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Comment Re:Do what people who live on boats do. (Score 1) 305

Do like the Australian opal miners do, and live underground! Yes, it cost $500/month to air condition McMansions there, but a lot of that is due to heat losses through all that plate glass. (There's also the problem with building codes requiring a window in every bedroom for a fire escape; hard to meet that requirement underground),

Comment Keep your options open (Score 1) 305

I plan on running DC power to every room (USB and car cigarette lighter outlets) when I build my house, and using all LED or electroluminescent lighting. I'd also like to install car stereos in every room, with 4 car speakers in the ceiling. Not sure what the most efficient way to do voltage conversion is, probably just run 12v (13.8v) everywhere and convert to 5v for USB. I'm thinking car and RV electronics for most purposes. But, I intend to install AC power everywhere too, and probably propane as well (for stove, at least), and make provisions for solar, wood or pellet heat, because I think multifueling keeps your options open. I kinda like refrigerators, microwaves, and hot showers -- don't think I could live on just what could be stored in a single car battery. I'm open to suggestions on how to run flat-panel displays off 12v without coverting to AC and back to DC inside the display. One would think there would be DC televisions available, but I'm fairly certain there aren't any large DC displays on the market.

Comment Economics 101 (Score 1) 33

I'm missing something here. Why not let the economic system adjust itself, just like in the real world? Establish a marketplace, let people bid on selling and buying prices, and automatically set the value based on accepted bids -- just like the stock market. Values automatically track up and down based on supply and demand... am I oversimplifying the problem, or is the original article overcomplicating it?

Comment Re:Pilot's licenses should be required (Score 1) 50

This exactly shows why morons like you have no business flying without a license. You have no concept whatsoever of "airspace".

You don't seem to understand that you don't own the air over your property.

Bullshit. You own the air up to 500 feet. Commercial aircraft are not allowed to fly within that zone without permission or a really good reason.

Are you saying that somebody launching a 3-pound quadcopter into the air above their property is inherently safer at 1000' than is the person who does that from some empty lot or a wooded park in the middle of nowhere?

No, someone with a 3-pound quadcopter has no business operating at 1000' because that's federally regulated airspace, unless that person has a proper pilot's license and type rating for that aircraft. Even there, they probably shouldn't be allowed to operate at that altitude because that aircraft is too small to be seen by other human-piloted aircraft.

What I'm saying is that someone who owns the property and also the drone shouldn't need a license to operate their drone, within their airspace (up to 500' AGL), as long as they stay within that box. If they crash their drone into their house, that's their own fault and their own problem. It's exactly like how we treat farm-use vehicles: they aren't required to be registered, tagged, or have licensed drivers as long as they stay on private land. If they screw up because they let their 12-year-old kid drive and he crashes, that's their problem, and auto insurance won't cover it nor do they need to worry about hitting other drivers.

Comment Nah (Score 1) 305

They just co-exist. He's wrong about efficiency of AC/DC conversion. Even inefficient devices are usually 80% or better these days and the good stuff s 95% or more. So it gets converted back and forth as needed.

There are HVDC distribution lines in the US power grid (and of course other grids). They just get converted back to AC. Often they are converted from AC as well, since most generators are AC. There is some loss, but not a ton, and everything has loss, that's just life.

Likewise there are data centers that are DC powered. No magic, they just have big AC/DC power supplies (generally the bigger you go the more efficient they are) and then run DC power to the servers, often with DC-DC voltage conversion at various points.

So no current wars, we'll just have both, and they can be interconnected as needed. The tech isn't a big deal these days, and isn't all that expensive.

Comment Re:Pilot's licenses should be required (Score 1) 50

Did you miss my comment about flying over private property owned by the pilot (or presumably, where the owner has given the pilot permission to fly in it)?

No. Why should it make any difference? Commercial aviation goes over your property too. Are you saying that somebody launching a 3-pound quadcopter into the air above their property is inherently safer at 1000' than is the person who does that from some empty lot or a wooded park in the middle of nowhere?

You don't seem to understand that you don't own the air over your property.

Comment Re:I'm not renewing prime this year... (Score 1) 28

This. And though I've had hundreds of shipments from Amazon, personal and business-wise, very few have had problems. And in every case, they've had a replacement out the door to me before I even had the tape on the return box. Probably a quarter of the items I order now are delivered the same day, stuff is arriving on Sundays ... it all just works, and keeps working better as time goes by. Be reasonably intelligent about the sources of third-party listings, and you're done.

Comment No shit (Score 1) 305

Switched mode PSUs, which is what basically every electronic device uses, have gotten real efficient. No surprise, there has been a big efficiency push as of late. Just how efficient does vary, of course, but it can be as high as the mid 90s (like 95%) for the real good ones, and is pretty much about 80% in all cases. It just isn't that expensive to design a reasonably efficient PSU these days.

If you look at a wall wart or line lump type adapter, they generally have a roman numeral in a circle, which is an efficiency metric. These days the US and Canada are requiring IV, the EU requires V. The exact efficiency level that needs varies with wattage, but above 50 watts it is 85% or higher.

So sure, you could save some energy going all DC in you converted the AC with a large, high voltage, SMPS as they are more efficient, but not near as much as he indicated.

"Who cares if it doesn't do anything? It was made with our new Triple-Iso-Bifurcated-Krypton-Gate-MOS process ..."