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Comment: Re: Zoo what? (Score 1) 121

What is this "advertising" of which you speak? Oh, you mean that stuff in between songs in restaurants whose owners are too cheap to pay license fees, and to dumb to hit up Jamendo?

These days we have AdBlock Plus, TiVo, Netflix, and lots of other great ways to avoid advertising. Lots of us simply do not experience any significant quantity of it except in still image form. Netflix content producers are beginning to use proper interstitial video, though, so I guess I still see some there.

Comment: Re:We've been doing it for a long time (Score 1) 332

I have a great attention span, and have a great memory to go along with it.

Here is a short list of "problems" I have with "global warming" zealots.

1) Every big natural disaster is met with "Global Warming" cries, yet when lulls occur (like hurricanes), nothing. Or worse, when it is very very cold, they cry "It is climate, not weather, know the difference".

2) CO2 is a miniscule amount of greenhouse gasses. Water Vapor is much much larger. Go ahead, and explain why we can swing between 1 and 4% average H2O without much effect, but small percentages of CO2 are disasterous!

Comment: What's amazing... (Score 1) 17

by swillden (#48452681) Attached to: Google Chrome Will Block All NPAPI Plugins By Default In January

What's amazing is that this 1996-era hack for extending the functionality of the Netscape browser, in a rather kludgy and unsafe way, still exists at all in 2014. I took a class at the Netscape office in Mountain View in 1997 to learn how to write NPAPI plugins and thought then that it was an ugly hack that deserved to go way soon, though I was glad it existed to solve my immediate problems. Not only did it not go away (though MS removed NPAPI support for IE a long time ago), nearly all major browsers today still support it.

Good for Google for deprecating this crap. Firefox (which is to some degree a descendant of Netscape) has also been reducing its support, per the WP article.

Comment: Solar power thought experiment (Score 1) 218

by Firethorn (#48452599) Attached to: Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust

Let's drive this to extremes just to see what happens. What if we manage to develop solar panels(and associated systems) that are 4X more efficient(they look black because they aren't reflecting light at all), and cost 1/10th as much. $20 gets you a panel that produces 1kw if given enough sunlight. By the way, at $20 per ~1.7 square meters, it would possibly be cheaper to build your roof out of solar panels rather than traditional methods such as asphalt shingles.

The practical result would be that electricity prices would invert - cheaper during the day. It might even be economical to use battery backup to not purchase(as much) power at night. From a practicality standpoint I picture individual homes using old EV batteries to provide power when it's dark out, with big power companies having more options. It would still be a net positive though - the cost of aluminum products would drop, electric heating would be back in vogue*, etc...

*Just that you'd have a big water heater tank that doesn't power on unless the solar panels have juice.

Comment: Um, can't life just evolve under water? (Score 1) 97

by Dr. Spork (#48452271) Attached to: Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

...the gamma rays would set off a chain of chemical reactions that would destroy the ozone layer in a planet's atmosphere. With that protective gas gone, deadly ultraviolet radiation from a planet’s sun would rain down for months or years

Yeah, because it's impossible that complex life could be protected by a different (better!) kind of UV shield like... water. From my understanding, it's not exactly rare in the universe.

Comment: Re:Volt / C-Max (Score 1) 212

It's not a long term solution, since having a gas generator and electric motor means extra maintenance in the long term. The long term solution will be fast charging for electric. These cars are the bridge between the existing gas infrastructure and the new electric infrastructure.

Not to mention that, right now, the cost of the engine and integration is less than around 200 miles worth of battery, but the equation changes if you cut the price of the battery in half like Musk is hoping for.

For those who absolutely need to take their vehicle out for a long distance drive or a hundred miles out into the woods where there are no outlets I've suggested a generator-trailer. It wouldn't need to be big - a 250cc motorcycle engine should be enough to provide enough of a range extension to get them where they need to go. As a bonus, they get extra luggage storage in the trailer, a genset at their campsite, and still pretty good gas mileage.

Comment: Re:I don't think hydrogen makes sense (Score 1) 212

But don't ignore other advantages of hydrocarbon fuels simply because you don't like the idea of spewing carbon into the atmosphere.

FWIW, I don't worry over much about carbon. My EV purchase was based on purely economic analysis. Having driven an EV for a while, what I really dislike about gas burners is the noise and the smell. This isn't an environmental concern, or not a global environmental concern, anyway. It's about the environment of my garage.

