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Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

jbengt Re:8X cost increase up front (482 comments)

If you're using a ditch witch (like they did to bury the line from my house to my garage) you are not burying the power company's grid, you a burying a low-voltage line to the end-user.

yesterday
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Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

jbengt Re:Shyeah, right. (272 comments)

Commercially printed Read Only optical disc data can be OK, but the Read-Write consumer discs rely on dyes that will degrade & lose data over time.

yesterday
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

jbengt Re:LMFTFY (620 comments)

Part of what the googlers are saying is that price parity won't cause existing fossil-fuel plants to be closed, so the changeover would be much slower than necessary unless renewables are way cheaper - cheap enough to abandon existing capital investments.

2 days ago
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Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

jbengt Re:We need a *social* change (620 comments)

I thought that was the whole idea of employment. Keep the people busy in their jobs so they have no time to get into trouble thinking about their capitalist overloads.

2 days ago
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How the World's Agricultural Boom Has Changed CO2 Cycles

jbengt Re:Riiiight. (183 comments)

I would mod you up, but I've already posted.
From your link:

The atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) record displays a prominent seasonal cycle that arises mainly from changes in vegetation growth and the corresponding CO2 uptake during the boreal spring and summer growing seasons and CO2 release during the autumn and winter seasons

Using a terrestrial carbon cycle model that takes into account high-yield cultivars, fertilizer use and irrigation, we find that the long-term increase in CO2 seasonal amplitude arises from two major regions: the mid-latitude cropland between 25 N and 60 N and the high-latitude natural vegetation between 50 N and 70 N. The long-term trend of seasonal amplitude increase is 0.311 ± 0.027 per cent per year, of which sensitivity experiments attribute 45, 29 and 26 per cent to land-use change, climate variability and change, and increased productivity due to CO2 fertilization, respectively.

Why TFS didn't link to that, and why TFA didn't include that information, will remain a mystery in sloppy reporting.

2 days ago
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How the World's Agricultural Boom Has Changed CO2 Cycles

jbengt Re:Corn Subsidies (183 comments)

Have you seen the movie Avatar? If we all lived like the blue people, the world would be a better place.

One word: "Unobtainium"

2 days ago
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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

jbengt Re:Who opposes cleaner sources of energy? (142 comments)

Turning things off when they are not needed.
DDC controls with better algorithms and controlling more building systems.
More efficient pumps, fans, motors, etc.equipment.
More use of variable flow pumps and fans.
Increased insulation.
Better performing windows.
Heat recovery between outside air intake and exhaust.
Gas fired heating equipment that use low flue temperatures to capture the heat of condensation from water vapor in the flue gases.
Lower wattage lighting.
Architects paying attention to the orientation of the building and shading of windows to maximize heat gain in the winter and minimize it in the summer.
etc.
Problem is, most of these require additional upfront costs and businesses are often more worried about being in business a year from now than they are about how much they'll save over 7 years. Combine that with the extra effort it takes to design with yet another factor (energy) to consider, and there's a lot of inertia to keep things as they have been. Fortunately, many of these are becoming mainstream off-the-shelf items now.

5 days ago
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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

jbengt Re:Gas not less CO2 on refiring coal plants (142 comments)

Don't worry, if the Saudis pump the price of oil below $70/bbl, all new fracking will stop and the cost of using natural gas will rise well above coal within a year or two.

5 days ago
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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

jbengt Re:Who opposes cleaner sources of energy? (142 comments)

I work in the HVAC field, and believe me, there is plenty that can be done relatively cheaply to reduce energy use. It is starting to happen now, but it could have been done 30 years ago if it weren't for the inertia of the construction industry.

5 days ago
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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

jbengt Re: It's still reacting carbon and oxygen... (142 comments)

Sounds like a lot of ordinary construction projects I've been involved in. For example, a large, 3-story anchor store in a shopping mall decided to move the escalator after the structure had been erected. And a famous business machine company suddenly realized that they couldn't put their remote backup service in the high rise office they were remodeling because the reception of the satellite dish on the roof would be blocked by their own building next door. And yes, sometimes regulations are involved, such as changes to completed work because of building inspectors' rulings.

5 days ago
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Window Washing a Skyscraper Is Beyond a Robot's Reach

jbengt Re:A cost equation (203 comments)

People who only care about the cost don't rent offices in skyscrapers . . .

True, but people that care about having a large pool of workers to hire and close proximity to as many clients as possible tend to want offices downtown. Downtown is full of skyscrapers in order to house as many a commuters as possible during working hours. So many people rent a space with a "very expensive view" even though they don't care about it as a status symbol.

about two weeks ago
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Window Washing a Skyscraper Is Beyond a Robot's Reach

jbengt Re:A cost equation (203 comments)

It is not just cost, we don't have the technical ability to make good enough robots that clean as well as humans.

I'm guessing that we would have the technical ability, we just haven't put enough time and money into developing it, since there is no great payoff at the end.

about two weeks ago
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Will Lyft and Uber's Shared-Ride Service Hurt Public Transit?

jbengt Re:should be banned or regulated (237 comments)

Being a business or not might not have much impact on liability for a particular incident, but the insurance actuaries know that business insurance is riskier.

about two weeks ago
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Will Lyft and Uber's Shared-Ride Service Hurt Public Transit?

jbengt Re:should be banned or regulated (237 comments)

You are not correct.
My home insurance will cover accidents that visitors have on my property, but will not cover customers if I'm using it as a place of business - that'd be a whole different level of risk for the insurance company.
Similarly, insuring a taxi driver is a much larger risk for an insurance company than insuring a private driver, even for the same number of miles.
Why should I, as a private driver, pay for the same insurance that covers the larger risks of taxi drivers?

about two weeks ago
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NASA Tests Aircraft With Shape Shifting Wings

jbengt Re:Material fatigue (55 comments)

Good question from AC

about two weeks ago
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NASA Tests Aircraft With Shape Shifting Wings

jbengt Re:Aren't those just called FLAPS? (55 comments)

This eliminates the gap, which starts vortices (causing noise and other issues)

Those air gaps are essential to keeping the air flow attached to the wing surfaces at the large angles of attack required at landing and takeoff speeds.

about two weeks ago
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NASA Tests Aircraft With Shape Shifting Wings

jbengt Re:Major /. faux pas (55 comments)

I doubt that this could allow the large angles of attack provided by the flaps that deploy with multiple separated segments that are used on most commercial aircraft.

about two weeks ago
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Sketches Released of New Star Wars Museum

jbengt Re:Star Wars Museum (65 comments)

One thing it will cost is the deal that no new construction will happen at the lakefront. It is supposed to be park land open to the public. There is almost sure to be a lawsuit to prevent it being built east of Lake Shore Drive. Montgomery Ward was instrumental in creating that precedent, which has, nevertheless, been violated several times.

about three weeks ago
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Buying Goods To Make Nuclear Weapons On eBay, Alibaba, and Other Platforms

jbengt Re: Gallium is also a dopant in chipmaking (260 comments)

TFA calls gallium rare, too, which is not exactly true, at least not compared to most so-called precious metals.

about three weeks ago

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