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Comment: I don't think you know what discrimination means. (Score 1) 673

by Brannon (#46715035) Attached to: Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

You also seem confused on 'laws' and possibly on 'gender'.

Offering a girl-specific incentive is not the same thing as discriminating against boys. Discrimination implies some scarcity coupled with biased allocation (i.e., 50 available slots and 40 of them go to girls). There is no scarcity in programming knowledge--anyone is free to learn. I don't understand any argument for how this discourages boys from learning programming. If anything this is intended to partially offset existing institutionalized discrimination against girls.

Now, about 'laws'. Google is a private company which is free to offer a sex-specific charity. Ever heard of the 'Boy Scouts'?

Comment: NYC (Score 4, Informative) 405

by Brannon (#46511119) Attached to: Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

My experience is that people who live outside of NYC think that NYC == "Manhattan" while people who live inside NYC think that NYC == {Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Queens}. The latter is the official definition, but apart from that all the boroughs are strongly connected by subway (or ferry/subway in the case of Staten Island), sNYC taxis & busses, NYC income tax, NYC schools, a single mayor and government, and a number of cultural factors (walking culture, bodegas, etc.).

Which isn't to say that we're all one big happy family--people have strong allegiances to their borough, but I think most people in NYC feel like we are one city.

Comment: Because it has been proven to work well (Score 2) 278

by Brannon (#43827255) Attached to: Mayor Bloomberg Battles Fleet Owners Over NYC 'Taxi of Tomorrow'

London does it. Every single cab in London is wheelchair accessible, which also makes them convenient for people with strollers and luggage. It doesn't raise the cost of the car by much at all and it is a lot cheaper than having a separate "Access-A-Ride" service to shuttle disabled people around at taxpayer expense.

Comment: Re:Somewhere... (Score 2) 244

by Brannon (#43479785) Attached to: Researchers Report Super-Powered Battery Breakthrough

> Recharging in the same time as a gas refill is unlikely to ever happen.

Agreed, but only because it is unnecessary, not because it is impossible. A 15 minute recharge every 4 hours (250 miles) is about as good as anyone really needs.

> To go NY to Florida in an electric car will take on the order of 1MWh.

Tesla Model S goes 265 miles on 85 Kwh for 3 miles/kwh, so the trip from Orlando to NYC (~1000 miles) would take about 333kwh which is about $40 worth of power (nothing unsustainable about that for the occasional long trip). Break this up into one 15 minute recharge every 4 hours of driving (250 miles) leads us to a recharge power of 333 kW (with a battery sized ~85kWh). The existing Tesla superchargers are already outputting 90 kW, so we are not that far off from the "plenty good enough" point. No laws of physics need to be broken to output 4x that current.

> Now think of how many people are fuelling up at a gas station at any given moment, and think about it if they are all drawing a power of 12 megawatts.

The instantaneous draw is irrelevant because there are energy storage elements in the grid and at the charger (batteries, capacitors, etc) to smooth everything out to the average demand. The average demand is less than 40 miles per car per day, which is 15 kwH per car per day; and overwhelmingly people will choose to charge low and slow from their home outlets at night. There really aren't enough people driving 1000 miles in a day to generate a gigantic continuous supercharge demand on the grid. Pretty much every study that has been done on this has shown that the existing grid and generating facilities can easily keep up with increasing power demand from electric vehicles.

Comment: How long did cars take to supplant horses? (Score 1) 276

by Brannon (#43380433) Attached to: Fisker Lays Off Most Workers, Plans To Shop Around Remaining Assets

Computers still haven't supplanted books and computers have been around for a while--should we give up on those?

Are you suggesting that there should be a time limit on the maturation of a technology? beyond which we just give up? Doesn't that sound kinda stupid to you?

Comment: That's not how the world works. (Score 4, Insightful) 276

by Brannon (#43380415) Attached to: Fisker Lays Off Most Workers, Plans To Shop Around Remaining Assets

Qualified professional investors are limited in their ability to tackle big problems because they don't have enough money, they don't have enough time, or there is no way to hoard the results of a particular investment. Governments have lots of money, lots of time, and they don't care as much about hoarding the resulting benefit because their entire goal is to benefit society. Private investment gets trapped into local minimums and incrementalism.

I'll give you a few examples:

1. The railroad system (Pacific Railroad Act)
2. Morrill land-grant act for universities (Purdue, MIT, Cornell, etc.)
3. GI Bill of rights
4. Interstate highway system
5. The internet
etc., etc.

There are more examples here:

Soon to be added to this list, 'Electric cars'.

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius