Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Android IS a huge financial success. . . (Score 4, Insightful) 344

by Idou (#49789847) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

Google pays billions to Apple to make its search engine the default search provider for iOS device

Think of how much MORE Google would have to pay if Android was not the dominate OS. . . HINT: Companies usually Open Source technologies to reduce costs, not to DIRECTLY increase revenues.

Comment: Re:Economics is a science! (Score 1) 335

by Idou (#49719313) Attached to: Stock Market Valuation Exceeds Its Components' Actual Value

In the days since Adam Smith penned his first thoughts on economics, engineers have taken us to the moon, physicists have split the atom, doctors invented antibiotics, philosophers invented human rights, chemists invented plastics, farmers quadrupled the per-acre food yield, programmers invented the internet, and much *much* more.

Impressive, but let's see smart engineers do all of that without capitalism (like in a country like North Korea).

Seriously, though, all those things you list are easy compared to trying to predict human behavior. I think most people fail at predicting human behavior (whether they are an engineer or economist seems irrelevant. . . ) and those that succeed become crazy rich and never reveal their secret (or, if they do reveal it, it no longer applies since human behavior constantly adopts new knowledge).

Comment: Re:Wrong point. (Score 1) 186

by Idou (#49628249) Attached to: The World's Most Wasteful Megacity

To improve its environmental standing, America needs *more* dense urbanized areas like NYC, not less.

As batteries, solar, wind, microgrids, EVs, etc. . . become cheaper and cheaper, I wonder if this still holds true. As we see more and more small communities become self sufficient, the traditional argument for moving towards centralized efficiency will be harder and harder to make. Looking at how decentralized technologies have defined recent history, I would not bet my money on investments that depend on increased centralization at this point. . ..

Comment: Re:Can't wait to get this installed in my house (Score 2) 514

by Idou (#49595055) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System
In a free market, less demand means a lower price. Utilities do not operate in a free market and can force their customers to eat their costs. Consequently, less demand during peak hours will require them to charge more from fewer people. . . until there are no longer enough people to recoup their costs from. Then they will go bankrupt (at which point, I suppose tax payers get to foot the bill for their incompetent decisions).

Comment: Re:Can't wait to get this installed in my house (Score 1) 514

by Idou (#49592941) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

assuming electricity prices remain constant.

Which is a big assumption since this technology is going to allow a large portion of the population to greatly reduce their dependence on utilities. With utilities still thinking in terms of 20 ~ 80 years when planning their capacity investments, I think it is pretty certain we will start seeing significant increases in electricity prices as huge, misguided fixed asset investments have to be allocated across a smaller and smaller population. This will just cause more people to defect. So begins the Utility Death Spiral.

Comment: Re:*Grabs a bowl of popcorn* (Score 1) 385

by Idou (#49503133) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?
Don't take this the wrong way. This is for your own good, but. . . get over yourself. You stopped being happy as soon as you stopped seeing yourself as an underdog. You are a hairless monkey that occasionally leaves shit stains on your underwear. Be happy that you can feed yourself without help and without getting most of the shit you stuff your face hole with all over your lap. Your "I am awesome but I could have been so much more awesome" lament shows the true reason you are not happy. You are clueless. The dumbest humans are so, so much smarter than the monkeys with fur. The difference between the smartest and dumbest human is just a rounding error in respect to that. "Smart" people are so unhappy because they forget how "stupid" they really are. "Stupid" people are happier because they are more realistic about their lot in life. Understand that if you accomplished anything worth noting in this very big universe, it was being a little less stupid than your genetics and environment destined you to be. Forgetting that you are an underdog is becoming a self-entitled SOB who wastes precious time lamenting about forgone endless potential. . .

Comment: Re: Energy storage in the grid is 100% efficient! (Score 1) 281

by Idou (#49482609) Attached to: The Myth of Going Off the Power Grid

You may be forced to sell sooner and all your hardware investment calculations would go away.

A situation that forced me to sell my home seems like it would also force me to sell a Treasury bond (perhaps to raise cash so that I would not have to sell my home). However, I suppose you are making a liquidity risk argument which is valid. Hence, I was careful to say similar to a “US Treasury, held to maturity.” However, I still think you argument is an exaggeration for the following reasons:
- Surely your house increases in value by the present value of the future electricity savings. We see this with solar installations, so why not with batteries?
- Batteries may not be as liquid as a financial instruments, but they are probably one of the easier fixed assets to sell off for close to their fair value on short notice.

It may be stuck by lightning, destroyed in some other natural disaster and it will not be covered by some manufacturer's warranty, which may be useless anyway if manufacturer goes out of business which is very likely over decades.

