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Comment: Re:The diet is unimportant... (Score 1) 179

by oodaloop (#47805773) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study
He was also young and a world class athlete. Telling people to be like Phelps isn't very helpful. From my experience, solving weight issues is easier through diet than exercise. Food, mostly high fat and high sugar food, is everywhere. We live in a world of super overabundance, and it's hard for many people to turn down cupcakes and brownies at every turn. If you looked up the calories for all those things you've been eating, you'd know you can't just work off an extra 2 or 3 thousand calories each and every day. Learn to say no to things you know are bad for you. You still need to be active, but you don't need to be an Olympian athlete.

Comment: Re: Flywheel spin and political spin (Score 1) 187

by bugnuts (#47804473) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

Sorry, localizing the storage vs storage far away, like tfa is talking about, is far more efficient. There's certainly loss on storage and retrieval.

However, I've seen several local substation proposals for storing energy using banks of flywheels, and even more for rail.

Comment: Re:300 Miles context (Score 1) 99

by lgw (#47804415) Attached to: New Computer Model Predicts Impact of Yellowstone Volcano Eruption

I think you're off by a few orders of magnitude. This would be a much bigger deal than the year without a summer, which caused mass starvation. The short term damage would be a significant percentage of everything starving to death. There would be next to no crop land left in all of North America for decades, perhaps centuries. Depending on how much ejecta there was, it might well tip us over into the next ice age (well, technically, the next glaciation period in the ongoing Quaternary ice age).

And if you're worried about climate change, a bit of warming's got nothing on the damage the return of the glaciers would do.

Comment: Re: Yes, we know that. (Score 1) 187

by bugnuts (#47802989) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

If you and all your neighbors were producing a surplus, the substations would need to be backfeedable. Most aren't, and would either need to be upgraded, or local storage would be needed.

Inverters force energy into the grid by raising voltage. In the situation where everyone is producing and nobody consuming, the lines will become overvoltaged and the solar collectors would be shut down by the inverters. Near 0% efficiency in the primary solar hours isn't a good thing.

That's the degenerate case. It won't happen because we're smart enough to see the issues. This is exactly why we need storage and backfeedable substations. We could have 100% wind and solar adoption without issue if the storage and distribution issues are solved.

Comment: Re:yet if we did it (Score 1) 404

"No, he's saying that if the officer was in fact following procedure (questionable) then he should be shielded from liability."

Right. And then I said he should be held liable just as much as if pointing a gun at an unarmed man was not illegal or against procedure and he did it then the gun went off.

" Even in post-war Germany, rank and file soldiers weren't prosecuted for their crimes against humanity."

Godwinism doesn't help your case.

" If the guy was in fact doing his duty ..."

Which he wasn't, unless you are saying that he protected and served the bicyclist. If so, you have a funny definition of protecting and serving.

" Not every bad thing that happens needs to have someone punished for it."

A bad thing didn't "happen". That implies lack of causaility and responsibility. A cop favored efficency in the field and a chance at promotion over the safety and well being of the citizenry. Excusing the behavior is dangerous. Almost as dangerous as putting guns in the hands of people who don't have the common sense to not use a computer while driving.

Comment: Flywheel spin and political spin (Score 2, Interesting) 187

by bugnuts (#47802225) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

I've been posting about this, and the spin some politicians are pushing is reprehensible. Recently, Arizona allowed fees to charge rooftop-based solar energy producers for the privilege of selling or donating electrons to others for use. A few incredible or insane politicians are trying to spin it as if solar adopters are leeches despite the fact that they already pay for interconnect fees and all the excess energy they use.

The alternative, of course, is to go completely off the grid using your own batteries, which will end up costing the power companies (and the politicians in their pockets) even more.

But it's not all without a shred of truth. There are definitely some costs associated with high adoption rates of solar, and the breakdown is pretty easy to explain:

  • Substations convert and distribute 220 to your neighborhood, from high tension wires from the power plants.
  • Substations convert one direction only -- from the high-voltage to the line voltage.
  • High usage is generally in the warm daytime, through early evening.
  • Solar covers most of the high usage times. Some companies charge more for energy use during these times.

