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Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 1) 602

by Nit Picker (#48002437) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Because of the notorious problems with CFL lifetime, especially the first ones sold, the "Energy Star" certification for LEDs contains a requirement for minimum life. Unfortunately, because the testing takes a long time, most LEDs are not Energy Star certified. See https://www.energystar.gov/ia/... for the technical details of what is required. As I (quickly) read it, the requirements include maintaining 70% of brightness after 25,000 hours. There is also something about cycling on and off. I would love to hear more from someone with time and understanding to read document carefully.

Comment: CAT (Score 1) 461

by Nit Picker (#47319065) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

I agree that a carbon added tax is far superior to a carbon tax, but I seldom see it mentioned. Has anyone in the public eye pushed for it? Some economist (Krugman?) talked about a carbon tax on the ultimate consumer, which I believe is about the same as a CAT, but that is the only discussion I am aware of.

+ - Former FCC Chairman suggests going Nuclear on ISP's-> 2

Submitted by stox
stox writes: "The time is now for the FCC to classify broadband as Title II. Without this step, we are playing fast-and-loose with the most opportunity-creating technology in all of communications history. Without this step, we are guaranteeing an Internet future of toll-booths, gatekeepers and preferential carriage. Without this step, we stifle innovation, put consumers under the thumb of special interests, and pull the props from under the kind of rich civic dialogue that only open and non-discriminatory communications can provide."
Link to Original Source

+ - AMD Announces Sampling Of Eight-Core ARM 'Seattle' Processor->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: AMD's Andrew Feldman announced today that the company is preparing to sample its new eight-core ARM SoC (codename: Seattle). Feldman gave a keynote presentation at the fifth annual Open Compute Summit. The Open Compute Project (OCP) is Facebook's effort to decentralize and unpack the datacenter, breaking the replication of resources and low volume, high-margin parts that have traditionally been Intel's bread-and-butter. AMD is claiming that the eight ARM cores offer 2-4x the compute performance of the Opteron X1250 — which isn't terribly surprising considering that the X1250 is a four-core chip based on the Jaguar CPU, with a relatively low clock speed of 1.1 — 1.9GHz. We still don't know the target clock speeds for the Seattle cores, but the embedded roadmaps AMD has released show the ARM embedded part actually targeting a higher level of CPU performance (and a higher TDP) than the Jaguar core itself.
Link to Original Source

Comment: You're Conflating Climate Activists with Climate S (Score 1) 249

by Nit Picker (#45847803) Attached to: Reducing Climate Change Uncertainty By Figuring Out Clouds

Your label "global warmers" puts non-scientist activists (e.g. McKibben, who really does push for what can reasonably be called decivilization) and the actual scientists (e.g.. Hansen, who doesn't) in the same category. I am not a close observer of the debate, so I cannot say what, if anything, other real scientists, such as Mann, propose, but a meaningful debate requires the two controversies--is there a problem vs. what to do about it if there is--be separated.

Comment: Re:Why subsidize? (Score 1) 1030

by Nit Picker (#45496799) Attached to: A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

I think you are missing the essence of my question, which is "Deduct from what? From revenue to compute taxable income or from U.S. income tax?" I am not intimately familiar with natural resource accounting and taxation, but I believe that if I mine a resource, say coal, and pay a property owner a royalty, that royalty is considered a cost of the coal and is accounted for as any other cost of production. I believe the same accounting is also applied to a severance tax, which is levied in some U.S. states. In contrast, a state income tax is accounted for as a business expense, albeit a period expense rather than part of the cost of the coal.

Foreign income taxes are, I believe, treated differently for purposes of U.S. income tax. There is at least the option of treating them as a credit on an income tax return. I know this is the way the taxes levied on foreign dividends are handled on a personal tax return. Say that a Thai company paid me $1,000 in dividends. I would only get $900, with Thailand withholding $100. I would be expected to report the full $1,000 in income, which if I were in the 25% marginal U.S. tax bracket, would increase my U.S. income tax by $250. I could, however, elect to file a foreign tax credit form (1116, I believe) and claim the $100 as a credit against my U.S. tax. The net result would be that I pay the $250 in tax, with Thailand getting $100 and Uncle Sam getting $150.

