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Comment Re:You need to have IT person (Score 3, Interesting) 197

Tying your shoes is a mechanical operation, but no one would suggest you must have a mechanical engineering degree to do it. Some things you should just know to function in a high-tech environment. Speaking of which, an accidentally unplugged network cable is also most certainly a mechanical issue, which even a lowly mechanical engineer should be able to resolve.

Comment Re: Generic engineers? Really? (Score 3, Interesting) 197

I once worked with an H1-B visa holder who I thought was a great guy and a hard worker. I consider him a good friend from that time of my life. He had never used silverware or a plate before he came to America, so it's not hard to imagine that he'd also not had any deep exposure to tech as a youthful tinkerer, which I understood the original poster to consider favorable, maybe even essential, to his particular workplace's needs. There is a particular stereotype most H1-B workers fit into. They tend to be very intelligent, hard-working people who lack the confidence to take decisive action without frequent oversight or feedback. They are generally great at well-defined tasks that can be converted from specifications into product with rote processes. Coaching them out of that rut often forces both you and them to grow extensively. I mean this an objective look at the challenges involved, as I have developed a fondness for several people in this situation. The same things that tend to make them a bit hesitant in the workforce tend to also make them great people: they generally legitimately care about what others think and are looking for friends in a strange place!

Beyond that, does anyone log into Slashdot anymore? AC's used to be branded as shameless trolls to be ignored, and now it seems like every other post is from one. Maybe it's my fault for not ignoring you, but your comment seemed like it might be intended to be serious.

Comment Re:dealership only sales and service coming soon? (Score 1) 102

Are you serious? Couldn't possibly be because interference to GPS and cell service caused direct risk of life and economic damage? Surely it was lienholders who drove the banning of unlicensed crap radio hardware with wide-band, spurious, and unsuppressed harmonic emissions.

Comment Re:Google can tell me the definition of hypocrisy (Score 1) 350

They just report their percentage of voluntary employee participation alongside their results. If one ethnic guy filled out his form and all the white guys didn't, it mathematically HAS TO skew the results. But a low participation count is basically a giant asterisk alongside the information.

Comment Re:What type of solar (Score 1) 504

Loss is a really interesting thing to think about. Most people think about the losses just disappearing, and relative to the electrical circuits, they do. I had an interesting experience when I started converting to CFLs and LEDs a few years ago. I found several new drafts in my house I had not been aware of and eventually bought all new windows. The incandescent lighting had basically been functioning as a distributed space heater system. It was significant enough to be noticeable, to me at least. If those lights were sufficient to function as space heaters in cold weather, they must have also been sufficient to cause my A/C unit to overwork in hot weather when the lighting was powered on.

That led me to: what exactly are the cascading impacts of loss in the form of heat in a home?

Comment Re:What type of solar (Score 3, Interesting) 504

I don't like to reply to ACs, but your feedback seems meant to be legitimate, so I will assume you're not trolling. Even though the *facepalm* is a bit presumptive. I've clearly spent a lot more time thinking about this topic than you have.

I honestly can't imagine what you have in your house that would reach hundreds of amps on the proposed DC bus. Note that I am not advocating the DC bus running all the heavy appliance loads, but rather only all lighting and consumer electronics loads, something like 1 kW at 24V DC would seem adequate. Telecom has used 48V DC for a long time, so there is some precedent that could be leveraged for designs in this area.

Furnaces and ovens could easily be placed on exterior walls offering limited loss paths to the storage system. These are design changes that would be not dissimilar to those that happened as coal furnaces were replaced by electric ones. People adapted both existing homes and new designs.

I think the environmental concerns driving alternative energy are mostly overblown, but I'd like to see power generation at the home in the name of self-sufficiency and to decrease the global conflicts over energy.

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