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Comment: Re:NSA involvement ? (Score 1) 53

by aaarrrgggh (#49154899) Attached to: BlackPhone, In Wake of Gemalto Fallout, Receives $50 Million In Funding

Sure... Publish the software. What the hell, publish the firmware too. You could even publish the schematics for all the chips.

How would you as an end user validate that the nefarious bits aren't actually in the chips, transparently altering the firmware and bypassing protections in software.

Sadly we are in a post-trust mode now. Nothing can be trusted no matter the source or your due diligence. It starts to feel a lot like the secret police watching your every move.

Just to make things interesting, you are being watched by your own country's secret police, other countries' "spies," companies, and criminals.

This really has the potential to completely alter our society in short order, and I am not excited about the prospects.

Comment: Re:Real problem (Score 1) 358

by aaarrrgggh (#49130779) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

While that is the only cost for solar, wind power does have other issues given the high peak/average generation values in most locations. There is also the complexity of dealing with unpredictable power flow directions and magnitudes, but that should ultimately be improved by better per-customer SCADA information.

Comment: Re:Net metering is unstustainable (Score 1) 358

by aaarrrgggh (#49130735) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

This is completely lost though once your two neighbors also put solar panels on their roofs. Moreover, it is lost when you try to generate 100% of the energy you use a year in a 4-hour average period, but your demand peaks after the sun goes down and lasts throughout the night.

Generally speaking the "customer charges" (at least for California utilities) are really billing and administrative, not infrastructure-based.

Comment: Re:Net metering is unstustainable (Score 1) 358

by aaarrrgggh (#49130689) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

There are a couple other important sub-components to generation and distribution: Energy and Demand.

Generation systems are impacted by peak demand as well as time-of-day demand, while distribution is primarily impacted by peak demand. (Technically traditionally peak 8-hour average demand values.)

Comment: Re:Realistic (Score 0) 358

by aaarrrgggh (#49130649) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

Exactly. It is a problem created by physics.

Right now, today, even with net metering on generation if you have a "large" commercial service with a substantial PV array the inevitable one-day of overcast haze where temperatures spike screws your demand charges up for the whole year.

Residential rates are traditionally not time-of-day based, just pure energy without any look at timing and demand factors. Of course Residential makes the most sense with net-metering to the customer!

You can pick how you want to be screwed; nobody is fighting that:

  • Real Time Pricing: Pay 5x on a hot day and 10x when something else goes wrong. End up paying double if you can't just shut down when the outside temperature is over 80F.
  • Time-of-Use: Pay through your nose on a hot overcast day.
  • Net Energy with a Tie-In Surcharge: Pay a big tie-in surcharge to achieve the same as the other two above.
  • Off-Grid: Pay for batteries to provide your off-hours backup, and have a small generator to cover the overcast winter week.

From the LCCAs I have done for work, they all come out in a similar place based on an 8760-hour analysis of BIN data. The only people who can actually save are the ones that can shut down any time without any substantial cost impact to their operations.

Ultimately, the best solution is to have a mix of the following (in order): demand-side management tools, on-site generation with planned net-energy objectives around 50% of anticipated peak demand, time-shifting options in the form of thermal storage, batteries capable of sustaining 50-80% of demand for up to 1 hour, time-shifting options including batteries to move generation to peak at 4-6PM.

If you pull off all of that, your electricity costs can be as low as practical with current energy mix in place. It can improve slightly with more hydro-electric power, but that isn't "environmentally friendly."

Comment: The case: Simple Economics (Score 1) 253

E-books should cost 20% of what the current charges are.

Was going to buy an electronic copy of a book I own (after seeing it mentioned on /.) for easier access, but $50 for a hardcover is absurd when there is a copy somewhere in one of my boxes somewhere, and no electronic versions were available.

My wife has no objections to re-buying some titles, but it is absurd.

Comment: Re:It is not about technology (Score 1) 182

by aaarrrgggh (#49103061) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can Technology Improve the Judicial System?

I am begrudgingly an NFPA member. What they offer now is a huge step forward from where they were 5 years ago; at least the information is there. I have purchased dozens of different standards for the office.

One of my favorite possessions though (well, maybe not really) is my pirated PDF copy of the handbook. I strongly suggest anyone with an interest get it. I understand the need to protect the publishing revenue, but for non commercial use, or if you own a copy, go for it!

Comment: Re: They're pedaling as fast as they can... (Score 1) 257

by aaarrrgggh (#49063287) Attached to: Tesla Factory Racing To Retool For New Models

True, but there are a couple substantial differences: Ford has thin gross profit margins and lacks the vertical integration between manufacturing, sales, and service. It also has substantial legacy costs which limit its flexibility.

Long term, Tesla's P/E should be closer to 15, not the 20 that Musk seems to think. They have a future, but there is plenty of risk.

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas