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Comment Re:but (Score 1) 94

Short term solution:

1. Pink noise generator, through a parabolic reflector aimed at the camera (microphone)
2. Small laser pointer aimed at the camera lens, or if that's a problem legally, a small array of superbright LEDs facing the lens - use some on white, and a few on red, green, and blue.

Longer term:
Call the authorities at the slightest hint of a breach of regulations. Pay for a friend to stay at the guest house and take notes of any code violations - health, building, electrical, etc, then hand that over to the Council inspectors.

Comment Re:Do we still need nuclear? (Score 1) 87

If you were to replace electric heating with gas/wood, and electric cooking with gas (or wood), your daily kWh (of electrical demand) would plummet. Any electrical heating element is a killer for off-grid use.

Is air-conditioning part of the consideration? Are you planning to live somewhere that you might do without it? Is your off-grid house going to have some passive cooling designs?

If you want to go off-grid, you've *got* to change your outlook. In order to avoid spending more money on PV, batteries, and backup generator fuel, your whole approach to energy use must change. Do an energy aufit of your current usage, and decide how much of that could be made more efficient, e.g. LED to replace incandescent lighting.

FWIW, my house of 2 adults and 2 teenagers used ~9kWh daily when I last did an audit. No aircon, no electric heating or cooking, all wood and gas. All but one of us use a laptop instead of energy-hungry desktops, and we don't do without anything else, except blackouts.

Comment Re:Don't let the door hit... (Score 1) 87

Never dealt with Asus, I suspect.

I'm rather displeased with Toshiba, too, but not for that reason. They've pulled out of the low-end and consumer laptop business, which is a shame, because in 10 years I've only had one customer with a fault that required talking to Toshiba customer support.

Now I've got to find a new brand that has similar reliability. Perhaps I'll give Lenovo a try - wouldn't touch HP with a ten-foot pole.

Comment Re:no, not really (Score 1) 110

I can see a rise in popularity for "dazzle camoflage" makeup and hairstyles, and t-shirts with big pictures of famous people. A picture of Trump/famous-person-of-your-choice on your t-shirt is going to make life difficult for facial recognition systems.

Mind you, being identified as Trump is somewhat belittling.....

Perhaps use a dead celebrity on the front, and a live one on the back.

Comment Re:Base load (Score 2) 189

If you're charging batteries using AC, you're doing it wrong (except in extended bad weather). There's been this push to make PV panels convert to AC immediately using a micro-inverter on each panel, then feed that AC to the grid - which is fine if you're grid-connected. OTOH my batteries are mostly fed by old-school DC. Being lead-acid, they need about 10% more put in than they can supply, they feed the DC lighting and refrigeration circuits directly, an the AC inverter runs at about 89-94% efficiency depending on load. I've been living this way for >20 years, and it IS a viable option. YMMV, but just because it's not viable *for some situations* doesn't mean it's off the table.

Why do so many people make binary statements? Renewable energy sources are *part* of the solution, they're not *all* of the solution, and they're not *none* of the solution.

Comment Re:Using a computer has become a minefield. (Score 4, Interesting) 498

Obviously, it isn't connected to the Internet.

That's not obvious at all. It has a very small attack surface (not many VOS instances around), running on highly specialised hardware. Can't run up one of those in a VM to test vulnerability. Lots of easier targets for the taking.

Also, my Win 7 systems (6 desktops/laptops) and one XP machine run no anti-malware with the exception of noscript in their browsers, all run behind a consumer-grade ADSL2+ modem/router with a consumer-grade firewall, and guess what? WE DON'T GET MALWARE INFECTIONS, because we're smart enough to follow basic security practices.

Some people need their hands held, and some don't. You can't lump us all in with the first category.

Comment Re:hyper-v and don't install chrome extensions (Score 1) 352

Well, the first experiment was to install it on the same laptop, but with an SSD instead of the HDD. It worked. Presumably the substitution of an SSD wasn't enough for the installation to consider it a different machine. I've now got an SSD with an activated copy of Win 7 to slot in as soon as the HDD fails.

Then I installed it as a guest VM (virtualbox) on the same host. That also worked. Didn't need luck, but I only did that to prove it would work.

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