Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thursday Links

  • The above shows recent and planned capacity adds to the US electricity grid for wind (left) and solar (right).  This is from NERC's short term reliability assessment for this summer.  Rapid additions are going on with a lot of eastern wind and western solar in particular.  If I understand correctly, the full height of the bar here is the nameplate capacity, and the dark blue portion is the amount of that capacity expected to be available at peak demand.  It's interesting that looked at this way, solar is much more useful than wind.  Presumably this is because peak electricity demand currently occurs on hot summer afternoons - something that will change as heat pumps continue to penetrate deeper into the heating market.
  • This is the way blue-collar America ends.
  • Somewhat O/T but the Guardian reports as follows:
The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
The text of the fourth amendment says:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
I believe that what the government is doing is an outrageous and blatant violation of the constitution and it should stop immediately.


Stuki said...

Manufacturing has always been an activity that required more skill than most others. Back in the "golden era", this was just as true as it is today. What MAY be different today, is that the skills required are less likely to be taught on site, and has instead become something a prospective employee needs to acquire on his own before applying.

I find much of the statistics regarding who is a manufacturing worker awfully outdated as well. Back in the day, 20 guys welded cars together. Today, 1 guy oversees a robotic welder doing the same; but 19 others work to make sure the robotic welder is designed properly, operates properly, and is sold to the people that could make the best use of it. Yet somehow the former 20 are manufacturing workers, while 19 of the latter are symptoms of the decline of manufacturing.....

In general, if what you do is not incidental to new stuff being built, you are probably a leech. Which is undoubtedly a class of people that has expended over the years, but hardly due to some universal truth about technological development.

kjmclark said...

I thought all of the pseudo-"scandals" going on were witch hunts. Then I read about that blanket telephone monitoring. Now *that's* a scandal.

Stuart Staniford said...

Kjm: and then this is even worse:

Aaron said...

I think their may be a legal argument that the collection of transactional metadata for Verizon communications doesn't violate the 4th amendment. It's essentially header information and doesn't include data payloads. That said, I don't support it and agree that it should stop.

The Prism program is another matter altogether. It's a truly secret program because there is no argument it does anything but violate the 4th amendment. Given the content of the presidential oath, I think impeachment proceedings are in order. If the daily PDB is being derived from a ongoing constitutional violation, there is a significant problem that must be addressed.