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Comment: Re:Gamechanger (Score 1) 514

by Jodka (#49593879) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

I think that power companies should offer more incentives for people to have these in order to smooth out the electricity demand.


Why is not the optimal consumer incentive which the electric company could offer the price difference between peak and non-peak rates? By "optimal" I mean socially efficient, not the biggest or whatever you happen to want the most.

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

by Jodka (#49593643) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

...over the ten year warranty period you'll save ~$3000...

That number is way off. You have performed the calculation incorrectly because you omitted the opportunity cost. If you do the calculation correctly, then I estimate (using amateurish cost-accounting methods below) that you end up at around break-even if you buy the battery. Which is extremely interesting, because, assuming rational consumers, as manufacturing costs fall, that would be the consumer price threshold at which these batteries could be marketed and they just started being marketed at that price.

So about the opportunity cost: I have no idea what value is conventional to use as the opportunity cost. But the stock market seems like a reasonable choice. So if you invest the initial $3,500.00 in the stock market instead of buying a battery, and we assume 6.5% returns compounded annually, that works out to to an increase of $3069.98 over ten years. That is the about the same gain., ~$3,000, which estimated in savings on your electric bill after the recouping the battery investment. So you are about $3,000 better off after ten years either if you invest a sum of $3,500.00 in the stock market or if you invest the same sum in a home battery.

Of course there would be more things to consider in making an accurate calculation: differing tax treatments, risk and uncertainty between the choices, what residual worth your battery has after 10 years and its rate of depreciation, the inflation-reduced value of the initial $3,500.00 had you invested it. Also, to do the comparison correctly, assume that the accumulating savings on your electric bill are invested after the battery is paid off. Maybe someone who actually knows how to do cost accounting will chime in here with better estimates. Nonetheless, the claim that you neglected to account for significant opportunity cost stands, even if I failed to calculate that cost conventionally or sufficiently accurately.

Comment: Jenny McCarthyism (Score 1) 256

by Jodka (#49537223) Attached to: Wellness App Author Lied About Cancer Diagnosis

And for those who get their medical advice from Playboy's Playmate of the Year there is Jenny McCarthy, of whom Wikipedia reports:

"McCarthy's public presence and vocal activism on the vaccination-autism controversy, led, in 2008, to her being awarded the James Randi Educational Foundation's Pigasus Award, which is a tongue-in-cheek award granted for contributions to pseudoscience..."

"McCarthy's claims that vaccines cause autism are not supported by any medical evidence, and the original paper by Andrew Wakefield that formed the basis for the claims...

"In January 2011, McCarthy defended Wakefield..."

So in honor of Ms. McCarthy, can we henceforth refer to populist medical quackery practiced by uncredentialed public attention seekers as "Jenny McCarthyism?"

Comment: Re:1 million dollars per family? (Score 1) 540

by Jodka (#49512703) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

$200 million dollars for 224 low income family homes. I get that there are lots of construction costs other than just the houses, but that still seems like a pretty steep price per home.

Lucas already owns the land so that is purely construction cost, and therefore he must be building luxury housing for the poor. Nothing unusual about that. In fact, government Section 8 housing vouchers are capped at $2,200/month. So a low income apartment could rent for $2,200.00 tax payers contribution + renters contribution.

Lucas will recover some of it back in revenue from rents. At $200 million for 224 homes that is $892,857.00 per home. A low-income person can afford up to $2,200/month in rent. So $892,857.00 per apartment / $2,200 monthly rent / 12months per year = about 34 years. So he would be break-even on construction costs after 34 years. Of course that is a ball-park figure because some costs and some benefits (tax deductions) are excluded in that calculation.

Comment: Straw Man Avoidance (Score 1) 304

by Jodka (#49430409) Attached to: Obama Says Climate Change Is Harming Americans' Health

The late jazz critic Whitney Balliet wrote, "All first-rate criticism first defines what we are confronting."

With that in mind, perhaps the AGW alarmists would be willing to confront popular criticisms of their ideology, as opposed to making the usual straw man arguments.

"Climate Change Is Real. Too Bad Accurate Climate Models Aren’t." would be a good starting place.

Comment: Re: Saudi Arabia, etc. (Score 1) 653

by Jodka (#49415869) Attached to: Carly Fiorina Calls Apple's Tim Cook a 'Hypocrite' On Gay Rights

You can believe any damned thing you like, but the right to refuse service to a customer is a right NOBODY else has...