This works great for the power companies when a few people on one substation have some solar power generators, because they feed it back into the grid for use by those without solar. As a result, the power company can charge the full amount for the electrons used (often at higher prices), but they don't have to transfer it long distances which inevitably carries loss due to capacitance and resistance. And they get all of this without investing in the cost of increased production at the power plants.

This also works great for the solar generators, because they reduce their use during the most expensive times, and usually push themselves into a lower usage tier due to overall reduced usage. A household that uses 500kWh might only draw 100kWh net from the grid over a month, and the first 100 are usually very cheap. Some places pay for excess electrons put onto the grid, others do not.

But here's the limitation: if all your neighbors have solar, it will exceed consumption during times of bright sunlight. In other words, the substation will send out no energy (nobody needs it), and in fact cannot backfeed it to other substations. This can cause a real issue when there's a surplus. Line voltage may even go up from 110 to around 130. This is when they need energy storage. Batteries are one method, but flywheels can work well, too. They could spin up a flywheel to consume the excess energy, then release it later as-needed (e.g. a dark cloud). In fact, they can spin up a flywheel at nighttime, too, when they have excess production, to smooth out daytime use. It's not just for independent generating stations, but this infrastructure will smooth out their plants for normal use, too.

Some unscrupulous legislators are trying to saddle solar generators with the cost of those who choose not to use solar. They claim exactly the opposite, that the solar producers are driving up costs. Really, they're making a needed upgrade more obvious and in any case, there is literally no way they are "driving up costs" by reducing their own usage. That fails the basic 5th grader test.

Localizing the storage is far more efficient than sending it hundreds of miles, plus it future proofs the obvious issues of people inevitably moving away from coal and natural gas generators. These local storage solutions or backfeeding substations should be pushed by all, even those without solar generation.

Comment: Re:I feel guilty about this. (Score 1) 60

by lgw (#47801915) Attached to: New Nigerian ID Card Includes Prepay MasterCard Wallet

This feels like a cold and calculated enrootment of evil and suppression.

How so? Is this just a mindless anti-American rant, or did you have a point?

This is a pre-pay card, so it's not like it's a devilish scheme to tempt the innocent into the evils of debt, and it's is in a country where is can be difficult to use a credit card because there's little trust that the card wasn't stolen. This is a clever solution: for once, the merchant will actually see a picture ID associated with the card! When's the last time that happened? Should cut back on fraud a bit, and make day-to-day commerce a bit easier.

The real question is: will there be some way to easily transfer money between people directly, using the cards. That would put Nigeria one up over the west!

Comment: Re:Dear Lord, what has happened to Slashdot?! (Score 1) 36

Well, some comments are funny and welcome. The problem lies in the fact that now is so easy to use a computer that the the football captains and the cheerleaders are appearing on Slashdot to comment (why, I really do not know), but without the necessary capacity and cultural baggage to comment something useful or interesting.

But that said, it is important that you (and I, others, etc.) be tolerant, because though some are obviously stupid comments (like those involving bodily functions) others may not be stupid, being only slightly below what you (and me) think is good.

Comment: Re:yet if we did it (Score 5, Insightful) 404

"This was within standard operating procedure for the deputy."

So what you are saying is there are at least two people who should go to jail for manslaughter. The person or people who said to do this, and the officer who was negligent enough to follow the procedure.

Comment: Re:yet if we did it (Score 5, Insightful) 404

well to be fair, im sure a civil case is going to happen. Its just sick. I wonder if there will be any riots over this one

Nah. It was wrong, but people generally don't riot over the death of a rich dude.

Rich white dude.

Anyway it is slightly different that shooting some guy with his hands up, or shooting some guy running away - a pretty standard cop thing. The guy is just as dead, and the point is that the cop was negligent yet being held to different - much lower - standard that a citizen. One expects cops to be held to higher standards, but we find that it just isn't so.

+ - Deputy who fatally struck cyclist while answering email will face no charges

Submitted by Frosty Piss
Frosty Piss (770223) writes "The LA County District Attorney’s Office declined to press charges against a sheriff’s deputy who was apparently distracted by his mobile digital computer when he fatally struck cyclist and former Napster COO Milton Olin Jr. in Calabasas last December. The deputy was responding to routine work email when he drifted into the bike lane and struck and killed Mr. Olin. As with a lot of Law Enforcement behavior, let's see a "regular" citizen get away with that."

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen