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Comment: Re: Wrong! (Score 1) 374

by valkraider (#49130181) Attached to: The Groups Behind Making Distributed Solar Power Harder To Adopt
"Solar is important. Biggest advantage is that it requires very little infrastructure. In the southern US, solar may not be as usable since it won't run an A/C, but in cooler climates, it would provide enough power for a house, assuming a decent fuel source for heating. Wind is also similar." This is one of the weirdest things I have seen written about this subject. Places with heaviest AC use benefit the most. The time when AC usage is the highest is also the time when solar energy is generating at its peak. In addition, solar panels on the roof reduce the heat load dumped into the attic for another very slight benefit. Sure, it's best in arid climates that don't need as much AC at night - humid areas need AC mostly all day. But the highest drain on AC in the hottest time of the day is when the utilities struggle to generate enough juice to keep up. This is why they will pay you $$$ to install a smart thermostat which is connected to the smart grid - so they can turn off your AC for short periods to help with the load spike. Solar is a huge benefit at that time because it can be a huge reduction in the AC spike for a couple hours a day - regardless of if the owner comes out ahead or not. Anywhere that is hot generally also has a lot of sunshine. That's good for solar. However - in many parts of the Midwest and Deep South USA - you will want to make sure you get hail resistant solar panels...

Comment: Aluminium (Score 5, Interesting) 187

by valkraider (#48606479) Attached to: Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible To Use
"In the mid 1880s, aluminium metal was exceedingly difficult to produce, which made pure aluminium more valuable than gold.[51] So celebrated was the metal that bars of aluminium were exhibited at the Exposition Universelle of 1855.[52] Napoleon III of France is reputed to held a banquet where the most honored guests were given aluminium utensils, while the others made do with gold." http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki...

Comment: Re: 2 Questions (Score 2) 294

by valkraider (#48163855) Attached to: Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

Can't believe that to be the case, because that would mean the people in charge of Tesla's Marketing Department are complete morons - never has a new car salesman tried to "steer" a potential sale to their competitors.

Remember - most dealerships sell multiple makes. If one of their makes gives the dealership more kickback - the dealership pushes that make. Also, dealerships sell many models. They push the models they want - instead of simply answering questions, informing the consumer, and helping the consumer into an appropriate configuration. Finally - dealerships make a ton of money on "add ons". If a particular model has fewer available after sale add ons available - a dealership will avoid that model. This is all before considering the profits they make on service. Can't sell oil changes to Tesla buyers - so let's push the BMW or Porsche instead... Look. Tactics like these laws are simply fear. Dealerships suck. Everyone knows they suck. The only people I know who defend dealerships are people who work there.

Comment: Re: Instagram didn't replace Kodak (Score 1) 674

by valkraider (#45906117) Attached to: The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class
"At that time Ford and the other US car companies were still building in Detroit," My 1973 Chevy was made in Canada. Manufacturing in Canada started in the early 1900s. For the "US" car industry - Canada was just considered part of the Midwest. I know people who lived in the US and worked in a Canadian plant and vice-versa. So calling anything that crossed a border an import is not as easy as it sounds... In my opinion "closing" the borders up there had had as bad an impact on the US states as it has on Ontario..

Comment: Re:Who needs free voice? (Score 1) 134

by valkraider (#41981793) Attached to: RIM Offering Free Voice Calling In Attempt to Remain Competitive

There are still lots of places with voice cell service but practically no data.

As we found out in the Presidential election, there are not many people there.

Wait, there is possibly a correlation to be had!

There are not many people using BlackBerry.

Therefore my conclusion is that rural residency causes BlackBerry use.

**Yes, I know this poor attempt at humor is US centric. Forgive me, I will work on my international humor for my next appearance.

Comment: Re:Horrible Summary is Horrible (Score 1) 164

by valkraider (#39296119) Attached to: Ford Tests DIY Firmware Updates

I have been doing user firmware and operating system / feature / Gracenote updates on my Mopar "MyGig/UConnect" infotainment system since 2008.

I download a CD/DVD image, burn it, put it in my van and it reboots, installs/upgrades, then I am good to go.

The only thing owners can't do (easily) is update the Navteq maps because they (Mopar) want like $200 for that (hello smartphone!).

Comment: Re:It's convenience and security. (Score 1) 835

by valkraider (#37341510) Attached to: Why the Fax Machine Refuses To Die

Ever heard of PGP? I have put my PGP fingerprint on my business card, now every person that I meet is able to send me email, encrypted with my public key. That's as easy as it gets, and PGP is 100% safe and more than a decade old. No, you cannot have a man in the middle attack thanks to the fingerprint which you are supposed to manually check. If you add to this a web of trust and signed signatures, then it's a pretty good system. It's really trivial to listen to a fax and print it, since there is absolutely zero encryption. Don't think that this is reserved for the high profile government organization, phone wires are most of the time quite accessible, and putting a device to listen to it is fairly easy for those who know a bit about them. Absolutely all telecoms employee working on the physical infrastructure will know how to do that.

