Better ways to foster solar innovation and save jobs = Stimulate Growth to Create Jobs

Posted on: Sun, 2018-01-07 - 09:35 By: admin

Better ways to foster solar innovation and save jobs = Stimulate Growth to Create Jobs

The U.S. solar industry is nervously awaiting President Donald Trump’s decision whether to impose punitive duties on imported solar panels and related equipment or even restrict some of those imports altogether. It could come any day between now and late January.

The U.S. solar industry has enjoyed unprecedented growth in recent years, thanks to the rapidly declining cost to install solar systems and tax breaks for homeowners, businesses and utilities that have expanded demand but are being phased out. Prices have plunged to roughly US $1.50 per watt from around $6 in 2010 due to both innovation that made it less expensive to make panels anywhere and cheap imports. In 2016, 87 percent of U.S. solar installations used foreign-produced panels, also known as modules, primarily from China.

Imposing tariffs on imported panels would cloud that outlook, largely because manufacturing accounts for less than 15 percent of U.S. solar jobs while installation amounts to more than half of them, according to the Solar Foundation’s annual census. If panels get more expensive, the cost to go solar will rise and demand will fall — along with the impetus to employ so many installers. The Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group that represents many companies in the industry and opposes the duties, estimates that imposing them could double solar prices and cost the industry 88,000 jobs.


Lindows rises from the grave! Freespire 3.0 and Linspire 7.0 Linux distros now available

Posted on: Sun, 2018-01-07 - 06:23 By: admin

Lindows rises from the grave! Freespire 3.0 and Linspire 7.0 Linux distros now available

About 16 years ago, a for-pay Linux distribution caused quite a stir all because of its name -- Lindows. Yes, someone actually thought kicking the billion dollar hornets nest that is Microsoft by playing off of the "Windows" name was a good idea. To be honest, from a marketing perspective, it was brilliant -- it got tons of free press. Microsoft eventually killed the Lindows name by use of money and the legal system, however. Ultimately, the Linux distro was renamed "Linspire." Comically, there was a Lindows Insiders program way before Windows Insiders!

After losing the Lindows name, the operating system largely fell out of the spotlight, and its 15 minutes of fame ended. After all, without the gimmicky name, it was hard to compete with free Linux distros. Not to mention, Richard Stallman famously denounced the OS for its non-free ways. The company eventually created a free version of its OS called Freespire, but by 2008, both projects were shut down by its then-owner, Xandros. Today, however, a new Linspire owner emerges -- PC/OpenSystems LLC. And yes, Lindows is rising from the grave -- as Freespire 3.0 and Linspire 7.0!

Of course not everybody in the Linux community loved Lindows at the time and other distros have anyway matured very well in the meantime.


How To Set Up The Deepin Desktop Environment On Arch Linux

Posted on: Sun, 2018-01-07 - 01:10 By: admin

How To Set Up The Deepin Desktop Environment On Arch Linux

There are many different desktop environments to choose from on Arch Linux. A new addition to the lineup is the Deepin desktop. It’s the desktop component of an independent Linux distribution which makes heavy use of Ubuntu. The main aim of this Linux desktop is to make things easy to use, beautiful, and modern.

For a while, Deepin was only available on its distribution, as source code, and Ubuntu as a whole (through side-loading software sources and etc). Recently, the software has been added to the Community section of Arch Linux, giving Archers even more choice!


Posted on: Sat, 2018-01-06 - 16:33 By: admin

Home Automation Page Created on my Website at

I've created this new page to collectively keep track of various devices I am using and adding, which either let me view remotely what is going on with the systems or else to control them remotely via a mobile app or even from my Google Home speakers by voice.

I'll also be listing some interesting external projects that I'm wanting to follow up on myself. From this page, there is also a link to another page I created which is a useful reference of Google Home and Google Assistant commands, by category, that our family use.

Both pages will be "work-in-progress" as I keep adding to them over time.



