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Comment: Re:What's so special about Google? (Score 1) 301

by rahvin112 (#48438881) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

And if Google even hesitates or tries to leverage search in a way consumers don't like those very competitors will eat them alive so quickly it would make your head spin.

If everyone on the planet used duck-duck-go tomorrow and for the rest of the month Google would be in very serious trouble.

Comment: Re:What's so special about Google? (Score 4, Insightful) 301

by rahvin112 (#48437927) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

If you think the barrier to entry in the search market is low, you should have a talk with Yahoo or MS, both of which have spent a billion or three on what you call "almost nothing". Either they're all idiots, or you're missing something.

The only barrier to entry is a good search engine that turns out results people want. It's not that hard, but it's far to easy to want to screw up those results to boost revenue, something yahoo was notorious for. Microsoft's biggest expenses related to search were advertising (such as buying Yahoo's search business) and trying to convince people they could be trusted, so far they've mostly failed at both. Even at that Bing is still not as good at returning results as Google is. Maybe that's because Google's entire company is devoted to search and Yahoo and Microsoft are devoted to other things with search being a second class citizen in the company.

But actually a good thing. Of course you'll deny that if you drank too much of the neo-conservative cool-aid, but to any thinking person it's quite clear that the total dominance of a few global superplayers is not beneficial to the market or the people.

You might like putting people in jars but I don't, please don't attempt to classify my political leanings by putting me in a jar, particularly one I despise. The problem with your argument is that the total dominance of Google as you claim could be replaced overnight by people typing a different URL in the bar. There is no barrier to entry other than excellence in search. What I see in search is a very functional and competitive market place. Google messes up once and the lions at their door will eat their market-share in a matter of months. The total lack of barrier's to entry, the ease with which consumers can switch and the fact that prices are falling indicates a healthy free-market, even if one of the players is dominant. All regulations will do in a situation like this is break the functioning market. I'm all for regulating markets, just not doing it to ones that are functioning relatively freely.

European regulations should be focusing on the edges of the market where Google is trying to manipulate things, such as forcing them to randomize product listing instead of always listing their own first. Or making sure they don't turn their Android system into a vehicle to mobile control (but by all reports Europe has a healthier mobile competition than the US with a functional player in Microsoft). Or even leveraging their android wear or android car to gain control of other markets. Again though the touch should be light, by all accounts these markets are free and functional. Overly heavy regulation is as damaging as no regulation at all.

Comment: Re:What's so special about Google? (Score 1) 301

by rahvin112 (#48437863) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Yea I don't like it either but it's still not a impediment to alternative businesses IMO. Google might control advertising on Google and affiliated sites but they hardly control all advertising. And the most effective advertising is still not on the web, it's local.

The reason Google dominates these other markets is often their solution is better, easier to use and charges less than competitors. In all their years of dominance they've done one thing continually and that's to drive prices down, not up. As an example Google did massive damage to Amazon's earnings by overnight dropping hosting costs by 90%.

I guess my main gripe is that there has been no consumer hostile actions by Google (other than privacy). They've not raised prices, they don't refuse competitors advertisements. If they aren't hurting consumers than regulation should be light up until they do. For me it boils down to one simple fact, it's just not difficult for someone to type an alternative URL into a browser. There is nothing at all forcing consumers to Google, if anything they make it easier to leave their ecosystem than their competitors do.

Comment: Re:What's so special about Google? (Score 5, Insightful) 301

by rahvin112 (#48437697) Attached to: The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

Kept on a leash. Lets be honest here, the ONLY thing that keeps someone from using another competing search engine is nothing at all. The only reason people use Google is because it's better, the minute they stop being better and people will quit using it. I don't consider it much of a monopoly when the barrier to entry is almost nothing.

I don't particularly like them fronting their own service but again, no one is forcing anyone to use Google. It's not even the default search engine for the predominant desktop system! This appears to be being driven by the German politicians who are bowing to their own content industry to try to force google to give them a piece of their search business.

I can't help but feel that this entire push is slimy corruption politics typical to Europe where they try to protect local businesses and harm foreign ones using dubious legal means which are often against WTO agreements.