Let us test your statement using a thought experiment. Consider the following three hypothetical scenarios:

1. A print shop is owned and operated by a Jewish woman. She holds passionate beliefs about religious freedom both as matter of principle and for reasons more personal: Though her parents escaped the Holocaust her grandparents and other relatives were gassed at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Her father, a brilliant physicist, had been refused academic positions in the united states early in his career because he was Jewish. One day Grand Wizard of the local KKK branch visits her print shop and requests that she print racist material for an upcoming meeting. She refuses. The KKK Wizard informs the local DA that the print shop owner has committed the crime of refusing him service. It is an easy case for the DA to prosecute because the printer admits to her crime, insisting during the trial the she will never print racist literature and that should she should have the freedom to refuse business to any group with which she disagrees. She is given a five year jail sentence and fined $250,000.00. She raises some of the money to pay the fine by selling her business, and she and her husband sell their home. While she is in jail Her husband and children move into a small apartment but they can not afford much because is saving as much as much as he can to pay the remainder of the fine. While the KKK can no longer use the local print shop, it's not a problem. The $250,000.00 which they received in restitution is sufficient to purchase their own equipment. The select Apple computers because they know the Apple CEO welcomes them, having proudly proclaimed that Apple is "Open to everyone."

2. A coffee shop owner. His business is flourishing and he feels well, though things were hard for him in the past. While still dealing with the psychological trauma of having been molested by a Catholic priest as child, he feels that he is over the depression and with help of a therapist has overcome feelings of guilt. One day a customer walks into his coffee shop and orders a bagel and coffee. The owner notices that the man is wearing a pro-NAMBLA shirt and ask if it is a joke. The customer replies that it is not, that he is member and supports the organization. The owner informs the customer that it is private establishment, the customer is not welcome, and asks him to leave. When the customer refuses, the owner calls the police to have him removed. The police arrive and arrest the coffee shop owner for refusing to provide service. During the court proceeding the owner pleads with the judge and jury for leniency and explains his traumatic past. The judge is sympathetic and issues a sentence of three years in jail and a fine of $200,000.00, the legal minimum sentence for the crime of refusing a customer service. The customer is able to make an extra large donation to NAMBLA with part of his restitution funds.

3. A woman and her wife operate a catering service. The local Catholic minister requests that they cater events at the local Catholic church. Being open-minded and anxious to expand their business, they agree. But soon they find that they are uncomfortable in that environment. While many church-goers are aware of their homosexual marriage and are friendly, others are rude. The often feel snubbed. The sermons about the sins of homosexuality, to which they are unwillingly subject, are upsetting to them. They inform the minster that this makes them uncomfortable and can no longer cater events at the Church. The minister informs the police that the women have committed a crime by refusing service and the caterers arrested and subsequently convicted. They do not appeal, feeling that it would by hypocritical to do so after having advocated for the law under which they are convicted, the Religious Freedom Revocation Act of 2018, signed into law by president Hillary Clinton.

..they should shut the fuck up.

People who disagree with you should not express their opinions.

they're no better than the Taliban or ISIL ..

People who disagree with you are terrorists.

Score:4, Interesting

Some moderators agree with you.


Comment: Senator Barack Obama voted for RFRA in Illinois (Score 2, Informative) 1168

by Jodka (#49372587) Attached to: Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory

Past supporters of RFRA acts include Barack Obama (who voted for one as Illinois State Senator) and Bill Clinton (who signed one into law as President). So Tim Cook's position is not in the political mainstream and in fact it is even outside the liberal Democrat mainstream. The news here is Tim Cook inappropriately dragging Apple into a political war to endorse his own radical politics, not anything going on in Indiana.

Cooks' statements are also not based on any actual facts. See background on RFRA here.

Not long ago Apple stood for fanatical devotion to great design. Now it stands for tasteless bling and Tim Cook's political agenda. We all know the heartbreaking history of that company. It is made even sadder by Cook's failure to stay true to the vision.


Apple: Insanely great design.


Apple: Indiana is a bunch of Anti-homosexual Christian Bigots.

Tim Cook is not qualified to lead Apple. Not because he is gay (nothing wrong with that in my opinion) but because he is ruining the corporate image by putting his personal politics ahead of Apple's interests. If any other employee at Apple used the Apple name to endorse his own personal political views, that employee wold be fired. The same policy should apply to Cook.

Comment: Not calculated correctly (Score 1) 198

Their calculations are ludicrously incorrect.

All of that energy is dissipated as heat. Which means in the winter months when you are paying to heat your house the cost of sleep mode is the difference in price between heating your home with electricity which the console uses and heating your home by whatever other means you have, wood/gas/coal, whatever. In the summer months if you are running your air conditioner then the price is the sum of the console electricity and the added amount which running your air conditioner to pump out the heat from the console.

