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Tapping Shale Reserves, US Would Become World's Top Oil Producer By 2017

rhakka Re:It's a sad sign of the times (467 comments)

"close or equal to"?

really. wow, that's amazing. I would love to hear more about how the pollution involved with manufacturing solar panels, which will then generate many times their energy of manufacturing over the lifetime of the panels, is somehow "close to, if not equal to" that of, say, burning oil for home heating oil, or as gas in cars, or coal for electricity, including THEIR extraction and refining externialities.

be sure to show your work, cause that's quite a doozy of a statement. It reeks of complete bullshit, actually. How many people per year die of solar panel manufacturing related pollution and manufacturing, vs oil production AND POLLUTION AND USE? do the words "orders of magnitude apart" mean anything? check out "smog related deaths" sometime. it's illuminating. and those are generally just talking about people who actually die from the immediate consequences of smog inhalation. now consider the impact on lung disease as a whole. very small doses of critical thinking are all you need.

markets cannot adjust for externialities in any truly meaningful way without very heavy educational loads, especially for complex questions. it is why a slavish devotion to free market principles is childish and shortsighted. it's a frightfully flawed model if actual human welfare is of concern.

about 2 years ago
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Tapping Shale Reserves, US Would Become World's Top Oil Producer By 2017

rhakka Re:It's a sad sign of the times (467 comments)

but external costs are paid via mechanisms that are NOT included in the cost of the fuel.

the medical and pollution aspects of fossil fuel use... to say nothing of the global warming costs and, up until recently, our geopolitical control costs (military)... are all costs associated with oil that we pay for via taxes, insurance premiums, and other mechanisms that don't dissuade oil usage per se.

until those externialities are captured in the cost of a barrel of oil, the playing field against clean alternatives is not level. thus the need for subsidies on clean alternatives. because the free market simply cannot handle external costs in a legitimate way.

about 2 years ago
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Tesla Model S Named 'Car of the Year'

rhakka Re:"Model S" (303 comments)

if you're in maine, half of your power is renewables and hydro and the other half is mostly natural gas. so... kind of depends where you live.

about 2 years ago
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Third Party Debates Moderated by Larry King: Discuss

rhakka Re:Why bother without IRV (221 comments)

actually, in maine the democrats have realized IRV is important. strong independents just keep running and they finally got it. last time in state committee it was a party line vote to go to an IRV system.

what it will take to get the republicans on board, I'm not sure. it's cost them elections too. but here I think they assume the math favors them without IRV.

so now we're just waiting for a democratic majority again. if it's soon, we may even pass it next time.

about 2 years ago
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Third Party Debates Moderated by Larry King: Discuss

rhakka Re:Why bother without IRV (221 comments)

the basic rule that a lower ranked vote for a candidate should never hurt your higher ranked choices makes it preferable, to me, than approval or a "true" condorcet method.

IRV is break-able... all electoral systems are. but it's much, much less breakable than 1 person 1 vote. and it allows a voter to express an actual preference.

a place to read up on this stuff is here: http://www.fairvote.org/

about 2 years ago
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How Viable Is Large Scale Wind Energy?

rhakka Re:Hmm... (345 comments)

that's a pretty small pantry. the square footage difference isn't that large. but sure, in some cases that's a bigger deal, namely in very expensive metropolitan areas where square footage is very expensive, fair enough.

about 2 years ago
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How Viable Is Large Scale Wind Energy?

rhakka Re:Hmm... (345 comments)

ceramic bricks are not a better storage material than water. especially not if you need water as an end result. you might be able to achieve higher densities with ceramics by jacking the temperature up higher, but you'll never achieve the level of cost effectiveness with ceramics that you can with water and insulation.

you can question my on demand assertion, but for anyone with regular DHW usage it's pretty easy math. the efficiency gain never even comes close to balancing out the increased first and maintenance costs. as your DHW increases, the efficiency differential decreases as well as jacket loss becomes a smaller and smaller percentage of the total load.

about 2 years ago
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How Viable Is Large Scale Wind Energy?

