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Comment: Re:The study was flawed (Score 1) 78

by Moridineas (#49550937) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

It's easy for the general public to latch onto a particular cause. But once you learn more about beekeeping you realize how incredibly much out there is that can utterly f* up a hive. And which have in history regularly collapsed bee populations, far worse than the collapses we have today. Trachael mites once nearly obliterated beekeeping in Europe, saved mainly by the development of the Buckfast bee. Check out [wikipedia.org] this very inexhaustive list of bee pests and diseases. There's even some really counterintuitive effects in that small levels of some pesticides can actually increase hive survival rates, in that they're deadlier to bee pests like mites than to the bees themselves.

I completely agree with your point. One interesting point of speculation is that it's highly possible that Brother Adam (the developer of the Buckfast bee) was responsible for bringing Varroa to Europe. Brother Adam imported bees from around the world, and the first appearance of Varroa in the UK was not very far from where he operated.

Comment: Re:A first step (Score 1) 171

by Moridineas (#49550897) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Where we moved to in North Carolina, we're only served by two utilities: AT&T (for internet/phone/TV) and Duke Progressive (for electricity).

What about Timewarner?

We use electric heating--which is expensive, and while our neighborhood will be getting natural gas in the next few months, it makes no economic sense for us to replace our central heating system with gas. (The payoff exceeds the lifespan of the HVAC already installed.)

North Carolina generally has cheap electricity. If you have a heatpump, your electricity bill should not be that bad! Heatpumps generally work well in our climate.

I have to admit, the primary reason for not getting solar where we've lived in Los Angeles and now in Raleigh is that it didn't make a lot of economic sense. But as solar cell prices drop, having a battery-backed solar system on my house starts to sound more promising--especially after the last storm which knocked out our power for a couple of days.

I've run the numbers for the Triangle area after getting quotes through several local companies. Including both the federal and state tax credits and depreciation (this was for a commercial installation), break even is generally 7-8 years off. Probably worthwhile, but not a clear case. Add in a number 10 grand plus for batteries and the case is even more borderline. If you've got the cash, I agree it's great--would love to have power after a hurricane!

Since we are on a well and septic tank, if we can get most of our power from solar then we can pretty much be self-sufficient if there is a major disruption in the future--and that's worth a premium over what we now pay for electric service.

Isn't the price of electricity in NC literally 50% of what it is in California? We have cheap electricity.

Comment: Re:Not going to work. (Score 1) 256

by DigiShaman (#49549611) Attached to: Microsoft, Chip Makers Working On Hardware DRM For Windows 10 PCs

Suricou sorta has a point though. Intel HD video is all processed on CPU; which is the majority of OEM laptops and desktop computers now. So being that Intel is taking part in this, either the hardware will be implemented in the next CPU revision, or on a bridge chip someplace on the motherboard.

Comment: Re:My prediction for the Apple Watch's success (Score 1) 156

by Moridineas (#49548703) Attached to: Apple Watch Launches

For one thing, you're forgetting that relatively few people (in the US and many other places) pay full price upfront for phones. They buy an iPhone for $99 / $199 / $299 / $399 / etc and then have a subsidized contract over two years. Sure, you could buy it outright, but with most of the US carriers you're not going to get a reduced monthly, so what's the point?

Comment: Re:Apple may outlive Acer - But will they make PCs (Score 1) 402

by jcr (#49545867) Attached to: We'll Be the Last PC Company Standing, Acer CEO Says

Apple are merging OS X into IOS, albeit very slowly.

Nope. I've been there, and nobody at Apple has any such intention. Features will get passed back and forth between them, but they're very aware of the reasons that Tablet PCs failed, and they're not going to copy MS's mistakes.

-jcr

Comment: Re:Comcast and Time Warner, a match made in . . . (Score 4, Interesting) 111

by Moridineas (#49544727) Attached to: Comcast Officially Gives Up On TWC Merger

I know you're making a joke, but I just thought I should add--I've lived in Comcast, Cox, and Timewarner cable areas. I'm commenting solely on Internet service, but Timewarner has far and away been the best. They're rolling out their ridiculously named "Maxx" service in my area in the next month or two. 25/5 will be upgraded 100/10 or 200/20 (I'm not entirely clear which it is). It's no Google fiber, but it will do until Google rolls out next year... I'm overjoyed the merger is not going through.

Comment: Re:image lightning? you mean seed lightning (Score 3, Interesting) 48

by DigiShaman (#49544713) Attached to: Cosmic Rays Could Reveal Secrets of Lightning On Earth

Then explain lightning from the ground-up? I'll include the following quote form nssl.noaa.gov

Q: Does lightning strike from the sky down, or the ground up?
A: The answer is both. Cloud-to-ground lightning comes from the sky down, but the part you see comes from the ground up. A typical cloud-to-ground flash lowers a path of negative electricity (that we cannot see) towards the ground in a series of spurts. Objects on the ground generally have a positive charge. Since opposites attract, an upward streamer is sent out from the object about to be struck. When these two paths meet, a return stroke zips back up to the sky. It is the return stroke that produces the visible flash, but it all happens so fast - in about one-millionth of a second - so the human eye doesn't see the actual formation of the stroke.

Comment: Re:Google: Select jurors who understand stats. (Score 2) 332

by DigiShaman (#49544133) Attached to: Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Well, now that ROSS has entered the workforce, things are about to get a lot worse for the majority of lawyers employed. It will thin the ranks. In fact, the further it goes up the chain, the more paranoid politicians will become. If there was ever the impetus to legislate AI from employment opportunities, ROSS could give them all the ammo they need.

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