Again, I want to emphasize my ignorance of the actual practices, but it is my understanding that the "Royalties that companies pay to foreign governments for the oil they extract" could be properly accounted for as a severance tax. If they are accounted for like a foreign income tax and deducted from the U.S. income tax, then I agree with your implication that that is unfair. If it is treated as a state income tax and deducted as a period expense, than that is also unfair, but it shouldn't amount to much money compared to the theoretically correct accounting, which treats it as a cost of goods sold.

My question is, which method is used?

Comment: Re:Why subsidize? (Score 1) 1030

by Nit Picker (#45495131) Attached to: A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

It is refreshing to see someone actually list the tax breaks and compare them to those given to other industries.

I would, however, appreciate a clarification as I have no time to look it up:

In your last paragraph, you discuss the treatment of royalties paid to foreign governments. The way you expressed it--they are usually not deductible but they usually are--makes no sense. Are you trying to say that they are not deductible from income in computing taxes, but they are allowed as a credit (i.e. a deduction from taxes as opposed to a deduction from taxable income) against U.S. taxes? If that is the case, that does appear to be preferential treatment.

Also, is treating oil company profits as manufacturing profits the same treatment as for other extractive industries, e.g. copper mining?

Comment: Re:Welded containment vessel? (Score 1) 123

by Nit Picker (#43916369) Attached to: 900 Ton Containment Vessel Bottom Head Installed At Vogtle 3

The Bloomberg article has somewhat confused terminology. The forged item they seem to mean is the reactor PRESSURE vessel, which during operation contains the core surrounded by water at approx. 100atm.
The bottom head belongs to the CONTAINMENT vessel, which in normal operation contains air at near atmospheric pressure, along with the pressure vessel and other components. During an accident, the pressure would rise, but to a much lower pressure than the pressure vessel routinely holds. The idea is that the outside of the containment vessel would be kept cool in the advent of an accident by having water flow by gravity over it from a large tank above it. The cooling would condense enough steam inside the containment vessel to keep pressure within the design limit--seems like around 80psi, but I'm not sure.
The containment vessel is itself surrounded by the shield building, which supports the water tank and allows air to flow over the containment vessel.

Comment: Re:8 hour backup (Score 1) 500

by Nit Picker (#35691738) Attached to: Nuclear Risk Expert: Fukushima Fuel May Be Leaking

I don't have a reference on this, and there is so much misinformation running around that I can't be sure of anything, but I have heard that the panels to take the electricity to the equipment were all in the basement of the plant and were flooded. Units 5 and 6 also had panels in their basement, but there was an alternate circuit that allowed the cooling equipment to be energized without going through the basement panels, explaining why they haven't experienced so much trouble.

"Wrong connector" doesn't make sense. It would be easy to wire around an incompatible connector. Wrong voltage or wrong frequency would be more plausible, but I haven't heard that explanation.

Comment: First Plant? (Score 1) 392

by Nit Picker (#33868582) Attached to: Economy Puts US Nuclear Reactors Back In Doubt

I wasn't aware that the Calvert Cliffs plant was ever scheduled to be the first new design plant to be built in the US. At one time that label was applied to the South Texas Project, and I believe that the two new reactors at Vogtle are now in the lead. The Vogtle reactors use the Westinghouse AP1000 design, and the latest revision to that design is nearing presentation to the NRC for certification. (An earlier revision has already been certified.) The Calvert Cliffs reactor was an Areva EPR, which is still a ways from having US approval of its design.

At Vogtle there has already been a lot of dirt moved, and parts of the containment are already being delivered to the site.

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