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Grad Student Rigs Cheap Alternative To $1,000 Air Purifiers In Smoggy China

cnaumann Re:Lots of people criticize this for its obviousne (157 comments)

Go to Amazon and look for HEAP air fliters for home use. You will find models from $50 to $250.
Yeah, A LOT of people have had this idea and brought products to market.

10 hours ago

Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

cnaumann Yes, more power than we could ever use... (461 comments)

One thing I have been curious about...

What was Germany doing with all the power that was being produced by their coal plants during this magic hour? They could not simply turn them off. While it is impressive than they met "50% of their demand" was all the power being produced actually being used or were they dumping it somewhere?

about a month ago

How Vacuum Tubes, New Technology Might Save Moore's Law

cnaumann The first transistor (183 comments)

Julius Edgar Lilienfeld patented a FET in 1925. The FET is the type of transistor used in all modern CPUs.

about a month ago

Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

cnaumann Re:huh (394 comments)

Here is a nice believeable breakdown for home energy use:

Space heating is the biggest use of home energy, followed by water heating and AC. Most of the rest of the stuff is pretty trivial.

Also remember that if you need space heating anyway, the excess heat produced by appliances in living spaces is not going to waste.

about a month and a half ago

Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

cnaumann Re:It ain't broke (865 comments)

Some of the push button systems are truly horrible. The BMW 328i has two buttons, one labled 'off' and the other labled 'start/stop engine' As a bonus, the engine stops running (sometimes) when you push the brake and the car comes to a complete stop.
Want to guess how to turn the car off? Shift to park, take your foot off the brake and push engine start/stop...

Another fun fact. Guess what happens if you get into a Prius with the right key plus another Prius key? The wireless push button system does not work. You have to use it in 'manual mode'. Pro-tip: make sure the instruction manual is in the glove box.

I would be very happy with a two position switch to turn the car off and on and a push button starter. All the single button systems have design issues.

about 3 months ago

Lego Robot Solves Rubik's Cube Puzzle In 3.253 Seconds

cnaumann Re:Applications (60 comments)

Try LEGO model railroading. Yes, it is a real hobby.

about 4 months ago

Adobe's New Ebook DRM Will Leave Existing Users Out In the Cold Come July

cnaumann Re:*Shrug* (304 comments)

If you are not expecting to update the firmware on your TV, you have not purchased a web-enabled TV. Mine updates its firmware all the time. Same with your car.

about 6 months ago

Court Says Craigslist Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support

cnaumann Re:Dont do anyone any favors (644 comments)

Sure, but why should the tax payers pay for it?

And what does the manner in which the child was conceived, the relationship between the biological parents, the fact that the mother is gay have to do with anything?

If you want a system where the biological father can simply sign a document that says he want nothing to do with the child, fine, lets implement such a system. But that is not how the current system works.

The court is not wrong here.

about 6 months ago

Will Electric Cars and Solar Power Make Gasoline and Utilities Obsolete?

cnaumann Re:Uh? (734 comments)

Two things will drive the cost back up.

1) You still have to build roads. Roads are largely paid for by a tax on fuel, but electric cars do not have to pay that tax, yet. Make no mistake, they eventually will be taxed. There will be no 'free' travel.

2) Solar availability. Even if you have enough storage capacity to get you through the night, there will likely be time where you go several days without a lot of sunlight. What do you do? Grid power? You are going to find that utilities simply cannot afford to maintain an infrastructure for people to uses every now and then. The first thing that will happen is that they will stop buying your excess power at full retail rates. That step alone will increase the cost of solar power, because you will have to use or store every Watt you are generating in order pay back the cost of the installation. The second thing that will happen is that utilities will slap you with a very significant 'availability charge' just to be connected for those few days a month you need grid power.

Solar power _will_ have an impact on how utilities work, but there is no way it alone will make grid power obselete. With transportation, don't bet against fluid hydrocarbons.

about 6 months ago

US Justice Blocks Implementation of ACA Contraceptive Mandate

cnaumann Re:This is the problem with religious people. (903 comments)

You can extend the argument. If they pay their employees with money, and the money can be used to purchase contraception, then they risk Hell. Therefore they should not pay their employees with money.

I cannot see the difference between purchasing an insurance plan for employees that covered contraception and paying them with money that can be used to purchased contraception.

about 6 months ago

60% of Americans Unaware of Looming Incandescent Bulb Phase Out

cnaumann Heat pumps (944 comments)

Heat pumps have one serious problem. When it gets cold, your house needs more heat and the amount of heat that a heat pump can deliver goes down. Almost every heat pump installation uses resistive auxiallary heat to make up the diffrerence. You are usually better off using a little extra heat from either a small electric space heater or light bulbs in the rooms you occupy to bring them to a comfortable temperature than using the heat pump to heat the entire house to a constant temperuture.

about 7 months ago

60% of Americans Unaware of Looming Incandescent Bulb Phase Out

cnaumann Halogens are avialble for now. (944 comments)

Unfortunately, Halogens will not make the 2020 cut.

about 7 months ago

Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

cnaumann Re:reasons for it (314 comments)

Define 'pollution'.

A weedwacker burns less than half a gallon of gas in an hour.
A Hummer burns about 5 gallons.
I run a weed wacker about 10 hours a year.
I spend about 500 hours a year driving.

about 7 months ago

Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

cnaumann Re:Minimal ghg impact (314 comments)

Lets see...

There was the 100MPG carburetor,
the water-powered dune buggy,
the overunity generator,
cold fusion,
and at least 6 of Tesla's inventions.

about 7 months ago

Smart Cars: Too Distracting?

cnaumann Ironically (180 comments)

My car navigation system and "infotainment" system locks out certain seemingly random features while the car is in motion. For example, you can change Bluetooth devices while the car is in motion but you cannot sync a new device to the system. I did not know this. I found it incredibly distracting to try to figure out what the hell was wrong with the system while driving, and I wasn't even the one trying to use the system.

about 8 months ago

Woman Fined For Bad Review Striking Back In Court

cnaumann What about the credit reporting agency (249 comments)

That seems to the be the real problem here. Why can any flight-by-night company kill your credit rating like this?

about 8 months ago

A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

cnaumann Re:How does this story play in Arizona (1030 comments)

Most likely they are refusing to buy excess solar-generated power at retail rates. They also may charge more for a grid tie-in if the load is very light some days and very heavy other days. This HAS to happen eventually, the utilities cannot buy power at retail rates and maintain their infrastructure.

about 8 months ago

EPA Makes Most Wood Stoves Illegal

cnaumann Re:Which company bought this 'new' rule? (1143 comments)

There are so few CEO's that they can't be the main problem. If you confiscate all the wealth of all the billionaires, in total, you get 2 months of government spending.

There is around $50T in total household wealth in the US. The upper 1% controls about 30% of that, call it $15T. Government spends maybe $5T a year total....

about 8 months ago

Zuckerberg To Teach 10 Million Kids 0-Based Counting

cnaumann Re:We don't (295 comments)

How many years old were you from the time you were born until your first birthday?

about 9 months ago

Duke Univ. Device Converts Stray Wireless Energy Into Electricity For Charging

cnaumann Re:Measuring charge by measuring potential (216 comments)

The fact that the internal resistance of a battery changes as a function of charge is not the reason that the potential of a battery changes as a function of charge. You didn't say that it did, but you implied it.

There is nothing 'roughly proportional' about the relationship between the potential on a capacitor and the voltage on a capacitor. They are proportional. If they are not proportional then you do not have a capacitor. Real world, non-ideal, capacitors do have some non-linearities, some types more than others, but they are generally quite small.

about 9 months ago


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