Comment Re:Stupid argument (Score 1) 441

The EIA (US) and German statistics show that, in aggregate, wind-energy sources produce a relatively steady amount of power. Individual turbines and even whole wind farms might not be deterministic, but all the wind farms taken together... are.

In the real world, they're not. Here's the current CAISO output graph for all of California (which is 800 miles long and has a wide range of climate zones, with wind farms hundreds of miles apart) in the last 24 hours. Max wind generation today: 3600MW. Min: 300MW. That's over a 10:1 ratio. Checking PJM (the power grid for the northeastern US), today's max was 3200MW. Min: 900MW. About 3.5:1. Most days, those ratios are around 4:1.

So you still need a lot of natural gas plants that can be started up when the wind fails. Understand that load varies about 3:1 over the course of a day, in a predictable way, with peak load in midafternoon. Solar power output matches air conditioning load very nicely. Wind, not so much.

The price of bulk power goes way down late at night. Once in a while it goes negative for an hour or two. This happens on PJM when load is low, Ontario Hydro has excess water they're running through generators, the nuclear plants are running smoothly and don't want to shut down, and the wind turbines are getting good wind. The hydro and nuclear guys have a slow response time, so they'll pay to generate power rather than shut down for a few hours. So the wind guys, who can stop in a minute or two, drop out rather than pay. The turbine blades go to zero pitch and feather, the brakes come on, and the turbines slow and stop.

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Comment Re:Show me the money! (Score 1) 441

So just with my back-of-the-envelop calculations based on about 5 minutes with Google, the report seems to be bullshit.

Your answer is in the wrong units! The report was about the energy payback (in Joules), and your calculation was in dollars. I'll note that your calculations show wind turbines breaking even with their installation costs, despite the fact that your calculations count the subsidies for every other power source but not for wind, and you even discount that people are willing to pay a premium for renewable energy (both of these due to using the wholesale price of electricity). Not blaming you since it was only an estimate, just pointing it out for others.

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Comment Re:Sounds about right... (Score 3, Interesting) 441

The variable you are neglecting to consider is transmission losses.

Look into super-conducting cables. So far, only Germany has managed to get a 1km long super-conducting cable in place for a still tiny % of the energy necessary to make this global grid work in the way you're talking about.

1/3 Local nukes+1/3 wind+ 1/3 solar > coal

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Comment Re:Specs On Paper & Buyer Mindset (Score 0) 198

Oh... bullshit. There were almost 6 times as many Android devices sold last quarter than iOS. How are we still propagating the "Android is for geeks" line?

Because Androids are cheap as crap. As in free.

Google said they had 1B unique Android devices in the last 30 days. I'm pretty sure the top-shelf flagship phones sold int he past couple of years total under 100M (the SGS4 sold around 50M as of October 2013, and the SGS5 is probably around 20M so far).

So less than 10% of Androids sold in the past two years are flagships, of the 1B unique devices that Google recorded last month.

That means the rest of the phones are the free or crap phones that have crappier screens, crappy processors, or crappy RAM. Or what people get for $50 and under.

The people who buy the LG are the build-your-own-PC crowd. The people who buy Androids are ones who see iPhones, see the price tag, and gets the carrier salesperson to sell them a "works like an iPhone but it's FREE!" deal.

Heck, I'm sure people will run to the store, see the LG, see the price tag, then just get the salesperson to sell them "works just like the LG, but it's FREE" phone.

(Though, who buys a phone on the cusp of 64-bit ARMs? The reason the iPhone 5/5s is so fast is because of the ARMv8 architecture...).

Comment Re:New person in the distribution, new fee require (Score 1) 210

Given the timing that this lawsuit was filed (right after the Aereo decision), I think Fox's lawyers have this very well thought out.

If everything you say is correct, then Fox may not win anything. But, Mr. Anonymous, I don't see anything persuasive in your recitation of alleged facts. I'm not eager to bet on your horse...

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Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 441

This is useless and irrelevant calculation.
What counts is what is the total cost and return on investment.

I concur. However, I believe it is requisite (though not sufficient) for a viable alternative to meet energy return on investment.

If it can't even do that, then it certainly can't be economical.

Cf. fusion energy: it certainly doesn't meet that threshold.

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