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   Technology StocksThe *NEW* Frank Coluccio Technology Forum

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To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (41262)8/13/2012 10:18:11 AM
From: Frank A. Coluccio
   of 46820
Transmission is Key Link to Renewable Energy Future

Carl Dombek | EnergyBiz | Aug 12, 2012

Large portions of the country will not meet their renewable portfolio standard (RPS) mandates, primarily due to lack of adequate transmission. That message was delivered to FERC and state commissioners at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ (NARUC) summer committee meetings in Portland, Ore. “There are some very significant constraints for why it’s going to be difficult to meet RPS targets,” Sharon Reishus, senior director of Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), told the FERC/NARUC emerging issues collaborative on July 22. “The two major ones are transmission-related and cost-related.”



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To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (41266)8/13/2012 10:21:12 AM
From: LindyBill
   of 46820
“The two major ones are transmission-related and cost-related.”

The "plan" here in the islands is to build windmills on another island and then transmit electricity underwater to Oahu. As if it were outrageously expensive enough to start with........

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From: LindyBill8/13/2012 10:51:04 AM
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How to Convey the Complexities of Science?
from Collide-a-scape » Collide-a-scape >> Keith Kloor’s Blog >> Where Nature and Culture Intersect by Keith Kloor

The cantankerous Jerry Coyne, in a recent post, takes issue with popular

“science-lite” books that offer superficial analyses of and solutions to social problems or—most disturbing to me—superficial descriptions of scientific work.

This is a recurring bugaboo for scientists. It springs from a deeply rooted attitude that science journalist Deborah Blum aptly described here.

So what authors have committed crimes against science, according to Coyne? What are some of the faulty, superficial best-sellers? He obliges:

To me, these include books like Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point (a page-turner, but one that left me cold), Jon Haidt’s The Righteous Mind (with its unfortunate concentration on group selection) and The Happiness Hypothesis, David Brooks’s execrable The Social Animal, Nicholas Wade’s The Faith Instinct (funded and vetted by the Templeton Foundation), and all of the books and writing of the now-disgraced Wunderkind Jonah Lehrer.

Gladwell receives the lion’s share of abuse from Coyne and his readers pile on. Then something interesting happens: A mystified Gladwell shows up to defend himself. His exchanges in the comment thread are worth reading, especially this bit from him:

I have to say that I find some of the hostility here towards my work a bit puzzling. As anyone who writes for a living knows, it is very difficult to write about science in a way that satisfies all audiences. You have to choose who you want to reach–and if you aim at the left side of the continuum it is almost inevitable that you will alienate someone on the right side of the continuum. (And vice versa). I have chosen, for better or worse, to be “popular” science writer, which necessarily entails sacrificing some degree of complexity for accessibility.

This is an explanation that should resonate with science writers whose aim is to reach a lay audience. But it’s probably not going to sway Coyne and I don’t think it addresses what David Dobbs, a science writer I’ve long admired, raised last week. Ed Yong succinctly captured its essence:

David Dobbs on the No 1 challenge for a science writer: portraying complexity & uncertainty, and avoiding tidy fables

I’m sure there are wide ranging views on how to accomplish this. Personally, what I have found is that the more politicized and emotionally charged an issue–such as climate change–the less appetite there is for conveying complexity and nuances.

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From: Frank A. Coluccio8/13/2012 10:54:11 AM
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[Ha!] NYC Drops a Bomb: Older Buildings More Efficient

August 6, 2012 | SheEnergy

The data are in for NYC’s first public energy benchmarking period, and the results are stunning.


Read the full article here:


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From: LindyBill8/13/2012 11:03:48 AM
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More on America's Energy Bonanza
from CARPE DIEM by Mark J. Perry

Below are some excerpts from an article today in Bloomberg highlighting America's energy bonanza and the powerful economic stimulus it's providing to the U.S. economy, including the creation of millions of shovel-ready jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in investment:

"On the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, about an hour upstream from New Orleans, the outline of Nucor Corporation's new $750 million iron-processing plant is rising between fields of sugar cane and sweet gum trees.

It’s a harbinger of a nationwide investment boom spreading from the oil fields of North Dakota and the Marcellus gas shale in Pennsylvania to power plants in California and chemical refiners in Texas. A surge in U.S. natural gas development has spurred $226 billion in spending plans on pipelines, storage, processing facilities and power plants, most slated for the next five years, according to Industrial Info Resources, a market- intelligence provider in Sugar Land, Texas.

U.S. energy supplies have been transformed in less than a decade, driven by advances in technology, and the economic implications are only beginning to be understood. U.S. natural gas production will expand to a record this year and oil outputswelled in July to its highest point since 1999 (see top chart above). Citigroup estimated in a March report that a “reindustrialization” of America could add as many as 3.6 million jobs by 2020 and increase the gross domestic product by as much as 3 percent.

".....there are signs the economic gains have begun to expand beyond the oil and gas fields and that the promise of abundant, low-cost fuels will give a competitive edge to industries from steel, aluminum and automobiles to fertilizers and chemicals. That would provide a boost to a U.S. manufacturing sector that has lost 5.12 million jobs since 2001 and become the focus of a national debate over how to revive factory employment. Manufacturers have added 532,000 jobs since January 2010 as the economy started to recover, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show.

