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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

gadget junkie Re:They WILL FIght Back (498 comments)

In the craphole region in which I live they've already passed ordinances about things like wind turbines within city limits. They call it an "eye sore" and "disruptive." That's how the utility companies will outlaw solar paneling after donating generously to their politician buddies. Either that or they'll so [overregulate]withdraw subsidies from them that the price will skyrocket beyond most people's financial reach.

there, fixed it for you. I can understand the Deutsche bank analyst, he knows which way his bread is buttered, but people at the end of the line should know, or be told, that their normal electricity price includes renewable sources subsidies. until and unless consumers are told a "raw" price without subsidies, they won't know if this is economical or not.

Mind you, if anybody thinks it's worthwhile and has 5 grand burning a hole in his pocket, feel free to buy that. But he's not using his own money now, he's using other people's money, and that's a harbinger of bad decisions if I ever saw one. and believe you me, I 've been in the investment business 30 years, I've seen my share.

5 days ago
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Denmark Faces a Tricky Transition To 100 Percent Renewable Energy

gadget junkie solution is like medicine..... (485 comments)

....mostly obvious, but unpalatable: let ANYBODY sell electricity on the grid auction: the grid is paid off a percentage of the turnover, BUT:

1. any producer registering on the exchange has to declare both the maximum and the minimum that it can make available to the grid over a yearly period in 30 minutes interval;
2.additional payments to the grid are made by producers on a log scale proportional to the difference between the two, i.e.gas turbine plants, who have a continous productions, would make additional payments (in fact, receive less money) of zero, wind would probably declare a relatively small difference, solar would declare zero as a minimum, and therefore pay the most in reduced revenues;
3. by all means, allow those renewable producers that buy continous availability from others to declare it on a form countersigned by the guarantee producer.

In this manner, pricing of the interruption risk is paid by those who cause it, and the cause-effect relation is evident. Make no mistake, William of Occam is my master, and I am not in favour or against renewables: I treat the matter as the analyst I am, most of my job is "stripping the fudge" from numbers, i.e. analyse and take away the fiscal and regulatory incentives that mask the fact that something is unviable by making somebody else pay without telling him in so many words.This solution offered by the minister is a case in point. let me help there.

[...]"Rasmus Helveg Petersen, the Danish climate minister, says he is tempted by a market approach: real-time pricing of electricity for anyone using it — if the wind is blowing vigorously or the sun is shining brightly, prices would fall off a cliff, but in times of shortage they would rise just as sharply.

that would give the final payer the false impression that the problem is about not having enough renewable energy continuosly, instead of saying that most renewables are inherently unstable sources per se. By making the continous producers making most of the revenue in the brief moments when they are indispensable, you are knowingly exposing them as ruthless speculators, gnawing away at the needs of the People all in the name of profit."Gas plant near Copenhaghen taxes a Citizen 200 EUR a day for its energy!", and so on. All the while making hush-hush deals and promises, to keep the "real" producers from closing the plants for good, we do not want the innocent Danes to know that there is no Tooth Fairy, do we? And if we work out the math for that citizen, i.e. that those 200 Euros are a lump sum insurance payment for energy availability, working out at 55 cents a day, and oh the horror, that the politicians knew this before work had begun on the renewable plants, that they will know.

about two weeks ago
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NASA Tests Aircraft With Shape Shifting Wings

gadget junkie welcome to Arrakis (55 comments)

something like that is present in innumerable Sci-fi works. In dune, the Ornithopters have shapeshifting wings, and in "the mote in God's eye", there are similar aircrafts.
It looks like a case of Submarines, mobile phones etc: engineering is finally catching up with the technical possibilities.

about two weeks ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

gadget junkie Re: Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (398 comments)

We know the speed limit, the safe stopping distance for the speed, the safe time to cover the safe stopping distance, and the duration of the yellow.

Which raises the question, are cities intentionally creating safety issues ?

