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Comment: Re:Old Wives' Tales (Score 1) 277

by Hadlock (#49551361) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Because sometimes it rains and not all houses are built at the top of a hill. My car's hubs got f*cked due to being parked in front of a storm drain during a big rain storm. This is in a fairly well planned suburban neighborhood. There are regions that experience flooding (New Orleans, the entire Mississippi River region, really) on a somewhat frequent basis. Since flooding is a common and very-non-zero event, you need to plan for it and that means putting in requirements like "don't put it on the floor, you'll shock everyone taking a shower in a 3 mile radius if this thing gets wet, idiot" on it.

Comment: Re:Solar is here to stay (Score 1) 533

by Hadlock (#49508347) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

There are few places in this world that are pleasant in the summer and not frozen hellscapes in the winter. Generally if you want to avoid the snows of winter, you need to endure quite a bit of heat in the summer. Or maybe you haven't had to endure heat and humidity on a daily basis. Humans function a lot better when they're not spending most of their time expelling heat.

Comment: Re:Solar is here to stay (Score 1) 533

by Hadlock (#49505549) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

First to market (or second to market, with an improved interface) with that control unit is going to make bank. You don't even need a real battery, you just need a small bank of ultracapacitors designed to take the initial hit of the AC compressor kicking in (15-30amp current spike). Ultra Caps are nearly free already. I have space on my fence to mount put up 600w of panels and wire in to a 10,000 btu AC unit which, while wouldn't cool the whole house below about 80F/27C instead of 89F/32C, like you said, would dramatically drop the cost of cooling the house down to a very comfortable 77F/25C.
Without the constant load of an AC unit, yes for most people living just above the sustenance level, a couple hundred watts of electricity would meet all their needs and more.

Comment: Solar is here to stay (Score 4, Interesting) 533

by Hadlock (#49504861) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

I was island hopping in the Philippines last week. Coal there is very expensive. Oil there is very expensive. Power, in general, is very, very expensive. An AC unit is within financial means of many people who already own a flat screen TV and/or western game console. Yet they live without air conditioning in very hot/humid conditions. Malls there are really popular as a result.
The first thing i noticed when I got in a taxi from the airport was the number of Solar + Wind advertisements. Solar has already arrived in SE Asia, and it is here to stay. There's about a billion people in SE Asia outside of China. Solar makes a heck of a lot of sense in the developing world or disconnected parts of the world, where a surprising number of people live. That's right you don't have to go back one sentence, I said a Billion with a 'B'. There's about 30 million people living in the Metro region of Manila without air conditioning because electricity is too expensive. The other half of the country is lucky to have reliable electricity.
These places exist, and they're prime candidates for distributed solar in a big way. Solar is already cheaper than mains electricity, even installed, even with big import duties. Now they're just waiting for the products to arrive en masse.
Why does this matter?
America is still waiting for price parity of mains electricity and home grown solar, but while you can stem the tide of Solar in America temporarily, the price is going to drop like a rock as manufacturers race to supply the third world with Solar, and soon American electric companies will be competing against the price of affordable solar in the third world. It may be five or ten years before Solar truly takes off in the US, but as soon as someone rolls out a $500 "Air Conditioning assist" kit that tells your AC to run at full tilt whenever the solar panels have enough juice to keep it running (who doesn't love coming home to an icy cool house when it's 100F/35C out? especially if that AC was free?), the reasons not to go Solar are going to fall like dominos.

Comment: Re:AMD is still in business? (Score 1) 133

by Hadlock (#49497133) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

All PS4 and XBones combined = less than 40 million units total, since fall of 2013.
Compare that to 130 million desktops, 200 million laptops annually. Not quite, but the latest gen consoles over 18 months represent about 10% of 12 months' worth of PC + Laptop sales.
Add to that, tablets, of which 15% are Intel powered (and this will trend upwards over the next three years) which sell about 200 million a year. I wouldn't imagine the console contracts are particularly valuable, as they had to under-bid Intel to get that.

