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Comment Re:As the phone company, I fail to see... (Score 1) 184

But yet Apple does it all the time. So does Google if you bought a Nexus directly from them. Why can't the rest?

Apple does it because you are still incentivized to buy a new iPhone every 18 months, and probably lust after it in a shorter period than that.

Google can update the nexus because it's usually a "bring your own device, off contract" thing. I.e. you bought it without a plan by paying for it up front, and in exchange you get updates and the ability to do exactly the thing carriers don't want you to be able to do: switch carriers. So they charge more on the plan, and you pay maybe 30% of the extra amount (say $10 a month instead of $30 a month to get a subsidized over 18 months iPhone thrown into the deal).

The rest can't do it because you aren't willing to pay full cost for their phones up front, because frankly, the phones are crap compared to an iPhone or a Google Nexus. The only way you can sell them at all is on a subsidy plan, which suits the carriers just fine, since that gets you locked into the contract.

They tolerate Apple, because as long as they keep coming out with new shiny, people put on the contract handcuffs voluntarily.

They tolerate Google because they tolerate "bring your own device" as a marketing means of providing the illusion of choice, when they know that only a tiny minority is going to exercise that choice. If everyone started paying cash up front for their phones so they could go month to month, the carriers would come unglued, since they only axis they'd have available to compete on would be service.

Comment Re:uranium runs out (Score 1) 309

Yeah, that's still an issue. Except...you're running your laundry on a timer now.

The models you listed on that link do not have start timers. Electronic controls, yes; but without timers, all that means is you can't mechanically set a setting, and then have a timer power the thing on at a specific time. Nor do they have protocol based external management, so you could trigger them at a particular solar generating level that's sustained over a period of time to avoid using grid power, and program a (much smarter) external system to run them.

These appliances are not as smart as they'd need to be, and even if they are, they're not smart in the right direction, nor are the external control management systems there yet for doing things like coordinating the dishwasher vs. the laundry.

Just have it set to run twice each week on different days instead of twice in one day, back-to-back.

Dude or dudette, I totally promise not to tell your SO that you just put their favorite yellow shorts that they've had since college in with your new blue shirt and turned them green. But you *will* be buying them that expensive dinner by way of apology.

Us laundry ninjas know you can't just throw in anything with anything else. Some things will simply shred if you put them in with some other things, like delicates and thick towels, instead of putting them on a different cycle. What this boils down to is that any given laundry day requires multiple loads.

Put in the next load before you go to work, take the dry clothes out when you get home, no problem.

And forget this, if you have kids: there's no such thing as a small amount of laundry, or two day a week laundry.

---

Look, personally, I want local energy storage: I don't want to have to change everything, just because I'm going to be powering everything with the big fusion reactor up in the sky, instead of the little fission reactor down the coast. At some point, it becomes a quality of life issue, and that point hits pretty hard with solar in a different way.

As soon as there's enough solar capacity, and people aren't home to use it, then it redefined "off peak" and "on peak". The "off peak" hours are during the day, when generating capacity exceeds demand, and the "on peak" hours are during the morning and evening, when you're at home and awake, but the sun isn't shining, so there's more demand on the grid, because everyone else keeps the same hours you do.

One of the reasons the PUC in Nevada got rid of net metering was because Nevada was on a trajectory to eventually hit this "solar tipping point", and it was obvious to the utility company that at that point, they'd be paying spot market prices for energy, mostly in the evenings, and they'd end up pretty screwed.

Unless I can have local storage, and it's got to be able to store everything I can generate all day, assuming it starts out dry, the "grid battery" approach looks to be doomed to jacking my utility bills right back to where they used to be, so the power company can maintain revenue under the pretense of "we have to maintain the grid, but all these people have solar, and aren't paying us enough for us to be able to afford to maintain it".

The only viable alternative is to be able to pull the plug completely. And sadly, solar is just not there yet.

Comment Re: Fuck mdsolar (Score 1) 309

You are letting your little far right extremism brain.

Sorry, I think you have "nuclear" confused with "big oil". If you want far right extremism, that's the next door down.

