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Comment: He's totally wrong. (Score 1) 206 206

by Ungrounded Lightning (#50016313) Attached to: Bill Gates Investing $2 Billion In Renewables

When Bill Gates says:

"There's no battery technology that's even close to allowing us to take all of our energy from renewables and be able to use battery storage in order to deal not only with the 24-hour cycle but also with long periods of time where it's cloudy and you don't have sun or you don't have wind."

he's totally wrong.

For starters, there's Vanadium Redox. A flow battery (pumped electrolyte): Power limited by the size of the reaction device's electrode and membrane assembly. Energy storage limited by the size of the tanks. It's mainly used for utility-level energy storage down under (Oz or Nz, I think), because the patents are still fresh and the little startup doesn't want to license it to others. Vanadium is some substantial percentage of the Earth's crust so there's no shortage. Using the same element (in different sets of oxidation states - vanadium has (at least) 6 of 'em) for BOTH electrodes means leakage of small amounts of the element through the dilectric membrane doesn't poison the battery.

Lithum cells are already good enough to run laptops, cars, and houses, and are improving at a Moore's Law like rate. The elements are also not rare and the use of several nanotech techniques on the electrodes have drastically increased the lifetime and other useful properties. (We just had reports of yet another breakthrough within the last day or so, doubling the capacity and extending the life.) The fast-charge/discharge cells are also extremely efficient. (They have to be, because every horsepower is 3/4 kW, so even a few percent of loss would translate to enormous heat in an automotive application.) The main problem is to get companies to "pull the trigger" on deploying them - and risk their new production line being rendered obsolete before the product hits the market by NEXT month's breakthroughs.

Lead-acids need to be replaced once or twice per decade. But they have been the workhorses for off-grid since Edison's and Nikola Tesla's days, and still are today (though not for long, if Elon Musk and the five billion dollars of investments in his lithium battery plant have anything to say about it).

Nickel-Iron wet cells are a technology developed by Edison. They have more loss than lead-acids. But they literally last for centuries. If you have a moderately steady renewable source (like some combination of enough wind and a big enough windmill, enough sun and a big enough solar array, or a stream and a big enough hydro system) you'll have enough more power than you need to keep them topped off. They're just fine for covering days, or even a couple weeks, of bad generation weather, or down-for-maintenance situations. That IS what they were in at least one hydro plant I know of. (The problem is finding them: They last so long you only need to buy them ONCE, so there aren't many plants.)

That's just four FAMILIES of entirely adequate solutions. There ARE more.

So Bill is either uninformed, talking through his hat, or starting on the "embrace" stage of yet another:
  - Embrace
  - Extend
  - Extinguish

Comment: Re:How does that compare to desktops? (Score 3, Insightful) 75 75

by AK Marc (#50015861) Attached to: Study Suggests That HUD Tech May Actually Reduce Driving Safety
The problem with this is why the person doing the study is important. If, when you get 10 MPH over the limit, the windshield pops up a huge warning message, that's bad. But having the speed on the view 100% of the time, with the color of the display changing as the limit is reached, and passed, would give the same information and should make you more safe, not less. I could ask the same question and get opposite answers, depending on what I want to find.

The HUD that's augmented reality (overlaying IR on real view, so you see deer sooner and such), that should never be a distraction.

What is in the HUD that's distracting? Everything the ECU knows, displayed in Matrix style? Yes, distracting and not useful. But the tasteful HUDs? If they are distracting and intrusive, that's more a driver problem, not a HUD problem.

Comment: Re: You think Greeks want MORE electronic money? (Score 1) 299 299

by Solandri (#50015413) Attached to: Greek Financial Crisis Is an Opportunity For Bitcoin

Eh. Don't oversell the old gold standard. For starters, a gold standard was typically a steady and persistent malaise of deflation, as economic output increased more steadily than the money supply.

Yeah, anyone advocating returning to the gold standard needs to read some economic history to really see what things were like when we were on the gold standard. 1800-1933 saw 33 recessions/depressions - every 4 years on average - with declines in business activity or GDP of 10%, 20%, and even 30% common.

