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Comment: Re:who cares (Score 4, Informative) 482

by spidkit (#33351908) Attached to: Scott Adams On the Difficulty of Building a 'Green' Home
The author spends quite a bit of time making good natured jokes of his personal experience and unfortunately (well meaning as he appears to be) drops in some rather misleading information. The German Passivhaus standard is a type of house he could have considered. The standard was implemented in 1996 (predicated on some work done on project houses in Saskatchewan Canada in 1977, as well as in Massachusetts, and also by the University of Illinois) is readilly achievable, even in very cold climates (like colder parts of Germany, Austria and Alberta Canada. Windows do not have to be some energy leaking sieves at all. Good windows require thermal breaks and should be triple glazed. South facing windows are large for heat gain in winter months and canopied for blocking high summer rays.

These houses basically - and readilly (with installed solar systems including Photovoltaic and Solar Hot Water, achieve a "Net Zero" energy requirement: In the span of one year on average, and all within their property envelope (urban settings too) they produce an amount of energy equal to, or more than ("Net Positive"), the energy they consume. That also requires choosing energy efficent appliances (fridges can be power hogs otherwise) that consume low Killowat hours of energy. LED lights are excellent. induction cookers as well. The key thing on Passivhaus design is that the house has a very high R-value all round (walls can be a foot thick of insulation and roofs are R 80) and the house must be air-sealed to a specific blower door pressure test stardard.

Passivhauses do not have to look like bunkers or lunar outposts by necessity. The Mill Creek Net Zero home in Alberta is one pleasing example, or this example in Salem, Oregon. Because the houses are so well sealed (in contrast to regular built houses that leak air badly), air exchangers are a necessity and key to having fresh air. One of the benefits of a passivhaus is that the air is extremely fresh. To save conserve space heating energy heat recovery ventillators are used. Some heat recovery ventillators can be anywhere from 95 to 99% efficient. In some cases - even in cold climates, the passivhaus standard built house actually doesn't need an auxilliary heating system, but the City officials can get a little freaked out and demand one anyway. Germany has many of these houses. Passivhauses can also work in hot climates as well.

Comment: Re:"No flight ceiling" (Score 2, Informative) 276

by spidkit (#30841856) Attached to: NASA Designs All-Electric Personal Flight Vehicle
The reference to max altitude being un-inhibited by thin air due to the powerplant not being combustion based is misleading. The term "service ceiling" is used to define the altitude at which (generally), aircraft will not climb at a rate faster than 100 feet per minute in a sustained climb attitude. This is a factor of air density (and max available power) - which affects both power output of the "engine" if this were a combustion engine, as well as the airfoil, and the lift (and drag) it produces (in a fixed wing craft). If the powerplant is electric, one still contends with air density which as a factor in the lift formula: L = (1/2) d v2 s CL, where * L = Lift, which must equal the airplane's weight (and pilot) in pounds * d = density of the air. This will change due to altitude. These values can be found in a I.C.A.O. Standard Atmosphere Table. * v = velocity of an aircraft expressed in feet per second * s = the wing area of an aircraft in square feet * CL = Coefficient of lift , which is determined by the type of airfoil and angle of attack. reference: http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/WindTunnel/Activities/lift_formula.html If the air gets too thin - you're lift value will drop, and if it drops out (pilot plus craft weight) before the battery runs down, the craft will cease to climb because of the drop in air density.

Comment: intelligent streaming (Score 1) 387

by spidkit (#22662736) Attached to: Jobs Says Flash Video Not Suitable for iPhone
So-called "intelligent streaming" and dropped packet resend from streaming servers is an important feature. Same for switching to a lower bandwidth stream on the fly to mitigate against jerky video playback. Windows Media, Real Helix DNA and QuickTime streaming servers (the latter two also being free) resend dropped packets and some will shift the bandwidth of the stream based on the client's player bandwidth and performance setting on the fly - Flash Streaming servers appear to not currently have this implemented.

"It's curtains for you, Mighty Mouse! This gun is so futuristic that even *I* don't know how it works!" -- from Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse

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