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Utilities Face Billions In Losses From Distributed Renewables

ZorinLynx I thought power companies were happy to shed load? (280 comments)

We have a load control transponder here which allows the power company to temporarily shut off the air conditioner and/or water heater, basically creating a "rolling blackout" of just those devices when demand for power exceeds supply.

The fact that they deploy such devices suggests utilities would be happy to shed some load, especially during the brightest time of day when solar works best and air conditioners are working hardest.

So what's the deal? They want us to use more power after all?

about two weeks ago
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Facebook Testing Lithium-Ion Batteries For Backup Power

ZorinLynx Li-Ion batteries aren't good for this role (41 comments)

Lead acid batteries last longest when they are fully charged and kept that way, and discharged infrequently. This makes them excellent for use in standby power situations, where they are almost always topped up ready for the power to go out.

Li-Ion batteries last longest when they are actively used. Keeping a Li-Ion battery fully charged all the time is bad for its longevity; the battery structure breaks down faster at a high state of charge. This is why it is recommended to store Li-Ion batteries half-charged in a cold environment, and why cars like the Tesla Model S normally only charge up to 80% unless you require a "full-range charge" for a road trip. Not topping off to 100% extends battery life.

Maybe Facebook intends to keep the batteries at 80%, but it's hard to believe the economics are going to work in their favor.

Not to mention that lead-acid batteries are mostly water and non-combustible sulfuric acid. A Li-Ion battery fire is 50 times nastier than a lead-acid battery fire, and produces a hell of a lot more noxious gases.

about a month ago
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Window Washing a Skyscraper Is Beyond a Robot's Reach

ZorinLynx Umm, the original twin towers... (203 comments)

The original twin towers DID use robotic window washers. They were built in 1971.

This problem has already been resolved, but they didn't design the new building in a way that robotic window washers could be implemented easily.

Oops.

about a month ago
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Drone Sightings Near Other Aircraft Up Dramatically

ZorinLynx These idiots are going to ruin it for everyone (132 comments)

Drones are so much fun and you can get so many cool photos and video from them.

Yet these morons flying drones near airports are going to ruin it for everyone. Expect to see them heavily regulated or banned soon.

This is why we can't have nice things. :(

about a month ago
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New Music Discovered In Donkey Kong For Arcade

ZorinLynx Using a Java plugin to play audio files... (74 comments)

...is like using a steam engine to power a car. It's clunky, inefficient, and outmoded.

WHY??????? HTML5 can play audio directly.

about 2 months ago
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Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

ZorinLynx Don't they care about the sales tax revenue? (294 comments)

Now people will just go out of state to buy Teslas, and thus the tax revenue will go to another state.

This is a case where someone didn't think things through.

about 2 months ago
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Why the Trolls Will Always Win

ZorinLynx WHY are men trying to scare women away from gaming (728 comments)

I truly don't understand this. When I was a young awkward geek with very specific interests, I would have absolutely LOVED there to be women around with those same interests. Us guys totally loved the few geeky girls that were around and always wished there were more.

Yet today we see guys trying to scare the women away. What the hell changed?

about 2 months ago
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Breakthrough In LED Construction Increases Efficiency By 57 Percent

ZorinLynx Re:You know what this means (182 comments)

Why the hell did the industry move away from using red LEDs for power indicators?

It really is the best color for that. It's clearly visible, doesn't mess up dark adaptation, and red LEDs are the cheapest.

about 3 months ago
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Apple Yanks iOS 8 Update

ZorinLynx Re:Apple's QA vs. Android's QA (203 comments)

I suspect they derped the packaging of the release. Its behavior highly suggests missing files or wrong versions.

It's still inexcusable though. Updates should be pushed to a few dozen people inside the company to test the possibility of showstoppers like this one.

about 3 months ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

ZorinLynx Re:Practically speaking as a CPA... (410 comments)

>-always try to arrange so you owe a little money come tax time

This this this this this.

You can tweak your allowances with your employer so you always get a small tax bill. No worries about losing your refund money, AND you get the money throughout the year instead of in a lump sum.

Some idiots claim they like receiving that check every year, that it's a nice "bonus", when in actuality it's just you lending Uncle Sam your hard earned money interest free and getting the loan repaid in April. I keep hearing about people with refunds well into the four figures, and want to slap them silly.

I bet the IRS wouldn't give YOU an interest free loan if you stopped withholding... why should you give THEM one?

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

ZorinLynx List the STL? Seriously? (479 comments)

>technical question like listing all the container classes in STL from the top of my head

Do experienced devs even know this? I've programmed in several languages and I could never give a list of functions on demand. That's what reference material is for.

