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Comment Re:This is great (Score 2) 73

it could put a call out to any EV currently plugged in saying "I'll pay 6 cents per kWh for what's in your battery". If they don't get as much power as they need, they would put out another request at 7 cents. If you paid 4 cents the previous night, that's a good deal for everyone.

You'd be an idiot to accept that deal!

1) Your EV's battery doesn't charge/discharge at anywhere near 100% efficiency.
2) Batteries have a fixed number of charge/discharge cycles, so the energy you pull out is significantly more expensive than the electric rates. It may not be much cheaper than running a gasoline/electric generator in your back yard...
3) On a TIMEÂ-OFÂ-US rate schedule, you pay about SIX TIMES HIGHER for your daytime electrical usage. I just found Nevada Electric TOU summer rates of $0.06159 for off-peak, and $0.36554 for peak (all-day, really). So until they're paying you more than $0.40, you'd be far better off serving your own household's electric needs from your EV's battery, not selling it back to the grid. Of course nobody does that because of point #2 above.
4) If it was at all a profitable proposition, the power company would cut-out the customer, distribution losses, retail rates, etc., and build their own battery banks. That they don't should be a huge hint that the economics don't work.
5) As an added bonus, your car doesn't have its full range when you suddenly need it, and it will take an hour to top-off the charge.
6) If utilities would quick trying to heavily penalize residential PV customers, they would quickly get lots of Summer peak power.

Comment Re:This is great (Score 1) 73

Buy power to charge up on windy nights and sell on hot days. (In summer, anyway) Bulk wind power in Texas on the spot market has actually dropped below zero on a few occasions.

Except that's not a viable business model. It costs way the hell too much money to build a huge energy-storage facility, to not maximize day-in, day-out profits. In other words, you can't leave your battery-bank half-charged every day, waiting around for the occasional free electricity to take advantage of. In fact it's most profitable to build a facility that doesn't quite meet all the demand.

Also, wind power in Texas only goes negative by 1/3rd of the subsidized price (i.e. producers are earning positive money), so when the subsidizes get reduced or go away, so does the free electricity.

Comment Re:Data data everywhere and not a drop to think (Score 1) 366

It still boggles my mind how we live in the Information Age and this data was not automatically uploaded and calculated.

If you should have learned anything about "the information Age", it's that life-critical systems should NOT be highly interconnected. If it's just a single 5-digit number that needs to go from point-A to point-B, plain-paper sneakernet is quite convenient and by far the safest and most reliable option.

Comment Re:Isn't anyone bored of being a consumer yet? (Score 1) 145

Maybe we can have a 'White Friday' where people get together and hack up some really interesting thing you can only make.

In other words:

"I'm making you a crappy craft item, and we all have to pretend that because I made it, it's somehow more special than if I'd just gotten you something you wanted..."

The best gifts (for people who can buy their own stuff) are things they simply would never have known they want/need... It can be quite small and low-cost, and still be a great choice. Just don't expect jumping up-and-down the instant they open it.

Comment Re:*Yawn* (Score 3, Interesting) 145

Black Friday is only worth it if you're extremely poor . . .

The lines outside stores on black friday are probably SHORTER than the lines outside stores when the latest iPhone comes out... Who said anything about it being "worth it"?

good quality decent stuff is never on sale on that day

Of course it is. I got a Samsung smartphone for half-price (just a month or so after it debuted) in a black friday sale. Of course I only bothered because the deal was good for the whole weekend, so I ordered online and picked it up before closing on Sunday. This year I see a 49" Toshiba TV going for $150 instead of $400. Amazon Fire 7" tablet for 30% off.

There are certainly savings to be had, just as much on name brands as generic imports. I certainly wouldn't waste my Thanksgiving camping outside a store, but it might not be as much of a loss for others.

Comment Re:How's Irvine, CA? (Score 1) 464

And unlike other tech cities, there's still relatively (for coastal California) affordable housing to be found nearby.

