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Comment Re:Welcome to the future (Score 1) 631

Umm...yay!? Didn't we used to have to use some brilliant/analytical/scientific minds to create rulers and paper and textbooks and all the other necessities of research several centuries ago? Once discovered, didn't those tools free up more people to do more, and more difficult, research?

If we automate scientific research in some areas, those bright humans who would have otherwise been working on those problems are free to pursue some other, equally interesting areas. Have no fear, the Universe will constantly have more secrets for us to understand.

Comment Re:Why, just why!? (Score 1) 375

Maybe they can sell your capacity to someone else at a more profitable price?

Electric Co: "I'm sorry mister aluminum smelting plant, I simply don't have any more electricity to sell you. Even on your 3rd shift, pesky consumers are heating their homes and charging their electric cars, and there's just no more capacity in our system, no matter how many buckets of cash you throw at us."

...1 year later after 25% of consumers have smart meters...

Electric Co: "Still have those buckets of cash lying around mister aluminum smelting plant? We've found some extra capacity and are happy to accept 3 times more money than what the consumers were paying for it."

Comment Re:only going to get worse... (Score 1) 375

You'll find, in fact, that many electrical utilities WILL NOT LET YOU SHARE FOR MONEY because they don't want competition. If any Joe Schmoe can put PV cells on his roof and actually do for himself what the utilities charge a premium for, that might mean a few less pennies on the quarterly revenue statements and the utilities lobby hard to stop it before it starts. They'll claim it's because of safety for "their" grid (built on public land, financed with public money, I'll note) and not wanting homespun systems connected to their systems and threatening everybody's electricity. However, that argument holds no water because it's the same grid in the next city, next county, or next state, and yet they have no problems with certified and tested inverters operating in a net metering way.

Comment Re:only going to get worse... (Score 1) 375

So what, their solution is a control loop arms race between smart meter designers and freezer designers? Freezing is a fight against thermodynamics, and if the freezer is not maintaining it's own, optimized control over temperature, any delays are like borrowing from the Bank of Carnot. You can always "pay back" the delta T debt, but you'll owe inefficiency compound interest on top of it.

The damned freezer knows 2 things: 1) cold enough? and 2) compressor on?. I completely understand that there are additional factors for the larger picture, but, to co-opt a meme, "freezers gonna freeze" and it's not sane to have them bargain with the smart meter to do their sole function. This will add complexity, cost, and pollution (adding wireless, ARM controller, memory, etc to a freezer introduces many new parts requiring...you guessed it...MORE ELECTRICITY to design, build, ship, and support) to the freezer for a negligible benefit.

Comment Re:What, no one size fits all solution? (Score 1) 496

My wife's done her Master's thesis (http://goo.gl/rceG8) on Gardner, Beane, and Hayes-Jacobs, looking at integrated curriculum (specifically in/through the art classroom) and one of the major themes from her research has shown that teachers aren't always comfortable with multiple techniques for the same subject. If some students respond better to math concepts when they're presented through artistic methods (i.e. geometry perspective drawing), some math teachers are resistant because they fear losing their jobs to art teachers, and art teachers fear losing art classes if they get swallowed up into the other curricula.

And even more importantly, a teacher who can master the multiple techniques and/or disciplines needed to teach the "whole child" and the full spectrum of learning styles, are not produced in high quantities by the education departments at most universities, and are typically capable of seeing their value in fields that require multi-discipline expertise and offer better value for their services and moving to those fields. Or, if not a true master in many fields, but above average in more than one, become prime targets for advancement OUT OF THE CLASSROOM and into administration.

I don't know what the solution is, though my wife has some ideas that might help. Overall though, there's a huge barrier to implementing reforms that address these types of issues.

Submission + - SpiderOak Encrypted Online Storage Now Offers 50GB (spideroak.com)

wikdwarlock writes: "Perhaps you've heard about the privacy concerns surrounding DropBox's online storage solution. This might lead you to investigate other services with a better approach to securing your in-the-cloud files, and that might lead you further to SpiderOak. They now offer 50GB for referrals for current and new users, and that's a pretty decent amount of free storage!"

Submission + - U.S. Power Quality Downgrade (nwsource.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: In spite of virtually every line-powered clock in the U.S. using the 60 Hz line power frequency as their timebase, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is planning on stopping regulation of the quality of the 60 Hz frequency used in U.S. power.

Tweaking the power grid's frequency is expensive and takes a lot of effort, said Joe McClelland, head of electric reliability at FERC http://www.ferc.gov/

"Is anyone using the grid to keep track of time?" McClelland said. "Let's see if anyone complains if we eliminate it."

Submission + - Your Game Has Been Patched. Wait, What? (cheathappens.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Cheat Happens explores the recent trend of "over-patching" video games including quotes from game developers and insiders. Discover why games today require as many as 20 patches where games of previous years only required a small handful, if any.

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