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Comment: Data != knowledge (Score 3, Interesting) 224

by pla (#48027189) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time
During Windows 8 testing, Microsoft said that they had data showing Start Menu usage had dropped, but it seems that the tools they were using at the time weren't as evolved as the new 'Asimov' monitor.

No, Microsoft, wrong conclusion. See, your data told you the $deity's own truth, that start menu usage has dropped. Most people pretty much use desktop shortcuts 90% of the time, so your stupid fisher-price jolly candylike tiles may look like crap but don't seriously impact that specific usage pattern. More accurate data collection won't change that.

What your data didn't tell you? That remaining 10% of the time doesn't just mean people "forgot" they had a shortcut and decided to use the start menu for the fun of it. Using the start menu drastically beats having to hunt down actual executables somewhere on the HDD, particularly for administrative-type tasks that might go six folders deep into the Windows directory, and have insanely long command-line arguments as a bonus (ie, a lot of the control panel apps).

Data doesn't equal knowledge. The stats can tell you "how often", but not "why".

Comment: Re:You raise? Call, mofo! (Score 1) 415

by pla (#48025947) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power
How are they supposed to make money if they can't have the price arbitrage?

Net metering already gives them price arbitrage, as I've said over and over. During the day they buy from me at standard offer, and sell at peak usage rates; then at night they buy from the ultra-cheap baseline capacity generators and sell to me at standard offer rates. The KWH may "net" under that scenario, but make no mistake, the dollars do not and the utilities make a fortune off it. They just want even more.

Renewables demand a smart, gear and maintenance intensive grid

National security - The real kind, not the political theatre kind - Demands a smart gear and maintenance intensive grid. That we don't already have one that can easily handle distributed generation speaks volumes about what the utilities have spent the past century doing with all those profits.

but the money for all that investment to the tune of tens if not hundreds of billions apparently is supposed to fall out of the sky.

You missed the part where their biggest fear involves millions of private citizens paying tens of thousands of dollars each to upgrade one tiny section of the grid at a time. That works out to half a trillion dollars. How much more do you want?

Comment: Re:You raise? Call, mofo! (Score 1) 415

by pla (#48025931) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power
Hmm. $5,000 up-front in order save $14/month?

Not "just" $14/month - Did you miss the part about the utilities wanting to do away with net metering, an arrangement that lets the power companies resell my nice cheap standard-rate excess capacity at peak-usage rates? Yet still selling a similar load of nice cheap off-peak hours back to me? "I'll pay you to roll this boulder up that hill; but then I'll take a turn, and you can pay me the same to roll it back down!"

That would effectively make solar financially pointless for most middle class people (the ones who can both afford solar yet still have an incentive to save on their electric bill; the ones who work and therefore don't use much electricity in the middle of the day). So try more like $140 (though that obviously depends where you live), your normal electric bill minus 10-15%. That works out to more like a 2.9-year payback, rather than 29.

Comment: Re:The obvious solution will meet fierce resistanc (Score 4, Insightful) 415

by pla (#48024147) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power
Pay solar at wholesale rates, or, make grid interconnect a separate fee, and charge them for that.

Grid interconnects already appear as a separate fee in most places. Perhaps not at its fair market value, but go fuck a goat if you think I'll pay over a dollar per KW for my occasional nighttime use.

Solar advocates, of course, can't stand the idea they should actually have to pay for the delivery of goods and services, even if it costs them a measely five bucks a month

Try $14, for me. And yeah, I consider that fair. Ending net metering and charging me when they resell my peak-demand production for 10x what they pay me for it? Yeah, I can afford batteries, can they afford every other house going off-grid?

Comment: You raise? Call, mofo! (Score 1) 415

by pla (#48024131) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power
Dear electric companies:

Your time on this planet as profitable private entities has come to an end. Rejoice! You had a good run. But it has ended.

If you succeed in eliminating net metering... Honestly, I bought a $20k solar installation; do you really think I'll put up with your bullshit instead of spending another $5k on batteries and going totally off-grid, costing you even your scammy $14/month "connection charge"?

Think about this long and hard, boys. Right now, you get peak-usage power from me at your totally fictional "residential standard rate", that you turn around and sell to time-of-day commercial customers for 10x what you pay me for it. Which of us do you really think will suffer more if I tell you to come get your meter and shove it up your CEO's ass?

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.