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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Scot Seese Failure of Imagination; Utilities Could Sell Solar (475 comments)

This is simply a failure of imagination.

Utilities are in the business of sinking money into power generating and distribution capability, amortized over decades against customers' utility payments.

Nothing is preventing the utility company from building solar thermal or solar pv facilities for the purpose of selling the power. Nothing is preventing the utility company from purchasing rooftop pv systems and reselling them to homeowners, along with skilled installation.

Instead, they want to coast on coal plants and grid they built out, much of it long ago - and keep slamming your checks.

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

Scot Seese Unboxy Therapy Bent 2nd iPhone 6+ w/Witnesses (302 comments)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

The guy from Unbox Therapy, angry at the accusations that his original video was somehow staged, just posted a new video yesterday. In the new video, he unwraps a brand new iPhone 6+ on the street in Toronto with a handful of random witnesses watching, and again - by placing his thumbs on the back of the phone and applying moderate pressure- IMMEDIATELY produces a 25-30 degree bend in the unit, with the crease forming again at the bottom of the volume control cutouts.

In the new video, the iPhone deformed so badly the screen separated from the body.

He then attempted to bend a Moto X (2014 model) with visibly considerable force applied to it, and couldn't.

Is this really important? You decide. A lot of people - men, particularly - have carried their smartphones in the pockets of their jeans. If you're a big guy, and you have a tiny iPhone 5S in your back pocket and sit down in your car on a 3 hour road trip, the iPhone 5S won't deform because it's thicker, and much shorter in length, therefore providing a much shorter lever for your rump to apply force to. The iPhone 6+ however, being both thinner and significantly taller, provides a much longer lever for your 200+ pounds of man ass to press against the back of the car seat, making it quite conceivable that the iPhone 6+ WOULD have a bending problem in actual consumer use.

This issue has gotten enough viral traction and major media attention that it isn't going to go away. Worse yet for Apple is that unlike Antennagate, this problem won't be solved with a rubber bumper case costing Apple 20 cents manufacturing cost - NO, bent iPhone 6+ units still within their return period or covered by AppleCare are going to cost the company $200+ per unit, according to recent teardown parts costing estimates.

When, as educated tech consumers, are people going to stop confusing "smaller and thinner" as being "more advanced" ? All we are doing here, people, is sacrificing durability and battery life.

4 days ago
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Where Whistleblowers End Up Working

Scot Seese Deep Throat & Investigative Journalism (224 comments)

The machinations employed by government agencies and powerful corporations to punish whistle blowers clearly emphasizes the need for powerful investigative journalism, news organizations with the balls to stand up to steep fines and possible jail time to protect sources, and the absolute requirement that whistle blowers employ intelligence tradecraft to protect their anonymity at all costs.

It took several decades for FBI Deputy Director Mark Felt to be named as Deep Throat, and was only "outed" when Felt - then 91 and riddled with dementia - was named in a 2005 Vanity Fair article, largely only because Woodward confirmed his identity due to Felts' family having solved the mystery.

If you can't trust a journalist to sit in prison to protect your identity, and you are sitting on a time bomb of corporate or government malfeasance that needs to be made public, you had god damned better be sure to have that information delivered using methods that scrubs your identity from both the documents and the delivery.

about a week ago
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Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

Scot Seese Re:Memory doesn't cost that much. (262 comments)

I had this discussion with a coworker the other day. He and his wife have three children, which - as new parents, causes them to generate photos at approximately the firing rate of an MG42 installed inside a pillbox at Normandy.

So, Apple wants $20/month for their 1 TB iCloud plan.
DropBox wants $99/year for the same 1 TB.

Flickr will cheerfully store 1TB FOR FREE.

I told him this yesterday during a coffee chat - *blink* ... *blink* .. "I'm going to talk to (wifesname) about Flickr tonight."

Even though I myself am fully in Apple's hardware ecosystem (rMBP, iPhone 5S, AppleTV, Apple Time Capsule, iPad Air, yaddayadda) I prefer to use quality third-party solutions for apps and cloud storage. One of the ways Apple hooks you is with the burden of inconvenience should you ever decide to try something different. What if I wake up tomorrow and want to purchase a nice new LG G3 Android phone?

- All my photos are privately stored on Flickr, zero inconvenience
- All my iTunes library is duplicated on Google Play Music, thanks to the awesome Mac desktop toolbar app that constantly monitors your iTunes library, and duplicates it in your Google Play account, up to 20,000 songs FOR FREE.

