2020-09-25 S&P 500 SPY ETF

The S&P 500 SPDR SPY Exchange Traded Fund “World’s top index” explained. Also the special funds for sectors such as high tech, etc.


2020-09-25 Anaheim Will Get Electric Buses

The electric vehicle revolution is already happening. Hopefully it will occur much quicker that 2035, which is when Gov. Newsom has signed a law mandating all new vehicles sold must be zero polluting.

The only problem is people are avoiding mass transit systems because of CoVID19. I’ve read that ridership is down. That should change once most people receive vaccinations.


2020-09-25 Flywheel Energy Storage Systems Articles

In this article there is a link to the .PDF paper with the research and technical details. The sad story of Beacon which went bankrupt a year after completing the Stephentown flywheel storage farm, still operating. Now, Amber Kinetics is making small systems.

I read about flywheel energy storage systems decades ago, the design concepts and plans have been around for a very long time.


2020-09-24 Facebook User Opinion Game “Democratos”

I’m optimistic that humans are basically good, and given the opportunity, can make rational decisions. Humans also want to have fun and be entertained. So a game with some forms of rewards is a good choice. I found the article about Facebook and it gave me an idea that I think is a solution to the problem of where to draw the line when it comes to content moderation and censorship of controversy.

Two quotes from this TheVerge article


“What we do is really try to not take a point of view,” the company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, told interns during a Q&A on July 7th. “I have a very strong point of view on this president. It’s a personal point of view. It’s one I hold deeply. It’s not one that should enter into my judgments when I’m doing policy changes. … We have to be a neutral platform, and make those decisions coming from a place of rules and principles.”


>> During his July 16th Q&A, Zuckerberg sought to quell that criticism during his opening remarks.

“I think I’ve probably been the most outspoken CEO in the country against — on the many things that I disagree with this president on,” he said. “Whether it’s the immigration policies, which I think have not only been unfair but I think put the country at a huge disadvantage going forward compared to the opportunities that we should be going after. On climate change, where I think moves like pulling out of the Paris Agreement were a huge setback for the world. On things like his divisive and inflammatory rhetoric, that I’ve called disgusting — which I think was farther than pretty much any other corporate CEO who I’ve seen out there.”



Coming from a place of Rules & Principles

Sandberg’s last sentence about “rules and principles” shows that the Facebook boss is very controlling, afraid to let the users make any decisions about policy. They don’t want to democratize the Facebook platform.

The bosses don’t have to give up control of the platform. The bosses can establish ‘house rules’ for this Facebook user opinion censorship game that I call “Democratos”.

The user will be given a certain number of ammunition at the beginning of each day. The user can shoot them at any target; use none or all.

The target could be a controversial, polarizing statement. One example I recently saw was “Men are no good.”

The shooter might choose to change a pixel to the background color. The wise shooter would change a pixel in men so it becomes less and less visible. The males would eventually make men invisible. But the women would change the pixels back to their original color, keeping the Men. The wiser shooters would add two letters, ‘Wo’ in front of men to change it to women.😆

The house rules might be algorithms that determine how many bullets it takes to erase a letter or word. The algorithm could be logarithmic so that it takes many more bullets as the letter gets dimmer. The bullets might hit targets that change the background color or saturation. The house controls the accuracy and power of the weapons. Could be a BB gun or a mortar depending on the user’s traits. There are “big shots” in every organization. 👍

The statements would be censored if most of the bullets erased the important words. If most of the bullets restored the original words then the democratic will of the users would be upheld.

Scores would be kept so that the user could see what was happening with his ammo, how much other users were firing, the percent of users who viewed but did not shoot, etc. This would indicate relative importance to the users. There could be many levels depending on the user’s participation, score relative to the optimum, the maturity factor of the user, etc.

There have to be safeguards and protection against fraud and corruption. This might be accomplished by distributing control over a larger number of users, preventing accumulation of too much power. Privacy must be maintained. There are many other aspects that I don’t know about that need to be implemented. Democratos decision making game should be the will of the people, within the rules of a civil society.

Another Application

This same type of democratic decision making could be applied to the content moderators that do the censorship of reported items. The Democratos beta versions could be tested by these moderators before they go public. How many content moderators are there? Thousands? How about letting the users do some of the content moderation! Then eventually the users could train AI (artificial intelligence) to do most of the work of the humans.

