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Comment: don't think so (Score 1) 381

by DriveDog (#47426455) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis
Sounds like conclusions from big utilities, GE, and Westinghouse. Nuclear fission will not grow to be that big a part in that short of a time. Wind and solar will continue to grow exponentially, and will supply a large percentage of our electricity. We'll still be using natural gas, but coal usage will be chiefly metallurgical. There'll be a lot of electric cars on the road, but it won't be 100% battery powered. 99% might have batteries or capacitors with some capacity, but many will have another power source on board, and many of them will be some type of ICEs. Maybe many will have fuel cells with sources of hydrogen on board (via a chemical reaction that releases it from some type of room-temperature liquid or solid-liquid combination). More than anything else, to cut back on CO2, there'll be higher energy efficiencies in buildings and vehicles. There'll be very little soot from man-made sources, and man-made surfaces will be more reflective. Burning petroleum will be far less common. Liquid biofuels will play a significant part. Much to my chagrine, though, most all of this will be under the control of large entities, not individuals making their own power. The big guys won't go away, they'll just switch business models and products.

Comment: automotive interfaces (Score 1) 30

by DriveDog (#47425917) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Juan Gilbert About Human-Centered Computing

Most of the recent changes I've seen to driver controls seem wrong-headed. So many require the driver to look down at some screen or closely-spaced identically-feeling buttons. Only a few decades ago, car makers began moving functions to stalks to put them within easy reach, but the makers' usage is so different that it's more confusing than ever, particularly in this day when people are more likely to drive several different vehicles in a single day. I like steering wheel-mounted buttons, but now there are so many it has again become confusing, and again, makers refuse to adopt any standard placements/usage. Can we have programmable controls that follow a driver from car to car, always working the way that particular driver prefers? Must we resort to voice control? I despise talking to my car or any other device, including my phone. Is there no solution until cars can be controlled by thought?

Comment: Figures (Score 1) 362

by DriveDog (#47020919) Attached to: Should Tesla Make Batteries Instead of Electric Cars?

Sounds about like what kind of boxed-in thinking I'd expect from a bond manager. Maybe he could stretch himself a little and suggest golf carts.

Tesla's success in making very good cars surprised me, given how many failed to build cars in the past. But there's an important difference—most of those who failed were originally from the automaking industry. Looks like having that experience is more of a negative than a positive.

Comment: Re:Breaking news (Score 1) 335

by DriveDog (#46998999) Attached to: Zuckerberg's $100 Million Education Gift Solved Little

While giving $100M for such a cause sounds great, I would either study the issues or hire someone I trusted to study them and direct my money where it would do the most good.

Rewarding teachers for results is one of those things that sounds good until you start looking at how you're going to measure results. The standardized test craze of this millennium has done far more harm than good, focusing attention on those things easy to measure rather than those that are the most important. Good teachers recognize other good teachers. Students recognize good teachers. Sometimes parents do. But administrators only do if they know what a good teacher is—if they were once a good teacher, and many education administrators were not.

Comment: Preview of resistance... (Score 1) 187

by DriveDog (#46998565) Attached to: Do Embedded Systems Need a Time To Die?

Tire manufacturers in the US resist tires having expiration dates. Why would they mind, since that might increase demand for replacements? Distributors and retailers might mind since it means their inventory loses market value quicker than it would otherwise. Supposedly the manufacturers fear that having an expiration date will imply to consumers that their tires should last until that date. The lifetime might be set at 6 years, which is longer than most tires' tread lasts.

To some degree I'd expect this sort of thinking to apply here.

Comment: Re:Nuclear, GMO (Score 1) 22

by DriveDog (#46980219) Attached to: Interviews: Stewart Brand Answers Your Questions

Pretty much nailed it. In theory, we can build fail-safe reactors, but it wasn't done. It's nearly impossible to overestimate a life-cycle cost for a reactor, given that there'll be many decades of stuff to deal with even after it's shut down. In the US, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission hasn't fulfilled its original mission faithfully. Why would we expect it to do otherwise now? Properly licensed, designed, built, regulated, and inspected reactors are very expensive. Economically, particularly taking into account the uncaptured costs of using nukes and fossil fuels, reducing usage and utilizing renewables just makes sense. Save the nukes for spacecraft, other planets and moons, and submarines, if we must have them.

Here's a thought... Who profits from building reactors? Who profits from operating them? Often not the same entities. If the operators fail to operate them safely, the builders suffer from loss of future jobs. Maybe if the builders retained some say-so over operation, there'd be more safety. Of course, that fails to account for the effect of prioritizing quarterly profits ahead of long-term viability.

A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable. -- Thomas Jefferson