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Comments

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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

kenh Re: Really? (491 comments)

Solar cells on your roof simply are not cost competitive against utility company power. Period.

The requirement that utility company's buy your excess 'green' energy whenever you happen to have some at RETAIL prices artificially lowers the cost of rooftop photovoltaics.

Photovoltaics are not a substitute for a connection to the power grid *unless* you add a storage device to capture your excess electricity during the day so you can have power at night.

4 days ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

kenh Re: Really? (491 comments)

Yeah, Germany has it all figured out...

According to the New York Times (9-19-2013), not so much:

German families are being hit by rapidly increasing electricity rates, to the point where growing numbers of them can no longer afford to pay the bill. Businesses are more and more worried that their energy costs will put them at a disadvantage to competitors in nations with lower energy costs, and some energy-intensive industries have begun to shun the country because they fear steeper costs ahead.

Newly constructed offshore wind farms churn unconnected to an energy grid still in need of expansion. And despite all the costs, carbon emissions actually rose last year as reserve coal-burning plants were fired up to close gaps in energy supplies.

A new phrase, âoeenergy poverty,â has entered the lexicon.

4 days ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

kenh Re: Not so.... (491 comments)

Forcing your local power company to buy your excess electricity at retail prices is a subsidy, is that going away?

Are people paying full retail for their rooftop solar arrays? That is the measure of 'subsidies going away' - taking a 50% subsidy and dropping it to 40% isn't an example of subsidies 'going away'.

4 days ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

kenh Re: Oh dear - money grows on trees... (491 comments)

Spreading the cost of your lunch over a group of people that do not share in your lunch isn't cheaper, it's cheaper to your - when you factor in the cost of administering the spreading of the cost and the oversight of the subsidized lunch you are enjoying at a discount, the net total cost is actually greater...

4 days ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

kenh Re: Utilities Fighting Back (491 comments)

"Decline" is not "dead", decline means a little less.

The federal subsidies that distort the market for home solar panels should end. Insulating buyers from the actual cost of solar panels removes incentives for industries to find more cost efficient technologies.

The requirements that utilities buy whatever random excess electricity you roof top solar cells happen to generate at a price far in excess of the cost the utility could generate it for needs to stop.

The power buyback program is insanity, nothing less. Consider this - imagine we were back at the turn of the last century, and buggy whips were a big industry. Then someone invents a home buggy whip machine which turns out buggy whips at a random rate. Now the government, bowing to the idea that poor people can't afford buggy whips decides to cover half the cost of every buggy whip machine purchased. Furthermore, the government decides that in order to help make buggy whips more affordable, buggy whip manufacturers are forced to pay above retail price for every excess buggy whip every home buggy whip machine produced.

When the buggy whip industry collapses, it wouldn't be because of the invention of the home buggy whip machine, it would be as a result of the federal and state regulations.

4 days ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

kenh Profits a function of regulations (491 comments)

First off, the current system of forcing utilities to buy excess electricity generated by distributed photovoltaic cells at a premium is the one thing that likely will impact power company PROFITS. For those not familiar with this, in the US (at least, not sure of other markets) power companies buy your unused power you put on to the grid at a price that is above the retail price your neighbors will pay for their electricity from the utility. THAT policy, coupled with extremely generous incentives from the government is what makes photovoltaic cells an 'affordable' power source.

Second, utility company profit is typically regulated to be a percentage of revenues, and reduced sales (because of conservation, self-generation, or whatever) will reduce power company revenue, but profits will remain at the regulated percentage of revenue. (Back when AT&T was *the* phone company, they enjoyed a federally guaranteed profit of around 6% of revenue. They couldn't make more than 6% profit on phone service, but they could keep raising rates until they hit 6% profit. Six percent isn't an unreasonable profit, but when it is guaranteed, it is great. This helps explain why the phone company did so much research and paid such high salaries - these increased costs required increases in revenue, which increased profits.)

The thing that hurts the power company are the regulations, not the lost sales:

Install solar panels on your roof, gov't covers half of the cost (50% discount)

Generate electricity with those solar panels, sell the excess to power company at premium (retail plus) price.

Forcing the power company to buy electricity it doesn't want when it doesn't need it and can't predict or rely on it is what will kill their profits, not you buying less electricity on sunny days with your federally discounted solar panel array on the roof.

4 days ago
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Outlining Thin Linux

kenh Re: Yes, just like that. (221 comments)

Now we run Windows Server 2012 with no GUI, virtualized, and admin with powershell. We've ripped out tens of thousands of dollars of Red Hat; windows is cheaper.

But how can that be? Linux is free?! /sarcasm

about a week ago
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Outlining Thin Linux

kenh Like... (221 comments)

Windows Server 2012 R2 Core? What about Ubuntu JeOS? (Just Enough OS)

about a week ago
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School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

kenh Or you could just... (231 comments)

Or you could just have the kids learn a 4 digit PIN, like the majority of schools in America do...

Honestly, the cashier has a keypad, the kid just types in their PIN after the cashier adds up their purchase, and the account is debited (unless the student is eligible for a free meal, in which case the student does the exact same thing, but no money is deducted from an account - thus removing the stigma of being from a low income family, at least as far as lunch in the cafeteria is concerned)...

about two weeks ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

kenh Re: Cue the fanbois (249 comments)

Imagine the savings if they simply went off computers entirely and reverted back to pen and paper! They could fire all their IT folks...