Since going off the gold standard, we've had 13 recessions in 82 years, or every 6.3 years on average. And aside from the recessions following the Great Depression and WWII, none of them has seen GDP shrink by more than 5%.

Zero inflation/deflation in a currency happens when the amount of currency floating around exactly matches economic productivity. With a fiat currency, a legit government tries its best to expand the money supply to maintain that balance. With a gold standard, whether you get inflation or deflation depends entirely on the ratio of economic productivity to how much new gold is mined. And don't even get me started on how disastrous it is to set a finite limit on the amount of currency you can mine, like Bitcoin does.

Being on the gold standard doesn't mean you have solid monetary policy based on a physical good. It means your "policy" is effectively determined by how much gold people are finding and mining at any given time - its based on luck and good/bad fortune. Yes it prevents abuse by the government printing too much currency. But it avoids that potential abuse by completely removing the economy's rudder, leaving you adrift and completely at the mercy of how lucky gold miners are that year.

The true fundamental currency is productivity. Whether you use dollars, euros, gold, or bitcoin, avoiding inflation/deflation means increasing the supply of physical/virtual currency to exactly match increases in productivity.

Comment: Re:Recharge seems to be bottleneck (Score 1) 120 120

Nope that's the first time for the R5 (the world's thinnest phone, or was last I checked). The other times were for the Find 7 (which I own), which was, at the time of purchase, the highest pixel density of any phone, though others have matched QHD, but in a (smaller) 5.1 screen.

Just because I'm happy with my purchase doesn't mean I'm a shill. Just trying to make the point that you can't judge every smartphone by the iPhone or Samsung de jour. So many complain about a specific flaw in a specific model, then generalize. Yes, thinner can mean weaker, that's why Oppo made a video of the world's thinnest phone cracking nuts, cutting apples and watermelons, and being run over by a car. If you still think that thin means weak, that's your insanity, not reality.

And yes, I watched all the marketing material and read many reviews before buying the Oppo, since I hadn't heard about them until I was looking for a replacement for my S3. The marketing videos seem relevant to the complaints here.

Comment: Re:Get rid of the fucking adverts completely (Score 2) 177 177

by CreatureComfort (#50013765) Attached to: How Television Is Fighting Off the Internet

Not only THIS, but even on Netflix, binge watching a series, the constant dramatic-crisis-leading-to-a-black-cut-and-back-to-the-scene-not-quite-as-it-was every 4-5 minutes showing where the commercial was "supposed" to be is highly annoying. It interrupts the story and wastes valuable story telling time. Agents of Shield and Once Upon A Time are recent series I have noted with this issue.

Something else I've noticed is that many of the recent shows, when streamed on Netflix, seem oddly filmed with all of the action and interest happening in the top 50% of the frame and the bottom 50% almost irrelevant. It wasn't until about a month ago, when I watched regular TV at a friends house, that I realized the networks are showing Ads on the bottom half to third of the screen DURING the freaking show! UGH! Never going back to broadcast TV.

Comment: Re:Good. However.... (Score 1) 120 120

I gave up on Samsung with the S3. Given the claims and the reality, it isn't worth my money to try again after something so por and didn't do what they said. But other Android makers of the day beat the specs and weren't lying about them. But good to hear you have good experience with your S6

Comment: Re:Recharge seems to be bottleneck (Score 1) 120 120

Plus of course, 1.8x at brand new means that all other things being equal, you'll have many fewer charge cycles.

No, it doesn't.

a smaller phone - which isn't really very likely, they're already reaching the limits of what you can do in terms of structural strength


Hmm, thinner than an iPhone, and they drive a car over it. Though I didn't see a bend test, they seem to be implying it's strong.

Comment: Re:Help me I'm a blindly trusting Millenial! (Score 4, Insightful) 79 79

by Qzukk (#50013109) Attached to: When a Company Gets Sold, Your Data May Be Sold, Too

Or require that the entity purchasing an asset out of bankruptcy also inherits the contracts binding that asset. If my landlord goes bankrupt I don't get to say "Woo! Free house!" and ignore the terms of my contract with the landlord, why should whoever takes over after the landlord not be bound by the terms of the contract either?

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination -- but the combination is locked up in the safe. -- Peter DeVries