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Comment: Re:FP! (Score 1) 626 626

Ok, you have a bit of a special case since you're talking about motorcycles and not cars, and there's some big differences there. Having to stop every 200 miles is one of them; normal cars go a lot farther than that. However, I would think that the recharge time on an electric bike should be shorter, since the battery capacity is quite a bit smaller than, say, a Tesla Model S. I guess we'll see when electric bikes actually hit the market in a signficant way.

Yes, 2-3 trips a year is rare, in the sense that the majority of the time during that year, you're *not* on a trip. You spend most of your time at home or work presumably, not on a trip. So use one vehicle for the trips, and use an EV for commuting. Or (for car drivers) rent a car for the trip. 2-3 trips a year is not uncommon for most people I'd think, but the point is, the vast majority of most peoples' driving is not long-distance trips, but rather short-distance commuting every weekday. This is what EVs are good at. And since most families have multiple vehicles, it's not a hardship for one of them (the commuter car) to be an EV, and one to be a gas car. Of, if they only have one car (perhaps a single person), it could very well be more economical to have only an EV and then rent a car for the trips. A lot of people already do this, without the EV, solely to avoid putting all those miles on their primary car.

Comment: Re:Brand/product persistance seems dead anyway (Score 2) 225 225

Contract manufacturing isn't going to magically make tooling and setup costs just disappear, and some manufacturer isn't going to just eat those and go without a profit. Newer tools (CAD) and processes do make it easier and cheaper to make new designs though. The thing CM is good for is allowing smaller companies to get products to market, because they don't have to have their own factory (which requires a lot of capital), they just pay an existing factory to make it for them. It increases the market size and the number of players in the market. However, it doesn't lower costs; the CM has to make a profit too. It's always cheaper to have your own factory, but only in the long term. Companies obsessed with short-term numbers will sell off their factory and move to CM because in the short term it shows up as a positive, but in the long term they're paying more for manufacturing and also losing out in flexibility (it's easier to make changes, or do exactly what you want, when you control your own manufacturing processes). As an example, there's a good reason that Intel fabs all its chips, and doesn't just farm them out to TSMC like some other chipmakers.

Comment: Re:I would like to volunteer as the chief harbinge (Score 1) 225 225

Mind you, this isn't just contrarianism. I usually don't even pay much attention to what the rest of the world thinks about something. I only find out after-the-fact that every other human being on planet earth else disagrees with me--on EVERYTHING.

It really depends. Are you picking stuff which is crap, and the general populace correctly realizes is crap? Or are you picking stuff which is too high-quality for the general market?

A good example of the former is the Pontiac Aztek (though admittedly, its main problem wasn't utility or even quality, but its horrendous appearance). What kind of cars have you picked?

Another good example of the former is probably the Microsoft Surface RT.

A good example of the latter is watching anything besides The Kardashians.

Comment: Re:This is why I'm not an early adopter (Score 1) 225 225

Betamax was *not* "clearly superior to [its] competition". The sound and video was supposedly better, but it had an Achilles' Heel: the first generation tapes could only hold an hour of video. So any typical movie would require two tapes, and having to change the tape in the middle. VHS had 2-hour tapes from the start. Later, Beta made a 2-hour version, but it was too late.

Comment: Re:Prediction after the fact. (Score 1) 225 225

I thought the article was talking about people who are early adopters of stuff which fails. If you buy something on sale, that usually means the product has already been around for a while, and the retailer is trying to get rid of it because it's failing.

Comment: Re:Why nobody cares about Zune (Score 2) 225 225

No, he's exactly right. Who actually listens to music on a Zune or an iPod now? Smartphones have made standalone MP3 players completely obsolete.

I used to have not an iPod nor a Zune, but an iRiver H320 (which I upgraded to a 30GB hard drive). I haven't used it in years; I just use my phone for that stuff now. Any smartphone these days will hold my entire music collection easily.

Comment: Re:Or Red Hat? (Score 1) 225 225

Unfortunately IMO, from what I can tell, GTK+ is easily much more popular in the Linux market than Qt, mainly because most distros use it (either with Gnome or with one of its forks). Qt is very popular in certain markets (especially embedded Linux devices), but if you're looking at the Linux desktop market it's all GTK+. Of course, there's probably a lot more embedded Linux devices out there than there are desktops running Linux...

