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Comment: Re:Well color me surprised! (Score 1) 62

by Firethorn (#47782059) Attached to: Fish Raised On Land Give Clues To How Early Animals Left the Seas

That's Lamarkian evolution. Not quite true(there are some weird things that do work that way).

That would only be true if the offspring of the animal inherited the bigger muscles and such as well. Instead, outside of mutations and such, the offspring will have to develop the muscles the same way it's parents did - through stressing them via work.

Comment: Re:Well color me surprised! (Score 2) 62

by Firethorn (#47772689) Attached to: Fish Raised On Land Give Clues To How Early Animals Left the Seas

We see some level of this even with humans - a human who grows up lifting heavy objects will develop more muscles for doing so, and one that experiences regular bone stress will develop stronger bones in those areas.

I agree that they were exposed to it in the past, probably on a regular basis. There's a reason these fish are air breathers. The ability to move between various shallow ponds really raises the habitat areas for mudskippers, for example.

Comment: Re:Short term (Score 1) 505

by Firethorn (#47762081) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

You think with the popularity of programs like Top Gear that there won't be millions around who still prefer to drive their own cars?

I think that sooner or later they'd be restricted to the track for their self-driving desires(and I don't think motorsports will go away that soon) due to insurance costs.

If self driving cars are shown to reduce accidents by 90%, that's roughly a 90% reduction in insurance expenses, which can amount to a couple thousand a year pretty quick. In short, even if a self driving car is $10k more expensive, if it saves you $1500 or more a year in insurance costs, discounting any savings from improved fuel economy or time recovered, it's worth it.

Now consider who has the highest insurance costs - people with DUIs - I can see drunk drivers being forced into self-driving vehicles very quickly, without manual overrides. People with bad driving records. Young/New Drivers.

Then you get the exact same thing as you did with automatic transmissions. Once you start putting those that would be driving in automated cars rather than making them actually do the driving, they'll tend to stick with self driving cars. Then it'll expand to the point that finding a vehicle with manual controls is about as easy as finding a vehicle in the USA with a manual transmission.

Comment: Drones, not driverless cars (Score 1) 505

by Firethorn (#47762015) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

You're thinking about flying drones, not driverless cars. Depending on the drone it pretty much varies between the remote operator actually flying it all the way down to simply programming a flight path that the drone then uses to take off, fly, and land without further intervention. Most military drones do have plenty of intervention, but again, that can range from taking over and 'flying' to simply adjusting waypoints.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 505

by Firethorn (#47762007) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

California is playing it safe. It will take a while for us to trust the software enough to remove the steering wheel.

Perhaps sad, but my first thought was 'What about all the DUI revenue?' If you remove the steering wheel and associated equipment and simply put a big emergency stop button around where the hazard switch is now, you can get into expensive court battles about 'actual control' and all that. Going by various court cases, people have gotten out of DUIs when they proved they were sleeping in or around a vehicle that was, in fact, disabled and unable to move without repair.

I'll note that the case I remember there was no proof that the guy drove. He drove to the convenience store, bought his alcohol, then was unable to get the vehicle restarted(reason unstated in the article). He then pretty much said 'screw it' and started drinking. Offers responded and they were also unable to start the vehicle, but charged him with dui anyways. He won.

Comment: Re:It is a public safety issue (Score 1) 149

by Firethorn (#47756291) Attached to: Airbnb To Hand Over Data On 124 Hosts To New York Attorney General

Because transient residents are not intimately familiar with the fire escapes and layout of the building.

I mentioned that... 'less so for short term dwellings'. Also, low level exit signs are good no matter what - even residents can get turned around in thick smoke.

Mandating fire codes that are less stringent for permanent lodging, where people are more often cooking than hotel/motel rooms, seems counterproductive.

Comment: Re:It is a public safety issue (Score 1) 149

by Firethorn (#47746229) Attached to: Airbnb To Hand Over Data On 124 Hosts To New York Attorney General

I.e. The reasoning given for the law was to protect public safety, specifically to ensure compliance with fire and safety codes.

I have to say that my thought on this is 'Why?'. Why is the fire code stricter for a hotel than an apartment? I can see it if the density is higher - More people packed into a smaller space means that without taking extra measures evacuation will take more time. Such measures can mean things to slow fires down like sprinklers, fire walls and such as well as additional exits, larger hallways and fire escapes to accommodate more people. I can also see more signage - presumably everybody in an apartment complex will have a good idea about all the exits, less so for short term dwellings.

