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Comment $1000 DIY version in 10, 9, ... (Score 5, Insightful) 38 38

The motors, sensors, software and batteries of this product are no doubt top end. They also must bear the weight of a regulatory approval process that makes people safe. That means a fall chance of zero because falls can cause significant damage. If you see a thousand dollar version understand the difference - commercial motors, slower response time, less redundancy, less battery life and occasional failures.

Comment It isn't about comfort (Score 5, Interesting) 394 394

It is about staying within safety guidelines mandating the speed of evacuation of aircraft. Beyond that it's about not violating social standards so much that too many fights break out (they're expensive). After that it's about stuffing the most people in with the final limit being not making too many of them so uncomfortable they are willing to pay more for a more expensive seat. There are finally concerns about the actual cost of manufacture of the seats. Southwest has had seats facing each other in exit rows for a long time.

Comment Re:Can be any goal you want (Score 1) 442 442

Yep. We could set up a scientific strategy that integrates political, social, environmental, economic and physical sciences in a worldwide approach to generate popular support for fair and wise chosen solutions while attempting manage the benefits and losses to all parties or we could disagree about the number that we won't achieve. The second is much easier.

Comment Re:The downside of one-sided propaganda (Score 3, Insightful) 79 79

>I can't see anything negative in promoting talking to professionals.

Thanks, that will be $70 for removing a splinter, $70 for a cold that can't be treated, $70 for a minor sprained ankle that you should just stay off of for a week or two. There are times for professionals and there are times that they simply aren't needed. If you don't have hundreds of dollars to spend listening to people tell you something is minor and to come back if it gets worse then you need to use sound judgement instead of running to the doctor with every boo boo. Sound judgement includes consulting reasonable information sources but it all to often seems they are paywalled, tort-terrorized into saying "just see a doctor" or blocked out by quackery websites.

That doctor traffic also is why often you can't get an appointment to have someone look at a significant condition for a week and a half and why Americans go to the emergency room so often - where they can wait long periods before being treated for serious issues. That is the downside in promoting talking to professionals. There is no downside in shooting down quacks unless worse quacks take their place.

Comment Re:Li-Ion batteries aren't good for this role (Score 1) 41 41

They have to be thinking LifePO4's and recharge cyclability. I've been trying to justify moving to lithiums for five years and the economics never even come close unless you count in charge cycles on the lead acids or need the light weight.

Comment First prove the math works (Score 2) 389 389

The assessment center approach described by the article would replace reading an application with days of evaluation of each student. Of course you would get better results but you just replaced a few person hours of work (on each side) with an order of magnitude more. That means much more expense for the colleges and way fewer applications possible for applicants. Is it worth it? You can't just say "sure" you have to examine the real data in detail. If you don't you could paralyze the whole system.

Comment Re:Could be improved (Score 1) 907 907

That would make sense. People would inevitably push it to the limit then complain when it shut down anyway. The ignition should definitely be shut down (that is you cannot turn it on) rather than the engine for safety reasons. That just means people will leave their cars running 24x7 after not paying but that's against the law and probably expensive in gas.

Comment Re:which turns transport into a monopoly... (Score 1) 276 276

As with everything it depends on the service level and cost. If you live outside major cities your service level would be like Amtrak in those cities - terrible. This is proposed for a major city where it makes the most sense and I expect will lock the inhabitants (or at least the non-wealthy ones) into those cities by denying transport outside them and preventing them from traveling to less spoiled areas.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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