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Comment Re: Unlimited? (Score 1) 196

Small cells negate the "limited amount of spectrum" argument. It's a financial + logistical + political/regulatory limitation, not a technical one.

Technology will eventually advance to the point that the financial consideration is less important. We're already working with beam-forming -- a technology that's existed for decades, in radar applications -- for instance. Wireless is the future, no matter what the naysayers think, and if you're still thinking of "spectrum" as the limiting factor you're behind the curve. Makes me think of the folks who deploy IPv6 for the first time and start worrying about the "waste" of addresses.

Comment Re:Unlimited? (Score 1) 196

There's no technical reason why an LTE network can't be engineered to provide truly unlimited data with acceptable speeds in most instances. There is, however, a financial reason, plus the usual regulatory/political concerns that get in the way of new cell sites. It's worth noting that T-Mobile manages to offer unlimited with an asterisk (video throttled to 1.5Mbps) and in many cases delivers superior speed than Verizon, so it's clearly POSSIBLE and PROFITABLE to use as a business model.

In rural/fixed-wireless settings LTE is actually cheaper than DSL/cable and the favorable contention ratios (i.e., low population density) make unlimited possible with today's network. It's a mystery to me why they won't offer an unlimited product for this market segment at least; it would be the death blow for satellite internet.

Comment Re:The Average Viewer (Score 1) 434

Some don't though. I remember a conversation I had with my grandfather (who used to repair TVs) in the pub when he was in his 80s, somehow we got onto talking about the new stuff that was coming out. HD wasn't really a thing yet - and he commented it didn't seem worth getting a large TV because how visible the lines would be (and additionally, it'd be even worse for people in NTSC countries with about 100 fewer lines).

Comment Re:so is there a good theory? (Score 1) 470

It's happening anyway, every last joule of that tidal energy is already being used, it's just being used up by crashing up and down shorelines rather than turning turbines. Tidal power merely extracts some of the energy that would have otherwise been dissipated on the shoreline, so there's no net effect on the moon anyway.

Comment Re:Work done=kinetic energy (Score 1) 470

> Now connect it to a generator and extract enough power such that it doesn't accelerate any more, but doesn't slow down

This here is the impossible bit. Just because you can /momentarily/ extract 6-odd kw at the shaft, it doesn't mean you can keep doing it forever. You may find that any more power extracted than just the friction in the bearings will slow your hypothetical wheel down.

1000Nm torque doesn't say anything about the power you can continuously extract.

Comment Re:Contra-Indicated. (Score 1) 263

You don't bankrupt a company by selling its shares.

You might make its share price lower, which in some cases might make it a tasty takeover target, but the price of a company's shares on the secondary market doesn't affect in any way shape or form the running of a business. You're only selling your ownership stake in the company to some other person.

With a well run company like Shell, if you divest shares and the price of the shares go down, it will be somewhat self correcting. The dividend yield will go up - the business's viability hasn't changed, so the dividend remains the same but you can buy into that with a lower share price - making the company more attractive to people who don't have a problem with owning shares in oil companies - thus stopping the share price from falling very far.

The only way you're actually going to hurt Shell is for everyone to stop buying their product. That isn't going to happen any time soon. It might happen over the long term, oil usage vs GDP has been falling for some time now. But selling Shell shares isn't going to put them out of business since it literally doesn't affect them.

Comment Re:Farm? Hardly (Score 4, Interesting) 196

Britain is not the best comparison for Europe. First off, Britain is always a laggard when it comes to clean power - it was a laggard just in cleaning up its act with sulphur emissions with the coal plants. The UK is also not really Europe and generally doesn't subscribe to Europe's more progressive policies when it comes to energy. Expect a lot of backsliding on this once Brexit is complete and EU regulations are no longer pulling the UK kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Comment Regulatory Track Record (Score 1) 166

With Michigan's exemplary track record implementing minimal regulations, what could possibly go wrong?

Seriously though, I'm glad their beta(alpha?)-testing this for the rest of us. I think we all agree self-driving cars have great potential once we get it right, but someone has to go first to get there. Way to take one for the team, Michigan!

Comment Re:What about stop making stuff super thin? (Score 1) 289

They aren't that fragile. My Dad has my old iPhone 4, it's never been kept in a thick plastic or silicone case, and it still looks nearly as good as new despite now being 6 years old (and on its original battery!)

My iPhone 6 which replaced it, when it came out, has never been in a case. It rattles around in my pocket with everything else in there. It's now 2 years old and still looks practically brand new despite never having been in a case and having been dropped once or twice.

They aren't anywhere near as fragile as people think. They are actually pretty tough.

Comment Re:No (Score 2) 400

Primarily, I think you've got several screws loose. I think the rich voted for Trump because of things like the estate tax...

This implies that rich and upper-middleclass people are stupid. 90% of Americans have a net worth < $1 million. 99.5% have a net worth < $11.8 Million. Under current tax law, you only pay federal estate taxes on the part of your net worth that exceeds $10.9 Million for 2016, which is automatically adjusted for inflation. That < 1% of the population obviously couldn't have elected trump on their own, so the rest of the rich and semi-rich who voted for him must either be stupid or naively optimistic about their future earning prospects. Even if the Democrats were in power and bumped the estate tax exemption down to the pre-Bush $1 million level, that's still only 10% of Americans who'd pay a penny in estate taxes.

Speculating about the higher order effects of how large structural changes in the tax code will effect the income distribution is akin to astrology, but the 1st order effects are clearly more beneficial for a small minority of the wealthiest Americans.

Note that this post isn't rhetorical. It's entirely possible that Trump voters did vote primarily on personal economics and fall into these three categories:

  • 1. Think Trump's tax policies will directly benefit them, but just can't or didn't bother to do the very simple math.(i.e. the stupid and the lazy)
  • 2. Understand that Trump's tax policies will lower taxes on people richer than them a lot more than it will lower taxes on them directly, but believe the higher-order effects will have a net benefit to them (i.e. trickle-down economics).
  • 3. Are really rich and will benefit from Trump's tax policies

I'm just saying that #3 is far too small a voting block to even move the needle in the popular or electoral college votes. If economics was a deciding factor for a significant number of voters, some combination of #1 and #2 were heavily involved.

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