Yes. or in other words: "hmmmmmmm...... revenues!!"

about a month ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

gadget junkie Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (398 comments)

The red light camera issue is easily Googled, many municipalities have found that the companies installing these have turned down the timing between amber and red in order to catch more people running the red.

http://www.motorists.org/red-l...

please remind me where the muni people are dumb enough to deliver the keys to one of their system to a private enterprise on the assumption that "they will act in the best interest of the community", and forget about it. I have to delete my tax records.

about a month ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

gadget junkie Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (398 comments)

That's quite an accusation you're making there. Do you have any kind of reliable source backing up this claim, other than someone else claiming the same thing on some gaming forum you like to visit for your monthly dose of conspiracy theories?

In other words, [citation needed] biatch.

not in the US, but something akin to that is happening here in Italy.... to me. the law says that speed traps must be preceeded by a road signal, BUT that without additional evidence the judgement will always be in favour of the police. Mind you, I have a dashboard camera.

since I saw that there was NO sign, I save the file with the timestamp, a good image of the police officer etc, and wait. when the ticket arrives, I contest the validity of the ticket, enclose a cd with the file , a short memo, and wait. Lo and behold, the law enforcement officer sends the ticket back to me doubled, saying that "my video was not valid". Meanwhile, the "official" photo has arrived, and there is no sign of the signal, even tough the field of view is wide enough. mind you, it's difficult not to see the road signal in an empty three lane motorway, so in all fairness they should have put me in for another driving exam, since I should have been drunk, blind, incapacitated, or a combination of the three to miss it.

about a month ago
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

gadget junkie Re: May I suggest (334 comments)

way too costly. it's a specialistic sniper weapon, while the Lee Enfield, well let's say costs are pretty all amortized by now.

about a month ago
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Why Military Personnel Make the Best IT Pros

gadget junkie Re:Some would be well suited. (299 comments)

>The military people I have had trouble with in the past were ones who had really internalized hierarchy and protocol then have trouble when others do not fall into line with their expected behavior and deference.

This.

So now I'll say something different in order to getting modded into oblivion.

AC because I'd probably lose my job if I said this at work: Military people are people who allowed themselves to be used by their government regardless of the consequences. I don't want to hire those people.

Or, they had a certain upbringing of duty , honour, country, and they would blow the whistle on things not done properly.

about a month and a half ago
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NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

gadget junkie Re:I hate to be this guy... (188 comments)

...but people are still dying of starvation and lack of water on THIS planet. =\

I know space exploration is very important, but shit, let's get real here. I feel guilty driving a newer model Honda Civic knowing that if I bought something cheaper I could maybe feed someone less fortunate.

Good question!
join me in a crusade to save one country of the planet which was mistreated by nature and politics. It's a mountain country, covered in snow most of the winter. arable land in valleys is scarce, and one of the staple products is cheese. there are no mineral resources to speak of, and the country was so well known for the war like nature of the inhabitants that it was specifically forbidden to send its men to serve abroad, which was a major source of money remittances at the time. What else? oh yeah, there are four languages formally spoken, so it's a natural candidate for a bloody break up. it is moreover, landlocked: there's no way out for any local products unless through another country for further export or resale. It is formally hated by its neighbours, which went so far to flout any established principles to actually pay spies to damage it.
so do a well meant action today. pay one Euro for Switzerland.

about 2 months ago
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People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

gadget junkie Re:No real surprise (710 comments)

did you also included a calculation on the subsidies for nuclear ? http://laka.org/docu/boeken/pd...

first off, let me thank you for the link. I will most certainly read it in full, but if I may, there's a phrase at page 5 which put my nose slightly out of joint:

[...]When only looking at money transfers and tax reliefs (see Table S.1), it can be concluded that the total amount of subsidy that the EU and its Member States give to renewable energy is substantially lower than the amount of subsidy to fossil fuels, and probably in the same order of magnitude of the subsidies to nuclear alone.

It 's my view that no serious analyst would be caught writing such a phrase in a study summary, and I'll show you why.

