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Comment Re:Whats the point? (Score 1) 80

Yes and no; a 2-axis tracker makes better use of the sunlight and the PV panels, yes. It also makes for a better production profile, giving more production closer to sunrise and sunset, and a more even profile throughout the day. But, panels are cheap, and the trackers end up costing as much as the panels... so the return is really that shoulder production time.

The transmission lines are efficient, but don't scale especially well. The utility primary substations are a major choke point. Distributed generation as the primary energy source requires less centralized infrastructure and can be substantially more resilient.

But, either approach still needs evening/night production sources. These seem to be more practical in a distributed model if you want storage, and centralized for generation.

Comment Re: Wrapup phrase should read (Score 3, Interesting) 57

Rooftop solar is good energy policy: domestic, local, distributed. Add in on-site storage, and you have a real winner, as the maximum solar penetration can safely go from 15% to 45% of peak load(/circuit capacity). For bonus points, add in pollution, and fuel cells even start to make good sense at a reasonable penetration. I am working on a couple new buildings now with a combined PV system of about 1MW... for pretty small buildings in the scheme of things.

Net Zero is coming...

Comment Re:Not happy at all for a "Pro" laptop from Apple. (Score 1) 307

Any time I am using my laptop for work, I need Ethernet, HDMI, 2xUSB-A, and power. I lived with the compromise with the Air by having Ethernet dongles everywhere and not using it as my primary workstation in the office-- so I could have the portability. If this is where Apple is going, the pay really don't have a product for me anymore. I don't want to travel with a dock that needs an external power brick.

Comment Re:Film at 11. (Score 1) 307

While I don't agree with it, USB-C is supposed to unify Thunderbolt and USB in the next generation of processors IIRC. It is functionally logical to have a USB-C port on either side of the laptop and be done with it.

It will then look very pretty and symmetrical on the sales table. It will work well for 70-80% of the use-cases out there with one or two extra dongles. If you aren't in that category, you are out of luck because all the manufacturers will go this direction soon.

And, they get to create metric shittons of e-waste as everyone is forced to throw out all their old power supplies, chargers, and other stupid dongles.

Comment Re:MagSafe have save me tons of money (Score 1) 307

In fairness, it isn't always possible-- think meeting rooms and the like. MagSafe also makes plugging the adapter in a little easier one-handed.

Personally, getting rid of USB-A ports would keep me from replacing my MBA. Dongle Mayhem pisses me off, and if this is where they think they should be going with their laptops, they aren't for me. I fully understand the concept of a USB-C dock, and it isn't a terrible approach. Problem is when you aren't at your desk you end up bringing a second bag roughly the size of your laptop in order to be able to use a flash drive, Ethernet, external display, and power adapter. I am also a bit pissed off for having to buy all these stupid single-function thunderbolt dongles, but that is the Apple way...

Do these people not understand that wireless really sucks for some things?

Comment Re:What have they got to show for it? (Score 1) 403

Pretty good with finance, actually. Tell me, what is a "safe" rate of return today? (Hint-- no where close to 4%.) What does healthcare cost for a 50-year old + family as OP indicated? What are annual property taxes on that paid off home? How much of that savings is in cash?

My math would be as follows: greater of $200k or 5 years spending in cash, 2% safe return (but hopefully 5% some years to allow for a splurge here and there), $1,000/month for a basic health insurance policy, $250/month in property taxes. That puts basic income requirement around $20k/year, and most people like to eat and stuff, so call it a minimum of $25k for a very frugal lifestyle. $48k Makes things reasonably comfortable.

$48k/$1MM invested requires a 5% rate of return until you are eligible for social security, when hopefully an extra $2k/month + Medicare kicks in and let's you live on 2-3% per year. BUT, you still need a separate nest egg for medical emergencies, say an extra $50k that hopefully grows by 2% per year for when you get really sick.

Retirement is expensive even if you live frugally. Most people are better off keeping a low stress job a few extra years to cover medical and help slowly build up cash reserves. Unpleasant surprise paying capital gains tax on that cash reserve all at once. Also unpleasant surprise when you switch from a historically high-growth portfolio to a dividend based portfolio when you have a lower risk tolerance. I might have become overly conservative now though...

Comment Re:What have they got to show for it? (Score 3, Insightful) 403

Not to be Debbie Downer, 1.2MM is rarely enough to retire early on, even with zero debt or college costs, unless you live on less than $1,500 per month and plan on down-sizing the home soon to boost savings.

Personally, I like working, so I don't mind spending 10-12 hours a day at the company I helped build. The money is good, wife and I don't have kids and like to travel, so it works. I get about 6 weeks of vacation a year, although most of it is in the form of long weekends. We cut back on our pay and proportionally reduced the stress level, so a long day isn't always long hours working.

I look at my Scandinavian sister-in-law, and while I might envy the month of July off and zero-work weekends, I prefer what we have more. (Although I will need to retire hopefully around 50, I liked the retire early, retire often strategy more.)

Comment Re:"Finally"?? (Score 1) 90

Personally, liked Sense8, but to each his own. House of cards was an expensive series to produce, but it pays dividends now with justifying the strategy.

What I dislike is that some series just don't last. I really got into Straights or whatever it was called, but it only made it a season or two. Common problem; hope Netflix continues to support the long tail.

Comment Re:because everyone carries a bag of 100 gift card (Score 1) 204

Presumably, they would be boxed, from the printer, or in individual envelopes or something "neat and tidy" as a business transaction. Compare that to a random bag of different gift cards that have been concealed.

I don't fully understand the significance of the police officer scanning the a card in his cruiser; I would have thought that would show a mis-match between the two credit card numbers at least, even if it couldn't get extended information.

Comment Re:Well, there goes the 4th Amendment again... (Score 1) 204

I mostly agree, up to the point that they are considered evidence of a crime. Reasonable procedure might be to scan a random sampling of say 5 cards and use the results to obtain a warrant for the remaining cards.

Without a warrant I don't understand how the evidence could be admissible.

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