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Comment Re:Just (Score 2) 186

Side note: the guy that installed our new furnace a couple years ago said he runs solar in his home with no battery pack, at night he just switches over to the utility power (actually I think it switches automatically).

Assuming that guy is doing the standard grid-tie configuration, it's not that the house "switches over" at night, so much as that all power generated by the solar array goes out to the local grid (and causes the electric meter to run backwards), and all power used by the house comes from the grid (causing the electric meter to run forward). The actual electric bill is therefore calculated by subtracting the amount generated from the amount used during each billing cycle.

Comment Re:Nerdgasm (Score 1) 240

For example, if you raise the taxes on xyz corporation, they will simply raise the prices of their products/services to keep their bottom line the same.

Sounds like you're assuming 100% inelastic demand. For life-saving pharmaceuticals and similar absolute necessities, you may be right (hence the steady rise in health care prices, perhaps), but for most things, companies are not free to simply raise prices whenever they want to, because if they did, fewer people would buy their product/service, and they would make less profit than they would if they kept prices down.

If staying in business was simply a matter of totaling up all costs (including taxes) and then setting prices to some level higher than that, no company would ever go out of business. In real life, the only companies lucky enough to operate that way are government contractors operating on cost-plus contracts.

Comment Re:Safety (Score 1) 447

No, he's pointing out that people who want to kill other people for notoriety are going to do it, laws or not.

Like any other crime, there are a few people who will commit the crime regardless of any law, and there are of course many people who would never commit the crime, even if they were 100% guaranteed to get away with it. The law's deterrent effect is seen only in the third group of people: those who would commit the crime if they thought they could get away with it, but won't actually do it because of the risk of being caught and punished.

It sounds like you are arguing that the third group does not exist. If so, I think you are wrong about that.

Comment Re:How much will it cost. (Score 1) 397

Pretty much the only time spent is actually at the pumps.

Okay, let's say a smart ICE owner spends 5 minutes a week refueling his gasoline car.

The next part is, how much time does an electric car owner spend per week waiting for his car to recharge? More than 5 minutes per week, or less?

Comment Re:give me a fucking break (Score 1) 488

All that happened is that the NSA listened in on terrorists, as well as other nations

If that was "all that happened", there wouldn't be much controversy. But in addition that, the NSA was also extralegally collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans, despite repeated assurances to the public that they were not doing that.

Comment Re:Well, now we know she h8s the US Constitution (Score 5, Insightful) 488

Jesse Ventura put it rather well when he said something on the lines of "Give me Dick Cheney strapped to a folding table and a pitcher of water, and in 5 minutes I'll get him to confess to the Manson Family murders."

I think Mr. Ventura would be better served by waterboarding Cheney until Cheney agrees that waterboarding is torture.

Once that's been accomplished, there are only two interpretations: either Cheney has finally admitted the truth, in which case we have established that waterboarding is torture and therefore illegal; or Cheney was lying in order to make the waterboarding stop, in which case we have established that waterboarding is ineffective as means of extracting truthful information.

Comment Re:there is only one (Score 1) 488

... and he's currently bringing in a whopping 2.4% of Republicans in the polls.

A cynical person might interpret this as suggesting that the conservative voters are motivated much less by "freedom" than by the sweet, sweet indulgence of their fear and hatred of (whichever non-majority social groups have been selected as their official scapegoats for the season).

Comment Re: How much will it cost. (Score 1) 397

CURRENTLY free. As a carrot to get people to various locations. When it becomes popular, it'll cease to be free, as it'll be a measurable cost to provide.

Tesla has promised that Superchargers would remain free to Tesla owners indefinitely, so if they renege on that promise to existing owners, there would likely be lawsuits.

Of course they could make charging non-free to people who buy new Teslas in the future, but given Tesla's high-end image, and the relatively low cost of providing the service, they'll probably just keep doing what they do now -- figuring out how much the average Tesla's lifetime use of the Supercharger network is likely to cost them, and bumping up each car's sale price by that amount.

Comment Re:How much will it cost. (Score 1) 397

I can go 500+ miles in my car, and then do it again 2 minutes later.

You can go for a ride inside your clothes dryer too, but why would you want to do something so unpleasant? Outside of a dire emergency, I can't imagine anyone wanting to do make two 6-hour trips with only a 2-minute break in between.

Here's something to try: find out how much time the average ICE car owner spends driving to gas stations, waiting in line, waiting for his car to refuel, paying for the gas, driving back, etc. Then find out how much time the average electric car owner actually spends waiting for his car to recharge. The results may surprise you.

Comment Re:Bad data is worse than abstract data (Score 1) 232

In a sane world, Google or IBM or someone clever will come up with a program where you type in a rough English description of the injury and it returns the set of codes that are likely to match that description, and then guides you interactively towards choosing the correct code from that set.

I'm going to be naively optimistic and assume that this has already been done, at least to some extent. :)

Comment Re:school sport (Score 1) 300

I don't think the coding is that useful in itself, but the flexible problem solving that comes from the inevitable bugs in their code and thinking about how to test if it's giving good output is pretty valuable.

^^^ What he said. Programming may or may not be useful for most people, but the ability to troubleshoot a problem systematically and methodically is a skill that can be applied to all kinds of situations.

To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T