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Comment: Re:The climate there sucks. (Score 1) 55

by drinkypoo (#48026837) Attached to: Marc Merlin's 2014 Burning Man Report For Tech Geeks

Keeping it local only spreads the impact,

Yes, that is the idea. When your impact is positive, you want to spread it around. If you made an oasis of the place where Burning Man is now, it would benefit relatively few people since people don't live there now; unless you made a whole town, and a lot of people lived there. But I don't propose spontaneous creation of townships, because it's not legally feasible.

Comment: Re:Oh yes, we were (Score 3, Insightful) 79

by drinkypoo (#48026745) Attached to: California Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Warrants For Drone Surveillance

It's interesting that the politicians that *I* would describe as "liberal Democrats" are now the authoritarians.

The Democratic party is centrist and pro-big-business, especially in California. California is one of the least friendly states to small business. Not only is the state a bastard (and I'm not talking about environmental regulations here, I am generally in favor of those except when they are used to do stupidity, e.g. preventing a CostCo in Ukiah due to "concerns" about "habitat" when the land in question is a big fucking waste of concrete that harbors nothing but some plucky weeds-in-cracks and which is both an eyesore and an ecological failure) but there's over fifty counties, and they all do business differently. The real leftists have all moved on to other parties.

Comment: Oh yes, we were (Score 2) 79

by drinkypoo (#48026321) Attached to: California Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Warrants For Drone Surveillance

Because he couldn't do anything. That was glorious. Moonbeam is still loved, so he can still do things, or get away with not doing things that we really want because he doesn't have to give a fuck about his approval rating. The idiots will approve of him (if on no other basis, as the lesser of evils) regardless.

Note, I am about as liberal as they come. But I voted for Arnold, and I'd do it again. The only part of it I'm sorry about is that it cost the people money. We'd have wound up with Moonbeam again regardless.

Comment: California Uber Alles (Score 1, Offtopic) 79

by drinkypoo (#48026207) Attached to: California Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Warrants For Drone Surveillance

California über alles
California above all others
(California über alles) (2x) [Dead Kennedys]
I'm your governor Pete Wilson, ya know
The baddest governor to ever grab the mic and go
Gimme a budget and watch me hack it!
Gimme a beat and I'll show you how to jack it!
I give the rich a giant tax loophole
I leave the poor living in a poophole
At a time when Aids is in a crisis
I cut health care and I raise prices
Sales tax, snack tax, excise tax
Information attack with a newspaper tax
Hit the pocket books of working families
Increase tuition at the universities
Some day I'll command all o' you
Even your kids are gonna pray to me in school
Soon I'm gonna be the president
You might remember the last one this state sent

California über alles (4x)
(California über alles) (2x)

I'm so proud to know the Great Communicator
Wanna be known as the Great Incarcerator
I'll blow environmentalists away
And I'll be the führer some day
I'll keep cuttin' Public Education
even though we rank 54th in the nation
I've got a plan for all the minorities
Send'em to the California Youth Authorities
From San Francisco Urban Elementary
to Pelican Bay State Penitentiary
There they can work for the master race
and always wear a happy face
Close your eyes, it can't happen here
Big Brother in a squad car's comin' near
Come enjoy the surf and the sun
and keep California number one!

California über alles (4x)
(California über alles) (2x)

Now it's 1992
Knock knock on your front door, yo guess who
It's the suede denim secret police
They've come to your house for your long haired niece
Gonna send her off to a camp
'cause she's been accused of growing hemp
Don't you worry it's only a shower
And now for your clothes here's a pretty flower
Gonna die on malathion gas
The serpent's egg has already been hatched
People starvin' and livin' in the streets
because they tried to mess with me, President Pete!

California über alles (4x)
(California über alles) (2x)

(Dead Kennedys / Jello Biafra / John Greenway, performed by Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy)

Guess it's time for another California Uber Alles song, huh? Moonbeam gets two.

Comment: Re:Fine. Legislate for externalities. (Score 1) 403

by thogard (#48025871) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

You may not have a choice. My last power bill had a connection charge that was higher than the energy consumption charge an I pay $.22 a kwh. That will be the trend in the future. In places where the grid is still locally owned, I see it being added to property taxes as the cost of batteries come down where people can go off grid.

We just put in 6 250W panels. They cost less then $190 each but installing the frame and the wiring cost more. The mPPT module happens to plug into our existing telco grade -48V DC power supply and it was only $800 but plugged into a nice $5k system. The batteries that will run one of our racks of gear for 8 hours cost $250 each for 8 of them. The silicon bits aren't a major part of the cost of going off grid now.

Comment: Re:You raise? Call, mofo! (Score 3, Informative) 403

by Jeremi (#48025159) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

do you really think I'll put up with your bullshit instead of spending another $5k on batteries and going totally off-grid, costing you even your scammy $14/month "connection charge"?

Hmm. $5,000 up-front in order save $14/month? Those batteries will pay for themselves in only 29 years, yay! Or rather, they would pay for themselves if they lasted that long, which they definitely won't.

So yes, the power company really does think you'll put up with their bullshit -- or at least, that most people will.

Comment: Re:Failure of Imagination; Utilities Could Sell So (Score 1) 403

by Jeremi (#48025117) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Instead, [power companies] want to coast on coal plants and grid they built out, much of it long ago - and keep slamming your checks.

Well, sure -- those coal plants cost a fair amount of money to build, and the longer they can keep them running, the more they can amortize that cost.

Of course, while that's a rational policy for the power companies, it's not rational for society as a whole, since it's the rest of us who end up paying the costs of the carbon pollution (in the form of flood damage, crop losses, war, etc). A carbon-emissions tax would go a long way towards re-aligning the power companies' economic incentives to better reflect those of society at large.

Comment: Re:net metering != solar and 10% needs new physics (Score 1) 403

by Jeremi (#48025085) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Seems like what the world really needs is a way to combine (excess solar electricity) and (excess atmospheric CO2) back into some kind of useful hydrocarbon fuel.

Then your "storage device" could simply be the underground tanks at the local gas station, which would partially refill themselves each afternoon by siphoning off the excess electricity to create gasoline.

Dunno if it will actually happen, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_