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Comment Look at it this way instead (Score 2) 502

If that company provides good enough and cheap enough batteries for a lot of people to use nothing but rooftop solar all day and night - yes it's certainly going to deliver a shock to the worst run power companies that only survive due to a local monopoly. There's still plenty of little Enrons in the mix.
It's got to the point where price gouging in some places is enough to drive people to spend the large capital cost for solar panels plus storage and go mostly or completely offgrid, which then makes the utilities scream because they are being exposed to the cold winds of capitalism and making less monopoly profit! Poor babies!

Comment Re:Expert:Ebola Vaccine At Least 50 White People A (Score 1) 390

Of course, you could believe that Adam Smith missed something there

Adam Smith spoke of "goods" and "bads" but only one gets mentioned. There is supposed to be no downside to unfettered capitalism so long as it's not getting inflicted on you by a competitor - if it is then you get the government to step in and block those evil people that didn't go to school with Washington insiders.

Rants aside there seems to be at least three promising post-infection Ebola treatments that researchers have been testing on animals or are about to test. One is similar to the post-infection rabies vaccine in some way. If one of the works out well I'm sure "big pharma" will pick up the work from that publicly funded project and spend the money to develop it into a product. That's still a considerable sum even though their role these days is mostly product development while the public is footing the research bills.

Comment Indeed (Score 1) 138

Can you ...

...Imagine a world in which your wristwatch or other wearable device communicates directly with your online profiles, storing information about your daily activities where you can best access it â" all without requiring batteries.

All to well, I'm afraid. What I can't imagine is what the hell I or anybody else would want that? I'm not much of a Luddite, but being constantly online is just not part of my lifestyle, and seeing the quality of the online natterdom, I feel no attraction at all, on the contrary. It's just like having a million TV channels, all of them showing Big Brother and Coronation Street and nothing else, 24/7.

Comment Very short range (Score 1) 138

They're talking about very short ranges, like under 2 meters. This may not be too useful.

What we need in wireless power is for the inductive charging pad industry to get their act together. There are at least three competing standards (QI, PMA, and WiPower/Rezence), so they're not widely used. Last February, the PMA and WiPower groups agreed to develop multi-mode charging pads that will power both PMA and Rezence devices. Then there are some Samsung devices that will charge from either a Qi or a Rezence pad, but not a PMA pad.

Comment Re:Drilling through mud mixed with rocks. (Score 1) 101

whatever is above them in downtown Seattle.

Five city blocks (low-rise -- doesn't look to be anything over eight stories tall), a quarter-mile of the Alaska Way Viaduct, the entrance to the downtown ferry and water taxi docks, and two entrances to one of the larger docks at the Port of Seattle. If the tunnel is deeper than I think, or the soil is more liquid, add another seven city blocks (also low-rise), one park, the ferry docks themselves, part of the Port of Seattle dock, and maybe the football stadium.

Yes, disassembling from behind would be cheaper, if it worked. If anything went wrong, it would be far, far more expensive.

Comment Re:Good Thing (Score 1) 195

I calculated from the other end: assuming that the Bitcoin market represents an efficient market (ie. sale prices are only slightly above production prices), and that the marginal cost of mining hardware is 0:

- A bitcoin sells for $584
- Mining a block generates 25 bitcoins
- 144 blocks are mined per day
- 63000 transactions per day

584 * 25 * 144 / 63000 = $33.37 per transaction.

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