As a programmer, Qt is far and away a much nicer toolkit to work with if you need to do GUIs with C++ (or even if you're just using C++, GUI or not). Why anyone bothers with GTK+, I have no idea.

Comment: Re:"Harbinger of Failure" = Hipsters? (Score 1) 225 225

I think the failure in the popular music industry is probably a pretty complex topic. I believe it comes from two big sources: the internet, and the whole Napster debacle in the late 1990s (and specifically, the music industry's response to it). I have two theories: 1) Basically, they killed the golden goose with Napster. People had a new way of sharing music and finding things they liked, and even despite all the "piracy" they were selling more music than ever before, but then the record industry whined and got it shut down, so people stopped buying much music at all. 2) With the internet and iPods (and later smartphones capable of holding your entire collection), people stopped listening to the radio and only listened to music they already like.

Comment: Re:Internet without evangelicals = Win (Score 1) 198 198

In the US, today, the "liberal" LGBT crowd are persecuting those who don't wish to do business with them.

Exactly. It's just like how the pro-integration people got away with persecuting those who didn't want to do business with black people. We conservatives all pine for the days when black people had to sit in the back of the bus and could be beaten to death if they got too uppity.

Comment: Re:Internet without evangelicals = Win (Score 1) 198 198

There's a few problems here: when they're integrated into general society, these peoples' ideas tend to spread. Plus, they're highly active voters, so they have a big effect on politics and on the laws the rest of us have to follow. And it doesn't help that they tend to reproduce much more rapidly than the rest of us. If we could isolate them in their own state, we wouldn't have these problems with them. As for their kids, you can't save everyone. What are you doing to save kids in various third-world hellholes? Are you demanding that their parents (who, in many places, are responsible for the bad conditions because of their screwed-up culture, as is the case in the middle east) be given equal voting rights in your country? Of course not. We'll send foreign aid over there, send doctors and such and try to help them from a safe distance, but that's it. That's all we should do with the evangelicals too. Put them in their own sovereign nation and let them do what they want; any of their kids who want to get the hell out we can accept as refugees.

Comment: Re: FP! (Score 1) 626 626

You have no clue what you're talking about. The Wolfram page calculates torque given force and distance from a rotational axis, not rpm. I guess you've never turned a wrench in your life: when you have a long wrench on a stuck bolt, and it isn't moving, do you really think you're not exerting any torque on it?

Comment: Re: FP! (Score 1) 626 626

1) LOL, if you believe less energy is consumed at higher RPM in an electric motor, I've got perpetual motion machine to sell to you. A transmission allows you to operate the car at highway speeds at a much lower engine RPM.

Yes, you can get slightly decreased energy usage at lower rpms because of lower friction and less slip on an induction motor (the kind used by Tesla), but throwing a multispeed transmission in there adds weight and complexity, and also increases drivetrain losses (transmissions are inherently lossy), though the amount of loss over a single-speed gearbox is probably not much.

As I've asked before, what other applications have an electric motor paired with a multi-speed transmission? Train locomotives like these? Dump trucks like this one? Ship propulsion units like these? No, these all have motors either directly driving their loads, or using a single-speed reduction gear. And trains at least have a much higher typical speed range than cars do (0-150+mph for Acela Express, 0-220mph or more for high-speed trains outside the US).

Comment: Re:Hmmm... (Score 1) 83 83

Burning empty buildings and train tracks isn't "terrorism", it's "sabotage" and "arson". Messing up some train tracks to inconvenience people, and then calling it in so the train doesn't go over the tracks and no one gets hurt, isn't "terrorism", by definition, because there's no "terror" involved. This goes even more so for blowing up power lines, which rarely hurts anyone (unless it's in the middle of a heat wave or something, or cuts the power to a hospital).

This is like calling sit-in protesters "terrorists".

People taking their clothes off and marching to court? Are you kidding me? There's nothing remotely "terroristic" about that. That's a pure and simple protest. Protesting is not the same as terrorism.

Algebraic symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about. -- Philippe Schnoebelen