Imagine that the total available energy pool at the grid operator is 100 units, of which 85 is fossil, 10 is nuclear and 5 is renewables. in a "neutral" world, subsidies per unit would be equal (or zero, which is a subset case), and subsidies to fossil fuels would dwarf subsidies to renewables 85 to 5. So, knowing that fossil fuels get mmore money does not show or imply any preference or disdain against any particular source, unless some other information is added. in my view therefore calling that page a summary is an insult to the english language, or an ode to gullibility. As Dr. Evil said, " I am the boss, need the info"

about 4 months ago
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People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

gadget junkie Re:No real surprise (710 comments)

I'm not sure what your point is. Of course, it is possible to use analysis to reach the opposite conclusion in particular small holding situations. For example on my terribly oriented (NW-SE) roof in northern climate ~45deg, and relatively cheap coal electricity (~11c/kWh), a smallish (~1 kW), no subsidy solar system will pay back financially (1) is cashflow positive based on my HELOC rate (2) pays off more quickly than the local utility's new gas plant, and (3) utilizing only self consumption, thus requiring no grid support for enhanced payback (net metering)[...]

There, fixed it for you.I was talking about a 1500 MWh plant, functioning about 96% of the yearly available hours. that includes nights and winters, btw. that means that you would need about 8,4 million plants like yours, plus an intermittent generating capacity that big to cover nights, bad weather etc.
calculations look like this:
1.500 MW/h plant;
365 days a year;
24 hours a day;
yearly availability stats, 96%;
kilowatts instead of Megawatts, multiply by 1.000;
there it is, 8.409.600. multiply by two, because the sun sets, winters bite ( I live at 42 north myself ) etc.

about 4 months ago
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People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

gadget junkie Re:No real surprise (710 comments)

Global warming is a money/power grab, the ultimate in "Do as I say, not as I do" diplomacy.

That's no surprise. the surprise is finding people with no skins in the game that actually believe, and finding out that they do not change attitude, consumption habits etc.
In my experience, one of the things I found out is that many of these people, while being mostly able in basic math/science/problem solving, are utterly unprepared in the "analyse" department. they seem unable to gather data, see which is relevant, build a logical thought model and then deciding: the process is inverted, they jump from conclusions to (agreeable) facts, not the other way around.
One day, one of these people was extolling the virtues of Solar energy, while saying that he hated nuclear. I live in a region of Italy, Piedmont, which is weaseling about that, since we get about a fourth of our electricity from French nuclear plants upwind from us, about 250 km away as the crow flies. When I told him and asked if he had already cut a fourth of his electricity needs, his jaw dropped. I then showed him some quick excel calculations about how big an area was needed to replace that with solar, and the attending costs after subsidies, and he went pale. then I added back the subsidies. Ooh, the joy of seeing ignorance squirm!

about 4 months ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

gadget junkie Re:What? (753 comments)

mind you, I am in exalted company. one of the more interesting factoids about the Euro is that the Bundesbank wanted another denomination printed: the 1.000 Eur Banknote, which belies an attachment to paper money as a store of value alternative to the bank accounts that is remarkable. Germany had the 1.000 Dmark note, issued by the same people who came out of the war on their knees, which tends to instil more paranoia that I can shake a stick at.

about 4 months ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

gadget junkie Re:What? (753 comments)

...... the fact remains that money is a representation of wealth, and it's the only direct representation which you can own and have custody of irrespective of the banking system.

But modern money does rely on the banking system because it has no intrinsic value. Notes are just that - notes from the bank that they owe you X amount of dollars. Coin used to be worth their actual weight in copper, silver or gold (and was thus international) but those days have long gone. In the UK at least, the "copper" coins are copper-plated steel. Notes and coins only work because people want them to and trust them to, but that could break any time.

not imprecise but incomplete. See, if I leave my money in my country's banking system and or in an electronic form, not only as you just said it is fiat money, BUT, the government can skim how much money they want during a weekend with nobody being the wiser. Here in Italy, it really happened like that years ago, in the process of joining the Euro . It happened in 1992, under the premier Giuliano Amato, and it was enacted retroactively . If I hold US dollars at home, I do not have European fiat money risk, and the currency cannot be "devalued" by MY political masters.