rhakka Re:Hmm... (345 comments)

storing hot water for domestic use is a trivial engineering problem. your 25% is wrong... it's more like 10% for a standard tank... and slightly better insulation would fix even that. there are tanks now with 3" of insulation that lose very little heat. also bear in mind that 10% number is only as big as it is because the amount of energy most people use for Domestic hot water is very small, like 40-50 gallons a day. it's not objectively very much energy in any case.

on demands don't make any sense for anyone right now.

we can greatly upsize tanks and store heat for space heat too. make ice for cooling. lots of ways to store useful thermal energy exist. between those and electric cars we have the capability to increase grid storage rather massively in a relatively short period of time with technology that exists today.

about 2 years ago
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Why VCs Really Reject Startups

rhakka Re:Hard truth (217 comments)

that's a fantastic fantasy you have there. that's why all those hard working african kids starving to death in the desert deserve what they got, right?

more than 2 years ago
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Cheap Solar Panels Made With An Ion Cannon

rhakka Re:and i'll bet you.... (395 comments)

bullshit. large percentages of these installations have monitoring equipment built in. a 20% yearly degradation would be front page news on every oil friendly publication in the world and people would be storming congress in hordes to stop the subsidies if that claim were anything but BS.

more than 2 years ago
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Cheap Solar Panels Made With An Ion Cannon

rhakka Re:Fuel cells are overrated. (395 comments)

If you are trying to heat, you can just store hot water directly or heat it with the PV. the tank isn't that big. lasts for a long time. very little maintenance or development required.

more than 2 years ago
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Small, Modular Nuclear Reactors — the Future of Energy?

rhakka Re:Nuclear power is corporate welfare (314 comments)

Here in the northeast you can get PV installed for $3.50/watt in many cases (PRE SUBSIDY). we broke the tipping point not long ago compared to our cost for grid electricity. I just updated a PV quote here and we'll do about 13kw array for about $45k. this morning's numbers, using canadian solar panels (not even chinese units). In some areas like the NW we won't hit parity anytime soon (cheap hydro) and a few others who are just burning coal with no thought for anything else will be slower too. but we're the leading edge, and most of our electricity is more expensive hydro, nukes, and natural gas... not the dirtiest mix around, and it has your magic wunderkid, nukes, well represented. that won't be saving us anytime soon. PV will make building nukes cost prohibitive in comparison.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/guest-blogs/pv-systems-have-gotten-dirt-cheap -- note, I know the writer of that blog, he's a sharp and very thoughtful guy who cares about environmental causes but has no patience for solutions that aren't.

also note: when he wrote the article, it was $4.50/watt. That was last fall, so the price has continued to plummet per watt. now, our grid electricity's standard offer will drop to 0.14, but that just puts it back to parity at $4.50/watt... and we're still doing a lot better at $3.50/watt..

finally, remember that distributed solar has very little in the way of transmission and overhead costs like centralized generation does. cost for generation is only part of the equation. backyard nukes might also benefit from that advantage, but really... cheap solar vs a backyard nuke? yeah, I wonder which one will win out. what we need is good, cheap, flywheel or capacitor storage.

more than 2 years ago
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Small, Modular Nuclear Reactors — the Future of Energy?

rhakka Re:Nuclear power is corporate welfare (314 comments)

he's probably confused because he doesn't consider successfully shifted external costs like health care, environmental cleanup, risk mitigation, lost resource production, war and military expenditures to be "subsidies". Of course, if we appropriately taxes the sources of those problems (fossil fuels, nuclear) to cover their costs, we'd be all green already. But of course that isn't a subsidy, right? it's just life without sufficient regulation of energy production.

He also apparently isn't aware that solar PV is already at parity with grid electricity over 25 years in a few parts of the US.

more than 2 years ago
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The New Transparency of War and Lethality of Hatred

rhakka Re:Bogus premise (591 comments)

we now live in a world where 8 people who are dedicated an unafraid to die can kill thousands and send an entire country on a ten year pyhhric spending spree to attempt to guarantee their own safety. Most soldiers on the planet already meet this definition and religious fanatics add millions more.

You can never, ever cow a population so completely as to avoid that possibility now. the small cells are far more empowered in today's age than ever before. Your 1940's tactics are quite simply no guarantee of safety these days. If you conquer and rule an area you might be able to cow that population, but you cannot do it to the whole world, and unlike the old days that educated the men of the 1940's and to an even larger degree than was true IN the 40's a global war can be waged almost trivially easily by small groups of people in a way that was never true in the past.

  and at some point you will sacrifice so much in your quest to root out the enemy, that you'll lose out in the end anyway. you will spend yourself into oblivion trying.

