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Comment Re:Ye olde 'negawatts' concept (Score 1) 155

California has given up on bringing new power generation online,

"Almost half of all capacity added in 2013 [across the US] was located in California." "Nearly 60% of the natural gas capacity [across the US] added in 2013 was located in California." http://www.eia.gov/todayinener...

California's total electrical generation capacity has gone from 55,344 MW in 2001, to 79,359 MW in 2015. That's an average increase of 1,644 MW of new capacity going online each and every year.


Energy standards in California call for 33 percent of the stateâ(TM)s power to come from renewables by 2020 and 50 percent by 2030, and so the state is building new wind and solar capacity as fast as possible. The recently built Ivanpah plant was the world's largest, and it's in California, not Arizona, for good reason.

In fact you can get a current list of power plants planned, under construction, and newly online, here:


Conservation is fine is a short-term solution to shortage - of anything - but in the long run there is no substitute for generating more power

California "has one of the lowest per capita total energy consumption levels in the country. California state policy promotes energy efficiency. The state's extensive efforts to increase energy efficiency and the implementation of alternative technologies have restrained growth in energy demand." https://www.eia.gov/state/anal...

Comment Re:HD on cellular (Score 1) 91

Do people really have to watch HD videos on cellular? Can't they wait until they get home near their WiFi's?

The cellular market is competitive, while the wired internet market is not. It won't be long before cellular internet service is cheaper than wired. In fact that has long since happened for light users.

You get charged about 3X as much for the same DSL speeds today as you did a decade ago. Cable has side-stepped the issue by just NOT providing lower speed service, and having their lowest-cost offering being $60/mo. Just look at Charter buying TW and dropping those pesky $15 service plans. And these are increasingly getting a low bandwidth cap, and customers are being forced into bundles.

Comment Re:We need this (Score 1) 234

My old flip-phone from 10 years ago lasted about a week on a single charge. Obviously, though, that's because it was doing jack-crap processing-wise compared to the mini-supercomputers we now all have in our pockets,

But how many years of process shrinks, improved LEDs, better radios, higher capacity batteries, etc., has it been since that flip phone was made? If manufacturers were chasing battery life, instead of biggest screen, thinnest phone and fastest processor, we could easily have smartphones running for several days between charges. Charging your phone twice a day has become the new normal, so nobody returns their power-hungry phones, and it's not prominently advertised, so manufacturers don't expect more sales from improving upon run-time and don't bother.

Think of it like web search engines just before Google came along... Everybody sucks equally, and one disruptive innovator jumping in could wipe the floor with everybody else.

Comment Re:Self-inflicted (Score 3, Insightful) 76

Yes, and those idiot's votes count the same as yours and mind. It is amazing how many people "me too" jump on some bullshit I've already proven to be false a few times before. Hoax is the poisoning of the mind for people too stupid to do their own thinking and prefer their news in a 600x600 image square. Whoever controls these drones, controls the vote, because they are half the population.

Or to paraphrase George Carlin, think about how stupid the average person is, then remember that half the population is dumber than they are.

Comment Re:The end justifies the means (Score 0) 303

It's probably not that meaningful, anyway. Somewhere around 20-40% of the info in these documents will turn out to be wrong or misleading in some critical way. Mostly, it'll just be a case of "name files", with info about different people with the same (or similar) names entered in the wrong place. People will learn pretty quickly to deny anything they don't like. Of course, others will believe whatever they want about you, especially if it was in some "secret" document. But they too will learn that the info about them is also full of errors. More importantly, your friends and relatives will learn the same thing.

I've yet to see any official document about me (including medical records) that didn't have some bizarre thing with unknown origin. The people who keep the records just respond with a grin and a comment starting with "Yeah ....".

Actually, my favorite example, which my wife loves telling other people, is one of those "not even wrong" things that a nurse wrote down after a routine exam, saying that I was 5'13" tall and weighted 135 pounds. I am in fact about six feet one inch, but 135 pounds would make me one of the scrawniest six-footers on the planet. She'd used one of those old-fashioned scales with sliding weights, and had forgotten that she'd slid over a third 50-pound weight. But I've since then seen several personal histories that include that 135-pound weight back then. Once such things get into the database, they're almost impossible to correct. This is especially true of medical records. This can be really annoying to those that've had a "false positive" diagnosis somewhere along the line. But such things are pretty good at teaching you how much you can trust the "official" data about other people.

(I sometimes wonder if official records in other "advanced" countries are as screwed up as they are here in the US. I'd guess that they probably are.)


people do have their names :)

Not really; according to the US Census Bureau, there are about 1800 Americans with my (first+last) name. And probably a whole bunch of them have the same middle name, which is also one of the top 10 men's names in the US. My parents didn't have much imagination when it came to baby names.

OTOH, my wife continues to use her birth name for most purposes (which is fine by me). She likes the fact that, as far as she can determine, she's the only living human with that name. (And it's not even some unpronounceable "foreign" sounding name. She also likes to point out to people that her name is a syntactically correct English sentence. She has even found archived newspaper images that have her name at the top of a story. ;-)

But anyway, most of us don't "have" our names in any meaningful sense. We're just one of many who are using the name for a few decades, until we drop out of the crowd that are using it.

In college, I had a friend who was a member of the Bill Smith Club, whose only membership criterion is that you be named (or married to someone named) Bill Smith (or William Smythe or Wilhelm Schmidt or anything else that maps onto the name).