For people who shoot tons of photos, those 1 megabyte JPGs are really whats gobbling up most of your cloud storage. iWork documents tend to be very small. Shove those photos onto Flickr and suddenly that free 5gb iCloud Drive storage is more than you'll ever use.

about two weeks ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Scot Seese Like An Episode of Stargate SG-1 (981 comments)

.. Where one half of the planets' population lives in floating cities with force fields, flourishing populations, and beam weapons while the other half of the planets' population lives in comparative squalor choked by food scarcity, overpopulation, pollution, health problems and cyclical, endless cycles of warfare and violence, all because an alien parasite in their bloodstream has blunted their intellectual development and retarded human development.

Sorry, replace "alien parasite" with "Radical Extremist Religion."

about two weeks ago
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Apple Edits iPhone 6's Protruding Camera Out of Official Photos

Scot Seese Re:The protruding lens was a mistake (425 comments)

So they had a choice:

Make the phone the thickness of the camera module, adding another 300 mAH to the internal battery and pushing run time another 3 hours,

- OR -

Make the phone 1mm thinner, because in the Braun electric shaver inspired design world inhabited by Jony Ive, making a product 1mm thinner than last years' model automatically implies some kind of year 2635 level of futuristic improvement.

Well, that and rounding the edges to match the design of a 4 year old iPod.

The Footure!

about two weeks ago
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Anand Lal Shimpi Retires From AnandTech

Scot Seese Re:Slightly pro-Intel reviews (152 comments)

Said it before, saying it again -

AMD is a budget chip for gaming enthusiasts who only want to drop a $200 motherboard + APU upgrade into their tower to play current gen games. I thought it was fairly well understood by now that AMD is marketed to guys living in the midwest running $60 towers with neon accent piping visible through the plexiglas side windows.

about a month ago
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Dramatic Shifts In Manufacturing Costs Are Driving Companies To US, Mexico

Scot Seese Mexico? (233 comments)

Given the cost of labor, geographical proximity and ease of distribution thanks to NAFTA, I'm surprised more companies aren't setting up manufacturing in Mexico. In one of the more stable states, not the heads-in-a-duffel-bag / threatening to collapse the government states.

Oh wait, I just answered my own question.

about a month ago
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Adam Carolla Settles With Podcasting Patent Troll

Scot Seese Re:Dammit! Adam you rolled over... (63 comments)

With the litigant (Personal Audio) having chosen to file in the Texas court system that historically favors the patent holders, Carolla's legal team probably advised him to take the deal, walk away without payment, secure future immunity and call it a victory.

It is unlikely that Personal Audio will file against other podcasters - even large ones, like Maron, Rogan, Nerdist, Ira Glass, LaPorte, et. al because the litigant discovered during filing that podcasters aren't making huge buckets of money. The largest, most successful podcasters - Carolla, Leo LaPorte, etc. are only clearing a few million dollars a year from advertising, merch and affiliate links - which may sound like a lot to you sitting at your computer, but to a large corporation is a rounding error. Which is why most of the trolls file against large companies. Like Apple, who would have salaried in-house counsel fight for a few weeks, until it was determined they could possibly lose, in which case they would quietly pay the troll $10 million to STFU and go away quietly.

about a month and a half ago
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Snowden: NSA Working On Autonomous Cyberwarfare Bot

Scot Seese Re:Snowden's comments at odds with his actions (194 comments)

Do you honestly think Edward Snowden will ever (willingly) set foot on U.S. soil again? Or live a long, healthy life?
He exposed and humiliated the United States intelligence apparatus in front of the world, and possibly compromised its ability to gather signals intelligence on several near-peer nations.

Forget a presidential pardon, he'll be lucky to live another five years without mysteriously dying in a hit and run car accident. If Putin's FSB agents would brazenly murder an expat Russian oligarch billionaire with polonium in London - a substance that can only be produced by a very small number of nuclear states - What makes you think the untimely accidental death of an American expat "traitor" can't be quietly arranged through some intelligence community negotiating?

about a month and a half ago
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Android Motorcycle Helmet/HUD Gains Funding

Scot Seese Small Market, Bad Product (126 comments)

I ride.

While discussing this with a fellow rider the other day, I pointed out one of the biggest challenges this product (and the sport) faces- Low helmet usage.

Motorcycling's largest segment - the cruiser / "Harley People" group - can't be bothered to wear helmets. Or protective gear. Or not drink before riding.

The other culture segment - the Sportbike guys - are split between two subgroups:

-the Squids who wear protective gear comprised of an Affliction t-shirt, Abercrombie board shorts, sunglasses, and (sometimes) a backwards baseball cap with and Ed Hardy design on it, or -

-the guys who actually wear gear. Usually a lid, jacket, and gloves at a minimum, sometimes pants & boots.
To this group, a $1300 helmet is a lot of money when a good, low mileage used sport bike costs only $4-6k.

