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Apple working with US energy company on North Carolina solar farm - Page 2

post #41 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

Bravo Apple, it's moves like this that will help our economy. Another smart move would be to bring all your overseas money home and pay whatever tax rate the government sets, you REALLY don't need any more money.

I've always been torn between wanting Apple to use their money to reduce product prices, but honestly I think that would just cheapen the brand and saturate demand, how about pumping that money into North America so that we can stop blaming our problems on the government and realize it's the corporations that aren't investing in their own home markets.

How about they use some of their excess money to pay living wages to their employees in the United States.
post #42 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

haha!

Send some of that to Texas.

Yeah, but in Dallas the sensors would need to be aimed sideways (horizontally)...

...And in Huston they'd need to be aimed at the ground
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post #43 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The solar thermal unit pictured in the article is apparently made by SolarTron Energy Systems Inc. located in Canada. I was trying to find out how it converts thermal to electric power but it doesn't explain that part on the website


Maybe the parabolic dish can concentrate/focus light rays as well as (or instead of) thermal rays


From the site:

Quote:
Only SolarBeam provides a future photovoltaic (PV) module to generate up to 4 kW of electricity.

SolarTron Energy Systems

and here:

Quote:
Payback is typically 6 years with government incentives. SolarBeam is 262% more efficient than solar flat plate hot water panels and 98% more efficient than evacuated tube panels. The system is also capable of generating 3.5 kW/hour of photovoltaic electricity as well provide air conditioning in conjunction with absorption chillers. SolarTron Energy Systems Inc. is currently looking for global distributors.

SolarBeam Concentrator Parabolic Solar Concentrator Dish by Solartron Energy Systems Inc

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post #44 of 58
This article seems to be confused about the difference between solar installers and panel manufacturers.

Leaf Solar Power appears to be an installer. Just because the installer is based in the US does not mean that they will not use solar panels manufactured in China. The local installer who put panels on my house certainly did not manufacture them.

One would not expect Apple to use an installer based outside the US.

In short, it's not clear that there is a story here.
post #45 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

This crossed my mind too. But where's the "great products for people" angle?

It would be great to have a well-designed sun-tracking dish for solar thermal/electric purposes for everybody's roof or yard. That stuff can even be made in the USA, where we still have aluminIum manufacturing.

Edit: I missed your point about Siri as a home controller. That's obviously a great product for people.

About Siri as a home controller...

There are some missing pieces to the puzzle: how; what; with what would Siri control.

There may be an existing solution...

... a company named Echelon (ELON NASDAQ):

Echelon Corporation

Quote:
Home Control

The smart home. Powered by Echelon.
The smart home market is finally upon us, driven by energy scarcity, advanced utility services, and consumers' awareness that they, too, can play a significant role in global climate change. And it's powered by Echelon.

Echelon is building a smart home ecosystem around the Digital Home Alliance, a like-minded group of companies intent on bringing the promised value of home control to a worldwide market. We started this process by equipping millions of homes around the world with some type of Echelon-based control device, and new home products are being introduced every month. Typical energy awareness applications include:

\t
Appliances
Air conditioning, humidity control, and heating equipment
Lights
Home theater systems
Security, gas detection, and life/safety devices
Pool and spa controls
Irrigation equipment
Energy measurement and load control devices

...

Gateways to the World
Many consumers want to use their home computer, especially their MediaCenter PCs and Macintoshes, as a user interface to control their homes. Many utilities and telecommunication companies want to let their customers monitor and control their homes over the Internet, using a home gateway as a portal to the home.

We have solutions for both. Our LonBridge software leverages over 15 years of creating inteoperability standards and our ISI protocol. The result is that homeowners will soon be able to use their favorite screens TVs, PCs, even iPods w/WiFi capabilities to manage their homes.

Echelon Home Control


From the page detailing the board of directors at the echelon site:

Quote:
Armas Clifford Markkula, Jr is the founder of our company and has served as a director since 1988. He has been Vice Chairman of our Board of Directors since 1989. Mr. Markkula was Chairman of the Board of Apple Computer from January 1977 to May 1983 and from October 1993 to February 1996 and was a director from 1977 to 1997. A founder of Apple, he held a variety of positions there, including President/Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of Marketing. Prior to founding Apple, Mr. Markkula was with Intel Corporation as Marketing Manager, Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation as Marketing Manager in the Semiconductor Division, and Hughes Aircraft as a member of the technical staff in the companys research and development laboratory. Mr. Markkula is a trustee of Santa Clara University. Mr. Markkula received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.

