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I’m a getting solar system from Solar City

This is going to be interesting, and I’m going to post updates on the progress. Just ordered a new solar system for my house from Solar City. And it’s not going to cost me anything out of pocket. They come out and put it in and then they become my electricity provider. I still get a small PG&E bill for the meter and gas I use, but the rest is billed from Solar City.

Yes – technically I could have saved even more if I built my own or bought one outright. And probably could have done that. But Solar City is one of Elon Musk’s companies (as in Tesla motors and SpaceX) and I like what he’s doing to improve the world so I decided not just to do what’s easy but I feel good about giving them my business.

Plan is to get 15 panels. I really only need 12 but I just wanted to generate a little extra power just for the hell of it. What’s amazing is that with an electric bill that’s only $75/month they still could actually save me a few bucks. But I’m doing it mostly because I like the idea of not burning carbon to make my power. And I get to save money doing it.

Technically because I had them add 3 extra panels my saving is less. I would have saved $12/month but not I’m saving only $1. That’s OK because that’s what I want. Money isn’t the biggest factor. But in the future my savings will increase because PG&E rates will go up faster than Solar City. The contract says they can only go up 3%/year max.

But – I want to get some personal experience with solar. That way I can talk about it from experience. There isn’t anything cleaner than solar power. Although I think the immediate threat from global warming is exaggerated, one can not deny that it has some effect. And I know that it will be bad in the long run to pump all the carbon into the environment. So reducing one’s carbon footprint and saving money doing it is a good thing. Most of the time being green costs more. This costs less.

Realistically I’ve been thinking about the big picture. In some ways PG&E is getting screwed because 1/2 of their costs is maintaining the power lines, not making the power. So since the solar power is effectively “stored” in the PG&E grid they are getting short changed from that aspect.

However, solar makes electricity on those hot summer days when PG&E needs it the most. PG&E has to have the ability to generate enough power in real time to meet peak demand. So if they can’t do that they have to ask some of their big power users to shut down so they can power our home air conditioners. But since I will be generating excess power not only will I not be a drag on the system, but I’ll be powering my neighbor’s air conditioner as well. The PG&E can sell their power to other customers and not have to shut them down. It also reduces their line posses on high demand days, and it makes it so they need to build fewer power plants to have the capacity to cover hot days. So PG&E gets some benefits too.

Also, as Solar City expands to more and more sites eventually they might become the nation’s biggest power provider. And that will get them some political clout to go up against big coal and oil. So I’m also stopping some strip mining and fracking, and I’m not funding Muslim terrorists as much. Although an electric car would make a bigger difference there.

There’s another interesting aspect to this as well. I might actually make some money at this. They have a referral program that pays me $250 if I get someone else signed up. And I get an extra $100 on a second level signup. And I’ve made a lot of money in the past with affiliate programs. So it’s going to be interesting to see how that works out as well.

 

Published:07/24/2014
School Voucher Systems: Doomed to Fail?

Why is it so many for-profit programs that replace government run ones slide into nightmare such as for-profit prisons where more people get convicted for lessor things to fill the cells?

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Published:07/22/2014
This Is Insane! – Don’t Piss Off A Truck Driver



Click pic to see what happens.

Here’s the story behind what’s happening. And yeah, it’s four years old. New to me.

Anybody else old enough here to remember seeing Steven Spielburg’s first film on TV that made him famous: Duel?

Published:07/21/2014
What Should the US Do About The Ukraine Airliner Shootdown? What Should Putin Do?

The immediate hours after the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 brought far more questions than answers.

But one thing was clear: The deaths of nearly 300 people will put new pressure on the White House and European leaders to address the conflict in Ukraine and confront Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a cease-fire Friday in eastern Ukraine and urged the two sides to hold peace talks as soon as possible. A day earlier, Putin had blamed Ukraine for the crash, saying the government in Kiev was responsible for the unrest in its Russian-speaking eastern regions. But he did not accuse Ukraine of shooting the plane down and did not address the key question of whether Russia gave the rebels such a powerful missile.

As a possible turning point in the confrontation between Russia and the West over Moscow’s ongoing campaign to destabilize Ukraine, it could also spell serious trouble for Vladimir Putin.

Which side really did shoot down the plane? Could the plane have been shot down on purpose by ____ to force ____ to do something about the Ukraine conflict? Or just an accident of war? Or something else? What’s your theory on it all?

Published:07/18/2014
Security Theater’s New Toy – Used At World Cup

The whole process is simple. You hold your ticket up to the machine, and it assigns you a pod, in which you place your bag in. Each pod is about the size of a big microwave, so will fit most bags, but maybe not the biggest carry-ons you can take on a plane (though Qylur presumably could tweak the size). Close the door and walk around to the other side. In the time it takes you to get over there, the machine scans the bag for a range of threats. Qylur isn’t keen on explaining how the technology works, but we know it has radiation and chemical sensors to pick out explosives. With a multi-view X-ray, it runs the images it sees through a detection engine that uses machine learning to pick out prohibited items like guns and knives. If it sees a threat, it silently alerts a security officer, and the back door of the pod turns purple. If not, the door turns green, and you unlock it with your ticket. Take your bag and go.

Published:07/18/2014
Finally, an Honest Politician

Finally, an Honest Politician

Published:07/17/2014
Blue States Needed to House Undocumented Aliens – Volunteer Your State Here

Blue States Needed to House Immigrants - Volunteer Your State Here

Published:07/17/2014

Marketwatch

John Dvorak's Second Opinion: LocateTV is a great find

John Dvorak began using LocateTV more than a year ago and thinks of it as part of the new model for TV entertainment viewing. He says the search mechanism is a ‘missing link’ for viewers.

Published:03/01/2013
John Dvorak's Second Opinion: Netflix is no house of cards

Not enough media pundits are extolling the virtues of the mini-series ‘House of Cards’ that is exclusively streamed on Netflix. It’s a prime-time example of how television is being revolutionized, writes John Dvorak.

Published:02/22/2013
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Russian search engine Yandex is simple and elegant and John C. Dvorak prefers it to Google.

Published:02/08/2013
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Company is battling for credibility as a services company, struggling not to be seen as a PC maker, writes John C. Dvorak.

Published:02/01/2013
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We are generally clueless about what to do with a 3-D printer, because such a device is so weird and alien to our lives, writes John C. Dvorak.

Published:01/26/2013

PC Magazine

Deconstructing Corporate Culture to Find Microsoft's Soul

The real reason Microsoft is getting rid of 18,000 staffers might isn't about efficiency and saving money.

Published:07/23/2014
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Published:07/16/2014
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Creating a smartwatch is just adding to the noise and annoyance of humanity. Please, don't.

Published:07/09/2014