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Submission + - G83-Lite: Solar Nanogeneration For Everyone (earth.org.uk)

DamonHD writes: In the UK, the G83 standard allows any householder to connect microgeneration totalling up to a little under 4kW (16A per phase) to the grid, and they can't be refused.

But the connection has to be done by a suitably qualified electrician which makes any microgeneration relatively expensive and a nuisance to install. (The US government estimates soft costs such as paperwork to be a substantial fraction of solar install costs circa 2011.)

Shouldn't it be be possible for an individual householder to do their bit for the grid with more-or-less the same ease that they buy a new kettle, ie that they should be able to buy a cheap off-the-shelf mass-produced device that they can plug into an ordinary mains socket at one end and at the other a solar PV generating curtain liner or solar awning or shutters, etc?

Submission + - Hash indexes are faster than Btree indexes? (blogspot.in)

amitkapila writes: PostgreSQL supports Hash Index from a long time, but they are not much used in production mainly because they are not durable. Now, with the next version of PostgreSQL, they will be durable. The immediate question is how do they perform as compared to Btree indexes. This blog has tried to answer that question.

Submission + - US Secretary of Defense: Climate Change National Security Issue (propublica.org)

omaha393 writes: Secretary of Defense James Mattis identified climate change as a national security risks to the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to unpublished comments sent to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Secretary Mattis joins several scientific and policy experts as well as the Pentagon Study urging action to address climate change. While Secretary Mattis’ position seems at odds with other members of the White House cabinet, this is hardly the first time Mattis has offered contrary opinions on major policy decisions. Other members of the cabinet, including Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, have changed their tones on the subject, now supporting the evidence that man-made climate change is real and may pose a threat to national security. How climate change will be addressed under the new administration remains to be seen, as advisors the White House have indicated the administration intends to pull out of the Paris Climate Accords and the recently revealed "budget blueprint" seeks to slash funding to climate change alleviation.

Submission + - Trump's proposed budget would result in big spending cuts for renewables (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: The Trump administration's newly released 2018 budget proposal outlining changes to discretionary would likely cut spending on renewable energy. For example, not only does the proposed budget cut the EPA and Energy Department budget by 31% and 6%, respectively, it would also not fund the Clean Power Plan and other climate change programs. With the CPP gone, the U.S. would likely see fewer retirements of coal-fired power plants due to carbon emissions and less impetus for the procurement of utility-grade solar power. The good news for renewables: the budget would not have any impact on the solar investment tax credit, carbon tax proposals or state-based solar subsidies, according to Amit Ronen, director of the Solar Institute at George Washington University. Additionally, renewable energy resources, such as solar panels, have gained too much momentum and aren't likely to be deterred by regulatory changes at this point, according to Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group, a clean energy research firm. For example, even with the dissolution of the CPP, the number of coal-fired generators is still expected to be reduced by about one-third through 2030, or by about 60 gigawatts of capacity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Meanwhile, wind and solar are by far the fastest growing energy sectors, which indicates an appetite by utilities and consumers that is highly unlikely to be slowed by regulatory changes at the federal level, experts said.

Submission + - Critical Information for Aviators Bogged Down In 'Ridiculous' 1920s NOTAM System 2

Freshly Exhumed writes: Mark Zee of OpsGroup, an entity that provides airlines and aircraft operators worldwide with critical flight information, has had enough of the NOTAM system of critical information notices to aviators, decrying that it has become 'absolutely ridiculous. We communicate the most critical flight information, using a system invented in 1920, with a format unchanged since 1924, burying essential information that will lose a pilot their job, an airline their aircraft, and passengers their lives, in a mountain of unreadable, irrelevant bullshit.'

Submission + - Google releases open source 'Guetzli' JPEG encoder (betanews.com)

BrianFagioli writes: Today, Google releases yet another open source project. Called "Guetzli," it is a JPEG encoder that aims to produce even smaller image file sizes. In fact, the search giant claims a whopping 35 percent improvement over existing JPEG compression. If you are wondering why smaller file sizes are important, it is quite simple — the web. If websites can embed smaller images, users can experience faster load times while using less data.

While Google didn't aim to improve JPEG image quality with Guetzli, it seems it has arguably done so. It is subjective, but the search giant surveyed human beings and found they preferred Google's open source offering 75 percent of the time. Smaller file sizes and better image quality? Wow! Google has done something amazing here.

Comment Re:The past is not always a good guide to the futu (Score 3, Interesting) 68

Artificial intelligence is highly adept at spotting patterns and making predictions that are much too small and subtle for humans to pick out

But all the patterns that AI extracts are historical. They all assume that the events in the future will be caused by, and will act out, the same things that happened in the past.

The recent past remains statistically a good guide to the near future. Contingency plans deal with the rest. Using the former better saves money and makes the latter *less* likely.

We have seen this with computerised trading: that all they can do is find a past pattern of actions and try to fit that to what is happening now and will continue into the future. AIs have no ability to understand when the rules have changed, or when new and previously unseen conditions need to be applied.

The UKs electricity generation often runs very, very, close to its limits in the winter. Mainly due to cost-cutting: why spend money on maintaining plant and excess capacity when it won't be used?

To employ AI to shave further percentage points and thereby run even closer to the limits simply reduces the margin for the unexpected. And being unexpected, you can't blame an AI for not spotting those patterns in the past.

A dangerous game.

It's more likely about better scheduling/forecasting than cutting any reserve.

Cover for the largest expected single generator failure were increased when Sizewell (nuke) and then Longannet (coal) tripped in close succession in 2008. Maybe better modelling would have had the increased cover in place *before* then and 500,000 people would not have lost power.

Rgds

Damon

PS. BTW, I worked with low-latency traders. I suspect it doesn't work quite how you imagine.

Comment Lots of opportunities like this (Score 1) 68

Here was one I wrote up at the weekend:

http://www.earth.org.uk/Hey-Si...

Guess what could compute a daily forecast ready to upload to those phones and laptops, just for example, as well as some real-time polling?

Some of it could be based on the data used here:

http://www.earth.org.uk/_gridC...

Rgds

Damon

Submission + - Aquion Energy criticized as another "Solandra" (foxnews.com)

rmdingler writes: Longtime, RFTA-challenged, Slashdot poster, *rmdingler*, reports: A cutting-edge battery maker that received millions from taxpayers has become the latest government-backed energy firm to file for bankruptcy – reviving the controversy over how stimulus dollars were spent under the last administration. Seven years after Aquion Energy received a $5.2 million stimulus-tied grant from the federal government, the Pennsylvania company on Wednesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A whole $5.2 million US? Gosh, that's like, a sub-sub-sub Agency's rounding margin for the company Independence Day BBQ.

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