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Comment Re: Time to switch (Score 2) 138

Volume licensing for Office 365 is a lot cheaper per seat than simply multiplying the list price by number of employees. It also has a much simpler licensing model than previous Microsoft volume licensing, which makes compliance easier (you get all of the desktop apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android included). The latter point alone is worth it to a lot of big companies.

Comment Typo: NONE, not nine (Score 1) 179

I made a typo. That should say "NONE were approved for 35 years". It's expensive to get people to loan you money (or invest) for a nuclear plant, knowing that they'll probably lose all their money because some branch of the government won't approve the license. (It requires many approvals from many different government agencies).

Comment 40 years already been 20%-38% of electricity (Score 2) 179

> Nuclear isn't a viable alternative.

The last 40 years beg to differ. That's how long nuclear has *already* been providing 20% of our electricity in the US. In Sweden, nuclear provides 38%. Today, not "Elon Musk predicts that maybe 30 years from now". It's quite possibly running your house right now, and has been for decades.

Yes natural gas and coal have been a bit less expensive, in most areas, AFTER accounting for the 10-year licensing delay afor nuclear and probability of complete loss if the license isn't approved (and nine were approved for 35 years). Suppose I offer to pay you $110 tomorrow if you loan me $100 today. You get a $10 profit, so you'd probably do it, if my credit is good. Suppose I offer to pay you back TEN YEARS from now, rather than tomorrow. How much profit do you need to make *ten years* from now in order to make it worthwhile to invest today? A lot more than $10. That's a significant extra cost to nuclear - the cost of capital is much higher when you can't even start paying it off for ten extra years - and that's hoping that after ten years the license is approved. The US government didn't approve any new reactors from 1977 to 2013. It's awfully expensive to get capital for a project that will probably never be approved. Would you loan your money in a company knowing that they'd probably never be approved to begin operation? They'd have to offer you an awfully high return to make it worth that risk, wouldn't they?

With an objective, standardized approval process for the standarsized designs that we already sell to other countries, nuclear can be cost-competitive with natural gas, given volatility of natural gas prices. Stability of costs is worth something.

Comment Some won't last forever (Score 1) 195

> Are you saying all dams eventually fail?

Well, do you think do you think all 40 or so dams in Norway will be intact 2,000 years from now? Lake Homs in Syria might still be there, but it's a pretty good bet Norway will have some more failures - they have before, just as the US has. If they make a habit of building dams upstream of cities, it's a pretty good bet some failures will wipe out cities. Niagara failed at Schoellkopf power station. If a major failure at Niagara that happened today, with the number of people now living downstream, it wouldn't be pretty.

If you drive drunk tonight, you'll probably make it home okay. If you make a habit of driving drunk all the time, in all likelihood you'll *eventually* get into a major crash. The idea that long-term risk requires that bad consequences occur *every* time rather than *some* times is a major, major source of bad decisions, especially among young people. If you play Russian roulette once, you'll probably be fine. If you make a habit of playing Russian roulette, you'll be dead. Most of our decisions are about the kinds of things we'll do on a daily basis, habits, how we live life on a regular basis. They aren't really one-time events. Each is just an example of our habits, and our habits will almost certainly have consequences.

We're not talking about having one dam in one place for one day. We're talking about many dams, which will be there for tens of thousands of days - including the day tha the worst storm in a hundred years hits.

Comment Re:More science (Score 1) 179

Over the time scale of the next century, only one input signal will dominate: the amount of added greenhouse gases. All of that other stuff either oscillates too fast or has an insignificant effect. Other signals that would have a big impact, such as changes in the earth's orbit that drive ice ages, or movement of mountain ranges due to continental drift, are too slow to have an impact over the next couple of centuries.

Relative to the greenhouse gas signal, the climate *was* very close to an equilibrium on a human timescale. It certainly isn't any longer; it's being strongly driven into ranges hotter than it's been for millions of years.

Comment Re:More science (Score 1) 179

The final color of mixing two buckets of paint is the integrated effect of chaotic stirring (and all of the world's supercomputers probably couldn't predict the exact pattern of those swirls). However, the final color can easily be calculated with high precision using a hand calculator. Integration has smaller error bars than you think it does.

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