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Comment Re:Wind and Solar are Environmental Disasters (Score 1) 489

There are a few combined cycle GT power plants in the US (more in Europe), but the vast majority of gas turbines are used for cycling and summer/winter peak power. It is not cost efficient to use a recovery boiler in that type of service.

And in the US at least combined cycle GT plants have proved operationally difficult, with turndown and stability problems often requiring the use of duct burners to keep the boiler side stable (there goes the efficiency) and high forced outage rates on the boiler. I've seen a lot of large GT plants (50 - 150 MW) with space on the layout drawings for "future HRSG". That's where you park your truck.


Comment Re: Interstate commerce? (Score 1) 489

= = =
Throwing yet another twist into a long-running saga, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on April 27 blocked a pair of power purchase agreements (PPAs) that would have supported continued operation of FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse nuclear plant and several aging coal-fired plants belonging to FirstEnergy and AEP.

The Pubic Utilities Commission of Ohio approved the PPAs on March 31 over strident objections from ratepayer groups and rival generators. FirstEnergy and AEP say the PPAs are necessary to keep the plants operating, and that their closure would imperil reliability in the state. Consumer groups charge that the deals, which would have allowed the utilities’ distribution units to purchase power from the plants at guaranteed, above-market rates for eight years, amounted to corporate welfare.

On April 27, in a pair of rulings, FERC agreed with the groups challenging the PPAs, rescinding previous waivers it had issued to FirstEnergy and AEP allowing them to purchase power from their affiliate generators. Loss of the waivers effectively blocks the utilities from purchasing power under the PPAs until FERC has had a chance to review them.

“While it is true that Ohio ratepayers will continue to have a statutory right to choose one retail supplier over another, we conclude, based on the record, that [Ohio ratepayers] are nonetheless captive in that they have no choice as to payment of the non-bypassable generation-related charges incurred under the Affiliate PPA,” the FERC ruling said. “These non-bypassable charges present the ‘potential for the inappropriate transfer of benefits from [captive] customers to the shareholders of the franchised public utility,’ and, thus, could undermine the goal of the Commission’s affiliate restrictions.”= = =

You need to read up a bit on the FERC, federal primacy in interstate power markets, and how the bulk electric system works.


Comment Re:All about the fight (Score 1) 489

= = =
WASHINGTON — As President Barack Obama was celebrating his inauguration at various balls, top Republican lawmakers and strategists were conjuring up ways to submarine his presidency at a private dinner in Washington.

The event — which provides a telling revelation for how quickly the post-election climate soured — serves as the prologue of Robert Draper’s much-discussed and heavily-reported new book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives.”

According to Draper, the guest list that night (which was just over 15 people in total) included Republican Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Paul Ryan (Wis.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) and Dan Lungren (Calif.), along with Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.). The non-lawmakers present included Newt Gingrich, several years removed from his presidential campaign, and Frank Luntz, the long-time Republican wordsmith. Notably absent were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) — who, Draper writes, had an acrimonious relationship with Luntz.

For several hours in the Caucus Room (a high-end D.C. establishment), the book says they plotted out ways to not just win back political power, but to also put the brakes on Obama’s legislative platform.

“If you act like you’re the minority, you’re going to stay in the minority,” Draper quotes McCarthy as saying. “We’ve gotta challenge them on every single bill and challenge them on every single campaign.”= = =

Comment Re:All about the fight (Score 2) 489

= = = Often the "compromise" wanted is complete capitulation so the people who see themselves firmly on the "right" can appear "strong". = = =

Otherwise known as a "Mitch McConnell compromise". You give us everything we want, plus the transfer fee for the gaming license, and we get to go on TV and explain to our base that you capitulated.


Comment Re:Wind and Solar are Environmental Disasters (Score 4, Informative) 489

Gas turbine power plants are not exactly friendly to birds. I've walked across parking lots in the morning that looked like the dumpster at the rotisserie chicken place had been knocked over.


(insects are drawn to the warmth radiating from the exhaust stack wall. Birds dive after the insects, and if they dive through the exhaust, toasted bird)


Qualcomm Fined $865 Million By South Korean Antitrust Regulator ( 14

South Korea's antitrust regulator has fined Qualcomm $854 million for what it called unfair business practices in patent licensing and modem chip sales, a decision the U.S. chipmaker said it will challenge in court. From a report on ZDNet: Qualcomm's business model includes collecting royalty payments from clients, which are calculated on the price of the handset using the chip, rather than the price of the chipset itself, and royalties from its patents. The KFTC has said it will issue a corrective order specifying the precise business practices with which it took issue, although Qualcomm has pointed out that this usually takes between four and six months. "Qualcomm strongly believes that the KFTC findings are inconsistent with the facts, disregard the economic realities of the marketplace, and misapply fundamental tenets of competition law," Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel for Qualcomm, said in response to the fine.

Comment Re:Good legal argument, but not a bonafide sale (Score 1) 163

Buying a DVD does give you rights to format-shift from DVD to something else. So VidAngel is selling the DVD to people, and format-shifting it to digital for people, and then delivering it to them. The end-user has the option to take physical delivery of the DVD, have VidAngel store it forever, or sell it back as a 'used' copy for slightly cheaper.

Not according to this. Granted, it's just a year-old article on a tech site, but according to them, the DMCA forbids consumers from decrypting discs to format shift. Stupid? I think so, but unless the courts change their mind, VidAngel is headed for a world of hurt.

Comment Re:More info needed (Score 1) 163

As much as I hate it, ripping for personal use is illegal under the DMCA (anti-circumvention). Ripping for the content editing I think is explicitly separately allowed, but I'm not sure if that's what makes it legal for them. They may be playing the physical disc with an EDL - I don't actually know.

As much as I hate to say it, you are correct (at least as of October of 2015). The legal wrangling came to the conclusion that because CDs were never encrypted, consumers can format-shift. But DVDs and Bly rays? Not so much. However, it seems to me that given the vast number of people that do this "under the radar" it can't be long before an "exemption" is granted to bring this in line with Fair Use.

Comment Re:so? this is NOT censorship (Score 1) 163

Filmmakers don't have the right to force you to keep your eyes open for every second of their film. But they do have the right to control how someone distributes a copy of their work. Because copyright, dammit.

I think this will be the salient point of the legal argument. Is VidAngel a distributor? Or are they only reselling discs with filters and letting the consumer apply them as they please?

Yes, the copyright-holders altered their own work. Which they could do. Because they held the copyright. Someone else who wants to do that needs to get permission from the copyright-holder.

Copyright, in part, protects an artist's expression from tampering by others. But they're free to "tamper" with it themselves, because it's their expression.

The only gotcha to this argument is the Family Movie Viewing Act, which is part of the Copyright act, specifically allows a person in their own home modify movies without consent of the copyright holder. VidAngel is arguing that this is exactly what is going on with their service. They provide the movie (unaltered), the filter and let the viewer apply said filter how they wish in their own home. Frankly, I hope VidAngel wins if only so that media producers run into some kind of limit to their seemingly unending power over the consumer.

Comment Re:Maybe he does support those values (Score 1) 600

= = = No theologian would use the Old Testament as an example of Christian beliefs. The Old Testament is there for historical context, and as contrast to Jesus's message. = = =

You might want to spend a little time listening to what the hard right evangelical Christians in the US say and advocate for: 90% of it is based on the Old Testament, and much is in direct opposition to the message of the synoptic Gospels.

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