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Comment Re:I'm conflicted on this (Score 1) 303

Solar power is now cheaper than coal in some parts of the world. In less than a decade, itâ(TM)s likely to be the lowest-cost option almost everywhere

When or if that happens then let me know, at that point expect me to be a supporter of solar power. As it is right now, today, even the most expensive nuclear power is cheaper than solar in many places of the world. As Dr. Dewan from TransAtomic said, "If it's not cheaper than coal then why bother?" She was speaking of nuclear power but the same applies to solar. If it's not cheaper than coal then it's not worth it.

Also, what are we supposed to do until solar is cheaper than coal? I say we build nuclear power. Right now it's nuclear, coal, or it gets real dark and cold.

Solar is no more unreliable than any other power generation method. Oregon's Trojan nuclear plant was down for repairs almost as much as it operated, and was shut down and demolished after only 16 years (of a 35-year operating license) because the steam generation system was falling apart.

Sure, point out the one failure and hold that up as an example of all nuclear. I can point out a number of solar power plants that set themselves on fire too if you want to play that game. As it is right now in the USA we have about 80 nuclear power plants with better than 80% uptime, and are expected to do so for 80 years since they first went critical. Oh, and nuclear power is a lot safer too. When Homer Simpson trips and falls that's called a "nuclear accident" which is put on the front page above the fold, but when a solar power worker falls off a roof that's an "industrial accident" and might be seen in the obits. Turns out that a lot more people die from solar power accidents than in nuclear power, when compared to energy produced.

I will admit this is a problem for large scale implementations, but Elon Musk's new battery giga-factory might have something to say about that.

How long do we have to wait for that to get to a price someone other than a Tesla driver can afford? What do we do until then? Sit in the dark? I say we build nuclear power plants.

Comment Re:I'm conflicted on this (Score 1) 303

Solar is inexpensive enough that it can be installed in many places and financed over time so that the homeowner can save money and the company financing can make money.

True only if the current government subsidies continue. Let's assume that government subsides didn't make the difference, that solar was considered inexpensive even if unsubsidized, then there is still the problem of placement. There's a lot of people that live in not so sunny areas. Rooftop solar might work in Sacramento but I doubt it will in Seattle.

If you doubt any of this, you have to ask yourself: why does Wyoming need a law that discourages solar? Why not just let the market decide?

I'm all for letting the market decide. This means ending those solar subsidies. This, at least IMHO, should mean ending residential backfeeding unless the utility actually asked for it. Laws requiring the utility to act as a battery for solar equipped homes is a subsidy in disguise.

This is the coal industry fighting for its life.

No doubt. It could also be the utilities getting fed up with having to accommodate the residential solar backfeeding to the grid. This back feeding is dangerous to line crews, a headache for demand planning, and a means to divert funds from those that can afford to buy solar power kit (the wealthy) on the backs of those that cannot (the poor).

Part of the problem here is that the utilities are rarely ever asked if they want solar power on their grid. Laws require them to buy this power even if they don't want it. Let's bring this free market, I expect solar power to lose, and badly.

Comment Re:I'm conflicted on this (Score 1) 303

Nuclear power is currently cheaper than solar thermal with storage. Cite:

The cost of PV solar is cheaper than nuclear only when built up at utility scale in high insolation areas. Not much help for a lot of the population. Running wires to places that have sun to places with people would get the power to where it is needed but this adds to the cost.

Claiming that solar is cheap when people need it most is just outright provably false. Go look at demand curves for once and you will see what I mean. Demand peaks at dusk, when there isn't enough sun left to matter. At noon power demand tends to dip a little actually, probably due to people stopping work for lunch.

Also, no civil power reactor is used to make weapons. The people building these things are bound by law to make sure that such a use is impossible. The last dual use reactor blew its lid in the 1980s, and that is only one of many reasons why all similar reactors have been dismantled long ago.

Comment I'm conflicted on this (Score 1) 303

I'm not a fan of solar power. It's expensive, unreliable, and lacking any kind of storage or backup power it is pretty much useless. If given enough cheap storage then any energy source looks good. Which is one thing that boggles me about those that say, "Just you wait, when we get good batteries any day now then you'll love solar power." If we had this magical battery technology then why would we bother using solar power to charge it? Wind, nuclear, and even natural gas would be better choices. They are cheaper than solar, and with a battery for load balancing they'd meet every need for power without expensive and dirty peak power plants.

I'm okay with wind. It's generally cheap when put in the right places. The problem is that with government subsidies they are not put in the right places. The subsidies are made to subsidize capacity, not necessarily output. So what happens is that windmills are put close to natural gas lines, so that the backup generators have fuel and they don't have to run a power line that isn't carrying power.

Nuclear is good. It's the safest energy source we know of, based on deaths and injuries per MWh produced. It's got the lowest carbon output, if one believes that is even a problem. It's cheap, reliable, and domestically sourced. Any law that makes building nuclear power sounds good to me.

A big problem for me though is that this messes with the free market. People should be able to choose where their energy comes from on their own. That means that not only is this bill a bad idea but so is those laws that made this bill necessary in the first place. Had they taken a gentler hand on this, by merely cancelling out the federal subsidies on these energy sources, then I could probably support it. They took it a bit far with these punitive taxes. But then this makes nuclear power look good.

I'm torn on this one.

Comment Re: Wind and Solar are Environmental Disasters (Score 2, Informative) 303

No, birds just run into things. I remember a study where someone tried to figure out why birds ran into windows so often. They found out that birds just run into things, like trees. I grew up on a farm where the birds liked to run into the farmhouse quite often. We'd hear them thump against the wall. Living in the suburbs now I still hear them thump, just not as often. This has probably less to do with where I live and more to do with the thicker walls on my current house compared to the house I grew up in.

Comment Re:Hopefully It's The UI Design and Privacy Teams (Score 1) 154

I would fire the guy who made the registry to begin with. It was always a bad idea.

The registry as originally created was actually a great idea. Every program still used ini files for it's own settings, but you had the registry, very small at the time, as a sort of "global ini file" for things like file associations that needed to be centralized. A lightweight DB-style approach was safer for third parties to edit than a tree of text files - it actually limited the damage of an installer bug.

Then some asshole got the idea to move all program settings into the registry, and a ton of OS settings that could have stayed in ini files, and the downhill slide began. By the era of Win95 it had gone to a very bad place, and never really recovered.

Comment Re: The death spiral is continuing. (Score 1) 154

Obviously, your family members don't do any real work.

You'll find that's common for kids and retirees.

Meanwhile, in the office, Apple laptops are the norm in the tech industry. Boggles my mind, since they don't even have docking stations, and the battery life is about half of what I get, but there it is. What I've been seeing for years is 90% Apple, 5% Windows, 5% Ubuntu.

Comment Re: The death spiral is continuing. (Score 1) 154

What percentage of PCs don't run Windows?

Where I work, one of the "big 5" tech companies, about 5% do run Windows. That's a higher percent then you'll find at Google or (obviously) Apple. Windows is vanishing from tech companies. That's a good sign that in a generation it will be vanishing everywhere else.

Comment Re:Now how about... (Score 1) 111

Tell me more about how brown people can't solve their own problems, but they can only be solved from the outside. Do you have more details about your Final Solution to the India problem?

India is an emerging economy. Change takes time, but their economy is growing at twice the rate of the US economy, and unlike Chine their manufacturing base is for local consumers, not exports. They're certainly capable of becoming a modern industrialized nation, and have come a long way along that path in the past 20 years. They're certainly moving faster than we did in our industrial revolution.

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