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Gabriele Graves

Do you stay logged in or do you log out?

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I generally TP home before going AFK, in case I end up being away longer than I expected.  If I think that I will be away for more than 15 or 20 minutes, I will log off, but every once in awhile there is the longer than expected AFK.  

I always log off before going to bed and before leaving the house, because I always turn my PC off before going to bed or leaving the house.  When I do log off, I don't have any specific routine other than making sure I'm back home.

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Maddy, what power strip do you use?

Here, we have a "whole house" surge protector at the power panel, and surge protected power strips (or, for the computers, a UPS).  I still turn off the machines when we have a thunderstorm.  I know that I should actually physically unplug everything from the walls, but that is such a huge pain, especially for the many outlets that are obstructed by tables, desks, or bookcases.

It would be so convenient if there was a "smart" power strip that used Z-wave.  I could "unplug" everything in the house with a quick Alexa command.  Well, except for Alexa, the Z-wave hub, and all the Z-wave switches and plugs that the Resident Geek installed during our renovation.

I guess we are just going to have to fry.

I also have a whole house surge protector at the panel and use server grade surge protectors in the lab.

iDevices, WEMO, and I'm sure others, produce smart plug in switches that use electro-mechanical relays. If the specifications say the switch can handle 15A or 1800W, it's very likely electro-mechanical. Solid state switches are often limited to 5A or so and are susceptible to the same damage as any other electronic device. There are electro-mechanical switches rated for less than 15A. The only way to know for sure if something contains an actual relay is to operate one and listen for the "click". I have both iDevices and WEMO switches (they both click) and prefer the WEMO. They are considerably less expensive (though do not have nightlights and do not monitor power usage) and always respond to commands. My iDevices switches go AWOL now and then. I use Apple's Homekit to control everything, you may have different results using Alexa or some other alternative.

The power strip that runs along my bench is plugged into a server grade UPS with integral surge protection. That's plugged into a WEMO switch which is plugged into... a server grade surge protector. You probably don't need a UPS (nor do I, really), so that entire protection chain should cost maybe $100-150. If you have above ground feed to your house and that gets hit, there's still a chance your computer will get hit, but every link in the chain actually helps. I've a friend who feeds his data critical hardware through a 100ft extension cord coiled in the bottom of his server rack, reasoning that the inductance/resistance of that long run of wire will soften the blow to his UPS. I can't say he's wrong.

ETA: My surge protectors are 30+ years old (I should probably replace them) and no longer made. This is pretty close.
 

Edited by Madelaine McMasters

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1 hour ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Being plugged in is all it takes, unless the power switch on the computer is purely mechanical, making a hard break with the power line. Many (most?) modern computers are actually always on, but in some kind of sleep mode when inactive. In that case, the power supply electronics are continuously connected to the mains and the surge or spike will travel into the power supply whether it's on or sleeping. The fast spikes of a lightning strike must be stopped by the protection components in the power supply itself, and that won't depend much, if at all, by what's going on. There probably is a situation in which the computer is safer if it's on, but I wouldn't count on that.

It's good practice to unplug sensitive electronic devices if you have a history of disturbances during lightning storms. If your neighborhood is powered by overhead cable, a strike nearby could cause quite a bit of damage. My neighborhood is now fed entirely by underground cable, all the way from the substation. A lightning strike is unlikely to reach me. Even so, My lab/office contains quite a few very expensive test instruments and my computer. They all get their power through a mechanical relay power strip that's under software control. I can disconnect all of the lab circuits remotely at any time, presuming a storm hasn't already knocked out Internet access.

My relay solution may not help you if your house is fed from an overhead line and lightning strikes the line. A direct hit might exceed the blocking potential of any mechanical switches, arcing right through them. Should that happen, you're likely to have bigger problems than data/computer loss.

All of the computers and equipment in the building I was talking about were on surge protectors. The problem is, no surge protector will ever be able to fully protect electronics from lightening strikes. Especially if it was a direct strike similar to the one that wiped out all of our network cards and the television.

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I alwyays log out if I leave the (RL) appartment. I mean, almost everything is turned off then anyway. I was out of town 10 hrs for work today...

Log off while sleeping 99.99 % of the time. Don't put my avi to bed if I am alone - just usually make sure I at least have some clothes on in case of a restart. I usually just TP home and log off. Sometimes (rarely) I don't even TP home, but mostly. 

But I have a special someone where we like to go to sleep together sometimes. And if we both have the next day off, wake up together. It is really something to experience. For me, at least.

