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Comment: Re:Same thing from ultra-orthodox Jews. (Score 1) 451

by Animats (#47804259) Attached to: Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

Leaving any orthodox religion is hard, after so many years of hard-line indoctrination.

In Israel, it's very hard to leave. There are extensive Government benefits for ultra-orthodox, including subsidized housing, pay for religious study, and unlimited draft deferments. This is on top of the heavy social pressure, the lack of marketable skills, and the language barrier (the ultra-orthodox in Israel speak Yiddish, not Hebrew.)

Comment: Re:Weight (Score 1) 85

by Animats (#47804185) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

"Wind is a particular hazard, because drones weigh so little compared with regular planes."

Small drones don't have much inertia. They can be easily flipped by a small local wind gust. This is a big problem for drones that operate close to buildings, where there are eddies and turbulence as air hits the building. Pass the corner of a building and the wind situation may be completely different.

Very smart and aggressive stability control systems are able to overcome this. See this drone from PSI Tactical, which weighs about 0.5Kg and is supposed to be able to operate in winds up to 30MPH.

Comment: Re:Tesla batteries (Score 1) 132

by radtea (#47803215) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

Actually, the car is just a big battery and a motor plus lots of software to run it all.

I'm actually a bit surprised that no one ever talks about using grid-connected electric cars as distributed storage. It would cut everyone's range down by a bit, but as more and more pluggable electrics and hybrids are manufactured, the ability to set the last 10 or 20% charge as on-demand storage seems like it might be viable.

It would require some pretty smart grid tech, but we are working on that anyway.

The problem with load balancing is real, though. In Alberta, they have already capped the fraction of supply from wind because basically all the wind in the province is in one fairly small area, and if it supplies more than about 3% of the total they have a lot of issues when the wind drops.

Comment: Re:unfair policy (Score 1) 198

by GameboyRMH (#47802139) Attached to: Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

I thought you'd link to the sun engulfing the earth. By the time the climate's on the path to being Venus-like, we'd be knocked back to the stone age or worse, slowing climate change to a pace evolution might be able to keep up with. I'm sure some extremophiles would hang on at the very least.

Comment: Yes, we know that. (Score 4, Informative) 132

by Animats (#47802079) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

Battery storage for bulk power has been talked up for years. Mostly by the wind industry. With solar power, you get peak power and peak air conditioning load around the same time. Wind varies about 4:1 over 24 hours, even when averaged across big areas (California or the eastern seaboard). So the wind guys desperately need to store power generated at 4AM, when it's nearly worthless, so they can resell at 2PM. When the wind farm companies start installing batteries at their own expense, this will be a real technology.

With the US glut of natural gas, this isn't needed right now. Natural gas peaking plants aren't all that expensive to build, and make money even if they only run for maybe 6 hours a day. That covers most peak needs.

There are other ways to store energy. Some of the dams of the California Water Project have reversible turbines, which can run either as pumps or generators. They pump water uphill at night, when power is cheap, and let it down during the afternoon to generate power. Since the dams and pumps are needed for water handling anyway, this adds little cost.

Comment: Re:I guess that explains (Score 1) 134

by Sique (#47801891) Attached to: Radioactive Wild Boars Still Roaming the Forests of Germany
While Westphalia is part of the ancient settlement area of the historical Saxons, contemporary Saxony has nothing to do with it. Actually, the title of Archduke of Saxony was handed to the Duke of Meissen, when the original Saxon line of Achedukes died out in the 15th century, carring the name Saxony from today's Westphalia and Lower Saxony to Meissen and Dresden.

Comment: Re:What will it take? (Score 1) 198

by GameboyRMH (#47801245) Attached to: Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

(I don't mean the people who question how to address the problem - that's still legitimately an open question - or the severity of the problem, I mean the people still in denial that there's a problem at all.)

Careful what you wish for - the next, and final stage in the evolution of climate denialism is for it to take a rather different, more difficult form:

Climate obstructionism.

Comment: Why? Nobody uses NFC payments (Score 1) 170

by Animats (#47798687) Attached to: Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

A few years ago, those Google NFC payment terminals were all over Silicon Valley. Nobody used them. Newer credit card terminals show no sign of supporting them, although some apparently have the hardware inside for it.

Another problem is that if the technology just requires the phone's presence, not interaction on the phone, it's insecure. "Near field communication" is only supposed to be up to 20cm, but a 2013 paper at Black Hat demonstrated connectivity at 100cm, which is good enough for crime. If it does require interaction on the phone, the user has to activate the phone, navigate to some app, and deal with the app. This is slower than swiping a credit card.

It's easier to do than card-reader skimmers.

Comment: Re:Maybe now the Republicans... (Score 1) 451

by Tailhook (#47798525) Attached to: Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

They rule this city

Republicans lose to Greens in Seattle. Whatever accounts for poor bandwidth in Seattle relative to other US cites has got nothing at all to do with Republicans.

The degree of deviation from reality exhibited by some of you libtards is genuinely disturbing. Seek help, "greenwow."

Forty two.