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France Wants To Get Rid of Diesel Fuel

MtHuurne Re:Political nonsense (139 comments)

I'm all for electric and the end of burning fuel to drive around but you have to ask the question of WHERE that electricity is coming from to charge up your car?
Is the problem just being shifted?

In France, a lot of electricity comes from nuclear power plants, so in terms of CO2 reduction switching to electric driving would help. But that transition is going to take a while; it's unrealistic to expect everyone who now drives a diesel to buy an electric as their next car.

As far as I know, and this seems to be supported by your links, modern diesels don't pollute more than modern petrol cars. So if this would be about reducing pollution, they should crack down on old and poorly maintained diesels.

I don't know about France, but in the Netherlands students get free (but limited) public transport use, so very few students drive a car. That keeps a lot of old and poorly maintained cars off the road.

2 hours ago

US Intelligence Unit Launches $50k Speech Recognition Competition

MtHuurne Out of touch with reality (62 comments)

So they want a complex problem solved in 2 months (first test on Feb 4 and there are holidays inbetween), for which they will pay a relatively low amount and only to the winners. Even if the result wouldn't be used for spying, I don't think there would be many takers.

about a week ago

The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia

MtHuurne Incorrect statement about Dutch health care system (231 comments)

In Holland, everyone pays into the state health care system during their working years, with the money then disbursed to pay for later-in-life expenses

The Dutch health care system never worked like that. They might be confused with the pension system, where people save for their generation's retirement. While heavily regulated, the pension system is not run by the state.

The Dutch health care system is actually a lot like Obamacare, with private insurance companies which are not allowed to turn down people who apply. The system was redesigned in 2006: before that, people with low to moderate salaries were insured via their employer, while now all people pick and pay their own insurer. The increased competition in the new system hasn't stopped medical costs from rising though.

about two weeks ago

Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

MtHuurne Re:Not a surprise, but is it just one ingredient? (422 comments)

Here in the Netherlands, if something is named "juice", it can by law only contain actual juice. The water + sugar + juice mixes are named "nectar". The real stuff is more expensive (by about 50%; depends on the type of fruit), but it's available in any super market.

about a month ago

In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

MtHuurne Cheap way to score political points (489 comments)

Asking for heavier penalties is a simple way for a politician to make it appear they're doing something about an issue without actually solving it. In terms of deterrence, I think a 6-month sentence should be enough: online harassers are not thinking "it's only 6 months," they're thinking "I'm anonymous, they'll never catch me."

about a month ago

PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

MtHuurne Re:PETA won't be happy until all animals are extin (367 comments)

In the particular case of dogs, I'd argue that having contact with humans is their natural way of living. Over ten thousand years of contact with humans has shaped the species. There is no way you can consider any dog to be not exposed to humans: it's in their genes.

about a month and a half ago

Chrome For Mac Drops 32-bit Build

MtHuurne Re:NPAPI plugins won't work at all in Chrome anywa (129 comments)

As far as I know, NPAPI plugins can't be sandboxed effectively. So they are indeed security risks. You could argue whether it is Google or the end user that should decide what risks to take with plugins, but given how easily people click "Yes" without even reading the question, I don't really blame them for not leaving this to the end user.

As for an open web, what did plugins ever do to open the web? The most popular plug-in is Flash, which is proprietary. Silverlight is proprietary; it has an open source clone that never actually worked when I tried. Java is open source but Java Applets are pretty much obsolete today.

I do share the concern that Chrome is becoming too dominant. Moving to PPAPI plugins would not be a step forward, but phasing out plugins altogether would be.

about 2 months ago

The Quiet Revolution of Formula E Electric Car Racing

MtHuurne Re: Actually... (116 comments)

I think the eco aspect is not in the race itself, but in F1 acting as R&D for technologies that will eventually end up in consumer cars. By having fuel restrictions, they're forcing the engineers to look for ways to do more with the same amount of fuel.

about 3 months ago

Tox, a Skype Replacement Built On 'Privacy First'

MtHuurne Re:Key exchange (174 comments)

That's a good idea. You could even present the hash in a more accessible way, like picking two words from a dictionary or showing three icons from a fixed set.

about 3 months ago

Tox, a Skype Replacement Built On 'Privacy First'

MtHuurne Re:Key exchange (174 comments)

It could be handled like SSH: when you get an invite to connect to someone, their key fingerprint is displayed. If you are paranoid, you can verify the fingerprint via alternative channels. Otherwise, you blindly accept it. In either case, you are protected against man in the middle attacks after that first connection is made. Also, if you did accept a fake key, any time you try to talk to that person over a network where the man in the middle is not present will trigger a key mismatch, revealing that an attack took place on the initial connect.

about 3 months ago

Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane"

MtHuurne Re:"Net neutrality", my ass. (91 comments)

It's a buzzword for demanding federal control of the internet, to remedy the government-caused problem of last mile providers who are protected from competition by local cable monopoly privileges.

What kind of additional control would net neutrality give the government over the internet besides the enforcing net neutrality itself?

Besides, I doubt any possible negative side effects of net neutrality would come close to the problem of ongoing massive warrantless spying, so if you're worried about government control over the internet, this seems like the wrong battle to pick.

All we need to solve the problem of the Comcasts and the Time-warners of the world is to expose them to competition.

That may not be easy... The big telcos lobby for laws protecting them from municipal broadband, but as far as I know they are not protected from commercial rivals, yet few are challenging them.

Here in the Netherlands when it comes to broadband competition, on ADSL there is a lot of competition because the government forced the leading telco (KPN, the former state telco) to share their telephone lines with other ISPs, since those lines were laid with public money. On cable, for some reason such a line sharing wasn't enforced, so two big companies (UPC and Ziggo) bought all the local cable networks and are now trying to merge, meaning there will be one giant cable company for the entire country (*). On fiber, there used to be a lot of different ISPs, but KPN bought most of them and a few other failed (probably because of mismanagement), so there is very little competition left there as well.

