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You're Doing It All Wrong: Solar Panels Should Face West, Not South

j-beda Re:obviously they should track the sun (327 comments)

But adding trackers can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars

hmm... sounds like there's a good reason why it might be expensive... it has an eye or something, detects where the sun is, and uses some microcomputer technology and patent encumberd logic to do things the way they do things in the 25th Century, we imagine.

But it just needs to be a clock. So I don't see why it would cost even $200 per panel to install a single axis "tracker" that is actually just a friggen clock. Seems like this space might be ripe for taking out all possible competition with one amazing "dumb" product.

I love engineers. But maybe we have too many and their bored? Maybe not enough and their bored? idk. No excuse for overengineering a problem with a really simple/cheap solution.

The engineering needed to mount big pannels on a solid framework at a set angle is much less complicated than one that is able to be moved, particularly if you desire those large panels to be safe in expected high winds. The timing system is probably only a miniscule fraction of the cost.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Making a 'Wife Friendly' Gaming PC?

j-beda Re:Marriage is 80%/80% (720 comments)

If you expect a marriage to be 50/50, you'll probably be disappointed. Because the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, two people who are equally giving will probably feel that they're doing 80%. I do a lot for my wife, and she does for me. Mostly, we do for us. We want time together, so we make time for that, etc.

80/80? Sometimes it can be as high as 120/120, but it can also drop to 30/30 if you factor in all the potential benifits of having someone looking out for your interests in addition to their own.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Making a 'Wife Friendly' Gaming PC?

j-beda Re:Don't fight it (720 comments)

Apparently it doesn't work the other way around, though. There seems to be a double standard where people are expected to make all sorts of completely unnecessary sacrifices to appease some control freak partner, but the partner doesn't take into account the other person's feelings, as if their own are any more important.

You can't make everyone happy every time, so you are supposed to negotiate so that both people feel that they are better off together than they are separate. In a healthy relationship ometimes that means you choose to do things their way, and sometimes it means that they do it your way, and sometimes it means that you both do it some third way.

A key to "making it work" to noticing when things are sliding towards unfairness and resentment. If one partner is bothered by dirty dishes just a bit more than the other one, it can easily degenerate to one person washing the dishes the vast majority of the time. Similar for sweeping or picking up the untidy stuff laying around. Possible options are negotiated chore lists, alternating cleaning duties or other such things (make a big list of everything that people do, one person divide it into two lists, and the other person choses which one they will do - don't forget things like servicing the car, doing the taxes, and anything else you can think of that you want to share responsibilty over, and revisit on a regular basis)

If you are not working on this type of thing early in a partnership, it could prove to be very difficult to "fix" things once one or both of you get tired of the current situation. Like anything important in your life, to do it well require active engagement.

about three weeks ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

j-beda Re:It was an almost impossible case to prosecute (1128 comments)

The hero cop was ruled innocent that's all the citation you need bitch.

A full trial could have ruled him "not guilty" (which is not the same as "innocent"). The grand jury decided that there was not enough evidence to justify a trial, which is arguably a stronger statement than being found "not guilty" at trial, but still is not the same as being ruled "innocent".

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With VoIP Fraud/Phishing Scams?

j-beda Re: Record an Apology (159 comments)

It might be wise to release a press statement warning of the scam in your points 1 and 2 and state that they are "cooperating" with regulators and authorities to catch the scammers.

I put cooperate in quotes because trechnically it is true as long as it is reported to them whether they act or not.

But it seems that one of the ways this works is the legitimate number being used to trick people. Well, if the news runs a story about it, that element goes away.

This could actually work in your favour, as the resulting news coverage could increase your legitimate business, and put pressure on the enablers upstream to do something about it.

about a month ago
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Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

j-beda Re:Ancient news (327 comments)

So are you really asking what could be wrong with Apple categorically refusing to implement a standard ATA command that is essential to good SSD performance?

There have been a lot of references to various devices that do not actually follow that ATA command in a way that results in data integrety. There have also been a few references to refute the claim that TRIM support is essential to good SSD performance. Good "garbage collection" code in the SSD and sufficient overprovisioning can match system performance compared to systems with TRIM support.

about a month ago
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US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

j-beda Re:Benefits, but still misses the point... (698 comments)

Of course, the REAL issue isn't even guns, it is mental health. We have kids who are unstable, unbalanced, and unloved, and the system does nothing for them. There is no way to identify problem or challenged kids and get them some help before they go off the deep end.

This isn't limited to kids, we have the same problem with adults. The mental health care system in this county is sad, we don't offer help early enough to those who need it and as a result, we have people who go crazy and do stupid stuff.

