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Comment: Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (Score 1) 176

by Areyoukiddingme (#47443713) Attached to: Peer Review Ring Broken - 60 Articles Retracted

...reproducing others' work is akin to re-writing a new software project - in software dev, it's a losing game.

Is it? Because this happens all the time, for both commercial and open source software. Especially in open source. Somebody gets a bug up their butt and decides to reimplement, from scratch, a duplicate of some perfectly usable, functional software. Because they didn't like the language it was written in. Or they didn't like the style it was written in. They want a functional implementation, not object oriented. Or whatever. It's rampant.

The analog when it comes to scientific studies would be to reproduce a result not to follow a procedure. Any scientist worthy of the chair he's holding down should have a deep enough understanding of his field to come up with a way to reproduce a particular result using a different approach. I think this should serve both purposes: it validates the result, and the process followed, being different, should qualify for publication in its own right. It should be obvious that such an approach is considerably more valuable than "do the same thing over again."

If that isn't possible, either scientists aren't thinking creatively enough, or the analogy is actually fairly poor.

Comment: Re:Thanks for the detail (Score 1) 387

by Areyoukiddingme (#47435955) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

Feasibility is debatable, but you've moved the needle. Certainly, if you happen to be in the middle of the wilderness where natural gas isn't available, batteries could be considered feasible in those conditions at least.

I said feasible. I never said reasonable. Not at current prices and current average incomes. But that wasn't what I was debating. I was debating the assertion that solar can not be base load source for everything, when clearly it can. Physics doesn't prevent it. Manufacturing doesn't prevent it. Finance only makes it difficult, not impossible, and it's actually not totally out of the realm of possibility even now. People, perhaps inadvisably, pay considerably more for a car than it would cost to equip their house with 5 days of battery backup. The purchasing power is certainly there for a large fraction of the population, or SUVs would cost a lot less. And everything I referenced when calculating actual prices and capacities is an off-the-shelf product. No lab vaporware required.

I never claimed pumped storage was necessary or even desirable. I'm not sure who did. I hadn't seen any such claim before this discussion.

Flood calculators are popular for visualizing the effects of sea level rise, so I wouldn't be surprised if you've played with one written in Javascript on a page that talks about "if sea level rose 6 inches, it would flood ...."

I haven't, no. I believe the more lurid tales of possible climate change consequences are nothing more than marketing of the "if it bleeds, it leads" variety. Bullshit, in other words. No reputable model predicts catastrophic anything, and for more than a decade now they've all predicted temperatures that are too warm compared to what the actual temperature now is.

No, photovoltaics and battery backups interest me for a much more important reason: energy independence. REAL energy independence, not some bogus "the nation is energy independent" irrelevance. I'm talking about personal energy independence. It's physically possible right now. Financially, it's iffy. If you get lucky and operational lifespans of the equipment you buy are on the high end of what's possible, you can pay off a current system and enjoy several years of zero power bills. Truly zero, with neither a utility bill nor a payment on capital equipment. As the equipment gets better and the price gets lower, that period extends longer and longer, and no longer requires you to get lucky with lifespans. There will come a time when it's a virtual certainty that I can achieve true independence, and maintain it indefinitely. That's when I pull the trigger (personal finances permitting) and get a pallet and a half of solar panels and a pallet of batteries delivered.

I predict it will happen before the decade is out, thanks largely to the efforts of Elon Musk.

Comment: Re:Thanks for the detail (Score 1) 387

by Areyoukiddingme (#47431719) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

From your reported power usage, it sounds like you're probably single. If the rest of your figures are correct, we'd have roughly a refrigerator-sized stack of batteries per person. Inverters are 0% efficient at no load (they waste 20 watts idling) to 90% at full load, so figure around 75% average efficiency, so 16-18 batteries per person rather than 12. Batteries lose capacity as they age. You don't want to replace your batteries every two years, but rather continue using them as their capacity decreases over five years, so we better go with 21 of those batteries.

Incorrect, thrice. When I wasn't single and there were three people living in this house, my electricity bill didn't triple. It didn't even double. I'd have noticed a doubled power bill, and I never got one. But it was higher. Let's call it half again as much. That makes it 16-18 batteries total for a family of three. I gather you didn't look at that page. Inverter inefficiency is included, so no change there. Battery capacity does indeed change, but since that count of 16-18 is actually massively oversupplying my nighttime needs, they won't be cycled 50%, let alone the 75% that seriously degrades operational lifespans. Add a desulfating charge controller and some tender loving care and a battery bank that large can last 10 years. When they finally do degrade far enough that my five full days of storage is in jeopardy, I don't dispose of them. I recycle them. Yes it would take quite a lot of lead to provide storage for the whole world, but the lead exists. If I don't like all that toxic lead mining, I can go with nickel-iron batteries instead. That'll take three fridges worth of storage, rather than two, but I have plenty of space in the basement.

Very likely though all this talk about lead is irrelevant. Nobody is making a nice handy turnkey fridge-sized lead-acid home energy storage unit. Tesla Motors, on the other hand, is apparently quite serious about making a nice handy turnkey fridge-sized lithium-ion home energy storage unit. With lithium-ion, we're back down to a single fridge worth of space for a family of three, and might even add a day to the storage capacity. Tesla's massively-parallel cell design and accompanying very sophisticated charge controller is still too new to get a good estimate of operational lifespan, but it's unlikely to be worse that what is achievable with other chemistries.

