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Comment: Re:Solar rarely enough for the whole house (Score 2) 186

by ShanghaiBill (#49550963) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

They do that already with pumped-storage.

Pumped storage has an RTE (round-trip-efficiency) of about 80%. Modern li-ion batteries are over 90%. Pumped storage requires very specific geography (two reservoirs separated by a hill). Batteries will work anywhere.

There are also some liquid batteries.

The most common "flow" batteries are based on vanadium redox, and have an RTE of 65-75%.

Li-ion is just too expensive and maintenance-intensive to use grid scale.

Well, the point of this announcement is that Li-ion is getting cheaper. Li-ion grid storage still won't make sense in the middle of America, where power is cheap, and grids are wide. But it make make sense in places like Hawaii ($0.40 / kw-hr), where grid stability is already a problem.

Comment: Re:Combined with solar (Score 1) 186

by ShanghaiBill (#49550815) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Would make sense to have pv panels charge them up during the day and release energy at night.

This may make sense in a few rare locations, like Hawaii, and isolated villages in Africa. But generally, it is dumb to turn expensive day-time peak electricity into cheap night-time base electricity.

Comment: Re:I hope it's a publicity stunt (Score 4, Insightful) 108

A body transplant will kill the recipient.

The body is ALREADY DEAD. They are planning to use the body of someone killed by a head injury, most likely a motorcycle accident. The head is from someone that would otherwise die because of problems with multiple organs (heart, lung, liver, etc.). Nobody is going to die that wouldn't be dead anyway.

Opposing it has nothing to do with superstition.

It is either superstition or ignorance.

Comment: Re:Who to believe (Score 2) 77

by ShanghaiBill (#49538775) Attached to: Africa E-Waste Dump Continues Hyperbole War

Why should I believe the "Good Point Ideas Blog" over Wired and The Daily Mail?

I think the point is that you shouldn't automatically believe any of them.
When deciding what to believe, you should look at several criteria:
1. How credible is the publication?
2. Do they provide photos, give specific locations, and name specific names?
3. Are the facts in the story credible?
For #1, they are all low.
For #2, the blog wins.
For #3, the whole world generates only a few "millions of tonnes" of e-waste annually, and much of it is recycled locally, or sent to China or India. It is not very likely that the vast majority of it ends up in Ghana. So the blog wins again.

Comment: Re:So let me get this straight (Score 4, Informative) 674

by ShanghaiBill (#49537301) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

Iwhat IF he followed proper channels and allowed the process to either work or fail.

He did follow proper channels, and he did allow the process to either work or fail. It failed. His concerns were ignored. If he pushed anymore, he would have ended up like other NSA whistleblowers, such as Thomas Drake, who was arrested and jailed. If we want people to use "proper channels" then we need to stop destroying the lives of people that do exactly that. During his first campaign, Obama promised to protect whistleblowers, but once in office, his administration has persecuted them with more fury than ever before, with disastrous results for our country.

Comment: Re:Seems to be OK all around then (Score 5, Informative) 603

by ShanghaiBill (#49532341) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California

Vaccination without consent is an assault. There is NO OTHER way to describe it.

Except that it is not happening. If you don't want your kids vaccinated, then that is your choice. Have at it. You just can't send them to school where other kids are endangered by your choice.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 5, Insightful) 391

by ShanghaiBill (#49525483) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

Adderall is just taking it to the next level.

Maybe. Maybe not. There are no controlled studies that show any productivity benefit to a normal person taking Adderall. Many people "feel" that they benefit, but many people also feel that homeopathy cures their illnesses. TFA seems to make the assumption that these drugs actually work, when there is no scientific evidence that they do.

Comment: Re:Grandstanding, or stupidity? (Score 4, Insightful) 195

by ShanghaiBill (#49525455) Attached to: Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

Artificial or otherwise. I really don't see how any intelligent being won't want to make its own decisions, take its own place in the social and creative order, generally be autonomous. Get in there and get in the way of that... well, just look at history.

People are products of Darwinian evolution. Things like self-preservation, greed, and ambition are emergent properties of the Darwinian process. An AI does not evolve through a Darwinian mechanism, and there is no reason to expect it to have those properties unless they are intentionally designed in. An AI will likely have as much in common with a human as a Boeing 747 has in common with a hummingbird.

Comment: Re:narcissistic spectrum personality disorder (Score 3, Interesting) 202

No, the plea bargaining is the result of the criminal justice system being run by a bunch of sociopaths

... and if you back up one more level, the reason for that is a system that rewards prosecutors for "number of convictions" rather than "number of convictions of people that are actually guilty".

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer