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Comment Re:Not good enough... (Score 3, Informative) 95

It should be that the user HAS to have purchased the item. Why would you do it any other way?

I would be happy if I could just filter reviews based on a "verified purchaser" tag. They already mark the verified purchaser reviews with that exact text, so make it a sub-option on the review display options...

You can already do that. From "see all customer reviews", select the sort/filter for "Verified Purchase Only" (rather than all reviewers).

What is missing is the ability to sort my searches by "average customer review", but only consider the reviews from verified purchases.

Comment Re:Cost? (Score 1) 191

I hadn't looked at prices lately. Seems that they are going for about $1/watt now for name brand panels with frames.

Still, as I showed in my arithmetic, the price of the raw panels is only about 10% of the cost. So, even if the cost of panels fell to zero, it wouldn't make a drastic difference in overall system cost. The necessary racks, wiring, concrete footings, labor, and maintenance are the significant factors.

Comment Re:Cost? (Score 2) 191

The link I posted says "and comes with an integrated inverter". This is what they call "AC Coupled", rather than "DC Coupled". In other words, this is designed for a system that adds batteries to a grid-based system. AC current is generated either at the panels (via microinverters) or using a string inverter that connects the panels to directly to the grid. The "battery" is an add-on that consists of cells, plus a charger and an inverter. When viewed as a black box, the "battery" is AC.

In traditional DC Coupled systems, DC is sent from the solar panels to a (DC) battery bank. Then on the other side, an inverter connects the battery bank to the AC circuits or grid.

Comment Re:Cost? (Score 1) 191

Grabbing the back of napkin...

In October, wholesale solar started selling the brand new 14KWH powerwall2 for $5,550. $5550/14KWH = $396/KWH

According to The Powerwall has a lifespan of 1000-1500 cycles.

So, assuming 1500, that makes the amortized raw cost of storage = $396/1500 = 26 cents per KWH.

The going rate for uninstalled solar panels is about $2/peak watt. If we figure 80% efficiency, 6 peak equiv hours/day in sunny Samoa, 25 year lifespan, then that watt of solar cells nets just under 44KWH. So $2/44 = adds another 4.5 cents per KWH raw cost for the panels (I'm not accounting for the planned 20% degradation over those 25 years)

So, that's about 30.5 cents/KWH for the raw equipment, not including wiring or racking. It also does not include the electronics needed to get DC panel power to the AC powerwall. (or vice-versa, the cost of an inverter if it is DC all the way) Also not including installation or maintenance costs, wiping off bird poop, or the cost of keeping the backup generators in good working order. It also does not include the cost of mishaps (hurricane, sand damage, broken wires, etc). I lost two panels in a recent hail storm, but those were old panels. The newer generation of panels are built to handle baseball-sized hail.

Installed cost per watt for solar adds about 50%. So, this brings it up to about 45 cents per KWH (not including maintenance or back-up capability).

So, this might be cost-effective, but only if they are paying a very high price for diesel generated power.

Submission + - Votes Switched From Trump to Hillary in Texas ( 2

Okian Warrior writes: Early voting for the 2016 presidential election started yesterday for people in some areas who have been given the opportunity to avoid the long lines on November 8.

However, in Amarillo, a woman was shocked to see her ballot flip from Republican to Democrat.

“Gary and I went to early vote today,” wrote Lisa Houlette on Facebook. “I voted a straight Republican ticket and as I scrolled to submit my ballot I noticed that the Republican straight ticket was highlighted, however, the Clinton/Kaine box was also highlighted!”

“I tried to go back and change and could not get it to work. I asked for help from one of the workers and she couldn’t get it to go back either. It took a second election person to get the machine to where I could correct the vote to a straight ticket,” she added.

Submission + - Could Google influence the presidential election? (

sciencehabit writes: Last summer, scientists reported on something called the search engine manipulation effect. Companies like Google have gotten so good at providing the best links first, biased search results could influence how undecided voters choose a candidate, sometimes by 12% or more. Now researchers say they have more evidence for this effect, as well as similar influence wielded by Facebook and Twitter. Although there is no evidence that these companies are trying to bias the U.S. presidential election, lawmakers and internet experts are already proposing ways--including plugins and taking search out of private hands--to curb the influence of these tech giants.

