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Comment: Re:Time (Score 2) 304

by DerekLyons (#49613887) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs

It's cash-price is currently at the top-end of the luxury-sedan class

In among all your handwaving about TCO - the above quote is the single relevant fact.

Your example fails.

On the contrary - the grandparent is correct, electric cars are the plaything of the rich because you pay the cash price upfront. TCO is irrelevant to what the bank loans you.

Trust me, ten years from now the only ICEs that may still be on the roads will be classic cars and long-haul heavy-load delivery trucks.

Only if somebody comes out with a wide range of cost comparable electric vehicles fifteen or twenty years or so ago. (The average age of cars on the road in America generally hovers between 9 and 12 years - generally lower in good times, higher in bad times. Currently it's about 11 years and still trending up somewhat.) ICE automobiles are going to be on the road in significant numbers for a long time indeed - and that won't change until the lower income folks can pick up a "junker" electric vehicle for a couple of grand the same way they currently can an ICE vehicle.

Comment: Re:Batteries with Solar Systems = No Net-metering (Score 1) 304

by DerekLyons (#49613645) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs

Even the "leasing" option appears to be a contract to purchase power at a set rate. Going by the blurbs *every* option they offer, other than direct purchase of the panels, is a contract to purchase power. (I suspect that's because that allows SolarCity to keep the tax credits for themselves.)

Did you actually read the page? Or just jump on the word "lease"?

Comment: Re:Batteries with Solar Systems = No Net-metering (Score 2) 304

by DerekLyons (#49609191) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs

Companies like SolarCity basically install solar systems for no money up front, and then lease them back to you for a period. For many houses, even with these fees, the SolarCity systems will save the homeowner quite a bit of money.

No, SolarCity doesn't lease the panels back to you - they sell the power from the panels to you. And they control the rate you pay and have the ability to raise it annually (up to 2.9% per annum).

Comment: Re:I don't understand (Score 1) 63

by DerekLyons (#49597535) Attached to: Game:ref's Hardware Solution To Cheating In eSports

Of course, the tournament could audit the config files to insure no cheating, but there's a lot of gray area in there (e.g. having a specific combination of player events tied to one key or click that can perform fairly incredible stunts, etc).

I don't see any gray areas - require each player to use the same config (other than what can be accessed through the game UI) as every other player, the same as pretty much any other serious sport puts the players on a level playing field. If the game allows it, and players fail to take advantage of it, that's on the player - he shouldn't be competing at that level.

Comment: Re:Subs as aircraft carriers (Score 1) 74

by DerekLyons (#49590767) Attached to: Submersible Photographs WW2 Japanese Sub's Long-Lost Airplane Hangar

That's the problem with /.; things that have many books written explaining them are boiled down to a few sentences.

True. But a deeper problem is that there's a conceit on Slashdot that, by virtue of being nerds and geeks, they're experts on every topic under the sun. There are a lot of topics (and ASW is one of them) that come up on Slashdot that the average slashdotter has no grasp of beyond soundbites (at best), and they're blithely unaware of how shallow (and often incorrect) their understanding is. And then they'll often argue to death with anyone with deeper knowledge who tries to correct them.

(This is a general statement/complaint, not about you. You have a grasp of the topic at hand well above the average.)

Comment: Re:Subs as aircraft carriers (Score 2) 74

by DerekLyons (#49589277) Attached to: Submersible Photographs WW2 Japanese Sub's Long-Lost Airplane Hangar

True, but one tactic that the Germans didn't realize was we were reading their codes and thus able to better intercept U-Boots and wolf packs.

There's more (a lot more) to the story than just the soundbite "the Allies could read the German codes", but that's a different topic.

I'm not sure if Japan had developed sonar to the point it could detect submerged submarines; although radar could detect them while surfaced

The Japanese had decent enough sonars and useful radars - what they never really built was an effective ASW vessel. Their destroyers were focused on surface warfare, particularly large coordinated torpedo attacks and night fighting. Nor did they have any ASW advocates in the Imperial Navy, in a large part due the concentration on large scale fleet engagements - offense over defense. The result was they lacked the equipment, organization, doctrine, tactics, and training to conduct strategic ASW.

