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Comment Re:Let the market decide. (Score 1) 449

Sales and gas taxes aren't levied by the feds. My state doesn't even have a sales tax. In theory, the gas tax goes to fund the roads. If there are no roads, the gas stations probably wouldn't be selling a whole lot of gas. With no roads, the gas stations probably wouldn't be able to get gas themselves.

You're reaching for analogies but they're not there. Your gas tax example might explain why some of us now pay "pole fees" when we pay for electricity, but they don't justify taxing a form of energy into oblivion under the feel good fantasy of clean air.

I'm on my second hybrid vehicle and there are a number of EVs in my town. The market can work if we let it. Solar isn't popular in my area because as I mentioned, it hasn't worked out for the few that have tried it. The last thing we need the feds doing is mandating it or using taxes to effectively mandate it.

It should be the people's right to choose. The pollution argument is weak since we've all been forced to pay more for pollution controls on newer vehicles, had to give up our light bulbs, etc. It's never enough. Why not skip directly to population control? Would even that make you happy, or would you still say it's not enough?

Comment Re:Let the market decide. (Score 1) 449

Paying for things like roads or fire protection is not punitive. Forcing people to purchase things that they would not otherwise purchase is punitive. The feds never would have been given the authority to tax if anyone thought that power would be abused this way. This isn't by consent of the governed. We're becoming subjects instead of citizens. Regardless of your political viewpoint, that's not a good thing.

Comment Re:21 Gigawats? (Score 1) 449

The only buildings I've ever seen in the northeastern US with roof hatches are commercial buildings. I'm not sure if the building code even allows them for single family homes. I'd be surprised if they did. Sounds unsafe. Someone might fall.

In this area, people use extendable snow rakes or they get someone to climb up on the roof and shovel it off. This past winter, the snow was up to people's roofs, so clearing the roof off was more and more difficult as the storms kept happening.

I'm not against solar, but we need to trial it in different regions and climates before going all in. The early adopters in my state have soured it somewhat because after fighting with the zoning boards and utilities, they never recouped the costs even though the people pitching them said they would. We also have utilities refusing to do hook-ups claiming the infrastructure in the area can't take the additional energy.

Now we've also got spammers on phone, email, and TV pushing solar. Anyone trying to do it right is going to be lumped in with those scam artists. Not good for credibility.

Comment Re:Let the market decide. (Score 1) 449

Are you agreeing or disagreeing?

If you're going to use punitive taxation to force the market to "decide" on something, that's not democracy. What next? I get taxed extra if I don't vote Democrat or don't belong to a labor union? If people don't like the system of government that we're supposed to have, the appropriate solution is to amend the constitution, not to grossly pervert the intentionally limited functions of the federal government to get around its intentional restrictions.

This has little to do with the topic du jour at this point. The real question is:

Who still wants to live in a free country?

Comment Re:Google did it (Score 1) 68

I'm not a Google Voice user, but I'd be surprised if at least some of the functionality wasn't already there. Some of those are "obvious" features. The only difference I can see is that Apple has a name for their assistant and Google does not.

In a few months we'll probably see a story where Microsoft is implementing a system where Cortana will take your voicemail and transcribe it.

Comment Re:21 Gigawats? (Score 0) 449

Good for him. There are a lot of older buildings in the north east where this just isn't going to work. This last winter, it was too much for roof rakes and you couldn't hire a crew to clear a roof because they were all booked weeks out, and then it would just snow again anyway. Get another winter like that and now you've not only got snow load but also the weight of solar panels.

Comment Re:HAHAHAHA! (Score 1) 231

Geometry changes, especially with snow and ice. Last winter, Boston made a bunch of roads one way only because the snow was so deep there was only one lane. Most roads and driveways were impossible to see around requiring people to inch forward and hope they didn't get hit. There are so many things to consider, you can only write so much code and slap on so many sensors.

You're getting close to requiring the thing to be sentient. IMO, getting all that right is beyond our current capabilities. Not to harp on traction control, but many vehicles have a kill switch for it. Why? Because it does the wrong things in some conditions. Granted it's usually a dumb system that mostly just reacts to wheel spin, but that's what we'll be saying about self driving. Well, that's because it's just using LIDAR and GENIUS-TECH. If it had GENIUS-TECH-2 it'd be better. But that's why we still have this steering wheel..

We'll get more assistive technologies like lane control and automatic braking, but I think it's pure fantasy to think that full automation is something we'll be enjoying any time soon. I'd put it well beyond a decade. Probably beyond most of our lifetimes. Now excuse me, I must be off in my Mr Fusion powered anti-grav car.

Comment Re:HAHAHAHA! (Score 2) 231

There are conditions where it helps to have some speed, especially climbing hills. You also don't want to be riding the brakes on icy surfaces. One numb-nut does that, and next thing you know, everyone is going off the road. Much simpler traction control systems haven't even perfected this yet, let alone how to drive when the signs and lane markers are covered by snow and ice. Maybe self driving cars will be a warmer climate thing long before it's common in the north.

Comment Re:HAHAHAHA! (Score 3, Interesting) 231

The state doesn't require it, but the banks do if you have a loan on the car. Same thing if you're leasing. That probably accounts for a large portion of those carrying insurance. I tended to carry insurance anyway even when the vehicle was paid off because the risk versus the cost made sense. The state can require individual motorists to have insurance if they do cause damage and are found to not have the finances to cover the loss.

This whole topic seems silly though. Driving is way too complicated for cars to be driving themselves anytime soon. This is going to be one of those things that's always ten years away.

Comment Re:Sounds great! (Score 4, Interesting) 161

Screw that. When are those lazy anarchist pedestrians going to start paying sidewalk and crosswalk tax? And when are they going to have registration plates so we can report jaywalkers? I'm getting rather tired of people thinking they're just free to move about anyway they want to. Don't even get me started on adults offering piggy-back rides. Clearly unsafe. Also, peds should have to wear belts and helmets and hi-viz.

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