I think your thoughts on the use of firearms by the general public are likely to create so strong of a gut-level response (both in support of and against) that your point about mental health issues is likely to be missed. Approaching these problems from the point of view of mental health rather than an exercise in policing tactics response times seems more likley to result in longer term improvements. Regarless of one's position on public use of firearms, I suspect that most people would like to see a society where fewer people were "unstable, unbalanced, and unloved" - it is unfortunate that it is so difficult to get everyone to agree how to address those issues.

about a month ago
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US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

j-beda 100k per school? (698 comments)

School shootings are bad. They are also rare on a per-school basis. Chicago for example has about 613 elementary and high schools - is it a wise use of resources to spend up to 61 million dollars for this type of system? I bet we would save more lives by hiring an extra crossing guard per school, or putting in traffic speed bumps around the school.

about a month ago
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WireLurker Mac OS X Malware Found, Shut Down

j-beda Re:Now (59 comments)

You mean jailbroken iOS devices downloading pirated software from a dodgy store?

Non-jailbroken devices that don't have this store available are immune to this, as this malware isn't coming from Apple's store.

Actually, it looks like this is driven by a Mac OS X application the at was spread by being delivered along with legitimate software from a software collection site (like the info-mac archives once was in those halcion days of yore. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... Or maybe it was cracked/stolen/pirated software that contained the malware.

Once installed on the Mac OS X computer, making use of legittimage Apple developer credentials, the software seems to have been able to infect non-jailbroken iOS devices when those devices were attached to the machine via USB.

about a month and a half ago
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Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

j-beda Re:Nonsense (328 comments)

The reason you can refrain from providing a passcode is because the 5th Amendment protects you against self-incrimination, and the very act of providing the passcode may in itself be incriminating, since it demonstrates that you have an awareness and knowledge of the device and the means to unlock it. Which is to say, while the police may have the authority (when authorized by a proper warrant) to search your phone, they do not have the authority to compel you to give up your own rights by providing a passcode.

If that was the only argument, how would the following be different?

The reason you can refrain from [unlocking with your finger] is because the 5th Amendment protects you against self-incrimination, and the very act of [unlocking with your finger] may in itself be incriminating, since it demonstrates that you have an awareness and knowledge of the device and the means to unlock it. Which is to say, while the police may have the authority (when authorized by a proper warrant) to search your phone, they do not have the authority to compel you to give up your own rights by [unlocking with your finger].

about a month and a half ago
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Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

j-beda Re:don't use biometrics (328 comments)

You had me believing your first paragraph. Then I got to the second. Richilieu was never demoted to bishop!

about a month and a half ago
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Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

j-beda Re:Good luck with that. (558 comments)

Credit card 15-20% APR, debit card you make money though interest. How is not having a credit card is a poor financial decision?

Not having access to immediate credit is less useful than having access to that credit. It is probably a poor financial decision to USE credit at 15%, but having a credit card with a 15% APR is better than having NO access to immediate credit at any rate.

If you currently are speding x$ per month by way of a debit card, you could spend the exact same amount each month on a credit card, and at the end of the month pay off that credit card with the money from the bank, thereby gaining the (admiditaly minimal) intrest for having that money in the bank. Many credit cards also supply extended warantees, theft protection, travel insurance and other benifits, including points/miles/credits/cash rewards. Each of these features is available from credit cards with no fees.

It should be noted however, that carring a balance at 15% will quickly swamp the small financial gains listed above. If you cannot pay off your credit cards each month, they are best avoided.

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

j-beda Re: Good luck with that. (558 comments)

That's what the system in Canada has turned into. Most banks only allow 2 or 3 debit transactions before they start charging for access to your own account. In fact, the banks here count online payments and pay-by-phone as counting towards that limit. So pay your power bill and phone bill, then pay 50Â fee for evey debit transaction. You can avoid the fee by paying $10 or so every month to the bank or by keeping a minimum of $1500 in an account that pays 0% interest. Banking in Canada sucks.

PC Financial and other online banks have much better fees (typically zero for this type of thing). Most credit unions are also pretty good. The FInancial Consumer Agency seems to have a tool to investigate every type of account from every institution out there: http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/Eng...

about 2 months ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

j-beda Re:Yes we're going to keep using FTDI chips (572 comments)

We don't use any of the serial only chips, but on the higher end with JTAG and SPI the FTDI parts work great and aren't too expensive. If any "clone" chips get into our supply chain we would be very pissed at whoever did it. We specify actual FDTI parts for a reason. The "clones" have very hit or miss quality. We don't use them under windows either.

