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Comment Re:Thanks, Trump! (Score 1) 167

How often do you have to run more than one wash load in a day?

Most people let laundry build up until they need to run a full load of a given type. They do this because wasting electrons is apparently only slightly less of a sin than wasting water, since we don't really do any useful large scale desalination.

Practically speaking, this is easy to do with 3-4 people in a house, particularly if one or more of them is a child.

In any case, this build up over time is how we get the event called "laundry day", as opposed to doing laundry daily.

Most of the time, one wash per night would serve. The occasional times you need to run more than one wash in a day, just run one during daytime.

I think you are perhaps single and male, with not a lot of clothing so that you can build up a laundry backlog without wasting water instead of electricity, and so instead, you waste both by doing daily laundry, and you put everything in together, without separating it by type, fragility, and temperature/cleaner requirements.

That's cool and all, but realize you aren't very representative of the majority of people who need to do laundry.

Comment They *are*. (Score 1) 69

Silicon Valley and San Francisco are a bike ride away (as shown in The Internship).

They *are*. I have an idiot friend who makes the commute from SF to Facebook via bicycle daily. Only if it's raining does he load his bike on the rack on the bus, in the hopes that it will stop raining later, and he will be able to use the bike to go the other direction, the next time he needs to move from one to the other.

Of course... he's Australian, and they are all crazy. ;^)

Comment Not wind vs nuclear - wind AND nuclear (Score 1) 167

My BS meter just twitched.

You need to take it into the shop to have it fixed. It's clearly malfunctioning.

Wind, at about 2% of the total energy market is tiny.

Even 2% of US generating capacity (not the actual number) is an enormous amount of power and the amount of wind power generating capacity is growing fast. Wind accounted for about 4.4% of US energy production in 2014. Some countries generate double digit percentages of their electricity from wind with Denmark topping the list at 39%! The US accounts for a (disproportionate) 18% of world energy consumption despite being just 5% of the population. If other countries (particularly India and China) follow our lead that is not sustainable without huge increases in the use of renewable energy.

This hostility from the government towards nuclear power is one big reason why I have trouble believing in the global warming hysteria.

The hostility towards nuclear power does not come from the government. It comes from citizens who are nervous about nuclear power and the consequences of what can happen when things go wrong. (see Chernobyl and Fukishima) There also is the as yet unsolved problem of nuclear waste disposal. Granted some (not all) of their concerns are more perception than reality but perception is what drives policy regardless of whether it is true. It also comes from financiers who look at a LONG track record of cost overruns and cost uncertainty in building nuclear plants.

This hostility towards nuclear power on costs is also something that bothers me. The reason it costs so much is because we've forgotten how to build them.

No we haven't. Nuclear power plants are being built routinely and have advanced significantly. Just not in the USA. I'm an accountant. The reason nuclear power plants cost so much is twofold. 1) They are very complicated and have to be engineered to very high standards with careful attention to safety culture to avoid disasters. This level of engineering and safety is very expensive and prone to cost overruns. Nuclear plants are (comparatively) cheap to operate but very expensive to build. Worse, there is considerable cost uncertainty surrounding their construction. When this happens financing costs for construction rise considerably. Private financing is very difficult to come by as a result. Public financing is substantially more expensive and harder to get. 2) Nuclear power plants are considered so risky by insurance and financing companies that they cannot be built without government guarantees. The risk profile is one where the odds of a disaster are (generally) low but the consequences are very high and challenging to quantify. That makes insuring and indemnifying them very expensive.

I'm not impressed with wind power. Nuclear power, on the other hand, is a much better solution.

You can waste your time being "not impressed" with wind power but it's an important and fast growing and affordable and clean source of energy. It's not going to solve all our energy needs. No one form of energy (not even nuclear) is going to do that. Stop thinking in terms of either/or and start thinking in terms of balanced portfolio. Nuclear fission will be an important part of the energy portfolio for the foreseeable future and it has almost none of the climate change issues we get from fossil fuels. The goal is to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used to a level lower than what the Earth's ecosystem can handle. This number isn't zero but it's far lower than where we are now. To do this with existing technology will require some combination of wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal, and hydro. Battery and energy storage technology will matter greatly. I think distributed power (solar panels on roofs) are going to matter a lot as well.

Comment Re:Thanks, Trump! (Score 1) 167

Probably the only reason no one's selling these already is because there aren't enough lazy people willing to spend the extra dosh to be marginally lazier than before, and the people who would want one haven't built one themselves because, again, they're lazy.

We aren't talking about "being lazy"; we are talking about having to get up a 3AM in the morning to change out loads in order to optimize energy usage.

At some point, we should just say "screw it", and build another nuclear plant. And then any time it drops below peak utilization, you divert the electricity into active desalination; other wise, you use the waste heat for passive desalination, all the time.

Power problem solve, carbon problem solved, drought problem solved.

