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Comment: Re:Solar is here to stay (Score 1) 496

by Maxo-Texas (#49517697) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

You are out of date.


As Jaffe noted, the $180/kWh price paid by Tesla compares to about $1500/kWh even five years ago, maybe seven years ago when it was $1200 to $1500 per kilowatt-hour. âoeSo $180 per kWh is the price of those batteries, not the manufacturing cost but the price that theyâ(TM)re paying for them,â he said.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 496

by dgatwood (#49517525) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

Let's take water as our analogy. Water flows to meet demand in the form of open taps. But very few of those taps are strictly regulating, and the outflow is a function of how far the tap is opened and the pressure in the system. Put more water into the mains and the pressure goes up, therefore more water is delivered at the tap. If your house has pressure regulating valves, you won't see this, but the pressure is then further increased at someone else's house.

That analogy doesn't really work very well, for two reasons:

1. Water pressure is more closely equivalent to voltage, not amperage. Adding more solar panels increases the amperage, not the voltage.

2. Most electrical equipment is strictly regulating (ignoring inrush). Resistive loads consume a consistent amount of current regardless of how much current is available. That's why it doesn't matter whether you power a 12V bulb with eight AA batteries or a 12V car battery. The latter can provide a lot more current, but the bulb still draws just as much current as it needs.

I think a better analogy is to think of the voltage as the height of a water tower, and the amperage as its diameter. If you have a ten-foot-diameter tower that forms a 50-foot column of water, the pressure is proportional to the 50-foot height of the water column. An overheating condition would be equivalent to the pipe breaking because someone is sucking water out of the pipe faster than the pipe can pass it.

If you expand the tower to be thirty feet in diameter, the column is still about 50 feet high, so the pressure is about the same (assuming the sides of the tank are vertical and the bottom is flat). However, doing so allows you to add more pipes and/or larger pipes out the bottom so you can provide water to more houses without drawing down the reservoir too quickly (and thus causing... what, a vacuum in the water tower? This is where the analogy starts to break down unless you're talking about a battery).

Comment: Re:Except... (Score 1) 146

A warrant is a document authorizing certain specific actions on certain specific people. It says nothing about making back doors available in general. There is no legal requirement to add a back door (except for communication systems, with CALEA). It is possible that the government is somehow pressuring companies into providing back doors, but there is no legal way to do that in secret, and I'd like to have some evidence before I believe it's happening. I'm not that paranoid.

Comment: Re:This Probably Won't Work... (Score 1) 146

Except that it isn't Twitter refusing to grant itself such access. It's Twitter Ireland refusing to grant Twitter USA such access. The court can order Twitter USA to do whatever, but Twitter Ireland has to act, and they won't. It wouldn't be a comfortable position for Twitter USA, but if they can't get the information and have a perfectly good reason they can't get the information.

Comment: Re:The Reporter Video Wasn't Even An Upside (Score 1) 249

by david_thornley (#49517027) Attached to: The Upsides of a Surveillance Society

How sure are you that the place was properly posted? I'm very definitely not sure, having had some experience with that and having friends have some experience. Private towing of that sort is a racket.

For this discussion, I don't care about people breaking the law. That's something different.

Comment: Re:It's nowhere close to that rosy (Score 1) 249

by david_thornley (#49517019) Attached to: The Upsides of a Surveillance Society

How obvious was it that she was going to get towed when she parked there? I am really getting to hate the idea that, since her car was towed, she was legitimate prey, and responsible for every possible humiliation that followed. There's no guarantee that the towing was even legal.

After that, you seem to be saying that she had to do something, probably embarrassing, that she had no expectation of privacy for, since it was on somebody else's private property. Are you normally the "let the companies screw the people" type, or do you make an exception for scum-suckers like towing companies?

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 473

by Pfhorrest (#49516941) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

This so much!

I am always ranting on the injustices of how we do housing in the world today and so many people reply that poor people should just move somewhere cheaper if they ever want to escape the cycle of working their asses off and not keeping a cent of it because it all goes to paying for rental housing because they can't save to buy because all their money goes to paying for rental housing ad nauseum.

I like to retort that if all the poor people really should move out of nice places, then the rich people living in nice places had better get used to waiting each other's tables and bagging each other's groceries. Of course, if they did have to do that, then they would either not be rich for long, or else those jobs would have to pay enough to afford to live there, in which case the poor people who left could come back to work them and then afford to live there again.

Either wages go up or prices come down, either way, the people working the shit jobs no rich person wants to work have to be able to afford to live where they're needed otherwise those jobs just won't get done.

Comment: Re:Old? Old. (Score 4, Informative) 37

by PopeRatzo (#49516807) Attached to: 3.46-Billion-Year-Old 'Fossils' Were Not Created By Life Forms

Australia has lots of weird animals. Hell, they've got moths down there that are as big as cocker spaniels. Animals that look like Jim Henson rejects. They've got freakin' yowies down there that make Sasquatch look like Pee-Wee Herman. I didn't actually see a yowie, but after I saw something that looked like a three-way cross between a rat, a jackrabbit and Dwayne Johnson, I don't doubt for a second that they exist. I went there a few years ago and visited a huge national park and it was like Land of the Lost.

I mean, it's a nice place. Nice people. They find out you're from Chicago and you won't have to pay for another drink. Great looking women. Good food. If it wasn't for the annoying accents, you'd think you were somewhere on the West Coast. But the wildlife, man. Way too spooky for me.

Comment: Re:This is an effective strategy... (Score 2) 99

by PopeRatzo (#49516607) Attached to: Netflix Is Betting On Exclusive Programming

When net neutrality splits the Comcast network from the Comcast/NBC/Universal content, and Netflix has to compete for bandwidth on a level playing field, the money to create original content is going to dry up quickly.

Don't you have that exactly backwards? "Net Neutrality" has been the default. The new neutrality laws don't create a level playing field, they preserve it. Why would Net Neutrality and having Comcast separated from the content creators make it harder for Netflix? They're already paying for bandwidth. And Netflix users are already paying for bandwidth. And with the incestuous relationship severed, what would Comcast's incentive to screw with Netflix be?

Or do you believe we've reached peak bandwidth?

Comment: Re:Golddiggers of 1933, Out of the Past (Score 2) 99

by PopeRatzo (#49516535) Attached to: Netflix Is Betting On Exclusive Programming

Oh shit. I just realized I made a grievous error, in attributing the "Trouble Man" soundtrack to Curtis Mayfield instead of its true creator, Marvin Gaye. Curtis Mayfield did the soundtrack for "Superfly" (which by the way, is also unavailable to stream from Netflix, those bastards). If you are unfamiliar with the Trouble Man soundtrack, go check it out on Youtube right now. You will come away understanding why Pharrell Williams is a punk ripoff.

I just stuck myself in the leg with a pen knife to atone for this terrible mis-attribution.

"If you own a machine, you are in turn owned by it, and spend your time serving it..." -- Marion Zimmer Bradley, _The Forbidden Tower_