Interestingly enough, when Greece went practically bust, one of the wild stories going around was that banks would freeze account with a view to going back to drachmas. Vigorous capital controls at the frontiers would be enacted, and Euro banknotes would only be exchangeable at the banks. To put some kind of money in circulation, there would have been an interim period in which Euro banknotes would be "stamped" by the banks to recycle them. Seriously, you cannot make up such stupidity alone. my usual question was what happened to a greek citizen who held a bond issued by an American entity denominated in Euros, in the local branch of a German bank. The company issuing the bond HAS to pay Euros, through the central depository. all the rest is a mix of stupidity, fantasy and the ability to discard all the experience accumulated since the Sumer regulated financial transactions in 3.000 BCE.

about 4 months ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

gadget junkie Re:What? (753 comments)

At the cost of anonymity for those who want to frequent such establishments without so much log file trail. And there are plenty of other use-cases for people wanting their name decoupled from their deeds. Not all of them are exactly bad, either.

that's the bits and pieces. the other is that this would have been any dictator's wet dream but that's a sideshow, really.
over and above fiat money, the fact remains that money is a representation of wealth, and it's the only direct representation which you can own and have custody of irrespective of the banking system. that's the principal issue, but a secondary and even more useful to citizens is that cash is a good tripwire on faith in the political system, for the obvious but not so widespread reason that you can always own currency by another country. so the funnel of doom looks like this:

1. use credit cards;
2. use cash;
3 OWN cash in the house as a precaution;
4. own another country's cash.

the abolition of printed cash drives a wedge between 2 and 3. at the first whiff, run.

about 4 months ago
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Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

gadget junkie Re:How about (385 comments)

How about you stop posting talking points you can't even back up with a single fact?

need facts? the net tax intake from fossil fuels is quite high, here in Italy it's over 80% of the final price. substituting recipients of subsidies only impacts the industrial price, while switching fuel sources in a revenue neutral way means imposing taxes on renewables equals to 80% of their final industrial price.
, Now who's volunteering to tell goverments that they shall rely on 10% less overall revenues to"redistribute"? the government here in Italy is already sweating a diminished tax take in the order of 5% from fossil fuels, obtained through a mix of the economic crisis impacting on family expenses, including car travel, and drivers being more careful fo fuel consumption when they drive.



anybody spot the error yet? OK, I'll show you.

to make it revenue neutral, taxes on renewable energy should be 400% of the final industrial price. that comes by dividing 80% by 20%, which is the correct answer, since given 100 as the final price of fuel, 80 is taxes and 20 is the oil industry revenue. That's taxed as well on earnings, but that's another story, and most probably covered by subsidies.

about 5 months ago
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Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

gadget junkie holdouts?!? (681 comments)

Hey, I just got here !
if they think that they can entice people using win XP to jump, fine. win 7, I literally just got here. bought my copy four weeks ago, and it works fine, I must admit. In this context, "fine" means " as well as win XP".

about 5 months ago
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How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

gadget junkie Do they know that? (305 comments)

As a professional in finance,I've had to wrestle with economists. To a large extent, the profession itself is a fake: the ultimate employer is the Sovereign, who will look askance on anybody saying that it either goofed or that he must get smaller.
start with this in your mind 30 years back, fast forward, and you'll see that macroscopic events in the Economy dept. get ignored, simply because they are in opposition to the academic thought.
I can give you an example: it made the papers in Italy that the European powers that be are starting a study of Abenomics, with a view to applying it here. While as an Italian I can understand the politicians' liking of a mix of runaway deficits, easy money and public investment, this disregards a number of problems:

1.most of the Abenomics tenets are already in place, to no perceived improvement;
2.public spending as a percentage of GDP is way above 50% in most places here, so the actual tax base is shrunk;
3. and last, there's an example that worked that the politicians are emphatically ignoring.

the example is Canada. it exited the 2008 crisis better than Europe, in part because of his proximity to the USA and the free trade it has with that nation, but also because it embraced a reduction in the public sector, and a control/reduction of tax pressure.
Do you believe in that causality? after 25 years tallking with these shamans who are called economist, my opinion is "insufficient data": economy is a dismal science. BUT, it worked. and Europe is studying a failing policy simply because it is similar to what they want to do.

about 5 months ago
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Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year

gadget junkie Re:Sounds about right... (441 comments)

except, that are at least 4 types of energy ... coal, oil, gas, wood,gravity

there, fixed it for you. otherwise dams would generate no electricity at all, would they?
whenever I see discussions like this, I think:" is this an IRS convention or what?!?!". all these modelling is heavily dependent on transferring tax money from other things to Renewable energy subsidies. In no paper, or law, the requirement is for the plan to provide continous, on demand generation. Do that and every analyst will become far more honest.
one of the reasons? if like in Italy a renewable energy producer gets paid a multiple of the marginal price when he produces, all projections should be made with the same producer installing continous capacity on his own, with the attandant environmental impact statesments, pollution control, etc, or buying the availability from someone else, at twice the same price. the obligation on the grid operator to retire and pay produced energy would have a limit at the continous capacity declared by the operator.

about 5 months ago
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High Frequency Trading and Finance's Race To Irrelevance

gadget junkie Re:Mmhmm (382 comments)

Depends on how you define 'most trading'.

