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Comment: Re:Some would be well suited. (Score 1) 299

by gadget junkie (#48076405) Attached to: Why Military Personnel Make the Best IT Pros

>The military people I have had trouble with in the past were ones who had really internalized hierarchy and protocol then have trouble when others do not fall into line with their expected behavior and deference.

This.

So now I'll say something different in order to getting modded into oblivion.

AC because I'd probably lose my job if I said this at work: Military people are people who allowed themselves to be used by their government regardless of the consequences. I don't want to hire those people.

Or, they had a certain upbringing of duty , honour, country, and they would blow the whistle on things not done properly.

Comment: Re:I hate to be this guy... (Score 1) 188

...but people are still dying of starvation and lack of water on THIS planet. =\

I know space exploration is very important, but shit, let's get real here. I feel guilty driving a newer model Honda Civic knowing that if I bought something cheaper I could maybe feed someone less fortunate.

Good question!
join me in a crusade to save one country of the planet which was mistreated by nature and politics. It's a mountain country, covered in snow most of the winter. arable land in valleys is scarce, and one of the staple products is cheese. there are no mineral resources to speak of, and the country was so well known for the war like nature of the inhabitants that it was specifically forbidden to send its men to serve abroad, which was a major source of money remittances at the time. What else? oh yeah, there are four languages formally spoken, so it's a natural candidate for a bloody break up. it is moreover, landlocked: there's no way out for any local products unless through another country for further export or resale. It is formally hated by its neighbours, which went so far to flout any established principles to actually pay spies to damage it.
so do a well meant action today. pay one Euro for Switzerland.

+ - Did the politicians do all the math on solar energy?->

Submitted by gadget junkie
gadget junkie (618542) writes "Funnily enough, Northern European countries have put the most solar panels in place. in this story on the Daily Telegraph, some of the foreseable problems seem to emerge: grid bottleneck, wide differences between peak output and average output. The suggested solution is mindboggling to an economic analyst like me: install them at an angle which would cause them to generate the most energy in the afternoon (namely: face west, and all will be fine). This adds to the cost obviously, since it is less efficient. Why is it practically impossible to get an unbiased economic study on alternative energy?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:No real surprise (Score 1) 710

did you also included a calculation on the subsidies for nuclear ? http://laka.org/docu/boeken/pd...

first off, let me thank you for the link. I will most certainly read it in full, but if I may, there's a phrase at page 5 which put my nose slightly out of joint:

[...]When only looking at money transfers and tax reliefs (see Table S.1), it can be concluded that the total amount of subsidy that the EU and its Member States give to renewable energy is substantially lower than the amount of subsidy to fossil fuels, and probably in the same order of magnitude of the subsidies to nuclear alone.

It 's my view that no serious analyst would be caught writing such a phrase in a study summary, and I'll show you why.

Imagine that the total available energy pool at the grid operator is 100 units, of which 85 is fossil, 10 is nuclear and 5 is renewables. in a "neutral" world, subsidies per unit would be equal (or zero, which is a subset case), and subsidies to fossil fuels would dwarf subsidies to renewables 85 to 5. So, knowing that fossil fuels get mmore money does not show or imply any preference or disdain against any particular source, unless some other information is added. in my view therefore calling that page a summary is an insult to the english language, or an ode to gullibility. As Dr. Evil said, " I am the boss, need the info"

Comment: Re:No real surprise (Score 1) 710

I'm not sure what your point is. Of course, it is possible to use analysis to reach the opposite conclusion in particular small holding situations. For example on my terribly oriented (NW-SE) roof in northern climate ~45deg, and relatively cheap coal electricity (~11c/kWh), a smallish (~1 kW), no subsidy solar system will pay back financially (1) is cashflow positive based on my HELOC rate (2) pays off more quickly than the local utility's new gas plant, and (3) utilizing only self consumption, thus requiring no grid support for enhanced payback (net metering)[...]