Comment Re:Recaptcha for Audio (Score 1) 113

what color is grass when it is dead? 1 green, 2 blue, 3 yellow, 4 brown.

I HATE questions like this. All those captchas, as well as text book questions back in my school days, you have to pretend to be an idiot in order to guess the answer they want (which is often different from the "right" or "correct" answer).

What color is dead grass? Yellow seems a reasonable choice to me. I've seen lots of yellow spots in otherwise green lawns everybody calls "dead patches". Green might be the correct answer in many places where owners have resorted to painting the dead grass (or dirt) to fulfill HOA or city requirements. And all these exceptions to the simplest question you could come up with!

Google's capchas are pretty terrible, too. Click on photos containing houses? Lots of squareish (possibly commercial) buildings in there could go either way. And how many people call their condo or apartment their "house"? So those high-rises might qualify, depending on your POV. And that's before you get into homelessness and photos of bridges, dumpsters, empty cardboard boxes, etc.

My physics textbook had the worst stupid questions. Some seemed intentional tricks, but I'm not so sure in hindsight, as so many others were just idiotic and wrong. "What falls faster, a bowling ball or a feather?" The supposed correct answer is both are equal, because you're wrong to just assume we're on Earth in an atmosphere. But with "Does a car use more gas when the headlights turn on?" the accepted answer is Yes, and there's no consideration of different models with massively overpowered engines which won't even notice the different in load.

I'll wrap up my rant here.

Comment Re:DSL shouldn't be considered broadband any more. (Score 1) 104

G.fast over copper = gigabit dsl

Only if you can throw a rock out your window and hit the DSLAM, are you going to get gigabit speeds over DSL. In a realistic scenario, even the best-case is less than half that... data rates of 500 Mbit/s up to 100m from the DSLAM.

Comment Re:DSL shouldn't be considered broadband any more. (Score 1) 104

(Telecommunications) a transmission technique using a wide range of frequencies that enables messages to be sent simultaneously, used in fast internet connections. See also baseband

When DSL stops using multiple frequencies, you can stop calling it broadband. And don't forget that Ethernet is baseband, no matter how fast or slow it may be. /. used to have a technical audience... I guess this place is all but abandoned, now.

Comment Re:No broadband competition where I live (Score 0) 104

Imagine for a second, that the municipality owned that last mile, and leased it based on the customer/subscriber and the Vendor having a contract for service.

* Network build-out goes slower, and is even more strictly limited to those politically and financially influential areas.
* Your city goes into bond debt, which doubles the cost, and raises taxes to fund what build-out they do.
* Internet prices are higher, as the government insists on getting all their money back, up-front.
* Service is worse, as your municipal government isn't nearly as financially motivated to fix or upgrade lines, and you don't even have a duopoly with competing lines to switch to.
* The guys hired to do this will be firms that specialize in filling-out paperwork properly, with no skills to speak of.
* Those in charge will be political appointees who have no technical knowledge and do everything the worst way possible.
* You can't vote with your wallet, and in the general election, a few angry internet users is too small a voice to be an election issue or affect the outcome.
* You can forget about EVER getting speed upgrades, as there's no competition or incentive in general for the municipality to ever do better.

The gas and water lines running under major cities are notoriously over a century old, only getting replaced when they fail in spectacular fashion. Service is overpriced compared to alternatives, and frequently structured so you're required to PAY the basic rate even if you aren't hooked-up to and using them. And that's with a technologically simple, low-tech utility service.

Comment Re:No broadband competition where I live (Score 1) 104

I'm not in Comcast territory, but I'm not much better off. Time Warner Cable... I mean Charter is my only high-speed wired option.

I'd give anything to have Time Warner as "my only high-speed wired option". They're the only ones offering $15/mo internet service to everyone (other providers have $10/mo service only for a few low-income families). When I moved-in here, I had the choice of $65/mo FIOS or $50/mo cable.

Now that the idiots who are supposed to be helping the public instead just let Charter buy Time Warner with no restrictions, you've got the choice of $40/mo or $60/mo internet service, and NOTHING ELSE.

Comment Re:Captain Obvious (Score 1) 160

Why do you think Verizon et al is now trying desperately to get out of the wireline business?

Verizon is getting out of the wire line business because, while it is profitable, there is more profit in putting that money into wireless. Verizon used their public utility status to subsidize and develop their wireless network, and now that they've rung all the value out of that privileged position, they don't need it anymore (except in Boston).

It's a strange market distortion... Profitable is never profitable enough, if there's anything out there which is making money quicker, even if it's not as safe and consistent.

Comment Re: interstellar mission (Score 1) 347

I doubt you millennials will get us to Mars let alone out of the solar system. Science is hard and you are soft.

Actually, the same could be said about every generation/cohort. Most of the population are usually the anti-thinking sort who contribute nothing much to our knowledge. The advances have always come from a tiny minority who are typically not much respected by their cohorts. There's a tiny minority of "millennials" who are involved in making the advances that most of us won't live to appreciate. They're not hard to find if you hang out with the right crowds, but most people (including the /. crowd) would never bother with that.

Comment Re:How long does it take to actually die in Linked (Score 1) 109

The link in those emails asks you to CREATE an account, so that you can setup email preferences. They had no other way to opt out. I guess Google put their foot down, because now there's an list-unsubscribe@linkedin.com address that gmail uses to opt you out when you flag it as spam.

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