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

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


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.


Worst Companies At Protecting User Privacy: Skype, Verizon, Yahoo 113

First time accepted submitter SmartAboutThings writes "Apple and Microsoft are one of the worst companies at protecting our privacy, according to EFF's privacy report. Dropbox, Twitter and Sonic have some of the best scores." "Sonic" is California ISP Sonic.net, which tops the field with the EFF's only 4-star rating. Of ISPs with national presence, ATT and Comcast come in with a single star apiece, and Verizon gets a goose egg.

Linux Kernel Developer Declares VirtualBox Driver "Crap" 357

An anonymous reader writes "Linux kernel developers have decided to mark the VirtualBox kernel driver as tainted crap for the significant number of problems this open-source driver has caused. The VirtualBox kernel driver reportedly causes memory corruption and other problems. With the driver being flagged as tainted crap, bug reports caused by the driver will be taken less seriously."

US Navy Breaks Laser Record 294

ectotherm writes "The US Navy has broken the existing record for the power of a laser. Their new free-electron laser can burn through 20 feet of steel per second. 'Next up for the tech: additional weaponization. The Navy just awarded Boeing a contract worth up to $163 million to take that technology and package it as a 100 kW weapons system, one that the Navy hopes to use not only to destroy things but for on-ship communications, tracking and detection, too — using a fraction of the energy such applications use now, plus with more accuracy.' Now all we need to do is upgrade the sharks..."

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

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

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 Screenshot-sm 222

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."

There can be no twisted thought without a twisted molecule. -- R. W. Gerard