Posted on: Sat, 2018-01-06 - 14:26 By: admin

Home Assistant - an open source home automation system built for a Raspberry Pi

The system is designed to be modular so apart from existing modules more can be continued to be added. A searchable list of components is at and a nice interactive demo can be tried out at

Seeing a Raspberry Pi can easily be reconfigured for any purpose by popping in a different SD card I'll be giving this a try on mine.

See the project page at for the source code, documentation, tutorials, demo, FAQ, and community support

#homeautomation #raspberrypi

Posted on: Fri, 2018-01-05 - 19:23 By: admin

Flameshot is the Linux Screenshot Tool you may have been longing for

A triumph for Arch Linux distros as this app is already in AUR ready to click-and-install (whilst there is an availability issue for Ubuntu apparently). But that said, there is always Shutter (, which I used for many years on Linux Mint, which also has drawing and pixelating functions if I recall correctly. The default screen capture tool on Majaro Linux (Spectacle) does not have the drawing features and I do not actually like the way it first clicks before it starts to select.

So I'll be comparing Flameshot and Shutter for my own and see which one I'll go for.


Posted on: Fri, 2018-01-05 - 17:52 By: admin

VW diesel settlement's $2.8 billion: Here's how the US states will spend it

Really good to see many states have planned to replace diesel public transit and school buses, and also short range trucks will likely also be replaced through voucher systems to businesses. Overall it is good to see that the penalties are mostly being used to address environmental pollution-cutting and not just going to general spending.

But it's not all roses and sunshine as Connecticut, which is eligible for $56 million, will allow public and private fleet owners to replace old diesel engines with newer, cleaner diesel engines without restriction....


Unblocking Music's Blockchain - The Open Music Initiative is creating an open-source protocol for the...

Posted on: Fri, 2018-01-05 - 16:36 By: admin

Unblocking Music's Blockchain - The Open Music Initiative is creating an open-source protocol for the uniform identification of music rights

Berklee College of Music's Panos Panay recently explained to a CNBC panel how “blockchain,” the system behind Bitcoin, has vast revenue potential in the world of music.“The vision behind it is to create an open protocol that dramatically simplifies the way that rights owners are identified across the supply chain of the music industry,” Panay said.

Panay, a former agent for Pat Metheny and Chick Corea, among others, and the founder of Sonicbids, was thean essential force behind the foundation of the Open Music Initiative.

"We are a nonprofit initiative of leading academic institutions, music and media industry organizations, creators, technologists, entrepreneurs and policy experts who love and value music,” the OPMI states. “We are creating an open-source protocol for the uniform identification of music rights holders and creators. We are not building a database or a specific product. The outcome of OMI will be API specifications to enable industry platform interoperability.


#musicrights #copyright #drm

Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6

Posted on: Fri, 2018-01-05 - 16:07 By: admin

Chrome is turning into the new Internet Explorer 6

Which is precisely why proper international open web standards should be adhered to ( We don't want to end up with one big player dominating the market again and forcing everyone to use their technology on their terms, because that is the only way to access crucial websites. We can blame Microsoft or Google as the producers of the browser but it is ultimately the choice that an organisation makes (and its developers) to favour proprietary non-standard functionality from one browser. The browser producers dangle the carrot of "extra functionality" in front of the developers' noses, but we need to appreciate the longer term penalties for this such as:
- Interoperability between sites and systems suffers
- A vendor lock-in is created as you become dependent on a single browser
- Competition suffers as users organisations cannot easily switch products
- Innovation suffers because of the second and third point
- Costs start to rise as additional work is required for interoperability and lack of competition

It's in all of our interests (apart from the browser producers) to advance the existing international open standards so that they keep pace with newer requirements. It is up to developers and business owners to see the bigger picture and the importance of adhering to open standards. One last thought to envision a world where one proprietary standard exists.... think how easy or difficult it is today to break away from using the .docx document "standard" which is driven by one company.


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