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Comment: Re:Survival (Score 1) 449

by Areyoukiddingme (#48032917) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Show me an example of these codes please. I have been researching this for the past two hours and have looked at multiple occupancy permitting codes across the U.S. and there just isn't any such requirement that I've been able to find.

The codes you're looking for tend to be at the city, township, or county level. A great many of them have not been put online yet, and haven't really changed in 30 or 40 years.

Comment: Re:I wonder what a government node could do. (Score 3, Insightful) 54

by Areyoukiddingme (#48032215) Attached to: Hong Kong Protesters Use Mesh Networks To Organize

I wonder how much information one mesh node could accumulate to incriminate other participants? How many of "the people" will be willing to participate in an uprising like this if they know that a government stooge is likely no more than two or three hops away?

You do realize that most of these protesters are literally standing two or three steps away from a government stooge wearing riot gear, right? It's not like they're even trying to blend in.

I think we're forgetting our history here. Peaceful protest only works if it seriously inconveniences as many people as possible for as long as necessary. Politely camping in a park without a permit doesn't really cut it. If they're using tear gas on you, it's a start. If they're using water cannon on you, you're getting somewhere. If they're setting dogs on you and hauling you away to county lockup by the busload, you're doing it right.

People forget exactly what happened during the Civil Rights movement in the United States. It's peaceful protest only on the protester's side. On the side of the so-called civil authorities, it's decidedly not peaceful, and rarely civil. And this has to go on for quite a long time. Literally years.

Occupy Wall Street accomplished nothing because none of that happened. These protests in Hong Kong will likely accomplish just as little. They're carefully avoiding inconveniencing anyone. Nothing happens if you do that. We demonstrated exactly that in the US. Hong Kong should learn from our mistakes. If they want to actually change things, they have to get obnoxious and get hauled away by those riot gear-equipped policemen. In droves. By the thousands. Or since we're talking about Chinese numbers here, by the tens of thousands. (It takes some serious effort to match per capita numbers in China.) Being careful not to interfere means you can be ignored, not just by authority, but by the man on the street as well. You must inconvenience people. You must interfere. You must do so as peacefully as possible, but you must do so.

Most recently, the US did it wrong. We in the US weren't willing to pay the price to get the oligarchs to back down. The populations of several Arab states did it right. Yeah, it hurts. Sorry, but that's what it takes. Are you in China ready?

Comment: Re:Catastrophe? (Score 1) 449

by Areyoukiddingme (#48030845) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

GP did specify a buried flywheel. If pieces of flywheel become embedded in the soil four or five feet under my lawn, I fail to see the catastrophe. A one- or two-percent annual failure rate for a device like that would be quite acceptable.

Catastrophe is more than danger to life and limb.

When an engineer uses the term, it can mean (and does mean, in this case) that the device is not repairable after the incident. Failures can be fixed. After a catastrophic failure of a flywheel, you're in your yard with a backhoe, digging up the old one, because not only did it disintegrate, it blew apart its generator with shrapnel, shredded its housing, and probably induced a surge in your house current as it went. And now you have to buy a new one and replace it completely, including digging out the remnants of the old one because you don't want to dig a whole new hole somewhere else, with all new wiring, and do it all over again the year after that.

A one- or two-percent annual failure rate for such an expensive device is a financial catastrophe, at the very least.

Comment: Re:Survival (Score 4, Insightful) 449

by Areyoukiddingme (#48024347) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Why batteries? Spin up a buried flywheel in a vacuum.

Because flywheels aren't actually all that energy dense, even after quite a few years of development. To store more energy, you want bigger radius, more mass, or higher speed. There are material limits to all of those things. Push any of those criteria too far and you end up with a flywheel that has a distressing tendency to self-disassemble. Catastrophically.

Oddly enough, as difficult as it is, the materials science of figuring out more efficient ways to store electrical energy by moving ions around is still easier than the materials science of keeping spinning-very-fast things in one piece.

Comment: Re:Survival (Score 1) 449

by Areyoukiddingme (#48024317) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Unless the code specifically requires that you be connected to the electrical utility grid there's no problem.

That's just the thing. Some codes do specifically require a grid connection. Building codes and accompanying occupancy permits are a perfect example of small government at work. They vary from county to county, and can even be contradictory. Of course they can't contradict state or federal codes, but they don't have to match each other. Some counties seem to take positive delight in piling on additional restrictions, on top of state codes. For the property values, of course.