If you go into flood simulator software that's been loaded with the actual topography of the US and start placing dams on actual rivers and let it calculate the flooding based on real topography, you end up with about 80% flooded.

I'd like to see that simulation. I suspect it takes a supercomputer to render accurately.

So you've more or less demonstrated that pumped storage is infeasible. Why even talk about it then? Batteries are feasible.

Still not impossible to be 100% solar. Just expensive.

Comment: Re:would be awesome if we could. I want 0.0001% of (Score 1) 387

by Areyoukiddingme (#47429361) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

Let's see where we can put these reservoirs. If we calculate the required amount of water X height, we find that the reservoirs need to cover 80% of the United States. That's right, you can power the country by putting most of it underwater. And that's with magical solar panels that are free.

I call bullshit. Show your work.

Actually, since you're obviously just going to make shit up, I'll do it for you.

So I go here and plug in 916.6666 total watts per hour, giving me the 22 kWh/day it says on my power bill this month. Then I fill in 24 hours per day for the time I expect my equipment to run. Then I fill in a 48 Volt system voltage. Then I say I want 5 full days of backup capacity, so no sun for five days straight, 120 hours of battery capacity. Then I fill in 820 amp hours for this battery and the calculator spits out a number: I need 12 batteries that capacity. Looking at the data sheet, we discover that each of those batteries is 4516.875 cubic inches, for a grand total of 54202.5 cubic inches, which is 31.3672 cubic feet. Which, as luck would have it, is almost exactly the capacity of this refrigerator.

So in order to power my house in summer months, complete with the lights, appliances, computers, and the air conditioner I have today, for five whole days, I need approximately one refrigerator worth of lead acid batteries. Which will handily fit in a corner of my basement.

80% of the US under water? Bullshit. Try an extra fridge in every house. A ~$12600+charge controller+shipping fridge.

It isn't impossible to be 100% solar. Just expensive.

Comment: Re:Professor spent less than $100,000 (Score 1) 113

Ask the economics professor who beat House Majority Leader Mitch Cantor in Virginia. The professor spent less than $100,000.

So you're saying a primary election costs approximately what a house does.

Your idea of what constitutes "large amounts of money" is seriously out of whack. Probably because elections have involved astronomical amounts of money for so long.

Comment: Re:Germany gets 2.3% (Score 1) 387

by Areyoukiddingme (#47421505) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

So yeah, solar is a great way to REDUCE the demand on your base sources during lunch time. Kind of like regenerative braking REDUCES the demand on the engine. Neither is, or ever can be, a primary energy source.

Only if you can't do math. The earth intercepts 173,000 terawatts of solar power, permanently. The US currently runs plants producing 16 terawatts. So if we can manage to hog 0.009% of the Sun's output, we can replace every power plant of every type.

Not 1%. Not 1 tenth of 1%. Just a little less than 1 one hundredth of 1% of the solar power hitting the Earth.

14% of the Earth's surface area is desert. It isn't impossible to be 100% solar. Just expensive.

Comment: Re:adopt a 1950's standard of living. (Score 1) 387

by Areyoukiddingme (#47421357) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

In 1969 my dad worked for McDonnell Douglas, ,he made 20, 000 a year. That's 123,000 in Todays dollars.
His home cost 21,000 dollars. Slightly more the 1 years wages.
In today's money. you would need to make 500K a year for that same house to only be slightly less then the cost of the house.
And I mean the same damn house.

Thank you for that. It's nice to see hard numbers make the damn "you spend too much" people shut the hell up.

I'll even chime in with my own numbers. For 3 years, I spent $55 more per month that you couldn't spend in 1970, on Internet service. I had no phone service and drove an average of 10 miles per month. No, not a typo. Per month. No car payment, same as you. Driving what is now a 13 year old car. I had you beat by several thousand dollars per year. So how come I ain't rich?

Oh right. Because I labor.

Comment: Re:Climate Change on Slashdot? Bring on the fun! (Score 1) 387

by Areyoukiddingme (#47421293) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

And neither side seems to have any conception of the problems entailed in delivering an adequate supply of essentials and luxuries to 10 billion human beings later in this century. Much less any willingness to work at developing realistic solutions to the numerous problems that will be encountered.

I dunno about that. Last I checked you can't throw a chair around here without hitting somebody willing to tell you about liquid flouride thorium reactors. That same thrown chair is likely to ricochet into someone who can quote the 173,000 terawatts of solar radiation hitting the earth.

There's at least some thought being put into the energy requirements of 10 billion humans.

For the rest, that sounds about right, if a little hyperbolic. What astonishes me is you're modded above 2. The defenders of GCMs usually have mod points.

Comment: Re:No exhaustive.. (Score 1) 283

by Areyoukiddingme (#47410661) Attached to: The World's Best Living Programmers

Who's popularity is often due to their personality that makes their program popular.

