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Comment: Re:What a terrible article.... (Score 1) 142

by Areyoukiddingme (#47725619) Attached to: How Argonne National Lab Will Make Electric Cars Cheaper

The weight of lithium is pretty irrelevant. There are no currently existing battery technologies where Li is more than 10% of the total weight of the battery, and standard battery types are significantly below that.

He was probably referring to the elemental weight, not the weight used.

Comment: Re:Economic risk (Score 3, Informative) 142

by Areyoukiddingme (#47718291) Attached to: How Argonne National Lab Will Make Electric Cars Cheaper

Some new game changing battery/supercapacitor breakthrough might be just around the corner. If so, all that investment in the battery megafactory could get wiped out. Ditto with investing in lithium mining.

It's not much of a risk. Every single battery chemistry has been played with, at one time or another. And by that I mean rigorously and exhaustively scientifically investigated. In consequence, not only has everything been tried, but we now know what works and why it works. That's why it's science, and not merely engineering.

Lithium will always remain a preferential element because it's the element that is the strongest reducing agent in the periodic table, short of hydrogen, which is too hard to hold on to. The stronger the reducing agent, the higher the voltage a cell can develop and the better a battery can be. At the other end, you want a strong oxidizing agent. Fluorine would be ideal, if it wasn't such a viciously strong oxidizing agent that it eats your whole battery, not just the electrons you want it to. Presumably this situation is what the spokesdroid was referring to, without explaining what the hell he was talking about.

Lithium is the cathode of choice since it's a metal that can be conveniently nailed down while still possessing a very good electrode potential. As an ion, it's nicely compact, being the lightest of metals, so it migrates through a battery most conveniently. What to pair it with is a little more complicated, and the subject of much research. This is where manganese, cobalt, and carbon come in. Various combinations of those elements and their immediate neighbors on the periodic table are used to make anodes. Some work better than others. Some may work better yet depending on how they're assembled.

Rest assured, whatever develops in terms of battery assembly, lithium will remain the cathode, and much of the macroscopic assembly will be the same or close enough to the same that the gigafactory will always be busy. The assembly and packaging to be done is fairly common, regardless of chemistry.

Comment: Re:Cute but impractical (Score 1) 61

by Areyoukiddingme (#47709243) Attached to: Modular Hive Homes Win Mars Base Design Competition

You're probably correct, at least for the prospects of an initial outpost. Except for freezing sewage. I can't imagine they'll ever have excess sewage to freeze. All that water gone to waste. Not to mention valuable nitrogen and readily metabolizable organic material. More likely it will get processed and its constituent parts reused, and fairly quickly. Yes using human waste as feed stock for food plants is a little risky, but the chill and near vacuum conditions allow for industrial processes that could mitigate the risk rather cheaply. It certainly won't be an option to once-through all that material. A closed cycle will be required.

Cubes do seem to be likely, for an extended period, despite the issues with pressurizing them. Ease of precise assembly and speed of assembly will be the watchwords for building pressure vessels.

In any case, it'll be Elon Musk making the real decision. I suspect hexagons will get short shrift.

Comment: Re:Play hardball (Score 4, Insightful) 181

by Areyoukiddingme (#47708917) Attached to: Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem

Notify customers of these big ISPs that within two months they will no longer be providing the full service via that ISP.. sit back and watch the ISPs customers leave in droves.. of course, this is just turning the tables on the ISP net neutrality rules, but when the ISPs are already playing hardball and have their own man in charge of the FCC, then it's time to give them a taste of their own medicine.

You forget who Comcast owns. They wholly own NBC and Universal Studios, two major sources of Netflix content. And they're already screwing with the availability of NBCUniversal content on Netflix. If Netflix tries to play hardball, a whole boatload of shows and movies will just vanish out of their catalog.

A media company that owns the last mile is an abomination, and the FTC should do something about it.

Comment: Re:No (Score 0) 264

It is not illegal for a "drug addict and a pimp" to be engaged in some sort of dispute.

But they soon will be doing something illegal! I mean look at them. They're obvious criminal types. Her clothes and his hat offend the sensibilities of all decent right-thinking people. Obviously they should be locked up.


Comment: Re:a poor parallel (Score 1) 417

by Areyoukiddingme (#47687753) Attached to: Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

Call of Duty is nothing like actual war. instead, you should make the kids go camping for 3 days with nothing but ritz crackers, peanut butter and beef jerky....

That was brutal. Worthy of Jon Stewart, except he was the guy standing next to the generator, thinking he was making the jerky taste better.

My mod points expired a couple of hours ago, but I'd have commented anyway. I am in awe.

Comment: Re:Huh (Score 2) 213

by Areyoukiddingme (#47673403) Attached to: How to Maintain Lab Safety While Making Viruses Deadlier

Nobody has been able to explain what correct usage is, however.

The Chicago Manual of Style has detailed explanations of correct comma usage. So does Strunk and White's Elements of Style. You can also look up individual recommendations. Things like the Serial Comma have Wikipedia articles that quote both of those sources as well as half a dozen more.

Commas to delimit prepositional phrases have only recently been deprecated. I was taught to use them as well.

Comment: Re:Space-X is running behind on launches (Score 1) 393

by Areyoukiddingme (#47658367) Attached to: 3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

Right now Space X has a bunch of former NASA people working for them...

Has since the very beginning. Elon Musk is no Tony Stark. He doesn't design it all himself. He pays people who know what they're doing to design things, and he decides which option to take if there are several choices, and he uses criteria like reliability, manufacturability, and cost to make his choices, instead of "which lobbyist will give me the best vacation package to Aruba this year."

It also means that Space X is no longer profitable.

Anonymous Coward, just makin' shit up.

Comment: Re:Not So Fast... (Score 1) 393

by Areyoukiddingme (#47658293) Attached to: 3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

Well, he is not going to. We have several ACs running around that obviously work for ULA and are desperate for their jobs. GothMolly is one of those POS that will continue to troll and astroturf.

I haven't seen nearly as much out of those people in the last several threads about SpaceX. Now that Falcon 9 is one of only four rocket families ever developed that have had 11/11 successful launches, the ULA partisans have very little to talk about.

Comment: Re:Oddly nobody factors in risk and after costs (Score 1) 409

Imagine that -- "They hate our freedom" and yet spared Lady Liberty. This official conspiracy theory is coming apart at the seams. Toto, I get the feeling we are not talking about those terrorists anymore.

You're talking about people who think flying a plane full of people into a target is a good idea. They're not playing with a full deck. In this case, Osama Bin Laden had a particular beef with US banks in general and those housed in the Trade Center in particular. He'd already made one attempt on those towers, with a bomb in the basement. I find the choice of the Towers makes it more credible Osama Bin Laden paid for it, not less. He didn't give a rat's ass about a statue. He hated US banks, who have been using the US federal government to project power worldwide for over a century.

Maybe they weren't crazy. Maybe they correctly identified their true enemy.

How many weeks are there in a light year?