But sure, forgotten to log out a few times too. In my own home or worst case that of a good friend. But that's unintentional, though :)

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6 minutes ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

All of the computers and equipment in the building I was talking about were on surge protectors. The problem is, no surge protector will ever be able to fully protect electronics from lightening strikes. Especially if it was a direct strike similar to the one that wiped out all of our network cards and the television.

As I said, a direct strike is likely to hit everything, and direct strikes are far more likely for overhead feeds. My home is fed from 25KV transformer at the edge of my property. That's fed from an underground distribution transformer a mile away. That transformer is fed directly from the substation. At each transformer, there is fault protection designed to shunt lightning/surge energy into the ground and, if necessary, disconnect downstream loads if the surge can't be dissipated.

The only lightning damage I've ever sustained has come through the telephone line, taking out four phones. I no longer have a land-line and actually pulled the feed out of the wall of my house, burying it several feet from the foundation. I do have underground cable that ultimately ends up in the air on poles about a quarter mile away, but that goes to a wi-fi router plugged into the outlet at my mains panel. There is no wired path from the cable any deeper into my home. When I was young, we had a wired weather station on the roof. I eventually removed that (it was effectively a lightning rod) and replaced it with a solar-powered wireless version. I've since removed that and rely on local METAR stations and my wheelbarrow for precipitation measurements.

I think my primary vulnerability now is probably the decorative lighting hanging in the air between the trees near my patio. Should lightning strike one of the trees, it might walk into my house on the patio power wiring.

All of my computers back up to my iCloud storage accounts (I have two, at 2TB each), so even if I lose my computers, my data is safe.

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I look at the rats' nests of wires behind our computers and our entertainment centers, and the cobwebs of wires that come out of our outlets where all sorts of chargers are hooked up, and I think...

"Where's that beamed power that I was promised!?"

Where is Nikola Tesla when we need him?

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10 hours ago, Richardus Raymaker said:

People that stay logged in while sleeping must have to much money or energy is extreme cheap.

I have home solar power and drive a Tesla so... technically yeah - I don't need to worry about electricity.

Most of the US also pays Internet in a flat monthly fee and not by the amount we download / upload.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

As I said, a direct strike is likely to hit everything, and direct strikes are far more likely for overhead feeds. My home is fed from 25KV transformer at the edge of my property. That's fed from an underground distribution transformer a mile away. That transformer is fed directly from the substation. At each transformer, there is fault protection designed to shunt lightning/surge energy into the ground and, if necessary, disconnect downstream loads if the surge can't be dissipated.

The only lightning damage I've ever sustained has come through the telephone line, taking out four phones. I no longer have a land-line and actually pulled the feed out of the wall of my house, burying it several feet from the foundation. I do have underground cable that ultimately ends up in the air on poles about a quarter mile away, but that goes to a wi-fi router plugged into the outlet at my mains panel. There is no wired path from the cable any deeper into my home. When I was young, we had a wired weather station on the roof. I eventually removed that (it was effectively a lightning rod) and replaced it with a solar-powered wireless version. I've since removed that and rely on local METAR stations and my wheelbarrow for precipitation measurements.

I think my primary vulnerability now is probably the decorative lighting hanging in the air between the trees near my patio. Should lightning strike one of the trees, it might walk into my house on the patio power wiring.

All of my computers back up to my iCloud storage accounts (I have two, at 2TB each), so even if I lose my computers, my data is safe.

Never had it hit a phone line. I think all of those were buried. Power lines are never buried because they need to be readily accessible for the linemen. Can't access them easily if they are underground, not to mention the high water tables of the area. 

The building was a commercial building, not a home. The lightening didn't wipe out everything. Just the network cards and the television set.

I refuse to have any of my backups on the cloud. I don't trust it and I never will. There are too many out there that can (and will) break in and steal info. It's been made easy for them. 

From last year: https://www.fastcompany.com/40561871/cloud-security-the-reason-hackers-have-it-so-easy-will-infuriate-you

 

Edited by Silent Mistwalker

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15 minutes ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

The building was a commercial building, not a home. The lightening didn't wipe out everything. Just the network cards and the television set.

Both the network cards and the television set have TWO connections to the outside world, one is power, the other is signal. Unless you've protected both, those devices are unprotected. That's why I removed the phone line from my house and stop my cable connection at the breaker panel, moving to wi-fi for all my devices.

Regarding cloud storage, mine is secured by local encryption and two-factor authentication. It's been ages since I ran Wireshark on my home network, but that ultimately convinced me that the only surefire way of keeping data safe is to store it only on computers that have no connection to the Internet. That's far too much of a hassle for me.

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1 hour ago, Lindal Kidd said:

 

Where is Nikola Tesla when we need him?