I know what PGP is.

My real-estate agent, doctor, school business office, and parents do not.

(Aside from that, PGP is *not* easy to use, especially when you have people who may have Macs or Windows or whatever, with varying tech abilities, corporate polices, access rights, software versions, etc etc. A fax machine has one standard implementation that is guaranteed to work no matter what, and all it takes is at most 12 button presses that everyone since 1980 has been accustom to using - 1 503 555 1212 [SEND])

Comment: Re:Sad, but not unexpected (Score 1) 523

by valkraider (#36546758) Attached to: Tesla Will Discontinue the Roadster

As for economy and TOC, I'm staying on what most people consider the less than green side. I have a sports car that gets 26mpg. It gets me and up to 3 passengers and luggage or groceries from Point A to Point B quickly. MSRP was around $38k, and I paid $25k one year used. Now at 11 years old and 120,000 miles, if it were a EV or hybrid, it would have likely required two battery swaps and who knows what other changes. What's MTBF on the motors they use? How do the electronics stand up in hot climates? As a good old fashion IC motor, it's required 2 water pumps, an alternator, and 2 new batteries, and a few other little things

(emphasis added by me)

"Consumer Reports decided to do a re-test a 2002 Prius, with 206,000 on the clock, and found that it delivered 46.3mpg, compared to 48.6 in the original test with a new car. Lower? Yes, but not bad for 206,000 miles."

I had a headlight fault in my car. It seems the ground wire to the headlights broke internally. 15 minutes and $5 in parts later it was fixed in the auto parts store parking lot. A friend of mine has a Prius. Hers has a headlight fault, where the headlights will just turn themselves off or flash, due to an overheating controller. It costs hundreds of dollars, and serious work to just get the light out. Google around for replacing a Prius headlight, and you'll see plenty of pictures where you have to take the front bumper off to accomplish it.

First, you seem to concentrate headlight bad luck around you, anecdotally.

Also anecdotally, I have a friend with a Subaru Tribecca that also has to remove the bumper to replace a headlight bulb. And since my friend didn't know that - he actually ended up causing $1000 in damage trying to do it without removing the bumper, but it still would have cost him $200 in labor to get it done. Now he knows what needs to be done and how to do it so he can do it himself without breaking things, but it is still a pain in the ass.

So I guess that negates your "green cars are bad because a prius headlight is hard to fix" argument.

I also read horror stories about the first generation of the VW New Beetle that required pulling the engine to replace a headlight assembly (I read in a forum about someone who lost one to a rock). Some times a design makes it hard to fix something. It has nothing to do with if it is a hybrid, or electric, or magic ferry dust, or powered by grinding up puppies and kittens. A bad design is a bad design.

My second car is a used full size SUV. That's my spare vehicle, in case the first one is down for some reason, and for transporting anything larger than my car will carry. I dare anyone to consider doing home renovations driving a Tesla Roadster. :) You won't even fit a stack of bricks or a few sheets of plywood in a Prius. :) The mileage isn't great, but if I can accomplish in one trip what would take 4 in a smaller car, the effective efficiency is better. And sometimes there is just no substitute for an urban assault vehicle. :)

Since your SUV is your second car you can still get a hybrid or electric car for your primary car for your daily use, and still have that SUV to haul those bricks and plywood. :)

Comment: Re:Good. (Score 1) 254

by valkraider (#36436178) Attached to: Federally-Mandated Medical Coding Gums Up IT Ops

Actually Insurance companies wont be involved in re-engineering the medical coding. They just get the bill.

Not true. The insurance company I worked for had a 3 year project to implement ICD-10 and it went relatively smoothly, and was not any more difficult than any of our other IT projects. It's just a project like any other project. Planned, budgeted, executed. Nothing to see here.

What TFA and other commentors don't seem to get is that the health industry is *massively regulated* and beurocratic. They have to deal with things like this *all the time*.

Between Medicare/Medicaid requirements, HIPAA, Health organizations (like Blue-Cross), HMO requirements, Drug laws, and every damn state having different Insurance commissions and regulations - EVERY YEAR insurance companies and hospitals and providers have to make massive system changes for one reason or another.

The pain in the ass is that most every law change always takes effect January 1. Which makes IT in the health industry suck between November and February. I wish they would some times pick different quarters to implement things in so that we could spread out the workload a little better.

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