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Comment Re:"free of snow and ice" (Score 1) 163

And how much solar power do they generate when covered by snow/ice? Your objection is short sighted...

My objection is about it taking more power to keep them clear than they could generate.

If they generate 48 watts per panel, but are drawing 150 watts to run the heating elements, they're losing 102 watts the whole time the heating elements are on.

Maybe they have figured out some way to require far less power per square foot to melt snow/ice on a flat surface than the roof heating systems I looked at for reference, but they'd have to be down below 10 watts per square foot to break even under ideal conditions. That is not much heat at all, and as others have pointed out in the sort of conditions where you'd need the heaters running the weather tends to not be anywhere close to ideal for solar so the chances you'd even get 48 watts are slim.

Comment Re:"free of snow and ice" (Score 1) 163

According to all the articles and press releases power generation is the primary purpose of these panels. They claim they'll have enough surplus to offset the energy usage of the entire town square. If they are consuming more power in an hour than they could generate in three, just to keep them able to generate power, that doesn't make a bit of sense.

Now if they were hyping this as an interactive LED sidewalk that's heated to stay clear on its own in winter, and it also happens to generate some solar power, that'd be an entirely different thing. That's not what they're doing though.

Comment Re:"free of snow and ice" (Score 2) 163

just how much snow and ice melting does it take to turn these into a net negative rather than positive generator of energy?

My thoughts exactly. This installation has 30 tiles over 150 square feet, so five square feet per tile, with each tile generating 48 watts total under ideal conditions. Let's be nice and round it to 10 watts per square foot.

Looking at a variety of heated driveway and heated roof systems it seems that most use somewhere between 30 and 60 watts per square foot to effectively combat snow and ice. That's 3-6 times the best-case power generation of these panels.

Comment Re:Old school reflective lcd (Score 1) 294

Your information is years out of date. I've been using an ssh application on an ereader and I've been getting around half a second refresh. There's also a debian distro for the pocket Kobo from maybe three years back that has an on screen clock that updates in seconds - so less than one second refresh there.

Router/switch activity lights blink at a rate I'm not entirely sure of but definitely exceeds 10Hz. 1-2Hz is not enough to be useful for the purpose IMO.

I have a Kindle Paperwhite, I know how quickly modern displays can refresh. I actually want to build a thermostat that uses an e-ink display because it makes perfect sense in that role. but for a network device's status indicator it's no good.

Comment Re:Old school reflective lcd (Score 1) 294

Even cheap electronic paper can be updated once per second with fairly low power requirements. For activity, the lights have basically been useless for decades: unless you're the only one on the network and are sending pings one per second, they're basically always on. It would be far more use to have a few more pixels and display a logarithmic scale bar of total throughput. For power on, something that alternated between - and | once per second would let you know that there was power flowing, without needing a static light.

I'm looking at the gigabit Cisco switch on the desk next to me and definitely have to disagree with you there. I can clearly see the difference in activity between for example the port my VoIP phone is on and the ports my server and router are on. I can see how heavy the broadcast traffic is based on how often all ports blink simultaneously. I don't know what their actual blink rate is but I can say for sure it's greater than 10Hz on a highly active port. Many times over the years I've used the lights to help locate the source of a network loop or broadcast storm. The fact that the lights can blink rapidly is the key to that working.

A LCD might be able to go fast enough, I'm not sure.

The utilization indicator definitely could work though, I won't deny that.

Comment Re:Old school reflective lcd (Score 3, Informative) 294

Make it e-paper, not LCD, then it will be readable under any light. If e-paper displays are cheap enough to put on store shelves as price tags, then they should be cheap enough to serve as a status display on a router.

E-paper would be a terrible display for this purpose. It can't change fast enough to work as an activity light, and since it maintains an image effectively forever until updated it's not trustworthy for lower rate status monitoring like power on. If the device crashed or even powered off entirely without resetting the display first it'd look normal at a glance.

Comment Re:Need to do two things (Score 1) 149

Tuning adapters suck.

Tuning adapters suck for the same reason CableCard as a whole kinda sucked. Because the cable industry as a whole wanted them to suck. Ever notice how their own boxes never had the same problems, even during the time they were forced to use the same CableCard interfaces? Or how variable the support was between providers, with some providers happily shipping cards to consumers and offering self-service interfaces to activate them where others would insist on a truck roll and scheduled appointment (with standard cable company timing)?

Look at the same concept as implemented in Europe. Over-the-air, cable, and satellite television all use variants of the DVB standard. It even has an IPTV variant, though I'm not sure how widely it's deployed in that context. There's a standard interface for a service provider's encryption solution. Any consumer can use any compatible device with any television provider, and it works great.

For whatever reason (read: doesn't benefit the right companies) in this country we have a history of looking at problems Europe's already solved and saying "nope, we can make something much worse for consumers". See also GSM vs. CDMA and the fact that Verizon still insists to this day that they need to individually certify each device while the majority of cell carriers on the planet happily work all day with whatever phones happen to be compatible.

It's easy to be compatible if you want to be compatible. What these companies try to avoid saying outright is that they don't want to be compatible.

Comment Re:Ooh (Score 1) 73

Are there a lot of cell towers in these areas where cell service for internet is a viable option?

I have 250/25 cable and theoretically 24/2 DSL (really 14/1.5) at my house. A friend of mine two miles away has no cable and theoretically 6/1 DSL that really delivers about 3/256k most days. The same T-Mobile tower covers both of our houses, off which my old Note 4 gets 65/30.

Comment Re:Not plugin free (Score 1) 134

They've been procratinating on this "remove NPAPI" thing for years now. They always say they will and never actually do since it would rregress their market position by breaking most of the web.

