Seriously Cats, Windows, Powerlines all kill more birds than Wind Turbines…

I have some reviews yet to post. I am sorry for taking so long on some of these. I also owe the community an updated twitter and Facebook sharing post.

Today I wanted to have a conversation in regards to solar power and wind power. In part because of a comment that was left on my last clean energy post. It is one that has to be public ally addressed. Frankly, it is a little misleading for information such as that to be out without an answer. Based on the need for both sides I will be presenting both sides, and from there we will introduce the remaining information that was not shared in the comments.

  1. Wind turbines kill in the US between 120,000 and 300,000 birds per year (in 2016) that number is between 20 and 30 % lower in 2018 than in 2016. It is however not a reason to reduce wind power use.
    1. Wind turbines tend to be in areas with good wind flow
    2. Birds tend to follow the wind during migration
    3. However, this argument is one of the most blatant attempts to mislead people. Globally all the wind turbines in the world combined kill less than 4 million birds. Yes, 4 million is a horrible number and if you think 4 million dead birds is a number that should prohibit the building of wind turbines we need to talk. Domestic Cats kills as many as 8 million birds globally as a year. Oh yeah, and WINDOWS kill more than 500 million birds.
    4. Ban Wind Turbines, Cats and Windows!
  2. Solar power does create waste products. The life of a solar array is 25 years. The amount of waste produced after recycling is between 20 and 40% once you remove the iron in the frames, which by the by and the copper in the wires the remain 4 pounds per panel results in roughly 16 to 24 pounds of waste, now if you can that throughout a 25-year roof array, the result is significantly less.
    1. As we move along and build better solar arrays, the waste continues to go down.
    2. Your car produces more waste every 1000 miles than that solar array.
    3. The coal-fired 10KWh power plant produces more waste than that ins a single hour.
    4. Time to stop solar arrays based on the waste? Well, Cars, Buses, Airplanes, and coal power plants are always needing to be removed.

There are no names with this post on purpose. I wanted to point out the reality of numbers. There is a reason that the national Audubon society isn’t screaming about wind turbines killing birds. Windows and house cats have a far greater impact on bird populations. Large Oil companies are paying for Solar Waste Studies. Why? They didn’t invest in solar power companies.

Our world is in ecological parallel. Cats and windows are reducing our bird populations every year.

Cars, Buses, Airplanes, and coal-fired power plants are pumping poison into the air.

Just so both sides are presented. If you LOOK UP the statistics, the average solar array reduces the impact of a home or business by more than 1 ton of Carbon waste per year. That is 2200 pounds. To be clear to end up with 24 pounds of physical waste that ISN’T TOXIC or DANGEROUS in anyway versus the 50,000 pounds of waste not produced by the family or business using solar makes for an interesting argument. As in, how do you argue the other side?


(further information – My number for birds killed by cats was off, I read the monthly number not the year number. The yearly number ranges anywhere from 400 million birds to 1 billion birds killed by domestic cats.

Additionally powerlines kill a large number of birds every year).

Valentines Tech@@@

Happy Valentine’s day!

Cool Tech Valentines Options:

By the way, if you are a card giver, I highly recommend the laser cut cards created by LovePop! They are truly beautiful cut cards that pop up when you open them.

The other tech option you can consider for Valentine’s cards is to consider your laser cutting or laser engraver. The cost of a stand along engraver or laser cutter is around 500 US. The company that makes it is the Snapmaker 3d printer, laser engraver, and laser cutter. In terms of what you get, you do get all three. So you can make a laser engraved heart, and encapsulate it in a 3d printed case. My goal for valentines 2020 is to make one!

Two things coming that are I believe huge impact items. The reality of improved home networks and lower latency is really important. 5g will b  a valuable toolset for most people. Small businesses will be able to get out of the business of having a network, and home users will have a lower latency on their overall network. That allows the many Internet of Everything (IoE) devices to chatter away without the impact of well, the IoE devices chattering away on your network.

The other thing that I believe is going to be huge is the continued expansion of services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. First off one of the services (Netflix) received the first-ever academy award nomination (Best Picture) for a movie that did not have any box office. As more and more video streams and more and more people reduce their overall television connection, the amount of bandwidth needed (5g) will continue to grow rapidly. 5g E which is really LTE Advanced (or 4th Generation bandwidth and technology) isn’t going to be the answer. The answer will be 5g services at home, on your tablet and of course your mobile device~!


