This is Grant's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Grant's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Grant
Recent Activity
I live in a city with its own municipal power company (which was already on the list on MiiU when I checked for it.) There is an interesting problem for deploying roof-top solar: because the cost of electricity is so much less than it is in surrounding cities, the payback period to install solar is outside the useful life of the panels. Right now, as a home owner, there is no economic incentive to install solar panels on my roof because the capital costs outweigh the amount I'll save over the next 20 years. A friend of mine is on the public utility's board and will likely be on the city council at the end of next year. I've been trying to convince him that the city should raise rates (although keep them under the rates charged by the utilities in surrounding cities). Then, with the extra cash, offer grants to home owners who want to install solar. This would attack the finance problem from both sides of the equation, it would lower the initial installation cost and would ensure that the added savings would cover the remaining capital costs. The city could also use the extra funds to speed their rollout of a smart grid, a process that's already begun.
Toggle Commented Nov 17, 2011 on SOLAR FARMING at Global Guerrillas
John, what you're describing sounds a lot like something they did in a Ctrl-Alt-Del comic: http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20100423 I'm working on a venture right now, a for-profit hackerspace type thing, where I plan to use this in some way. I haven't worked out the details of it yet, but I've been kicking it around in my head. In many ways, what you're talking about also reminds me of the darknet system in Daniel Suarez's Freedom(TM).
While you don't say this outright, you surely imply that non-rival goods should be free. The problem with that is all the makers of non-rival goods need to find some way to make money to purchase the rival goods they need to survive (at a minimum.) Right now, the marketplace for most digital non-rival goods is weak. E-books are a good example, which is why people keep bringing it up. The E-book market is something of an oligarchy right now, with just a few serious players in the market. Mostly it's Amazon, Apple and Barns & Nobel. There is enough informal collusion and signalling between these market players that we don't see much price differentiation between their offerings. Not to mention, two of the three players have a vested interest to maintain the sales of their rival goods (printed books) which prevents them from undercutting the price of the printed books. (This also happens to have the nice benefit of maintaining a high profit margin on e-books, as you mention.) A good example of a (somewhat) healthy marketplace for digital non-rival goods is the iPhone App Store. The App Store has millions of applications being offered at a whole range of prices. There is real competition between substitute goods on the App Store and we see a much more reasonable (and lower) profit margin for those goods. In a perfectly efficient market, profit margins trend towards zero. Even with non-rival goods, people will need to be able to cover their costs. This include the opportunity cost of doing something else with their time. The creators of non-rival goods still need to be compensated for the efforts of their creation, even if the marginal unit cost is zero.
Can you please, please do away with the laugh track? It makes your show unbearable to watch.
1 reply
Wil, I ran across a post on MAKE that I thought you might be interested in, it's a Google Maps hack that allows you to track your runs. The post there says, "Google Running Logs is a software package that lets you automatically upload your runs from a GPS watch (like the Garmin Forerunner 201 or 301) to your web site to be displayed in a nifty Google Map. The map will show an animated view of your runs showing mile markers, pace per mile, and distance travelled. It also creates a KML file for viewing in Google Earth." I thought I would point it out incase you didn't see it and were interested.
1 reply
Wil, I ran across a post on MAKE that I thought you might be interested in, it's a Google Maps hack that allows you to track your runs. The post there says, "Google Running Logs is a software package that lets you automatically upload your runs from a GPS watch (like the Garmin Forerunner 201 or 301) to your web site to be displayed in a nifty Google Map. The map will show an animated view of your runs showing mile markers, pace per mile, and distance travelled. It also creates a KML file for viewing in Google Earth." I thought I would point it out incase you didn't see it and were interested.
1 reply