Comment: AMD is still in business? (Score -1, Troll) 133

by Hadlock (#49492033) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

Intel trounces AMD in the Laptop, Desktop, Server markets.... where else is there to go? Other companies own the embedded, automotive and industrial markets. It's been half a decade since it was even worth looking at AMD for a consumer product. Maybe they should just join forces with Blackberry...

Comment: Re:Oh For Crying Out Loud (Score 1) 161

by Hadlock (#49369455) Attached to: Europol Chief Warns About Computer Encryption

If the target, the target's friends and target's friends friends are all using encryption for 98% of communications, while you can still crack it (presumably?) you have to know what you're looking for in advance, like you would when applying for a warrant. That sort of defeats this huge plaintext scanning system the NSA and English governments have been putting in to place for the last half decade or more. Without all the supplemental background information their job gets exponentially harder and there's more data to decrypt than they have computing resources for.

Comment: Re:Oh For Crying Out Loud (Score 5, Insightful) 161

by Hadlock (#49368649) Attached to: Europol Chief Warns About Computer Encryption

PGP isn't exactly known for being user friendly. Gmail does not support it out of the box. The average person just can't be expected to understand that kind of cryptography.
That said, if you encrypt the device, encrypt the transport method, and the receiving device, that's pretty damn secure in about 98% of situations. WhatsApp just rolled out end to end encryption for their service as well, and they only charge a dollar a year (I think). That's encryption the average person can use. When an 18 year old mother of two in Sao Paulo can review her grocery list with her mother via secure encryption and neither of them know they're even doing it, that's a whole new level of secure. Compare that to the plain text emails I get from my boss about what I might consider vastly more important things at the office.
The golden era of unencrypted plaintext email is just about dead, I think, is the problem for intelligence agencies. At least for those people outside of gleaming glass corporate offices.

Comment: Re:Putin's getting desperate... (Score 1) 83

by Hadlock (#49367991) Attached to: NASA Denies New Space Station Partnership With Russia

Leading is a relative term when you're discussing countries capable of human spaceflight. Last time I checked, the United States was paying a princely* sum to space-taxi their Astronauts to the ISS.
*When I say Princely, I mean, "the United States pays more to go to the ISS than the King of Malaysia", because that's totally a thing that happened as part of an arms deal, and we still pay more than he did for the privilege, despite our station being connected to theirs.

Comment: Re:Running only Windows on a Mac (Score 1) 209

by Hadlock (#49312027) Attached to: For Boot Camp Users, New Macs Require Windows 8 Or Newer

The new Dell XPS 13 (2015 version) is a pretty solid contender for "best Macbook Air-like device that runs Windows 8". Either that or the new X250 Thinkpad. I own the X230 and will probably pick up the XPS 13 to replace it here soon. It has a keyboard, the base model costs the same as a MBA, and has a 1080p screen. Hard to beat. The high end model has some insane 3200x1800 touchscreen which Win8 actually scales pretty well.

Comment: Re:Politicians will be stupid but scientists/techn (Score 1) 356

by Hadlock (#49242433) Attached to: New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again

Solar still works just fine in urban spaces too, it does not scale as well there due to population densities, obviously, but urban spaces take up a tiny proportion of available land. I will give you that solar does not work for the minority use case of nighttime industrial solar, but given the tiny portion of the energy market that represents I don't see it being a major issue. As solar power continues to drop, nighttime industrial may simply vanish as solar continues to drop in price. I don't see the point of arguing this, solar will be cheaper than coal by the end of the decade even without subsidies. You will need nighttime generation capacity but long term the writing is already on the wall, business will opt for the cheaper solution.

Comment: Re:Politicians will be stupid but scientists/techn (Score 1) 356

by Hadlock (#49241977) Attached to: New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again

Solar can be installed locally per house for cheaper than the cost of grid power. General rule of thumb is you need 60% of your roof covered in Solar to meet 100% of your daytime residential needs. Solar doesn't need to be centrally located in giant farms, it can be distributed in urban areas with overlap on existing structures with no problem.

System going down at 1:45 this afternoon for disk crashing.