Chrome (which has about 50% of desktop users) removed NPAPI entirely almost a year ago. None of the mobile browsers (which depending on country may be the majority of internet users) have ever had it. The vast majority of the web isn't going to miss it, because they don't have it right now and they clearly don't care.

Comment Re: happened to me today (Score 2, Interesting) 281

What if it were a disk failure instead? Cryptolocker? Inadvertent keystroke, or even cat on the keyboard?

The partition getting deleted is obviously Microsoft's fault. The fact that it caused permanent loss of important data however is more the user's fault. If it's important it needs to be on at least two different disks, and the further separated those disks are physically the better.

Just because someone is the victim doesn't make their actions or lack thereof perfect. If you're not backing up your important data you're guaranteeing that many possible problems which would otherwise be an inconvenience immediately get bumped up to disaster.

Comment Re:Cheaper ??? (Score 1) 351

I Still have that vette well maintained.

If you want to put money where your mouth is, I'll be glad to race

If by some chance you happen to be within a reasonable distance of Northeast Ohio I'd be up for it. Dragway 42 is my "home track" but it's been closed for renovations for two years and doesn't look to be reopening this year either, so I guess Norwalk's the next closest. Mid-Ohio as far as tracks with turns. I don't know if BeaveRun is still open to cars, I heard they might have gone karts-only. Or of course there are a lot of nice twisty roads outside of the major metro areas where some unofficial runs could easily occur.

Comment Re:Cheaper ??? (Score 3, Informative) 351

In 76 I had a Lincoln Continental Mark, in 78 I had a Corvette Anniversary edition.

I doubt I could buy any car made today that had the crashworthyness of the Lincoln.

Just go on to Youtube and look for any of the many old vs. new crash test videos. Sure, the older car tends to take less damage (though not always, some of those older chassis designs crumpled in horrific ways), but it clearly passes that damage on to the fleshy meatbags inside when that happens.

Here's a slightly later model Continental Sedan to demonstrate (, those behaved pretty much like any other larger cars of the era in a crash.

If you only care about the car being cheap to fix, yeah the old cars win, but if you care about reducing injuries to the people in the car the new cars have it by miles.

To get the performance of the Vette would cost me 6 times what that car went for.

A '78 Corvette had a base price of $9351, and the optional L-82 motor added $525. If you actually mean the package with the silver special anniversary paint that's another $779 in mandatory options. To put it simply we're definitely talking about a $10-12k car in 1978 dollars. In 2016 dollars that'd be close to $37,000.

That car with its 220 HP pushing 3500ish pounds through a four speed stick, depending on source, took around 6.5 seconds to get to 60 MPH, ran the quarter mile in around 15.3 seconds at around 95 MPH, and topped out around 130 MPH, give or take margin of error.

My current car, a Mk7.5 Ford Fiesta ST (aka ST180 in some markets) with 200HP pulling 2700 lbs through a six speed stick, does 6.7 seconds to 60 MPH, quarter mile in 15.2 at 93 MPH, and tops out around 140 MPH. You can go to any Ford dealer and have one out the door for $21-23k, or a bit over half the inflation-adjusted value of your Corvette, and the performance is close enough at the drag strip that driver error with the stick shift is likely to be more of a factor than anything else for either vehicle. I'd be willing to bet anything that the Fiesta would run circles around the Corvette around a track with turns as well simply because '70s American cars were never exactly known for their handling.

If we instead take the comparison up to the equivalent price range, the upper $30k range will easily put you in to a Mustang GT Performance Pack or a Camaro SS, both of which offer mid-400 horsepower ratings pushing about 3600 lbs and both will get you in to the 4 second 0-60 range and low 13 (or even high 12) second quarter miles at over 110 MPH. If we bring used cars in to the equation that kind of money will easily get a C6 Corvette Z06 with a 500 horsepower LS7 engine, which is an absolute beast of a car that will hold its own with a lot of proper supercars.

So no, you wouldn't have to spend six times as much. You would barely even have to spend more than half as much. If you wanted to spend even the same amount you'd be in to an entirely different world of performance.

By modern standards pretty much nothing older than the late '80s is really fast.

Comment Re:Why?? (Score 1) 134

Sure. But (and this was the case at Target) about your HVAC system that you outsource to a 3rd party vendor. Your POS system can only talk to an accounting system, which in turn talks to the Bank. You've locked down the subnet, sure. BUT since your POS system can talk to the same subnet as that HVAC system (because the boss needs to be able to admin it), and that gets compromised, then there is still a way out. OR they compromise the accounting system which has access to send reports to corporate, and that is the way out.

It's not always that easy, unless you follow the best rules and have everything physically separate -- but then again that costs more money and adds a lot more complexity.

Why the hell would your POS system need to talk to the same subnet the HVAC does?

VLANs aren't exactly rocket science. Firewall and switches enforce a logical separation between the devices. Boss' PC is allowed to connect to admin address(es) on both POS and HVAC subnets, only traffic on expected ports is allowed. Bonus points for logging and alerting on traffic that shouldn't be, say the HVAC system attempting to connect to the POS system or either attempting to connect to hosts outside of their approved list. Yes it's still possible to do something with those kinds of restrictions, say if the HVAC system used a web interface and the boss had an outdated or zero-dayed browser/plugin, but it's a lot more complicated than having them on the same subnet able to directly talk.

Comment Re:Why?? (Score 1) 134

How does that change anything? It's pretty trivial to lock something down to only communicate with approved endpoints, I do it all the time. My hosted PBX customers' phones can connect to two subnets; my primary location and my secondary. The rest of the internet may as well not exist as far as they're concerned.

For something like this where a few milliseconds of added latency isn't a big deal you could put the POS systems on an isolated network that only connects out over VPNs and has no access to the actual internet at all.

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