Median price for just a 2-BR in Irvine is $535,000 (And let's not get started on HOA fees)... Not as terrible as the Bay Area, but I wouldn't exactly call it affordable. http://www.trulia.com/real_est...

And if you include "nearby" cities, then prepare to spend 1+ hour every day stuck in traffic, because the roads are backed-up during rush-hour(s), and you can forget about any form of public transit. A lot of people commute nearly 200-miles/day, just for more affordable housing locales.

The recreation options are pretty limited by the sprawl... Hours on the roads to get away from the urban locales and hordes of people overwhelming the all-to-few public spaces. Beaches all locked-up by property developers. The pervasive exclusionary behavior can be observed at public parks, which, upon closer inspection, you'll see lack ANY parking spaces... They're clearly meant for sole use of residents of the immediate area, with others entirely unwelcome.

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

water, natural gas, electricity, food, money (banking and loans)..etc. If everyone simultaneously tried to obtain as much of the aforementioned resources at any given time, there would be a massive shortfall of said resource. Bandwidth is not an exception

Right... And the FCC has been happy to allow ISPs to throttle customers during times of network congestion. What AT&T, Verizon, and others get in-trouble for is when they chose to throttle the higher-paying customers less than less-profitable customers.

Unused bandwidth is lost, it doesn't accumulate, so caps (instead of throttling) don't make much sense. If ISPs wanted to offer a limited service, rationing bandwidth like it's a scare resource, then they should be advertising their $0.10 per-gigabyte service plan... But they don't want to do that, because almost everybody would pay less every month. Similarly, they don't want to advertise these data caps, because their customers will RUN to their competitors. Instead they want ways to rake-in more cash, all hidden in the fine print, and THAT is what everyone objects to.

Comment Re:How can there be? (Score 1) 622

No more 50 hours of dialup! No more busy signals! "Unlimited internet" initially meant 24x7 connectivity; you're always online! It has never meant, "Go ahead and max out your download speed 24x7" except to people looking to abuse the fact that they weren't metering bandwidth.

Actually, it did. My cable company was happy to let me max-out my 384kbps connection, non-stop. If it looked like I wasn't going to use that much in the month, they'd double my throughput, but then they didn't advertise it as a 768kbps service to begin with.

What changed was ISPs wanted to advertise higher speeds than their competitor(s), so they ramped-up higher-speed plans, and charged higher prices. So they start offering "200 Mbps" services, with the fine-print stating that you only get a few seconds of "burst" at that speed, and discontinue all their lower-speed plans, charging your grandmother three time as much money every month, just to check her e-mail.

They just assumed the data usage would stay about the same, so their price increase would be like printing money... Instead people found ways to use more of that higher-speed service they had sitting idle, and now the ISPs aren't making as much extra money as they expected to. If ISPs can't afford unlimited 200Mbps they're forcing people to sign-up for, they just need to start offering lower-speed plans again... I'd be happy to switch to even a 1Mbps service, if the monthly fee was sufficiently low. And with that speed, it wouldn't even be possible to go over their data cap, so no need for metering. But that's too straight-forward and honest for them...

It's all about the advertising. Make no mistake, if they had some way to advertise 200Mbps service, while only delivering 1Mbps, they'd do it in a second. But they'd get nailed for that, so they're trying to sneak-in data-caps instead. They would rather really provide an unlimited service than have to honestly advertise their capped & limited plans.

The FCC has been very clear that "unlimited means unlimited", and comes down hard on "those broadband providers who fail to be fully transparent about data limits." I hope that will continue, and apply to these sneaky changes as well.

Comment Re:The general consensus amongst many Americans (Score 2) 488

In the medieval warming period, vineyards were all over northern England.

And immediately after the Medieval Warm Period was the 300+ year-long Little Ice Age... So that's something to look forward to. A nice little reminder to Europeans that they're at the same latitude as Canada and parts of Siberia.

The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities."