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Comment Decoupling solves the incentive problem (Score 2) 84

There's a concept called "decoupling" - where a utility's profit is not based on the amount of power sold, but on other factors. (Say, reliability, low cost, customer satisfaction, etc). Many utilities do this, via their local regulating body of government.

With that in place, the utility doesn't care how much (or little) power you use - at least on a profit level. If the government offers a bonus to the utility for successfully implementing "green" power or a Demand Response system, then there's a lot of incentive for the utility to make that happen.

This isn't rocket surgery. Utilities are just like any other company. So many people have already decided that utilities are evil that they can't see how a small change to the rules can be good for everyone.

Comment Re:Media Center (Score 1) 720

>Who would make a piece of hardware with no support for any other media software?
The cable industry. They only produced CableCard under the direct order of the FCC, and even then deliberately made a product so bad that it was nearly unusable.

The foot-dragging and sabotage by the cable industry is so bad, that even Wikipedia acknowledges it.


Comment Re: Reliability (Score 4, Informative) 163

[Citation Needed]
Rockets are not coins. So far, the failure rate seems to be 5%. If the one failure was a statistically early event and/or the issue around that one failure is fixed, the true failure rate will be much lower.

We need a larger data set to firmly set the real failure rate, but there is no evidence of 50/50.

In fact, if a per launch odds really were 50/50, the probability of 19 successful launches would be 1/(2^n) or 0.00000190734 or 0.000190734%

TLDR; you have no idea what you're talking about. Take a stats class.

Comment Re:Punishing people who get degrees we need the mo (Score 2, Interesting) 230

Someone has to pay for the Liberal Arts majors to hike through Nepal.

Really, what this is going to do is encourage people to get degrees with no marketable value, then wait out the repayment period. Sounds perfect for the "but I'm entitled to a free degree" crowd. Like everything else that is free, this is going to get real expensive, real quick,

Comment The 1980's called - wants their news back (Score 1) 55

I was doing superconductor levitation back in the 1980's, as a kids's science fair project. Now, at the time, I shouldn't afford enough materials to stand on, but this is exactly the same thing.

Lots of techno-babble in TFS & TFA.

For those who haven't seen it in action, random youtube link:

Comment Assumptions (Score 4, Interesting) 184

The premise behind these simulations is that giving directions to crowds will improve flow of people.

It's a mighty big assumption that the folks in the crowds would follow a signal to "slow down". Between the culture in general (ever see a tidy British style queue in the middle east?), and the general human dynamics of large crowds of people, I don't have much hope of this being a success.

Perhaps a better solution would be to increase the time window for this event- spread the crowd over a few months instead of a few days.

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It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist