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Stanford, UCD Researchers Say 100% Renewable Energy Possible By 2050

Itchyeyes Re:Sunk costs=inertia (360 comments)

I have several thoughts in response here.

1. Look at the reasons why wind and solar have seen increased adoption in recent years. I think you'll see two key factors. First we see increasing tax benefits and subsidies for clean energy. Second, you'll see a lot of this activity kicked off around '06 or '07, when natural gas and oil prices were soaring to record highs. Both of these are clear indications that wind and solar still struggle to be economic, even at the margins.

2. Keep in mind TFA is not talking about on a US only scale, but a global one. Increases in wind capacity in the US are completely dwarfed by the number or coal plants being brought online in China on a nearly weekly basis. In terms of green / fossil fuel ratio, I think we're more likely to be actually moving backwards on a global scale.

I'm not opposed to clean energy. But the authors of TFA article have their head in the clouds.

more than 3 years ago
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Stanford, UCD Researchers Say 100% Renewable Energy Possible By 2050

Itchyeyes Re:2050 probably won't be good enough.. (360 comments)

Um... no

Roughly 70% of the cost of just about anything you buy is labor.

more than 3 years ago
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Stanford, UCD Researchers Say 100% Renewable Energy Possible By 2050

Itchyeyes "barriers" (360 comments)

There are no technological or economic barriers to converting the entire world to clean, renewable energy sources

I didn't read any further than this. If there aren't any economic barriers, then why does it need any sort of public backing or support. If wind and solar actually were an economic alternative to things like coal, then power companies would be switching without any other sort of incentive, simply to save money.

Now, one could certainly make the argument (though he doesn't) that fossil fuels produce negative externalities to society, and correcting for that clean energy is actually more economic in the long run for us all. However, correcting for market failures at a national political level is definitely a "barrier" in my mind, and even more so if he thinks we can expand this to a global scale.

more than 3 years ago
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HP Unveils WebOS Tablet, Plans WebOS Computer

Itchyeyes Re:HP WebOS long term success or failure (148 comments)

The Android lead might be on a foundation of sand, however. Nearly every Android user I meet likes their 'droid, a few dislike it, and none love it. This is a distinct contrast with Blackberry and Apple, most of whose customers profess to love their phone (with the notable exception of folks using Blackberry touch screen devices).

^This

2 years ago my wife and I both had iPhone 3Gs, but couldn't stand using AT&T. We switched to Verizon when Motorola launched the Droid. For over a year I was content with mine, but she hated hers with a passion. We ordered her an iPhone 4 the day the pre-orders went up. After two days of playing around with it myself and remembering just how much more polished of an experience iOS is, I ordered one for myself too. It's unlikely either of us will try something else within the next two years or so.

more than 3 years ago
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HP Unveils WebOS Tablet, Plans WebOS Computer

Itchyeyes Re:webOS devices that won't sell (148 comments)

I think that there's still a niche in in this market for something that's more polished than Android, but more open than iOS. None of these devices are going to be barn burners out of the gate, but if HP can establish itself there first, with time and patience I think they could grow to a genuine contender in this market space

more than 3 years ago
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Obama FCC Caves On Net Neutrality

Itchyeyes Re:Pitchforks (853 comments)

Ah, sorry. Didn't look at the poster and thought I was replying to BobMcD.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama FCC Caves On Net Neutrality

Itchyeyes Re:Pitchforks (853 comments)

The list of market manipulations of the market is endless.

Most of them, at least most of the effective ones, are also illegal, as they should be.

If that was supposed to be an argument for why we shouldn't oppose entrenched interests manipulating markets through government regulation, I find it unconvincing.

If anything I think it backs up my original point, market failures necessitate corrective action by the government in order to foster efficient competitive markets.

Now, that corrective action could as often be removing existing regulation (eg: allowing open access to larger portions of the wireless spectrum) as it is adding new regulation. But I find the premise that today's telcom environment should essentially remain the satus quo pretty shaky, to say the least.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama FCC Caves On Net Neutrality

Itchyeyes Re:Pitchforks (853 comments)

Ok, I see what you're saying there. In principle, I agree with you here. Like I said before, I'm not opposed to large corporations simply because they are large corporations, nor because they are profitable.

What I oppose is when these companies use their size and resources to distort, what would otherwise be, efficient market outcomes through our legal and political process. In the case of net neutrality, it's companies manipulating regulators so that they benefit from government mandated limitations on competition, like a utility would, but without any of the restrictions on growth or anti-competitive behavior that utilities are usually subject to.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama FCC Caves On Net Neutrality

Itchyeyes Re:Pitchforks (853 comments)

What do you mean "giant corporation thing"? Can you expand on that? I don't oppose all large corporations. I would argue that much of the anger against companies like Walmart and Enron is very misplaced.

