Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Where is your model S competitor... (Score 1) 351

by FatLittleMonkey (#46786393) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

If you want style you buy the S class. The B class is supposed to be an affordable econobox.

"The price in Germany will be 416,500 euros (US$ 535,869)" - Gizmag

The only car they showed which looks remotely decent was the prototype of a half-million dollar AMG supercar. No wonder they're worried.

Comment: Re:Myopic viewpoint (Score 1) 351

by FatLittleMonkey (#46786267) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

Some of this might be offset by local generation like solar, but the charge pattern of an commuter EV (spend the day away from home, charge at night) doesn't lend itself to solar very well. Our current grid is sized for our current load,

The grid is sized for peak daytime usage. And, as you say, peak-recharge is at night. So the grid already has significant spare capacity to absorb an early rush to electric. That gives providers plenty of warning, and a large margin of error, to plan their upgrades. It also, by definition, increases their revenue.

Comment: Imaginary crisis is imaginary (Score 1) 351

by FatLittleMonkey (#46786257) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

We don't have enough electricity, nor the infrastructure to distribute it, if EVs were to suddenly become the norm

If the US could afford to suddenly convert the entire vehicle fleet to Tesla's (or equivalent), it could probably also afford to replace the grid too.

However, if the US gradually upgrades its vehicle fleet over time, as happens in the real world, then demand on the grid would rise slowly and predictably, allowing infrastructure planners to plan out their upgrades for the next couple of decades.

And since the majority of plug-in BEV's will be charging at night, [**] it will be some years before the night-time demand merely equalled the daytime peak that the grid is already capable of delivering. The income generated by this increase in night-time demand, which comes almost free to the network providers, will easily fund the first few rounds of grid-upgrades. (Unless everyone is stupid. Which is admittedly an option when it comes to essential US infrastructure.)

[** daytime charging would mostly be through "supercharge" stations, which will have their own higher capacity lines from suppliers, as most commercial heavy electric users do.]

Comment: Re:Age is a problem (Score 2) 255

by FatLittleMonkey (#46786025) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

Forgot to add:

We simply haven't budgeted enough for that sort of retirement

That's a myth too. The crafters of the US pension trust fund weren't stupid. They built fairly conservative actuarial assumptions into the system, and we haven't exceeded their assumptions. (IIRC, the rate of actual lifespan increase is below their assumption.)

What they didn't allow for was the zeroing of growth of median wages, combined with the cap on contributions from the wealthy. They assumed a distribution of income fairly similar to when they created the modern system, or that we'd be smart enough to lift the cap to compensate.

Raising the pension (and Medicare) qualification age is unnecessary and immoral.

Comment: Re:Age is a problem (Score 2) 255

by FatLittleMonkey (#46786007) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

The benefits of longevity is concentrated on those wealthy enough not to need a pension. People who do manual labour do not have a longer healthy-lifespan. Therefore they either die, or are too broken to work.

The idea of able-bodied pensioners jaunting around spending their children's inheritance is a myth, such a lifestyle is limited only to those wealthy enough not to quality for pensions; and thus not subject to increased pension qualification ages anyway.

The "entitlements" bullshit is peddled by the very rich people who robbed the kitty, in order to blame the victims of their avarice. It is not reflected in actual numbers.

Comment: Re:Not allowed to play with Russia (Score 1) 71

Somebody remind me - why did we stop funding shuttle missions before getting a replacement technology in place?

Because NASA's primary contractors couldn't design a simple light-weight Soyuz-like capsule to go on Atlas V for less than a couple of billion dollars and 4 years development.

And they couldn't design Version 2 of the Shuttle without turning it into a ridiculous beyond-the-bleeding-edge SSTO wank-fantasy (NASP/VentureStar/DeltaClipper...) Every time NASA got permission/funding to develop a Shuttle replacement, they screwed it up. Over the last 30 years, they lost so much engineering experience, they couldn't even design a capsule or mini-spaceplane to service the ISS.

Cancelling the shuttle outright was meant to force them to "focus" on a practical solution.

Instead, NASA came up with Constellation...

Comment: Re:Not allowed to play with Russia (Score 1) 71

Somebody remind me - why did we stop funding shuttle missions before getting a replacement technology in place?

It was a catch-22 situation, philosophically Democrats hate the

What do the Democrats have to do with cancellation of the shuttle?

The program was cancelled under Bush; NASA stopped ordering parts, production was shut down. And Bush supported the Constellation abomination, even though it went completely against his own plan's (VSE's) guiding principles, drastically delayed any shuttle replacement, was inherently unsafe, and... argh... Anyway, Obama added an extra shuttle flight to extend the program, using up the last reserves of parts, and tried to end Constellation and redirect NASA towards commercial HSF.

