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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

aaarrrgggh Simple Solutions (1 comments)

The issue is that the energy and distribution costs are bundled, primarily for residential customers. Un-bundle the two, and have a specific demand charge (max kW power flow, either direction). The demand charge covers distribution, and you continue to net-meter energy.

The problem today is essentially that a residential user produces 4x their peak demand for a few hours a day, which forces the utility to have 4x the distribution capacity but they end up with zero revenue.

For the end user, if you aren't happy with it, go off-grid and provide a sufficient battery to make it work. As long as the utility is charging less than about $10/kW demand charge, it is cheaper to connect to the grid than provide your own batteries. The balance stops working when the peak PV component of production exceeds some magic number, but that should be over 40%.

yesterday
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

aaarrrgggh Re:The Government also ruined my washer and dryer (591 comments)

The secret is that you have to open the door and detergent tray on the washer, and the heat exchanger and lint tray need to be removed on the dryer, also with the door open.

We had a nightmare with our washer when first installed due to bad controller boards, but it has been working reliably for several years now. Not sure if I would go Bosch again, but it does the job pretty well.

3 days ago
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IBM Solar Concentrator Can Produce12kW/day, Clean Water, and AC

aaarrrgggh Re:Found the IBM link. (268 comments)

Wind loading... why not just put it on an axle and let it spin to make even more kW per day and possibly even more cubic liters of water!!

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

aaarrrgggh Re:Training Budget (182 comments)

Forcing someone to train without paying them is illegal in most states. If someone like the OP wants to go to a conference for fun, professional development, networking, etc., that is all well and good; it is a shared benefit. Threats of being fired if you don't have certification X is unacceptable, but denial of future benefits is more fuzzy.

The real problem is some people want to be life long students and milk professional development funds, and policies need to protect employers from that.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

aaarrrgggh Training Budget (182 comments)

Public and companies with government contracts are different than the private sector, and selling taxpayers on a conference in Las Vegas can be difficult.

In the private sector, companies should budget about 5% of annual salary for training. That includes time and expenses. Usually our approach is to make sure the employee has some skin in the game-- either pay part of the cost or take PTO to attend if it isn't after-hours.

As an employer, I am generally torn on the matter though; much of the benefit is to the employee rather than the employer; I care that you can do your job not that you have a piece of paper that says you can do your job. New technologies, keeping skills sharp, networking... all of those things have a split benefit.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?

aaarrrgggh Re:No issues here (504 comments)

I don't have any of the problems with sluggishness, but boy is iOS 8 buggy, especially on the iPad! I've had about 8 reboots since Thursday with light usage.

I really hate a lot of the changes they have made, especially Safari, and it doesn't feel like there is much substance to the new features.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

aaarrrgggh Re:IPTables and OpenVPN (238 comments)

Ironically, it is the licensing of openvpn (not that open) that makes the problem.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

aaarrrgggh Re:eBay a Cisco ASA 5505 (238 comments)

I love our work ASA5505, but it is a bear to configure properly unless you know what you are doing. High point with me is the ease of connecting on the client end.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

aaarrrgggh Re:IPTables and OpenVPN (238 comments)

Do you use OpenVPN from iPhone/iPads in your environment? Can't stand the client I have from OpenVPN.com.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

aaarrrgggh Re:Why VPN? (238 comments)

One big reason is to avoid all the "cloudy" ways to allow remote access to things like cameras, storage, security. Another incentive might be to route all (say) netflix traffic to a VPN so that it doesn't get throttled by your ISP.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

aaarrrgggh Re:geek or not (238 comments)

I've had miserable experience with Buffalotech reliability, and would recommend Asus and the RT-AC-66U in a heartbeat. The custom firmware adds a lot of nice functionality including OpenVPN with GUI.

For non-paranoid, non-geeks, avoid OpenVPN in my book.

about three weeks ago
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Home Depot Confirms Breach of Its Payment Systems

aaarrrgggh Re:CC system is flawed (111 comments)

It is easy if the security token is a single-purpose device; hard if it is a smart phone.

about three weeks ago
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Home Depot Confirms Breach of Its Payment Systems

aaarrrgggh Re:Junk quality; why bother? (111 comments)

Most local family-owned shops are effectively Ace or one of the other franchises. While not all the inventory comes from the franchiser, it's quality is usually lower to be at the same retail price. Lowes seems to have higher quality, higher-priced products consistently, but it seems to miss the balance on the value scale.

I bought a Husky tool cabinet last year for under $300, where the comparable product from Lowes was $700. Lowes was hands-down better in terms of construction quality, design, and features... but for my needs the cost wasn't warranted.

Know when you want/need quality, and know when you need to get the job done. The product is the key though, not the merchant.

about three weeks ago
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Home Depot Confirms Breach of Its Payment Systems

aaarrrgggh Re:CC system is flawed (111 comments)

It is easier than that; the token needs to have merchant, amount, date/time hashed in; you approve that information before entering your pin.

There are hard issues... like what to do with credit reports that rely on a non-random 9-digit social security number as keys to the kingdom, but securing the transaction between consumer, merchant, and bank isn't that hard.

about three weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

aaarrrgggh Re:Anthropometrics (819 comments)

Where? I fly domestic first class, the same issue prevails. It is bad design, period. Either lock out recline or do the slider seat reclines. Only other option is to remove tray tables.

about three weeks ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

aaarrrgggh Re:Anthropometrics (819 comments)

The solution is simple, make the recline shift the reclining passenger's seat forward so the recline stays within their volume of space.

Or, eliminate the recline altogether.

about three weeks ago
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Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

aaarrrgggh Re:Yes, we know that. (245 comments)

You are mixing units to your detriment-- think in kW not kWh. You are also incorrect regarding efficiency; when you pay for your demand up front efficiency is much more incentivized.

about a month ago
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Airbnb To Hand Over Data On 124 Hosts To New York Attorney General

aaarrrgggh Re:It is a public safety issue (149 comments)

See, the rules work! ;)

On a serious note though, fire regulations are only one of many differences; accessibility, ventilation, energy all are different between long term and short term housing.

about a month ago
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Munich Council Say Talk of LiMux Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

aaarrrgggh Re:LibreOffice (190 comments)

The GP is referring to the classic problem of collaborating with a single document. Party A provides base information, B edits information, A reviews changes and makes further updates. Collaborating with a PDF is called markup, and relies on a single party to be responsible for editing. Not sure if Google Docs does a good enough job on resumes yet to work.

about a month ago
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Airbnb To Hand Over Data On 124 Hosts To New York Attorney General

aaarrrgggh Re:It is a public safety issue (149 comments)

Because transient residents are not intimately familiar with the fire escapes and layout of the building. Smoke compartments must be smaller, low-level exit signs are generally required (so someone can see them when crawling), and requirements for secondary exits are different. And... you must post a sign at the door indicating exit locations.

I am torn on the issue; in a place like San Francisco or NYC, the issue of taking units out of the rental pool is quite serious. This becomes worse where you have rent control. On the flip side, it is nice to have options when you stay in a place without sufficient traditional lodging offerings. Bed and breakfast establishments aren't really my cup of tea personally, but having a small apartment or house for a few days can put you more in the center of a community.

about a month ago

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