What I do oppose is corporations that exert an influence on our political and legal process that is disproportionate to their role in our society and economy (eg: Tyson foods, Comcast, and various members of the RIAA/MPAA). They use our legal process to distort their respective portions of our economy away from the competitive, positive-sum, mutually beneficial markets they should be, and towards entrenched, zero-sum games that disproportionately benefit themselves.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama FCC Caves On Net Neutrality

Itchyeyes Re:Pitchforks (853 comments)

I think we'll have to agree to disagree. I'd say in today's society, corporations might as well be superhuman. The laws are stacked in their favor. And the longer they remain that way, the more influence these companies have over stacking them even more in their favor.

It's one of the classic failings of free market economics, recognized as far back as Adam Smith. Once it becomes more profitable for companies to influence laws in their favor than it is for them to invest in their product, every assumption we have about market economics goes out the door.

Net neutrality was supposed to be a step to balancing a system that was already stacked in favor of entrenched companies, and they've managed to turn into essentially the exact opposite of that.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama FCC Caves On Net Neutrality

Itchyeyes Re:Pitchforks (853 comments)

Bravery has nothing to do with it. The telcom and cable inustries are incredibly insular markets with massive barriers to entry. In the case of ground lines, most municipalities only grant rights of way to the local telco and cable co. It's actually illegal in most major population centers for the "little guy" to lay a network. In the case of wireless spectrum, the government only distributes spectrum at public auctions. In the most recent auction (for the 700mhz band), Verizon won most of the spectrum by spending nearly $10 billion. Not much room for the little guy there either. Make no mistake, these are not competitive markets. And the entrenched companies that operate in these markets will spend ungodly amounts of money influencing our political process to make sure that they stay that way.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama FCC Caves On Net Neutrality

Itchyeyes Re:Is it really so outrageous? (853 comments)

It took me a minute to find the whole in your argument, as your reasoning seems solid on the surface. But there is a hole there. You say

Government doesn't exist to protect the rights of the citizens who are consuming over those who are producing.

Which is mostly true. But neither does government exist to protect rights of producers over consumers, or over other producers for that matter, which is what's happening here. You see the telcos and cable cos have been awarded exclusive rights to wireless spectrum and rights of ways for ground infrastructure by the US government. These are not open and free markets that they deal in. Even if you had the capital to start a telco, you can't simply start broadcasting on the 700mhz spectrum, that belongs to Verizon. Nor can you simply lay fiber optic cable throughout a city, even if you offer to compensate that landowners.

These rights are awarded to the telcos at the exclusion of all other citizens. They are given preference by the law to operate their business with minimal competition from outsiders. What most here argue is that there must be some regulation to balance this. Otherwise you get an inneficient, uncompetitive market that only benefits the providers and not the rest of the citizenship. And the regulation that most propose is that telcos, while they remain free to structure their pricing for networks however they wish, should be required to treat all data passing over that network the same.

That is the very crux of net neutrality. And it's what millions have been pushing for for years. The supposed "net neutrality" bill here essentially lacks that central requirement. That's what everyone is upset about.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama FCC Caves On Net Neutrality

Itchyeyes Can someone give me some details please (853 comments)

While TFA does a lot of ranting and raving about the upcoming regulation, it doesn't actually give any details about what's in the regulation. One of the linked articles does a bit better, telling you what the bill lacks (seemingly any restrictions on paid prioritization, which makes me wonder how you can actually call it a "net neutrality" bill at all), but doesn't say anything about what the bill does include.

Can someone please tell me what's actually in this bill?

more than 3 years ago
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What security policy will the TSA adopt next?

Itchyeyes Re:The TSA is Ineffective (554 comments)

Here's an interesting thought experiment. Through their ridiculous policies, the TSA serves as a disincentive for travelers to fly. It stands to reason then that the TSA is at least somewhat responsible for increased automobile travel within the US. Automobile travel has a significantly higher fatality rate, per mile traveled, than air travel (roughly double). Therefore the TSA would be responsible for an unknown, but almost certainly non-zero, number of increased traffic fatalities since its inception.

It would be very interesting to know just what that number is, and how it compares to lives lost in terrorist attacks on passenger aircraft. Furthermore, it would be interesting to look at the returns to scale. Presumably, TSA policies have decreasing returns to scale, in terms of how much safer they make passengers compared to the amount of hassle they impose on them. So, at the margin, each new TSA policy would provide less safety to aircraft passengers, and push more passengers to auto travel, than the policy before it.

about 4 years ago
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Prepare To Be Watched While You Watch a Movie

Itchyeyes Unsustainable (433 comments)

As disconcerting as the story is, I don't think it's all that much of a concern that this will become the norm across the US. It's just simply unsustainable. Going to a theater is a leisure activity, and it's subject to strict competition. Not just from other leisure activities that audiences can opt for, but also from option of watching the very same movies at home. Theaters owners, of all people, should be well aware of this, as they've seen their audiences decline significantly as home theater systems have improved and grown cheaper over the past decade or so.