(*) I do agree with the cable companies' reasoning that they are not competing against each other anyway, since they don't operate in the same areas: every house has at most one cable connection. But in my opinion the line sharing should have been enforced for cable too, since those networks were also built with public money. But they were owned by local governments and sold for a lot of money during the dot-com boom (unlike KPN, which was owned by the state and then privatized), so I guess it would be unfair to change the conditions for network use after selling them.

My point is that mergers and acquisitions will reduce competition, even in situations where there are no corrupt laws blocking healthy competition. So I think it's wishful thinking that if you allow competition it will automatically come into existence, regardless of properties of the specific market.

There is also a practical aspect: it is inefficient to have to run several cables to each house. In my opinion, ideally each house would be connected to a single fiber optic cable, over which an unlimited number of ISPs could offer their services. The last mile is not a good place to look for competition; the rest of the service is.

about 3 months ago

Radioactive Wild Boars Still Roaming the Forests of Germany

MtHuurne Re:Prevailing winds? (212 comments)

I don't think the prevailing winds matter all that much: it is the winds in the first days after the accident that matter, since during that time the radioactive particles were still in the air. I know that here in the Netherlands (west of Germany) in the months after the accident some types of crops were destroyed because they were considered unsafe for consumption.

about 3 months ago

Switching Game Engines Halfway Through Development

MtHuurne Re:Version control (127 comments)

Git is used to maintain the Linux kernel; I don't think any game has a rate of commits that comes even close to that. The problem you're referring to is probably that Git is not designed to handle large binary data efficiently. That doesn't make it a joke, but it could disqualify it for a particular use.

about 3 months ago

California Man Sues Sony Because Killzone: Shadowfall Isn't Really 1080p

MtHuurne Re:more power to him (286 comments)

Unfortunately the site hosting TFA from that story seems to be gone. In my opinion the most deceptive thing about 80's game boxes wasn't the cover art: it was pretty clear it wasn't representative of the in-game graphics. However, a lot of games were available on multiple systems and the box would often feature screen shots from a different system. Some had fine print stating which system the shots were from and some didn't even have that, but in either case there were more than a few game boxes with screen shots that looked significantly better than the game inside the box would.

about 4 months ago

Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

MtHuurne Re:I know I'm not expected to RTFA... (322 comments)

After reading the article from dmbrun's post, it seems what they're doing is a single code base, more shared APIs across Windows variants and a single store interface. So it's mostly focused on making it easy for developers to support multiple Windows variants. A smart move, but nothing revolutionary.

about 4 months ago

Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

MtHuurne I know I'm not expected to RTFA... (322 comments)

The third link is not actually a link, since the <a> tag is missing the href attribute. I wanted to check what the CEO actually said, since "unify" could mean a lot of things.

Are they going for x86-64 only, killing the ARM-based WIndows RT, as Hot Hardware is reporting? They'd still have to keep ARM support for Windows Mobile. Perhaps they should have put Windows Mobile plus some tablet extensions on the low-budget tablets, that would have fit people's expectations a lot better.

Are they going for a single code base? In that case there would be multiple products created from that code base, so that doesn't tell us anything about the fate of Windows RT or any other specific products.

Are they going for a single product named Windows? While I think it would be good to drop the artificial home/pro/ultimate differentiation, having a different Windows for client and server use is still useful. Although that could be handled by having a different default configuration rather than an entirely different product.

about 4 months ago

ARM Launches Juno Reference Platform For 64-bit Android Developers

MtHuurne Re:What the fuck is this thing? (69 comments)

Yes, it's a reference board. What's new about it is that it contains a 64-bit ARM processor.

For what it's worth, I thought the summary was very informative.

about 5 months ago

The Rise and Fall of the Cheat Code

MtHuurne Old games were more difficult (178 comments)

Another reason cheat codes existed is that without them, a lot of players couldn't finish the game. I think there are several reasons for this: the arcade roots, a larger percentage of hardcore gamers, the need to prevent the player from finishing an expensive game quickly after buying or renting it and game design being a much younger discipline.

Don't get me wrong, I actually prefer today's easier games, but it does mean that you don't really need a cheat code anymore to finish most games. Instead of having the difficulty increase a lot as the levels progress, games now have selectable difficulty from the start and achievements to add challenge for more talented and/or experienced players.

about 5 months ago

Google Announces 'End-To-End' Encryption Extension For Chrome

MtHuurne Re:But can you actually trust it? (100 comments)

Chrome extensions are tied to your Google account, and Google has pretty much complete control over them. Chrome, as a browser, does not need to be tied to a Google account (although it will suggest that you do so) and its automatic updating can be disabled.

Not updating your browser will also leave you vulnerable. You could download updated Chrome installs from a generic download page, using a different browser and an IP address that is not associated with you, instead of accepting (possibly customized) automatic updates. That would be safe under the assumption that the generic Chrome build is not trojaned.

More to the point, though, I can securely send messages even though a compromised browser, if I encrypt the messages externally.

True, but then it would be more convenient to send messages from an external mail application and not use web mail at all.

about 6 months ago



Using a Ground Source Heat Pump System in China

MtHuurne MtHuurne writes  |  more than 3 years ago

MtHuurne (602934) writes "We regularly read about China's problems with pollution. You may have heard that China is also investing a lot in renewable energy such as hydro, solar and wind. However, there are also smaller scale initiatives like people installing a ground source heat pump in their home. The article documents the installation of such an efficient heating system with text, photos and diagrams and discusses the costs and expected savings."
Link to Original Source


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