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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 05:25 PM
Number of posts: 5,867

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

Spain Got 47 Percent Of Its Electricity From Renewables In March


Spain is getting the vast majority of its electricity from carbon-free sources, the country’s grid operator reported on Tuesday.

According to Red Electrica de Espana (REE), the Spanish peninsula got 69 percent of its electricity generation in March from technologies that produce zero carbon emissions — that is to say, renewable energy plus some of its nuclear power. Nuclear as a whole provided 23.8 percent of the country’s electricity in March, while 47 percent came solely from renewable sources.

Most of the renewable electricity being generated in Spain comes from wind, which alone provided 22.5 percent of the country’s electricity last month. Wind often competes with nuclear for the title of Spain’s top electricity generation source overall — in fact, though nuclear pulled through in March as the top source of electricity, wind has overall provided more electricity to Spain in the entirety of 2015. From January to March, according to REE, wind provided 23.7 percent of electricity generation while nuclear made up 22.7 percent.

Spain has long been a leader in renewable energy, just recently becoming the first country in the world to have relied on wind as its top energy source for an entire year. The country is attempting to use wind power to supply 40 percent of its electricity consumption by 2020, according to CleanTechnica.

Why food prices won’t fall as fast as gas prices (about a 6 mo delay beforethe lower oil prices

... impacts food commodity prices)


Americans who are benefiting from lower gas prices could see some food prices fall, especially dairy and meat products, but the rate of decline will be at a far-slower pace than the recent plunge in the price of gasoline, commodity traders and insiders say.

Just six months ago, oil prices were well above $100 a barrel, partially as a result of unrest in Iraq and fears of supply interruptions. Now, as the U.S. may supersede Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer, concerns over world economic growth (outside of the U.S. economy, which actually appears to be breaking out of a sub-par recovery) oil prices have plunged. West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices for the week ending Jan. 26, 2015, fell to $45.15 a barrel, down 53% from a year ago.

As a result, gasoline prices nationally have fallen 38% from the same period last year, down $1.25 on average, to $2.04 a gallon, for the week ending Jan. 26, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Farmers and ranchers benefiting from declining prices for fuel could lower the prices for commodity food items such as milk, eggs, pork and beef, just not right away or commensurate with the fall of gas, said Patrick Sullivan, a commodity trader at Great Lakes Trading Co., in Warsaw, Ind. “It could take a while to trickle through but we could see some lower food prices in six to eight months,” Sullivan said. “If fuel stays where it’s at, it will lower costs of farmers’ production and that could adjust everything down,” he said.

Food Waste Is Becoming Serious Economic and Environmental Issue, Report Says


Food Waste Is Becoming Serious Economic and Environmental Issue, Report Says


WASHINGTON — With millions of households across the country struggling to have enough to eat, and millions of tons of food being tossed in the garbage, food waste is increasingly being seen as a serious environmental and economic issue.

A report released Wednesday shows that about 60 million metric tons of food is wasted a year in the United States, with an estimated value of $162 billion. About 32 million metric tons of it end up in municipal landfills, at a cost of about $1.5 billion a year to local governments.


The report estimates that a third of all the food produced in the world is never consumed, and the total cost of that food waste could be as high as $400 billion a year. Reducing food waste from 20 to 50 percent globally could save $120 billion to $300 billion a year by 2030, the report found.

“Food waste is a global issue, and tackling it is a priority,” said Richard Swannell, director of sustainable food systems at the Waste and Resources Action Program, or Wrap, an antiwaste organization in Britain that compiled the new report. “The difficulty is often in knowing where to start and how to make the biggest economic and environmental savings.”

Food Waste Is Costing Countries Billions Every Year And Contributing To Climate Change - Think Progress
(emphases my own)

Food waste is costing the global economy billions each year, and governments should act quickly to reduce it if they want to save money and scale back their carbon emissions, according to a new report.

The report, published this week by the U.K.-based Waste & Resources Action Program (WRAP), found that if countries made a point of reducing their food waste, the globe could save a total of $120 to $300 billion each year by 2030. Globally, the report states, a third of all food is wasted, an amount that totals $400 billion each year. And that value will only go up, the report warns — if estimates that the world’s middle class will double by 2030 pan out, the yearly value of food waste could increase to $600 billion.

That’s bad news for the environment. In its report, WRAP looked at the greenhouse gas emissions associated with food waste in the U.K., and found that each metric ton of food that’s wasted in the U.K. is associated with 4.0 to 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Previous reports have also found food waste to be a significant factor in global greenhouse gas emissions: in 2013, a report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization found that, if global food waste was a country, it would be the third largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

“Reducing food waste is good for the economy and good for the climate,” Helen Mountford, Global Program Director for the New Climate Economy, said in a statement for WRAP. “These findings should serve as a wake-up call to policymakers around the world.”

Robot Writers in use at The Associated Press


Now here is a novel method to make sure that robots are able to help us out in our lives, making it better through the use of automation technology in order to write its earnings reports. In fact, The Associated Press (AP) claims to have generated 3,000 stories each quarter, which is ten times its previous output. This particular nugget of information hails from Automated Insights, which is the company behind the automation. Apart from that, it is said that these robot-generated stories also carried a whole lot less errors in comparison to the ones written by actual journalists.

The Associated Press started to publish earnings reports with the help of automation technology in July for various companies that include, but are not limited to, Hasbro Inc., Honeywell International Inc. and GE. Each of those stories do come with the addendum which reads, “This story was generated automatically by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Full GE report: http://www.zacks.com/ap/GE.

