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Math

Man Uses Drake Equation To Explain Girlfriend Woes 538

Posted by samzenpus
from the less-math-more-social-science dept.
artemis67 writes "A man studying in London has taken a mathematical equation that predicts the possibility of alien life in the universe to explain why he can't find a girlfriend. Peter Backus, a native of Seattle and PhD candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick, near London, in his paper, 'Why I don't have a girlfriend: An application of the Drake Equation to love in the UK,' used math to estimate the number of potential girlfriends in the UK. In describing the paper on the university Web site he wrote 'the results are not encouraging. The probability of finding love in the UK is only about 100 times better than the probability of finding intelligent life in our galaxy.'"
The Internet

What Do You Do With a Personal Domain? 286

Posted by timothy
from the you-hope-someone-rich-and-famous-buys-it-out dept.
bmerr71 writes "I bought my own domain name to use as a self-promotion tool. I use a subdomain, 'profile.mydomain.com', which I selectively put on my email signatures to link to my linkedin profile. I also loaded up Google Apps to use for email. But when you go directly to my domain name, there is nothing there. I didn't want GoDaddy getting ad revenue off my name (and it doesn't look very professional), so I killed the ad page, but it seems like I should be able to put something up on my main page. But, I am not interesting in blogging, I do not want too much personal information up there, and I do not want to spend a lot of money (none, if possible). Are there any free apps that I can load up on my domain to fill the blank space? What do non-bloggers do with their personal domains?"

Comment: No money upfront, save money on solar from Day 1 (Score 3, Informative) 381

by fullon604 (#27033723) Attached to: Solar Panels Reach $1 a Watt
[A re-post of a comment from a few months ago] Guys -- you all seem to be neglecting the recent developments in solar financing. (Disclaimer -- I do work for SolarCity http://solarcity.com/ [solarcity.com] [solarcity.com], a leading installer of residential solar arrays in the SF Bay Area and beyond. We do use First Solar panels, in fact we're the only company using them for residential-scale projects in the US. I won't make a totally shameless plug here, I'm trying to be fair to the other good and clever solar companies out there. A rising tide lifts all boats!) By bringing in a 3rd party commercial owner via an Operating Lease or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) structure, the customer can save money from solar on Day 1. The 3rd party (an investment fund, or perhaps the solar company themselves) owns the system and claim the full range of available incentives. Commercial owners can take accelerated depreciation on the system, and can utilize the full 30% federal tax credit , and they also get whatever state/local/utility incentives are available as per usual. The customer would have ZERO down-payment, and makes monthly payments over a period of ~15-18 years. There is no lien on the house. The tax investor receives a reasonable return on their investment over time, the installer makes reasonable margins on the installation, and the customers can save money from Day 1. Everybody wins! So to use the parent submitter's house as an example of what we can do -- For a $400/month average bill in Sunnyvale, CA, we might recommend a 7.7 kW DC system. Assuming the customer had decent credit (720 FICO), we would require no down payment, and then charge monthly lease payments of $216/mo, for 15 years. The monthly payments do go up at ~3-4% per year (we could alternatively have 0% escalation, but of course that would require a higher starting payment and so it's harder to show savings right away... there are many possible variations here. Also remember that local PG&E utility rates are increasing at >5% per year on average). With this 7.7kW system, they might expect their average monthly bill to go from $400 to $99 per month. Add the $216/month payment, and their new average monthly electricity cost is (216 + 99) = $315/month, for immediate savings of ~$85/mo!! [As a point of information, virtually all residential solar systems are grid-tied, so that when the panels are active during the daytime, the meter is often "spinning" backwards. This is how the utility-bill-savings part works.] The installers offering these plans usually include full service/maintenance for the life of the lease, including replacement of the DC/AC inverter if necessary. The customer is given the opportunity to purchase the system after years 6/10/15, or if they have to move or sell their house. The panels are warranted by the manufacturers to last 25+ years at 80-90%+ kWh output, so a long-term buy-and-hold strategy is solid. Or, if the customer looks around in 15 years and sees a better/cheaper technology, or just doesn't wish to renew or buy out), they are free to end the lease and we'll remove the panels at our cost. The customer who understands Net Present Value (NPV) calculations can easily demonstrate that this offers far superior savings compared to either a) doing nothing, or b) purchasing the system for cash. So before you all roll your eyes about solar being a poor investment with a many-year paybacks, please consider such alternative financing approaches.

Comment: Use a lease/PPA for savings from Day 1 (Score 1) 591

by fullon604 (#26455345) Attached to: Switching To Solar Power — Six Months Later
[A re-post of my original comment to the original story from a few months ago]

Guys -- you all seem to be neglecting the recent developments in solar financing.

(Disclaimer -- I do work for SolarCity http://solarcity.com/ [solarcity.com], a leading installer of residential solar arrays in the SF Bay Area and beyond. I won't make a totally shameless plug here, I'm trying to be fair to the other good and clever solar companies out there. A rising tide lifts all boats!)

By bringing in a 3rd party commercial owner via an Operating Lease or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) structure, the customer can save money from solar on Day 1.

The 3rd party (an investment fund, or perhaps the solar company themselves) owns the system and claim the full range of available incentives. Commercial owners can take accelerated depreciation on the system, and can utilize the full 30% federal tax credit , and they also get whatever state/local/utility incentives are available as per usual. The customer would have ZERO down-payment, and makes monthly payments over a period of ~15-18 years. There is no lien on the house. The tax investor receives a reasonable return on their investment over time, the installer makes reasonable margins on the installation, and the customers can save money from Day 1. Everybody wins!

So to use the parent submitter's house as an example of what we can do -- For a $400/month average bill in Sunnyvale, CA, we might recommend a 7.7 kW DC system. Assuming the customer had decent credit (720 FICO), we would require no down payment, and then charge monthly lease payments of $216/mo, for 15 years. The monthly payments do go up at 3.9% per year (we could alternatively have 0% escalation, but of course that would require a higher starting payment and so it's harder to show savings right away... there are many possible variations here. Also remember that local PG&E utility rates are increasing at >5% per year on average).

With this 7.7kW system, they might expect their average monthly bill to go from $400 to $99 per month. Add the $216/month payment, and their new average monthly electricity cost is (216 + 99) = $315/month, for immediate savings of ~$85/mo!!

The installers offering these plans usually include full service/maintenance for the life of the lease, including replacement of the DC/AC inverter if necessary.

The customer is given the opportunity to purchase the system after years 6/10/15, or if they have to move or sell their house. The panels are warranted by the manufacturers to last 25+ years at 80-90%+ kWh output, so a long-term buy-and-hold strategy is solid. Or, if the customer looks around in 15 years and sees a better/cheaper technology, or just doesn't wish to renew or buy out), they are free to end the lease and we'll remove the panels at our cost.

The customer who understands Net Present Value (NPV) calculations can easily demonstrate that this offers far superior savings compared to either a) doing nothing, or b) purchasing the system for cash.

So before you all roll your eyes about solar being a poor investment with a many-year paybacks, please consider such alternative financing approaches.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

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