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Comment That was Andy Grove's policy (Score 3, Insightful) 124 124

If you didn't get in by 8, you had to talk to Andy. Some good engineers stayed away from Intel because of Grove's strictness. In retrospect, it was probably a bad choice. The brains of silicon valley chose silicon when they founded Fairchild Semiconductor and when they moved on to found Intel a decade later, the best move was to follow them. They made some bad and distasteful choices, but overall they were just kind of brilliant and improved the world.

Comment Net metering (Score 1) 517 517

I don't know what's going on in Germany now. Thirty years ago, according to a German I knew, you had to pay for the power you didn't use if you generated your own.

But bringing up spinning reserve and dispatch issues is helpful. The research paper from LBL that spawned the Cmputer world article has the title "Financial Impacts of Net-Metered PV on Utilities and Ratepayers: A Scoping Study of Two Prototypical U.S. Utilities". The key is "Net-Metered". In the two locations that I know about, customers are paid at least the same price per kilowatt-hour for energy that they provide as they pay for energy that they consume regardless of time. Since the cost of energy in electrical power girds changes over time, such pricing is not appropriate. Also as Luckyo points out, there is a cost for providing "spinning reserve" which is the capability of providing additional power on a fraction of a second's notice. Such reserve is necessary in order to have reliable power delivered to variable loads.

Comment Why talk about war but avoid talking about gas? (Score 1) 789 789

I am shocked/amazed/disappointed that there is so much talk about war, but no serious consideration of Europe trying to get through the winter without Russian gas. War is incomparably worse than burning your furniture to keep warm. If Europe can't begin to figure out how to get by without Russian gas, I, as a US citizen, don't want my country participating in any kind of military activity to support them.

Comment Re:Why municipal broadband? (Score 1) 250 250

Because it is a natural monopoly. Other natural monopolies, like roads, water, sewer, electric power and gas are either public (in my town) or are regulated monopolies. Internet access is a uniquely profitable unregulated natural monopoly. I recommend buying stock in the operators.

Comment Text file (Score 5, Interesting) 170 170

You are right.

I use simple text files. I like them more than paper notebooks because:
1. I can edit them from anywhere that I can use ssh
2. They are easy to search
3. They are easy to back up

The comments (including the parent) that suggest simple text files and editors have all been modded down to 0. I don't understand why.

Comment Short lived greenhouse gases help persuade (Score 1) 102 102

If people let enough methane escape to change the climate, it would be a short term disaster and teaching opportunity. It seems better than releasing enough CO2 to get the same change in temperature, because with CO2 the the effect would last so much longer.

The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong -- until the next person quits or is fired.

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