He is dead I'm afraid. 

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Both the network cards and the television set have TWO connections to the outside world, one is power, the other is signal. Unless you've protected both, those devices are unprotected. That's why I removed the phone line from my house and stop my cable connection at the breaker panel, moving to wi-fi for all my devices.

Regarding cloud storage, mine is secured by local encryption and two-factor authentication. It's been ages since I ran Wireshark on my home network, but that ultimately convinced me that the only surefire way of keeping data safe is to store it only on computers that have no connection to the Internet. That's far too much of a hassle for me.

This happened nearly 20 years ago. There was no way back then to do what you are describing on a commercial property that did not belong to me. And seeing as how the property was up for sale the owner wasn't about to.

I use external drives that can be easily disconnected from my pc. And yes I still use CDs. Sometimes the old fashioned way of doing things is still the best. For me it is anyway.

I forgot to mention that tower was a 2 way radio tower. Not a radio station like you tune into to listen to music. And it did have a limited range of about 30 miles.

Edited by Silent Mistwalker
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44 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

I look at the rats' nests of wires behind our computers and our entertainment centers, and the cobwebs of wires that come out of our outlets where all sorts of chargers are hooked up, and I think...

"Where's that beamed power that I was promised!?"

Where is Nikola Tesla when we need him?

I remain a little skeptical of "beamed power". Years ago, I watched Intel demonstrate powering a flat panel TV from a dozen feet away, with the presenter walking through the "beam". While I'm generally satisfied that, at current RF power levels, most wireless devices we use are reasonably safe, we've never tried to pass 100 watts through someone casually. We reserve those power levels for experimentation and medical procedures. This can probably be done safely, with sufficient attention to frequency and field type (electromagnetic or magnetic only) but there's not a lot of research in the area.

Years ago, I read an article about some start-up company that was working on ultrasonic power transmission. At short wavelengths, sound can be beamed fairly directionally. Unfortunately, the young company never considered the tissue damage caused by exposure to high intensity ultrasound. This is why you see all those dire warnings on ultrasonic jewelry cleaners. Mac has one that can actually cook a hotdog dropped into it, and it uses less power than the start up company was expecting to beam at Starbuck's patrons wishing to recharge their phones while drinking cups of coffee that the beam itself could probably keep warm.

I can't be the only skeptic. Beamed power, like my flying car, is still (thankfully!) just a promise.

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These days I generally tp home and snuggle in bed with my love then log out. 

But like many others have stated I have also remained logged in wherever I was before I walked away from the computer only to find myself still there many hours later (or the next day). 

In the past I was in a relationship with someone who loved to sleep in SL and would stay logged in all the time.  Back then my computer was in my bedroom and I loved waking up touching the computer and seeing us still sleeping together the next morning. That only works if you both use desktops, a laptop would fry.  But it was great, specially when we woke up together. Not the same when the computer is in another room though.

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4 hours ago, Claireschen Hesten said:

I blame the alts 😄 i think they're jealous that they don't as much inworld time 

It's always the alts faults! Maybe give them more inworld time and you might log on perfectly the next time 🙂

 

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2 hours ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

I use external drives that can be easily disconnected from my pc. And yes I still use CDs. Sometimes the old fashioned way of doing things is still the best. For me it is anyway.

I forgot to mention that tower was a 2 way radio tower. Not a radio station like you tune into to listen to music. And it did have a limited range of about 30 miles.

I still use CDs and local external drives too. I trust the cloud as far I can throw the 40 footer city bus I drive. Sometimes I have people ask "why all that when your phone does it all" except I'm one of 11 people minus a smart phone. I'm also an amateur radio operator and recently we provided communications when the local cell phone networks went down due to some kind of glitch. The ham radio will always work.

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1 hour ago, Kimmi Zehetbauer said:

I still use CDs and local external drives too. I trust the cloud as far I can throw the 40 footer city bus I drive. Sometimes I have people ask "why all that when your phone does it all" except I'm one of 11 people minus a smart phone. I'm also an amateur radio operator and recently we provided communications when the local cell phone networks went down due to some kind of glitch. The ham radio will always work.

Make that 12 people minus a smart phone. 

I never had the opportunity to operate a ham but I sure did love my home based CB and the one in my truck. 😁

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I always make sure that I change into pajamas and tuck myself in bed before I log off. I've never remained afk while sleeping. 

There have been a few times though where I've kept my avi logged in when I've had to go to a particularly stressful doctor's appointment or medical test. There is something comforting in the idea that my avatar (who I view as an extension of myself), can be doing something pleasant like sitting out in the back garden holding my daughter. A small part of me is at least missing that tough appointment or test and that is the first thing I get to see after I return home. 

