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Comment: Re:Good for him and the world. (Score 1) 108

Also the electric car has one huge manufacturing advantage. It is very easy to extend the factory to start producing domestic solar power kits, complete versions. The primary part of which is not the solar panel but the battery, inverter and control systems. So the panel can be conventionally outsourced and the rest of the kit assembled and ready for sale and installation. Right now is the right time for a retail complete ready to install kit by skilled trained franchise dealers. Part of that kit of course connector for the car, power incoming and outgoing. The car and the home power supply will work well together to minimise cost of some very expensive parts.

Comment: Re:Well done! (Score 1) 463

by rtb61 (#49516097) Attached to: George Lucas Building Low-Income Housing Next Door To Millionaires

Included in that is the sell value of the property and seven years is the appropriate return period, due to typical contract length. Not to forget of course, starting rent, day 1 year 1, is not finishing rent day 365 year 7. Then there are major tax breaks including asset depreciation, which wipes of total construction investment over the investment life of the property. Added to that likely significant appreciate in subdividing a major parcel of land. Of course he could just be really patient, move in the bogans, wait for the others out, demolish the low cost housing and build a movie studio.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 1) 554

As it is, I am opposed to the whole idea of execution, it seems such a waste. Whilst the individual has lost their rights that have not lost their value. Contained within them is the genetics, the motivations and very likely the information to help prevent crimes by others. Also the potential for a cure, a bit tough as it would be on the experimental side but again there is benefit community wide in find cures and applying before terrible consequences occur. So kept as comfortable as reasonable, in a very good health state and used for appropriate reasonable medical experimentation, with strong emphasis on 'appropriate' and 'reasonable'. As an individual they might well have lost their value as a human being they have not and most definitely never to be spare parts (that is simply way to dangerous, DNA matching and wealthy scum able to manipulate the courts, nobody wants to be set up and framed for their body parts, no thank you). Never forget, we are talking government and lawyers as well, so a chance always remains to repair a legal mistake or a fraudulent prosecution.

Comment: Re:SSDs (Score 2) 107

by hairyfeet (#49515845) Attached to: New PCIe SSDs Load Games, Apps As Fast As Old SATA Drives

I can back this up, as I have a couple of "gamer" customers (which you can replace "gamer" with "must spend stupid amounts of money trying to stay atop the leaderboards") and when they brought in these new "top o' the line" SSDs I ran a few informal tests, boot times, game load times, basic shit....honestly you couldn't tell without a stopwatch, the new ones were so close to the 2 year old SSD I have in the shop it wasn't even funny.

I have to wonder if we are getting to the point the drive speed just isn't a factor, that the other components like CPU, GPU, and RAM will be bottlenecking before the drive, because no matter how faster you get the data off the drive you still gotta process it.

Comment: Re:Probably best (Score 1) 379

by hey! (#49515823) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars

Cars from the 60's-70's suck big time.

Sooo true. My first car was a 1976 Buick Century with 231 cc V6 engine, normally aspirated. The engine wasn't half-bad -- this was before emissions controls other than a PCV, EGR and catalytic converters so it *was* simple to work on -- but in every other respect it was dreadful by modern standards. 105 horsepower to move 3800+ pounds equals 0-60 in 17 seconds and 15 miles to the gallon, baby.

But aside from power to weight ratios, the thing which really sucked about old cars was the suspension and handling. Every time I see a car chase in a movie from the 1970s I laugh because I *remember* driving cars like that. By modern standards they cornered like inebriated hippos on roller skates.

Comment: Can't say I love it *yet*. (Score 1) 123

by jcr (#49515131) Attached to: Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech

Coming from many years of Obj-C development, I can acknowledge several ways in which Swift is superior, but the learning curve is somewhat steeper than the transition from C to Objective-C was.

Aside from the language itself, Swift playgrounds are wonderful. We're getting closer all the time to a Smalltalk way of writing code.


Comment: Re:Here's a better idea (Score 1) 586

by Rei (#49513227) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

That's actually the point. Warm temperatures and near constant sunlight = high productivity - if you import water. Ag in California takes up 80% of the water, but ag + mining together is only 2% of the economy. It's fine when water is abundant, but when it's in short supply, ag has to give.