I don't think Obama has any interest in space flight, he probably considers it a waste, and certainly the Democrats in the Senate created the SLS-zombie out of the rotten corpse of Constellation; but the Dems had nothing to do with cancelling the shuttle.

Comment: Re:Isn't the point of going to the moon... (Score 1) 313

by FatLittleMonkey (#46752593) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

refueling on the moon with fuel manufactured on the moon reduces the payload you need to boost off Earth considerably.
[...] if the reaction mass comes from the moon, instead of Earth, the savings can be considerable.

It's not just launch payload, it's cost. SpaceX is pre-selling FH launches at $125m each. Even if it cost $200m to launch 50 tonnes to LEO, it only benefits you to have a lunar fuel production facility if the cost of operating the facility works out at less than $4m/tonne of fuel. So, for example, if it cost you $1b/yr to maintain the lunar facility (which is optimistic), then you'd need to be supplying 250 tonnes of fuel to Mars missions every year to justify its existence. That seems unlikely.

[Actually more than 250 tonnes, to cover the delta-v loss.]

However, IMO, this is all part of the same mindset that infests most of what NASA does. The idea of picking a destination (Moon/Mars/space-station) as an Apollo-style "goal" or "vision", (even if you intend to build a long-term "base"). The goal of the space program should be to create a commercial eco-system of overlapping capabilities. Other than some unmanned science missions, NASA shouldn't have a "space program", especially a "manned space program". It should have an enabling-technology research program.

Comment: Re:It's a Planet (Score 1) 47

by FatLittleMonkey (#46752431) Attached to: Pluto May Have Deep Seas and Ancient Tectonic Faults

I, for one, am not wedded to nine planets. Or eight. Or fourteen, for that matter....

Fair enough. My mistake. Most people who whine about Pluto in the terms you used want to go back to 9 planets, and only 9, because "tradition".

I'd prefer to create a, admittedly still arbitrary, broad definition of planet as "any natural object that is above [a certain size**], and is not a star or stellar remnant." So brown dwarves, but not white. The Moon is a planet, as is Titan and the Galilean moons. Pluto is a planet, but so is Charon. And Ceres - as well as hundreds, possibly thousands of KBO/Oort-objects. Plus exo-planets, free-flying planets, etc.

People could then create official and ad-hoc sub-categories of these "planets". "Major moons". "Major Planets/Dwarf Planets". "Exo-Planets". And, for the whiners, "The Traditional Planets", ie, the magic 9.

[** "a certain size". I don't really care what that size is, whatever is useful to astronomers/planetologists. Anything smaller would be an "asteroid" (including small moons), down to another arbitrary limit where they become "meteoroids" (rocks and rubble), down to yet another arbitrary limit where they become "dust".]

Comment: Re:Russia (Score 1) 313

by FatLittleMonkey (#46745449) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

Yes it was a coup d'etat. A coup does not have to be a military one. Every illegal usurpation of the government is a coup.

If you are going to quote wikipedia, then quote it:

"A coup d'état typically [...] consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder." The armed forces, whether military or paramilitary, can be a defining factor of a coup d'état."

A coup d'etat comes from within. It refers to a specific type of overthrow, it is not just a generic term for an overthrow. (Usually military overthrowing the civilian government. But could also be a political deputy overthrowing the President, or a rebellion by minsters, etc. It does not, however, ever refer to a popular uprising coming from outside the existing structure.)

Comment: Re:Russia (Score 1) 313

by FatLittleMonkey (#46745359) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

My:

"There was a huge amount of corruption and fraud in the previous election."

Similar thing just happened in Hungary. Ruling part got 47% of the vote, but is claiming 2/3rds "supermajority" of the seats. Allowing it to pretty much make any legislative and constitutional changes it wants. All thanks to corrupt rule changes and probably election fraud. Expect protests.

Comment: Re:Propaganda much? (Score 0) 313

by FatLittleMonkey (#46745353) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

The American genocide was worse than Stalin's. About 90% of the native population was killed by disease. Before colonisation, explorers sailing up the east cost of North America reported it to be thick with native settlements, grey with smoke from cooking fires for the entire length of the coast. By the time English settlers arrived, it was almost empty. Disease from southern (Spanish) conquest swept up the coast in waves, killing off millions.

That doesn't make Stalin's genocide any less. Nor the invasion of Ukraine any less of an invasion. Nor the violation of the Budapest Memorandum any less of a violation.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen

Working...