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Comment: Re:Money (Score 1) 130

by Zordak (#49571963) Attached to: New Privacy Threat: Automated Vehicle Occupancy Detection

Came here to say just this. The HOT lanes in VA were allegedly going to get some of these thermal cameras to catch HOV cheaters, but AFAIK they aren't installed yet (too expensive). Since you have to use an EZPass on those lanes anyway, I'm not concerned about them being able to count occupants - they already know when you're on the road. Also, GP:

After all, who's going to get into a car with a bunch of strangers, and not have a vehicle when they reach their destination?

google "SLUG" - tons of people pick up strangers everyday near the HOV lanes in VA. Drivers get to work quicker, slugs get a free ride and don't have to pay for parking in DC - win-win.

I gooigled "SLUG." Are you referring to the unit of mass, or the shell-less terrestrial gastropod mollusk? And what does it have to do with traffic?

Comment: Re:It was a good idea that needed some work (Score 1) 194

by Whorhay (#49569655) Attached to: Valve Pulls the Plug On Paid Mods For Skyrim

My chief complaint with Bethesda getting a cut in this case is that their support of the game has been crap. They shoved out a few DLC's and basically phoned it in. For years there was a mod for which the sole purpose was fixing bugs in the game. Bethesda, rather than adopting those fixes and releasing a bug fix patch just left it all to rot. Meaning that if I wanted to quickly fix the hundreds of known bugs which the community had already figured out I had to install some 3rd party mod, instead of Bethesda patching their game. Bethesda already gets their cut whenever the game sells another copy. Piggy backing profits on the hard work of modders who evidentally care more about actually improving the game than the publisher does is just sickening. If modders were enabling people to use Bethesda IP without having to license the use of that IP from Bethesda then I could see an argument for them getting a cut. But as it is Bethesda isn't doing anything to earn that cut.

Comment: Re:The grid needs storage - not battery storage (Score 1) 223

by caseih (#49568579) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage

That doesn't change the fact that on the power grid itself, there is no storage, so any efficiency, even bad efficiency is better than nothing.

As to your used battery idea, it is not a good one. Most used batteries are car batteries. And no they are not an excellent way to add more storage capacity. A used car battery won't hold a charge, or deliver current. That's why they are replaced after all.

Comment: Re:Pinto (Score 1) 220

by LWATCDR (#49567777) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

I always found the Pinto hate odd. The Pinto had a less of a problem with rear end collision turning into a fire than a lot of other cars of that time. The worst car for that issue back then was the Datsun 210.
The Corvair was another one. The VW Beetle and Porsche 356 and early 911s all had the same "problem" as the Corvair but the Corvair got the heat.

Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 1) 267

Maybe we also need a HRAT, a "Human Rights Added Tax", which imposes extra fees based on things like human rights abuses, poverty wages, etc embodied in the production of a product, to provide a level playing field for countries with higher standards.

Or to provide more highly-paid jobs for designers of robots to perform the task without human labor.

You should be a little careful with ideas like that... you may end up hurting the people you're trying to help. In many cases, they'd rather have the crappy, exploitive job than starve while watching the machines do what they used to. The machines will come eventually, but taxes like the one you describe will accelerate the process. In general, taxes and other regulatory inhibitors that are intended to fulfill some social goal are viewed by the market as damage, and routed around if at all possible. That doesn't make them useless, but it does mean that you have to step very carefully.

Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 1) 267

water is necessary to life, while diamonds are not...

Doesn't seem that way when courting.

Courting isn't necessary to life, even though it may feel that way. And, actually, diamonds aren't necessary to courting, either. When I got engaged, I was poor and my wife had money, so she bought our rings, both of them. Diamonds are nice enough as long as they are only symbols. If they are more than that, you have a bigger problem.

Comment: Re:With the best will in the world... (Score 4, Insightful) 449

"Is it more efficient than just using the electricity to charge up batteries in an electric car for example"
Think of ships, planes, and remote locations where you must transport fuel like Alaska.

"You're right that we don't have enough renewable energy yet to make this a useful technology. But hopefully that day is coming."
No it will not.
Nuclear is the key to low carbon power. Wind and Solar will help but they do not work well as baseload. Thorium based nuclear and possibly Fusion aka Lockheeds High Beta reactor is what is needed.

Comment: Re:Just works? (Score 1) 474

by swillden (#49552685) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Are the Most Stable Smartphones These Days?

If you want a "reliable" smart phone that doesn't need reset or suffer stupid ass software failures, get one of those $50 Samsung android smart phones. They are pretty reliable because they can't do much to begin with.

Huh? This makes no sense. If they're Android, they can do an incredible variety of stuff. Being low-end, they might not do it well, but they should run pretty much every Android app out there. If they "can't do much to begin with", they're not Android.

Comment: Re:Nice idea but... (Score 1) 287

by swillden (#49551435) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Electrical bill is $14.95 a month because you have to pay the "fees"

To be fair, there *are* fixed costs to the power company in keeping you connected to the grid, in fact those costs are a fairly significant portion of the normal power bill. It's just that the current fee structure doesn't reflect it well.

Comment: Re:Google: Select jurors who understand stats. (Score 1) 347

by swillden (#49549337) Attached to: Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit

But you can't sit there and tell me that all the amenities around campus are there for no reason.

Absolutely not. They're there for various very important reasons.

However, none of those reasons are the one you postulate. If you look at each of them individually, drop your bias, and think about what benefit there could be to the company in providing that service to employees... it's generally very obvious.

In fact, a bathroom I used during an interview had a wall of cups and toothbrushes with employee names on them. People apparently stay at work so long that they need a dedicated toothbrush.

Where do you keep your toothbrush at work? Or don't you brush after lunch? Ick.

"Thank heaven for startups; without them we'd never have any advances." -- Seymour Cray