It is critical to be nice!!!!

When I first left teaching, I didn’t leave teaching. I just went from an elementary classroom to a classroom full of people wanting to learn specific software. It was a softer transition for me. Later I did inside sales and then later helpdesk. I realized very early on in the process of inside sales that I wasn’t a good computer salesperson. I spent time with each person focusing on what they were trying to do with the computer. As a helpdesk person, I found a job that I enjoyed. I like helping people. I don’t consider it a problem to figure out what is happening to someone’s computer and trying to see if we can get them back to normal. Computers can be complex systems and helping people often help themselves.

You see, every time you figure out how to do something, if the problem happens to you, you know what to do to fix it. That said, there are simple realities that can’t be fixed. When I joined Virily nearly two years ago now, there was a rule. The rule was quite simple, and it has never hanged. If you post and follow the rules of the site at some point, you will be made a verified user. All non-verified users have their posts moderated before they are allowed on the site. I remember when I first started being three days behind. I would post something on Monday that was published on Thursday. Sometimes, the admins would have personal lives and would not moderate posts on the weekends. I can’t say that I blame them taking personal time. Everyone deserves personal time.

Please note though, posting comments on other people’s posts about the fact that your posts aren’t being moderated fast enough isn’t appropriate. If you wish to complain about the rate of moderation, please feel free to do so in the comments of this post if you are frustrated post here! This post is about the moderation process. Please however don’t ever post in another person’s post that isn’t about the moderation process. That isn’t very nice. There is not a single writer on this site that doesn’t spend time and effort on their posts. Please don’t hijack their comments to fit your agenda. Feel free to post here when it is open and about the problems with the speed of moderation by the Virily Admin team.

I understand the frustration, but I respect the posts of other writers. Yes, sometimes the comment threat goes well past the original post. But unless the post is about spotting on Virily don’t hijack it.

Be kind, respect the rules and the other writers on our site!


The future of printers….

First of all, I understand that I am an outlier when it comes to technology. But I wonder today if people still have printers at home. I’ve asked before about how many printers people have and types of printers. There are dedicated photo printers. Large format printers, color printers that use inkjet technology. All-in-one printers that include faxing and scanner. Color laser printers and heavy duty printers. All of these are devices that most of us have at one time or another used, seen or heard about. But I wonder now, if, like the landline, the days of home printers may be passed. Or instead has the printer evolved to the point where people aren’t going to have as many at home?

One of the coolest 3d printers you can get is the Snapmaker. Why? Because it is a 3 in one printer. It will do 3d prints, laser cutting, and laser engraving. I suspect that multi-function 3d printers will, like the all-in-one printers take over. The quality of an inkjet printout of a picture is OK. Yes, the dedicated dye-sub printers do a better job than the inkjet. A Color laser printer does a better job than the inkjet. But the reality of pictures is we only print certain ones. Based on that reality good-enough (inkjet) is good enough for most of us. Few people in the world of today need different types of printers. Some of us have them and use them because of jobs and functions.

All of this leading to what I consider the future of printers or driving to print a picture of grandma.

  1. Inkjet will be the predominant printer (as it has been for the past ten years) for the near term
  2. Lasers and All-in-one laser printers will continue to be a niche player
  3. Large format printers will slowly move to something Staples, FedEx, etc. offer as a service
  4. Photo printers will remain a Niche Market
  5. 3d printers will remain a Niche market

The reality of the printer market is that it will remain for the near term. What I suspect will happen is as we moved towards the information age, we won’t print as much. Based on less printing, fewer homes will have printers.


Phone software, everything for a dollar!!!

The evolution and I do mean evolution, of the software market, is interesting. The rise of the iTunes store in 2008 is a huge driver. Yes, the later explosion of Android required Google Play. But the initiator of the change was the Apple iTunes store. I’ve talked in the past about that change that occurred with the opening on the iTunes store. The big initial change was the cost of applications. I grew up in the enterprise software space. So to me, the cost of applications was often 1 million dollars (please use your best Dr. Evil voice and make that into a 20 syllable utterance). The software was expensive. I was at the time using an number of products and paying 20, 30 or even 50 dollars for the software.

