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Comment Re:..inconvenient, gas-powered jalopy" (Score 1) 879 879

On long trips, horses can eat the grass growing along the side of the road... where the hell am I going to find petroleum products on a long trip? (The supply generally tends to expand to meet the demand. If enough people are willing to pay to quick-charge their electrics away from home, some entrepreneur will build the charging stations. Most will simply take over some of the space in existing gas stations.

Comment Not so fast (Score 1) 879 879

The tipping point will come when a usable battery pack costs less than $30,000 (more than a low-end entire car). Sure, the Model S is nice, but at $70,000 to $120,000, it's beyond most people's means. People can keep claiming they are going to come out with and affordable electric with great range "any day real soon now", but until I drive out of a dealership in an electric car with the 200 mile range of a Model S for less than the cost of Honda Civic, I'm going to keep insisting they are full of shit. (Yeah, the Bolt sounds cool, but again, I'll believe it when I can actually purchase it.)

Comment Why? (Score 1) 91 91

It doesn't matter how much better any new CPU design is. Unless you've got a billion dollars a year to invest in making it better, you're simply not going to keep up with Intel, and it will soon be obsolete. And unless you're selling hundreds of millions of copies of that CPU, you likely don't have a billion dollars a year to invent in R & D. Unfortunately, CPU chips are a textbook case of a "natural monopoly" i.e. "A natural monopoly is a monopoly in an industry in which it is most efficient (involving the lowest long-run average cost) for production to be permanently concentrated in a single firm rather than contested competitively." Sure, Sparc was cool when it first came out. Now, it's just a curious anachronism.

Comment Re:I wish I could buy GMO seeds (Score 1) 294 294

Himalayan blackberries were intentionally introduced to Oregon as a food. They are quite tasty, but they are virtually impossible to wipe out, and you may think that they are free, but you pay for them in blood -- they have the worst thorns I've ever seen. The canes are tough enough to destroy the string used by weed-wackers, and I'm pretty sure they scratch the paint on cars as you drive buy. In other words, just because they taste good doesn't make them really obnoxious. Blueberries, on the other hand, quickly get eaten by dear and birds as soon as they become ripe. Birds are actually useful for spreading seeds, but that doesn't help the blueberries I was trying to grow in my garden. Strangely, however, where the birds ate all my blueberries, the next year there were "wild" strawberry plants growing! Apparently my blueberry bushes were the birds dessert stop after the strawberry fields.

Comment Re:I wish I could buy GMO seeds (Score 1) 294 294

We've also been trying to wipe out lions, tigers, bears, and most other predators (oh, my!) for thousands of years, so that must make it ok to drive those animals into extinction by killing every last one of them now, right? Just because we've been doing something misguided for a long time, doesn't make it ok, especially now that we're much more efficient at it. That being said, many GMO modifications aren't substantially different than those achieved by hybridization and selective breed, which has itself resulted in pretty massive changes in plant and animal species over the years. Ok, so at what point does modifying a species become a bad thing? That's the problem; it's almost impossible to know in advance. We've survived for millions of years as a species precisely because we don't agree on everything, it is useful for the survival of the species to have a certain percentage of people that disagree and refuse to do the "obvious" thing, because in a small percentage of cases, the obvious thing is actually fatal. For example, Christian Scientists refuse to get blood transfusions? They don't get HIV or many other blood-borne diseases. The lunatic fringe is actually ensuring our survival as a species.

Comment Re:Well, sure, but... (Score 3, Insightful) 294 294

I agree, most GMO foods are harmless, and there is no scientific evidence that they are any worse than the original. However, I also believe people have a right to their own paranoid delusions, therefore they have a right to know whether or not the food they buy contains GMO ingredients, and the federal government has a duty to endure that foods and other products are properly labeled, which in this case, would be a large, conspicuous "GMO" on the front label.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)