Considering that a good DOT/Snell helmet from a number of manufacturers cost only $200-600, why do you want to pay a huge premium to place your existing gauges & instruments two feet closer to your face?

about a month and a half ago
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The ESports Athletes Who Tried To Switch Games

Scot Seese Ath-lete, noun - (146 comments)

athlete [ath-leet]
Noun

A person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.

Origin:
1520–30; Latin thlta Greek thlts, equivalent to thl- (variant stem of thleîn to contend for a prize, derivative of âthlos a contest) + -ts suffix of agency

I don't care what your APM is in Starcraft 2, you are NOT an athlete. You have a top 1% skill in SOMETHING, but it is NOT "athletic."

Therefore, the contest you are participating in is NOT A SPORT. Not anymore than chess or monopoly is a sport.

about 2 months ago
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Google Sells Maine Barge For Scrap

Scot Seese Re:Lack of Real, Physical Products (79 comments)

It think this would be a good comparison:

Tell me what the Apple watch looks like.
Tell me what Google Glass looks like.

One of these two has so repulsed people that it's being banned over privacy concerns before it's even available for sale. Merely having Google Glass on your face while in public makes you look like the creeper at the school soccer match taking pictures of other people's kids.

The other one will just be fashionable, kind of clever, overpriced and was exhaustively tested and workshopped internally, in secret, the way these things probably should be.

#LolBarges

about 2 months ago
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Google Sells Maine Barge For Scrap

Scot Seese Re:Monorail (79 comments)

Yes, however some companies prefer to develop, focus group and refine products behind closed doors so the turkeys never go public and stink up your brand.

How much are those Nexus streaming media orbs on eBay?

Gonna buy Google Glass when its' released? Where do you intend to use it? They sound like a great way to get punched in the face over privacy concerns.

about 2 months ago
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Google Sells Maine Barge For Scrap

Scot Seese Lack of Real, Physical Products (79 comments)

So, Google wanted to create floating "AMAZING PRODUCTS OF THE FUTARE!!" floating showrooms to delight and amaze the public with miraculous superproducts from Google's super top secret lab. Not unlike every grainy, black and white newsreel from the 1950s where the Voice of Authority(tm) narrator is telling us how delighted Margaret the housewife is to be cooking in a kitchen where EVERYTHING is MADE FROM GLASS! - Look, Margaret can't accidentally catch the curtains on fire, because they are made from ADVANCED GLASS FIBERS. TECHNOLOGY1!!1!

So Google bought two ore barges, hastily repainted them, welded a bunch of containers together to create the Impossibly Cool Showroom of Miraculous Future Super Cool products. .. and then...

The Nexus Orb ball-shaped thingy that you only now barely remember was a horrible flop. After much trumpeting about how they were assembled in 'MURRICA, the project was killed and presumably the remaining inventory was buried in New Mexico next to all the E.T. cartridges for the Atari 2600.

Google Glass - Does a day go by that you don't see a story about how yet another establishment, or entire national chain has proclaimed they are banning Google Glass - and the device isn't even available for sale to the general public? Terrible battery life, mediocre recording quality, limited feature set widely eclipsed by the smartphone you probably already own, and ENORMOUS public privacy problem stuck on your face.

Google Self-Driving Marketing Ploy: I think even average consumers innately feel that self-driving cars are decades away from practical use. A Kafka -esque labyrinth of local, state and federal regulations and vehicle laws must be untangled. And then, there's the part Google's marketing department ISN'T trumpeting - the LIDAR system barely works at all in rain or snow, rendering the vehicle absolutely worthless in at least 45 states. Other articles mention the vehicle doesn't know how to cope with loss of traction situations like snow, ice, oil or wet leaves that could cause catastrophic loss of control in moving traffic.

Nexus Smartphones: I've had them. Google makes no money on the hardware, selling rebranded devices with stock android on it with the hopes of gleaning valuable advertising data from you. Their sales numbers are reportedly very low. A rounding error to Samsung or Apple. Moving on.

So, at the end of the day, executives at Google realized their business model is still to violate your email and web traffic privacy to sell display ads to you, and perhaps they should sell their silly showroom barges at pennies on the dollar salvage prices and pretend it never happened.

The indicator that true creative thinking is dead inside an organization is when it must innovate by acquisition. Instead of YOUR employees creating products that grow organically, you pay 100 times as much to buy established or growing products. YouTube, Twitch.tv, Nest, and whoever is next.