Have you ever heard John Carmack talk? He's an übernerd, with some verbal tics that are just maddening. He talks about nerdy things to nerdy people. He's the polar opposite of "popular". Only 10% of the population can understand what he's talking about, let alone care what he's talking about.

And he's one of the world's greatest living programmers. It has nothing to do with personality, and everything to do with ability.

Comment: Re:Living in Colorado, and yes, there is a shortag (Score 1) 401

by Areyoukiddingme (#47403639) Attached to: No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

Ladies and Gentlemen, office/IT/tech work does not mean you don't have to WORK! and no, you are not harder workers than the rest of the world or more innovative or more irreplacable. Get off your asses!, > 2 hrs of real work a day is NOT asking too much. Crist, walk around and all you see is facebook or amazon accounts on people's machines.

Your cries for harder work are falling on deaf ears because your company has fouled up too many times.

"Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

In other words, your management has made stupid choices, repeatedly, then insisted their workers "work hard" to clean up the mess, then failed to exhibit any gratitude whatsoever for excess hours put in (illegally uncompensated, in some states). What you're seeing around you now is the end result of years of poor management. The people who like to work have long since moved on. What you have left are the people who can't be bothered to find a better managed position.

I see this in my current position. I actually have the best manager on the floor, as far as paying attention to what is happening now, paying attention to what's coming, and modifying plans in advance to aim for a different project when the customer for the first project experiences a delay. A coworker who was hired the same day I was works for a different manager. He can go two or three weeks at a time with literally nothing to do. His manager made no contingency plans. His manager paid no attention to possible delays outside of his control. So there he sits, on Facebook (or the moral equivalent). Nor can I blame him. There are too many people and too many moving parts for him to just randomly strike out on his own. He would end up working at cross-purposes with the other poorly managed people around him, and nobody likes throwing away work. So why work, let alone work hard?

Me, I'm on Slashdot tonight because I'm at the end of a project cycle. I've done releases of two products to QA, determined that a release of a third product doesn't need to happen (which was somehow missed by everybody else involved) and now I'm waiting on the last of the test results, poised to take care of any trailing problems. I'll be working on the next thing in a matter of days.

I really liked Colorado the three years I lived there, but I can tell I don't want to work for your company. You suffer from dysfunctional tech management. I could generalize that a bit. You, like so many other American companies, suffer from dysfunctional management.

Ladies and Gentlemen, management work does not mean you don't have to WORK! and no, you are not harder workers than the rest of the world or more innovative or more irreplacable. Get off your asses!, > 2 hrs of real work a day is NOT asking too much.

Comment: Re:19,000 (Score 1) 401

by Areyoukiddingme (#47403317) Attached to: No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

If they determine that the company they are employed in has reached maturity and will start sliding towards dissolution, then they adjust their priorities to 1) Maximize profits, 2) cut costs, 3) Extend profitability. This turns their business into a cash cow that gets milked, taken over, disassembled, and outsourced.

That sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The company wouldn't be "sliding towards dissolution" if these management-out-of-a-book idiots hadn't gutted the company's core skills.

People like to talk about sustainability a lot in ecological terms. Why do we never hear about it in business terms? Oh right. Because balance is hard to achieve and maintain. If you're an idiot chasing the latest fad in your glossy management magazine, you haven't got a prayer of finding and maintaining a profitable balance for any length of time, so you firmly believe that businesses have only two states: on the way up or on the way down. There is a third choice. Too bad American management is too incompetent to take that path.

Comment: Re:Obviously a mistake (Score 1) 153

by Areyoukiddingme (#47402519) Attached to: New Zealand ISP's Anti-Geoblocking Service Makes Waves

It will be changed real soon now and some low level guy will be let go.

Hollywood is not in NZ and NZ doesn't get paid royalties on all those movies filmed in NZ, so they could give a rat's ass about forcing their own ISPs to jump through Hollywood hoops. Quite the opposite, in fact. Region locked downloads are illegal in NZ, so this change isn't just intentional, it's mandatory. (For some interpretation of mandatory compliance with the law.)

Comment: Re: The rocket to nowhere (Score 1) 146

by Areyoukiddingme (#47391323) Attached to: NASA Approves Production of Most Powerful Rocket Ever

SpaceX built a new rocket engine and two new rockets, and actually launched them into space, for about the same amount of money as NASA spent putting a dummy upper stage on top of a shuttle SRB and launching it into the ocean.

NASA's activities look more and more like Best Korea...

Comment: Re:How foes this compare (Score 1) 146

by Areyoukiddingme (#47391307) Attached to: NASA Approves Production of Most Powerful Rocket Ever

...nor are liquid fueled stages normally test-fired either before launch.

SpaceX liquid fueled first stages are 100% test-fired before launch. It's called a hold-down system. The engines are throttled up to full thrust and all systems must check out, while firing, before the clamps are released. If something is off, the engines shut down.

That actually took NASA's commentator by surprise during one of the early Falcon 9 launches. Engines reached full thrust, commentator says "Lift off!" and the rocket didn't move. Shut down instead. There was a problem with one of the engines. They fixed it and launched it later.

I like work; it fascinates me; I can sit and look at it for hours.

Working...