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Comment: Re:So they are screwed (Score 1) 214

by Areyoukiddingme (#49294855) Attached to: Billionaire Teams Up With NASA To Mine the Moon

Since the authorization is for exploration, not exploitation, and they fall under the umbrella of the USA, they cannot set up a mine on the moon and do anything.

Silly. Ships at sea float around with Nigerian flags all the time, because on paper, the company that owns the ship is Nigerian. Of course the Nigerian company is owned by an American oil company, but it still counts.

So it will be with the Earth's moon.

Comment: Re:Politicians will be stupid but scientists/techn (Score 1) 356

by Areyoukiddingme (#49294461) Attached to: New Solar Capacity Beats Coal and Wind, Again

"Due to its low specific energy, poor charge retention, and high cost of manufacture, other types of rechargeable batteries have displaced the nickel–iron battery in most applications" The poor charge retention seems to suggest that the in-out efficiency will be low as well.

Two thirds of that is FUD. Low specific energy is the only valid reason in that list, and "low" is very much a relative thing. A bank of nickel-iron batteries big enough to power your house still takes up a small corner in that house. It's not like you have to fill your basement with racks and racks of them.

"High cost of manufacture" is blatant bullshit. It's nickel and iron and a case and some water and some potassium. The process can be 100% automated and involves forming materials as complex as... nickel-plated steel tubes (*gasp*). They're expensive because there has been no mass production for decades, because they work too well. They're a lifetime battery with only a tiny amount of care, and can retain 40% of their rated capacity for a century even if they're abused (there are original manufacture Edison Company nameplate nickel-iron batteries still in operation today).

Charge efficiency is a little poor in the original Edison cell design, at 65%. Discharge efficiency is 85%.

Do you want a nickel-iron battery in your cell phone? Definitely not. Charge density is the only thing that matters in that form factor. Do you want nickel-iron in your car? Still no, because again, density is really important. Do you want nickel-iron batteries in your basement? Oh hell yes. 100% non-toxic materials, the potassium-hydroxide electrolyte isn't nearly as hazardous as sulfuric acid, a float charge all day long doesn't hurt them at all (unlike every other chemistry), and most importantly, you buy them ONCE, install them, and use them, for decade after decade after decade, without substantial charge capacity loss.

The biggest failing of nickel-iron batteries is they are incompatible with capitalism. No constant revenue stream for replacements.

Comment: Re:Why Force Your Children to Live in the Past? (Score 1) 734

by Areyoukiddingme (#49253609) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Now your just making bullshit up. Dead last? You can't even make up a plausible lie.

True, with the caveat "in the developed world." Obviously not true if you include undeveloped countries. The difference is also not very large. A couple years, at most, and only a year, for most. Still technically true, and not just a statistical fluke.

Comment: Re:From the linked information (Score 1) 267

But the people who actually own Teslas are seeing them to be closer to half the cost of the car (Model S, which I believe is $80,000, so $40,000 for the pack).

Eh? Based on what numbers pulled out of whose ass? No Model S battery pack is out of warranty yet, so no one anywhere has paid out of pocket for a replacement battery pack.

The sales guy's are the only figures, at the moment. When the warranty begins to run out, then we'll see, but by the time that happens, the current conditions will not apply. Tesla's Gigafactory will be online and the world supply of lithium ion cells will have doubled. That can't help but put downward pressure on the price of cells and packs made of those cells.

In any case, $40,000? I call bullshit.

Comment: Re:FCC CREATES Internet monopolies (Score 1) 234

* The city would completely control my access to rights of way and pole attachments, and would be motivated to keep me from getting that access or make it expensive;

So, exactly the way it is right now, except right now they do it at the behest of lobbyists, rather than their own interest. No change, from your perspective.

* The city would engage in horizontal monopoly leverage from its other monopoly businesses (trash, water, sewer, and in many places energy) and would enjoy cross-subsidies from them; for example, it wouldn't have to build a new billing system but could use its existing one;

While true, just how much did setting up and running your billing system cost you? Not much I bet, especially compared to the labor required to install hardware.

* The city could also use its ability to tax, and bonding authority, to obtain capital for the buildout at bargain rates;

Yeah, that's a bummer.

* The city, with its deep pockets and by expending some of that capital, could engage in predatory pricing, offering its service below cost due to taxpayer subsidies. It could do this at the outset, to take customers away, or possibly permanently;

I'll stop with the point by point here, because many of these points can be rolled together.