Carter stopped it, rightly, and raygun restarted it.

And then it was stopped again.

In addition reprocessing is not the right solution.

What is the solution, then? It's not the sun shining day and night, and it's not the wind blowing all the time.

Comment As the phone company, I fail to see... (Score 1) 184

As the phone company, I fail to see how allowing you to push an update that you've not re-certified to not break our network, over our network is going to lock consumers into a new two year contract every 18 months.

We also fail to see how not incentivizing the purchase of a new contact subsidized phone gets the customer locked into a new two year contract every 18 months.

Comment Re:Uber is not "Ride Sharing" (Score 1) 442

Taxi's potentially compete with Uber (and Town Cars), but Uber (and Town Cars) does not compete with ad hoc taxi service.

The person called Uber instead of a taxi. You don't call that competing?

Not with taxis.

With town cars, yes. With the SuperShuttle, yes. With me getting on the phone with my friend Phil, and begging him to come pick me up, and if he does, I'll buy him a six pack of that nasty ale he drinks, "Just please, PLEASE don't make me take a taxi!", yes.

But with taxis? No.

Comment Re:What is it that you say? (Score 1) 442

I constantly get there are no Cars available messages when ever I try to use Uber. With a taxi, I can prearrange specific pickup times and the every time I have done this, they show up 10 minutes early. I can't rely on Uber to get me to the airport on time, I can with a Taxi.

Yet by your own admission, you keep trying to use Uber anyway, and only use the taxi after you get the "no Cars available" message from Uber.

There must be something you like better about Uber than taxis, if you keep trying to use it, or you'd just be using taxis all the time.

Right?

Comment Re:uranium runs out (Score 2, Insightful) 309

Since uranium runs out, the subsidies for nuclear never tend to zero the way the do for solar which can produce energy without bound long after subsidies end.

Uranium doesn't "run out" if you use breeder reactors. They effectively have fuel indefinitely.

Solar panels are good for about 20 years. That's what the three major Solar sales companies in the Bay Area said, when they visited my house, and we talked about it. Sadly, on the lease program, Solar City was not willing to install updated panels when better panels became available: I was stuck with them for the "full lifetime of 20 years". Also on the lease programs, all three companies owned the panels on my roof, which means that they, not I, got the tax subsidy for them.

Basically: none of them produced quite enough power for both my house and my cottage tenant, they all wanted me to use PG&E as a battery, but admitted that the Nevada PUC decision to disallow net metering was probably going to happen soon in my area as well, since the electric companies really dislike net metering, and they agreed, that because the Smart Meters(tm) required to have Solar in the first place allowed differential rates of payment at different times of day, that I would likely get paid less during the day when my panels were generating electricity, and have to pay more in the mornings and evenings (when I was actually home from work, duh!).

Their suggestion was to put all my appliances on timers so that they ran while I was at work; I asked for their advice on where to buy a robot to move clothes from my washer to my dryer, so that I didn't have to run the dryer at night, either. They had no answer.

With the nuclear waste problem, subsidies for nuclear likely increase without bound. You've misunderstood the situation.

What nuclear waste situation? Oh. You mean the one Jimmy Carter created on April 7, 1977, when he ordered support cut for the Barnwell reprocessing plant or the construction of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor.

The one we could make "go away" pretty easily by reversing his executive order.

That nuclear waste problem, right?

Comment Re:Reminds me of a crazy, hot girlfriend (Score 1) 309

Nuclear energy is the crazy hot girlfriend of energy. She may be nice, kind, and wonderful for days, months, or years - maybe decades. But someday, somehow, she's going to go berserk on you. 100% chance.

She wouldn't have gone off on you, if you hadn't also been porking Coal, Oil, Solar, and now that bitch Wind!

Comment Re:What Envirmental Wacko caused it? (Score 1) 309

Why is why those cleaning products have labels on them that say "do not mix with any other cleaning product".

I believe the thinking (such as it is) goes something like:

"They're just trying to get you to not buy a competing product, once you've bought theirs... they are both cleaners, right?"

