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Comment: Why was the Volt not a pure series hybrid? (Score 2) 229 229

Pam Fletcher, as an automotive enthusiast (who is looking forward to our future of electric cars) in order to keep my brain from filling up completely, I don't keep track of all of the intricate differences between hybrid cars.
After learning the intricacies of each system, I tend to lump them into three categories for my convenience (plug-in capability being a sub-category itself).

Weak parallel hybrids; those with very minimal battery storage and no all-electric mode like the 1st gen Ford Escape.
Strong parallel hybrids; those with large battery capacity, all-electric mode, but the internal combustion engine still drives the wheels often like the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, etc.
Series hybrids; AC Propulsion T-Zero with trailer generator (or any all-electric with a generator on a trailer for that matter), Chevy Volt, etc.

So I've lumped the Chevy Volt in the series hybrid group, although technically it can provide some power to the wheels mechanically via the internal combustion engine. With the Volt being so close to a pure series hybrid, I'd like to know why the leap to a pure series hybrid wasn't made completely? There must be one or a few solid reasons. Was it a serendipitous capability due to the packaging? What is necessary to satisfy focus group complaints? Was it to ensure a completely dead battery or charging system wouldn't side-line the vehicle? What was the thinking there?


Comment: Re:Wireless charging hit mainstream ~ 1-2 years ag (Score 1) 184 184

Simple inductive charging (which looks like what you're talking about when you say "wireless" in your comment) is mainstream.

Wireless charging has been around for electric tooth brushes for at least 5 years now, maybe 10. It's been so long I won't even bother to give names.
Wireless charging for cosmetic electronics like the the Claresonic face brush has been around for at least 5 years.
Wireless charging for sex toys has been around for 3-5 years, for an example see the Wee-Vibe.
Wireless charging for electric cars has been around for 2-3 years as well. I believe Tesla does it, and the Nissan Leaf got it in 2013, among others.

It sounds to me like you're not buying the right category of devices.

Comment: Good. (Score 4, Insightful) 196 196

Weren't we up in arms about the artificial wage stagnation due to silicon valley employers agreeing not to "poach" (AKA participate in capitalism) each other's employees?
If A123 wants to keep their employees, they might have to *gasp* offer them better conditions/compensation? The horror.

Comment: Re:What's scary is (Score 3, Informative) 177 177

You should give PaleMoon a try. Firefox without all the GUI madness of the last few years.

Also, I noticed this quote from the Firefox Hello page:
"Recently, we introduced Firefox Hello, the first global communications system built directly into a browser to help make things easier."

Have they never heard of Virtual Places? It was a browser with built-in chat rooms for each web page. Every web page you visited put you in a chat with everyone else on that page. There were avatars you moved around on the page, and "gestures" and, whatever. This was 1994 or so...

Comment: Re:Download from the source (Score 4, Informative) 324 324

I wanted to be the solution to all of my app downloading/installing problems, but it turned out not being the solution to any of them. The idea is great, but one simple test showed the issue with this service. They try to make insalling an application a one-click affair, and they do this assuming the software you are installing does not install bloatware of it's own. So take Foxit PDF Viewer for example. This was a great, secure alternative to Adobe PDF Reader which many of us used happily for a while. But, as with most software like this, is started getting loaded down with bloat. Specifically, it tries to get you to install certain browser toolbars, or other such madness. This is the true installer from Foxit's website.

So, Ninite takes this installer, and makes sure nothing else has been added to it. However, they have no concept of the genuine installer forcing bloatware on you. It seems they are just checking for 3rd party bloat. So, with the genuine installer you have the option to uncheck this bloatware and not install it. This is not true with Ninite's one-click installer which accepts all of the defaults.

For me, this made ninite a non-starter, and I do as most of us do, and go to the app provider's site to download.

It's a shame.

+ - Seattle Police Consider Actually Trying to Solve Property Crimes

vortex2.71 writes: In a story you might expect to see in the Onion, the Seattle Police Department is reviewing it policy on property crime to determine whether they should actually try to solve some crimes. This follows a column by Danny Westneat detailing a nonexistent police response to multiple 911 calls after he tracked down his wife's stolen cell phone and watched the thieves taunt him by waving it in front of their car windows. Not only did the police refuse to show up in favor of filing an online police report, but the 911 operator advised Mr. Westneat to “Pull over immediately. You’re going to get yourselves shot.”

+ - Gigabit Internet Connections Make Property Values Rise

Jason Koebler writes: When families go to buy a new home, they're most often looking for a couple things: Good schools, a safe neighborhood, maybe something that's near public transportation. And, increasingly and undeniably, access to gigabit internet service. A study by RVA LLC Market Research and Consulting found that fiber optic internet adds roughly $5,250 to the value of a $300,000 home.
"It's getting to the point where, if my neighboring community has a gig and we're still doing satellite, the property value in that town is going to go up," Deb Socia, director of Next Century Cities, a coalition of cities trying to provide gigabit internet speeds to their citizens, said. "You're going to lose people and you're going to lose revenue without it. I'm hearing it from folks in different chambers of commerce, in real estate, in politics."

+ - States Ditching Electronic Voting Machines, Some Issues Occurring->

cold fjord writes: The Hill reports, "States have abandoned electronic voting machines in droves, ensuring that most voters will be casting their ballots by hand on Election Day. With many electronic voting machines more than a decade old, and states lacking the funding to repair or replace them, officials have opted to return to the pencil-and-paper voting that the new technology was supposed to replace. Nearly 70 percent of voters will be casting ballots by hand on Tuesday, according to Pamela Smith, president of election watchdog Verified Voting. "Paper, even though it sounds kind of old school, it actually has properties that serve the elections really well," Smith said. It’s an outcome few would have predicted after the 2000 election, when the battle over “hanging chads” in the Florida recount spurred a massive, $3 billion federal investment in electronic voting machines." — There are also reports of various issues, including "calibration issues" which have resulted in votes to the wrong candidate.
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