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About Throatwarbler-Mangrove

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    New England

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  1. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    jack welch dts

    Welch copied Six-Sigma from Motorola. He was friends with the CEO at the time... I think it was George Fisher (who was and excellent CEO at MOT but later rode Kodak into the ground) but it might have been scion Chris Galvin by that point. It was invented by a QA VP named Quinn Balzono to solve a manufacturing problem in the pager factory. For its intended purpose -- steeply reducing scrap and DOAs in a manufacturing process -- it was (and still is brilliant). Problem was that Senior Management got obsessed with it as the universal elixir for every business ailment. It reached a point that people were counting the blueberries in the muffins in the cafeteria. Anyway, Welch and the then CEO of Motorola got together over golf or something and next thing you know, Six Sigma infected GE. Also OT... I was at a party once with a recently retired GE manager who'd had a couple of drinks. He said that he attended an operations review with Welch at the head of the table. According to him, Welch was completely disengaged through most of the presentations (market, customers, competition, product, manufacturing, R&D etc.) and only woke up for the financials. I have no respect for any executive who is not 100% engaged in the entire enterprise; that's a prime source of bad decisions.
  2. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    Who have you been mistaken for?

    John Bolton. That was before I shaved my mustache. Hell, that is why I shaved my mustache.
  3. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    Wind Power

    TPI used to build turbine blades and J-Boats/Pearson/Alerion in the same factory. Many synergies in that place.
  4. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    Wind Power

    Levelized cost of energy Trustworthy information on the levelized (includes everything) cost of energy. Folks who manage $Billions in equities do not like biased forecasts or incomplete analysis or cherry picking. This one is by Lazard; Sanford Bernstein did one in 2014. Bottom line: " In some scenarios, alternative energy costs have decreased to the point that they are now at or below the marginal cost of conventional generation. " There is no longer an economic argument against utility-scale wind and solar.
  5. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    Cell tower anarchy

    It’s complicated and I don’t claim to completely understand it. The big US carriers sold off their tower holdings to real estate investment trusts like American Tower and Zayo, which lease tower space to cellular providers and others. They also build new towers. Many of these are multi-tenant. Recently AT&T and Verizon formed a joint venture to build shared sites because they think they are getting ripped off by the tower companies. Throw into that all the legal and civil engineering complexities and you have a hot mess. But back to your question... a lot of the larger towers are joint use.
  6. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    A Modest Proposal

    This is a hypothetical. In the US, it violates the 14th Amendment . It would require a Constitutional Amendment, which hasn't the remotest chance of ratification. It joins term limits, abolishing the electoral college and zygotes are persons in the pantheon of (good as well as questionable)ideas that require more political will than the people's representatives could possibly muster. I'm no scholar of comparative government, but have no doubt that it suffers similar impediments in other democratic nations. I don't deal in hypotheticals.
  7. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    Void Ho! (redux) S Sound like anybody we know? Seriously, wasn't most of the snark related to little things like willful ignorance, poor seamanship, unsafe vessel, etc.?
  8. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    Router Table Jitters

    +1 on Tommy. He's got mad skills, things I could only wish I could do. Unfortunately, he got into a pissing contest with producer WGBH and couldn't keep sponsors more than a season or two. He's given up his shop and is living on his brother's farm in NC and doing a non-profit for awareness of unsolved murders. Sad to see all that talent go to waste. BTW, if anybody has a 6-figure budget for handmade furniture and 12-foot ceilings, Tommy is still trying to sell off his bombe secretary masterpiece.
  9. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    What's the worst word you can call someone
  10. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    Planned power outages this week?

    I kinda lost track after my Smart Grid startup failed to launch. Last I saw, a revised set of Critical Infrastructure Protection standards (CIP version 5) was supposed to go into effect in 2015. Basic security best practices. You'd think they were telling the utilities to spend their last penny. IIRC, there were vulnerabilites in SCADA as well... not just the Stuxnet stuff, also a lot of things like dial-up access to substations with default passwords. My sense was that CIP v.5 was going to go a long way toward hardening the grid. Also, IIRC, unsecured WiFi could get a utility some major fines.
  11. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    Planned power outages this week? I finally had a moment to look this up. The idea is that they can detect the break and open the circuit faster than it takes for the conductors to contact the ground and start arcing.
  12. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    Planned power outages this week?

    There's a lot to be said for well-run municipal utilities. Emphasis on well-run. We're in suburban Boston, paying less per kWh, with better reliability than the neighboring communities. If things ever went wrong, you know whose throat to grab and they're accountable to the town, not the shareholders. We've had a total of one outage lasting more than an hour in eleven years, a blown-up transformer in a blizzard. We once even got a letter from the director of the light plant apologizing for an epidemic of squirrel-caused recloser trips. Don't expect that from an investor-owned utility. Some municipal utilities also provide broadband for better prices and better reliability than the cable and phone companies. Whether SF could pull something like that off is another question.
  13. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    Planned power outages this week?

    That's the new tech I was talking about above. Actually, it is very complex engineering... try reading a technical paper about it without glazing over (I can't). You don't just drop it into the grid. If memory serves (often it doesn't) PG&E has a pilot or two. Capital expenses to deploy it throughout their transmission network, while also cleaning up all that deferred maintenance, in bankruptcy is more than a bit of a stretch.
  14. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    Planned power outages this week?

    You'd have to talk to a power systems engineer or read the NESC to get an informed answer to that question. It's my non-expert understanding that it's SOP.
  15. Throatwarbler-Mangrove

    Planned power outages this week?

    I haven't dug into the California/PG&E specifics, but as a matter of utilities in general, it's entirely credible. If the regulator had been doing their job in the first place, the grid would not have fallen into such a state of disrepair. FWIW, I understand that SDG&E has started deploying some new technology that detects line breaks and trips upstream breakers a few 60ths of a second later, de-energizing the conductor before it hits the ground and starts arcing. Fire risk all but eliminated. I seem to recollect that PG&E is trialing it as well.