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Comment Re:Nothing? (Score 1) 386

You assume the campaign contributions, trips and "consulting/speaking" fees are the only things of value changing hands. You see at least part of what is going on show itself pretty heavily in the regulatory agencies, members of those agencies suddenly gets a cushy job in the private sector after they are replaced/retire. I think the Securities and Exchange Commission is one of the more egregious examples, hundreds of their employees end up representing the very people they were supposed to be regulating, sometimes days after quitting. And reams of documents at the SEC, which are legally required to be kept for 25 years, are inexplicably fed to the shredders.

Comment Too much theory, not enough practice (Score 3, Insightful) 74

The last paragraph pretty much sums it up.
"It's mostly a proof of concept or rather a disproof of the assumption that wind vibrations can't be usefully harvested. Don't expect tiny metal forests to power cities, but it's still a cool idea."
So this appears not to have any practical applications.

Comment Ah, here we go. (Score 2) 566

"In Fiat Chrysler vehicles equipped with this shifter design, opening the driver's door when the car is not in Park triggers a chime and an instrument cluster alert, and the engine cannot be turned off with the car in gear"

I'm guessing "chime and alert" is a roundabout way of saying the car screams at you "hey moron, you left the car in gear!" the dash lights up like a Christmas tree.

Comment "Terrorists" (Score 2) 100

I wonder what their definition of 'terrorists' is, somehow I bet it isn't quite what people are thinking. When the US was bombing the heck out of Iraq/Afghanistan they simply labeled everyone that they killed as "terrorists". When it started to come to light that women and pre teen children were included in those numbers they did finally limit their tally, to including anyone they killed who was armed, including reporters with large scary cameras.

Comment Why? (Score 4, Insightful) 407

I can't really see the reasoning behind this, it would be far easier, more efficient, quicker and cost effective to put panels along the roadsides, next to substations on the sides of buildings, on roofs, or practically anywhere but on roads. Until they can lay solar panels like they do pavement for virtually the same cost as pavement there really isn't much point when there are SOOOOOOO many other viable locations.

Comment Re:money goes to charity. Court ruled ends in 2036 (Score 4, Informative) 150

"which gives all proceeds to charity"

I don't think I've ever encountered a "charity" that didn't skim a fair amount of the money off of the top for someones personal enrichment. It should also be noted that there are apparently two "Anne Frank" charities, The "Anne Frank Foundation" and the "Anne Frank Fund" which have had their own little legal squabbles in the past over the "over-commercialization of Anne’s legacy".

Comment Re: Here's the video of the landing.Damn it was cl (Score 1) 118

Wow, the leg was the only hangup. They were probably so focused on solving what was assumed by everyone else to be impossible, actually landing a nearly empty rocket stage in a predetermined location, that someone failed to do some basic checks/engineering on the one item that everyone assumed would be no problem, some simple landing legs.

Comment Say What?! (Score 5, Informative) 228

"You find two-stroke engines in poorer countries because they're cheap,"

No, you find two-stroke engines in applications where you need high power but extremely low weight. Their cheapness is simply a byproduct of their simplicity (hence, weight savings). There are plenty of applications where a 4-stroke engine simply wouldn't work because it would weigh too much (leaf blowers, chain saws, etc) or would be too bulky (mopeds, model airplanes, lawnmowers, etc). Sure their efficiency needs some work, or replacement if a viable alternative is created, but at the moment there are several applications where 4-stroke engines or battery power simply wouldn't work.

Comment Coming into focus now (Score 4, Insightful) 47

"publicly disclose vulnerability details only after GM confirms completed remedication of the vulnerability."

Ah, I think I see a significant portion of their objective here. Create a bug reporting system, leashed with a NDA so that you don't get to talk about the bug without their OK (which probably means never). And if anyone publicly discloses a bug without going through their little song and dance they claim "we have a bug reporting system that they should have used, their failure to go through "proper channels" is prima facie evidence they were acting improperly" when they sue. Haven't there been similar situations in the past, I believe I recall some security researchers finding a serious bug in some software and reporting it to the company, year(s) later it still wasn't fixed so they went public. A patch was released within a couple months, with the company screaming that the security researchers acted improperly by going public before they "were ready".

Comment Re:"Concern" (Score 1) 97

Of course we shouldn't go out of our way to prepare for incidents that don't even show as a rounding error in overall mortality statistics. On a global scale in the past 10 years only about 303 Americans have died due to any form of terrorism, in roughly that same time period 313 people in the US have been killed by lighting. You're literally more likely to die via lightning than terrorism. However there are nutjobs out there, there are also accidents, negligence & natural disasters, so the grid SHOULD be built to take punishment (both natural and man-made).

Comment Re:there is a solution (Score 2) 97

"completely decentralize our power"

That would definitely be a good thing, but you don't even need to go that far. Every decently sized city/region should have their own co-generation power plant in addition to a decent amount of residential solar/wind generation. There would still be a national grid to handle electrical demand in the case of plant maintenance, extremely high demand, an accident or some kind of disaster. But in the case of something happening to the national grid each city/region could trip the fuses leading out of the city and run on their own. There is an example of this in my own area, during the last major blackout (2003 North East blackout) a village with their own power plant cut themselves off from the grid and powered the city on their own until the grid was restored. Waste heat from each facility could be used to heat nearby homes/businesses in the winter or provide heat for industrial applications.

Comment "Concern" (Score 1) 97

"We were extremely concerned about the amount of publicly available information"

Then you're "concerned" about the wrong thing. Any idiot driving down the road can see "Oh, there's a huge substation with lots of power lines coming out of it, its probably important". "Hiding" it by removing its existence from public documentation doesn't do a thing to improve safety/security. Fixing the issue entails actually FIXING it, not hiding the fact that a problem exists. Build more backup substations, install more circuit breakers and improve power plants to endure unexpected spikes/drops in electrical usage coinciding with disasters both man-made and natural.

Comment Re:Mudslinging?! (Score 1) 115

From what I've heard they've given up on second stage return with the Falcon 9/Heavy program. I would imagine it is technically possible but it probably decreased the effective payload too much to be viable. They've already pushed the height of the rocket to the max withing the current rocket diameter to get the (impressive) return to launch site capability. They do intend for full reusability when (hopefully) they build the Falcon X with its significantly more efficient Raptor engines.

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