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Comment: Re:citation needed (Score 1) 223

citation needed ...
because the broken window fallacy still holds


Using the Obama administration's own numbers, a couple years back, for how much they spent for each job "created or saved", and taking the US median income at the time for the cost->jobs destroyed estimator, I got about a 5:1 ratio. Five destroyed for each "created or saved".

Or more: Thats what would happen if they got the money by taxation. The other options are still worse.

The problem is that the VALUE for the government spending comes out of the economy somewhere else:
  - If they tax it, they just suck it out directly.
  - If they borrow it, it competes for investment money and real job creators don't get to create real jobs and/or have to close or downsize when their funding dries up. (This has an additional multiplier: They have to pay it back, with interest. So it kills still more jobs later.)
  - If they print it, it devalues the other currency. The same number of dollars are spent, but less value is spent. Less jobs are funded as a result.

Unfortunately, the anonymous flaimng lefties only see the obvious jobs "created or saved" and not the "invisible men" laid off or not hired as a result.

Comment: Re:Property rights (Score 1) 119

by tjstork (#47804059) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

There's actually an international treaty that prohibits countries from claiming property rights on celestial bodies due to their being in space. By signing that treaty, countries agreed that the property of space effectively belongs to the United Nations or whatever treaty body controls claims for it. But yes, suing for space is ridiculous, but, is noise pollution for airlines flying above your house as ridiculous? What about drones flying 500 feet overhead, or even 100 feet? I think as a property owner you should be compensated for that. It's your land, and you are entitled to "some" of the airspace above it, and I wouldn't be so quick to just hand that value of that away to another corporation to make money off of. I mean, would you let someone set up shop and frack in your back yard? What's really the difference?

Comment: Re:Property rights (Score 1) 119

by tjstork (#47804031) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

Why are you so quick to give away for free something that a major corporation will make tons of money on? That transit conduit has a value and it is only because of government that I cannot get some value out of it. You can call me a hick all that you want, and maybe I am, but you're the one advocating a system where people are going to use a resource that you possess, for free, and without even a shred of protest. "Here Amazon, go ahead and make billions of dollars flying drones 500 feet above my house, for free." Yep, that's what you want. I think that's stupid.

Comment: Re:Interesting line from TFA: (Score 1) 150

by Firethorn (#47803849) Attached to: Radioactive Wild Boars Still Roaming the Forests of Germany

I remember reading that it turns out that preying mantis females don't actually eat their mate all that often in the wild, it's just that all the observations were of caged mantises, where due to the stress of being caged the females ate their mates a lot more frequently.

Comment: Pumped storage and transport (Score 2) 159

by fyngyrz (#47803603) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

I like pumped storage:

o Lovely water recreation areas - swimmable, boatable, fishable
o So while it costs land, it returns most of that land for public use
o Fish and other aquacritter habitat
o excellent control of recovery rate
o doesn't significantly wear out (and if you were to make it underground, won't even evaporate... expensive, but...)
o easy maintenance
o highly scenic
o No red-hot nothing, no batteries, works fine unless it freezes (so in higher latitudes... not good.) ...there's lots of pumped storage already (~104 GW). More. More! MOAR!

I *also* like this idea for pumped transport:

Imagine a C shape that is almost closed -- just a few feet short of meeting at the ends. It's an almost circular canal. From one end of the C, you pump water into the other end of the C (and add any replacement volume required by evaporation.) This creates a current that operates the entire length of the C. Now, put two of these next to each other. Pump the second one in the opposite direction. Put cranes (or locks) at the ends, so that transport platforms can be moved from one direction to the other. Cost? Initially, Pumps, cranes, canal, transport platforms. In operation: pump energy (solar, please) and evaporation refill. Unless you roof it. :) Length? very, very amazingly long, and if roofed, even longer.

Air pressure. Gravity. Water. Make it work for us. :)

Comment: Re:Tesla batteries (Score 1) 159

by Firethorn (#47803585) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

I'm actually a bit surprised that no one ever talks about using grid-connected electric cars as distributed storage.

Well, I talk about using their old batteries as grid storage, does that count? I've looked at using the batteries while they're still in the car, but right now I figure that they're better off using EV charging to help match demand with production, but not actually 'run things in reverse' outside of using the car as a big UPS in specific scenarios, where they're using it in an outright outage, not merely to help level the load.

