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  • More on Google's (GOOG) fiber service: Though it's charging $70/month for standalone 1 Gbps connections, Google says it will offer free 5 Mbps connections (save for a $300 installation fee) for 7 years, in the hope that users will upgrade. Time Warner Cable (TWC) might have something to be worried about after all. So might Google investors if the company chooses to expand the service, and its engineers don't find ways to minimize capex.  [View news story]
    Remember, these cities had to submit proposals and compete to bring Google's gigabit service to their town. Chances are, Google paid a lot less to Kansas City in legal/extortion fees than Verizon pays Anytown, USA for FiOS.
    Jul 26, 2012. 04:44 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Privately-owned patent troll NTP has reached licensing deals with 13 tech and telecom companies: the list includes Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ), Sprint (S), Google (GOOG), Yahoo (YHOO), and Samsung (SSNLF.PK). Terms haven't been disclosed; NTP reached a $612.5M settlement with Research In Motion in '06.  [View news story]
    In my opinion, it is fair to consider a person/company a patent troll if they own the patent, but have no intention of commercializing the idea, but rather try to make revenue by suing or settling with companies that use it.
    Jul 23, 2012. 01:43 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Reinvesting Dividends A Mistake? [View article]
    Nonsense. If I have 10,000 shares in Southern Company, that's $470,000 in a single stock. To allow for proper diversification, my portfolio approaches eight figures in your scenario. In reality, I have much smaller amounts invested in many securities with free DRIPs. Your article also assumes someone is a good market timer and value investor who is able to pick out when a company is "on sale". If you can consistently do this, why only invest your DRIPs in the undervalued security and not your whole portfolio?

    Having a basket of dividend-growth stocks with free DRIPs is still the most consistent way to earn solid returns with below-average risk.
    Jul 19, 2012. 02:41 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Patriot Coal (PCX) confirms an earlier report, announcing it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company expects to continue mining operations and customer shipments in ordinary fashion as it goes through reorganization, and has obtained a commitment for $802M in DIP financing. Shares -15% AH after falling 72% in the regular session. (PR)  [View news story]
    I don't want to say that nuclear is risk-free. It's not. Nuclear is a very unique technology that requires an enormous amount of regulation, safety, and security. However, all types of energy production involve risk - even renewables. We need to evaluate those risks, do our best to mitigate them, and see if it still makes economic sense to proceed.

    It didn't make economic sense to build new nuclear since the 80's. However, that changed a few years ago, and we now have four cutting-edge reactors under construction at V.C. Summer and Vogtle.
    Jul 14, 2012. 03:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Patriot Coal (PCX) confirms an earlier report, announcing it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company expects to continue mining operations and customer shipments in ordinary fashion as it goes through reorganization, and has obtained a commitment for $802M in DIP financing. Shares -15% AH after falling 72% in the regular session. (PR)  [View news story]
    You're welcome, and thanks for the kind words. Thumbs up for people actually interested in hearing some real information and not just sensationalism!
    Jul 13, 2012. 09:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Patriot Coal (PCX) confirms an earlier report, announcing it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company expects to continue mining operations and customer shipments in ordinary fashion as it goes through reorganization, and has obtained a commitment for $802M in DIP financing. Shares -15% AH after falling 72% in the regular session. (PR)  [View news story]
    Yep, you got it. They never accounted for any fire along with the impact. You win. You're the first person ever to think of that. You're so smart.

    You're asking for energy consolidation. If nuclear gets phased out along with coal, your only baseload generation source is natural gas. That's an awful idea because you're setting yourself up for price shocks, especially if the auto industry begins moving towards natural gas engines. If prices rise, you can set the economy up for higher transportation/shipping costs and electricity bills. Horrendous idea. Rather, the fuel costs for nuclear plants is almost zero. You pay a big bill upfront for construction, and then the cash starts rolling in. And you're completely insulated from externalities. Uranium supplies are ample, with vast resources in the US.

    These plants run at 91% capacity factor, and have been generating huge amounts of cheap baseload power for five decades, now. You want to phase this out? Insane.

    You have no idea how energy works. You're a typical citizen who lives in a "zero risk" world. I have two words for you: Kleen Energy. One single accident at a natural gas power plant killed more people than the entirety of the US commercial nuclear industry in the past 50 years.
    Jul 13, 2012. 01:56 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Patriot Coal (PCX) confirms an earlier report, announcing it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company expects to continue mining operations and customer shipments in ordinary fashion as it goes through reorganization, and has obtained a commitment for $802M in DIP financing. Shares -15% AH after falling 72% in the regular session. (PR)  [View news story]
    I also don't think you realize how many reactors we have in this country. Over 100 - and virtually all of them were privately financed. I also don't think you realize how long we've been doing this. We've been generating commercial nuclear energy since 1957. We've had military nuclear reactors since 1942. For the past few decades, nuclear has provided roughly 20% of our country's electricity. Even more importantly, it's a baseload energy source.

