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Comment: Re:And still nothing in the US (Score 1) 98

by AmiMoJo (#48040739) Attached to: Japan's Shinkansen Bullet Trains Celebrate 50th Anniversary

High speed rail is nothing like flying or driving. It's a lot faster on many routes for a start. No going to the airport and going through security, waiting to take off and disembark etc. Much faster and more direct than driving, no traffic jams. It's a lot more comfortable, you can relax, work, eat or whatever.

Places that are a long way away are suddenly just a short train journey away. It's fantastic for visiting places, fantastic for business. Japan's economy benefits hugely from having high speed rail, even if the cost is high. Japanese companies are willing to look at the long term for ROI.

Comment: Re:And many, many more (Score 1) 819

by AmiMoJo (#48039657) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

I'd don't know where you live but it's not the UK I recognize.

In the UK we sell most drinks in litres or millilitres, and I would prefer to get milk that way too. Beer is an exception but when in Japan I don't find buying it by the litre at all burdensome.

Ingredients in recipes are mostly metric now, or use both units. I always use metric because like anyone else who went to school in the last 40 years I never bothered to learn Imperial measures.

I measure my height in centimetres, always have done. Clearances for vehicles are given in metric, not least because foreign drivers from the continent wouldn't have a clue otherwise.

I ask what the fuel economy is in l/100km, or more often just read it off the spec sheet attached to the car in the showroom. It's a more useful metric than MPG, and besides which fuel is sold in litres. Wood is sold in metric units, e.g. the last bit I bought was a 1200x600mm sheet of plywood.

The weather reports on TV are in Celsius, and it's becoming less and less common for them to bother reporting Fahrenheit. In fact the only people who do are low quality newspapers, and I never have a clue what they are on about when their front pages scream "90F HEATWAVE!"

Comment: Re:the solution: (Score 1) 493

by AmiMoJo (#48039393) Attached to: The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

Do you honestly think that allowing random citizens to buy surface to air missiles is a good idea?

Let's just ignore the difficulty that would cause for commercial aircraft for a moment and concentrate on your suggestion that such weapons are necessary to revolt against tyranny. Unfortunately such things are mostly ineffective against the government's most powerful and destructive weapon - apathy. As long as they keep broadcasting reality TV you are screwed. Maybe an EMP would be more effective.

Realistically though, even if you somehow got hold of a nuke or two it's doubtful that you could take down the government that way. The government is prepared to survive a massive nuclear assault from a foreign country, so your efforts will be like a mosquito bite. Maybe instead of trying to win an arms race with your government you should look for other ways to reign it in.

Comment: Re:the solution: (Score 1) 493

by AmiMoJo (#48039335) Attached to: The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

The bans are a terrible compromise between those who want to ban as many guns as possible and those who want to allow them all. You can't judge them as any kind of reasoned argument or attempt at rational gun control, because they are the product of a democracy dominated by extremely heavy lobbying and ignorance.

Since neither side will ever compromise, that's what you are stuck with.

Comment: Re:Simple answer (Score 1) 819

by AmiMoJo (#48035047) Attached to: David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

100 seems insanely hot. I think I would melt. I've never experienced that temperature outside of a sauna or bath. Seems like a rather arbitrary "hot summer day", based on where you happen to live. Here a hot summer day would be about 80F.

For most human beings temperature is only part of the equation when deciding how to dress or what to do today. Humidity, rainfall and wind are also very important. I can take 30C if it isn't humid, or 0C if it isn't windy.

Comment: Re:No 9? (Score 1) 637

by AmiMoJo (#48034931) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 10

Indeed, 9 does not seem to be a problem in Japan. I used to play a lot of A-Train 9, for example. It's not like 4 where manufacturers will always skip it. My Panasonic TV came out the year after the 3 series, but it's a 5 series because they skipped over 4.

I wonder if it's because of China. 9 seems to be unlucky there too. I think the ku reading is the Chinese reading. There are buildings in Hong Kong with no 4th, 9th or 13th floors.

Comment: Re:Better call it Windows 11 (Score 1) 637

by AmiMoJo (#48034863) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 10

The last one to have a boot up tune as well. After that they switched to a simple sound effect instead of music.

I kinda miss those tunes. They were a nice little celebration that the computer didn't crash on boot. If they stuttered you knew your PC sucked and couldn't multi-task. The only flaw was that there was usually a few more minutes of loading start-up apps after they finished before the OS was really ready to use.

Comment: Re:Unified Experience Across Devices (Score 1) 637

by AmiMoJo (#48034855) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 10

To be fair it seems like they are offering different UIs for different devices now, but all in the same underlying OS and with the same apps. It could work well if done right. For example Chrome is the same code base on desktop and mobile devices, and the UI varies between them as needed. It even varies between phone and tablet.

Of course, it remains to be see if they can pull it off.

+ - Japan's Shinkansen bullet trains celebrate 50th anniversary

Submitted by AmiMoJo
AmiMoJo (196126) writes "Japan's Shinkansen bullet-train has marked its 50th anniversary. The first Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka debuted on October 1st, 1964, ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympics. Since then, the Shinkansen has run about 2 billion kilometers, or the equivalent of 50,000 times around the earth. It has carried about 5.6 billion passengers. The latest series to enter operation, the E5, operates at 320km/h."

Comment: Re:Survival (Score 1) 475

by AmiMoJo (#48026137) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Tesla claims 3000 cycles for their batteries. That gives a theoretical life for the car of 900,000 miles (300 miles, 3000 charges) and they have tested up to 750,000 miles with about 85% capacity remaining, so it looks reasonable.

Of course, that assumes you do full cycles every time. You can get significantly more life with only 10 or 20% over capacity.

Comment: Re:If government wants to get involved... (Score 1) 475

by AmiMoJo (#48026105) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

They should instead allow the true cost of solar and other power sources be reflected in the price

Electricity is a basic utility for most people. They can't live a reasonable life without things like electric lighting and refrigeration. More over the economy would suffer greatly if the true cost of electricity was reflected in the price that industry pays.

That's why almost all sources of electricity are heavily subsidised. The question is which ones do we want to encourage, and the answer isn't coal.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.