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+ - Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage ->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: Last year, renewable energy sources accounted for half of new installed electric-generation capacity (natural gas units made up most of the remainder). As more photovoltaic panels are installed on rooftops around the nation, an antiquated power grid is being overburdened by a bidirectional load its was never engineered to handle. The Hawaiian Electric Company, for example, said it's struggling with electricity "backflow" that could destabilize its system. Batteries for distributed renewable power has the potential to mitigate the load on the national grid by allowing a redistribution of power during peak hours. As such Tesla, which is expected to announce batteries for homes and utilities on Thursday, and others are targeting a market estimated to be $1.2B market by 2019. Along with taking up some of the load during peak house, battery capacity can be used when power isn't being generated by renewable systems, such as at night and during inclement weather. That also reduces grid demand.
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Comment: Re:Airline anaolgy is incorrect (Score 1) 448

by weepinganus (#48766393) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

Agreed. The whole concept of networks is antiquated. I don't even know what channel (or in some cases, what day) my favorite shows are on. I just turn on the tv, check to see what my DVR has captured, and turn the tv back off if there's nothing new recorded. It works just like the "my subscriptions" feed on YouTube.

If you're the sort of person who sits down in front of the TV "because it's time" and has to find something to watch from among the choices in the current time slot, I can see some merit in the content being organized thematically (ie, History, Sports, etc.), but I'm becoming increasingly unimpressed with the mindset that we should watch whatever entertainment our handlers choose to feed us rather than choosing from among content that I've previously earmarked as genuinely interesting. (As an aside, all those annoying on-screen adds for whatever show is on next are wasted on me. By the time I see them, it's been two days since that next show aired, and I didn't record it.)

For me, the most compelling practical argument for switching to an on-demand model is that live events (be they sports, breaking news, or, worst of all, political speeches) would no longer preempt pre-recorded shows. With 300 channels worth of bandwidth available, why the hell do I have to come home to a recording of 20 minutes of post-game show and the first 10 minutes of The Simpsons just because some damn basketball game went into overtime. I pay for tv; I shouldn't have to go to bittorret to see the content I paid for (or worse yet, schedule my life around the release time of new episodes). Put variable-length content on its own channel and don't let it mess with the schedule of fixed-length content. (...and if I want to follow a breaking news story, I have the internet; why in the world would I want to listen to some talking head read the AP story off her teleprompter every 10 minutes when I can assimilate more and better data in less time online?!)

</rant>

Comment: Re:Airline anaolgy is incorrect (Score 1) 448

by weepinganus (#48766339) Attached to: Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

Agreed. The whole concept of networks is antiquated. I don't even know what channel (or in some cases, what day) my favorite shows are on. I just turn on the tv, check to see what my DVR has captured, and turn the tv back off if there's nothing new recorded. It works just like the "my subscriptions" feed on YouTube.

If you're the sort of person who sits down in front of the TV "because it's time" and has to find something to watch from among the choices in the current time slot, I can see some merit in the content being organized thematically (ie, History, Sports, etc.), but I'm becoming increasingly unimpressed with the mindset that we should watch whatever entertainment our handlers choose to feed us rather than choosing from among content that I've previously earmarked as genuinely interesting. (As an aside, all those annoying on-screen adds for whatever show is on next are wasted on me. By the time I see them, it's been two days since that next show aired, and I didn't record it.)

For me, the most compelling practical argument for switching to an on-demand model is that live events (be they sports, breaking news, or, worst of all, political speeches) would no longer preempt pre-recorded shows. With 300 channels worth of bandwidth available, why the hell do I have to come home to a recording of 20 minutes of post-game show and the first 10 minutes of The Simpsons just because some damn basketball game went into overtime. I pay for tv; I shouldn't have to go to bittorret to see the content I payed for (or worse yet, schedule my life around the release time of new episodes). Put variable-length content on its own channel and don't let it mess with the schedule of fixed-length content. (...and if I want to follow a breaking news story, I have the internet; why in the world would I want to listen to some talking head read the AP story off her teleprompter every 10 minutes when I can assimilate more and better data in less time online?!)

</rant>

Comment: Re:Wow... (Score 1) 264

by weepinganus (#35349494) Attached to: Arkansas Earthquakes Could Be Man-Made
As I understand it, this sort of activity doesn't cause earthquakes per se. Rather it catalyzes the release of existing pent-up geological stress. Assuming that's the case, isn't this actually a good thing? The energy stored in the stressed tectonic plates is bound to be released eventually, and isn't a series of small earthquakes far less destructive than a single big quake?

Comment: Re:Treat it like any other secure system (Score 1) 376

by weepinganus (#35245954) Attached to: Confidential Data Not Safe On Solid State Disks
The parent's link refers to issues stemming from data not being reliably overwritten on a wear-leveling device. Why wouldn't those same concerns apply to any device that transparently remaps bad sectors to a reserved area of the disk? I understand that most writes to an SSD are wear-leveled, and I assume that transparent remapping of sectors on a magnetic HDD are relatively rare, but isn't information security supposed to be based on the worst-case scenario?

Comment: Re:The problem is schools! (Score 1) 417

by weepinganus (#32943658) Attached to: TI vs. Calculator Hobbyists, Again

If the portable math-machine really were something that people felt they needed, you'd see iPhone apps that were actually useful: the hardware is far more capable than the piddling processors they're putting in the math-class toys, or you'd see the prices of dedicated hardware drop into the $10-$20 range that scientific calculators have been in for decades.

I can't comment about the availability of iPhone apps, but on both my old Palm Treo and my current Droid, I have a fully functional emulator of the legendary HP 48G/GX running a free ROM dump from the original calculator (with HP's permission, no less).

Apart from tests (where cell phone use is rightfully banned), I can't see much use for dedicated calculator hardware, but there's still a considerable need for portable math-machines.

Time to take stock. Go home with some office supplies.

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