Pfft.
Barges.

about 2 months ago
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AMD Launches New Higher-End Kaveri APUs A10-7800 and A6-7400K

Scot Seese FPS per Dollar Champ (117 comments)

Umm.. These benchmarking sites, and comment threads like this one constantly miss the point.

The AMD A-Series processors do NOT equal intel chips when you run synthetic CPU benchmarks.

The AMD A-Series absolutely KILLS IT when your goal is to throw together a dirt-cheap gaming rig on a budget.

  If all you need is a new motherboard, CPU & RAM, and you intend to reuse your old case, hard drives, and peripherals - The AMD A10 chips and their integrated Radeon graphics offer outstanding FPS for the dollar when compared to the alternative of building an intel system w/discrete Nvidia GPU.

Did you really think people are sticking AMD APUs in cases with neon-accented cutout windows and holographic 3D skull case stickers to optimize their VBA performance in large Excel workbooks?

No, they want consistent 90 fps in Shooter DuJour, and they want it for only a few hundred bucks.

about 2 months ago
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China Confirms New Generation of ICBM

Scot Seese Re:Angry Proliferation Game (224 comments)

Ironically, despite my comment sounding as though I may be opposed to nuclear proliferation, I am not. I'm only opposed to nuclear capability falling into the hands of stateless organizations or despotic regimes unbeholden to the wishes and well being of their populace.

Nuclear weapons are an incredibly powerful normalizing force, creating symmetry from military, industrial, technological and population asymmetry.

In this century, nations such as France or Great Britain lack the ability or political will to project real military power beyond their borders against potential future aggressors such as Russia or China - but the relatively small number of very sophisticated, highly accurate ICBMS maintained by both nations acts as a guarantor of sovereignty and minimizes the likelihood of invasion by a land army.

That both France and Great Britain have placed the majority of their nuclear arsenal in Boomers - ballistic missile submarines - making them virtually impossible to neutralize - creates the ultimate "Dead Mans' Switch", in which case you will never be able to destroy those nations without suffering a terrible retaliatory strike.

Terrible weapons of destruction? Yes. That have ironically prevented large scale conflict between developed nations for over seventy years.

about 2 months ago
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China Confirms New Generation of ICBM

Scot Seese Angry Proliferation Game (224 comments)

Nuclear proliferation is becoming to sound like the plot to some absurdist classic Star Trek episode.

The leaders of all the planets' nations sit in a room, arrayed in a circle. The room is white and completely bare, except for their chairs, and in the center of the room a single gleaming, chromed post rising from the floor about 3 feet tall. Atop the shiny post is a single large, tennis-ball sized red button.

It is widely accepted among all the leaders that pressing the button activates a mechanism that destroys the planet. Yet this doesn't stop them from rising from their chairs, and arguing - yelling, taunting even - other leaders around the circle, so enraging them that at times several of them are close to snapping, rushing forward and pounding the red button.

Because at the end of the day, the leaders are all flawed human beings, driven by the psychological baggage of behavioral evolutionary holdovers, cultural and religious constructs, and overwhelmingly the inability to view the other participants in the room as peers equally deserving of resources as the tribes represented by the leaders.

Sooner or later, someone - in a moment of hubris, misplaced confidence in their own technology or military, or religious zeal - is going to dash out of their chair and smack that button.

about 2 months ago
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Nevada Construction Project Could Be Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory

Scot Seese NSA Jiggabyte Storage Facility No. 17 (81 comments)

No, just another NSA data farm. Even high density modern storage media sags under the mighty volume of texts fired at 1914 Maxim machine gun speeds by teenage girls and SnapChat selfies flying through the ether.
 

about 2 months ago
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Apple Hires Away TAG Heuer's VP of Global Sales

Scot Seese Re:What's next (67 comments)

Are you saying the Reality Distortion Field is slipping? ; ]

Well, look at Beats. They really are horrible quality headphones, but they have extremely effective lifestyle marketing driven by hip-hop royalty & superstar athletes.

Their actual differentiators are the very thick, colored silicon rubber coated headphone cord that "feels substantial" and the softness of their ear cups, and the head rest foam. Granted, a pair of Klipsch headphones for half the price are better headphones, but "Dr. Dre" isn't endorsing those, and Carmello Anthony and LeBron aren't stepping off buses with them around their necks.

Fifteen years before that it was a few dollars worth of rubber and leather stitched together in SouthEast Asia being sold for well over $100 because some basketball player from Chicago had his logo - sorry, the logo Nike, or their ad firm created - glue on the side of each shoe.

about 3 months ago

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