstable system state.

about 7 months ago

Death Wish Meets GPS: iPhone Theft Victims Confronting Perps

Existential Wombat Re:What the police have (664 comments)

They forgot to list apathy.

They could’t be bothered.

about 7 months ago

Jack A. Kinzler, Savior of the Skylab Mission, Dies At 94

Existential Wombat Re:Let me help (34 comments)

Never forget the importance of capitals.

I had to help my uncle Jack off a horse once.

about 9 months ago



Goodbye Free Streaming...

Existential Wombat Existential Wombat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Existential Wombat (1701124) writes "As expected, Netflix has today announced the end of integrated unlimited streaming video plans. For me, with 2 DVDs and a streaming capable box, this adds about $5 a month to my bill:

We are separating unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming into two separate plans to better reflect the costs of each. Now our members have a choice: a streaming only plan, a DVD only plan, or both.

Your current $14.99 a month membership for unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs will be split into 2 distinct plans:

      Plan 1: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month
      Plan 2: Unlimited DVDs, 2 out at-a-time (no streaming) for $11.99 a month

Your price for getting both of these plans will be $19.98 a month ($7.99 + $11.99). You don't need to do anything to continue your memberships for both unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs.

These prices will start for charges on or after September 1, 2011.

You can easily change or cancel your unlimited streaming plan, unlimited DVD plan, or both, by going to the Plan Change page in Your Account.

We realize you have many choices for home entertainment, and we thank you for your business. As always, if you have questions, please feel free to call us at 1-888-357-1516.

–The Netflix Team"

Subverting the Great Firewall

Existential Wombat Existential Wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Existential Wombat (1701124) writes "Engadget has a story — A report this morning from the South China Morning Post claims that Amazon's 3G-boasting Kindle is selling fast on the so-called "gray" market in China because of its 3G internet connectivity and browser. The device, it seems, offers the Chinese a rare opportunity to side-step the "great Firewall" of the Chinese government, which restricts access to sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Amazon does not officially sell the Kindle in China, which has the world's largest internet-connected population at 420 million. The Kindle, which seems to have been overlooked by the Chinese authorities thus far, makes use of Amazon's own network, Whispernet."
Link to Original Source

Charged Particle Storm on the Way

Existential Wombat Existential Wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Existential Wombat (1701124) writes "From New Scientist (8/1)

An unusually complex magnetic eruption on the sun has flung a large cloud of electrically charged particles towards Earth. When the cloud hits, which could be anytime now, it could spark aurorae in the skies around the poles and pose a threat to satellites – though probably not a particularly severe one.

On 1 August, a small solar flare erupted above sunspot 1092. It would not have raised many eyebrows, except that a large filament of cool gas stretching across the sun's northern hemisphere also chose that moment to explode into space.

Despite being separated by hundreds of thousands of kilometres, the two events may be linked. Images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory hint at a shock wave travelling from the flare into the filament. "These are two distinct phenomena but they are obviously related," says Len Culhane, a solar physicist at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London."

Link to Original Source

Cox discontinues Usenet - Pr0n probably to blame

Existential Wombat Existential Wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Existential Wombat (1701124) writes "From the (in)appropriately named Cox Communications, citing declining usenet usage (no mention of bandwidth being an issue, or that they no doubt will be getting a nice kickback from Giganews for those desparate enough to sign up:

Effective June 30, 2010, Cox Communications will discontinue Usenet service to our subscribers.

Declining newsgroup usage in recent years has highlighted the need to focus our resources on other priorities, such as increasing our Internet speeds and providing new services, including Cox Media Store and Share.

We understand that our newsgroup subscribers may want to continue accessing Usenet. Therefore, we have worked with leading newsgroup service provider Giganews to offer special pricing for Cox subscribers....

$15++ a month for something Cox provided as a part of the service. Of course they will be reducing everyone's montly tarrif by the value of the servoce they no longer provide. Yea right."


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