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Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 1) 279

Maybe you should reach into the early days of the Roman Empire for a definition? According to YOUR definition - inflation is good and we ALWAYS should have A LOT MORE of it.

According to MY definition (which is a generally accepted one) we right now have inflation that is lower than an optimal target. But larger inflation (which may happen in future) is also bad.

Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 1) 279

No. Deflation is defined in a dictionary as a "general decrease in market prices". Inflation is defined as "general increase in market prices". So far there's been no significant inflation since the start of the crisis (no significant deflation in the US either).

Feel free to call your monetary phenomena something else, and then explain why they are good or bad.

Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 1) 279

You know, you are an idiot, right? I clicked one of your links at random:

"Wheat futures for March delivery climbed 0.8 percent to $5.735 a bushel, the first gain in six sessions. On Jan. 10, the price fell to $5.605, the lowest since July 2010."

Wow, we have deflation!!!111ONEONEONE. Hmm, maybe another link?

Bad news for burrito addicts: Chipotle announced it will raise its prices for the first time in three years, by 5 percent, in response to the increase in beef, avocado and cheese prices.

Whole 5% other 3 years, that's like 1.5% of inflation each year! The sky is falling!

If you actually could follow a logical argument, you'd have checked http://bpp.mit.edu/usa/ - it tracks the actual prices. So far their numbers are in agreement with the official stats. But no, libertards prefer to live in imaginary worlds, they are too scared to actually admit that their mythology of tax cuts as a universal treatment is wrong.

Comment: Re:expert skill-based integration (Score 1) 155

by ShieldW0lf (#47553267) Attached to: Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

It's not a matter of having an "urge". I lived in an area with a lot of gang violence, and I had a lot of friends who weren't particularly good at standing up for themselves... hippies, ravers, skaters, theater folk, etc. When your friends can't stand up for themselves and there's an imminent threat, you step forward.

I was just a cowardly little nerd who skipped a grade and was younger and smaller than everyone else when I was young, and spent a lot of time running away. Then I hit puberty and my balls dropped, and I had an altercation where a teacher didn't show up for class and the students were running wild, a football player punched me in the back of the head and called my mother a whore, and I beat him half unconcious with tables, chairs and desks. I was standing over his prostrate body with a chair in my hand, and a third guy suplexed me on my head while I was paying attention to the guy who had infringed my honour. One second I was standing, the next I was on my head semiconscious. It all happened so fast, I wanted to understand how he did it, so I joined the team and for the first time in my life I was fighting guys my own size instead of guys who outweighed me by a hundred pounds, and I was undefeated in tournament.

Now, we're all adults, I'm not wandering around being dwarfed by everyone I meet, and I'm a tough guy who still surprises himself because part of me still thinks of myself as David and everyone else as Goliath. I enter every fight expecting my opponent to break me, hoping only to break him more than he breaks me, and I'm always startled at how slow and incompetent he is. I still get my bones broken sometimes, I've broken ribs, my nose, my face, my teeth... but I fight through the pain until, in the end, I'm standing over my helpless opponent and holding his life in my hands.

Truth is, I like it. When the violence comes, the adrenaline response I get is much higher than the average guy, to the point where I get chills and shiver and am completely dismissive of pain. It scares people, when it's in the aftermath and my teeth are chattering and I'm grinning like a madman and shaking like a leaf in a storm, wishing there was someone else to fight because I feel SOO fucking awesome. Based on conversations with doctors and martial arts instructors, only about 5% of the population has a physiological response like I do.

Training aside, I seem to be built for this type of thing... although it's possible it's a learned response from the violence I saw in my youth.

At any rate, I think about it and talk about it because I like it, I'm good at it, and when the shit hits the fan, the people close to me appreciate it, even if they find it unpleasant to hear about when we're all sitting and making small talk. It's nice to participate in a serious conversation about it.

Comment: Re:Don't be silly. (Score 1) 113

by Rei (#47550685) Attached to: Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

I actually totally get Amazon's logic on this one. If there's only a $10 extra profit on each drone delivery (something I'm sure tons of people in range of the service would pay for in order to get their item in half an hour), and if we assume each drone operational cycle takes one hour (delivery, return, charging), then that's $240 a day. Doesn't take a lot of days to justify the cost of a drone with a return like that.

Comment: Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (Score 5, Insightful) 113

by Rei (#47550589) Attached to: Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

Except that you have bought them; you just haven't realized it. Energy density of li-ion batteries has grown by about 50% in the past five years. Have you seriously not noticed how cell phone and laptop battery mah ratings keep growing while they keep making the volume available for the batteries smaller?

It's big news when a new tech happens in the lab. It's not big news when the cells first roll off a production line.

Most new lab techs don't make it to commercialization. But a lucky fraction of them do, and that's the reason that you're not walking around today with a cell phone with a battery the size of a small brick.

Comment: Re:More Range Needed (Score 2) 113

by Rei (#47550555) Attached to: Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

If everyone last person was going to be driving electric cars tomorrow, yes, that would be a problem.

Given that that's not the case, and for decades it's always going to be such that the people whose situation best suits an electric car are going to be the next ones in line to adopt them, then no, it's not a problem. You really think people can't build curbside/parking lot charging stations over the course of *decades* if there seems to be steadily growing interest in EVs?

