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Comment Re:User error (Score 1) 277

Well, I'm also 6'7" and I certainly don't fit into the old beetle. I am still working to transition from my old W126 300SD to a D2 A8. Gets about the same mileage on the freeway, and I don't drive around town much. You might consider looking at Subarus though, I used to have a GC5 Impreza and I fit very well into that. Before that I had a S13 240SX Fastback, which had massive legroom but which was a little short on headroom.

Comment Re:Jeep? Not so much (Score 1) 277

There wasn't anything special about those older Jeeps that you mention. Yeah, they looked more rugged, but that was about it.

There was something special about older Jeeps. They were cheap to modify, and they had more flex. Leaf springs are heavy and have inferior ride, but they offer more suspension travel and they mounted them under the axles... so you could cheaply use a shackle flip kit to do a suspension lift. On the other hand, they typically didn't come with locking diffs. The modern vehicles use EBD to maintain traction while crawling at low speeds, which means they can actually traverse things that the older stock vehicles can't. On the gripping hand, who goes off-road with an old Jeep without getting at least one locker?

The problem now is just finding donors for modification, though. At this point it might actually be cheaper to buy a tube frame. There are a few tube buggy frames under 5k...

Comment Re:Jeep? Not so much (Score 1) 277

As a result, you can't get anything to play off-road in unless you spend an additional bucket of cash in the aftermarket. Shame, but that is how the market works.

Luckily there are absolute shitloads of trucks just lying around waiting to be hopped up, and available for little to no money. You can get OBS F-Body trucks literally all day... out here in California they're even close enough to "no rust" as makes no difference. How many do you want? You're going to rip out the powertrain anyway, right?

Comment Re:User error (Score 1) 277

Bullshit. The automatic can't read your mind, hence it's always trying to catch up with what you want. They are good for straight lines.

Bullshit. The automatics all support a manual mode now, whether it's implemented in your car or not. A very fast human driver can shift in maybe 250ms, average is maybe 500ms and in most vehicles closer to 1s. A mediocre automatic transmission shifts in 400ms (the good ones from the nineties will manage this) while a very good one will do it in 200ms. But about since the same time they went to five-speed, they also became dynamically controlled. While typically retaining a classic limp mode, such transmissions also dual-engage gears while shifting, making most shifts basically imperceptible. A driver can make a tiptronic shift while under power in a corner without upsetting the balance of the vehicle, something you can't do even by heel-toe shifting.

A good automatic transmission is better than even an expert human with any manual short of a dogbox. Even a SMG is faster than a dogbox. A DCT is an order of magnitude faster than a SMG. There is nothing faster than a DCT... which can be fully automated. The latest ones are even said to be fairly smooth when they do that.

Comment Re:User error (Score 1) 277

However, if you are doing highway driving, the manual wins, every time.

To some extent this ended with the ZF8 and it is well and truly over with the ZF9. They give the ZF9 four overdrives, the lowest one is 0.48:1. The automatic now kicks the manual's ass. It's also over with the new crop of CVTs; they don't manage the same kind of mileage as the ZF 9HP because they can't quite manage the same deep ratio, but they're still better than a normal automatic.

Comment Re:Everyone's phone, DSL and copper (Score 1) 177

"Oh, I've paid some serious taxes. I've paid more in taxes than many people will earn in their lifetime. But, what's reasonable? Where is that line drawn?

I ask because I don't really know. Buggered if I know. I'm sure there's a reasonable and unreasonable point (fiber is expensive and it's really expensive to maintain it up here) and I'm not quite sure if I'm past the unreasonable point or not. I am not even the most remote. There are people, in my State, who are more remote than I am with *miles* of phone line that may have not been really touched in 50 years except to do repairs. What does unreasonable look like?"

There IS a point where unreasonable does become a thing and it sounds like you are taking about a location where people have moved because they don't want to be connected to the world. Internet has reached the point where it is essentially a utility. If you don't have fast access you don't access to a full compliment of education resources for your children. When you ask questions about the world you just continue not knowing the answers. When politicians rile people up about issues only the uneducated and uninformed could possibly believe people don't have access to information and remain uninformed when they vote for those people. In the modern age there is no excuse for people who might well vote getting their information from blatantly misleading and bias sources like CNN and Fox News.