Comment: Re:Already being done (cloud seeding) (Score 2) 313

Human emissions of CO2 are what is causing global warming. There is almost no scientific resistance to this idea. There are a bunch of people that own a lot of carbon based energy that have their fingers in their ears and a bunch of people like you that they've convinced of a story alternate to reality but there is no doubt what is causing global warming.

Comment: Re:You and your grid can go dangle (Score 4, Insightful) 495

by rahvin112 (#48414995) Attached to: Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

Off-grid is what the power companies should actually be afraid of. Unfortunately they are in denial about that little tidbit. Off-grid is already cost competitive in Hawaii (mostly because their power is $0.35kwhr).

But battery prices are falling in tandem with solar panel prices. And I suspect any law banning off-grid will quickly be squashed by the courts as unconstitutional for many reasons. But off-grid represents a death spiral and would make every asset of the power company almost worthless. That death spiral is what they should fear, because every time they make being on grid with panels harder they are going to drive someone off-grid and the more people they do drive off grid the higher the shared costs will be which will drive more people off grid starting a death spiral that ends with bankruptcy and assets that are without value.

That death spiral is what Hawaii power is starting to deal with because of their mucking about with net metering. They've begun to change their tune but it could very well be too late for them. Hopefully it will serve as a lesson for all the other power companies before they walk down the same path.

Comment: Re:Subsidies (Score 1) 495

by rahvin112 (#48414941) Attached to: Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

The oil companies screamed like bloody murder when they talked about shaving those 4 billion in subsidies while they were raking in record profits.

But all the other groups receive equally large subsidies. If coal power cost what it's actual costs were it would be the most expensive power in the US. (I'm including the environmental and medical costs) But even if you don't include the environmental costs coal receives massive tax credits and subsidies.

Comment: Re:cost/price per kW hour comparison is nonsense (Score 4, Insightful) 495

by rahvin112 (#48414909) Attached to: Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

Batteries are dropping in cost and increasing in capacity at about 20% per year right now. The Tesla gigafactory is expected to bring retail prices for a 85kwh battery pack to about $6000 where it's currently about $12k. For most residential homes an 85kwh battery pack is enough storage to provide power completely for more than 2weeks at full peak usage. With a gas heated home, the winter use of said battery pack would exceed a month without a single day of sunshine. Keep in mind the only time panels don't generate electricity is during the night and when the panels are covered. Even during a major storm, without snow, panels will continue to generate power during the day, just at reduced output. During the winter as long as the panels aren't covered in snow they will continue to generate power, and if tipped up to match the angle of the sun would generate better than 80% of the peak summer power.

Solar is a game changer and the retail price drops of panels will remake power generation, it's simply a matter of time at this point.

Comment: Re:don't tax alternative energy and transportation (Score 3, Insightful) 495

by rahvin112 (#48414841) Attached to: Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

You are so very wrong.

Solar IS cost competitive. And with in a very short period, if current manufacturing price drops continue, it will be the cheapest source of power. But sure, ignore the real numbers the real reality of the situation if you wish. These numbers have been the talk of wall street for more than 2 years. Solar companies are turning down investment right now because there is too much being offered. But feel free to continue to display your ignorance. Even a fool could verify the real numbers with Google.

Comment: Re:My two cents... (Score 2) 495

by rahvin112 (#48414797) Attached to: Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

The only problem is the fee is rarely what you want. The only way for the fee to be fair is for the costs of grid maintenance to be separated from power purchase completely. In fact the only fair thing would be to fragment the company into a single company running the grid with only grid expenses then to split those costs evenly across all subscribers, including business.

What the power companies want is to charge a fee without justification or even providing financials to justify it. The most recent tactic they've come up with is to use subscriber revenue to install solar panels they would own. A blatant market distortion. They've even tried to make it illegal to install solar panels by mandating that only the power company can own them.

The single most important part of this is that the power companies will not play fair. Everything they request should only be evaluated with ample evidence and only allowed with valid evidence and justification for the charge.

Comment: Re:Not For Me (Score 1) 194

by rahvin112 (#48406243) Attached to: Toyota Names Upcoming Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

That is why certain groups like fuel cells so much more than electric cars. You can still sell the nice hydrocarbon fuel stacks to get the hydrogen. And even though you generate carbon dioxide from reforming natural gas to hydrogen it is also significantly less efficient than just burning the gas directly. In fact a CNG car would probably use less gas per mile than these fuel cell cars will ultimately end up using.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken

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