Most of the HFT is set up to make a market. Some large companies even set it up to HFT internally, in dark pools for rather esoteric reasons -some not so honest.

Amen to that.
I've been a professional in the market for 25 years. The hypothesis that " [...]those fractions of cents would otherwise most likely be accruing to the big banks instead of these new, smaller HFT firms. As long as people have been trading stocks, there have been middlemen taking a cut; HFTs just mean that the cut is now captured by those with the fastest computers." is true and false. the evolution into "dark pools", "hft" etc. was allowed and encouraged by the authorities, eager to bolster bankprofit and balance sheets.
Think about this. in olden days, the nyse used specialist firms to trade stocks. they acted as the ultimate middlemen, took in a very good profit, and in return they provided liquidity to stocks, so most of the trading volume was concentrated there. with the passage of time and the evolution of technology, there has been a spawning of trading venues, who DO NOT have the obligation to make their trades public in real time, in any shape or form.
Go back centuries, and the concept of a single trading venue, in which all trades of a particular goods were done, was strictly enforced. Public official checked scales, and reputation was the most important good traded. that did not mean a profitless economy, but it was more transparent then. Would you really want to trade with a company that originated an IPO, traded it for its own account, acted as prime broker for an ungodly number of hedge funds, many of whom used it both as a depositor and as prime broker, and also managed both hedge funds and mutual funds? this scheme is legal. that the so called "chinese walls" between the various pieces would ever work, it's open to scrutiny.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Did the politicians do all the math on solar energy?

gadget junkie gadget junkie writes  |  about 4 months ago

gadget junkie (618542) writes "Funnily enough, Northern European countries have put the most solar panels in place. in this story on the Daily Telegraph, some of the foreseable problems seem to emerge: grid bottleneck, wide differences between peak output and average output. The suggested solution is mindboggling to an economic analyst like me: install them at an angle which would cause them to generate the most energy in the afternoon (namely: face west, and all will be fine). This adds to the cost obviously, since it is less efficient. Why is it practically impossible to get an unbiased economic study on alternative energy?"
Link to Original Source
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Am I late for the earthquake?

gadget junkie gadget junkie writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gadget junkie writes "Geological fault lines are well known, and Italy has a long story of big and small earthquakes, so predicting where an earthquake il likely to happen is not hard. But here, as elsewhere, predicting "when" has proven impossible....or has it? not accoording to the worthy Italian magistrates who have indicted the whole Big Risks Commission, which is a mixed scientific and administrative board, for wrongful death and injury in relation with the april 2009 L'Aquila earthquake, for not having predicted it."
Link to Original Source
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win7 runs better than XP.....just barely

gadget junkie gadget junkie writes  |  about 5 years ago

gadget junkie writes "An interesting Article by Extremetech does a quick and dirty comparison between Windows 7, Vista, and good ole Windows XP. none of the tests are real life tests, and the hardware was dated, but "[...]For the most part, these tests don't show Windows 7 soundly trouncing XP. But for an operating system that's far richer in features and more advanced in interface, Windows 7 is quite close to the older OS and tops it in several tests. Most impressive among Windows 7's wins were its JavaScript and shutdown time results."
One phrase was rather defensive, tough:"For gamers, the results are pretty much a wash between XP and Windows 7. In any case, power gamers are far more likely to be buying for a new high-end machines and not upgrading an old XP system."
Now, I am not a big geek, but I DO play games .My quad core intel runs on XP, and you'll have to pry it from my cold dead fingers; and many other people I know choose hardware sellers on one big service they offer: they do the downgrade from Vista or Win 7 to XP.
I do not have the time and resources to buy a win7 machine for inhouse testing, expecially the user experience: what's the score for slashdotters on this one?"

Link to Original Source
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is Virtual Desktop going mainstream?

gadget junkie gadget junkie writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gadget junkie writes "Thin clients have waxing and waning for almost a decade now. I've worked for a number of companies in Italy, and seen others, and no meaningful example has come across my path. Now the Wall Street Journal runs a story about the increasing use of virtual desktops in corporations and educational environments. Since the WSJ is not a specialist publications, there are what I reckon some oddities in the article, for example there's a vague suggestion of a link between the debut of Win7 and the increase in use of thin desktop. Is it the start of a glorious revolution, or the PC will remain the mainstay for years to come?"
Link to Original Source
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Aircraft simulation and MS windows

gadget junkie gadget junkie writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gadget junkie writes "I live in Turin, and this year the World Air Games will be held here. In advance of the games proper, I went to a small event where there were the usual scale models, some industry presentation and air simulators; the most interesting was one by Alenia Aereonautica featuring the Typhoon fighter aircraft, with two 16:9 big screens, one with the outside view, and the other a touchscreen simulating the cockpit layout. At one point, the operator had to restart the program from scratch, and imagine my amazement when the screen flashed the operating system: FEDORA!!!There is hope for games on linux then!!!!

The person operating the system told me that this demo simulator had been shown at the Farnborough air show as well. Do any of you know other instances of simulation/games up to the standard of the windows world?"
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Tomtom patent dispute with Microsoft ends

gadget junkie gadget junkie writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gadget junkie writes "According to a Wall Street Journal article, Microsoft and Tomtom have settled their patent dispute. The article states that Tomtom will pay an "undisclosed amount" for Microsoft patents, while Microsoft will receive "coverage" for four Tomtom patents free of charge.
While this might seem unbalanced, I personally am more disturbed by the lack of details of the agreement, but since both companies are listed, eventually [...] we will know more.
warning: possible subscription required for the WSJ article."
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Invisibility cloak: the klingons are amongst us!!!

gadget junkie gadget junkie writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gadget junkie writes "Cloaking technology has been around for some time, but today's article in the Wall Street journal makes it mainstream: cloaking, be it in the visual or in the RF spectrum, is not only possible but under advanced research and development. For a Sci-fi buff like me, this opens lots of interesting speculations. For many a decade, past war practices and technologies were "ported" into science fiction: uncountable sci-fi classic books draw on naval wars. This time, it could be the other way around.
Shall the Pentagon hire sci-fi buffs as strategists as a consequence?"

Link to Original Source
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News from Space: Isaac Asimov was (almost) right!

gadget junkie gadget junkie writes  |  about 7 years ago

gadget junkie writes "Isaac Asimov, in his "Foundation" book series, postulated that Earth was unique in having a satellite one quarter as big as itself. According to this press release from the Spitzer Space Telescope site, he was reasonably close....big moons are hard to find. At least the ones born out of collisions between big objects, like the nascent Earth and something the size of Mars....But be of good cheer, 5% of Billions of planets is still a lot!!!"

Journals

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http://slashdot.org/submission/3733249/did-the-politicians-do-all-the-math-on-so

gadget junkie gadget junkie writes  |  about a month and a half ago

maybe this time some study will come up!

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The Energy debate

gadget junkie gadget junkie writes  |  about 10 years ago I have been involved in some of the discussions about renewable sources and nuclear reactors , and I have been impressed by one difference from the average IT debate on slashdot: the "average" comment is much more similar to the man-on-the-street average than it happens in more tech oriented areas.

One possible reason is that this is further from the expertise area, and so some reversion to the mean should be at work; on the other hand, I suspect that even an open-minded audience like Slashdot is entrapped in the pitfalls described by prospect theory: the way choices are "framed" changes the preferences.

So, while sending a man on Mars gets all us junkies standing on tiptoe, getting cheap energy through nuclear technology advances is not as sexy, and the first generation IV nuclear reactor will be built in a developing country (south Africa), giving "developing" a whole new meaning.

My personal impression is that Joe sixpack will eventually get it right, i.e. if and when the oil price will hurt him too much, he will go for the cheapest alternative. But what does it makes of the so called "experts" and "scientists", if we have to wait for the great unwashed to convince us that New technology is good for us?

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