As a side note, I don't know those exact neighborhoods in your pictures, but in my experience, most people who live in such places don't own *any* car.

Comment: Re:More Range Needed (Score 1) 113

by Rei (#47550501) Attached to: Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

Actually, 800 is quite a sensible number. At an average speed of 60 miles per hour (aka, factoring in driving / bathroom / meal breaks), that's 13 1/2 hours of driving - a good day's drive. Throw in a few more hours driving time / a couple hundred miles more range if you charge while you're taking your breaks. Once you get that sort of range, charge speed becomes virtually irrelevant because it happens while you're sleeping (and getting ready for bed / getting up in the morning). A regular Tesla home charger could handle that sort of load.

I agree with you that a half hour charge isn't actually that onerous, but it definitely will scare off people who are used to filling up faster. And charge stations that can do half hour charges on 300 miles range (150kW+ for an efficient car, more like 250kW for a light truck) are exceedingly rare as it stands. A charger that powerful isn't some aren't some little wall box with a cord hanging off of it, it's the size of a couple soda machines put together (bigger if you add a battery buffer so that you don't need a huge power feed) that feeds so much power that its cable has to be liquid cooled and which costs around $100k installed. Ten minute charges are, of course, around three times that size. I've only ever come across mention of *one* charger in the ballpark of the required 750kW to charge a 300 mile light truck in 10 minutes - an 800kW device custom made a couple years back for the US Army Tank Command. I have no clue what it cost, but I'm guessing "Very Expensive".

I'm not saying that the problem is intractable, by any stretch, I totally believe that we're going to transition over to EVs. I just question the sort of time scales that a lot of people envision. The average car on US roads is 10 years old. Implying an average 20 year lifespan. And many cars don't get scrapped then, they just go to the third world. Even if you suddenly switch all new car manufacturing over to EVs, you're talking decades to replace them. But of course you can't just switch over like that - even if everyone was right now sold on the concept of EVs with current tech, you're talking at least a decade, possibly more, to tool up to that level of production. But of course, not everyone is right now sold on the concept of EVs with current tech.

Realistically, you're looking at maybe a 40 year transition. I hate to say that, because I love EVs, but I'm not going to just pretend that the reality is other than it is.

I'll also add that while fast chargers are big and expensive, the size and cost actually are comparable to building a gas station on a per-pump basis, and the economic argument works out for making them even if there's only a reasonable (50% or less) surcharge on the electricity sold and if they're only selling electricity a couple percent of the time. But you need to get a couple percent of the time usage to economically justify them - one person stopping for 10 minutes every few days just isn't going to cut it. And not every EV is going to stop at every charger even if they're driving on the same route - if your chargers are that far apart, then that means you're pushing people's range so much that they're not going to be comfortable driving that route. All together, this means that if you want to have fast charging infrastructure economically justifiable in an area you need high EV penetration, where several dozen EVs driving long distances will be going by each charger every day - even out in the boonies. And when you're talking at prices on the order of $100k per unit, you're no longer talking about a range where peoples' goodwill toward EVs or interest in having a loss leader outside is going to pay for them.

Basically, while busy interstate routes on the coasts and the like can economically justify them with a small fraction of a percent of people driving EVs, out in the boonies, they're going to be stuck with smaller, cheaper, slower chargers for a good while. Unless people are willing to pay a big surcharge on the electricity sold, that is (500% surcharge instead of 50% = 1/10th as many vehicles needed).

Comment: Re:Spruce Goose (Score 1) 84

by hey! (#47550163) Attached to: World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft Goes Into Production In China

Different requirements drive different designs. Before WW2 seaplanes were common because of the lack of runways. After WW2 airports proliferated, and seaplanes couldn't keep up with technical advances due to the compromises involved in allowing them to land and take off from water. But that doesn't mean there aren't applications for aircraft with a flying boat's capabilities, it just means there isn't enough of a market in places like the US to support an industry. Even so, here in North America there are some 70 year-old WW2 Catalinas being used in aerial firefighting. China is a vast country which is prone to many kinds of natural disasters that could make airlifting in supplies difficult, so they may see potential applications we don't.

It's also interesting to note that seaplanes were highly useful in the pacific theater of WW2, and there hasn't been a protracted struggle for sea control *since* WW2. Also, China is a country with no operational aircraft carriers; aside from its training ship the Liaoning, it has a handful of amphibious assault ships that can carry a few helicopters. The US by contrast has ten supercarriers and nine amphibious assault ships that dwarf the aircraft carriers of WW2. The technology and expertise to run a carrier fleet like America's would take many years for China to develop. It's conceivable that the manufacturers imagine a military market for aircraft like this in the interim.

Comment: Re:sure, works for France (Score 1) 279

There are alternative ways to measure inflation. One Billion Prices project does this - it actually checks the prices of items sold on the Internet. Its values agree with the official stats.

Look, you've been preaching inflation for 5 years by now. At first it was hyperinflation round the corner, then it was 'delayed' inflation, then something else. Now it's the government conspiracy. What next? Aliens substituting people to fake inflation numbers?

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