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Comment: Re:big news! (Score 4, Informative) 299

by rocket rancher (#49550531) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Distributed storage capacity has the potential to even out the prices over the day and match consumption and production. It also solves a major issue with most renewables. It would be even more interesting if people were allowed to store cheap electricity and sell it back during expensive hours for profit.

true, and in a free market, that is exactly what would happen. sadly, the US energy market is no where near free. In the last three years, Koch Industries has successfully lobbied legislative bodies in 17 states to impede the deployment of alternative energy, and to drastically roll back, if not outrightly abandon existing programs. Case in point: net metering, where the utility company monitors power use and credits a homeowner for power sent back to the grid. In 2014, right here in sunny Az, three Koch-funded candidates were elected to our five person Corporation Commission, which, among other duties, sets utility rates. in february this year, they announced two structural changes that effectively kill net metering. the first change eliminates the ability to bank your credits over the length of a year, meaning that the credits needed to offset months where your PV array doesnt cover your power use are no longer available. the second change reduces the amount of money the utility will pay for your excess production, from full retail to less than half of wholesale. Arizona was seeing fairly strong growth in rooftop solar, until that announcement. in march, new residential solar permits were down 42% over Mar 2014. so far in april, there have been zero new residential permits.

Comment: Re:why must human ancestors be involved (Score 1) 89

by rocket rancher (#49478131) Attached to: World's Oldest Stone Tools Discovered In Kenya

Mostly because Humans are the only ones that love killing each other.

Dont see prides of lions killing the pride next door just for shits and giggles

Sure they do, if you count sex. Male lions will kill rival males in other prides so they can take over mating rights. Both male lions & female lions will kill the cubs of rival prides.

I think you missed GP's point. The behavior you describe is the result of selective reproductive pressure over millions of generations of lions. It is hardwired into the lion's genome, and is quite rational behavior for any organism looking to optimize its reproductive probabilities. . But sometimes humans kill even when it doesn't optimize their reproductive probabilities. As far as we know, humans are the only organisms that kill for sport.

Comment: Re:call the library ? (Score 1) 246

by rocket rancher (#49416119) Attached to: Watching a "Swatting" Slowly Unfold

Wouldn't it be smarter for the police to call back the library, and ask if there's anything going on ?

what, and miss an opportunity to scare the fuck out of^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H demonstrate their readiness and capability to the good citizens of Hopkinton? what Hopkinton obviously needs is a show of force from their police, less the taxpayers get it into their heads that reason and logic is more important than killing terrorists, even fake ones like the idiots responsible for this particular swatting.

Comment: If you aren't farming, you are being farmed... (Score 1) 249

by rocket rancher (#49073041) Attached to: Game Theory Calls Cooperation Into Question
Evolution can only occur in a non--zero-sum environment -- > energy.out for an organism or collection of organisms, if only by a hair, otherwise you get stasis, and ultimately death, when a more dynamic organism begins to farm you. Cooperation is a strong strategy, and Dawkins' insight that selection operating at the gene level can account for altruistic behavior (altruism being the ultimate cooperative behavior) at more macro scales was nothing short of brilliant. This paper pretty much provides a model that accounts for one player co-opting the successful strategies of other players in the iterated prisoner's dilemma. If you play an MMORPG, you are participating in this model of co-opted cooperative behavior. Take WoW, for example: inferior players are paying Blizz for the privilege of being farmed by superior players for gold, or PvP honor points.

Comment: Re:What's the difference between China and EU? (Score 0) 222

by rocket rancher (#48892347) Attached to: China Cuts Off Some VPNs

What kind of vile scum are you to equate free speech for political change with videos of people chopping heads off and incitement to murder?

Because they are both forms of expression, when they are on youtube. One may be considered vile and reprehensible, and the other not so much, though I'd wager you have never seen a Tea Partier rallying the base, if you think speech for political change can't be vile and reprehensible, as well. What kind of dolt are you to not separate the medium from the message?

Comment: It is not about science, people... (Score 1) 667

by rocket rancher (#48874131) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax
This is a political maneuver designed to embarrass the GOP. 98 senators have already affirmed this amendment which was tacked onto the XL pipeline bill. To be clear, the amendment has no real effect on the construction of the Keystone pipeline; it simply forces all senators and representatives to get on the record on climate change. The GOP is up against a wall on the Keystone pipeline -- even if this bill passes, it will be vetoed by the executive branch and the GOP probably does not have the votes to override the veto (hard to vote for something that contributes to global warming after you've acknowledged that global warming is real.) This amendment is the Democrats fucking with the Republicans, pure and simple.

Comment: Re:parachute (Score 1) 248

by rocket rancher (#48838539) Attached to: SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

Keep in mind that refurbishing the waterlogged shuttle boosters ended up being 3X more costly than original estimates, much of the nozzle apparatus was completely trashed each time, and the whole process took months to turn around a single booster.

"ended up being 3X more costly..." you make it sound like the prime contractor didn't know this all along. When you land a cost-plus contract with the government (or anybody, for that matter) your job suddenly becomes to make the contract as costly as possible while still appearing to be executing due diligence. This is why Lockheed, Raytheon, Boeing, and the other contractors have been able to hoover up hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, with only the lame and inefficient STS to show for it. For the amount of taxpayer dollars diverted to the US space program starting with the boondoggle Apollo program PR stunt (yes it was PR. It was all fuck the Russians and their fucking sputnik, we have to one-up the commie bastards by going to the goddamn moon) we could have fixed our social safety net and cured poverty, and put money into useful areas of research, like medicine and energy production/distribution, and fixed our broken education and healthcare systems. Instead, we created a whole new class of welfare client, the aerospace/defense contractor, and managed to keep the Cold War going for 40 more years. Why do you think Tea Party darling Ted Cruz is now the gatekeeper for the US Government's science and technology funding? It's because Musk proved that you don't need a huge fucking corporate welfare system to support basic research. There is also the added political bonus of Musk's achievement discrediting every dollar the US government spent on "space research." One of Cruz's direct responsibilities is overseeing NASA funding, and it is going to be next to impossible to fight his budget cuts when all Cruz has to do is point to Elon Musk's SpaceX success. The Tea Party wing of the GOP is going to be insufferable for a long, long time....