I suspect however that if FDTI fakes did make it into your supply chain, you would much prefer any FDTI software updates to toss up a "we won't work with this device" message rather than making the device not work with any software. I don't know that I would continue to use a supplier with this type of business practice if there were any viable alternatives.

about 2 months ago
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An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

j-beda Re: Agner Krarup Erlang - The telephone in 1909! (342 comments)

The most "efficient" method in terms of customers served per unit time is multiple lines, one behind each register - then there is minimal downtime between customers and the numbers served are maximized, however it has the major disadvantage of not minimizing the time spent in line by each customer - the unlucky ones pick a slow attendant who managed to get all of the slow patrons with special situations that need extra time to serve. The one line feeding separate servers is most fair as everyone goes through the same line and nobody gets stuck waiting for the slow server or stuck behind the slow patrons while being passed by the lucky patrons who got the faster lines. However, the one line has the disadvantage of causing a delay for everyone for each customer as the customer walks to the checkout from the front of the single line. This can be substantive: if the walk is ten seconds and the line is 60 people long, this is 600 seconds, or ten extra minutes you would be standing in line compared to if the walk was instantaneous. The way around this is to have a long line feeding to short lines (even only one patron deep) at each checkout. Yes, people stuck behind a problem patron can sometimes wait a bit longer than they might like, but on average they tend to be better off. I have seen this type of thing work well at customs checkpoints at airports, where there is someone in authority telling people where to go. The difficulty of course is that any of these single line->multiple checkers work well without mechnisms to keep them working - either a machine or a person telling the next in line where to go and ideally watching the whole system to work around individual slowdowns and special cases. It is not very self-organizing.

about 2 months ago
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If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

j-beda Re:If you want results from the web (313 comments)

It's fine to do that for gmail or yahoo, Comcast, etc but deepdarksecert.com might not appreciate it if iPhones are sending that information back to apple even if it is never published.

I don't think that anything beyond the "deepdarkseceret.com" is going to to Apple, but I suppose if you are worried about anyone knowing what your email address is, then yeah, it might be a concern. Someone posted a link to an RFC of some sort that detailed how mail server settings should be published that could make this type of system unneccessary - too bad that is not more widely implemented.

about 2 months ago
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

j-beda Re:About time (334 comments)

We just watched Empire "uncut" last week http://www.starwarsuncut.com/ but I don' tthink there were any biplane scenes. It was fun.

about 2 months ago
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

j-beda Re:May I suggest (334 comments)

Summer temperatures up north can still get pretty warm. Bettles AK (on the arctic circle) has high temperates in the summer of at least the low 90s occasionally, and this is warm enough that compined with a sealed car and lots of sun can certainly push the car temperatures up pretty high. Summer days can be very long too.

about 2 months ago
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If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

j-beda Re:ET Phone home (313 comments)

Well I could always block encrypted traffic and implement introspection rules or allow encrypted traffic and implement MITM. It is my LAN and there is absolutely nothing apple can do about it ;-)

If my phone and Apple's server already have a pre-shared encryption key, how are you going to implement a MITH attack? (or should that be "an MITM attack"? I suppose it depends if you read it as "em-eye-tee-em" or "Man In The Middle".) You can certainly drop the connection, but I don't see how you could read or spoof it.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Role-Playing Game in "Latin Prose Composition" class

j-beda j-beda writes  |  about a year and a half ago

j-beda (85386) writes "In a classroom where students battle away at mythological creatures and Latin grammar, Dr. Gellar-Goad has reinvigorated an out-dated course and brought new teaching methods with a twist of adventure.

In his first year as a Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Classical Languages, Gellar-Goad has developed a unique and innovative method for teaching Latin Prose Composition, a class which is a major requirement for Latin majors. It is typically a course designed to be an intense review of Latin grammar and rigorous practice translating English sentences into Latin."

Link to Original Source
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Online "guilds" share featurs of real life gangs

j-beda j-beda writes  |  about 5 years ago

j-beda (85386) writes "In June 2009, Dr Neil Johnson published a paper titled "Human group formation in online guilds and offline gangs driven by a common team dynamic" in Physical Review E that found the way in which WoW "guilds" form can be described by a mathematical model that can also be applied to an unrelated group of people, namely street gangs in Los Angeles. Since "Any group that satisfies these fairly autonomous, competitive criteria would also (fit the model)," said Dr Johnson, the findings are of interest to though combating international as well as local terrorist cells."
Link to Original Source

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