Comment: Re:That's not quick? (Score 1) 190

by Firethorn (#47734999) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

Actually, I said over double the average commute.

I understand, though do you mean double the average ONE WAY, or both ways? Also, I'd consider double my commute the 'minimum safety factor'. IE it gives me margin for battery wear and the opportunity to alter my route if necessary. I'd hate to be unable to make it home because road construction sent me out of my way.

Also, you haven't lived where I do if you consider a ~60 miles max drive to your friend's to be 'long'. Longer than anything else, certainly.

Comment: Re:That's not quick? (Score 1) 190

by Firethorn (#47734169) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

True on absolute terms, but NOT true in the actual day to day commute/usage of the majority of the U.S. population. Even the lowest range electric cars can go over 2x the average commute... and people can charge overnight at home or some at work, as you mention.

True, but if you limit yourself to the 'average' commute your range is going to be too short for half of commuters, never mind if they need to divert somewhere without charge opportunity.

Are you driving a pure EV or a strong hybrid? I'm thinking a leaf?

Personally, I wish people the best of luck with the vehicle they choose, I just note that the longer the range of the EV, the wider it's potential customer base.

Comment: Are you agreeing or disagreeing with me? (Score 1) 190

by Firethorn (#47734145) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

Please note that I said 'notably', not 'vastly' or 'slightly'.
Model S: 4647 pounds with the 85kwh battery.
2014 Mercedes E350: 4100-4350
BMW 5 series: 3737 - 3825

I'd say that ~600 pounds heavier, on average, is 'notable'.

Of course, the Model S went very far into lightening the car other than the battery.

Comment: Roadster driving performance (Score 1) 190

by Firethorn (#47734111) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

Part of that problem is location of the battery. In a roadster it's essentially in the trunk over the rear axle.

Picture of a Roadster's battery location.
Picture of Model S battery placement.

With the ability to start 'from the ground up', the model S relocates the battery from a box in the rear to more of a flat sheet covering most of the undercarriage. They couldn't do this with the Roadster's Elise frame because it wasn't designed for it.

This change evens out the weight distribution and helps with stability, to the point that in rollover tests they had to resort to 'extreme measures' to flip the test car. Well duh, obviously it's not going to want to flip when approximately half the weight is UNDER the axles!
Model S totals 4,647 pounds:
1323 lbs - Battery
350 - Motor/Inverter(per diagram it's under the axle height as well)

Stuff above the axles - computers, hvac, seats, glass, etc...:1360 pounds.

Thus a Model S, while perhaps not as 'nimble' as a lighter vehicle, still performs much better than you'd expect from a car of that weight.

Comment: Re:That's not quick? (Score 1) 190

by Firethorn (#47728185) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

It's a friggin inconvenience to park at a gas station when you're car is outta juice, and they have to have an enterntainment park next to every one of them to keep you busy while you wait the "superfast" recharce of 30 minutes.

Why? Gas stations are isolated for a very good reason - the fuel is volatile of not treated with respect. We have doing it right down to an art, but it's still an aspect.

To bring it back to Rei's point: Why are you attacking the slow charge time of an EV as though you HAVE to go to a fueling station to recharge it when you can charge at home? In some cases you can even charge at work!

Battery Swap: It hasn't gone anywhere because California changed up it's rules again, but Tesla built a system to do it. Look up 'core charge'.

Limited Range: I'll admit that the Model S is currently the only vehicle to compete with gasoline for range, but you disregard the higher efficiency of electric motors granting you a lot more range for a unit of energy, as well as the ability to charge anywhere there's an electric drop. Entertainment park? All you need is a sit down restaurant.

I don't think liquid ammonia is the 'fuel of the future' because unlike gasoline or lithium, there's a good chance of it killing you with any tank breakage.

Comment: Building times (Score 1) 190

by Firethorn (#47728139) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

"EVs suck because batteries are heavy and bulky, but don't bother asking about the weight and size of internal combustion engines vs. electric motors!"

There is a bit of a point to this one, in that the weight savings from getting away from a multiple hundred pound engine to a ~70 pound motor is outweighed by the weight gain to put in a battery powerful enough to utilize that motor over a reasonable difference.

The Model S is notably heavier than it's conventional peers, and the Roadster as well. They carry the weight well, but it's still there.

Otherwise I agree with you. The only thing holding EVs back in my mind is the cost of the battery.

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada

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