There, fixed it for you.I was talking about a 1500 MWh plant, functioning about 96% of the yearly available hours. that includes nights and winters, btw. that means that you would need about 8,4 million plants like yours, plus an intermittent generating capacity that big to cover nights, bad weather etc.
calculations look like this:
1.500 MW/h plant;
365 days a year;
24 hours a day;
yearly availability stats, 96%;
kilowatts instead of Megawatts, multiply by 1.000;
there it is, 8.409.600. multiply by two, because the sun sets, winters bite ( I live at 42 north myself ) etc.

Comment: Re:No real surprise (Score 1) 710

Global warming is a money/power grab, the ultimate in "Do as I say, not as I do" diplomacy.

That's no surprise. the surprise is finding people with no skins in the game that actually believe, and finding out that they do not change attitude, consumption habits etc.
In my experience, one of the things I found out is that many of these people, while being mostly able in basic math/science/problem solving, are utterly unprepared in the "analyse" department. they seem unable to gather data, see which is relevant, build a logical thought model and then deciding: the process is inverted, they jump from conclusions to (agreeable) facts, not the other way around.
One day, one of these people was extolling the virtues of Solar energy, while saying that he hated nuclear. I live in a region of Italy, Piedmont, which is weaseling about that, since we get about a fourth of our electricity from French nuclear plants upwind from us, about 250 km away as the crow flies. When I told him and asked if he had already cut a fourth of his electricity needs, his jaw dropped. I then showed him some quick excel calculations about how big an area was needed to replace that with solar, and the attending costs after subsidies, and he went pale. then I added back the subsidies. Ooh, the joy of seeing ignorance squirm!

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 753

by gadget junkie (#47449467) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills
mind you, I am in exalted company. one of the more interesting factoids about the Euro is that the Bundesbank wanted another denomination printed: the 1.000 Eur Banknote, which belies an attachment to paper money as a store of value alternative to the bank accounts that is remarkable. Germany had the 1.000 Dmark note, issued by the same people who came out of the war on their knees, which tends to instil more paranoia that I can shake a stick at.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1, Flamebait) 753

by gadget junkie (#47449411) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

...... the fact remains that money is a representation of wealth, and it's the only direct representation which you can own and have custody of irrespective of the banking system.

But modern money does rely on the banking system because it has no intrinsic value. Notes are just that - notes from the bank that they owe you X amount of dollars. Coin used to be worth their actual weight in copper, silver or gold (and was thus international) but those days have long gone. In the UK at least, the "copper" coins are copper-plated steel. Notes and coins only work because people want them to and trust them to, but that could break any time.

not imprecise but incomplete. See, if I leave my money in my country's banking system and or in an electronic form, not only as you just said it is fiat money, BUT, the government can skim how much money they want during a weekend with nobody being the wiser. Here in Italy, it really happened like that years ago, in the process of joining the Euro . It happened in 1992, under the premier Giuliano Amato, and it was enacted retroactively . If I hold US dollars at home, I do not have European fiat money risk, and the currency cannot be "devalued" by MY political masters.

Interestingly enough, when Greece went practically bust, one of the wild stories going around was that banks would freeze account with a view to going back to drachmas. Vigorous capital controls at the frontiers would be enacted, and Euro banknotes would only be exchangeable at the banks. To put some kind of money in circulation, there would have been an interim period in which Euro banknotes would be "stamped" by the banks to recycle them. Seriously, you cannot make up such stupidity alone. my usual question was what happened to a greek citizen who held a bond issued by an American entity denominated in Euros, in the local branch of a German bank. The company issuing the bond HAS to pay Euros, through the central depository. all the rest is a mix of stupidity, fantasy and the ability to discard all the experience accumulated since the Sumer regulated financial transactions in 3.000 BCE.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 753

by gadget junkie (#47446903) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

At the cost of anonymity for those who want to frequent such establishments without so much log file trail. And there are plenty of other use-cases for people wanting their name decoupled from their deeds. Not all of them are exactly bad, either.

