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Comment "Some folks" ? (Score 1) 861 861

Errr, what else would it be? Electric engines are already fantastic: they offer great performance, don't have to deal with nearly as much heat stress, and there's no need to screw around with a delicate transmission.

OTOH, batteries are currently very expensive, bulky, can't recharge quickly (nor do we yet have the infrastructure to allow swapping at gas stations) and have a limited lifespan. The cheap, energy dense, durable, fast-charging battery has always been the holy grail here.

Comment Cheap hydrogen (Score 1) 861 861

No. The most efficient source of hydrogen is thermal electrolysis powered by a breeder nuclear reactor, or (if the local geology permits) perhaps geothermal power. No CO2 required.

We'd have to get over the initial tech investment first though, and (in the case of nuclear) convince the general public not to go apeshit.

Comment Re:A "Badly-Damaged" Suitcase has also been found (Score 1) 86 86

I hope they find significant pieces that don't lend themselves to being easily transported. Unfortunately a single relatively small piece of plane is not enough evidence to prove that the plane went down in the ocean, only to prove that a single, relatively small piece of plane was found in/near the ocean.

Comment Re:Tipping? (Score 1) 861 861

Or drive by's.

A few years ago the U.S. military were evaluating a new hybrid vehicle to replace the Hummer. Their main interest was logistics, since Hummers aren't the most economical vehicles to operate. They couldn't help but notice that in electric mode their new vehicle was quiet.

Around here the Toyotas are positively noisy. The Teslas, on the other hand, only make a faint whirr from their tires.


Comment Re:My sympathy (Score 1) 43 43

Four out of five elderly people given CPR end up dying within days. Many of them with prolonged and intense suffering due to CPR prolonging the inevitable.

We certainly need more thought about end-of-life care, living wills, and do-not-resuscitate orders. But CPR is not the only intervention affected by that.

And in some cases CPR is given when it's not warranted, breaking ribs, collapsing lungs or otherwise causing serious and sometimes fatal damage.

Sometimes, yes, but more rarely than you might think.

If I keel over, please don't resuscitate unless there is at least a 50% chance of long-term success, and less than a 50% chance of causing long-term damage.

Dude, unless you're already in the hospital, whoever sees you go down or trips over your unconscious body does not have your medical history, nor can they predict your course of treatment.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 861 861

To quote myself:

We own. We keep cars for a long time, are particular about our cars, and it's less costly for us to own than it is for us to lease. We live in a single-family house on a plot of land, so we have room to park. Our jobs both have room to park. There are no toll roads around here either. Most of these things would not change even if we had autonomous vehicles. It also doesn't snow/rust here, so cars can reach 20 years without needing any body/chassis service if the suspensions are not abused.

One model isn't going to work for everyone. Stop trying to assume that just because something works for you, that it would work for everyone else, or because something doesn't work for you, that it wouldn't work for any large portion of the population.

Does this not address your circumstances?

I drive a '95 Impala SS. I love my car. I crossed 30,000 (thirty thousand, not a typo) miles this weekend. I'll probably drive it for another twenty years. We're strongly considering replacing my wife's car with an all-wheel-drive Chrysler 300. She's kept her current car for fifteen years, we expect that she'll keep this one for the same amount of time. I'm not trying to force anyone into a mold, I'm simply expecting everyone to acknowledge that their way, whatever their way happens to be, is not going to fit everyone else's circumstances.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 861 861

If you're in a high-density city the grocery store is probably on your block. If you only go once every couple of weeks, you can hire a ride for those trips for less than the cost of subscribing on a regular basis.

There's also this mythical device called a bicycle, that can be equipped with these high-tech things called folding baskets, that can be used to move groceries from one place to another from time to time. Even here in suburbia we've bicycled for our groceries, three baskets per bicycle, allowing for at least six bags, possibly more depending on how we pack the bikes, to be transported the less-than-a-mile home.

Comment Re:Good Job! (Score 1) 550 550

All that whining about the beta version made them think, "Fuck you, I'll just sell your ass to Opra Winfrey"

Perhaps they didn't think about the fact that the userbase actually liked things the way they were, didn't really care about a mobile version, and were more upset by the under-the-hood deficiencies than by the UI...

I may be projecting, but I've been using Slashdot for the better part of two decades, lurking since almost the beginning. Cleanup, evolutionary changes, mild tweaking all work fine, but revolutionary changes like a complete UI shift just piss people off. Killed Fark, killed Digg, and probably a bunch of other sites.

It seems like when a website's users start leaving it's usually disproportionately the positive contributors more than the run-of-the-mill or the trolls that go. That lowers the quality overall, which further drives away more positive contributors, turning the place into a cesspool that almost mocks what it was intended to be. I've seen it happen probably a dozen times over the years on various forums. Unfortunately management isn't usually smart enough to cater toward their power users even though those people drive the reasons for everyone else to come to the forum. Lose the power users and you have no focus as a draw anymore.

Slashdot is on the tipping point of that. Consider how long it takes for long-running, obvious troll posts to get modded down after a new article and discussion is posted. Used to be almost instatneous, now the Golden Girls and the G** N****r posts are seen for some time before being modded down.

Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 861 861

There are apartments in a shady part of town that replaced their decrepit metal carport canopies with new solar panels. So long as they included one additional conduit pathway per half-dozen cars when they trenched for the panels they could easily run power to all of the parking spots. They could even meter the electricity by requiring the tenant to enter a code corresponding to a parking spot at a control point similar to how many parking lots have drivers pay for their space. If there's communication between the car and the charging station, the station could stop charging if the charger cable is unhooked from the car and not plugged back into the same car within say, five minutes. Could even alert the apartment if their car is prematurely unhooked if that kind of problem is present.

Comment Re:Error 1 (Score 1) 861 861

Consider this- gas stations associated with grocery stores are already starting to place merchandise shelves around the gas pumps to make it even more likely to tempt customers into buying soda and snacks. Electric cars remove one of the biggest hurdles to bringing a car indoors, the fumes. A convenience store of the future might have open doors on the ends, such that the driver literally pulls into the building among the merchandise to charge, making it even more tempting to buy stuff.

Obviously there will be theft issues, but there are theft issues already so I doubt that it would get worse.

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 2) 861 861

I expect a standard for big-rigs to be developed where there are modular battery compartments on the underside of the trailer for conventional van trailers, such that the truck pulls up, the batteries under the trailer and under the tractor are swapped, and they're on their way again.

Depending on how they're designed they might also make for good under-ride protection, so cars can't drive under the trailers and get trapped or crushed.

Comment Re:restaurants (Score 2) 861 861

I expect a hybrid sort, which is more like a Flying-J travel center. Restaurant(s), convenience store, a couple of service bays, and the refuelling stations. Sometimes there are some stores like a small shopping mall, usually with supplies that someone might have neglected to remember to bring, like beach supplies if on the way to California, or heavier jackets and boots if on the way North.

The restaurants are acceptable even if not great. The convenience stores and retailers are overpriced but can be useful in a pinch. The service area can deal with tires and other things that need to be fixed quickly.

It is better to never have tried anything than to have tried something and failed. - motto of jerks, weenies and losers everywhere