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Comment Re:From TFA (Score 2) 323

"Just because Malthus wasn't right in his lifetime, that doesn't make him wrong. Malthus died in 1834: that's really not that long ago."

Malthus observed a historical phenomena that kept the population of Earth more-or-less constant since the agricultral revolution which in its time increased the population of the Earth by 2-3 orders of magnitude. Since the Industrial revolution and the era of economic growth all such predictions have been dramatically WRONG. Every time time humans appear to run up against a resource limitation, we've found ways around it. The most recent has been crude oil. Who talks about Peak-Oil now?

Our main problem now is that Fossil fuels are too cheap to give up without a global carbon tax.

Comment Re:If Water is Scarce (Score 1) 323

I just ran the numbers of Melbourne's Desalination plant (http://www.melbournewater.com.au/desalination). As far as I can tell, taking account of the interest on the capital, it costs around $4.67 AUD per 1000 L of water. (http://www.kimwells.com.au/deception-on-water-desalination-costs/)

If you neglect the capital cost, it's $0.66 AUD per 1000 L of water.

Comment This a problem, not a good thing... (Score 3, Insightful) 298

The article sounds as if it is a good thing that Germany has to pay people to use electricity. Actually it is exactly this problem that sets the upper limit to how much renewable energy can be used in a modern economy with current technology. The market correctly valued that the power produced by renewable sources had negative value, yet the producers of renewable energy were paid exactly the same feed-in tariff as they get on a cold windless evening. Doubling renewable energy production will not result in doubling the amount of electricity usefully used by Germany over the course of a year. It will be dumped somewhere in the system. Germany must solve the engineering problems required to efficiently store and recover vast amounts of energy as well as building more renewable energy generating systems to reach its goals.

I'm totally surprised that this is not a major topic of discourse in a country with such a large body of technical talent.

Comment ipod nano gen 5 (Score 1) 267

The iPod nano 5 gen is the peak of their Apples devices. Light, 16 GB, solid, many hours of battery life, awesome click wheel interface but even more awesome is that it is the last iPod that works with libgpod, so you don't need iTunes to run it :-)

*sigh* it was all broken with the ipod nano touch. A truly stupid device and concept. I bought a refurbished gen 5 nano's after washing my old ipod.

BTW I would never ever buy an iPhone for fear I would have to use iTunes to talk to it.

Comment Re:Why is everyone so obsessed with wireless charg (Score 1) 190

Wireless charging is an awesome feature. Its really easy to slot my Nexus 5 in and out of the cradle of my car system. Bingo! No fiddling to things connected etc. I can't believe they dropped the feature. My partner has an iPhone 6P and she's really jealous she can't do that with a phone that costs 3 time more than mine.

Comment How many cycles? (Score 1) 214

This could truly revolutionary but they left out some really important information. The most relevant is how many full-depletion cycle can it take?

To see why lets assume the battery can supply 3000 full-depletion cycles (The A123 batteries did). Then our generic $100, 1 KWHr battery can deliver 3000 KWHr of electricity on demand.

So that is $100.00/(3000 KWHr) = $0.03 / KWHr or 3 cents per KWHr

That is way less than a gas-fired peaking power plant. So if these guys can pull off 3000 cycles at $100 per KWHr they'll create a 100 billion dollar per year market and won't be able to keep up with demand.

Comment Re:Why Choose? Run linux on a mac (Score 3, Informative) 385

Her grunt work will be done on Linux Clusters. It's a real benefit to have a local development environment that matches this. I'd recommend a laptop where Scientific Lunix 6/7 runs flawlessly.

So while a mac is good hardware and has MS Office, a great PC which runs Linux flawlessly is what she really wants.

Comment Re:You need hydro-electric pump storage! (Score 1) 437

Yes. But even so, Denmark's CO2 footprint is much larger than Sweden and France and its electricity cost is far higher because of the expensive windmills and interconnects. The difference? Sweden and France have a large fraction of their electricity generated by Nuclear, which by the way, makes a nice backup if those hydro systems are maxed out during a long-term lull in wind output.

Oh well, good on Denmark for showing the world the real imitations of variable renewables...

Comment Re:Deliberate (Score 1) 652

Thanks for link:

According the wikipedia article:
".. on a leveraged basis we expect EDF to earn a Return on Equity (ROE) well in excess of 20% and possibly as high as 35%. Having considered the known terms of the deal, we are flabbergasted that the UK Government has committed future generations of consumers to the costs that will flow from this deal"

Sounds like EDF pulled a really sweet deal that sold the British Government to pay way more than needed to profitably run the nuclear facility. Nice work if you can get it.

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