Re: Looks like idiot machines
"there being no difference in cost to power a 1500 watt resistance heater and a 1500 watt quad GPU mining rig."
The rig is actually a lot more efficient at being a heater :) in general the fans and components are of a much higher quality, and the heat generating components do so highly efficiently.
Obviously you're comparing a "heater" that cost maybe 30 euros with one costing 3k. Or in my case, 4 costing a total of 3k for 1600W total. Xeons, GPUs and server parts run at 50% load. The rack is on a UPS, but the closet heaters are just plugged into normal mains.
It's the 400W warm closets with quiet fan noises that the police want to have a look at, in case there's an indoor garden.
" I'll bet there are a fair number of smaller operations that are sitting in basements of apartment or office buildings sucking down "free" electricity."
Someone is always picking up the tab. You can get away with doing it in any place that requires heating (such as an office), as the net extra power and the lower heating costs will balance each other out. But if it's in somewhere that needs cooling, like a DC, then it'll show up, as it's costing power and AC. Someone will end up paying extra for it.