    Half of all our nuclear fuel comes from diluted Soviet nuclear weapons. One in ten lightbulbs is currently powered by a former Russian bomb that was probably once aimed at our cities.
    Jul 13, 2012. 02:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Patriot Coal (PCX) confirms an earlier report, announcing it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company expects to continue mining operations and customer shipments in ordinary fashion as it goes through reorganization, and has obtained a commitment for $802M in DIP financing. Shares -15% AH after falling 72% in the regular session. (PR)  [View news story]
    Your tax dollars at work:
    http://1.usa.gov/NdSk8E

    Even before 9/11, this had been evaluated and designed to withstand a direct impact of a commercial airliner or military jet. Some plants (TMI) are located right next to commercial and military runways. When you take a glued aluminum tube and compare it with a 4-foot thick reinforced prestressed concrete containment building, it's pretty easy to predict who will win.

    These containment buildings have withstood direct strikes from tornados and Category 5 hurricanes in this country. The plants are still running, and they're still safe. This is all part of the design basis.
    Jul 13, 2012. 02:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Patriot Coal (PCX) confirms an earlier report, announcing it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company expects to continue mining operations and customer shipments in ordinary fashion as it goes through reorganization, and has obtained a commitment for $802M in DIP financing. Shares -15% AH after falling 72% in the regular session. (PR)  [View news story]
    Also, I'd like to point out that it wasn't the pumps that got wrecked by the tsunami, but rather the diesel fuel oil tanks that feed the emergency diesel generators. Furthermore, these plants have electrical switchgear that can accept emergency offsite power from a trucked-in simple cycle natural gas turbine (or similar). This connection was located in a low area and flooded by the tsunami.

    Fukushima is teaching us some lessons in natural disasters. So we need to revisit some things like fault lines, susceptibility to earthquakes, flooding, and terrorism. But the guidance the NRC has put forth so far has been pretty minor. That's chiefly because we've already prepared very well for this in the US.
    Jul 12, 2012. 05:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Patriot Coal (PCX) confirms an earlier report, announcing it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company expects to continue mining operations and customer shipments in ordinary fashion as it goes through reorganization, and has obtained a commitment for $802M in DIP financing. Shares -15% AH after falling 72% in the regular session. (PR)  [View news story]
    He is correct - the affected Fukushima units use the old GE Mark I containment design ("inverted lightbulb"), which is known to be weaker than the Mark II and Mark III BWR designs. However, this issue was addressed in the US in the 90's with a few tricks - namely hardened containment vents. These are vents with rupture discs that prevent the overpressurization of containment, since the BWR Mark I is inherently smaller and more susceptible to rapid pressurization and rupture. The Japanese units have these vents, however, they were not "hardened" to prevent explosion. In the US, the NRC mandated the containment vents of all GE Mark I designs to be reinforced so that any generated hydrogen (due to melting fuel) can be safely carried away from containment, kept away from ignition sources, and vented to atmosphere.

    I am not for nuclear energy because I am in the nuclear industry. Rather, I am in the nuclear industry because I am for nuclear energy. If nuclear goes away, I could easily find another job at an IGCC plant or similar. That's not the point. Nuclear is a safe, viable electricity source. And it is doing more to prevent carbon emissions than anything else we have, including renewables. Not only that, but it's in my best interest to ensure nuclear is safe. After all, not only do I work at a plant, I live nearby. My family, my friends, and my whole life are based in this area. How could I support something if I knew it was inherently unsafe?

    If the earthquake and tsunami would have happened in the US, it would not have melted down our reactors. We have been forced to make redundant upgrades to the spent fuel pool and primary systems to protect against station blackout (loss of offsite power coupled with complete diesel generator failure). The natural disaster did not produce additional unanalyzed failure modes. We know of them already, and we're prepared for it.

    I'm available to answer any questions you may have about these plants or the industry. I work primarily with PWR designs, but I have worked on BWR systems as well. I challenge anybody to an intelligent debate as to exactly why these plants are unsafe and should be shut down, or why we should be prevented from new nuclear builds in the present or future.
    Jul 12, 2012. 05:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Patriot Coal (PCX) confirms an earlier report, announcing it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company expects to continue mining operations and customer shipments in ordinary fashion as it goes through reorganization, and has obtained a commitment for $802M in DIP financing. Shares -15% AH after falling 72% in the regular session. (PR)  [View news story]
    You are the reason for all that is wrong in this world. Here is a relevant Isaac Asimov quote:
    " Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' "

    I work in nuclear as an engineer. I know the facts way, way, way better than you do. Chernobyl was an unsafe reactor design with no containment building. That's why people died. All western reactors have containments. That's why people didn't die from Three Mile Island, and people won't die from Fukushima. Get a clue.