It very much depends on the model the city uses to "be an ISP." The Swedish model seems to work extraordinarily well. The city isn't really an ISP, in that case. They own (read, install and maintain) the wires/fiber that reaches individual subscribers, bring the other end into a building, and say "have at it" to people like you, who then offer the actual Internet service. You run the billing still, you run the routing and traffic shaping, and you arrange for and pay for the uplink to the Internet at large. You pay the city some fixed amount per subscriber, but set your own rates.

That's the model any of us who are paying attention would like to see. It provides all the room in the world for competition, while solving the natural monopoly/conflict of interest problems in the last mile. It allows competitors to differentiate themselves as much as they like. The city provides a dumb pipe. The ISP provide services through that pipe. Don't want IP TV? Pick an ISP that doesn't provide it. Want IP telephony? Pick an IP that provides it. Want a really cheap, slow connection? Pick the ISP that pays for a tiny uplink to save money. Sure the last mile fiber will be radically underutilized, but Grandma Jones doesn't use Skype video, so she doesn't care as long as her Facebook games work. (Though I suspect the old Grandma Jones stereotype is fading fast. She wants to be able to see the grandbaby, and Skype and Facetime are making it easier and easier.)

Will there be cities that provide the whole service? Probably so. In that case, yeah, you won't be competing. No one will. That leaves a monopoly provider, but in this case it's a monopoly provider that doesn't have a major profit motive, and does have to answer to votes quite regularly. They're not as unaccountable as you make out. In time, those votes may result in changes. It's quite possible that cities that initially build themselves out as the ISP will transition to the Swedish model, just to avoid the hassle.

This ruling will allow cities to actually try. We'll see how it plays out.

Comment: Re:... Driverless cars? (Score 1) 301

Nothing is going to inspire the likes of google and apple to build driveless cars faster than getting dicked around

They don't even need to solve the tremendously difficult problem of a driverless car that can handle a parking lot. Apple and Google and the other companies could pay for a Personal Rapid Transit system with lunch money. And it might even be possible to get the city's notoriously ridiculous approval system to buy in to that idea. It's Green. It's Safe. It's Electric. It's basically a Buzzword Bingo for the Bay Area. Done with a little thought and planning, it could be a boon to tourism, too.

Antagonizing the (at times) most valuable corporation in the world, with by far the largest cash reserve in the world, doesn't seem to be a very good idea. It doesn't take a magical driverless car to eliminate drivers in transportation. All it takes is rails.

Comment: Re:Simple methodology (Score 1) 347

by Areyoukiddingme (#49144447) Attached to: The Programmers Who Want To Get Rid of Software Estimates

Then you measure real progress against that first-take estimate. Usually by about 6 weeks in on a team-sized project, you'll have the real multiplier.

Only if you're willing to accept sort-of-ok software. The 80/20 rule has not been repealed. That first 6 weeks is the easy stuff. The REALLY easy stuff. The last 20 weeks is the hard stuff, if somebody cares about polish, fit, and finish. These days a lot of people are skimping on the polish, because it really does chew up an inordinate amount of time.

Comment: Re:as a chef, yes. for the home cook? no. (Score 1) 91

by Areyoukiddingme (#49144271) Attached to: 3D Printers Making Inroads In Kitchens

It won't be an actual dough, it's going to be ... well, I don't know what exactly. I just don't see this retaining the properties of dough.

Why wouldn't it? I've used a cookie press for years. The dough that comes out of it acts like any other sugar cookie dough, and the cookies are much better than anything that comes in a plastic package. Dough in general is very amenable to be smushed, smashed, mushed, and extruded. Every kind of noodle made is extruded, after all.

You didn't read the parent post very closely, either, or you would have noticed that chefs use a TON of machinery. Chefs have been using machines to make stuff for a couple of hundred years. Other posters have already pointed out that there are specialty ravioli-making machines, for both large and small scales. "3D printing" for food is more like "robot that assembles food" than it is like plastic 3D printing, and that's a very reasonable progression of a very long term trend.

If you've ever watched one of those TV shows about catering, you would have a better idea of the possibilities. There are all kinds of things that a chef would be happy to assign to a robot, rather than a junior staff member, were a robot available. The OPs example of petit fours is one of many.

Remember all those stories about robots taking low skill labor jobs? Remember Humans Need Not Apply? This is that process in action.

Assuming, as other people have pointed out, that its programming interface is within the grasp of your typical chef and that loading and cleaning it is no harder than loading and cleaning a stand mixer. It will be a while before they reach that stage.