The possibilities are many. The rationale is to provide the tools to the users and give the users the power to build a system that is doing most of the housekeeping work, and saving the most difficult decisions for the humans. The virtual system can do much of what the real world does.


2020-09-24 Nikola Articles

Bloomberg article Bad news

Bloomberg article about hydrogen fuel talks with BP


2020-09-23 Newsom Bans Fossil-fueled Vehicles In 2035

LA Times article. Says 15 other countries have already done the same thing.


2020-09-23 Newsom Bans Fossil-fueled Vehicles In 2035

Copied from LA Times article.


Microsoft News

The LA Times
Newsom orders 2035 phaseout of gas-powered vehicles, calls for fracking ban
Phil Willon, Tony Barboza 31 mins ago

Emphasizing that California must stay at the forefront of the fight against climate change, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday issued an executive order to restrict new car sales in the state to only zero-emission vehicles by 2035 and threw his support behind a ban on the controversial use of hydraulic fracturing by oil companies.

Under Newsom’s order, the California Air Resources Board would implement the phase-out of new gas-powered cars and light trucks and also require medium and heavy-duty trucks to be zero-emission by 2045 where possible. California would be the first state in the nation to mandate 100% zero-emission vehicles, though 15 countries already have committed to phasing out gas-powered cars.

Newsom did not take executive action to ban the controversial oil extraction method known as fracking but called on the state Legislature to do so, setting up what could be a contentious political fight when lawmakers reconvene in Sacramento next year.

Taken together, the two climate change efforts would accelerate the state’s already aggressive efforts to curtail carbon emissions and petroleum hazards and promise to exacerbate tensions with a Trump administration intent on bridling California’s liberal environmental agenda.

“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” Newsom said in a statement released Wednesday morning. “Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse — and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”

Newsom said that California’s action will help spur greater innovation for zero-emission vehicles and, by creating a huge market, will drive down the cost of those cars and trucks. More than 1.63 million new cars and trucks are expected to be sold in the state in 2020, according to the California New Car Dealers Assn.

Climate scientists and advocates say the world must stop production of gas- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2035 or earlier in order to keep global warming to tolerable levels. California and other governments across the world are seeking to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, and it will take years for vehicles to turn over and be replaced by zero-emission models.

Newsom sharply criticized the Trump administration this month for ignoring the reality of climate change, saying that California’s deadly wildfires, some of the largest in state history, were grim reminders of what lies ahead for the nation if political leaders in Washington don’t take action. Rising temperatures have decimated forests across the West Coast, leaving behind swaths of dead trees to fuel catastrophic wildfires.

“This is a climate damn emergency,” Newsom said during a tour of the charred landscape around the Northern California town of Oroville. “This is real and it’s happening.”

While meeting with Newsom in Sacramento last week, Trump expressed skepticism about the scientific evidence of climate change saying: “It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch.”

The state has sued the Trump administration to block efforts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to rescind a special federal waiver that permits California to set its own strict pollution controls to improve air quality, the foundation of the state’s aggressive efforts to combat climate change.

While pleased about Newsom’s action on zero-emission vehicles, environmental activists remain skeptical about his actions on fracking. In November, Newsom imposed a temporary moratorium on new hydraulic fracking permits, saying he wanted them to undergo independent scientific review. Since April, however, his administration has issued close to 50 new permits to Chevron and Aera Energy, frustrating environmentalists.

“Newsom is really good at making announcements that sound big but they actually aren’t. We can’t let the fact that he’s acting on cars eclipse the fact that he’s still protecting the oil industry,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Climate Law Institute at the Center for Biological Diversity. “He is the governor of the state at the very center of the climate emergency right now, and he has the political environment here that allows him to think big. If he won’t take strong action that we so desperately need, who will?”

Siegel’s organization this week threatened to sue Newsom unless he halted all new permits for gas and oil wells in the state, saying the governor has failed to protect the health of vulnerable Californians from pollutants released by the state’s petroleum industry.

Since taking office, Newsom has faced pressure from politically influential environmental groups to ban new oil and gas drilling and completely phase out fossil fuel extraction in California, one of the nation’s top petroleum-producing states.

But the Democratic governor has pushed back, promising to take a more measured approach that addressed the effects on oil workers and California cities and counties that are economically dependent on the petroleum industry.

California has 1,175 active offshore wells and 60,643 active onshore wells. In 2019, the state produced just under 159 million barrels of oil, CalGEM records show. The state’s annual crude oil production has been consistently declining since 1985.