In such stories, there are descriptions of individual businesses that contain “forward-looking guidance provided by the companies.” It does seem as though the news cooperative’s customers have been pleased as punch to receive more stories, and such automation has allowed reporters to have more time on their hands to handle the tougher assignments. Not only that, there has been no job cuts resulting from the automated earnings reports. Image courtesy of All Len All.

Warren to WS Banksters: "Bring it on"


If Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and other big banks wanted to send a message to congressional Democrats with a "symbolic" withholding of donations, they can rest assured it was heard — but not in the way they intended.


"That kind of swagger is a warning shot," Warren wrote to her supporters. "They want a showy way to tell Democrats across the country to be scared of speaking out, to be timid about standing up, and to stay away from fighting for what's right."


"Let's send the biggest banks on Wall Street our own message," Warren said in her fundraising appeal last week. "We're going to keep fighting, and your swagger and your threats won't stop us."

Speaking in New York on Monday, Warren drove home the point again in the lions' den.

"You bet I believe it's a serious threat," Warren said of the banks' effort to sway the debate. "I got news for them: Bring it on."

.... I think Elizabeth Warren is channeling FDR!!

the Grass roots level information war - on Discussionist ---

A Conservative's propaganda post: Some People Just Want to Be Ruled, and Some Just Don’t

and a Democrat's rejoinder post:

Right-wing authoritarians are people who have a high degree of willingness to submit to authorities

.. the fight goes on.

If you think, fighting disinformation is worth it, consider voicing your support to whatever posts meet that standard by commenting favorably on those threads.

"Democracy is worth fighting for". .. I said that.

(it's also good to have enough democrats (small 'd' intentional) to man juries when Cons 'alert' a comment, because it hurts their feelings - by asking for facts, documentation for assertions - but does not violate community standards- yes, this does happen.)

Liquid 3-D Printing cuts print time by up to TWO orders of magnitude


Giant leaps have been made in recent years with 3-D printing. Though most 3-D printed items are made of plastic, more exotic ingredients have included sugar, mashed potatoes, and living cells. A 3-D printer commonly works by depositing a layer of material much like an ordinary printer and then printing out another layer once the material below has solidified. This procedure has a built-in problem: Even small objects take way too long to produce.

An object just several centimeters high can take hours to print. But now scientists at Carbon3D in Redwood City, Calif., and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) say they can slash printing times by two orders of magnitude. Instead of printing an item step by step and layer by layer, the new technique prints objects in a continuous manner.

A 3-D printer often uses ultraviolet light to harden resins, but oxygen in the air often slows this hardening down. Instead of treating oxygen as an obstacle they had to overcome, the researchers used it to their advantage.

The new 3-D printer starts with a basin filled with a pool of liquid resin. Ultraviolet rays can emerge from beneath through a hole at the bottom of this basin. (Imagine a sink filled with resin where ultraviolet light can shine up from the drain.)

Are "Pro-Lifers" against killing germs, as interfering with "God's plan"? Germs are forms of life.

I guess some "Prolife" people are against the "morning after pill" (maybe all of them are, I'm not sure).

I wonder when someone is sick with a deadly disease, should we kill the germs that infect them? Might not "ProLifers" consider that as interfering with "God's plan"??

Just a wondered...

22 Examples of Major Technology Advances That Stem From Federal Research Support (e.g. Google search


Federally Supported Innovations: 22 Examples of Major Technology Advances That Stem From Federal Research Support

Cases of U.S. Technology Innovation That Stem from Federal Funding...

Information Technology

Google Search Engine
Artificial Intelligence and Speech Recognition

(Pg 10)


Information Technology

Google Search Engine

Two graduate students working on the Stanford Integrated Digital Library Project,
supported with $4.5 million in grants from NSF, came up with an idea for a new
algorithm. PageRank, the algorithm, was the basis for a search engine they called
BackRub. After first testing BackRub on equipment partially paid for by NSF, the
two students sought private financing and founded the now ubiquitous company

Two graduate students at Stanford University, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, began work on
an Internet search engine dubbed BackRub in 1996, as part of their academic research.38
Two years later, after an infusion of $100,000 in venture capital funds, they renamed their
search engine Google and incorporated the company of the same name.39 Today Google is
a Fortune 100 company and the dominant force in internet search engines. As of January
23, 2014, Google’s market value stood at $387 billion.40

The National Science Foundation’s Digital Library Initiative supported Page and Brin’s
research. The $4.5 million Stanford Integrated Digital Library Project—supported by
NASA, DARPA, and several industrial partners, in addition to NSF—looked to reimagine
how information would be collected and made available as digital repositories replaced
traditional collections of books. Page and Erin created a new algorithm called PageRank to
search through information posted to the internet.41 There were other internet search
engines available, but the Stanford researchers thought they could do better. PageRank
computed how valuable a page was likely to be by considering how many other webpages
cited it, and the importance of each of those linking pages. PageRank rank helped BackRub
return results that were usually more relevant to the searchers> interests.42 Soon BackRub
transitioned from the academic world to the commercial world as Google, a name Page and
Erin chose to indicate their confidence that they could search the entire World Wide Web
(“Googol” is the very large number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeroes).

The company has branched out into advertising, social networking, email hosting, and
operating systems for the mobile device market, while continuing to improve upon its core
information search and retrieval, which still incorporates a version of PageRank. Google’s
search engine has also created a marketing industry based around search engine
optimization, which aims to raise a webpage’s ranking so it appears near the beginning of
related searches.   Meanwhile federal agencies continue to support research on computer
and information science and are actively exploring strategies for improving public access to
quality information on the web.
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