23 February, 2010

Bloom Boxes - Great, or Blooming Disasters?

I said I'd been in IT, Systems Admin, and security long enough to be permanently affected.  And I stand by that. Who else, on reading a piece of seemingly excellent news like this, would then immediately (well, okay, it took me about six minutes to see the Dark Side...) have reservations?

On the surface, you'd have to agree that this is a positively brilliant bit of news.  A large scale fuel cell electric generator cheap enough to power homes, scaleable enough to power data centers and office blocks.  Not only that but it's clean.  It takes in oxygen and fuel, and cleanly turns that into electricity.  If this gizmo is the biz fer shiz, then humanity is saved, hurrah! The Earth is saved, hurrah! And Global Warming is no more, hurrah, hurrah, hurrah! (Launch into a rousing chorus of "ding dong the witch is dead!")

So why am I not convinced? What bloody Dark Side?  Ah sweet innocent and gullible customer, let me count the ways:
  • It's a Business that's producing this.  Businesses have traditionally not given a pink and purple spotted flying jump at the moon for the Earth, or the People of Earth, but in fact only care about The Money Of The People Of Earth.
  • Being that the Bloom Box is being produced by a Business, there is going to be a Price To Pay.
  • Aside from the glib "black dye" and "green dye" explanations, no explanation what making those chemicals costs in environmental terms.
  • No word on how long the "black dye" and "green dye" last before needing replacing.
  • No word on what happens to the oxygen that goes in one side - gone forever? Turned into water vapour? 
  • No word on what the "fuel" will consist of.  Is it easy to produce?  Costly in environmental terms?
  • No word on how much "fuel" it will consume.  Lots?  Sips?
  • No word on where the "fuel" will come from?  Is it by chance a "secret sauce" of Bloom and therefore they can name their price for it? 
It's always in the glaring omissions, isn't it?  These boxes are no good at all if they can't be produced en masse by a multitude of manufacturers, in a multitude of sizes, and burn the least environmentally damaging renewable and commonly available fuel.  

But that's just my natural skepticism talking, what do I know about the Real World?


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