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Comment Re:Gas (Score 2) 40

It's going to take a minute, and the tech necessary to recover tight oil was indeed something OPEC didn't see coming. It's too late to pretend it's not there.

You can hold the price of oil low with oversupply and create market disturbance if you want, but only for so long.

Not so much Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and many others... but the US economy is very diverse for a major petroleum producer.

Comment Re:IOT isn't as easy as it sounds. (Score 1) 75

We've had a metric ton of problems with the ECM blower motors. Many of the first renditions came with the old boards modified, so that there was still a place to install a PSC motor when the very expensive oem motor failed prematurely. In some cases, you were forced to purchase the motor and control module as one unit.

The general movement toward increasingly more efficient equipment forces manufacturers to modify proven technology to eke out higher efficiency plateaus, but the savings enjoyed from an upgrade (80% to 90% AFUE furnace) is often offset by more expensive and less available replacement parts.

Comment Re:Hammerheads in Vermont (Score 1) 569

Unemployment would be shortened to 1-3 months max, a short time to find another job, but not the year or more it is in some places now. Right now, we're paying a WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE to sit at home and do nothing. This is stupid.

Often, it's even worse than that. We pay beaucoup people unemployment and disability benefits who work for cash on the side.

Comment Re:Rending of garments to commence! (Score 1) 75

With the focus of late on the latest, greatest, and ever more complicated, your potential points of failure increase.

Now, something short of a power outage is enough to freeze your water pipes... say a wifi outage or low voltage interruption to the Nest.

Buy some insurance. Wire in an Accustat as a backup that kicks heat on at 10 degrees Celsius.

Comment Re:IOT isn't as easy as it sounds. (Score 1) 75

That's not your inducer moter... it is your blower motor, reponsible for moving air with a squirrel cage through the ductwork in your home.

The inducer motor is to force or draw combustion gases through the heat exchanger and out the roof vent. ECM motors are frequently unreliable, and expensive to replace, but you can replace one with a PSC motor and relays without changing out the circuit board.

Comment Heh Heh (Score 3, Interesting) 57

This smells like the kind of thing you might leave behind if you were departing Amazon, perhaps not on the best of terms.

It's also possible the employee responsible for the Zombie Inclusion was so bored to tears writing these terms of service he decided to include a gaffe just to see if anyone noticed.

Comment Re:One down. (Score 2) 569

Spot on. Also, outside of the sparsely populated early primaries, it remains to be seen if his apparent appeal translates into votes.

Even considering the general poor quality of the candidates this year, his successful campaign is a head-scratcher.

Submission + - Engineers Devise a Way to Harvest Wind Energy from Trees (

derekmead writes: Harvesting electrical power from vibrations or other mechanical stress is pretty easy.Turns out all it really takes is a bit of crystal or ceramic material and a couple of wires and, there you go, piezoelectricity. As stress is applied to the material, charge accumulates, which can then be shuttled away to do useful work. The classic example is an electric lighter, in which a spring-loaded hammer smacks a crystal, producing a spark.

Another example is the heart of a piezoelectric system described in a new paper in the Journal of Sound and Vibration courtesy of engineers at Ohio State's Laboratory of Sound and Vibration Research. The basic idea behind the energy harvesting platform: exploit the natural internal resonances of trees within tiny artificial forests capable of generating enough voltage to power sensors and structural monitoring systems.

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