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Comment Next comes the blood. (Score 5, Interesting) 702

Yes and as stupid as it sounds. This will work for a short while. Every person of means is probably desperately trying to leave. Once the "bargains" are gone, there will be no more product. Price controls drive growth into the ground and set the stage to inflation when they are released. Next comes wage control, then shortages, rise in crime (fueled by black markets), persecution of the wealthy, then hollowing out the middle class, and finally riots and needless death.

Comment Re:What's the hurry? (Score 1) 190

Customs and baggage when flying internationally. Does take that long plus I said "and getting transportation". Many airports have lines for taxis, buses/trains to rental car lots, and even the walk to the mass transit. Some airports are better than others, but 1-2 hours to get "bags and transportation" is not excessive.

Comment Re:Cost is important! (Score 1) 589

This was older research before the glut on panels lowered the price. I also included banks of batteries, which have lower life expectancy than the panels. Plus I factored in financing. One thing many people don't factor in is solar panels don't add to the value of your house significantly, and may detract if it ugly's up the house. A grid tied plan is more cost effective and I could easily replace my bill. The problem is the upfront capital costs. Even with tax breaks, and great rates for green improvements from my credit union, costs are hard to justify. All I'm saying is a faster return on investment will increase uptake of individual solar installations.

Comment Re:Cost is important! (Score 1) 589

I'm obviously more concerned with my personal needs, but you are right, a solar power plant has different economies of scale to an individual deployment. The power company needs to make a capital investment in any type of power plant they create. I don't believe power companies are evil, so if the plants make sense financially they would be built. There has to be a projected demand for the energy, current plants have to be near retirement or cost too much to operate. Solar works, but you have to have a way to store the energy for nighttime hours or have non-renewable plants that run at night. And the individual has to feel the value, or they won't make the capital investment. This will come from either lowering the price of solar or increasing the price of fossil.

Comment Cost is important! (Score 4, Insightful) 589

I've looked at putting solar panels on my house, and it will cost $30K after tax breaks and credits. The life span of a solar panel is 15-20 years with a denigration of efficiency of about 25% over that period. Then they will have to be replaced again. The payback period is roughly 10-12 years, so I'd come out ahead, but I have to make a significant capital purchase and live in the house for over a decade. What happens if I get a new job that requires me to move next year? The $30K investment in the house doesn't raise it's value that amount. For this to work, the payback period will have to drop to 5-6 years, and solar panels will have to be considered a viable option. Geo-thermal heat pumps, vertical wind turbines, efficient appliances, zone cooling and heating, tankless water heaters and (to channel Jimmy Carter) sweaters have more reasonable payback.

Comment Flexibility and life balance (Score 1) 111

I've had the opposite experience. Gadgets have allowed me to have more contact with friends and family. I'm able to work from home some days during the week, and take short breaks to help with homework, or fix a broken toy. I have conversations with friends all over the country and keep up with what they are doing. People I otherwise would have lost touch with. I travel a lot, so I get to take my library with me, so I read more. I can keep up with my favorite sports teams easier, and regardless of location. Sure, I'm interactive with work 24/7 and put in my hours, but I'm also interactive with my family and friends 24/7 and have more quality time with them. I'm old enough to remember the days you had to physically be present to work or to relax. Showing up to work on time, watching the clock to see when you can go home, getting in the car to drive in and solve problems at three in the morning. Having your team sit in the same block of cubes because you needed to be physically close, taking time off to meet with a teacher, or pay a bill, or do banking. Gadgets mean I see my family more, spend less time on useless chores, work more productively and have a better life. Stop whining.

Submission + - Ballmer Tells Partners To Buy Surface From (

xzvf writes: Ballmer tells partners to buy Surface at retail to service clients.

From article: "Microsoft is telling us to go pay retail for the product and buy it from and integrate it into our solutions. With Apple we can sell and support the iPad and make it part of our business. If Microsoft is going to keep Surface away from partners and treat us like a retail customer, it is absolutely an insult.”

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