Comment Re:Fuck mdsolar (Score 2, Informative) 309

Because they think that the plutonium produced(and mostly consumed if those reactors are allowed to keep working instead of being shut down to harvest it) will spontaneously get up and walk away.

Specifically it's to keep countries like North Korea and Pakistan from getting nuclear weapons.

Oopsie. Looks like that worked out, didn't it...

The U.S. is the only major nuclear power that doesn't reprocess spent fuel; Russia does, Japan does, France does, Great Britain did, and, until Germany recently decided to no longer be a nuclear power, they had France process their for them. Thank Jimmy Carter for the executive order; we have a nice, shiny new reprocessing plant that's been mothballed.

Comment This is the problem—Linux is inherently unfr (Score 0) 305

to the kinds of development that UX needs.

In the commercial world, there is a hierarchy whose basic job is to say "no" to everyone's pet idea. To refuse to adopt an initiative proposed by someone, and instead to allocate their resources, against their will, to the *single* direction that the team has been ordered to take. Good or bad. Because even if bad, a single bad direction properly executed by a sizable team with enough labor to complete it well is better than a thousand bad directions each executed by a single individual or a small handful of individuals who lack the resources to complete it, yet chuck it out there alongside all of the other 999 incomplete bad directions.

But the whole *point* of OSS *is exactly* that if you don't like what everyone else is doing, you can do your own thing. That is the basic philosophy. And that's why Linux UX never improves in the free and open space. Because there is nobody with the authority so say, "No, the product will *not* include that, and you *will* dedicate all of your labor to what it has been decided *will* be included."

So the bazaar happens. But the problem with the bazaar as opposed to the cathedral is that the bazaar is only a single story high. You can't build seriously tall stuff without an organized, managed collective of labor. Surge, you get lots of interesting stuff. But very little of it, if any of it, is epic. It's all the size that one single bazaar shopkeeper can build, to man their own little shop.

The Linux kernel avoided this problem because of the cult of personality (not meant in a bad way, but in the technical sense) surrounding Linus. People defer to him. He decides what's in and out, and he does a reasonable amount of labor allocation even if in an interesting, socially backhanded way that's not common. But it works—he is "in charge" enough in everyone's minds that there ends up being one kernel, with leadership.

Nobody similar has emerged in Linux userspace, and it would seem that Linus-like people are a rare enough phenomenon that it's unlikely that one will emerge at any point before the question is irrelevant. The pent-up demand just isn't there now for good Linux UX, like it was for a sound kernel and high-capability OS that didn't cost a fortune, as it was during the late '80s/early '90s boom. The social mechanics just aren't there to generate it.

The Linux desktop as a really sound piece of tech and UX engineering... will never happen. That era has passed, and the problems have been solved—by other platforms. And Android is a very good counterexample. There *was* enough emerging demand for a mobile operating system that wasn't iOS but that offered the same capabilities, and voila—Android. When there is enough demand, there is space for one shopkeeper at the bazaar to emerge as a champion for the needs of others, and to accumulate sufficient influence by acclamation that a cathedral structure can emerge organically.

The bazaar is merely an incubator of ideas. The cathedrals are the epic and actually useful accomplishments. It takes demand and allegiance-pledging at the bazaar from many attendees to lead in the end to a cathedral. This means that the bazaar has to be big, and that the shopkeeper in question has to have an idea that many, many are not just interested in, but willing to work toward—enough to sacrifice their own autonomy and submit to leadership. This just doesn't exist for desktop Linux any longer. It got close during the height of Windows dominance, but there was never quite enough demand to make it happen organically. And now the time has passed. The desktop Linux people are running little shops at the bazaar that don't get a lot of foot traffic, and nobody is seeking them out. They are the kings of very tiny, forgotten kingdoms without enough labor resources or wealth to even maintain their castles any longer—and as a result, there is nothing but infighting, strange hacks to maintain castles on the cheap, and lots of started-but-never-to-be-finished foundations of castles for historians to pick through (or, more likely, forget).

I predict that Linux will continue to be a significant part of whatever new "booms" in technology happen, so long as Linus is significantly involved in kernel development. But the window for desktop Linux has just plain passed.

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