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Comment: Re:what will be more interesting (Score 4, Insightful) 662

by ibpooks (#49345669) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

No, people do realize what a "pompous asshat" Jeremy Clarkson is, and they either don't care given how good he is at what he does, or they admire those traits. Large segments of society are not on board with the PC, wimpy, constantly-whining-about-bullying-and-____ism that is pervasive in media, especially an institution like BBC. Clarkson is a figure who pushes back at that trend, and many see him as a hero (now perhaps a martyr) for it.

Comment: Re:Net metering is little more than theft (Score 2) 374

by ibpooks (#49130297) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

Utility companies can raise their prices if they wish.

No they can't. They can propose rate increases and pitch capital expenditures or R&D, but they cannot do it on their own. Utilities operate in regulated markets and virtually all rate increases, fee levies and capital expenditures have to be approved by state and/or local public utility commissions (sometimes called public service commissions). Often then, there is a mostly-fixed profit margin imposed on the utility companies leading to rather inflexible pricing and investment options for the company. Like any quasi-government body, the PUCs are susceptible to lobbying interests, single-issue candidates, busy-bodies, histrionics, endless red tape and the various other plagues of politics which essentially tie the hands of the utility companies when it comes to business decisions.

Comment: Re:Net metering is little more than theft (Score 1) 374

by ibpooks (#49129819) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

Any connection to individual or community health is tenuous at best. The whole issue with PV panels is that they are not net energy positive for their anticipated service life when installed anywhere but the sunniest areas. Fossil fuels are being burned in places like China to manufacture panels that, over the next 30 years, will not produce a greater amount of energy than went into the creation of the panel (and inverters, etc). I agree that burning coal, and to a lesser extent, natural gas isn't a great solution for generating electricity; however PV solar does not improve the situation, and in many cases, probably makes it worse. See also: corn ethanol.

Comment: Re:Net metering is little more than theft (Score -1, Troll) 374

by ibpooks (#49129489) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt

Agreed entirely. It's not only theft from the utility companies but theft from the rest of us who recognize PV solar power as the obvious scam that it is in all but the sunniest areas of the world. My rates inevitably will go up because the utility is forced to pay retail or higher for solar in net metering schemes when they should be buying bulk power from the lowest cost providers.

Comment: Re:Incompetent IT in a health care industry? (Score 1) 223

by ibpooks (#48988977) Attached to: US Health Insurer Anthem Suffers Massive Data Breach

I would suggest that security should be the top priority ahead of everything else.

I would rather they have patient care as their number one priority. Their focus should be the health and welfare of patients, because if they don't, people literally die. If it comes down to doctors spending their time treating patients and nurses double-checking medicine doses versus keying in lengthy crypto sequences on their tablet and meeting with IT vendors -- I would much rather they choose the former.

Comment: Really? (Score 3, Informative) 228

by ibpooks (#48923403) Attached to: Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

To be fair to Zuckerberg and Facebook, the company must obey the law of any country in which it operates.

No it doesn't. Big companies don't obey laws unless it's cheaper to do so than not. Slashdot in particular can't stop fellating Uber over what is probably a largely illegal operation. Comcast, Verizon, Microsoft, and basically all of the rest routinely violate laws as they see fit, pay a fine and move on.

Comment: Re:Implement locally? (Score 1) 145

by ibpooks (#48923295) Attached to: How One Small Company Blocked 15.1 Million Robocalls Last Year

3: Why didn't they clear with you first?

How would you know what number an incoming emergency call would come from whether you knew you were the emergency contact or not? If your wife is hurt at work will a call come from her cell phone, her supervisor's cell phone, desk phone, main business number, the HR office, one of hundreds of hospital numbers, etc?

Comment: Re:Illogical (Score 2) 172

by ibpooks (#48834533) Attached to: The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

On a very large scale (like an entire city) the random distribution does take over and level itself. However on a smaller scale, like a subdivision or a neighborhood the spiky effects are quite evident -- approximately one-third higher than in a similar area with controlled demand. Why does this matter? One reason is that it allows the utility to spend less on hardware like transformers and wires, which keeps the billing rate low. It also reduces the chance of peak load failure of transformers and breakers during the peak air conditioning days, which have major expense of unplanned outages and emergency repair costs. It is so much cheaper for a utility to be able to set back AC units in an area of town where the transformer is dangerously overloaded than it is to do rolling blackouts or risk a catastrophic failure.

Comment: Re:Illogical (Score 4, Informative) 172

by ibpooks (#48833767) Attached to: The 'Radio Network of Things' Can Cut Electric Bills (Video)

It's not about turning it off when it's needed, it's about flattening the peak of the load curve by synchronizing run cycles. For example if your furnace needs to run 30 minutes out of every hour to maintain the set temperature (and so do all your neighbors), then the smart grid can synchronize the furnaces to run every other house for 15 minutes, then run the other houses, etc. This will smooth the load the power company has to deal with without anyone having a decrease in service. It removes some of the spiky demand associated with the random effect of appliances cycling on-and-off at will. Excess capacity can be scheduled to improve service for everyone and reduce the peak design requirements.

Comment: Re:Anyone else concerned? (Score 5, Insightful) 164

by ibpooks (#48811935) Attached to: Man Saves Wife's Sight By 3D Printing Her Tumor

Not concerned at all, he helped them to develop and use a tool they didn't understand how to use and didn't have access to previously. It's how progress is really made. Experts from two different fields find a way to work together to solve problems that neither could solve independently.

Truly simple systems... require infinite testing. -- Norman Augustine