Conversation

Power came back on again.

Will it stay on for the whole night and still be up tomorrow? Your guess is as good as mine.

48% It's all good - it will stay on
51% Dream on, you deluded monkey
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@torvalds We had a couple of brief outages today; maybe reclosers? Once this morning which dropped the net and let me escape a meeting, so it's not all bad, right?

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@torvalds Having the same debate in Portland myself. Let's hope that power stays on from here, shall we?

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That took about two and a half hours. I have corrected my profile name to match.

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@torvalds whatever you pick, it will be the opposite

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@torvalds my guess is there will be more brief outages as they're trying to fix the power for remaining locations, and some of the work.can't be done online

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@torvalds Time to invest in a backup generator?

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@torvalds but I thought penguins liked the cold?

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@torvalds It seems we're split down the middle!

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@torvalds heh, maybe install Solar panels with batteries to be more independent from the grid? I'd get if that'd be way too expensive, though.

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@bufalo1973 @ErikUden @torvalds Electricity is fine, but how would one get the Internet if the whole infra is torn?

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@torvalds
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst?

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@torvalds I wonder, do you miss europe sometimes? blobcatflop

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@torvalds When, in my life, would I ever get a chance to call Linus Torvalds a "deluded monkey"? I will tell my grandchildren of this day...

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@torvalds Oh nooooooooo!

I was in Texas for the 2021 freeze, so I'm a bit of a pessimist about grid reliability now...

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@torvalds my friends in SW Portland have now had electricity for 24 hours total in the past week. It’s bleak out there. Stay warm!

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@torvalds I voted the second option but I was hoping to be wrong

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@torvalds as the saying goes: beat the iron while it's still hot.
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@ErikUden @torvalds But solar panels covered in snow are remarkably ineffective. I've generated less than 20kWh from 17.2kW of panels since the snow started. That's kept a few lights on and a bit of heat, but it's not anything like a real source of power.

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@torvalds did they ever consider routing the cables underground to avoid the falling tree problem?

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@brauner @torvalds if they're anything like they are here in New England they won't even consider it. still cheaper to fix regular blackouts due to felled trees than dig up the whole town

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@cwayne @torvalds But I mean, they must've known when they built the grid that certain areas are susceptible to this. Or the weather conditions changed so much that this is a new phenomenon. I mean, I know nothing about infrastructure planning ofc; and a big part why I'm wondering is because I see in the news every year that there's larger blackouts across certain areas of the US.

I guess a portion of it is simply increased extreme weather events due to climate change.

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@brauner @torvalds I can certainly say while trees falling down is obviously not new up here, it's CONSIDERABLY worse even just the last few years, so you may be spot on on the climate change effect.

It also comes down to the town actually doing the proper maintenance. Some cities actually trim trees around the lines, and they generally fare MUCH better in weather events

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@brauner it’s much more expensive to do unless it’s a dense development. Basically overhead cables are cheap and “good enough” for almost all use.

I’ve lived in this house for 20 years now, and this is the second time ever we’ve really had anything like this. So being without power for a few days isn’t worth the worry.

From what I’ve seen (admittedly limited), underground power in the US is pretty much the norm whenever you have any kind of half-way dense development - whether it’s a developer building several houses together, or a town or a city. But feeder lines to the area tend to be aerial.

And part of the issue is then obviously that the US tends to be a lot less dense than Europe. At least in (southern) Finland, 100km is generally considered to be a reasonably long trip.

In the US, it might be a daily commute.

Of course, my bias is showing. I was a city boy when I lived in Finland. I considered places in downtown Helsinki that I couldn’t walk to to be outside the so-called “susiraja” (literally “wolf border”, city-boy speak for “wilderness”).

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@cwayne @brauner @torvalds ^ this guy is an expert in trees falling on his stuff

cc: @vbabka
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@brauner @cwayne @torvalds I don't think there's a pattern of this being anything new in the US. I've known power outages here due to weather events my whole life - where I grew up it was more due to tornadoes, but the occasional freezing rain outage was a thing.

Power lines are buried in downtown Portland. The scaling works better in an urban center.

I know Germany buries most of its utilities. How much of that is due to "clean slate" planning after the war?

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@brauner @cwayne @torvalds and as Chris says, failure of the utility companies to do maintenance (because they are for profit instead of state owned) IS a factor. Look at the wild fires in California caused by lack of trimming forests away from the high voltage trunks!

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Christian Brauner

Edited 4 months ago
@torvalds @brauner
We haven't had a power outage in as long as I can think. Then again an urban area should be a lot less susceptible to outtages. Where I grew up cutting power would've done nothing to heating though as that was done with wood and sometimes coals. So that would make it a lot less annoying.

100km is considered a decent trip in most of Europe (excluding Russia) imho. When we took a road trip into Canada before LSFMM last year we drove for about ~3-4h and my European brain was thinking "We must've made it a good chunk." and then was looking on a map and we had barely moved.
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