Finally, Echelon even has a network technology named iLON.

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post #46 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokeysan View Post

This article seems to be confused about the difference between solar installers and panel manufacturers.

Leaf Solar Power appears to be an installer. Just because the installer is based in the US does not mean that they will not use solar panels manufactured in China. The local installer who put panels on my house certainly did not manufacture them.

One would not expect Apple to use an installer based outside the US.

In short, it's not clear that there is a story here.

Well...if there isn't a story here... that will certainly be a big story, now!
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post #47 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That is the most incredibly condescending thing I've heard here in a while.

"Cheap goods" = More consumer surplus for America's less well-off.

"Sad souls working there" = Better lives for the Chinese workers relative to the alternatives.

A bit too reactionary to be part of an intelligent conversation...but I will try, no one is blaming Walmart...the problem is the ethos...
post #48 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Yeah - its a sorry state of affairs but I am not sure it has anything to do with China per se. If American companies had to produce their goods in the US you would still see plenty shoddy products and sad people working in horrible conditions. Just like crap can be produced anywhere, quality products can be produced anywhere.

If you were to move production of goods home and pay the workers the kind of money they could reasonably expect to live off and perhaps even buy a home and raise a family... well, you've gotta pay. In truth we are all complicit in a pretty horrible system which entirely relies on exploitation in order for us to live it up.

Well said, especially the second paragraph...I think we could learn a lot from Germany.
post #49 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

...the problem is the ethos...

Sorry, but what does that mean? What 'ethos' are you referring to?

The one that less well-off people might subscribe to?
post #50 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

About Siri as a home controller...

There are some missing pieces to the puzzle: how; what; with what would Siri control.

There may be an existing solution...

... a company named Echelon (ELON NASDAQ):

Echelon Corporation

Echelon Home Control

Finally, Echelon even has a network technology named iLON.


Interesting. Nice work.

I don't have a 4S yet. What does Siri look like?
post #51 of 58
Two words: "Al Gore".

Funniest thing I've read on AI: "bolstering America's role in the push for renewable power", given the US's stance re global warming and how the military-industrial complex is allowed to pollute with impunity.
post #52 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Well...if there isn't a story here... that will certainly be a big story, now!

Nobody picked it up except GigaOm and Mac Observer.

Not even the media believes this stuff about Apple using American panel manufacturers. Especially since Leaf is not a panel manufacturer.


IMO, AI got snookered by a hopeful owner claiming to have a big deal with Apple.

IMO, AI knows it too, which is why they labeled the story a "feature", despite it being a hard news story. Calling it a feature implies that it is not Hard News.
post #53 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

A bit too reactionary to be part of an intelligent conversation...but I will try, no one is blaming Walmart...the problem is the ethos...

I don't blame Mall*Wart. I blame the people who shop at Mall*Wart.


post #54 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Interesting. Nice work.

I don't have a 4S yet. What does Siri look like?

I had the original Siri app on the iPhones and iPads...

It was OK... but you couldn't do a whole lot -- and you had to go out of your way to use it.


Siri, on the 4S is imbedded in the OS (maybe even the hardware) and supported by many apps.

It can do more and does it much better than anything I've seen -- Even IBM's Watson can't do things!

On the 4S, Siri is the easiest thing to get to -- just press-hold the home button! No Tap Home then slide to unlock, no double-tap, no Tap-Pause-Tap, no Triple-Tap, no Tap Home then Tap Camera icon, no nuthin' -- just press-hold the home button! .

When Siri pops up you can do a lot of things that you normally would have work harder to do -- text, email, schedule, reminders, notes, quick questions... You do things that you wouldn't bother to do, otherwise.

The overall impression is similar to the first Mac or iPhone experience...

"Well, Of course... that's the way it should be!"


We are at the beginning! I expect that the next version of Siri will let you call up any app, and whenever user input is needed let the user opt to speak instead of type, gesture or press buttons.
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post #55 of 58
I can see some kind of logo mashup for the collaboration between Leaf Solar & Apple Inc.
post #56 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That is the most incredibly condescending thing I've heard here in a while.

