About BayAreaObserver


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Registered Jul 31, 2013

BayAreaObserver's most recent comments:

  • On Sat, 18 Apr 2015, 9:41am PDT in Solar panels are the Internet of electricity, BayAreaObserver said:

    If it were just only the "liberals that are intentionally inflicting pain on the not only US but the world and their dinner plate", it if were just "dem libbys wearing dem rosecolored galassas...", and if it were only conservatives that noticed " the subsidies are something that every single one of us pays for. These are your subsidies". Turtledove is 100% correct, the abuse, misuse and spreads far and wide and runs really deep. You really think Berkshire Hathaway needed 1.3 Billion in subsidies? Worried about misrepresentation you say, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs are on the list - nice honest companies who really look out for their clients.


    Talk about not paying taxes. Guess who is on the list of the top five and annually posts how they didn't pay any taxes but General Electric. "Five corporations have achieved a trifecta, ranking among the 50 largest recipients of three kinds of funds: state subsidies; federal grants and tax credits; and federal loans, loan guarantees and bailout assistance. Those businesses, which Good Jobs First defines as the “most successful at obtaining subsidies from all levels of government” are Boeing, Ford Motor, General Electric, General Motors and JPMorgan Chase."


    But with the election coming up next year lets make it political, worry about 300 million and misrepresentation of credits to the consumer (caveat emptor) and above all bring up Solyndra over and over while ignoring all of the above.

    And if your really concerned about pain on the dinner plate - this is a spiffy little chart - remember the bacon shortage?

    "Economists are talking about the end of the commodities super-cycle, but do charts bear this out? Farmers are at their most efficient with livestock, so let's look at Chicago lean hog prices. The weekly chart shows unnatural, and expensive, front month futures contracts between February and October last year (inside the rectangle). This was not supported by open interest, which has declined since September 2013, and volume, which peaked on the way up. We therefore conclude this is a spike high that prices above 105 US cents per pound are unsustainable and that we are back inside the 40-year broad band between 35 and 75 US cents per pound."


    And those price spikes were brought only by "liberal" farmers - right ?

  • On Sat, 18 Apr 2015, 5:04am PDT in Solar panels are the Internet of electricity, BayAreaObserver said:

    Utilities across the country have started aggressively pushing back against solar panel usage, especially homeowners, you can do a simple web search to verify this. Demand for their product (in this case electricity) goes down along with profits, if they are forced to not only absorb the excess power but pay for it as well. In the early 90s I was involved with a CoGen plant in Pennsylvania and we were not a "base load" facility therefore we were constantly adjusting our output based on what the grid needed or what Penelec wanted to buy. Their plants came first and we had more flexible turndown capability than their facilities. The Hawaiian utility company no doubt could absorb the extra power, if they turned down their output to accommodate what was coming from the use of solar but that would hurt their profits. At the end of the day everyone's rates that are 100% dependent on the utility are going to go up for the utilities to maintain their profit margin and maintain their infrastructure despite decreased demand and use of their product. This is similar to what is going to happen to your water bills in California and other places, you will be forced to conserve more and still end up paying more than you ever did to maintain the profits and infrastructure of the local utility.

    For those in California you may enjoy this article from PG&E (no longer on their web site). Here an interesting quote from the piece:

    "When customers install solar and use Net Energy Metering, they avoid paying their fair share of the electricity grid they use at night and of various programs that further California’s environmental and social policies. Remaining utility customers pay for the fixed costs of the electricity grid and other programs, driving their rates higher."


  • On Fri, 17 Apr 2015, 2:34pm PDT in Vessel, BayAreaObserver said:

    Online video startup Vessel, run by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, has raised $57.5 million to help it compete against YouTube.

    Former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar has an ambitious plan for transforming the way we think about online video. His new startup Vessel is taking some of the same basic concepts that were successful in getting people to pay to watch streaming versions of their favorite TV shows on Hulu and applying it to YouTube videos.

    But hey, reinventing the digital video space isn’t cheap! There are all sorts of infrastructure costs, as well as all the serious sales and marketing that goes with trying to get people to pay for early access to videos they could otherwise get for free. And let’s not forget the costs that come with convincing creators to distribute videos on Vessel.

    To help fund the expansion of its engineering team while also enabling it to acquire new content, Vessel has raised new funding from Institutional Venture Partners. The round was led by IVP general partner Todd Chaffee, who has made a number of media- and video-related investments, including Adobe, Akamai, Netflix, Twitter and Yahoo.

    While Vessel isn’t formally announcing the amount raised, sources close to the company say the round closed out at $57.5 million. That comes on top of $77 million our sources confirmed the company raised last summer from investors that include Benchmark, Greylock and Bezos Expeditions.

    That’s a lot of money for a startup that’s pretty new to the scene, but the team is made up of a bunch of ex-Hulu execs who have done this before. That inspires a lot of confidence for investors, to be sure.

    The company isn’t reporting any subscriber or viewership numbers — it’s too early for that! — but Vessel has had a fair amount of success signing up creators. It now has more than 175 creators on board, who have a combined audience of 200 million viewers on YouTube. If it can convert even a small number of those YouTube viewers over to its platform, it could make a tidy business of charging them $2.99 a month for early access to their favorite shows.



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