Comment: Bingo fuel means no brakes, no manuevering (Score 1) 248

by rocket rancher (#48838331) Attached to: SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released
They are using fuel as hydraulic fluid, an old and (apparently) still stupid idea. The SR-71 used JP-6 as fuel and hydraulic fluid -- one Habu pilot told me, "yeah, dumb engineering decision. If you are on bingo fuel, you might as well plan for a ditch, because bingo also means you are out of brakes and maneuvering." That was 35+ years ago. You'd think Elon would have covered that base.

Comment: Re:design flaw with placement of antenna (Score 1) 130

by rocket rancher (#48837695) Attached to: Lost Beagle2 Probe Found 'Intact' On Mars

That introduces its own drawbacks and failure modes. And the reasons why they didn't choose that other system (such as not having access to plutonium 238) still apply.

the failure mode was the "E" in ESA. nukes in orbit are a non-starter in Europe. the people won't stand for it, and since they are paying for it, nukes are off the table for space probes. for ESA missions, that means solar or no mission.

Comment: Re:Well That About Wraps It Up For God (Score 1) 755

by rocket rancher (#48710993) Attached to: Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God

Between the burning bush, smiting that dude that saved the Ark from falling off a cart, fucking with Job, wrestling with Jacob, telling Saul to build him a temple, actually occupying tents set up for him, any many more examples, if Douglas had read the Bible, he'd have known that God loved to prove that he existed. It wasn't until the New that he said "Peace! I'm out! If you need anything, ask the kid."

Not that it matters. Proof doesn't deny faith in the first place. Faith exists in the absence of proof as well in the confirmation of proof.

interesting definition of proof you have there. you've collected up some myths, tidied them up into current vernacular and presented them as proof of the existence of a deity, which is utter bullshit. The same bullshit, by the way, that happened at the Council of Trent, where all the diverse religious writings concerning the new heretical Jewish religion of "Christianity" were collected up, filtered, and proclaimed canon. Are all those vienna fairytales true simply because the Brothers Grimm collected them up into a single source?

Comment: Re:God, Like an Unseen Hair (Score 1) 755

by rocket rancher (#48710923) Attached to: Science Cannot Prove the Existence of God

If God does not want to be 'proven by man', then God can easily hide Him/Her/Itself from humanity, until God "decides" to appear.

Right, and if God is a perfect being, then he must also have the perfection of existence. There, we've got the whole ontological status of gods squared away. While we are at it, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? That answer proceeds from the same fucking train wreck of unprovable assumptions that your hypothesis is built on, the foremost of which is that a god actually exists, so go for it, dude.

Comment: Re:Kind of disappointed in him. (Score 3, Insightful) 681

by rocket rancher (#48690901) Attached to: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Explains His Christmas Tweet
No, and no. Tyson has been trolling religious nutbars for decades. He didn't give in to criticism, he just twisted the knife when people demanded clarification. Make no mistake -- religion is more of threat to our species than global warming and nuclear winter combined. More than three-quarters of the population of the planet's last existing superpower are religious, and nearly half of them believes their messiah is going to return to them in their life time. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that these nutbars have exactly zero interest in solving the problems confronting our species because they truly believe that they aren't going to be around to have to deal with them.

Comment: Re:We're turning into wimps (Score 1) 230

by rocket rancher (#48651585) Attached to: "Team America" Gets Post-Hack Yanking At Alamo Drafthouse, Too

The United States has the planet's largest ocean between us and North Korea, the most powerful military the world has ever seen, and enough nuclear firepower to take the entire surface area of North Korea and give it escape velocity. And yet we wimp out on... showinging a 10-year old movie because it might make a tin-plate dictator mad? Seriously?

well, that is the problem with dealing with dictators. He may not be able to give any of our real estate "escape velocity," but he doesn't need to. He just needs to kill half a dozen theater goers in any movie theater anywhere on the planet that defies his edict. Fox News will makes sure the rest of the planet hears about it, and suddenly he goes from dismissable loon to credible threat, which is exactly what he (and his equally lunatic father before him) have wanted all along.

Comment: Re: Are they really that scared? (Score 1) 461

by rocket rancher (#48538273) Attached to: Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

Can you really not distinguish between sellers and buyers? Electric companies have no love for any particular means of generating power, they just want it cheap, and for most of them their primary concern in life is the NIMBY problem.

Electric companies, at least in some latitudes, are certainly worried about practical rooftop solar eating into their business, but for reasons that have nothing at all to do with love of fossil fuel.

As you say, electric companies just want to buy their energy cheap and sell it dear. Nothing inherently wrong with that. But they actually do have a love for a particular distribution model, if not a particular means of generating power. They are scared of the decentralization of power production, which smart grids coupled with residential rooftop solar installations represent. Koch Industries is the largest player in domestic energy production in the US. They have billions and billions of dollars invested in the centralized production of energy, so they are fucking scared of decentralization, and rightly so. Sadly, instead of embracing decentralization and adjusting their business model, they are successfully lobbying state legislatures and publicly-run utilities to create laws and regulations that make it damn near impossible to get a residential smart grid up and running.

"You show me an American who can keep his mouth shut and I'll eat him." -- Newspaperman from Frank Capra's _Meet_John_Doe_