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Comment: Re:2kW isn't enough power for a home (Score 1) 506

by Slashdot Parent (#49594131) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

I can't see this paying for itself in 5 years if you still have to purchase the solar panels, plus installation charges for everything.

Sorry for the confusion, but I was referring to two different scenarios. When I said 2kW could power a home at night, that was in response to another comment that said it couldn't. I really think that it could, in theory.

My comment about it paying for itself in 5 years was more to my personal situation. I'd charge the battery array at night and use the stored electricity during the day during peak rates. I don't know how much installation would cost, but if I could use 10kWh during the day at off-peak rates instead of peak, I'd probably save $75/mo or $4500 over 5 years, assuming rates stay constant. Figuring $1000 for inverter and installation (not panels, just wiring it into my electrical panel) + $3500 for the battery array.

Comment: Re:2kW isn't enough power for a home (Score 1) 506

by Slashdot Parent (#49592959) Attached to: Tesla Announces Home Battery System

It might be enough to power a home at night.

If you have enough solar generation to power your home through the day and just use the batteries at night while you sleep, you've just got a fridge and some heat. 2kW won't power a large furnace, but if you live in a decently mild climate, you could power some space heaters or electric blankets.

Also, let's not forget that some of us have natural gas service, so our furnaces, stoves, and dryers don't need much electricity (just need enough to power the blower, ignition, drum, etc.). I'm not ready to go totally off-grid, but I would consider one of these battery packs to move some of my daytime electricity usage to night time and take advantage of better rates. Payback would be in about 5 years. Also, the battery bank could get me through most power outages since most power outages where I live are only for a few hours tops.

I'm going to do some research, but this could be a really good idea for me!

Comment: Re:Burden of proof (Score 1) 140

by Slashdot Parent (#49576065) Attached to: New Privacy Threat: Automated Vehicle Occupancy Detection

It is erroneous to assume that the lack of a license is indicative of a lack of need for a car

Exactly. I drove 3 kids to their baseball game yesterday (2 of them were not my kids). If I hadn't, it would have been 3 cars on the road instead of 1, and I was the only licensed driver.

Comment: Re:If you insist on keeping physical hardware (Score 2) 446

how about a pot sitting on a gas stove (whose flames can also be "over a thousand degrees F")?

I'm not an engineer, but this does not appear to me to accurately model a house fire. I think that there is going to be a difference between being engulfed in 1000+ degree heat vs being over a 1000+ degree heat source.

By way of example, let's say that you have a 22 quart canning pot filled with water and you were to suspend it over a Bunsen burner. That burner can reach a temperature of 2000+ degrees F at the tip of its inner cone, but how long do you think it will take that 2000+ degree burner to boil 10 quarts of water? Perhaps it will never boil?

I think that a house fire would transfer significantly more heat to the bucket of water than a gas stove would. I frankly have no idea how long it would take for water in a bucket to boil off in a house fire, but I am confident that it would be faster than sticking a pot of boiling water on a gas range.

Another issue with the "disk in a bucket" plan is that in dry climates, much care must be taken to maintain the water level of the bucket, because significant water loss would be expected via evaporation.

As always, the best way to keep data safe during a fire is for the data not to be in the fire.

Comment: Re:Managers need an algorithm for that? (Score 1) 210

Will they go out of business if you leave?

Absolutely not. But it will be very expensive to replace me.

Will they suddenly be unable to see a doctor, or pay the mortgage, or be unable to find work due to the fact that they were fired or are currently unemployed?

If I were to separate from my client, it would not affect doctors, mortgages, or finding work. I am not an employee, so I don't not obtain my health insurance through my client. My mortgage payment is will within my means, and I have never had difficulty finding work. I'm not the worlds foremost expert in my field or anything like that, but I'm good enough at what I do that I'm not concerned.

As a consultant, I've been let go many times before and really, I'm telling you, it's not a big deal. It's not a catastrophe--it's just how the business goes. I'm not supposed to be a permanent fixture, although it's kind of become that lately.

Your employer has a much greater ability to trash your entire lifestyle than you do to take the business down

My client could not trash my lifestyle if they tried, and I have precisely zero interest in behaving unprofessionally. I certainly have zero interest in trying to "take the business down"! I'm here to be helpful, and if I'm no longer adding value, then it only makes sense for me to move on to some other organization.

I understand that many people don't have the luxury of not worrying about their job. But with proper expense management and a bit of good fortune, it's definitely possible to position yourself so that a job loss is a "no big deal" type of event.

Comment: Re:Managers need an algorithm for that? (Score 1) 210

Employee finds a new job. Employee gives two weeks notice (or more, sometimes). Employer escorts employee off the premises immediately and pays them for two weeks of "vacation".

For what it's worth, I've never had that happen to me. I've always worked my last 2 weeks doing knowledge transfer.

Comment: Re:Managers need an algorithm for that? (Score 1) 210

However, it's tilted in the employer's favor because most of the time losing a job is much worse for the employee than it is for the employer.

This really depends on the situation. A key employee with a lot of domain knowledge about the employer's business, process, and systems is worth a lot. He or she can demand to be compensated well for that, and build up enough of a cushion to weather any storm.

I'm in a situation like that with my current client. I've been with them so long that I am very valuable to them and I charge accordingly. And this isn't through any nefarious action on my part--everything I do and know, I document in the client's wiki--but it would take a new person a long ramp-up time to digest all of that documentation. My client can let me go with no notice, and I assume that they will someday, but that will be a weighty decision on their part due to what it will cost to replace me. On the other hand, from my point of view, I keep 6 months worth of expenses just sitting in cash, plus I have a HELOC, plus a wife who is also highly-compensated, plus a decent net worth should the previously-mentioned sources of sustenance prove insufficient to weather the storm.

In other words, if/when my client lets me go, I will just shrug my shoulders and go find my next gig, but my client will have to invest heavily in my replacement.

Comment: Re:"Highly Qualified" (Score 1) 216

To my knowledge most states requirements for "highly qualified" teachers is that for "core subjects" they hold at least a bachelor's degree in that field.

That's not a federal requirement. At the federal level, the teacher needs a bachelor's degree, state licensure, and to demonstrate competency in the subject matter that they teach.

Comment: Re:Let's check the logic (Score 1) 216

Who will teach the students?

Teachers will. You don't need brilliant computer programmers to teach kids programming. In fact, they might be the least qualified to teach kids since their specialty is programming, not teaching.

We see this in other fields. Your high school chemistry teacher was a teacher, not a chemist. Perhaps he/she could have made more money in chemical engineering, but that is a different field.

Teachers learn enough math to teach kids basic algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. They can learn enough programming to teach kids basic coding.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.