Comment: Re:Environmentalism, much? (Score 1) 117

by hey! (#49511715) Attached to: Pull-Top Can Tabs, At 50, Reach Historic Archaeological Status

By that argument why bother excavating garbage pits, when temples and mausoleums are so much sexier? Well, because temples and mausoleums are consciously built by high status people to convey messages. Garbage (and by extension pollution) tell you things about everyone, including things they didn't think worthy of documenting but turn out to be interesting.

Comment: Re:For the Conservation Crowd (Score 1) 586

by hey! (#49511535) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

Spoken like someone with absolutely no engineering experience. Engineering as a discipline has this impish habit delivering things most people never imagined possible. This misleads them into thinking that engineering can give them anything they can imagine, particularly if the concept seems simple to them.

Take the suggestion elsewhere in this discussion that water be piped from the Great Lakes to California. Nothing could be simpler in conception -- a 2000 mile long pipe. We've built oil pipelines longer than that. The longest crude oil pipeline in the world is the 2500 mile Druzhba pipeline from Russia to Germany, so a 2000 mile long water pipe should be a cinch, right?

Here we get to the place where engineering starts being a bitch. You see, it's one thing to imagine a cost-is-no-object project, but the truth is cost is the single most important limitation on water use. It does no good to supply water to California almond farmers if they have to sell their almonds at the same price/weight as gold to pay for it. We use a *lot* more water than oil, and we expect it to be way, way cheaper. The current spot price for crude oil is about $57 per barrel -- roughly $1.36/gallon. Agricultural users in California pay something like 3/10 of a penny a gallon -- roughly speaking they expect water to be about 500x cheaper per gallon than oil. If pumping adds a penny to the price per gallon to the price of crude oil, that's no big deal, less than 1%. Add a penny per gallon to the price of water and you've quadrupled your farmer's water cost.

A system that delivers water can be expensive to build, but it has to operate cheaply and reliably. That's why water systems engineers avoid pumps and rely on gravity to do most of the work of moving water. The longest water supply pipeline I know of is the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme, which transports water 330 miles with the aid of 20 pump stations. The economic justification for this project? To support gold mining. To give you an idea of how much expense was tolerated when the Goldfields system was built, it replaced a system where water was packed in by camel train. Today users there pay 7x as much per gallon as users in California do for water. Assuming the CA system could be operated for the same price, you could actually dispense with actually building the system. Raising the water price from $0.003 to $0.02 would reduce water consumption in California to sustainable rates -- even under drought conditions. It'd do so by causing agriculture to move out of state. Probably some population too.

Comment: Re:Here's a better idea (Score 2) 586

by hey! (#49510623) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

Right, and for an encore they can figure out how to get the water from that desalination plant to flow uphill.

People don't realize how much water distribution networks rely on gravity; yes you can pump water to create more head but it raises the operational cost of the system astronomically. It's only practical to supply coastal cities, and then only if there is no water that can feasibly be piped from elsewhere. In California's case that doesn't really solve the problem, which is that their agricultural economy is going to collapse.

Comment: Re:The UK Government Are Massively Out Of Touch (Score 3, Insightful) 167

by TheRaven64 (#49509991) Attached to: Assange Talk Spurs UK Judges To Boycott Legal Conference
He is wanted in the UK for violating bail. Judges should only interact with criminals in the court where everything said is a matter of public record (and subject to strict accounting). Allowing judges to talk to criminals in other settings sounds like a good recipe for legalised bribery.

Comment: Re:Really (Score 1) 167

by TheRaven64 (#49509451) Attached to: Assange Talk Spurs UK Judges To Boycott Legal Conference

the US is a different matter entirely that would need a court's approval, and that court would be the one in Sweden, not the UK

Are you sure about that? Doesn't the extradition treaty between Sweden and the UK explicitly prevent extraditing people who have already been extradited? Sweden would have to deport him before he could be subject to further extradition requests.

Comment: Re:What about "I'm happy to pay income tax?" (Score 1) 107

by TheRaven64 (#49508987) Attached to: For the most recent tax year ...
Happy seems a bit of an overstatement. I'd love to pay less tax. I'd also love to have free beer from my local, but in both cases I think I'm getting pretty good value for money and I'd rather taxes went up a little than have a reduction in public services. We've got an election coming up in the next few weeks, so we'll see what happens...

"I've seen it. It's rubbish." -- Marvin the Paranoid Android