Comment: Re:PR (Score 1) 212

Longevity: We generally start at 40 years. They'll still produce power after that, but that's around the 80% line.
Footprint: about 1.7x1 meters per 250W panel. If you're willing to pay more, you can get a slightly more powerful panel into that area or a slightly shorter one(like 1.5M). Cheap panel - definitely 'roof sized'

Comment: Re:It's The Parts Count (Score 1) 212

Well, who knows how long he would have taken if he wasn't giving out rides, tours, and giving presentations on the car in exchange for charges. An RV lot can provide a plug with enough capacity for full-speed home charging, but doesn't really touch the speed of a Supercharger. Outlets installed for welding will vary between that and the equivalent of a dryer outlet, about 4X the 'cripple charge' rate of a standard 110V outlet.

I would not be surprised if a completed super-charger line along the route wouldn't drop it to 8-9 days, because I fully admit that a fossil fuel car that is 'pushing it' will be able to do it faster. 800 miles/day for a gasoline vehicle, about 600 for a Tesla. That's starting and ending at a fueling location(not necessarily a high speed one) so that it can start with a full charge come morning, and fueling up twice partially at high-speed chargers.

Comment: And cheaper, right? (Score 2) 162

by khasim (#48451415) Attached to: LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

In my experience (as a dev team lead and interviewer) foreign workers are generally more educated, more productive and more willing to got the extra mile than the local self-entitled bunch.

Well, unless you secretly work for Google or some such, this is not about you. They're the ones who can afford to attract the best people from around the world.

The other people claiming to be in tech usually mean H-1B visa recipients. And the real reasons to hire them are:

1. They're cheaper than hiring US citizens.

2. They cannot change jobs as easily as US citizens. No matter how many hours you demand that they work.

3. They're easier to dispose of. You just send them back home. No need to worry about wrongful termination suits or such.

If you cannot afford to hire the people with the training necessary then you need to look at your business plan.

Complaining that the local people who will take the job at the pay you're offering lack the education necessary says more about your pay than about the skills of the local people.

Comment: Re:It has nothing to do with the part counts (Score 1) 212

That's marvellous if you are along the corridor of chargers. Not so marvellous for the vast number of people who aren't. Or who can't afford a Tesla.

Currently only the Tesla has the range for practical long range travel. If you own a leaf and need to drive 3 western states away renting a different vehicle makes more sense. As for the corridor - their ultimate plan is a charging station every hundred miles or so along all the interstates. That leaves only extremely limited areas where you will be unable to charge up.

If EVs start pushing double-digit percentages of personal vehicles, the tens of thousands of stations somebody mentioned will pop up.

And I actually see chargers coming to restaurants and malls before at gas stations. Most gas stations have extremely limited longer term parking. Malls have plenty, and they'd be willing to subsidize your charge in exchange for getting you into them to hopefully spend more money inside.

The superchargers are only an initial step. I think it's telling that from my research that standards bodies haven't even finalized standards for chargers capable of the wattage a supercharger can push. With Musk going 'open source' on his charging technology, hopefully more up&coming vehicles will use it.

Comment: Re:It has nothing to do with the part counts (Score 1) 212

Given the increased time to refuel, even with a supercharger, the density has to be greater than the existing gas stations serving that route.

The vast majority of charging is at home and maybe in the future at work. Have you figured that density in? The only places you really need exterior charging stations for a 250+ mile EV is on the highways where they might go over that in a single day. Tesla is building those.

Personally, especially given the longer charge times I want to see the chargers at service points - Restaurants, malls, stores, etc...

Comment: Duh (Score 1) 162

Well, we treat them like crap. On top of that they come here and find that they have very few opportunities to advance any more. Why would they want to come here? They'd be better off going to a civilized first-world country rather than the third-world construct we are trying so hard to make the US into.

Comment: Re:next gen batteries (Score 1) 212

On the other hand, if the choice i were making included a car that could fill up in five minutes and a car that took a minimum of half an hour, then yes it would make a difference. And not in favour of the half hour fillup....

You still have some differences. With the gasoline engine you don't just have the 5 minutes at the filling station. You also have the time to reach the filling station, then return to the route you would have taken if you didn't need fuel. This is because while gasoline is well understood, there are still safety requirements that dictate a certain amount of separation between fueling and doing other things.

Ideally, when electric cars are 'everywhere' you'll be able to pull into your restaurant of choice and start charging up. You spend ~60 seconds fiddling with the charge system then go in and have a meal - that's 4-6 minutes you're NOT spending simply standing there waiting for your vehicle to fill up.

I'll also point out some other considerations, such as time saved NOT having maintenance such as oil changes done every 3-10k miles, money saved as fueling an EV is a lot cheaper than gasoline, etc....

If you regularly drive 300+ miles a day and can't be arsed to spend the extra time charging it, sure, buy the 3 cylinder turbo-diesel. It'll cost you more in fuel, but you'll be quicker with it and still have excellent gas mileage. If you don't, consider renting said turbo-diesel on the rare occasions you need it.

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks