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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

GWBasic Re:The Internet answer (516 comments)

The irony is that, with solar panel and battery costs plummeting; this will be a viable option in 5-10 years.

about a month ago
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Amazon's Echo Chamber

GWBasic It's a marketing gimmick for Christmas (112 comments)

The Echo just comes across as a marketing gimmick for Christmas. It's the high-tech equivalent of buying someone a Snuggie or a Chia Pet.

about a month and a half ago
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Colleges Face New 'Gainful Employment' Regulations For Student Loans

GWBasic Re:Solution: Fail the students their senior year (331 comments)

It works better if most fail out at the end of Freshman or Sophomore year. Keep a good reputation among people who don't know better, and set a low bar for acceptance. People will react, "you got into !!!"

I went to a 2nd-tier tech school that did that. So many people from my freshman class dropped out, it wasn't even funny.

about 2 months ago
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Cutting the Cord? Time Warner Loses 184,000 TV Subscribers In One Quarter

GWBasic Re:I welcome the Death Spiral (392 comments)

What I find even more interesting, as ad money dries up, is that we're seeing some real journalism targeting advertisers. Google John Oliver's rant about how horrible sugar is for your health. I doubt you'd see a rant like that on any ad-supported TV show!

about 2 months ago
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Tim Cook: "I'm Proud To Be Gay"

GWBasic Re:News for Nerds? (764 comments)

Homosexuality is still illegal in India and other parts of the world.

about 2 months ago
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How Apple Watch Is Really a Regression In Watchmaking

GWBasic I don't "gotta have it." (415 comments)

I remember that the first iPhone was a real "gotta have it." I'd been waiting for a web browser and email in my pocket for years.

Smart Watch? I'm not really sure. I like my self-winding watch. It's not very accurate, but when I need time to the minute I just look at my phone.

I think the only appeal of the smart watch is that it'll vibrate, so it's easier to feel.

about 2 months ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

GWBasic It's the fees, dummy! (558 comments)

None of the comments seem to address the crux of the issue. From the article: "This is huge for the merchants who are losing a significant amount of money on every credit card transaction."

Credit card fees are HUGE. Imagine if ACH deducted 2-3% of your paycheck every week. You'd scream bloody murder! The article doesn't even mention chargebacks...

I'd consider this a "shot over the bow" towards credit card fees and chargebacks. Apple or Google's system may win in the end; but Visa and Amex will need to lower their fees significantly.

about 2 months ago
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We Need Distributed Social Networks More Than Ello

GWBasic Easier said than done (269 comments)

I once started writing a distributed social network, and then life took me on a journey. (I'm still finding the time, though.)

The reason why we don't have one yet is that writing a distributed social network is HARD. It's a much harder problem than inventing the web or email, because the security stakes are much higher. The consequences of spamming and spoofing are even worse than what we see in email; thus an author of a distributed social network needs to solve this problem early in the process.

Another problem is encrypted communication. Https requires buying certificates, thus a well-designed distributed social network needs a means of key distribution that allows a casual server operator to get running without purchasing a certificate.

When I met the Diaspora team, they were very ambitious; but they just weren't experienced enough for the task. Something like a distributed social network requires a team with significant experience, much more then a group of fresh grads will have.

about 2 months ago
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Hacking USB Firmware

GWBasic Re: yaay! (97 comments)

It has for years.

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

GWBasic Re: Generation and distribution (517 comments)

Furthermore, when home solar really works, I'm ditching my gas furnace, and getting a 2nd electric car. I'll still be on the grid long after I stop buying petroleum and natural gas.

about 3 months ago
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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

GWBasic Re:Invasive species (385 comments)

Today's it's 75% of my trash. I pulled a whole bunch of Oriental Bittersweet down last weekend. The stuff is taking over my town's woods and killing all the native plants. It's loaded with seeds, so the only proper way to dispose of it is either burning, or the municipal waste stream. (In my case, the municipal waste stream is a trash-burning power plant.)

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

GWBasic Re: Read Slashdot (479 comments)

When you get questions like that, politely end the interview.

about 3 months ago
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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

GWBasic Invasive species (385 comments)

In MA, we're so supposed to put invasive species in the trash instead of compost.

about 3 months ago
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Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices

GWBasic Re:+1 for this comment (610 comments)

This really buggered me, because until the U2 album incident; only items that I added myself showed up in my iTunes library. Apple already has plenty of ways to offer free downloads through the iTunes store; so there's no reason for them to automatically put it in everyone's account.

about 3 months ago
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Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

GWBasic It's a business (546 comments)

Schools are in the business of producing degrees and protecting their reputation. They aren't in the "teaching" business. If I knew more about computer science when I was in high school; I'd have applied to very different schools. Unfortunately, I needed a few years in my career to really learn how to judge a school.

about 4 months ago
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Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

GWBasic Re:Safety vs Law (475 comments)

There are many parts of the country where speed limits are so ridiculously low that judges routinely throw out tickets. Remember, speed limits aren't determined by safety studies; they're determined by politics and local convention.

about 4 months ago
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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

GWBasic Re:Works fine (250 comments)

On the other hand, you have touched the damned dirty communism, and now have cooties.

I chose to move back to my hometown based on the quality of its services. There's plenty of towns to choose from!

about 5 months ago
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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

GWBasic Re:Works fine (250 comments)

My hometown has municipal broadband, it's had it since 2000.

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your postcards.

When I finally moved back a few months ago, the technicians who set me up kept raving about how awesome it is to work for my town's municipal broadband. We have municipal electricity, TV, and phone too!

about 5 months ago
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The Misleading Fliers Comcast Used To Kill Off a Local Internet Competitor

GWBasic Works fine (250 comments)

My hometown has municipal broadband, it's had it since 2000. It works much better than Comcast, and they're much easier to work with.

about 5 months ago
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Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy

GWBasic Syncplicity solves it! (176 comments)

Syncplicity lets enterprises store files on their own servers, with an extra layer of authentication that prevents Syncplicity staff from getting to the files. It still allows for access to these files through a web browser. When enterprises use single-sign-on, users don't even realize that they're authenticating multiple times.

This is a very hard problem to solve for consumers, though. Most people don't have the time to set up their own cloud servers.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Programming on the Chrome Laptop through the Web

GWBasic GWBasic writes  |  about 4 years ago

GWBasic writes "Last night I managed to get my hands on a free Google Chrome laptop during an HTML5 session on Google’s Campus. The famous Cr-48 to be exact. (Google called it their “Oprah” moment.) One topic often brought up when Google gave away these laptops is the inability to use a Chrome laptop to program. I’ve solved this issue with ObjectCloud, my open-source web server designed like an operating system."
Link to Original Source
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3 Tesla Employees Dead in Plane Crash

GWBasic GWBasic writes  |  more than 4 years ago

GWBasic writes "This morning I woke up at 8AM when my CPAP turned off due to a power outage; and I couldn't go back to sleep due to all the sirens going off. It turns out that 3 Tesla employees died in a plane crash when they accidentally flew into an electric transmission line. "All those killed aboard the twin-engine plane worked at Tesla Motors Inc., and the plane was owned by a lead engineer at the Palo Alto electric car company, the firm said." The crash resulted in most of Palo Alto, CA being without power for most of the day. This affected the headquarters of many major Silicon Valley companies, including Facebook and VMware. The irony is that the power outage extended to right before Tesla's dealership. The stoplight right before their dealship was working, but the stoplight immediately before them was out due to the outage."
Link to Original Source
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Where are you hosting your open-source projects

GWBasic GWBasic writes  |  about 5 years ago

GWBasic writes "Where are you hosting your open-source projects? Are you happy with your open-source's project's web site? Which open-source hosting site do you prefer? There are so many new ones popping up (github, Google Code, CodePlex,) that I'd like to understand which new ones the Slashdot community prefers.

Specifically, I'm currently trying to find a good site to host my open-source project. Ideally, I'd like a web site that has both a message board and bug tracker. I'm very flexible on the actual program / protocol used for source control, although I have a strong preference for source code control systems that have an easy-to-learn GUI on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Most of my experience is with Perforce, so a protocol with a GUI that's about as easy-to-learn (or hard-to-learn,) is what I'm looking for. Perforce's Open-Source program is an option, although I'd rather not administer my own server.

For the past few days I've been experimenting with github after listing to Linus Torvalds talk about git. Although I agree that it sounds like git is theoretically better, I'm finding git's learning curve to be so steep that it's just getting in my way from actually getting work done."

Link to Original Source
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What Web Authentication Protocol Should I Support?

GWBasic GWBasic writes  |  more than 5 years ago

GWBasic writes "The recent article OpenID Fan Club Is Shrinking implies that OpenID is failing in the marketplace. Are there any alternatives that are gaining support? I'm currently building a web development tool and I'd like to build in support for a distributed authentication system like OpenID. My requirement is that the protocol has to be so simple that a technical person can fully understand how the protocol works by reading a single web page. An additional requirement is that the protocol needs to be simple enough that an average programmer can write a client or server in an afternoon without resorting to an API.

Furthermore; as I believe that part of HTTP's success has to do with the fact that any programmer who can access a socket can make a program web-accessible; I would prefer a protocol that's so simple that a programmer who only has access to a socket can still work with the system.

For example, about a year ago, over the course of a few evenings, I put together a simple distributed authentication system that could be implemented in either PHP or ASP. The total amount of code written in either platform was only slightly more complicated then stereotypical username / password code. Is there an existing standard that is as simple as mine?"

Link to Original Source
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Silicon Valley Startup ships $1 / Watt solar panel

GWBasic GWBasic writes  |  about 7 years ago

GWBasic writes "At $1 per Watt, the iTunes of Solar Energy Has Arrived A Silicon Valley start-up called Nanosolar shipped its first solar panels — priced at $1 a watt. That's the price at which solar energy gets cheaper than coal. While other companies have been focusing their efforts on increasing the efficiency of solar panels, Nanosolar took a different approach. It focused on manufacturing."
Link to Original Source

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