So if you live in the arctic circle and heat your home with electricity then the price the price is $0.00, not $10 - $15 as they claim.

Comment: Alternative Explanations (Score 0) 385

by Jodka (#49355715) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

It does seem that the most likely explanation is a suicide/homicide by the co-pilot, though the published evidence to date is also consistent with a terrorist act by any of these methods. Perhaps these are better regarded as exploits which the airlines do not protect against, entertainment for conspiracy theorists, or potential plot lines for a film:

1. Impostor hijacking: Terrorists kill the real co-pilot and steal his credentials before he reaches the airport. An impostor then passes security checks using the stolen credentials. Once past the security checkpoints the imposter switches to a second set of forged credentials from the stolen credentials. This works because the security guards who check the credentials are unlikely to know the pilot but are likely to detect forged credentials. The other airline employees are likely to know the real pilot and thus detect an impostor, but would be unable to detect forged credentials of someone posing as new airline pilot.

2. Greater Threat Scenario: Terrorist operatives disguised as government officials approach the co-pilot and inform him that the plane which he will l fly that day is rigged with a thermonuclear weapon triggered to explode either when it reaches its destination, if it deviates at all from its scheduled route, or if anyone attempts to diffuse it. He is told that the only way to prevent the loss of millions of lives is to fly the plane on its scheduled route and to crash it in a remote region. He is also told that he can not trust the pilot.

3. Drugged Pilots: Terrorists attempt to drug both the pilot and co-pilot with a custom time-released hallucinogen mixture which induces paranoid delusions and homicidal behavior. They fail to drug the pilot though because he skips his breakfast.

Comment: How I stopped hating tax and learned to love it (Score 4, Interesting) 384

by Jodka (#49189803) Attached to: French Nuclear Industry In Turmoil As Manufacturer Buckles

Those dangers pale to uncertainty and mismanagement caused by political instead of scientific evidence and method based environments.

Other energy sources would be vastly more costly if their waste products weren't already grandfathered in to the public mindset and their true impacts to safety and environmental impact (which is far more spread out than the catastrophic results failures induced by idiocy and insanity cause newer power sources) were actually measured and factored in to the comparison.

Bingo, we have winner there. So if governments internalized externalities by charging polluters to pollute, making the price of coal reflect its true cost, then the price of nuclear energy would be more favorable in comparison than now. Without those conditions, we are now all subsidizing the most polluting forms of energy generation, such as coal, by making polluting free.

I know the free market libertarian types will scream bloody murder about the proposal that pollution be taxed, just because it is a tax and they reflexively hate all taxes. But hold on you free market libertarian type people! If the government returned payments from polluters directly to the public in the form of checks, instead of letting the crooks who run our government squander it, then the net tax rate would be zero because the total tax dollars collected from polluters would equal the total tax dollars returned to the public. There is a redistributionary aspect to this tax, and those are typically regarded as a bad because they create price distortions. But in this case it is a good because it corrects, not creates, a price distortion by redistributing dollars away from polluters in proportion to the cost of their polluting.

There is a noteworthy point there: taxation is not a burden. The burden of Government is not taxation but instead spending inefficiency. Consider the following: You can go to the grocery store and pay $2.00 to buy a bag of onions. Alternatively, the government can tax you $2.00 and provide you bag the same bag of onions. The tax payer is rationally indifferent to those alternatives, therefore the tax is not a burden to the tax payer. What makes government a burden is spending inefficiency: In actuality, the government taxes you $2.00 and instead of giving you $2.00 worth onions it buys a tobacco farmer subsidy, anti-marijuana law enforcement, spyware to read your e-mail, and corporate welfare in the form of bad loans to Solyndra or some other boondoggle. What fraction does go to anything which is of value to the public, such as perhaps housing, is filtered through government contractors who capture most of the dollars for themselves and creates unemployment by offering an incentive to not work.

Because the public would pay money for the government not to do some of those things government spending efficiency can be negative. For example, with low government spending efficiency the cost to the tax payer of a $2.00 tax could be $3.00 if the government uses its $2.00 to purchase $1.00 worth of harm to the taxpayer. With high government spending efficiency, the cost to the tax payer of a $2.00 tax could be $-1.00, that is, the tax payer gives up two dollars but gains $3.00. In practice that does not happen. If it did then Wall Street investors would all have been replaced by government bureaucrats, if they can earn that rate of return.

So if the government both taxes pollution and returns the tax revenues to the public as dollars then taxation is not a net social burden. And the reduction in pollution is a net social benefit.

Innovation is hard to schedule. -- Dan Fylstra