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Comment Re:They can't afford it (Score 1) 412

I don't know what your idea of significantly less than 100% of the population is, but according to this admittedly old link The Guardian. About 64% of the households receive some sort of government benefit.

The problem is, it costs a lot to accurately work out who should be earning each of the benefits, for every one of those 64% of UK households:

  • You need positively identify everyone claiming
  • Assess their situation in terms or dependent children, work situation, housing, health, pensions
  • Reassess everytime one of those conditions changes
  • Reassess everyone everytime a new Tax Year starts since the rules are often changed

And all that is for people who are honestly trying to claim benefits, it hasn't covered the costs of checking people who are intentionally trying to claim more by not declaring work or making up illnesses etc.

The savings for UBI come from eliminating pretty much all of that stuff, you just need to identify each person and record which bank account to pay the money into.

Comment Re:Ship landing? (Score 2) 115

The point is to recover the stage for easy future use. How easy will it be to reuse a stage which has been floating in the sea for several hours (minimum).

Also, a longer term plan is to be able to touch down on land, the sea provides a good environment to practice soft landings because when you fail you are a really long way from any people/infrastructure and because with the motion of the landing ship, once you can reliably do sea landings, surface landings should be relatively easy

Comment Re:The UK has experience in codebreaking... (Score 2) 57

Exactly, a Pardon for Alan Turing is just the UK government saying he was still wrong for being Gay, but he was a significant enough historical figure that they wanted a happier ending to his story.

But if you aren't a significant enough person to be recorded in the history books then tough, you are wrong for being gay. Full Stop

Comment Re:Also, see the A-10 (Score 1) 290

I don't understand why these workhorses ( or the Space Shuttle, for that matter ) can't *evolve* ?

I would guess, and it really is a guess, that having parts interchangeable between vehicles is a very worthwhile thing in a combat situation. The moment you start operating different versions of the same aircraft you need to start stockpiling and moving far more stuff around to keep the same number of vehicles in operation. That might not be a big deal when operating from homeland bases, but it starts getting really expensive if you need to do maintenance at forward operating bases.

Why add a massive logistical headache for a small incremental improvement in performance.

Comment Re:Yes. So? (Score 1) 161

They found a way to show that a model of car behaved differently inside and outside of a test, they have not provided a way to test 2 different cars and directly compare the results which is part of the point of the rolling road tests.

I suspect new tests will be introduced which still uses the rolling road for the baseline test results, but then some sort of real road test in which the cars must be within a different limit, either an absolute limit or within a percentage of what ever they get in the rolling road test.

Comment Re: Yes. So? (Score 2) 161

The 'design' here was done before engines became computerized and hasn't been changed since.

What was a meaningful way to compare different vehicles, because they are all following the exact same profile, became a weakness once the cars could recognize the test by themselves because of the suite of sensors cars now carry.

Comment Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (Score 3, Informative) 618

The way this was discovered (*1) was by an independent university group taking purchased vehicles and connecting it up with sensors and running it over real roads in real traffic conditions over long periods of time and comparing it to the rolling road test results. It's not an astronomical cost but if you are just looking for basical emission data then there are much simpler methods (namely a rolling road).

*1 - assuming this wasn't a case of parallel construction and the real road test data is just collecting evidence for what somebody already knew was happening.

Comment Trickle Down Economics (Score 1) 414

So what *is* the purpose of policy designed to make the rich richer?

Whilst "... rich richer" may be partially true, I'd -hope- the policy is designed to make -everyone- richer. If(f) that were the case and everyone gets richer at the same rate, then the rich-poor gap would indeed widen, but everyone is -still- getting richer.

Comment Re:It can't. (Score 1) 107

Are we top predators? We are certainly the dominant species but that is not the same thing.

It seems like our success has been brought about by our ability to engineer the environment to our liking. After we were able to increase our population due to agriculture we started impacting on predator species partly by hunting them directly but more by crowding them out of their ideal territory.

Comment Re:Until an earthquake (Score 2) 107

The partially evacuated pipe is what makes the entire system perhaps better suited to earthquake zones compared to trains.

With a train, there is no way of knowing whether both tracks are still intact short of a visual survey over the entire length of the line. Forcing all trains to stop immediately.

With the hyperloop, any breach of the pipe, will let air into the tube, which increases the atmospheric pressure and forces the pod to slow down. It's a nice passive safety system for everything running in the pipe and is really easy and cheap to monitor centrally because you just need a few pressure sensors dotted along the length of the each pipe section.

It doesn't tell you where the leak might be if there is a leak, but if you can maintain a low pressure you know the pipe is probably still intact.

Comment Re:Seems silly. (Score 4, Insightful) 66

I seems to me the real saving here is that powdered plastic is a lot denser than hollow aerodynamic plastic shapes and so won't take up anywhere near as much storage space.

Rather than trying to store 1000 small drones on board, you just have a big tank with enough powdered plastic to make 1000 small drones and the various non-printable bits (electronics, batteries and motors), which are smaller and easier to store anyway

Then you just keep 10-20 drones ready and print more off as you use up the stock of ready made drones.

Comment Re:Or let us keep our hard-earned money (Score 5, Interesting) 574

I don't disagree with you about the external costs, but I've never been able to work out why the approximate external costs of an industry isn't directly charged to that industry as a licensing fee or additional tax charge.

Effectively, you are picking a possible winner (in this case Solar) instead of making the industry with lots of external costs pay their way fully and letting the market find the best alternative to that (whether it be Solar, or Geothermal, or even tiny little fusion reactors in every electric toothbrush)

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