Drug-Resistant Malaria May Pose Major Threat 71

Posted by timothy
from the not-just-crazy-dream-pills dept.
According to Newsweek, "A strain of drug-resistant malaria that was discovered last summer along the Thailand-Cambodia border has been been spreading throughout Southeast Asia, to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar." Specifically, the samples are resistant to anti-malarial artemisinin. The study analyzed more than 900 blood samples from malaria patients at over 55 different sites in Myanmar. The results showed that the drug-resistant bug was widespread, and dangerously close to the Indian border in the country’s Sagaing region. "Our study shows that artemisinin resistance extends over more of southeast Asia than had previously been known, and is now present close to the border with India,” wrote the researchers in the study abstract.

Comment: Re:Not really an issue of IP (Score 1) 145

Unless there is a component part that is (1) essential to a patented product or method, (2) must be exclusively manufactured in the places where it is patented, and (3) has no non-infringing uses, then this theoretical IP won't stop the technology from being built and developed in the third world.

High efficiency solar panels (>40%) suffer from all three of those issues. They are made of high efficiency solar cells, which are patented. The panel can not exist without the cell. The cells are exclusively manufactured in places where it is patented (so far), and the cells have no non-infringing uses. They can be used to convert light to electricity, and aren't good for much of anything else.

That's the sole example of any significance—nobody gives a shit about the patented super-water-efficient toilet (literally). But that example is a problem even in the developed world. The cheap panels being imported from China are cheap because they contain no patented technology and are therefore legal to import without a license. They're also miserably inefficient compared to the (patented) state of the art. The owner of the world record (patent) holder boasts that there are 80 MWp installed worldwide. Judging by the fact that there are zero consumer products available, a license to make them can not be had at any price, let alone a reasonable price. The manufacturing contributes little to the price. It's still made of semiconductors, and if there is one thing southeast Asia knows how to produce in spectacular quantities for dirt cheap, it's semiconductors.

Comment: Re:Coal power cars make little sense (Score 2) 257

by Areyoukiddingme (#49064931) Attached to: Tesla Factory Racing To Retool For New Models

Its misleading to specify torque at zero rpm, your power is zero because there is no movement.

What does movement have to do with anything? Do you even know what torque is? Here, let me help you with that. In a nutshell, it's force. There's all kinds of forces in the world that don't result in movement. Lucky for you. You're sitting in a chair, aren't you? Demonstrating an instance of force without movement all by yourself. Amazing, isn't it. Forces get applied before movement starts.

All of the above cars you mention can beat the tesla in some or many of what people would call performance specifications, such as acceleration...

Tesla P85D 0-60 mph 3.2 s
Audi S8 0-60 mph 3.9 s
Yes, the sports cars can beat it. It's a SEDAN. A five door liftback sedan. For crying out loud... And for the record, the curb weight of the Audi is 4685 lbs. The curb weight of the Model S is 4647 lbs. The Model S is lighter than the gasoline car in the same class and price bracket.

Efficency isn't hard to see - in the case of pollution its co2/distance. coal power to charge your battery isn't going to be any better for the environment than economy fossil fuel cars. Its not my opinion, a simple google search would show you this if you took off your fanbois goggles.

Really? Truly? Sorry, those links are probably too hard for you. They require you to calculate the efficiencies yourself by dividing. Here, let me help you.

2012 Coal 33.8%
2012 Internal Combustion 32.8%

Coal is more efficient. Not a lot, but it is. It's definitely not radically worse, or even slightly worse. So shifting from petroleum to coal for transportation is a gain, made better by the fact below about the efficiency of electric motors in transportation applications.

Also you are highly misinformed with electric motors, they are often 80-95% efficient when very lightly loaded and are near 50% efficient at peak power at half the no load speed - these are basic facts even a high school student should know.

Really? I guess you haven't made it to high school yet. I'll just describe the graph for those who won't follow the link. At 10% load the tested 25 horse power premium efficiency motor hits 80% efficiency. At 40% load, it hits 97% efficiency and it never drops below that, all the way out to 160% of its rated load.

and yes 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now we will replace our industrial electrical power production with better sources, but cars last 10 years at best. So right now the wrong thing to do is buy electric if you care about pollution.

My infernal combustion car is 14 years old, thanks. Right now, if you care about pollution, and can afford the gasoline-competitive electric cars (either of them), you can also afford to cover your roof in solar panels from one end to the other. I can't, just yet, but someday I will. At which point I won't care what "industrial power production" is doing.

Then again I don't suppose facts are your thing.

I replied with links. With numbers. You didn't. You should stop typing now.

"Freedom is still the most radical idea of all." -- Nathaniel Branden