Even now, I regularly opt to wait for a film to be released on DVD rather than take the chance of having to deal with a bad audience in a theater. While strict security measures may stave off lawsuits from the MPAA, it's only going to push audiences away from the theaters that choose to implement such policies in the long run.

about 4 years ago
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Annual US Intelligence Bill Tops $80 Billion

Itchyeyes Am I the only one who's not concerned by this? (230 comments)

So it's $80 billion? Did everyone else fail to notice the other number in TFS? Total defense spending is $664 billion, which leaves $584 billion on non intelligence related defense spending. How much of that $584 billion is spent on military forces meant to defend against a cold war style enemy vs the kind of threats the US faces today? My guess would be a large portion of it. Of the $80 billion on intelligence, how much is appropriate for the kinds of threats the US faces today? My guess would be a significantly larger portion than the rest of the defense budget.

Would I like to see a significantly lower defense budget for the US? Absolutely. But intelligence seems like entirely the wrong portion of our national defense to cut it from, given current conditions.

about 4 years ago
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BSG Prequel Series Caprica Canceled

Itchyeyes Re:Paypal programmer can run NBC? (602 comments)

Podcasts have already replaced my drive time radio. I would probably watch them on my TV if there was an easy way to get them on my XBox.

I would suggest getting a Roku. You can pick one up for as cheap as $60. It will stream Netflix, Amazon VoD, and (soon) Hulu+. Not only that, but their channel store has content from most of the major video podcast producers, including Revision3, TWiT, and Whiskey Media.

about 4 years ago
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BSG Prequel Series Caprica Canceled

Itchyeyes Re:I tried to like it. I really did. (602 comments)

This was my experience as well. My wife and I both watched BSG religiously through the entire series. When they announced Caprica, it didn't really sound like what I was looking for after BSG ended, but since I liked BSG so much I decided to give it a shot. My wife made it about halfway through the first season before giving up on it. I stuck it out to the end, hoping that it would eventually pick up. It never did, and I didn't come back for the second season.

Caprica failed because it was a bad spin-off that had almost nothing to do with the original show that it was supposed to be based on, not because of anything to do with cable TV as a business model.

about 4 years ago
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Excitement about U.S. mid-term elections:

Itchyeyes Re:Nothing for us furrinners? (750 comments)

Why not? We grill it into everyone's heads that it's their civic duty to go out and vote, but why? You're supposed to vote because "it's the right thing to do". But why is it the right thing to do?

Look up "rational voter theorem". The probability of your 1 vote impacting a national, or even state, election in a nation of >300 million people is incredibly minute. The outcome of an election has to be immensely valuable to you for it to actually be worth your time to go down to the polling station and cast your ballot.

The logical thing to do is not to vote. Not only do you not waste your time, but in doing so you increase the value of the votes of those who actually value the outcome and are more likely to be informed on the candidates and their issues, and thus make the "correct" choice.

about 4 years ago

Submissions

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Itchyeyes Itchyeyes writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Itchyeyes writes "Over the last decade the music industry has all but imploded. Yet we see the film and video game industries following right along in their footsteps today. Evil Avatar Analysts has an article discussing why the game industry needs to avoid these traps, and what they should be focusing on instead. From the article:

A recent study claimed that the US gaming industry lost nearly $4 billion in 2004, 40% of the total $9.9 billion spent on games in the US that year. The gaming industry is basing these numbers on the same false logic as the music industry does though. They count every instance of piracy as a lost sale. As a result, we get people in the industry, like Todd Hollenshead, spreading the doom and gloom message of how piracy is ruining the industry. Like the RIAA's numbers though, these just don't add up.
"
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Itchyeyes Itchyeyes writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Itchyeyes writes "Yesterday the FTC released an study detailing the ability of the film and video game industries to self regulate. Among the report's primary findings were that sales of 'M' rated games to minors fell by over 50% between 2000 and 2006. Despite these findings, this is the headline that the New York Times decided to use for their article covering the study:

Report Says the Young Buy Violent Video Games and Movies

Despite video games take a primary place in the headline, the nearly 1000 word article devotes only 3 lines to the findings on video games. It devotes the remainder of the article to films, which fared much worse in the FTC's report.

If this isn't the definition of a 'media bias', I don't know what is."
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Itchyeyes Itchyeyes writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Itchyeyes writes "Today, Microsoft officially announced the Xbox 360 elite, one of the worst kept secrets in gaming for the past couple of months. Details include a black case, 120gb hard drive, an HDMI cable, and a $479 price point. So far the reaction by fans an critics alike has been pretty lukewarm. There is one comment that I've seen on several sites that pretty well encompasses most peoples' feelings on the new SKU. Just who is this product aimed at? What was Microsoft's purpose in releasing this new SKU?"

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