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Comment: Re:This Announcement Hot on Heels of Bilderbergers (Score 2) 759

by connect4 (#40254433) Attached to: Earth Approaching Tipping Point Say Scientists

I didn't forget it, this calculation is based on instantaneous or average power, so EROI of the panels isn't relevant . . . nevertheless . . .


It turns out the EROI break even point for poly- and monocrystalline panels is 4-7 years over a lifespan of 20 - 30 years and for lower cost thin-film panels it's 2-4 years over a lifespan of 10-15, assuming installation outside the arctic / antarctic circle.

Comment: Re:This Announcement Hot on Heels of Bilderbergers (Score 5, Informative) 759

by connect4 (#40252605) Attached to: Earth Approaching Tipping Point Say Scientists


United States area = 9 trillion square meters (approximate)
United states average insolation over 24hrs = 100w (pessimistic)
United States average energy draw all forms of energy = 3.4 trillion watts
Photovoltaic conversion factor = 15% (pessimitistic)

area * insolation * conversion factor = 135 trillion watts average over 24hrs

135 trillion watts > 3.4 trillion watts, even given these wildy pessimistic assumptions.

of course covering the whole of the USA with solar panels is ridiculous, then you have storage to deal with, but yeah, your sums are out by several orders of magnitude.

Comment: Re:There is a threat to democracy! (Score 1) 391

by connect4 (#34805844) Attached to: WikiLeaks Supporters' Twitter Accounts Subpoenaed

The figure alone tells us precisely nothing about waste and inefficiency, though obviously the lack of single payer, socialized medicine system is a huge efficiency problem for US healthcare, what with the PBMs, insurance corporations, etc. taking their cut and clogging up the works, not to mention the uninsured masses . . .

Anyway, 1/6 seems about right. If they had their priorities straight they would spend less on things like drug wars and the military (though I heard recently this is happening). Then there would be enough money left to spend an even greater proportion on healthcare, which after all is a fundamental indicator of the advancement of your society (and in which regard the US is a laughing stock amongst other industrialized countries).

Comment: Re:home use? (Score 1) 270

by connect4 (#34584548) Attached to: CA's First Molten Salt Energy Plant Approved

So you'll avoid hyperinflation by engaging in the very herd-behaviour patterns that cause it? Maybe you haven't thought this through :)

What I'm arguing against here is what I see as a deep misunderstanding amongst pop-economists of thermodynamics and the economics of energy supply (eg. EROI), the disastrous failure of existing economic models to effectively manage limited energy resources, the vulnerability of economies, and industrial civilization itself, to sudden collapse in the face of declining cheap energy supplies, and ignorance amongst economists about the necessity of maintaining atmospheric homeostasis for the continued existence of our species.

I hear arguments all the time of the form "$x/bbl oil will make energy technology x economically viable.", as though there would be capacity in an economy to re-equip its industry at a time when the vast majority of its people cannot obtain food or fuel and their homes are underwater. That doesn't work at all.

Unfortunately economics today is a counterproductive pseudoscience that compromises people's critical faculties, their capacity for big picture analysis, and their ability to help us prepare for / prevent a future characterized by hazardous environmental conditions and absence of cheap, availably energy sources.


Own Your Own Fighter Jet 222

Posted by samzenpus
from the only-one-on-the-block dept.
gimmebeer writes "The Russian Sukhoi SU-27 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (more than 1,300 mph) and has a thrust to weight ratio greater than 1 to 1. That means it can accelerate while climbing straight up. It was designed to fight against the best the US had to offer, and now it can be yours for the price of a mediocre used business jet."

Spectrum of Light Captured From Distant World 32

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-are-you-made-of dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Cosmos: "Astronomers have made the first direct capture of a spectrum of light from a planet outside the Solar System and are deciphering its composition. The light was snared from a giant planet that orbits a bright young star called HR 8799 about 130 light-years from Earth, said the European Southern Observatory (ESO). ... The find is important, because hidden within a light spectrum are clues about the relative amounts of different elements in the planet's atmosphere. 'The features observed in the spectrum are not compatible with current theoretical models,' said co-author Wolfgang Brandner. 'We need to take into account a more detailed description of the atmospheric dust clouds, or accept that the atmosphere has a different chemical composition from that previously assumed.' The result represents a milestone in the search for life elsewhere in the universe, said the ESO. Until now, astronomers have been able to get only an indirect light sample from an exoplanet, as worlds beyond our Solar System are called. They do this by measuring the spectrum of a star twice — while an orbiting exoplanet passes near to the front of it, and again while the planet is directly behind it. The planet's spectrum is thus calculated by subtracting one light sample from another."

Tired of Flash? HTML5 Viewer For YouTube 372

Posted by timothy
from the that-taste-great-together dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Instead of spending the next 10 years trying to find a Flash implementation for Linux or OS X that doesn't drain CPU cycles like there's no tomorrow, NeoSmart Technologies has made an HTML5 viewer for YouTube videos. It loads YouTube videos in an HTML5 video container and streams (with skip/skim/pause/resume) against an MP4 resource, and an (optional) userscript file can update YouTube pages with the HTML5 viewer. The latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are supported. Personally, I can't wait until the major video sites default to HTML5 and we can finally say goodbye to Flash."
The Internet

Family's Christmas Photos Hawk Groceries In Prague 263

Posted by kdawson
from the smiling-happy-faces dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that Jeff and Danielle Smith sent a photo of themselves with their two young children to family and friends as a Christmas card, and posted the image on her blog and a few social networking websites. Then, last month, a friend of the family was vacationing in the Czech Republic when he spotted a full size poster of the Missouri family's smiling faces in the window of a local supermarket in Prague, advertising a grocery delivery service. The friend snapped a few pictures and sent them to the Smiths, who were flabbergasted. Mario Bertuccio, who owns the Grazie store in Prague, admitted that he had found the photo online but thought it was computer-generated and promised to remove it, and 'We'll be happy to write an e-mail with our apology,' he says. Meanwhile Mrs. Smith has received 180,000 visitors and over 500 comments on her blog since she posted the story. She says she is glad the photo wasn't used in an unseemly manner. 'Interesting. Bizarre. Flattering, I suppose,' writes Mrs. Smith. 'But quite creepy.'"

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten