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Comment: not main servers. $1300 IP KVM $120. Storage $110 (Score 1) 77

by raymorris (#47512455) Attached to: Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

For your primary servers, power is a very important cost consideration of course.
On the other hand, I buy Raritan 16 port IP KVMs that are BETTER than their new models at 90% lower cost. I use them a few times power year. Their better than the new ones because they have a perfectly good web interface I can use from my phone to take care of a server that it down, rather than having to drive to office to use their proprietary control software for the new ones.

Similarly, I use some very popular 16-bay storage boxes that I get for around $100 used. It's nothing more than a metal box with a SAS expander in it. There's darn little that can go wrong with what is essentially just a case and sleds, so why would I want to pay $X000 each for them?

The people talking about tax depreciation obviously haven't thought it through. You pay lower taxes by having lower profits. Sure, spending $20,000 on equipment means you can (slowly) deduct $20,000 from your taxable profit, thereby reducing your tax by $4,000. You just spent $20,000 to "save" $4,000. That's not exactly a brilliant move, especially since that $4,000 is depreciated over at least five years. You want to spend $20,000 now to get $4,000 back five years from now? I see why you're a computer geek and not an accountant (or manager).

Comment: College kids created Google, Microsoft, Facebook (Score 1) 156

by raymorris (#47512193) Attached to: Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

A few friends who are electrical engineering majors certainly might achieve this. After all, it was a small group of college kids who created Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. On the other hand, 10 Google employees sitting in meetings to discuss the requirements document costs over $2,000 / hour once you factor in taxes and such. A million dollars is enough to motivate some ramen-eating college kids, and small enough that it's not much more than the cost of paperwork and approvals for many projects at large companies.

Comment: Well, you COULD flood most of the country (Score 1) 95

Let me guess, you want to store the energy of the midday sun, maybe by pumping water uphill from 10:00-2:00, then running it back down through turbines the rest of the day. Sounds great, right?

Hoover dam provides 0.1% of US energy needs. So we need 1,000 reservoirs the size of Hoover Dam / Lake Meade, with dams across 1,0000 large canyons. The dam is powered by the 248 square mile reservoir pushing against it, the 248 square miles it flooded up the canyon. So 1,000 of those is 248,000 square miles. You need depth of course - you're not going to get any power sending water down a 12 inch incline. To get an idea of what we need, we're working with Lake Meade-sized reservoirs, so 582 feet deep. Do you think we're going to be able to flood 248,000 square miles 582 feet deep? Really? That's what pumped storage requires in order to make solar a primary energy source.

Of course, you can't really build a 600 foot high dam all the way around the states you decide to flood. Leaks would be guaranteed, and it would cost quadrillons of dollars. What you'd actually have would be shallower reservoirs that were larger. If you could find 1,000 appropriate places to dam where the water could be 100 feet deep, you'd only need the surface area to be 248,000 X 6 = 1.49 million square miles. That's cool, that's just half of the continental US that has to completely covered in nothing but reservoirs.

Got another theory you want to try, and we can do the math to see how it actually works?

Comment: perhaps, it happens to be in the middle of estimat (Score 1) 223

by raymorris (#47496527) Attached to: EPA Mulling Relaxed Radiation Protections For Nuclear Power

I can't comment on the applicability of that particular model, but I did note that estimates using various models ranged from a few hundred to around five thousand. To a person wanting to reach useful conclusions, from unbiased information to the extent possible, the 1,000 estimate is therefore a reasonable estimate to reason from. To compare nuclear to coal, hydroelectric, etc. we really only need an "order of magnitude" estimate and a survey of all available models indicates that 1,000 is the right order of magnitude.

If your purpose is advocacy, you can of course choose the highest or lowest estimate, whichever suits your agenda. However, doing that carries significant risk. Cherry-picking your data and models can put you in the same position that environmentalists were in during the 1970s - vigorously advocating for a policy that is detrimental to your goals. In the seventies and eighties, environmentalists chose the numbers they liked to suggest that nuclear is "bad". By doing so, they insured that the US would be powered primarily by burning fossil fuels for the forty years since. Had they tried to be objective in their analysis, they probably would have become supporters of nuclear as an alternative to fossil fuels forty years sooner, and we might not have any coal-fired plants today.

Comment: try 4,000 and 30 years (Score 1) 223

by raymorris (#47494731) Attached to: EPA Mulling Relaxed Radiation Protections For Nuclear Power

> but it has impacted the health of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people.

Try 4,00. I gave you references for every single number in my post. Are you SO lazy you'd rather make shit up out of whole cloth rather than spend two seconds to look at the real numbers?

> It will continue to do so, for generations. Nuclear disasters never go away.

The half-life of cesium-137 is 30 years.

  Radioactive substances can be classified by their halflife, which is the amount of time required for half of the radiation to be emitted. A common use
of a material with a long half-life is carbon-14 dating, used by archaeologists to measure the age
of a plant or animal specimen. Archaeologists calculated that Ötzi the Iceman was about 5,000
years old because the half-life of carbon-14 is 5,730 years and Ötzi emitted about half as much
radiation as a person alive today (South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology 2013). Plants and
animals are not considered to be a radiation risk because the half-life of C-14 and other
components of our bodies is so long, meaning it takes thousands of years to emit appreciable
amounts of radiation. Other substances such as iodine-131 have a short half-life, meaning they
release radiation quickly. Handling iodine-131 is dangerous because it releases half of its
radiation in just eight days (U.S. Environmental Department Protection Agency, 2013).
Protection is simple, however, as the EPA advised “iodine-131's short half-life of 8 days means
that it will decay away completely” in a few weeks. The difference can be visualized by
comparing a household candle, which releases energy slowly, to gunpowder, which releases
energy quickly. Gunpowder is dangerous because the energy is released quickly. A candle is
safe to have around the house because the energy is released slowly. Radioactive substances can
be viewed in a similar way - waste that takes thousands of years to release its energy is not
particularly dangerous to have around.