By the time they awakened to the size and severity of the threat in late 1943... it was too late. The limited military manpower and industrial capacity they could spare from other equally pressing threats was vastly overmatched by the increasing capability, lethality and raw numbers of Allied submarines they faced.

Finally, the Allies pretty much controlled the seas in the Atlantic and thus could conduct ASW without much concern that they would get into surface battles; Japan did not have that luxury

That's not quite the whole picture, Allied submarine warfare in the Pacific was largely conducted deep within what was colloquially known as "Empire waters" - where the Japanese unquestioningly ruled both the sea and the air. If they'd had the vessels, they'd have been able to fight with no fear of Allied interference. The luxury the Japanese didn't have was industrial capacity - we could produce a vast war fleet (for the Pacific, mostly) as well as a vast merchant and ASW fleet (for the Atlantic, mostly). They couldn't.

(Though on reflection, we're probably saying much the same thing, just from different points of view.)

It's industrial capacity that was the real "secret weapon" that the Allies had in WWII - in both theatres.

Comment: True, but largely irrelevant (Score 1) 74

by DerekLyons (#49588905) Attached to: Submersible Photographs WW2 Japanese Sub's Long-Lost Airplane Hangar

Even without her loss, M2 was one-of-a-kind and there were no plans to repeat her. Nobody else, save the Japanese and the French, even completed one (and Surcouf was, like M2, a one-of-a-kind).

The carrier submarine (and it's close sibling the cruiser submarine) were simply impractical with the technology of the time. While the modern SSN closely approaches the cruiser submarine in concept, no carrier submarine has ever progressed past the drawing boards since WWII. (In a large part because cruise missles, SSG's, and SSGN's, have rendered them as superfluous as horse cavalry.)

Comment: Some background (Score 1) 74

by DerekLyons (#49587693) Attached to: Submersible Photographs WW2 Japanese Sub's Long-Lost Airplane Hangar

The US and UK looked at aircraft carrier submarines in the between WWI and WWII and eventually gave up on the idea because of the technical and operational problems.

- Seaplanes have some pretty sharp inherent performance limits. (Speed, range, and payload.) Miniaturizing the aircraft to fit on a reasonable submarine just made things worse.

- Getting around these limits by enlarging the submarine was no picnic... they were much harder to maneuver than more conventionally sized submarines, and were far more vulnerable on the surface because they were much slower to dive.

- Because of the submarine's vulnerability, if the target had any substantive ASW defenses it was forced to operate at the limits of the aircraft's range... making rendezvous and recovery (which was already very challenging) even more dicey because of the aforementioned performance limits.

- The best time for launch and recovery was daylight... which was also the worst time for the submarine to be on the surface.

- The hangar had a number of negative impacts, and placed a lot of unusual constraints, on the submarine's design.

And that's setting aside the issue of the small size of the attack force that could be mustered.

As a bit of triva - Maxime Faget, designer of the Mercury capsule, was a submarine officer and a member of the American crew that sailed I-401 to Hawaii after the war.

Comment: Nice blinders. (Score 1) 247

by DerekLyons (#49573497) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

So, yeah: trust engineering, not marketing or accounting.

Yeah. Engineers designed cars that killed people for decades - and didn't change their ways until forced to by legal and stay on that course because marketing has determined that safer cars sell.


That's a reason to trust engineers.

Comment: Umm... no. (Score 1) 247

by DerekLyons (#49573481) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

The SRBs were rated safe for a certain launch temperature range...that operational managers decided to override that fateful day.

That sounds damming - unless you know the history of the joint, as opposed to the sound bites.

The joint was failing (the o-ring was being severely damaged by blow-by, even when the specifications said there would be zero blow by) even at temperatures well within the specified range. On at least one flight, it came within a few seconds of complete failure despite the launch temperature being in the 70's.

And there is precisely zero evidence that the engineers ever objected to continuing to fly despite these ongoing failures.

Dynamically binding, you realize the magic. Statically binding, you see only the hierarchy.