Yes, but these risks can be mitigated by 3rd party warranties and/or insurance. You COULD structure the investment so that it is risk free by giving up some of your return. Since risk free investments are around 0% right now, the bar is fairly low. Also, solar panels are typically covered by home insurance, so it does not seem a stretch that a residential battery bank would be fairly easy to add on to an existing insurance policy.

And yes, insurance company will certainly charge you extra for extra risk, there is no free money.

Of course, but insurance companies exist because they cover risks of assets without causing the investment in the underlying asset to have a negative return. The risks to a residential battery bank are similar to the risks to a home, so it seems reasonable to assume the additional insurance cost to someone who already has home owner's insurance would be minimal.

most original S&P 500 companies are out of business or out of S&P.

Good point. The original poster seemed to be unaware of the concept of survivorship bias. . .
This is much better than the usual financial discussion that occurs on Slashdot. Now we just need you to make an account so that you are no longer an Anon and can help Slashdot have more rational financial posts.

Comment: Re:Color blindness is useful though (Score 1) 137

by Idou (#49462841) Attached to: UW Scientists, Biotech Firm May Have Cure For Colorblindness
As someone who has been dumbfounded by this since he first went to Japan as an exchange student over 20 years ago, I have a theory why this may have happened. It is hypothesized that the color Blue was one of the last colors for people to discover/appreciate enough to assign it a name (Radiolab has a great show on this). Accordingly, "Ao" was assigned "green" first but as the concept of "Blue" started to materialize, "Midori" became the new "Green" so that "Ao" could start covering things that were "Blue." That would explain why phrased implying youth ("He is still Green", etc. . .) use the character for "Ao," as they are old phrases that would have been invented before the concept of "Blue" came along.

Of course, since the characters for these words came from China, there probably is a significant Chinese factor to this story (I remember speaking to a Chinese lady who thought that Chinese language influence had been responsible for this nuance in Japanese). Perhaps someone with more experience with Chinese can try to fill in this part.

Comment: Re: Energy storage in the grid is 100% efficient! (Score 1) 281

by Idou (#49460357) Attached to: The Myth of Going Off the Power Grid
Right. . . over the period 1999 to 2009 the return was ~ -34% (I suppose we do not need to annualize that to show that it is definitely below +7%/year). . .

Besides, the idea that investment horizon is the only relevant factor when making investment comparisons is financial homeopathy.

Stocks and corporate bonds are some of the most volatile, high risk asset classes you can invest in. Only magical thinking would make one conclude that would be anything close to investing in a project to reduce one's electricity bill over a long period of time. A closer comparison would be to purchase a US Treasury bond and hold it to maturity (go look up those returns instead).

It is your choice to be ignorant about finance. However, Slashdot appears to have an epidemic level of financial ignorance going on over here. Think carefully before posting. When a Geek hands over his hard earned cash to the banksters, nobody wins. . .

Comment: Re: Energy storage in the grid is 100% efficient! (Score 1) 281

by Idou (#49454419) Attached to: The Myth of Going Off the Power Grid
Ah, Slashdot. . . News for Nerds and the financially challenged. . . There are some very basic problems with your comparison, like:
-WHICH years does the S&P "mostly" do better than 8%? For instance, an investment lasting from 2000 ~ 2007 would have net you NEGATIVE return in terms of real dollars. . . You are comparing investments that have completely different levels of risk (Finance 101 fail).
-Again, corporate bonds? Most batteries have an extensive warranty period, so this investment could be structured as something similar to a risk free investment (~0% right now). . . .
-Large used batteries usually have a significant salvage value.

Not trying to be harsh on you, but the modding certainly shows the deficiencies of the Slashdot community when it comes to finance related discussions. . . What is the point of being a smart Geek if you throw your money away due to lack of finance basics?

Comment: Re:And why not? (Score 1) 227

by Idou (#49367929) Attached to: Nation's Biggest Nuclear Firm Makes a Play For Carbon Credit Cash
Wait. . . we are trying to limit global warming by 2 Celsius over the next 85 years. 50 Celsius over 400 years is over 10 Celsius over that same period. Something seems amiss. . .

Worse, your link points to energy PRODUCTION reaching that level in 400 years. TWICE the energy amount produced by nuclear power is lost as heat, so we would reach that point much earlier than 400 years (not to forget that only a portion of solar energy falling on Earth is absorbed).

There has got to be a better answer out there somewhere . . .

"Facts are stupid things." -- President Ronald Reagan (a blooper from his speeach at the '88 GOP convention)