that's the bits and pieces. the other is that this would have been any dictator's wet dream but that's a sideshow, really.
over and above fiat money, the fact remains that money is a representation of wealth, and it's the only direct representation which you can own and have custody of irrespective of the banking system. that's the principal issue, but a secondary and even more useful to citizens is that cash is a good tripwire on faith in the political system, for the obvious but not so widespread reason that you can always own currency by another country. so the funnel of doom looks like this:

1. use credit cards;
2. use cash;
3 OWN cash in the house as a precaution;
4. own another country's cash.

the abolition of printed cash drives a wedge between 2 and 3. at the first whiff, run.

Comment: Re:How about (Score 1) 385

How about you stop posting talking points you can't even back up with a single fact?

need facts? the net tax intake from fossil fuels is quite high, here in Italy it's over 80% of the final price. substituting recipients of subsidies only impacts the industrial price, while switching fuel sources in a revenue neutral way means imposing taxes on renewables equals to 80% of their final industrial price.
, Now who's volunteering to tell goverments that they shall rely on 10% less overall revenues to"redistribute"? the government here in Italy is already sweating a diminished tax take in the order of 5% from fossil fuels, obtained through a mix of the economic crisis impacting on family expenses, including car travel, and drivers being more careful fo fuel consumption when they drive.



anybody spot the error yet? OK, I'll show you.

to make it revenue neutral, taxes on renewable energy should be 400% of the final industrial price. that comes by dividing 80% by 20%, which is the correct answer, since given 100 as the final price of fuel, 80 is taxes and 20 is the oil industry revenue. That's taxed as well on earnings, but that's another story, and most probably covered by subsidies.

Comment: Do they know that? (Score 1) 305

by gadget junkie (#47357757) Attached to: How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?
As a professional in finance,I've had to wrestle with economists. To a large extent, the profession itself is a fake: the ultimate employer is the Sovereign, who will look askance on anybody saying that it either goofed or that he must get smaller.
start with this in your mind 30 years back, fast forward, and you'll see that macroscopic events in the Economy dept. get ignored, simply because they are in opposition to the academic thought.
I can give you an example: it made the papers in Italy that the European powers that be are starting a study of Abenomics, with a view to applying it here. While as an Italian I can understand the politicians' liking of a mix of runaway deficits, easy money and public investment, this disregards a number of problems:

1.most of the Abenomics tenets are already in place, to no perceived improvement;
2.public spending as a percentage of GDP is way above 50% in most places here, so the actual tax base is shrunk;
3. and last, there's an example that worked that the politicians are emphatically ignoring.

the example is Canada. it exited the 2008 crisis better than Europe, in part because of his proximity to the USA and the free trade it has with that nation, but also because it embraced a reduction in the public sector, and a control/reduction of tax pressure.
Do you believe in that causality? after 25 years tallking with these shamans who are called economist, my opinion is "insufficient data": economy is a dismal science. BUT, it worked. and Europe is studying a failing policy simply because it is similar to what they want to do.

Comment: Re:Sounds about right... (Score 4, Interesting) 441

except, that are at least 4 types of energy ... coal, oil, gas, wood,gravity

there, fixed it for you. otherwise dams would generate no electricity at all, would they?
whenever I see discussions like this, I think:" is this an IRS convention or what?!?!". all these modelling is heavily dependent on transferring tax money from other things to Renewable energy subsidies. In no paper, or law, the requirement is for the plan to provide continous, on demand generation. Do that and every analyst will become far more honest.
one of the reasons? if like in Italy a renewable energy producer gets paid a multiple of the marginal price when he produces, all projections should be made with the same producer installing continous capacity on his own, with the attandant environmental impact statesments, pollution control, etc, or buying the availability from someone else, at twice the same price. the obligation on the grid operator to retire and pay produced energy would have a limit at the continous capacity declared by the operator.

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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