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Comment: Re:Won't compare well to decade-old conventional t (Score 1) 134 134

Trains didn't use mechanical transmissions before diesel-electric. The torque convertor found in every automatic transmission has its roots in train engines. A good torque convertor can transmit over 95% of the drivetrain power to the wheels even at low (or even zero) rpm. That's why a brake-start on a high performance car with an automatic transmission is extremely effective. For a lot of modern cars that are sold with both AT and MT transmissions, the auto is quicker.

Comment: Re:Super-car? (Score 1) 134 134

Actually, a tube frame is the tried-and-true way of making a great handling car. I'm currently building a Factory Five 818, which is based on a steel tube frame. It can easily pull 1.5 lateral G's at track height and 1.3G's at street height. It also is actually available and costs less than $20,000. It also only weighs 400 pounds more than this thing and it has a passenger seat.

Also, this will never be able to be put on the road in most US states without drastically changing the look of the front end. Most states have a minimum headlight height of 22 inches and some have a 24 inch minimum.

Comment: Please Change the Language (Score 1) 408 408

I wonder who you have to be to request to have the word "steal" changed so that it rolls in a behavior that you don't like. I hope the answer isn't "The President of Bell Media".

I suggest we all buy a dictionary, plop a bookmark at the word "steal" and mail it to him. Half a million dictionaries should be a poignant message.

Comment: Always Been This Way (Score 1) 395 395

It's always been like this. The focus on making new cars cleaner has always had small returns since you are simply making the cars that produce 10% of the pollution better and if you convert them all to "magic pixie dust fuel", you will still be left with the 90% from the broken cars. Previous studies have also shown that the pattern of which 25% isn't obvious. It isn't a simple rule like "old cars produce more NOx". Even a nearly new car can become a polluter without the owner noticing. Fortunately, the solution is both obvious and simple; do a tailpipe emissions test at they yearly inspection.

Comment: Re:Brand? (Score 1) 227 227

I'm surprised they lasted that long, but for a specific reason: what they were doing typically breaks microwave ovens. There is a switch that turns the magnetron off when the door is open, but if it opens while there is current flowing, it creates an arc. This arc causes a lot more wear than if the switch had opened with no current flowing.

Comment: Re:Sort of dumb. (Score 5, Insightful) 553 553

Not only that... I'm 43 and I consider myself a "Digital Native". At the beginning of my IT career - 1996, I was using workstation virtualization products like Virtual PC and building Intranet applications. Things have changed since then, but I was part of it all and I know it at least as well as any kid whose claim to "Digital Native" is that he used Tumblr and YouTube in high school.

Comment: Re:'Hidden city' explanation (Score 1) 126 126

The airlines don't like this, because if you book NY to LA, they can no longer sell the Chicago to LA seat (except at last minute rates or more often push standby passengers onto that flight) that might normally be $150. So not only are they out $50 on you, they're potentially out an additional $150 on the unsold seat.

They already sold the Chicago to LA seat... to you. Why would it be unacceptable to not be able to sell the seat when they had already accepted the idea of flying someone on that leg for money they already collected? There are legitimate arguments to be made for the screwy fare system, but that one seems less than weak.

Comment: Re:This is stupid (Score 4, Insightful) 109 109

It's worse than that. If you accept that there is a parallel universe where One Direction didn't break up and decide it matters to you, then you also have to accept that there is a parallel universe where the most heinous thing you can imaging has happened to you. Since you decided to be emotionally invested in what happens in other universes, that should affect you the same way. If not, then the parallel universe thing wasn't science, it was denial.

Comment: He has done more to hurt securty than help it (Score 1) 686 686

That was the point. No one is suggesting that the US isn't doing a lot for security, they're suggesting that the US is violating privacy too much in a blind quest for security. Snowden provided proof of this. Anyone who wants more security should move to Russia. Most of us want less, but more focused security. Dragnets aren't a wise use of tax money and aren't very effective.

Comment: Re:You no longer own a car (Score 1) 649 649

I'm currently building a car and I found that there is quite a bit of government support for the hobby. Texas recently changed their laws and accidentally made it impossible to register a home-built car - there was a shitstorm and a few months later the laws were fixed to allow it again. Even typically strict California issues 500 "you don't need any emissions equipment" stickers every year.

I live in New York, and we need to keep every emissions control technology that originally came with whatever engine we use. The rules are pretty sane - it doesn't have to be exactly the same equipment, but if the engine came with a catalytic converter, you need one to register it. Same goes for PCV, exhaust air injection, and evap canister purge solenoid.

Some states go as far as "You're building something that's a replica of a pre-1965 car? OK, you don't have to worry about the emissions thing".

Comment: Re:Keeping Secrets (Score 4, Insightful) 134 134

It goes further... their scheme requires that the people holding the parts of the key work together regularly whenever access is needed. This is likely to be thousands of times every year. There's no way to keep a secret that needs to be accessed so often by so many. Enigma was broken due to poor operational security, not poor technology. Venona broke one-time pads due to poor OpSec. An encryption scheme used by all authorities wanting decrypts of cell phones would involve tens of thousands of people and would be impossible to carry out without making egregious operational errors. Add to that the fact that none of those who hold the keys have much to lose when they screw up. War time operatives know their way of life depends on them not screwing up. The local FBI office only cares about decrypting the phone, if they screw up, it doesn't hurt them, but it hurts me.

Comment: Re:not very often that i agree with carly fioni (Score 4, Insightful) 653 653

Are you suggesting that Cook should not speak out against any social issue until he fully researches how the issue is handled everywhere in the world and only after he has prepared a complete response that is all-encompassing?

Fiorina's statement is a standard deflection technique to change focus from the good things an opponent does to something less good.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351

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