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Comment Re:Just (Score 2) 182

Side note: the guy that installed our new furnace a couple years ago said he runs solar in his home with no battery pack, at night he just switches over to the utility power (actually I think it switches automatically).

Assuming that guy is doing the standard grid-tie configuration, it's not that the house "switches over" at night, so much as that all power generated by the solar array goes out to the local grid (and causes the electric meter to run backwards), and all power used by the house comes from the grid (causing the electric meter to run forward). The actual electric bill is therefore calculated by subtracting the amount generated from the amount used during each billing cycle.

Comment Re:Uber supporters (Score 0) 215

I can get an Uber any time of the day or night to take me where I want to go. An Uber shows up within 5 minutes - always. If I call the taxi company for a cab, one may or may not show up between 45 minutes and an hour - if one shows up at all. Uber drivers are held accountable for the condition of their cars, their appearance, their personality. Taxi drivers stink, are rude and their cars are always a mess. I would never use a taxi. I always use uber.
Better yet, for the world traveler, Uber works in pretty much all major cities, tied to the same account. No messing around with local vs foreigner rates, tipping, blah blah blah. Just get in and GO. Then get OUT when you arrive. I HATE arguing with cabbies over fares, rates etc etc. it's absurd. Uber gets rid of all that and gives me a simple interface and one point of billing. If Uber was forced out of my city, I'd go buy a car rather than use Taxis.

Comment Re:Nerdgasm (Score 1) 239

For example, if you raise the taxes on xyz corporation, they will simply raise the prices of their products/services to keep their bottom line the same.

Sounds like you're assuming 100% inelastic demand. For life-saving pharmaceuticals and similar absolute necessities, you may be right (hence the steady rise in health care prices, perhaps), but for most things, companies are not free to simply raise prices whenever they want to, because if they did, fewer people would buy their product/service, and they would make less profit than they would if they kept prices down.

If staying in business was simply a matter of totaling up all costs (including taxes) and then setting prices to some level higher than that, no company would ever go out of business. In real life, the only companies lucky enough to operate that way are government contractors operating on cost-plus contracts.

Comment Re:will they "cost no more to" buy? (Score 1) 181

Well it's down to 55c/ kWh over an entire year. Over 11 years it's actually cheaper than electricity. Assuming 50% utilization and a 25 year service life (rated, real world is expected to be 30) they are in fact both cheaper than grid electricity and by quite a bit! Especially if you are living on an island. Which about a billion humans are right now.

Comment Re:Safety (Score 1) 446

No, he's pointing out that people who want to kill other people for notoriety are going to do it, laws or not.

Like any other crime, there are a few people who will commit the crime regardless of any law, and there are of course many people who would never commit the crime, even if they were 100% guaranteed to get away with it. The law's deterrent effect is seen only in the third group of people: those who would commit the crime if they thought they could get away with it, but won't actually do it because of the risk of being caught and punished.

It sounds like you are arguing that the third group does not exist. If so, I think you are wrong about that.

Comment Re:will they "cost no more to" buy? (Score 1) 181

Solar's pretty close to being cheaper than buying it from the local power company. Like, really, really close. Google's got a big fat bounty for reducing the transformer/inverter down in cost and size, that's the last step. Lithium battery tech is about to make a huge generational leap, solar panels are very nearly free (they pay for themselves in the first year), it's just the controller/inverters.
Hell if someone would sell a 2-Ton DC-powered Air Conditioning unit wired directly to some solar panels and an ultra capacitor, that alone would drop your power bill by 70% in the summer here in Texas and 30-60% during the rest of the year. Trickle charge some small batteries for daily stuff. Electronics just absolutely sip power these days. My 40" HDTV uses just 40 watts - that's one third of the power my 2.1 "home theater" system uses.
It might sound fanatical but other than my dish washer, washing machine, air conditioning and dryer, I don't think there's any one device that uses more than 100w of power in my house any more.

Comment Re:How much will it cost. (Score 1) 397

Pretty much the only time spent is actually at the pumps.

Okay, let's say a smart ICE owner spends 5 minutes a week refueling his gasoline car.

The next part is, how much time does an electric car owner spend per week waiting for his car to recharge? More than 5 minutes per week, or less?

Comment Re:give me a fucking break (Score 1) 488

All that happened is that the NSA listened in on terrorists, as well as other nations

If that was "all that happened", there wouldn't be much controversy. But in addition that, the NSA was also extralegally collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans, despite repeated assurances to the public that they were not doing that.

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.