"Cheap goods" = More consumer surplus for America's less well-off.

"Sad souls working there" = Better lives for the Chinese workers relative to the alternatives.

Stating the fact that working for union-busting Walmart for low wages is 'sad' is incredibly condescending? I don't think so at all. I've worked in some places like that and it IS a sad state of affairs. You're living on another planet if you actually think these are good places to work.

So...an American company want to take advantage of slave labor wages in places like China. The American government allows said company to shut down its American factory and move the jobs overseas, and the American unionized worker loses his/her job, benefits, maybe even his/her house. A Chinese worker gets that same job but has to pay the price of no union protection, fourteen hour shifts, lack of basic benefits, workers rights, etc.. The American unemployed factory worker now has to make ends meet and so takes a job where he can find it, often with a non-unionized service sector company such as Walmart or McDonalds, but his/her wages and benefits are now much lower, so he/she can no longer afford many goods except those which come from places like China, because they've been manufactured at a lower cost. Hence, this is somehow "good for America " because it's "more consumer surplus for America's less well-off"? What's truly sad here is your argument that settling for the lowest common denominator while watching American manufacturing being dismembered by a death of a thousand cuts is something we have no alternative but to resign ourselves to. What we need is to adopt the same cutthroat protectionism and hard-ball tactics as as the Chinese.

Re this being a great thing for Chinese workers. Ironically in "communist China" unions are basically powerless or illegal, and factory workers there now have much less security and fewer benefits now that their government has ditched things like health benefits for state enterprise workers.
post #57 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar View Post

The American unemployed factory worker now has to make ends meet and so takes a job where he can find it, often with a non-unionized service sector company such as Walmart or McDonalds, but his/her wages and benefits are now much lower,

Rather than employ a relatively few factory workers, and have relatively many consumers to pay more for goods, why can't we get cheap goods from China AND employ Americans at high value-added tasks too?

Is it inevitable that Americans will only be re-employed at lower skilled, lower-wage jobs? And that the only other choice is to have most Americans pay more for consumer goods, compared with sourcing them from places where capital can be deployed more efficiently?

Is it possible for us to get consumer goods cheaply from the third world, while employing Americans at high value occupations?

Weren't those same factory, mill and mining jobs seen as a step down for all the displaced farm workers who flooded the cities during the transition from an agrarian to an industrial economy?

ISTM that we are going through a disruptive period, similar in some ways to the transition from agriculture to manufacturing. We are entering a post-industrial economy. I don't pretend to have any answers, but I wonder if we are asking the right questions.
post #58 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Rather than employ a relatively few factory workers, and have relatively many consumers to pay more for goods, why can't we get cheap goods from China AND employ Americans at high value-added tasks too?

Is it inevitable that Americans will only be re-employed at lower skilled, lower-wage jobs? And that the only other choice is to have most Americans pay more for consumer goods, compared with sourcing them from places where capital can be deployed more efficiently?

Is it possible for us to get consumer goods cheaply from the third world, while employing Americans at high value occupations?

Weren't those same factory, mill and mining jobs seen as a step down for all the displaced farm workers who flooded the cities during the transition from an agrarian to an industrial economy?

ISTM that we are going through a disruptive period, similar in some ways to the transition from agriculture to manufacturing. We are entering a post-industrial economy. I don't pretend to have any answers, but I wonder if we are asking the right questions.

Well, yes and no. "Can you have cheap goods from the Third World (which China certainly is not) AND employ Americans at high value-added tasks, too? " Yes, but not in any great numbers to make a difference. Hence the vast majority of displaced Americans will remain relegated to affording only cheap Chinese imports.
Despite what the Right tell us daily, this isn't some 'disruptive period'. Disruption supposes a return to a previous state, which under the current willingness to ship jobs overseas, is simply not going to be the case. This is not a rehash of our competition with Japan in 1987. This is a new world where we've won the cold war and now face cutthroat foreign state-backed competition (actually, they don't want to compete, they want to drive us under) from the very nations we sought to convert to capitalism. Lesson: be very careful what you wish for.
Solution: play the same cut-throat version of protectionist capitalism before they finish us with a death of a thousand cuts. The question is really this simple: Is it them, or us?
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