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Comment: Re:Mistake (Score 1) 190

by captain_nifty (#49268339) Attached to: UN Backs Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

In the pacific northwest (Seattle Area) my calculations show break even at around 18 years, which is pretty bad given that, the panels are only usually rated for 15 years.

Every few years I get to thinking about doing it and I run through the calculations and come up with similar numbers, panel prices are down, but power conditioning set-ups are still a big part of the cost, and then you have to pay for a contractor to install the setup (one of the largest parts of the cost) if you want to get any of the tax credits or connect to the grid.

Looking at my last utility bill, 99% of my energy is coming from non fossil fuel sources, hydroelectric mostly. So green guilt is not going to get me to put PV on my house and it doesn't really make economic sense either.

I'm sure I'll run the numbers again in a few years when I need to re-roof the house; I like the idea of energy independence, but where I live Solar PV is just not cost effective.

Comment: Diablo?? (Score 1) 73

by captain_nifty (#49245283) Attached to: New Crypto-Ransomware Encrypts Video Game Files

It targets files associated with single-user games Call of Duty, Star Craft 2, Diablo, Fallout 3...

Seriously Diablo?? WTF is that a typo and supposed to be DIablo II or 3, are people still playing single player Diablo, a few years back I installed it in a VM to get some nostalgic gameplay and it was horrible.

Comment: Scared Idiots (Score 5, Insightful) 286

by captain_nifty (#49075627) Attached to: 1950s Toy That Included Actual Uranium Ore Goes On Display At Museum

People are scared of radiation because they don't understand it.
Rather then educate children todays society is more concerned with protecting them.
Relevant XKCD for dosage information.
I would be interested in how many banana doses of radiation this kit contained.
Everything is radioactive, granite countertops, bananas, sea-salt, living in Denver (higher elevations), hell carbon dating works because all life is radioactive.

Comment: Re:How is that startling? (Score 1) 413

by captain_nifty (#48479695) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

The fed controls the other governing bodies through the simple means of money.

Do you want that federal funding for your state, better not enact laws against the will of the federal masters.
Local cops want some new tech from homeland security, better have policies in place that meet federal standards. (oh and sign this NDA)
Want federal funding for interstate highways, your drinking age had better be 21.

Originally the constitution prevented this by preventing the fed from directly taxing the people, limiting the amount of money they had, the federal income tax is the source of this problem, give enough money to the fed and you give them power over every policy imaginable.

The fed may not be the ones in your face daily, but they are the ones directing a large number of locally enforced policies.

Comment: Re:Generator and fuel (Score 2) 250

Chemical batteries are also, generally the cheapest most compact method to store electricity, which is what you need to run servers, if all you want to do is store energy, hot water is a better method.

All the other storage methods have huge losses when trying to get electricity out, requiring larger and larger storage capacity to deliver the required electricity.

Comment: Generator and fuel (Score 2) 250

If it's 24 hour semi-reliable power you want for periodic short (up to several days) grid outages than the easiest method would probably be a small generator and a stored supply of fuel. (not the most environmental but it works)

Some will suggest solar with your roof area, which you are obviously aware of, but if you want 24 hour power with that you will need a large battery bank which is going to cost you more and take up a large amount of space.

As far as heating the cost effective method is to add more insulation, and if you're running servers you have a ready made electric heat source.

"I am, therefore I am." -- Akira