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Comment: Awesome way of stretching networks between houses (Score 1) 67

by Harlequin80 (#48025139) Attached to: LTE Upgrade Will Let Phones Connect To Nearby Devices Without Towers

So if I get this right you can have two phones communicate directly over LTE. In a couple of years time we will have these old LTE Direct capable phones just lying around doing nothing. To me that is the most awesome backbone of a decentralised wireless internet ever! Way way higher speeds then wifi, longer distance and built with hardware we would have otherwise discarded!

Comment: Re:They will move to a different charging model (Score 1) 241

by Harlequin80 (#48025103) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Plant is not the only capital cost. The poles, wires, transformers etc makes up a bigger component then the actual stations. It doesn't matter if you generate the energy via dirty coal or solar if the power has to be transmitted there will be a significant network cost.

Solar in the 'burbs may be incentivised by the increase in unit cost of electricity, but solar farms and wind farms will be impacted just as hard as traditional generation systems. Also as soon as density rises power needs cannot be met by localised solar.

Comment: Re:They will move to a different charging model (Score 1) 241

by Harlequin80 (#48025021) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Plenty of people have got to the point of being almost off grid but not decided to cut the cord. Also Australia is a really really really big place and while there are areas that get loads of sun there are areas that are like europe and get not so much.

There are plenty of nice DC & Gas fridge units. But they are expensive. Do the math on the lead acid batteries you need and you see that you need a lot. Also expensive.

The capital cost of going off grid is high and frankly I call bullshit on breaking even on the pannels and batteries in the first year. I have a high electric bill and it is $900 per quarter. That is still a huge amount less then the capital cost of even a 5kw system. Let alone the 20kw system and batteries you would need to be off grid.

ps. I'm in Queensland which gets a LOT of sun.

Comment: Re:Survival (Score 1) 241

by Harlequin80 (#48025003) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

We already see this today. But the investment in achieving it is huge AND it requires you to be a relatively low power user. Finally most people want the peace of mind of knowing they have a backup.

My parents have a grid tied solar system and they receive money from their utilities provider every quarter. Usually around $300. This was a change from them paying on average $450 per quarter. Quite simply why would they want to disconnect from the grid? The grid tie is less then the profit of selling their excess generation.

Comment: They will move to a different charging model (Score 4, Insightful) 241

by Harlequin80 (#48024019) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

If the amount of money made from the actual electricity falls too far then the cost will be transferred to a network connection costs.

This is already the case in Australia where the cost per kw/h is predominately made up but the cost of the distribution network rather than the generation costs.

You may see an increase in people disconnecting from the grid all together but I would suggest that will remain a fringe component for the foreseeable future. Battery costs are too high and most people's electricity consumption is very lumpy meaning they need a lot of storage. Finally people will pay for the security of mains power.

In Australia you tend to see a feed-in tariff - ie the electricity you put into the grid is priced. For a while this was heavily subsidised meaning the feed in rate could be more than double the buy rate. Which skewed the market terribly, basically the people who could afford solar systems were funded by renters and those that couldn't.

Now the feed in rates are a commercial competition between the various energy retailers.

In the end someone has to provide the wires, transformers and sub-stations. Those don't care where the power comes from. If it cannot be paid for by the generators it will be paid for by the consumer directly.

Comment: Re:Toys from the (19)80s. (Score 1) 182

by Harlequin80 (#48017357) Attached to: My toy collection is ...

Good condition complete sets of voltron are going for about $100. $30 for an individual Lion. I found a couple of "in the box" optimus primes that were about $110.

I like my models and things - I have a cabinet in my man cave which I have figurines and toys from various eras and shows. I have to admit to still liking my anime now so I tend to pick those up these days. The quality of those is incredible.

Comment: Re:Toys from the (19)80s. (Score 1) 182

by Harlequin80 (#48017179) Attached to: My toy collection is ...

At the moment they have transferred from my parents roof space to mine.....

From there I'm not sure. I have to be honest and say the optimus prime was a bit of a let down seeing it again. I remembered it as being so much more awesome then it was. The finish is really poor and the mechanisms are really clunky (and that is taking out of it the fact it has been played with). I had been walking up and down the toy isle going "they don't make toys like they used to!" but clearly the new ones are nicer......

So it won't end up in my display cabinet.....

The voltron however was WAY better than I remembered, and way bigger too. At the moment I am thinking about spending the time restoring it and then putting it in the cabinet. I have all 5 of the lions and all are complete. The red one is a little worse for wear and the chroming is mainly gone on all but could be a fun project. I don't normally keep things based on resale value more whether I like them or not. My current favourite though is a 1/48th Robotech VF-1J from 1981 and it is worth $400+ these days.

Comment: Re:Computers computers computers... (Score 1) 182

by Harlequin80 (#48016515) Attached to: My toy collection is ...

You just need your own space!

I am married with 2 kids and where I am sat I have 12 computers around me ranging from a pi to a dual xenon server. I actually have a problem with monitor overflow though currently and am having trouble storing them.

I get no complaints as long as the computers don't spill out of my study into the rest of the house. Same goes for her scrapbooking stuff. It just has to fit inside your room with the door closed.

Now if only I could get my daughters to keep their crap inside their rooms.....

Comment: Re:Gigantic and growing! (Score 1) 182

by Harlequin80 (#48016491) Attached to: My toy collection is ...

Lots of my toys have been appropriated by my daughters. But both of them know that there are "Daddy's Toys" which they aren't allowed to play with. These are predominately anime figurines and models I have built. They know that the gundams are not for them to play with, mainly because they are so fragile they are hard to even move without bits falling off.

I never got into the star wars collecting but Robotech was huge when I was a kid and I have a number of original figures from that series.

As for her toys, she is a fiend for collecting my little ponies and shopkins. I have had too many sessions of pinkie pie going to the shop to buy bubbles the shopkin......

...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. - Fred Brooks, Jr.

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