    "They have the most reactors in the world."
    No they don't. We do. We have 104 operating reactors out of ~400 in the world. Japan had about 50 and France about 40. Japan shut theirs off, then realized that energy prices are spiking and it's hurting the economy, so they're beginning to restart them.

    Proof positive that nuclear is extremely important to a proper nation's energy mix.
    Jul 12, 2012. 09:48 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Patriot Coal (PCX) confirms an earlier report, announcing it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company expects to continue mining operations and customer shipments in ordinary fashion as it goes through reorganization, and has obtained a commitment for $802M in DIP financing. Shares -15% AH after falling 72% in the regular session. (PR)  [View news story]
    "A 20 square mile area (guessing) will not be liveable for the next 50 years."

    I went from frustrated to irate. You cannot sit there and "guess" facts that a certain radius will be unliveable and kill people and marine life for the next XX years. That's bullshit.

    How many people died as a result of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan? About 20,000. How many died as a result of the nuclear crisis? 0. What got all the media attention?

    It is nothing but media hysteria. Nuclear is clean and powerful, and we know how to do it well. We need to make the capital investments.
    Jul 11, 2012. 07:27 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia Is Finnished: Prepare For Bankruptcy [View article]
    "I just checked your comments. In every single one of them I read Apple, Apple and even more Apple."

    Apple (http://bit.ly/pFSoX2) +70.66% in the last year. Apple, Apple, Apple for the past year was actually one of the best calls you could make, and I'm incredibly proud of investing in it on June 2011. This deserves criticism?


    "People have to understand iPhone users are different in nature than Android or Windows Phone users. Number of apps is one way, update figures are another. What is true for iPhone users isn't true for WP users. Learn that."

    You're right, they're different. The iPhone users are, on average, more affluent, spend more on apps, pirate less, update quicker, and are more likely to buy companion devices (iMac, iPad, AppleTV, etc). If this is somehow a disadvantage, I'd love to hear it.


    But you're right. The Lumia 900 was introduced 93 days ago, not "less than three months ago" as I stated. I cede all further points. You win. Nokia (http://bit.ly/9V8R2A) is a better investment.
    Jul 10, 2012. 09:37 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Patriot Coal (PCX) confirms an earlier report, announcing it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company expects to continue mining operations and customer shipments in ordinary fashion as it goes through reorganization, and has obtained a commitment for $802M in DIP financing. Shares -15% AH after falling 72% in the regular session. (PR)  [View news story]
    It still makes up nearly half of all the electricity produced in this country. There are some plants still in operation that were built nearly 100 years ago. Of course those plants will be mothballed and new IGCC plants are more efficient. However, there is a solid chunk of coal plants that were built more recently and have been continually upgraded.

    The comment I was responding to was this, "You could close the EPA tomorrow and companies would still be closing coal plants and building new combined cycle nat gas powerplants," which is false. We don't live in that world, but it doesn't mean we can lie about it, either.

    The future is nuclear power stations and natural gas combined cycle baseload sources, as well as renewables and simple cycle gas turbines to handle peaking loads. I freely support the move from coal to gas in the open market, but we can't ignore the facts that coal is still a profitable fuel source that is drenched in political uncertainty.
    Jul 10, 2012. 09:00 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Nokia Is Finnished: Prepare For Bankruptcy [View article]
    I don't even want to respond to this. It is so exhausting talking to fanboys who cannot get beyond viciously defending their anointed phone.

    Apple has a constant, predictable refresh cycle. You know your hardware is going to be old after one year, but you will continue to have software updates to support new features. By the time your product reaches two years old, there's a good chance your functionality with the newest software will be reduced - either because of hardware limitations, or because Apple is trying to incentivise upgrades.

    Here is how this is different with the Lumia 900. This product was first available for purchase NOT EVEN THREE MONTHS AGO. This device will already not support the latest software when it's available. It's already obsolete. If you can't see how this is different than a two year old iPhone 4 or one year old iPhone 4S, then nothing I say will be able to explain it to you.

    Browsing through your previous comments, I see things like, "At $2,50 Nokia is an absolute steal." Ouch. You're too emotional to make level-headed investment decisions and probably already have too much cash tied up in these junk companies that simply can't compete anymore.
    Jul 10, 2012. 08:39 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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