Comment: increased cancer risk. See references (Score 1) 223

by raymorris (#47494595) Attached to: EPA Mulling Relaxed Radiation Protections For Nuclear Power

1,000 is the estimate from increased cancer risk. If anything else in my post is unclear, you can check the reference I listed for each number. For example, that one says (von Hippel 2011), meaning if you Google von Hippel 2011 you can see exactly where I got that number.

Comment: Banquiao, baby. 230,000 killed by hydroelectric da (Score 1) 223

by raymorris (#47491917) Attached to: EPA Mulling Relaxed Radiation Protections For Nuclear Power

Fukishima killed 1,000 people, which is really sad. 230,000 were killed by the Banquiao hydroelectric dam disaster. Even if the worst nuclear accident in history happened EVERY YEAR, it would still be safer than hydroelectric.

  Let's look at US safety standards. The one accident at a US nuclear utility which some find concerning occurred in 1979, at Three Mile Island. Fatalities linked to the Three Mile Island incident total zero, as shown by Hatch, Beyea, Nieves, and Susser (1990) and many other studies. The same year, in 1979, 1,800 people were killed in the Morvi hydroelectric plant failure (Noorani 1984). Also the same year, 130 people were killed in coal mining accidents as shown by Mine Safety and Health Administration reports (2010). This shows that even in the worst year for US nuclear power, the alternatives were infinitely more hazardous. Internationally, Fukushima and Chernobyl later grabbed headlines. While the failure of the old Russian reactor at Chernobyl did kill an estimated 4,000 people (Sovacool 2008), this pales in comparison to the 230,000 killed in the Banqiao hydroelectric disaster (Pisaniello 2009). Fukushima caused the loss of 1,000 lives (von Hippel 2011), yet more were killed in Jesse oil pipeline explosion (Sovacool 2008). Sovacool calculates that in total, energy accidents killed 182,156 people from 1907-2007 and all nuclear accidents in history represent just 2% of those fatalities. Nothing is perfectly safe, but energy must come from somewhere and nuclear has proven to be far safer than the alternatives for large-scale power production.

Comment: bonus points if you do your research and use gramm (Score 3, Informative) 77

by raymorris (#47491535) Attached to: Drone Search and Rescue Operation Wins Fight Against FAA

I've gotten involved in a couple of rounds of agency rule-making before and it taught me a few things. I learned that this is where the skills learned writing papers in school can really be useful. The folks at the FAA think they know something about this topic, so they tend to discount comments that sound like the person is spouting off emotionally without having any real knowledge of the subject matter. On the other hand, they don't know everything that everyone is doing in the field, so they'd like to hear comments from people doing different things. For example, my local university has a drone research center and the FAA doesn't know what all the research center is doing, so they can appreciate comments about using drones in a research and educational setting.

IF you really care about this topic, it may be worth putting some time into writing your comments well, or supporting an organization who will, such as the model aircraft association.

Comment: everybody pays taxes, and so values govt money (Score 1) 100

by raymorris (#47489543) Attached to: New Digital Currency Bases Value On Reputation

The fact that US dollars can be used to pay any debt makes it valuable, yes. Possibly just as important, almost everybody in.the US has to pay taxes even the 46% who get more refunded than they paid. Those taxes have to be paid in USD, so pretty much everybody needs to have some dollars to pay their taxes with. Since everyone needs them, everyone values them. The few people who don't pay taxes can of course trade their dollars with anyone who does pay taxes.


Comment: depends. VBA is very different from systems arch (Score 5, Interesting) 238

by raymorris (#47487165) Attached to: Math, Programming, and Language Learning

A "programmer" can be someone who spends two days putting together a complex Excel macro (poorly), or someone who designs an information systems architecture for a significant enterprise. These are VERY different activities.

On top of that, I'll say that approximately 85% of people doing programming aren't really competent. Compare how often software crashes vs how often cars fail in such a way that they crash themselves. So you have to specify, are you talking about MOST programming, or competent programming? Most programming isn't done competently.

Well-designed and larger software projects require a thorough understanding of a large set of rules, both knowing what the rules are, and understanding WHY the rules are as they are, and when to apply which rules in order to move forward. In that sense, it's very much like math. Also like math, one wrong decision can lead you down a path of futility, from whence reversing course is time-consuming.

Comment: yes he did appeal his conviction on the 2nd felony (Score 1) 51

That's true, after being convicted of a second felony, he did appeal and that conviction was vacated. Also, a second court found that he did in fact commit extortion. So yeah, although he was convicted of two felonies, he should be treated as being guilty of the one.

Comment: See TFS - it exemplifies the opposite (Score 1) 77

by raymorris (#47485999) Attached to: Wearable Robot Adds Two Fingers To Your Hand

Apparently you didn't watch the fine video.
The bright young entrepreneurs at MIT had human fingers to examine as prior art, and what they came up with was "strap two sticks to your wrist to get in the way". The original design of our bodies is WAY better than what MIT is coming up with.

Have you ever had a nasty cut, where you cut a little chunk out of yourself? I''ve done that a few times. I couldn't locate exactly where, because the missing chunks of flesh have been regenerated automatically. Try taking a chunk out of your iPhone or any human technology. Let us know when it grows back.

There are some people with some silly ideas about the creator, and therefore some strong arguments against those silly ideas. Engineering prowess isn't one of those strong arguments. Everything from the water cycle on the macro level to ion pumps on the microscopic level - genius ideas abound in nature.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.