Submission + - Democrat Operatives Caused Violence at Trump Rallies, Framed Sanders Supporters ( 16

Xenographic writes: A new video has come out detailing how Democratic operatives created violence at Trump rallies. You may remember that they then framed Sanders supporters for those protests. This video is notable because one of the operatives, Zulema Rodriguez, can be identified in videos of the Arizona protests at 17:35 in this independent video as well as at 10:30 in the first video link. Furthermore, you look at the FEC records of disbursements to her and see that she was paid by Finally, this again can be corroborated with the Wikileaks dump, specifically this email. For those too lazy to browse all the links, you can see Zulema's appearance in both videos in this image and note that it's the same person down to the tiny mole on her chest.

Comment Re:While this is a very tacky response... (Score 3, Interesting) 813

Getting to see or talk to a senator is dang near impossible. (Unless of course, you've donated large sums of money to the campaign or money-laundering foundation.)

I know this first-hand from when I was starting a company and trying to get support for a particular program. It took us several weeks of trying, and the best we could do was fly to D.C. to meet with a mid-level staffer for 20 minutes.

I'm sure that senators are busy people. Listening to their constituents ranks right up with answering robo calls.

Submission + - SPAM: Obama used a pseudonym in emails with Clinton, FBI documents reveal

schwit1 writes: President Barack Obama used a pseudonym in email communications with Hillary Clinton and others, according to FBI records made public Friday. The disclosure came as the FBI released its second batch of documents from its investigation into Clinton’s private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

The 189 pages the bureau released includes interviews with some of Clinton’s closest aides, such as Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills; senior State Department officials; and even Marcel Lazar, better known as the Romanian hacker “Guccifer.”

In an April 5, 2016 interview with the FBI, Abedin was shown an email exchange between Clinton and Obama, but the longtime Clinton aide did not recognize the name of the sender.

"Once informed that the sender's name is believed to be pseudonym used by the president, Abedin exclaimed: 'How is this not classified?'" the report says. "Abedin then expressed her amazement at the president's use of a pseudonym and asked if she could have a copy of the email."

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Johnson and anti-incumbent (Score 2) 382

@AC Thanks for this info. I didn't know you can easily review wiki history. I confirmed it by plugging the wiki info into https://voterlookup.elections.... Looks like "Honestmedia" has been busy.
@niaxilin If there is a way to edit my post, I'll gladly remove that paragraph. I was only reporting on my observations, which at least have been confirmed.

Comment Re:Johnson and anti-incumbent (Score 5, Informative) 382

Keep in mind that Trump is not exactly the darling of the Republican party. They did everything imaginable to try and keep him from winning the primaries. I think he is only polling at 70% within the party, and many of the party establishment say that they are not endorsing him. Even Bush Sr has come out and said he is voting for Hillary.

To me, this election is not D vs R, but more of like Establishment vs Outsider. Trump could have run as a candidate for either party, and there would be the same drumbeat as to how bad/evil/stupid he is.

Sorry to get off-topic. But yesterday I did a quick Yahoo search "What is Lester Holt's political affiliation". I use Yahoo for any politics-related searches. Trump is being bashed for saying Holt (who will moderate the debate) is a democrat. The Yahoo page still had cached Wikipedia text that says "According to voter registration records, he is a Democrat". So, I saved a screen snapshot. But when you follow the link to the Wiki page, that text is now gone. At the bottom of the page, it says Holt is a Republican. But they only cite two articles, created yesterday, that bash Trump's statement, and use that as reference rather than voter registration records. Over the last day, they altered reality to fit the story that Trump is stupid/wrong. And if anyone tries a quick "fact check", they will hit up Wikipedia, which now contains bogus information and a circular reference. No doubt that by now, other places like have also been "updated".

Comment Re: This explains it all (Score 1) 395

From TFSummary, you cannot turn off tracking for Google Play or Google Maps. Google always knows where you are, and offers that information to installed apps.

"Don't be evil" is so last-decade. According to Larry Page, the "Don't be evil" culture prohibited conflicts of interest, and required objectivity and an absence of bias. This does not apply to Alphabet.

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