Comment Re:Not Fed (Score 1) 276

It is a complete guess based on total laws and powers I have seen. Want more examples of things the Fed has gotten into which are clearly reserved for the States?

Gun controls
Internal spying
Speed limits
Social Security
Farming supports
Student loans
Food stamps

The list is just endless of direct and indirect control. Through just the IRS, alone, the Fed creates what is effectively legislation about hundreds of things that it shouldn't- from child-rearing, to buying houses, to gambling, to what type of windows you installed in your house.

You might think the Fed SHOULD be doing all those things, and even the SCOTUS might think it should, but that is NOT what the Constitution says. It is not what the founders wanted. It is not how the system was supposed to work. We are free to amend the Constitution to take those powers away from the States, but we haven't.

Comment Net effects (Score 1) 167

The fact that you can just buy your power from a so called renewable resource power company doesn't mean that you're not still pulling power from the same coal fire power plants that are the BACK BONE of the US power infrastructure. They're not 'bottling up' that electrics and shipping it to the Google.

Calm down. We all know that. You don't seem to grasp that it doesn't matter on a net basis whether Google consumes the power themselves or not. Google needs X joules of power and they pay for X joules to be generated from renewable sources. Whether they use it themselves or not has EXACTLY the same effect on the ecosystem overall.

You're just buying more expensive power so you can feel like you're doing something.

They are doing something. They are subsidizing the development of renewable energy. Early adopters always pay more. It's a good thing that they are doing and with the amount of power they use it makes a measurable difference.

Comment Still nothing but a minor problem (Score 2) 167

Domestic cats don't kill eagles and other typical endangered species of bird.

Domestic cats most certainly do kill endangered species of birds. They may not kill eagles but the certainly kill other threatened species in substantial numbers. Cats are an invasive species and a poorly controlled one at that.

Let us not also forget about bats,

Same deal as with birds. Windmills are simply not a significant threat to their populations.

and the fact that renewable provide a tiny amount of energy today.

You think 10% of US energy consumption is a tiny number? I think you don't understand the definition of the word "tiny".

Comment Re:Thanks, Trump! (Score 1) 167

I've also wondered if the whole smart device thing could end up being a net bonus -- for example, during the cheap hours, freezers/electric water heaters/dishwashers/etc. could do their thing.

Call me when your washing machine moves the load of colors to be washed in warm water to the dryer by itself, and reloads itself with whites and bleach and switches to hot water afterwards.

Until then, while it's not human intensive while running, washing clothes is pretty human intensive before and after a cycle runs, and in the middle, when the washer->dryer transfer needs to happen.

The "FoldiMate" and "Laundroid" just don't cut it yet (and take power themselves).

Comment Minor problem (Score 3) 167

So much for "green" power. I'm all for it, really, but let us not be deceived that "green" means at no cost. There is a real cost to everything. Tens of millions of birds (and bats) are killed the world over annually the world over.

The number of birds killed by windmills is several orders of magnitude smaller than the number killed by domestic cats. Heck FAR more birds are killed in collisions with cell phone towers than by windmills - roughly an order of magnitude more.. Bird deaths are a very minor issue especially compared with the number of deaths that will occur if we don't do anything about climate change. You're focusing on the little problem when it is the big one you should be worrying about.

Comment Subsidies and marketing (Score 1) 167

Which tells you that no government incentives or actions are needed: if this is a reasonable accounting of costs, companies will switch to renewables all by themselves.

I'm afraid not. First off the competing fossil fuels receive substantial subsidies from the government. Worse, fossil fuels do not have to pay for a large portion of the pollution (including carbon) that they create so their prices are artificially low. Second, while renewables are becoming cheaper they aren't the lowest cost option just yet outside of some corner cases. Getting them to be the lowest cost option likely will require some amount of financial and/or regulatory support for a while longer. Not forever but just until cost parity is approximately reached.

Once the economic incentives are in place the switch will take place like osmosis but I don't think we are quite there yet. Only rich companies like Google can do it today and they do it as a marketing expense more than anything else.

Comment Value for money (Score 1) 156

the movie catalog is shrinking, and the quality of the movies aren't that great anymore.

I've had a Netflix subscription twice and I've cancelled it twice. Why? Glad you asked. Reason #1 was that I wasn't getting adequate value for the money. No it wasn't hugely expensive but the catalog of shows was mostly older movies, B movies, or stuff that I had little to no interest in. Their original programming simply didn't hold my interest. Reason #2 was that it was a pain in the ass to find anything interesting to watch. Their navigation system was annoying and clumsy at best. It took WAY too long to find something interesting to watch and their suggestions were usually not very good even after a lot of training about what I liked and didn't. When you add Reason #1 into the mix with Reason #2 you have a pretty irritating needle-in-a-haystack problem. Just not worth the bother.

I like the idea of Netflix but it just wasn't worth the price to me given its current state. Maybe in time that will change.

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