It can really brighten the day.

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19 hours ago, Gabriele Graves said:

Like other posters I have, over the years, talked with people who thought that your avatar stayed online when you log out.  It seems to be one of those persistent newbie myths.  I know I believed it for a while too.

Fun fact, there are actually a lot of games where this is the case, particularly games that allow building. Easy to assume SL would be similar. 

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3 hours ago, Gadget Portal said:

Fun fact, there are actually a lot of games where this is the case, particularly games that allow building. Easy to assume SL would be similar. 

It would be kind of cool if this was an option for SL, I know a lot of people would like it.  Especially if it were just some kind of ghost avatar and maybe didn't count against the region avatar count.  Sounds like it would be a resource problem though and impractical, but still it would be an awesome option, just go into preferences and check "Permanent Presence".

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Richardus Raymaker said:

People that stay logged in while sleeping must have to much money or energy is extreme cheap.

 

Need to admit that secondlife does not really use cpu or gou resources. So fans would not soin up. But it's still extra noise that can better be turned off.

My power is relatively cheap and my PC fans are very quiet so I guess I am lucky but I do try not to forget to log out most of the time too.  I don't feel too guilty when I do forget though.  A lot of NZ electricity is renewable energy: Renewable energy in New Zealand

Edited by Gabriele Graves

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8 hours ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

Never had it hit a phone line. I think all of those were buried. Power lines are never buried because they need to be readily accessible for the linemen. Can't access them easily if they are underground, not to mention the high water tables of the area.

I have had minor strikes before but nothing noteworthy but the worst surge we ever had was when an articulated truck carrying a house tried to go through our small town, didn't have clearance under a power line over the road (yes, most of NZ power is on poles!) and burst into flames taking out the local transformer and downing power to our entire area.  I lost my router and power supply unit that night.

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7 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I remain a little skeptical of "beamed power".

[snipped for brevity]

I can't be the only skeptic. Beamed power, like my flying car, is still (thankfully!) just a promise.

I like my wireless charger for my phone so much, you just plonk it in and go, no nasty cables.

"Beamed power"

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I pulled my electric rates and found the wattage info for our computers and monitors (my husband and I), and then did the calcs. If we shut them down each evening, between the two of us we would save approx. $1.50 per day.  That is for 2 fairly beefy computers and 4 monitors.

I put the computer in sleep mode each evening and the monitors go off automatically after 10 min of no activity.  That's good enough for me.

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1 hour ago, Gabriele Graves said:

I like my wireless charger for my phone so much, you just plonk it in and go, no nasty cables.

"Beamed power"

Qi charging is NOT beamed power, it's near-field inductive coupling, not unlike the inductive "burners" on glass top electric stoves, or the magnetic induction science demonstration kits you could buy for $5 at American Science and Surplus when I was young. I had a little coil of wire connected to a tiny light bulb that would glow when you placed the coil on top of a cardboard box. It was magic I understood at the age of 10. Like your phone charger, I couldn't lift the coil more than 1/4" before the light went out. I certainly couldn't place my hand between the coils and you can't either.

The Intel demonstration involved two huge coils separated by several feet, between which a person could stand. The field strength and operating frequency were such that the charging field would almost certainly mess up anyone wearing a pacemaker who was unfortunate enough to get close. The coupling field extended as far behind the transmit coil as in front of it, meaning that you wouldn't actually have to step between the coils to be exposed to significant magnetic field energy. It's not often I see fairly well educated engineers demonstrate something to poorly thought out.

You have to reach fairly high RF frequencies before you can actually focus them into a beam using small antennas. The beamed systems I've seen operate in the GHz+ frequency range, where human tissue absorption ratios are significant. I would not want to walk into a 100W RF beam and find myself absorbing even 10% of it. Ultrasonic beam chargers can also cause tissue damage, and optical systems can cause eye damage. Intel has gone quiet since their demo. MIT/WiTricity had a similar demo and made bold claims back in 2007 or so. They gave up and now WiTricity is focused on inductive couple chargers for electric cars, where you drive your vehicle with a big coil on its belly over a similar coil embedded in the garage floor. They've been reduced from the wizardry of "beamed power" to purveyors of big ass versions of my coil-and-light magic act. It's astonishing to me that so many smart people can fool them selves so deeply for so long.

Yes, I remain a skeptic. I do not expect to live long enough to see commercial availability of a charging system that can charge my phone regardless where I set it down in a room, a goal which has vaporized countless millions of venture dollars since Tesla (and others before him) first hatched the idea.

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