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Comment Re: Tiny black holes (Score 1) 138 138

So we're back to God being a deliberately cruel SOB

I prefer Kurt Vonnegut's take on god (in which book, I forget), which is kind of like what school guidance counselors say about many of their smart students.
To paraphrase: God is all-knowing and all-powerful, but he is somewhat apathetic and an underachiever.

Comment Re:Already been done in China for a while (Score 1) 239 239

I know the feeling.
Many years back, I was involved in the design of a university chemistry lab where the lab equipment was pre-wired and UL labeled. However, the City of Chicago had different electrical requirements (they're somewhat less rigid and arbitrary these days) so it had to be re-wired. The kicker is, the City of Chicago required it to be UL labeled, so after re-wiring, the contractor had to pay around $5,000 (in 1980s dollars) to get UL to come to the job site, inspect & test the equipment, and slap a UL label on it.

Comment Re:Already been done in China for a while (Score 1) 239 239

I don't know about building codes . . .

That's obvious.
Most building, electrical, mechanical, etc. codes require certain products to be tested by a nationally recognized testing agency, of which UL is commonly named in the code. (BTW CSA and UL are largely interchangeable these days, as they cross-list many, if not all, of the products tested by one or the other.)

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 239 239

Generally, you are right. But an inverter 93% efficient at full power is likely much less efficient during low power operation. I've seen UPS literature (UPSs are basically AC to DC to AC converters with batteries included) where the total heat dissipation at 20%+/- load was greater than the heat dissipation at 100% load, let alone the efficiency.

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 239 239

It is brilliant.

Variable frequency AC inverters are nothing new (I've been specifying those for large HVAC systems since the late '80s/early '90s), they're just starting to get cheap enough to be used in low-capacity products like these. The only thing new is the possibility of having DC power available as the source, instead of 50 Hz or 60 Hz AC.

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 239 239

For smaller HPs, Electronically Commutated DC motors are becoming common where you want to vary speed and torque. But for larger motors (more than 1 HP), Variable Frequency Drives (AC to AC conversion) driving 3-phase induction motors are more practical and very common.

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 239 239

True, but the trend for small, single phase motors is to use Electronically Commutated DC motors, converting the AC to DC and then using fast switching power transistors to drive the DC motor directly at whatever speed you want. The issue with using solar power would be that the solar cell DC voltage is lower than needed and varies. There would need to be a standard DC voltage established, and, in addition to putting the solar cells is series to achieve that, you may have to use DC to DC conversions to maintain a constant voltage (though, I guess, it wouldn't have to be exaclty constant, just within parameters req'd by the motor - still you need to standardize on those tolerances before you could see commercially useful adoption of DC in the home and office)

Comment Re:Where in the US Constitution..... (Score 1) 571 571

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts . . .
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof;
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

Comment Re:A plea to fuck off. (Score 1) 365 365

It's risk analysis.

Using a password manager sounds like a guarantee that at some time in the future access to all the passwords will be lost simultaneously. Writing them down physically, there is a better chance of recovering them, and very little chance of some random hacker finding them.

Comment Re:No surprised in good ole Mass... (Score 1) 155 155

If this is a service that is needed by people, then it should be provided by government, and not forced upon private enterprises. Towns and cities themselves should operate transport for the disabled

Towns and cities, those that have public transportation, already have accessible transport for the disabled. Why should the private companies that serve the public be allowed to pick and choose those who they want to serve?
The "government" (the feds) simply legislated that businesses cannot discriminate against the disabled, then issued guidelines on how to do that to hopefully reduce the number of lawsuits about it. And local & state governments do have to abide by those guidelines, too, not just the private sector.
While I think that some interpretations of the guidelines can be unreasonable as applied (e.g. adding elevators can be really expensive in existing buildings) most are good for everyone, including the business, and relatively inexpensive.

Comment Re:Wait a minute... (Score 2) 249 249

$7.2B indeed. []
They've valued nokia below their total worth estimated at acquisition time.

And it looks like MS shareholders had already devalued MS for it.

(Tue Sep 3, 2013 7:16pm EDT)
Shares in Microsoft slid as much as 6 percent in the afternoon, lopping more than $15 billion off the company's market value, as investors protested the acquisition of an underperforming and marginalized corporation that lost more than $4 billion in 2012.

"History is a tool used by politicians to justify their intentions." -- Ted Koppel