Like it or not internet is a utility. I agree there is a reasonable line, some parts of Maine and most certain other remote mountain areas are likely unreasonable for any sort of "wired" connection. But fiber isn't more expensive than copper, it's actually less expensive. Copper is a semi-precious metal worth too much to make pennies from and all the copper pulled down can be recycled. Fiber is made from the second most common element in the earths crust. Fiber doesn't suffer from electromagnetic interference so no "noisy" lines and it be put in runs up to 1500 miles whereas copper requests powered junctions on the order of yards. Fiber is much cheaper than copper and much cheaper to maintain. The cost is just putting it in to begin with. And will be the medium for future technologies for the foreseeable future, trying to squeeze something more out of copper a magical dance that has been impressive but is definitely at it's end. So, if it is reasonable to run any sort of utility line out to you, I see no reason it isn't reasonable to run fiber lines. Especially when you and other americans have already paid for it. I'd say so long as there is a place we've already paid them to run fiber to that they haven't run it, then it's more reasonable to run that fiber than for them to pocket the money. And no, it's not just tax cuts on profits from phone bills, the telcos were given over twenty billion dollars in tax credits not just deductions.

There are places where even that isn't reasonable. At that point yes there are sat links, they suck but they work. But there are also designs for tough blimps that are a little closer to earth and efficient enough to float for 6 months at a time. A good sized network of those flying all over the place and they get crazy line of sight.

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 449

The models suck, their accuracy level wouldn't pass muster in even a Christian private schools high school science class and that is definitely a low bar. The sample they are drawing on is, and this is stretching it, less than 200 years of any form of record. The ice cores and sedimentary layers they look at make a very bold assumption of consistent deposition and conditions over billions of years which we assume look more or like what we've seen during that 200 year period we've been looking. 200 is not a statistically significant sample out of billions.

There is a strong correlation between increased human activity and increased temperature, unfortunately our entire measured sample period also correlates with increased human activity. This makes arguments attempting to claim the correlation is causation the weakest possible arguments. What we definitely know is that human activity is a drop in the bucket next to the natural release of green house gases into the atmosphere.

Those are some of the biggest problems I see. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to improve our sample size relative to the timescales we need to know about. We have no way to gather a sample that doesn't correlate to human activity either, so there is no better evidence to be had here.

What we do know, with a fairly strong degree of certainty is that climate change is happening. The Earth is getting warming, the most probable cause is changes in atmospheric composition, and if it gets too warm our ecosystem is pretty much screwed our weather can and will go crazy (how fast and to what degree are debatable but it will definitely happen) and if unchecked anything ranging from a serious disaster for our quality of life to our extinction is on the reasonable probable list.

Given that information, it doesn't hurt to switch to an electric car but even if everyone goes 100% CO2 neutral tomorrow there is nothing predicating that will stop climate change anymore. We need to drop this holy war on terror engagement in the crusade and conduct in a war on greenhouse gas. This means a hell of a lot more than changing human activity. We need to engineer large scale solutions to sequester these gases immediately. Some ultra blooming CO2 eating algae deployed in the ocean and methane processing gut bacteria spread far and wide will be a good start.

No ladies and gentlemen. The time for being gentle keepers and avoiding tampering with the ecosystem are past. If we want to live we need utilize our human intelligence and engineer some very large scale and intentional changes to the ecosystem because the worst thing that happens is we fuck up and wipe ourselves out and that is what is going to happen if we fail anyway.

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 449

"If climate change is a serious problem, and human activity is responsible for it"

It actually doesn't matter if human activity is responsible for it. Human activity may or may not be what has tipped the scale but relative to natural processes human contributions to greenhouse gases are a drop in the bucket. Assuming human activity did indeed tip the scale that doesn't make correcting human activity the most efficient and effective way to solve the problem. From my understanding if we all stopped and went 100% greenhouse gas free tomorrow it is already too late to reverse climate change.

This area IS an utter waste of time. The only thing worth doing now is accepting that climate change is occurring and that it would be bad for us. We now need to focus not on whether human activity contributes to climate change but rather on whether or not we can engineer a solution to the problem. If we are going to try to reduce emissions it would be the far more massive natural sources of greenhouse gases we need to take care of. We could take advantage of massive open space that is the ocean and engineer a rapidly reproducing algae highly optimized to consume carbon and grow massive natural blooms. Something we can gather up, barrel, and sink to the ocean floor. We could engineer gut bacteria that processes methane has some sort of natural advantage spreads rapidly and effectively and possibly begin by intentionally giving our cows e-coli enimas.

We need to start focusing on the solution and not the problem. And no, that solution need not produce some sort of saleable or useful byproduct. If you can have your sequestering technology produce little carbon flakes we can start using in cement so be it but otherwise we just need them to be relatively stable and sinkable in an ocean trench.

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