You honestly dodged a bullet with that one; any company that asks for such a thing has a damaged tech culture.

about 3 months ago
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It's Dumb To Tell Kids They're Smart

ZorinLynx They always told me I was so smart... (243 comments)

The funny thing is I was told all the time growing up that I was "extremely smart" and "gifted", when in reality, I didn't FEEL like I was.

Sure, I could do things with computers that few of the other kids could do, like program and build things. But I don't think I was "smart". I just LIKED doing those things, so I did them all the time, and thus became really good at those things.

Meanwhile, you could ask me to cook a meal at the time and I'd completely fail because I never cooked. I didn't enjoy it, and was thus lousy at it.

I don't think I was unusually "smart" or "gifted". I just got obsessed with computers and technology, so I got good at those things.

about 4 months ago
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Email Is Not Going Anywhere

ZorinLynx E-mail is the foundation of identity online (235 comments)

Everything requires an E-mail account. You need an E-mail account to make a Facebook, Google, Apple, etc. account. It's the "out of band" communications method with which someone can be reached that is universal and not tied to any specific company or provider.

If E-mail has to go away, something else needs to replace it in this manner. Phone numbers could be one way; there's already services that exclusively use phone numbers to authenticate (Telegram messenger for instance). The problem is most people, including myself, don't want to give their phone number out to everyone. E-mail, I could care less, or create a throwaway account.

E-mail is too useful. It needs to stick around.

about 4 months ago
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Password Gropers Hit Peak Stupid, Take the Spamtrap Bait

ZorinLynx Maybe this can be used against the bots (100 comments)

Populate the net with files like this full of E-mail addresses that are not valid. Have dummy accounts on the appropriate servers that will accept the logins, allow the spambots to think they're successfully sending E-mails when in fact they're all going into the bit bucket.

For added effect, make the servers respond v e r y s l o w l y under these accounts, taking tens of seconds to "send" the E-mail, a minute or so to log in, etc. Basically, slow the spam bots down and waste their time. Of course, the bots will probably eventually evolve to detect such shenanigans, but why make spammers' jobs easy? :)

about 4 months ago
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Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

ZorinLynx No, school should not be year-round. (421 comments)

Kids should have at least a couple of months out of the year when they can just not worry about their studies and have fun and BE KIDS.

I mean, jeez! You only get to be a kid once. Let them enjoy those summer vacations. When I think back to my childhood, my fondest memories are during those summer vacations! Why the heck should we take that away from our future generations?

Leave summer vacation in place. And stop freaking shortening it.

about 4 months ago
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T-Mobile Smartphones Outlast Competitors' Identical Models

ZorinLynx Re: Correction: T-Mobile Android Smartphones (127 comments)

The iPhone would actually be a more effective test because iPhones tend to be identical regardless of what carrier you are on. I'm extremely surprised they did not test the iPhone for this reason.

about 5 months ago
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Hotel Charges Guests $500 For Bad Online Reviews

ZorinLynx Don't they realize... (183 comments)

Don't they realize that a policy like this is more likely to SCARE potential customers away than to help their reputation?

Do these idiots think this through at all before coming up with crap like this?

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Resources On Programming For Palm OS 5?

ZorinLynx Be ready for a lot of frustration (170 comments)

PalmOS is a rather antiquated system. No memory protection, no native multitasking, clunky APIs...

Depending on your personality type and the coding experience you have, it's either going to be a TON of fun, or you're going to want to smash and break things on the very first night.

Or maybe both. :) I don't have any pointers, but as a former Palm OS user, godspeed.

(Palm IIIxe from 2000-2005, Palm Treo 650 from 2005 to 2009)

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux Login and Resource Management In a Computer Lab?

ZorinLynx Just deal with problem users individually. (98 comments)

Have these problems actually been happening a lot?

When I first started to help manage a computer lab, I was concerned users would behave really badly and do horrible things. The truth is, very few users did, and we just talked to those users and told them how to behave.

If you get the occasional repeatedly defiant user, locking out their account can be the final solution. But most people (at least at our site) aren't jerks and listen. Most "bad things" are due more to incompetence than malice, and educating students is easy.

Also, as someone with experience in these matters, allow me to recommend AGAINST Fedora for production systems. I like to call Fedora the self-breaking distro; updates break things CONSTANTLY. You're much better off running Ubuntu (even non-LTS is more stable than Fedora) or the RHEL clones like CentOS or Scientific Linux.

about 4 months ago

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