My reasoning is that people are generally going to be more range conscious, they want that 10-20% to be able to drive further/elsewhere. If they really don't need that 10%, the car company is better off putting in a smaller battery and charging a touch less.

Comment: Re:Don't batteries just compete against gas turbin (Score 1) 159

by Firethorn (#47803565) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

Can't the wind farms just use gas turbines instead of batteries as long as those are cheaper? I'd assume batteries will be used if/when they become the cheapest way to handle the balancing.

1. Gas turbine designs for wind power exist, but are currently not 'mainstream', ergo more expensive and less efficient per watt produced. You're looking at a 10-15% drop in joules produced per year* for a given turbine size.

2. In order for them to have an effective amount of 'battery' you need some sort of air storage facility. There are underground formations that are ideal for this, but those are often used to store other things and thus, selection is limited. Just building a giant pressure vessel is possible, but currently too expensive.

As for your vision of the future, I can see it happening in Hawaii 'fairly quickly'. Many of their substations have already passed 'Minimum daily load' for solar capacity, which is the point at which you have to start accounting for power actually flowing FROM substations(IE neighborhoods) to the rest of the grid.

As a note, I really like the idea of electric cars. When I did the math using all averages, I figured out that the average family would use about 50% more electricity if they switched completely from fossil fueled vehicles to electric ones. Everybody's actual result would vary, of course. Unless you happen to own 2.2 cars in your house of 2 adults with 2.5 children and drive precisely 15k miles per car every year. ;)

But anyways, in a 'Solar wins bigtime!' scenario I'd actually see daytime power being cheaper than nighttime, and if you have a parallel of EVs win as well, that means that charging during the day at work would be the 'in' thing. At which point, if you start replacing EV batteries that reach 70% of original capacity in order to maintain range & efficiency, you have a bunch of 70% batteries available for relatively cheap. Delay recycling them for about a decade, put them to use providing grid storage. Given that 1 Model S battery at 50%** provides the average family with about 1 days storage, it should be plenty given that the average family has 2.2 cars.

*I use this metric because you're really looking at average power produced, which will vary widely at any given period of time.
**To account for even more aging!

Comment: Re:Storage isn't valuable right now (Score 1) 159

by Firethorn (#47803465) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

First, it'd be nice if you included a link to the Taum Sauk Hydroelectric Power Station, rather than just reference it. Heck, with a dam breakage in 2005 that took it out of operation until 2010, it seems that catastrophic failure is still a possible problem. The 2005 failure luckily didn't kill anybody, but it did sweep one home aside and injure 5.

Hopefully modern engineering combined with using 'rollar compacted concrete', which is a modern version of 'Roman Concrete' for those of you out there that like that, sharing many of the traditional benefits of lower erosion.

Second, Reading about it, while it's not actually located on the Taum Sauk mountain, it is built on top of a mountain, thus 'specific geography' is still required, even if like most things we can do without if we're willing to spend the money an resources on major earth moving projects.

Third, a citation on 90% would be appreciated, what I found with the Taum Sauk is that it was upgraded to 71% in 2005, which would put as an 'under performing' station even in 2005. Wiki lists 70-80%, with the highest reported being 87%. Which makes sense, breaking 90% efficiency in either pumping or generation is difficult. 2 90% efficient steps(pump up and generate down) and a little bit of water loss from the reservoir adds up to 80% efficient.

Free storage: What he was more talking about is that at lower levels it's hard to distinguish demand reduced by said renewables and regular power demand swings, IE well within the peaking capabilities of regular power. Due to most home use renewables being on a 'net metering' plan, the end result is that they sell power during the day when electricity is expensive and buy some power at night when it's cheap, so people tend to refer to it as banking/storing it.

California is poised to have 33% renewables by 2020, and they don't need additional storage. (There's an order for ~1.5 GW of storage to be procured, but it's not needed -- it's CA's way of pushing progress forward, seeing that eventually storage will be a less expensive resource (LCOE) than CTs.)

Citation on this?

As for 'why' they should pay for the storage, it's because they're seen as introducing the problem. Nuclear and coal at least operate all the time, and nobody is building another baseload plant that would exceed the demand limit. Other power generating sources are at least on demand and/or peak-following. It's wind and to a lesser extent solar(which at least produces power during the day when demand is much higher) that isn't nice enough to be 'on demand' yet expensive enough that they really need to sell every joule they produce in order to break even.

Personally, I think that used EV batteries might be a valuable source of grid storage - roughly 90% efficiency, and should be cheap to obtain.

Comment: Load following Nuclear Plants (Score 2) 159

by Firethorn (#47803255) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

Because I try not to respond to ACs, I'll stick it in here.

As you pointed out, Nuclear ships DO NOT run their plants at 'full power all the time'.

But even HUGE nuclear plants can be built to be capable of 'load following', going from 100% down to 50% and below on a consistent basis. France has a number of them.

Part of the problem with using reactors for load-following is that all the reactors in the USA are very old Gen-II designs, you need to be at least 'newer' Gen-II to do a lot of load following, and we don't have enough nuclear for them to NEED to load-follow, leaving them as the cheapest margin for on-demand power.

If we went from our current mix of about 20% nuclear, 40% coal, to a carbon-neutral mix of 40% nuclear, 20% solar, 20% wind, and 20% 'other, including hydro', you'd have most of your peaking power in 'other', but nuclear power would still have to adjust for peaking.

Comment: If yellow stone blows (Score 1) 83

by nurb432 (#47802965) Attached to: New Computer Model Predicts Impact of Yellowstone Volcano Eruption

How many miles away you are and how much ash you get will be the least of your concerns.

Once the ash cloud encompasses the globe, we all freeze/starve to death within 10 years anyway. Unless someone comes up with a way to clean the air out before its too late, then how far away you are will matter..

Comment: Behavior (Score 4, Interesting) 250

by fyngyrz (#47801883) Attached to: Reported iCloud Hack Leaks Hundreds of Private Celebrity Photos

> If you cannot even trust the platform, then how does your logic work?

The logic works fine. Platforms can work fine too. Society, however, doesn't. So that part is up to you.

> Can't trust cell phone cameras. By definition it's a camera attached to a communications device. It's designed to share that photo.

Exactly right. Buy a DSLR if you require discretion in photography. Ensure it does not have network connectivity (some do... Canon 6D, for instance.) If you take an image with a cellphone camera, be aware before you ever shoot it that you can have no reasonable expectation of privacy whatsoever. It goes further than that, too. When using a smartphone, again be aware you have no reasonable expectation of privacy whatsoever with regard to texts, voice conversations, video conversations, email, your location, billing, logging and so one for every service the phone provides you (or others) with.

> Can't trust storing it on a PC as PCs are connected to the Internet in the overwhelming majority of instances.

No. If you want to store something that requires discretion, then you require a non-network connected PC. There's no inherent need to connect a PC to a network. Just because you can, doesn't mean you have to. Nor is there a need to construct a PC with bluetooth, wifi and so on. Nor is there a need to leave a PC in a generally accessible location and/or condition. These are all user choices. Make them wrongly, and your security is compromised. But they are not inevitabilities. There's a lesson here: just because others do something in some particular manner does not mean that you have to do so.

> Then there's the whole point of a picture, looking it at it. Typically that means more than just the picture-taker looking at it

Again, no. This is also user choice. You are responsible for the consequences of your choices, and for knowing the things you need to know to make those choices well. The key here is to be informed enough to make the most correct choices. "It's typical" is not a metric that binds anyone in any way. If you embrace such a thing, you either choose to do so or you are so ignorant that you know no better, in which case anyone who trusts you with data that requires discretion is making a serious mistake.

The images I have taken or otherwise created that I have *decided* you may see are here. The ones I have *decided* you may not have access to, you will never, ever see, barring use of military levels of force. These conditions were quite literally trivial to instantiate and maintain. Think, choose, easy implementation, all done.

> For all we know, none of these women's accounts were compromised. Their boyfriends, husbands, ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands, girlfriends, ex-girlfriends accounts could have been, or those people could have shared the photos with others, and their accounts were compromised.

The issue isn't account centric. It is behavior centric. You must identify data that needs protection; you must identify the trustworthy in regard to both persons and systems; you must control distribution; you must employ discretion and ensure that your knowledge is up to the task of seeing all these things through. If you cannot do these things, you are (at the very least) a potential victim of your own limitations. And you should probably fix that. :)

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.