California oil industry representatives have argued that phasing out oil production in the state, which has some of the strictest environmental regulations in the world, would force more oil to be imported by train and tanker ship from countries that do not have the same environmental safeguards. According to the Western States Petroleum Assn., there are more than 26 million vehicles with internal-combustion engines in California.

Cars, trucks and other vehicles are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in California, accounting for about 40% of the statewide total, and their emissions have been stubbornly creeping upward in recent years. Driving down transportation pollution remains the state’s biggest challenge in achieving its goal of slashing planet-warming emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

Under current regulations, California’s Air Resources Board requires automakers to sell electric, fuel cell and other zero-emission vehicles in increasing percentages through 2025. Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounted for 7.6% new car registrations California in 2019.

In 2018, under then-Gov. Jerry Brown, the state set a goal to put 5 million zero-emission cars on the road by 2025. There were 670,000 zero-emission vehicles sold in California through the end of 2019, according to auto industry sales data.

In June, the Air Resources Board adopted the nation’s first sales mandate requiring heavy-duty truck manufacturers to sell increasing percentages of electric or fuel cell models until all new trucks sold in California are zero-emission by 2045.

But efforts to completely phase out gas-powered cars have not gained traction. Three years ago, Brown directed the state’s chief air quality regulator, Mary Nichols, to look into stepping up the state’s timetable. But so far, her agency has only floated the idea of banning gas-powered vehicles in congested areas of the state. And legislation lawmakers introduced in 2018 to require all cars registered in the state be zero-emission by 2040 didn’t move forward.

Some local governments have set their own zero-emission vehicle targets, which they are unlikely to achieve without the backing of tougher regulations. A “Green New Deal” plan by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, for example, aims to increase the percentage of zero-emission vehicles to 25% by 2025, 80% by 2035 and 100% by 2050.

More From LA Times

© 2020 Microsoft



2020-09-22 Tesla Battery Day Was Very Interesting

The reports about the Tesla Battery Day are all over YouTube.

Another (below is my comment from it):

There was a lot of stuff that interested us geeks, but may have been boring for the average Joe. There were several parts that I found to be very profound. The overall message was that they have a solid grasp on what needs to be done to get to their goals. The challenges are what have to be overcome. Costs of materials, costs of development of “the machines that make the machines”, and the goals regarding minimizing the time to go from prototype to full production.

I think they mentioned something about speeding up production by reducing the number of larger cells. Also the single piece casting speeds up the building of the vehicle. I think this is a good idea. I wonder how these changes are going to affect the collision repair businesses? Time will tell. They also said something about using certain types of cells for certain vehicles for the optimum results. And overall cost savings for using the LFP cells for cars made in Shanghai.

Overall, Musk knows a lot about his business. Stockholders should see that as a sign that the company is a good investment.


2020-09-22 H-P 6114 Power Supply

I have several HP 6114 power supplies and I’ve had to repair them. The electrolytic capacitors dry up and need to be replaced or a good capacitor added to them. But the cheap plastic case of the 611x power supplies will shatter into many small pieces if you try to open them up. The front and back rings break very easily, and the case itself easily breaks, too. If the rings break but the case is intact, you can use tape to hold it together. The pots get noisy and difficult to set at a given value. It’s nearly impossible to find replacements. The neon light on the front can be replaced by a LED, diode and resistor. Or else use a LED and resistor on the output.

If there are any other bad parts, the schematic is available. But the parts can be unique to HP. Some are very specialized, like the potted circuits. Others can be replaced with a standard part, but it may have to be specially selected for proper performance.

Nowadays you can buy a new analog power supply made in Asia for fifty dollars US plus shipping. And it can handle more current than the old HPs.


2020-09-22 RICO Suit: Portsmouth, OH Uranium Processing Plant For Toxic Releases

So many uninformed people advocate nuclear power, repeating the mantra “it’s the safest form of power.” Meanwhile, since the 1950s, the Portsmouth, Ohio “Ports” uranium processing plant has been releasing toxic radioactive wastes into the environment, “causing clusters of cancer” locally. This article tells of a whistleblower complaint and RICO lawsuit against the facility. The workers were exposed to the toxic radioactive chemicals; they turned off the alarms that warned of those elements in the workers’ environment. We may never know how many deaths may have been caused in the past, and how many more deaths may be caused by the contamination of the environment in the future.

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