The expansion of fossil-fuel production -- coupled with a weak economy and increased energy efficiency -- has helped the U.S. pare its crude oil imports by 17 percent since the 2005 peak, Energy Department data show. Imports in 2011 accounted for 45 percent of U.S. consumption of crude and refined products. The department predicts the share will fall to 39 percent next year, which would be the first time since 1991 that imports dropped below 40 percent of demand (see bottom chart above)."

MP: As I have commented recently, America's ongoing energy revolution is one of the real bright spots in an otherwise sub-par economic expansion, and provides one of the best reasons to be bullish about America's future.

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From: Frank A. Coluccio8/14/2012 12:31:37 PM
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The coming wireless spectrum apocalypse and how it hits you

Small carriers are worried about getting snuffed by the deep pockets of AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and they want help. What judges and regulators decide to do could impact your wallet for years to come.

by Marguerite Reardon
August 13, 2012

C Spire Wireless, a small, southern wireless provider formerly known as Cellular South, has an ambitious plan to build a fast, 4G LTE network to reach its 900,000 customers. To do it, C Spire bought $192 million worth of 700 MHz wireless spectrum, which is considered some of the most valuable wireless spectrum that's still available because it can travel long distances and penetrate obstacles.

But there's a problem. C Spire claims it hasn't been able to use this spectrum and hasn't been able to deploy its 4G network. It says the bigger carriers, especially AT&T, have used their market power to ensure chip designers and device makers make equipment compatible with their flavor of the technology, leaving smaller carriers in the cold. And without devices and network gear, C Spire says it's been sitting on a costly resource it can't use -- and thus can't deliver to you, the consumer.

Continued, with a video of a Marguerite Reardon straight-talking interview.:

hat tip: Gordon Cook


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To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (41271)8/14/2012 12:54:11 PM
From: LindyBill
1 Recommendation   of 46820
It says the bigger carriers, especially AT&T, have used their market power to ensure chip designers and device makers make equipment compatible with their flavor of the technology, leaving smaller carriers in the cold.

So what do they expect the Gov to do about it?

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To: LindyBill who wrote (41272)8/14/2012 1:18:49 PM
From: Frank A. Coluccio
   of 46820
Good question. If this were a single carrier, that would be one thing. But here the implication is that two dominant carriers are benefiting from a common (presumably quasi-proprietary) chip design. Given this, I suppose that, if the effect is to create an environment that excludes outsiders, hence implying restraint of trade, and if this could be traced to collusion, then, is it unreasonable that some form of inquiry, or possibly intercession, might come into play?


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To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (41273)8/14/2012 1:25:15 PM
From: LindyBill
1 Recommendation   of 46820
and if this could be traced to collusion, then, is it unreasonable that some form of intercession might come into play?

How? Sounds like sour grapes to me. You build your network with what's available. If the equipment available is not as good or as cheap as what you competitors are using, "tough toenails." You should have known that coming in.

You certainly can't expect some manufacturer to build you cheap, lower volume equipment.

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To: LindyBill who wrote (41274)8/14/2012 2:40:47 PM
From: Frank A. Coluccio
   of 46820
There has never been a good reason to suspect collusion leading to
anti-competive activity, if I follow your logic. Never mind the fact that
the "spectrum" in question, despite who bribed the government to
"own" it, is a public resource?

BTW, the expense comes deeper into the network, not the cost of chips
alone, but likely the effects on billing & who is allowed to support the iPhone,
for example, and other features requiring engineering that are, in all
likelihood, considered "proprietary" (or very close to being alike) to the
larger actors' architectures. And when have we seen this before - despite
it being far more egregious, arguably, and going for the most part unnoticed?

How about with the more explicit DSL Joint RFP, and a half-decade later
in the form of a Joint RFP for FTTP gear in the residential wireline space?
In both of those initiatives only the four, and then three RBOCs defined the
specifications, thus dictating where economies of scale would exist, despite
suboptimal designs for the purposes of the majority of competitors needs.

Agreed, there's nothing new here, but allow me to ask you bluntly:

If the two top players in a space were in fact acting in collusion to exclude
all other competitors, would that be okay in your view?

Anyway, on the lighter-yet-deeper side of commentary, our friend Bob Frankston
only moments ago sent the following message to the Open Infrastructure Alliance

I find this concept of backhaul strange. What's the BFD about getting an IP
connection to a tower? The real problem is in the completely weird idea of
licensing colors.

I'm thinking of starting a NGH (Next Gen Haberdasher) by getting the
government to grant me an exclusive right to blue. Imagine what I could do
if I owned that color. OK, perhaps I can be more precise with the exact
shade of blue. The FCC (Federal Color Commission) would be charged with
policing 100% of the distribution channels for anything cloth-based and
certifying all dyes used in the process to assure that the color usage
confirms to standards and doesn't interfere with other uses of colors.

Perhaps we should call it Ultra Royal Blue.

Of course this is expensive but a $1/Shirt surcharge would cover this and
with a regulated price $100/shirt (worth it because they would last 100
years) who would notice.

We could have structural separation by keeping the cloth business separate
from the shirt business. It would make it easier to use the colors for other
purposes as long as they did not cause interference.


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