That, incidentally, was Osama Bin Laden's own stated strategy for fighting superpowers. I'd say he did a pretty damn good job. We've adapted and appear to now be focusing on killing the controllers of the terrorist networks but they have gone cellular before and can do so again. Sabotauge and individually placed explosives can do so much more interested things these days than back in Hitler's day, don't you think?

more than 2 years ago
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How Stephen Hawking Has Defied the Odds For 50 Years

rhakka Re:Amused being an example of "death panels". (495 comments)

when you can use a service and pay nothing extra for it, you might forgive a person's use of the word "free". it's certainly accurate in terms of its impact on that person's life. especially when the tax is collected in proportion to your ability to pay, so it's not like it's a "fixed expense" to any given person.

it's the ultimate insurance. everyone is in, no one is out, and there is no profit motive to denying you care, just a regard for the actual resources available. awesome.

more than 2 years ago
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How Stephen Hawking Has Defied the Odds For 50 Years

rhakka Re:Best care money can buy helps (495 comments)

if individual charity was adequate to solve these kinds of societal problems we wouldn't be having this debate because the problem would already be solved. Obviously there are not enough Ron Pauls out there to solve it through their own selflessness.

more than 2 years ago
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FDA Backtracks On Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Proposal

rhakka Re:Meat "not required" (172 comments)

he didn't say you couldn't piece it together. just that A, it requires a very varied diet not practical for anyone but an industrialized person to achieve and B, it requires great attention to what you are getting in what you are eating that is unlikely to be practical for most people.

Not that you can't be a vegetarian for a long time. but there is a wall I've seen most vegetarians I know hit after about 10-12 years.

more than 2 years ago
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Prospects Darken For Solar Energy Companies

rhakka Re:If the visible hand of government lets go (435 comments)

Really? How much of our military budget relative to strategic oil producing countries is born out in our gas taxes?
How much gas tax do we pay to work on medical effects from fossil fuel pollution?
How about to handle the effects of global warming?
How much are those public leases for drilling really costing? Is that really "fair market value"?
How much damage does BP and other producers do to their local environs, and how much of that do they actually pay for?

Fossil fuels are incredibly subsidized, by allowing them to avoid all the externialities they create.

Not sure how solar and wind "can't produce energy on their own"... their EROI is positive... and who cares if they require backup capacity? If you can keep it off 90% of the time, yahoo! Further that argument completely ignores load management technology which is rapidly becoming a reality here in the US with just the basic change of electric meters on homes. one more step from that to appliances or outlets that you can program to manage your own loads in response.

but we can just forget all that I suppose. coal roxors.

more than 2 years ago
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Go Daddy Loses Over 21,000 Domains In One Day

rhakka Re:so uh why they'd support it? (356 comments)

Without regulation, all the power is already with the corporations. So yes, there is no reason for them to get involved with government, because you just basically made there BE NO GOVERNMENT. Government kind of implies, you know, governing. not letting all the wealth concentrate in the hands of a few who can then trivially easily collude to turn the entire planet into a "company store" situation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truck_system

As soon as you even begin to define and enforce even direct-victim crimes like bait and switch contracts, what should be considered fraud, etc, then bingo we're right back where we started with corporations trying to buy the point of view they consider most advantageous into leglislation. but with even less checks to their power. Unless of course you happen to be in command of gigantic piles of cash. which you of course EARNED every penny of through your hard, smart work, you pillar of industry you.

Ranked choice, 100% publicly funded elections, with an electoral apparatus of the government by, of, and for the people, not the cash cows. Then call bribery what it is and put people in JAIL for it.

more than 2 years ago
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Innovative Use of Plastics Could Cheaply Double Solar Cell Output

rhakka Re:Improving solar cells (141 comments)

the cost of solar has been reducing quickly.

I quoted a twice, from the same company, 1 year apart. the second quote added almost 30% capacity for the same price, after only 1 year.

times they are a'changing.

more than 2 years ago

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