Who needs a website? You can just put bulletin boards all around town!

The savings are amazing!

about three weeks ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

kenh Re: Admirable, but why stop there? (249 comments)

Let me guess - the high school you currently attend has laptop carts full of chromebooks, and that's how you just know they'd work great for government workers?

about three weeks ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

kenh Re: Windows is less expensive than Red Hat (249 comments)

Yeah, managing 8,300 Linux desktops and user accounts requires nothing more than a couple shell scripts...

about three weeks ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

kenh Re: maintenance costs (249 comments)

Please explain how you propose they manage those 8,30 desktops and user accounts without Active Directory, Group Policies, or System Center - all of which are included when you license a Windows operating system...

Ubuntu wants $105/yr for their desktop management solution...

about three weeks ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

kenh Re: The Microsoft Tax can buy you... (249 comments)

Yeah, the future of Microsoft is based on giving away free upgrades to a 14 year-old OS...

Has Linux cracked 2% of desktop users? Last I saw MS Vista had nearly ten times larger market share than ALL Linux desktops...

about three weeks ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

kenh Re: ... and back again. (249 comments)

Because government transparency is based on their choice of a desktop operating system...

And no, it isn't based on file formats used by your preferred office application suite either.

about three weeks ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

kenh Re: ... and back again. (249 comments)

Welcome to Slashdot! ;^)

about three weeks ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

kenh Re: ... and back again. (249 comments)

Did you really just try and compare Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 with Kubuntu?

Apples and oranges.

It makes me question your actual experiences with both...

about three weeks ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

kenh Re: What's in the EU water? (249 comments)

they prefer the games because its OSS.

Seriously, THAT is why they prefer those particular games, because they are OSS?

Puh-leeze.

Either it is because they are cheaper/free OR they are just simply better games.

about three weeks ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

kenh Re: Boom in the EU = Boom in Redmond (249 comments)

Go price a management solution for your 8,300 'free' desktops - a Ubuntu wants $105/desktop per year for a system that hopes to someday be as stabil and robust as MS Active Directory and Group Policy solutions that are (essentially) free with Windows Server...

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/...

At 8,300 desktops and $105/yr, after six years you've invested neatly $5M to manage the desktops like you used to under Windows XP... Where did the savings go?

Then again, they could just cobble together a bunch of free tools and 'roll their own' management solution, I'm sure they welcome taking on that burden in the IT department - with no additional resources... To ensure maximal savings!

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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MPC can't process Warranty Claims

kenh kenh writes  |  more than 5 years ago

kenh writes "Something has gone horribly, horribly wrong at Gateway/MPC. Here is the very short version of my experience: Dec. 2005 I bought a Gateway Convertible laptop with a 3-year warranty. Oct. 8, 2008 I call MPC, who has taken over warranty calls for Gateway systems (they apparently bought the professional services arm of the company) I'm told part will ship next day. Oct. 20, 2008 I call back, find out where my part is (I had said Ground was fine for shipping), found out the warehouse shipping system had "been down for a week, it just came up, and the part will ship by Wednesday". Oct. 24, 2008 I call back, am told the part is out of stock, call back Wednesday, we should have a better handle on the inventory/ETA. Oct. 29, 2008 I call in, only to find the warehouse hasn't shipped anything for almost two weeks, the part is in stock, and the call center staff has no idea when the part will ship (the system is still down), it could be another week or so. Now, this is bad, but since my average wait time for each of these calls is around two hours, I have to believe I'm not the only customer in this situation. I'm wondering if any here knows the answer to what's going on at MPC?"
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Trouble in iTunes Paradise

kenh kenh writes  |  more than 7 years ago

kenh writes "Universal Music, responsible for one out of three new tunes released in the USA, has decided not to renew it's current 12 month contract — yet.[NYTimes Link] The dispute opens the possibility that Apple could lose the ability to offer Universal music for sale through iTunes, and that Universal could take it's music library to another seller. It is unclear what impact this possible change might have for iTunes customers that have bought Universal music from iTunes and need to re-load their iPod/computer if the deal is not renewed? Presumably Apple would have to keep any song ever sold on it's servers in perpetuity."
Link to Original Source
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kenh kenh writes  |  about 8 years ago

kenh writes "For years my father has gotten along the Information Superhighway with just an i-Opener and an Earthlink account, but the internet has moved too far ahead of his burned-in-ROM browser to be useful tohim anymore (and dial-up is a bit slow these days). Anyway, while investigating various options (Apple Macintosh, Knoppix Linux/Ubuntu Linux with USB key file storage, WebTV) none are very appealing for various reasons. What, o fellow Slashdoter's are the real options today? The criterion are: Dial-up support, no update/anti-virus/etc pop-ups, and no software "update" downloads, support for PDFs, Flash, Javascript, etc. to accomodate modern websites. The i-Opener was 'foolproof", if things went wrong, you could just shut it off and try again, everything I see today lacks that ability (to varying extents)."

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