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Comment: Re:Storage isn't valuable right now (Score 1) 217

by pupsocket (#47804783) Attached to: Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

As for 'why' they should pay for the storage, it's because they're seen as introducing the problem. Nuclear and coal at least operate all the time, and nobody is building another baseload plant that would exceed the demand limit.

By operating a high capacity full-time, "base lead" plants are shoving the problem of variability onto other generators and making the swings much worse for them.

If base load plants are cheaper because their capital costs are spread out over more energy, then they are cheaper only for the investors, not the customers. They do not decrease the net price of electricity. They just make peak-demand usage more expensive.

+ - Drone Developers Consider Obstacles That Cannot Be Flown Around - NYTimes.com->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A few days ago we talked over some of the difficulties faced by makers of autonomous car software, like dealing with weather, construction, and parking garages. Today, the NY Times has a similar article about delivery drones, examining the safety and regulatory problems that must be solved in addition to getting the basic technology ready. [R]researchers at NASA are working on ways to manage that menagerie of low-flying aircraft. At NASA’s Moffett Field, about four miles from Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., the agency has been developing a drone traffic management program that would in effect be a separate air traffic control system for things that fly low to the ground — around 400 to 500 feet for most drones. Much like the air traffic control system for conventional aircraft, the program would monitor the skies for weather and traffic. Wind is a particular hazard, because drones weigh so little compared with regular planes." Beyond that, the sheer scale of infrastructure necessary to get drone delivery up and running in cities across the U.S. is staggering. Commercial drones aren't going to have much range, particularly when carrying something heavy. They'll be noisy, and the products they're transporting will still need to be relatively close by. What other issues do Amazon, DHL, Google, and other need to solve?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: they are just beating up the government (Score 1) 406

by pupsocket (#47800885) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

This same line -- shifting the discussion to the long legal process -- was identical in the prelude to savaging Federal Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson and overturning years of defeat in their trial for anticompetitive practices.

Microsoft won't accede to the power of the law. That's all. It has nothing to do with Microsoft's policy toward customers, though they'll say anything.

Comment: The Industrial Era disagrees (Score 1) 262

by pupsocket (#47651335) Attached to: Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

Henry George looked from a high hill toward the growing San Franscisco in the 1870's and realized that rising land prices were a bug in in the industrial economy. They punished success.

His book sold more copies than any other in the 19th century in the United States: Progress and Poverty.

Comment: Re:White Werhner von Braun may be many things... (Score 2) 165

by pupsocket (#47588337) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

An excellent characterization.

As I understand it, he was arrested for complaining that the war was not going well, which everyone knew but people in high places were forbidden to mention. His problem wasn't that the Nazis were Nazis, but that they were the losing.

As a technocrat under extenuating circumstances, he illustrates the worst moral worthlessness to which a technocrat can fall, and so should not be esteemed. He should never have been celebrated as an American hero.

Comment: Re:White Werhner von Braun may be many things... (Score 2) 165

by pupsocket (#47588245) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

The kindest thing you can say about him was that he had tunnel vision. He was an ambitious man who did not find murderous slavery to be sufficient reason to just take orders. No one can be forced to lead as uniquely as von Braun or forced to fight so hard for control of a project.

Was his behavior understandable? Yes, if you believe he was blinded by obsession. Was it justified? Not by a moon shot.

Comment: Re:White Werhner von Braun may be many things... (Score 5, Informative) 165

by pupsocket (#47579343) Attached to: Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

From the article:

"The actual manufacturing was done by prisoners from the concentration camp Mittelbau-Dora. As the historian Michael J. Neufeld has documented, von Braun went so far as to handpick detainees with technical qualifications for this work. (The prisoners were worked literally to death. In all, about 12,000 died producing von Braun’s rockets; for comparison, the rockets themselves would kill an estimated 9,000 people, many of them civilians.)"

Comment: Re:Railroads killed by the government... (Score 1) 195

by pupsocket (#47490983) Attached to: The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

I'm not against trucks. I just think that trains that can carry 600 people downtown to downtown at 300 kph shouldn't be something citizens of the United States can experience only overseas.

P.S. If I wanted to hide, I'd head to the old farm. It's pretty hard to hide in a subway.

Comment: Re:Railroads killed by the government... (Score 1) 195

by pupsocket (#47487695) Attached to: The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

The Nordic report cited above indicates that deterioration from environmental effects is not significant. Doesn't sound right, but then none of this matches intuition.

Speculation based on cursory reading: Since trucks do their worst where pavement is rough, the freeze-thaw cycle doesn't get a chance to do its worst because the trucks are too quick at expanding fissures and pounding the edges of cracks. Once trucks start tearing up a roadway, the destruction accelerates because tires bang asphalt at all angles and concentrate their load on a smaller area with shuddering stress.

Comment: Re:The car will need a license. (Score 1) 435

by pupsocket (#47487645) Attached to: FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

... the least you could do is wait until someone is confirmed to be doing something 'bad' before you punish them ...

We are sympathetic to your point of view, Citizen, but the approach you advocate would delay the expansion of government control over your life. We trust you are not hostile to the radiant future where cars have more autonomy than you do.

Comment: Re:Railroads killed by the government... (Score 1) 195

by pupsocket (#47487627) Attached to: The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

What you list are economic activities. Those are what humans intend to subsidize. We do not intend to favor specific businesses or to kill off businesses that would otherwise thrive.

The trucking industry operates with large enough organizations to influence policy in its favor. That industry is as large as it is because it has an unfair cost advantage over other modes of transport and because it has successfully hidden its subsidies while ensuring the failure of rail transportation.

Well, that's business. The fundamental corruption is in the legislature.

Comment: Re:Small business owners (Score 1) 68

The research was not about the scandal of data left behind. That data proved to be an excellent fossil showing a business running an insecure system without basic protections, failing even to install security updates for seven years.

This, though, only confirms your own account and probably falls well within the known range of shortcomings.

So ...

Doesn't HP, for whom the author of this report works, compete with sellers of point-of-sale systems, which have become default inventory and accounting systems for many small businesses?

After all, this is not a story about how data was actually used in a crime. The article: "Even second-hand POS systems aren't cheap, so it's unlikely that cybercriminals would spend hundreds of dollars on a chance that a few contain personal data." The businesses who use the system are not directly harmed, are probably defunct, and don't have IT expertise in house.

If there were headlines about this method being used or complaints from banks and law enforcement, it would not be necessary to issue this report.

Just a guess, but I'd say that only insurance companies, card clearance companies, and governments have a stake here, and they are the intended audience. They have the clout to ban resales, or at least to erect high barriers to resale involving certified wiping and refurbishment, which would help sales of new systems and create new opportunities for service charges.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian

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