Evolution number one was the release of 99 cent software. It changed the market and honestly stood it on its ear. When I was a kid trading a nickel and later a dime and a quarter for a piece of candy was a fair trade for me. The later world I lived in 19.99 for software seemed a fair evolution. The sudden appears of 99 cent applications changed everything. Suddenly the smartphone became a platform. Now it with great sadness that I report here, that Microsoft was the leader in Smart Phones in 2007. By 2008 Apple was the leader. Now the leaders are Apple and Android. Android is having many more phones in the wild than Apple now. But the innovations go Apple first, or Android first. Windows phones made by Microsoft are no more.

The second evolution is the most important in my station. It is the reality of what I call bite-sized applications. I grew up in the enterprise software space. I sued to support people with computers that had 1-4 megs of RAM. Operating a DOS-based load system that connected to the Novell S3erver, and loaded HiMem.sys. We loaded Excel and hoped we could load the financial spreadsheet. It was a different world. The reality of bite-sized applications is we are willing now, to accept smaller screen real estate and less information in the application. Games like Angry Birds (I am addicted) and Mobile Powerpoint have become the norm. The market has moved away from expensive applications.

The next evolution will be the full integration of IoT devices with your mobile phone.


A little on figuring things out…

My wife has an iWatch and an iPhone. I got her an Anker USB charging hub. But now, with her new desk configuration, I am looking for something that will change both the iWatch and the iPhone. There is a number on the market, but my wife doesn’t like cables, so I will need to hide the cables on her desk. I am always interested in different ways of looking at solutions. So this has been an interesting thought experiment.

As a long time software architect, I started with the requirements gathering. The easy part (no wires) and the hard part (has to be easy to use) was a struggle at first. In part, the reality of the phrase easy to use always gets me. IT professionals don’t always understand that what is easy for us, isn’t easy for everyone. That balancing act is something that can be difficult to consider. The other side of easy is training.

Training is fairly straightforward when it comes to a charging station.

  1. No visible wires
  2. Easy to sue
  3. Stable enough that it can be on the edge of her table and not slip

Those were the three criteria that I started the search with. I apply the same concepts to designing corporate solutions. It works when you break things down to the simplest moving piece. I started in the software architecture world as a disciple of the system method. I later layered on the teachings of John Boyd (the OODA loop). What I’ve come to realize is the most important aspect of any solution is the person to be using it.

OODA loop, by the way, stands for Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. It speaks to the reality of changing the orientation of the observer to receive different results. It was originally designed to improve high pressure, fast turn decision-making systems.


The rise of clean energy!

In a comment, yesterday @Ellie reminded me that I should just let it go! I suspect the use of the Frozen movie song was my choice!

Five years ago I thought every home would have a 3d printer. I will be honest; while I see more and more homes with them, they won’t be in every home. I wish every home at Solar power on the roof. The offset of local Micro-Grids for the ecology is not measurable — the economic impact of cheaper power for most people as well, huge. The reality of Solar power is that it produces clean power. Vivant and Solar City (a Tesla company) both lease systems for your roof. Solar City offers you the chance to buy the system after five years, obviously at a reduced cost. Solar City currently sells you your roof produced solar electricity at 11 cents per KWpH. Most US power companies charge between 15 and 19 cents. It means you save a 1/3 of your cost.

The other cool thing about solar power is that when the sun is at its brightest, you are producing power. That means if there is a regional or local brownout, it doesn’t impact your house! Frankly, there remain two obstacles that are concerning in the US regarding Solar Power. The first is the HOA or Home Owners Associations and rules about Solar. Solar power on your roof increases the value of the house. HOA’s, however, haven’t moved into the modern world and therefore haven’t changed some of their rules. The other issue is a little more concerning and has to do with the actual hardware for power at your house. The older power meters cannot reconcile power produced locally (your roof) versus power from the power company. Your bill won’t go down, you need one of the new Digital house power meters, and those cost money. Many power companies are dragging their feet on deploying the new meters. Ergo, you have to ask for one to get one at your house!

Germany, Holland, and Sweden lead the world in the deployed Solar. Portugal and Denmark produce large proportions of their power from wind farms. Clean energy helps everyone. You get cheaper power, which considering the impact of IoT devices tomorrow, will be huge (IoT is the Internet of Things, or particular any connected device). 2018 was the 4th hottest year in recorded weather history. The top 5 all-time recorded temperature averages are the last five years. Deploying more wind, solar and natural energy sources will help all of us!