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Comment Re:That's exactly right (Score 3, Informative) 645

Don't worry. Germany is fine. You are reading the wrong magazines.

Yes, it is a problem that pumped-storage is shutting down, but is shutting down because it is currently not needed. The are simulations by Fraunhofer that additional storage is needed in Germany only when going over 60% renewables. In other words: storage isn't really an issue at the point where we are.

The customer prices in Germany are very high (30 cents / kWh) but only 6 cents are for the feed-in tariff for renewables. So this isn't the only one of many reasons for the high price (which is intentionally high). Also part of the industry is exempt and then pays much less than for example in California.

Coal is indeed a problem. But you have to understand that coal is big in Germany for reasons entirely unrelated to the Energiewende. Coal is simply really cheap and locally mined (jobs!) - while gas is expensive in Europe.

Comment Re:That's exactly right (Score 1) 645

Whole-sale prices are lower in Germany than in California. Customer prices in Germany are twice as high. But is a myth that this is caused primarily by renewables. The feed-in tariff for renewables is only 20% of the cost and this would be lower if parts of the industry weren't exempt (and exempt industry pays much less than in California). For background information, see: https://law.stanford.edu/publi...

That carbon emission weren't reduced much is mostly because gas has been reduced while coal is not. This has something to do with the relative cost of gas and coal (which is different in Europe than the US which has cheap gas). Also Germany produced 647,1 GWh last year while net-exporting 50,1 GWh (both records). So other countries reduced emissions by buying electricity from Germany.

Comment Re:Translation.. (Score 1) 325

My favourite example is the article about researchgate. This company has spammed every scientist on this planet hundred times. But for a long time this very well known and obvious fact could not be mentioned in the wikipedia article because there was no secondary source... on the other hand, every questionable statement put out by researchgate in a press release about themselves was immediately copied into some article by a lazy journalist and so became reliable knowledge. It didn't help that they had paid editors helping keep their article clean from criticism.

Comment Re:Magnox... (Score 2) 98

Well, it is an issue and there is no magic answer. It is just not that big of an issue as the opponents of wind and solar seem to believe. And there are many partial solutions which can be combined. First, solar fits well to the demand curve, so it usually does not have to be stored in the first place. Also wind and solar often complement each other well. This is the reason pumped-storage is currently underutilized in Germany despite a having a huge share of renewables. Then you can have a large enough grid to average production in space - then you do not need to average as much in time (i.e. store). To make it larger, you can trade electricity with your neighbours. You can also have reserve power plants for times where production is low. In fact, you need to have them anyway - even with nuclear power, because a nuclear power plant might just drop out for some technical reason any time.

Comment Re:Trust isn't transitive (Score 1) 84

But what's "an auth model that works"? The PGP web of trust isn't it because trust isn't transitive. Just because I can vouch for someone's identity doesn't mean I can vouch for her ability to vouch for others' identities. That's why X.509 certificates have the "cannot act as a CA" flag.

In most cases, nobody needs to know the identity anyway. It would be far more important to know that it is the same website I looked at before which can be trivially achieved by storing a hash to a certificate locally after the first visit. It would also be important to know whether the destination of a link is still the intended one which could be achieved very easily with link fingerprints.

Comment Re:let them start their own (Score 2) 135

This is nice strawman. You make up a nice story how the academics will misuse money from unrelated grants to pay for this and then argue that this is unethical. But of course, there are many other legitimate ways to fund this project and there is no indication whatsoever that this specific project will get funded in a questionable way. And no, where I have worked I have never seen how money from grants has been spent for entirely unrelated projects - and I seriously doubt that any supercomputer has been paid for from misappropriated grant money. When I order something from the grants I have, an admin makes sure that this is actually covered by the original grant application. Even if the admin would let it slip through, there are internal audits which would catch this.

Comment Re:Well, at least someone is willing to say it! (Score 1) 572

Well, the important point is that you learn some generic stuff (shell scripting) and then one can apply this knowledge in many different places. So I just learned a bit of scripting in the past and was able to change my init scripts when I needed to. In the future I will have to look stuff up every time I need to change something - not cool.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman