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+ - Tesla to announce home battery-based energy storage->

Submitted by Okian Warrior
Okian Warrior writes: Billionaire Elon Musk will announce next week that Tesla will begin offering battery-based energy storage for residential and commercial customers.

The batteries power up overnight when energy companies typically charge less for electricity, then are used during the day to power a home.

In a pilot project, Tesla has already begun offering home batteries to SolarCity (SCTY) customers, a solar power company for which Musk serves as chairman. Currently 330 U.S. households are running on Tesla's batteries in California.

The batteries start at about $13,000, though California's Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PCG) offers customers a 50% rebate. The batteries are three-feet high by 2.5-feet wide, and need to be installed at least a foot and a half off the ground. They can be controlled with a Web app and a smartphone app.

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Comment: Re:As Valve has shown (Score 1) 88

by Mr Z (#49524733) Attached to: AMD Publishes New 'AMDGPU' Linux Graphics Driver

If you stick to the intersection of "documented interface" and "clearly optimized code paths," you're likely OK. But yeah, having an optimization guide as part of the docs would be better, if it also stays up to date with the source. But, as we all know, the only thing that stays up to date with the source is the source itself.

Comment: Bayes prior (Score 5, Interesting) 399

It doesn't look like he was under the influence at the time, but the term "driving out of his lane" does kind of give reasonable cause for drug use, but maybe thats profiling.

The problem with this logic is that it fails the "prior probability" test.

Suppose a policeman searches and finds the suspect carrying a large amount of cash, say $4000. That's consistent with a (supposed) drug purchase, so the cash can be confiscated under asset forfeiture laws (assets used in the commission of a crime).

Suppose a policeman notes a youtube video of a chemistry experiment showing a balance scale, some beakers, and jars of chemicals. Those are consistent with "meth lab", so the policeman can search and confiscate all the equipment in the poster's house (this has happened).

The problem with each of these, and your position, is that there is significant prior probability that the behaviour in question is *not* indicative of criminal activity. You are reversing the conditional probabilities.

To put it in words, you are equating "probability of driving out-of-lane, given that he's on drugs" (quite high), with "probability that he's using drugs, given out-of-lane driving" (actually, quite low).

People temporarily drive out-of-lane a great deal to avoid animals and small obstacles, and people temporarily drive out-of-lane because they're distracted. The number of people out-of-lane because they're on drugs is vanishingly small.

Taken to extremes (and we know the police will do this), pretty-much *any* behaviour can be considered consistent with drug use.

In the case of the home lab above, it doesn't matter that the poster is missing key components, nor that he only has some of the ingredients. "Meth makers use glassware, he's got glassware, therefore he's a meth maker".

You see where this leads?

If a policeman observes a crime, take the appropriate action - that's fine. If he *observes* another crime while dealing with it, that's fine too.

But that's not a justification to rummage around in a person's rights just to see what can be pinned on the suspect.

If he doesn't observe a crime, he shouldn't go looking for one.

Comment: Re:My B.S. Detector is Going Off (Score 2) 76

by Bruce Perens (#49515639) Attached to: Old Marconi Patent Inspires Tiny New Gigahertz Antenna

If the end of the coil that is hanging is grounded (earthed), it becomes an autotransformer. As it's shown, it's a variable inductor and the disconnected end is irrelevant and has no meaningful physical effect at the frequency a spark transmitter could have reached.

This comment seems to get closer to what they actually mean in their scientific paper. But the article about it is garble and the paper might suffer from second-language issues, and a lack of familiarity with the terms used in RF engineering.

Comment: Re:Hmm, I guess I invented this as well... (Score 1) 76

by Bruce Perens (#49513567) Attached to: Old Marconi Patent Inspires Tiny New Gigahertz Antenna

Damn, I wish I would have patented that and all its quantum magic...

I noticed that my vertical transmitting antenna often works better if I connect a horizontal wire about the same length as the antenna to ground at its base! The wire isn't connected to the transmitting side of the circuit at all! And how well it works varies depending on the length! Obviously there is some deus ex machina at work here...

Comment: Re:My B.S. Detector is Going Off (Score 1) 76

by Bruce Perens (#49513517) Attached to: Old Marconi Patent Inspires Tiny New Gigahertz Antenna

Clearly you missed the bit where they invoked quantum mechanics, surely that explains away all the inaccuracies, like the fact you can already buy chip scale dielectric antennas

The thing that I really hate about Innovation Stories is that the reporter invariably doesn't understand what's going on, and invariably is easily convinced that The Obviiously Very Technical People have some very valuable invention.

Comment: F.Lux helps with that (Score 2) 51

by Okian Warrior (#49513415) Attached to: Colors Help Set Body's Internal Clock

I've used F.Lux and it does everything it says. It's a polite program, I've got no problem with it per-se, but I removed it from my system.

For one, the sunset transition happens in a couple of seconds, and it's quite noticeable. The speed isn't a problem, nor is the "noticing", but I think a slower sunset might be more effective.

The bigger issue was "length of day". F.Lux synchronizes to the local length of day (based on your latitude and the current date), so in the winter you're still seeing short days and sunset at 5:00 PM. If you're subject to SAD, then F.Lux won't help with that.

(But, granted, it does feel good on the eyes when it kicks in.)

Part of the problem with light therapy is that it doesn't always work, or only works a little, or doesn't work for everyone. As a scientific result, this fairly shouts "not the complete explanation", so I've played around with this a bit to see what's really happening.

I'm convinced that "length of day" plays a big part in our internal clocks, and things like heavy blue video has an effect. For example, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" has a lot of blue and is shown late at night. Watch it with red sunglasses and see if you feel more tired/ready to sleep after watching.

In terms of scientific discoveries, I think there's some low-hanging fruit here. Straightforward hyotheses and studies could be done which would completely characterize the issue, and would point to simple, inexpensive, and drug-free cures to a handful of issues.

An egghead is one who stands firmly on both feet, in mid-air, on both sides of an issue. -- Homer Ferguson