So yes, there does have to be a minor revolt against codes, in many places across the nation. They were worded a little too specifically, once upon a time. A conspiracy theorist would be inclined to suspect power company lawyer involvement in drafting those codes, and I bet if you turned over enough rocks, you'd find a few. Mostly it's just sloppy language though.

Comment: Re: Yeah ... but ... it's true. (Score 1) 261

by Areyoukiddingme (#48024035) Attached to: Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

Learn to read. He's claiming Tesla has a significant profit margin per car. That is false as is shown by their SEC filings.

It's true. Sale price per car minus expenditure per car equals profit per car, and it is indeed 25%.

The company has negative net revenues because they're busily pouring money into capital investments, tooling up production lines for new cars. It's not like $700 million has vanished down a hole somewhere. They're buying real estate and massive amounts of machinery. Starting a car company from scratch requires investment. You don't just wave a hand and cars start pouring out of a door in the side of a building.

Comment: Re:If you really had piles of $, ie the DOD.... (Score 1) 37

by Areyoukiddingme (#48023817) Attached to: Marines Put Microsoft Kinect To Work For 3D Mapping

The Marines deploy to austere environments, so their requirements are typically a little different. Large rooms like the one you linked might work for the General's briefing in the rear (though I can't imagine a single Marine facility that would pay for something like that), but battalions downrange need something a little smaller. IAAFM (former Marine).

Judging by the former Marines I've known, the last thing a Marine wants is yet another electronic gadget that doesn't work with yet another battery that always needs charging. I suspect this little toy has a long way to go before it convinces a Marine there's something better than a plastic film topo map.

Comment: Obligatory (Score 5, Funny) 296

Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

And... the Internet shall descend into Anarchy! With a capital Anarchy!

Comment: Re:Nothing New here (Score 1) 125

Not really telling us anything we didn't already know though, is it? They've been saying this for months.

Naturally. They're waiting for some crisis that has all the news in a foaming slather, so they can quietly drop it into a Friday night Take out the Trash Day and hope the news organizations will ignore it.

Like, say, a shooting war between the US and Russia.

Comment: Re:Anybody Notice? (Score 1) 171

by Areyoukiddingme (#48014927) Attached to: When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

On the other hand, it means that people with a psychiatric problem (or autists) can now walk around talking loudly to themselves without looking like crazies. Which is brilliant!

Some of those people walking around with their heads down having a social life through their phone do, in fact, fall further out on the autism spectrum than most people. The phone enables them to function significantly more than they otherwise would be able to.

I'm quite certain autism is over-diagnosed today, but there are plenty of genuine sufferers and the percentage of the population who is autistic only has to stay steady for the number of autistic people to rise. Population is still going up, albeit more slowly than it used to. If the phone lets them navigate society on their own, so much the better.

The GP sounds just like the last generation, yelling at their kids to "get off the phone, you're tying up the line!" Which obviously had no detrimental affect on the continuance of the species, or there wouldn't be this new generation to yell at.

Comment: Re:No warning? (Score 2) 54

by Areyoukiddingme (#48014827) Attached to: Update: At Least 31 People Feared Dead After Japan Volcano Erupts

There is no law forcing scientists to predict earth quakes or volcanic eruptions ... so, how smart was your remark?

It was a reference to this story where Italy put 7 people, including 6 scientists, in prison for manslaughter for failing to predict an earthquake. There is no law forcing scientists to predict earthquakes or volcanic eruptions in Japan, but there is in Italy.

It was covered here on Slashdot. Try to keep up.

Comment: Re:Read it and weep ... (Score 2) 331

by Areyoukiddingme (#48012641) Attached to: State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives

Only licensed dealers may engage in the business of selling cars at retail. Test drives are probably considered to be part of that business; there's not many other cases where a company will lend you a vehicle for free to drive a couple of miles.

But Tesla CAN'T sell cars in Iowa. There is no one from Tesla in Iowa who will take your money. So by definition Tesla test drives are not selling cars. There's guaranteed never to be a sale in Iowa.

Tesla's lawyer will no doubt dig up case law to that effect, but I don't see the need. It's black letter law. No Teslas are sold in Iowa, therefore Tesla's activities are not selling cars, therefore those activities are legal. Yes it's a loophole, but it's a legitimate loophole. You can promote whatever you like. It's just speech. Which is free. As long as no sale occurs in Iowa, the law isn't broken.