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Comment: Re:Not getting funded. (Score 1) 154

by Grishnakh (#46760365) Attached to: Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

Who's "we"? Anyone pouring money into any flying cars, electric helicopters, etc. at this stage is a fool. I'm certainly not contributing to any such projects.

It makes sense to invest in electric cars these days, since as Tesla has shown, they're perfectly viable (though a bit expensive still). Heck, GM proved them to be perfectly viable back in the late 90s with the EV1, except that too many entrenched interests didn't like them so GM killed it and crushed all the cars. You don't really need long range in an electric car anyway; 100 miles is more than enough for a commuter vehicle. It'd be nice if Tesla later came out with a smaller, cheaper low-range electric car expressly for commuters; I'd buy one in a heartbeat. I just got to drive a Model S and it's quite impressive, but I don't need that range for my ~15-mile commute nor can I afford those prices, but if there were a medium-performance two-seater with 70-mile range for $20-30k, that'd be pretty affordable and easily worth the money (when you factor in tax credits, lack of fuel cost, and lack of maintenance costs).

The tech's there for electric cars, but it just isn't there for anything that flies.

Comment: Re:Not getting funded. (Score 1) 154

by Grishnakh (#46759773) Attached to: Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

Well one thing you're forgetting is that with combustion engines, most of the energy in the fuel is wasted as heat. Of course, this is mitigated by the fact that part of the energy is coming from freely-available oxygen in the air (except in rocket engines), but still, with batteries ~95% of the stored energy goes to propulsion, whereas with ICEs it's more like ~20-25%. So we don't need energy density comparable to fuel, but still we're a ways off. With some of the latest developments, it might be feasible in a decade.

Comment: Re:Doesn't matter if it gets funded. (Score 3, Informative) 154

by Grishnakh (#46750409) Attached to: Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

You don't have to fly helicopters from any kind of designated area, as long as you're in Class G airspace. Of course, this excludes probably every municipality, and means you can only land in your backyard if you live in the sticks. And there's still the problem of where to land, unless your office is also in the sticks.

Comment: Re:Not getting funded. (Score 5, Insightful) 154

by Grishnakh (#46750393) Attached to: Will This Flying Car Get Crowdfunded?

We already have flying cars: they're called "helicopters". They're absurdly expensive to operate, even the small 2-seater models, they're absurdly difficult to operate and require an enormous amount of training, and they're extremely dangerous.

If you want a way to move people around faster, the answer is SkyTran.

Comment: Re:If you can learn to put a beer down while drivi (Score 1) 180

by Grishnakh (#46749453) Attached to: The Case For a Safer Smartphone

When I drive with my wife on longer trips, she frequently drives while I do navigation with two phones. One phone does the actual navigation (and sits in a windshield-mount), while I use a second phone to do things such as look for restaurants to stop at, check the reviews at those restaurants, etc. It'd be idiotic to prevent me from doing that and force us to pull over for 15 minutes just to figure out where we'd like to stop next, and would only increase our chances of an accident.

Comment: Re:Human Nature? (Score 1) 180

by Grishnakh (#46749371) Attached to: The Case For a Safer Smartphone

if the object you were holding to your head wasn't a cell phone, just a block of wood, people would think it would be stupid to hold it to their head, but it wouldn't distract them from driving.

Back in the 90s, people used to do something much like that, and people thought it was cool: it was possible back then to buy fake car phones, so that you could drive around holding a fake phone to your head and talking to yourself. Why would you do this? Because car phones back then were really expensive (and totally portable phones even more so), so some people liked to buy these fake phones so they could look like they were rich, and impress all their neighbors as they drove by.

Comment: Re:Right! (Score 1) 572

by Grishnakh (#46735171) Attached to: Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

No one wants to work in an open environment.

That's not what I see. Go read the article, or other articles about them. There's tons of comments from people saying how much they love working in open environments, how they love the "camaraderie", being able to ask people questions quickly, being able to overhear conversations and know what's going on, etc. Yes, there's also lots of comments from people like you and me who hate these environments, but don't make the mistake of thinking everyone is like us; clearly there's lots of people who aren't, and apparently a lot of those people have infiltrated the programming profession.

Yes, cost savings is also a factor, but it's not the only factor. There really are a lot of people who like working that way.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.