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Comment Re:Go Solar, it can make good financial sense. (Score 2) 259

I'm always astonished at the high price of solar power in the USA. Here in Perth, Australia a 5KW system can be had (fully installed, no rebates or other breaks needed) for $5k AU (which is under $4k US). You can get a German (Bosch) 4.4KW system in the $7k AUD range.

Why is is so expensive in the USA?

Can you provide a link to a vendor's website that has those prices? Even with shipping that would be a good deal for us US-aliens


Comment Re:Is It Time for Class Action? (Score 2) 236

Unfortunately, you can't sue governments for the stupid stuff that they do, as they have sovereign immunity.

Politicians do heaps of really stupid stuff, without sovereign immunity, countries would have been sued into bankruptcy centuries ago.

Comment Re:One such stamp will pay for *all* the research (Score 1) 43

Any such stamp that can detect blood glucose reliably would pay for all the research: blood sugar.

Unfortunately, this technology measures chemicals from perspiration, and sugar levels in sweat or saliva change much more slowly than they do in blood. So by the time these stamps measure a sugar level spike, the person will likely already be in a diabetic coma.

Blood will be the only option for the foreseeable future.

Comment Re:One man's piss is another man's ... (Score 1) 245

Human waste contains heaps of harmful bacteria.

Poo? Yes. Piss? No.

Your kidneys filter at the molecular level and thus are VERY good at preventing bacteria from entering your bladder...

You should RTFA: The device is for extracting water from feces. That's poo, not piss, and in the context of the article, obviously what I was talking about.

Bill Gates didn't invent it, and he isn't trying to sell it to you either... He's trying to promote it as a means of helping people who have difficulty accessing potable water.

My point was that Bill Gates shouldn't be endorsing it based on the fact that he personally "studied the engineering". He simply isn't qualified to make a call like that. No point selling it to anyone if the water output becomes poisonous over time.

Comment Re:One man's piss is another man's ... (Score 0, Troll) 245

Water's water - given the diffusion time we're probably all drinking King Tut's piss today (not to mention plenty of other peoples/animals).

While that is true, my problem with the story is this bit:

And having studied the engineering behind it, I would happily drink it every day. It's that safe.

Bill Gates studied the engineering behind it? I am so reassured...

Human waste contains heaps of harmful bacteria. If I am going to drink water recycled in this manner, I'd prefer to have the engineering studied by an independant water quality professional, say, an environmental engineer? And for the output water to be studied by health professionals and microbiologists. Some long term testing on how well the product holds up as the filters degrade would be nice too. That first glass may be clean and delicious, what about the the tenth, hundredth, or thousandth glass?

The recommendation of the former CEO of a software corporation (no matter how successful) doesn't really give me that high a level of confidence in the product.

Comment Re: Different things for different people (Score 2) 277

it has no utility for anything other than payments. The use scenarios other devices use NFC for (because they can't be used for payments due to carrier interference) are better handled by better technologies, like Bluetooth LE.

So you think that the NFC tag I have on my bedside drawer, that I can place my phone on when I'm ready to sleep and have it turn off my house lights would be better handled by Bluetooth LE or some better technology? Ditto for all the other tasks floating around that I handle with NFC tags?

I doubt it. Please explain.

Comment Re:Reality not sufficient, (Score 1) 109

GP AC really did belong at -1. And you shouldn't have been modded up either.

TFS states he has farsightedness, which means that he can already see all those things without glasses. Up until now, he would only have needed glasses to read - which apparently he was OK with, and so didn't think it was worth the surgery.

Now that the oculus rift has come along, wearing glasses in that thing are annoying in that and he's opted for surgery. Makes sense to me.

Your experience as a shortsighted person bears very little relevance to his experience as a farsighted person.

Comment Re:it is the wrong way... (Score 2) 291

How do you recommend governments act to reduce carbon emissions?

If I were the government, I would do it by mandated carbon emission levels per watt of power generated by power companies. The idea is similar to the way that fuel efficiency standards were mandated for automobiles and led to vastly more fuel efficient cars.

This is something that a government can mandate, because the technology is here, and power plants can already make a profit from a mix of renewables (solar/hydro/wind/etc), it just isn't as profitable in the short term as coal because renewables tend to have a longer ROI period than fossil fuels. But if the government mandates the mix the power supplier must have, then the power companies will have to comply. The power companies will still make sufficient profit in the long term.

I am a firm believer in climate change, but I think a tax designed to reduce power consumption is wrong-headed. The progress of civilization is related to the power usage of that civilization. Individuals in first world countries now use more power in a day than people 1000 years ago would use in several months. In the future to continue to progress, our civilization will use more power.

Comment Re:No shit, this is the JOB of the NSA (Score 1) 241

So from the other side, if an Afghani intelligence agency was recording every call in America, that's OK too because it's their job?

I fairly certain I recall Obama stating in the past that he would consider it an act of war if any country did that sort of thing to the US. (Unless of course it is one of the five eyes countries, who share what they record in the US back to the NSA to create a nice little bypass of the rule which does not allow the NSA to spy domestically).

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam