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Comment: Re:Skeptical about Democracies (Score 1) 208

by drinkypoo (#48679283) Attached to: The World Is Not Falling Apart

Because in other places 'democracy' is not just a slogan,

[citation needed]

usually because it was not something took for granted.

Every day you're not doing something to improve your lot, you're taking it for granted. Most of us are guilty. But this is all irrelevant, because this is based on the opinions of the people writing the report, and not of the citizenry of the various countries.

Comment: It should start later, esp. for high schoolers (Score 4, Insightful) 72

by drinkypoo (#48679279) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

No need for school to start at the absolute butt-crack of dawn. It's actually been shown to be harmful for teenagers. Their natural sleep cycle involves sleeping in. Many of them simply physically cannot function so early in the morning. (Thinking is a physical process...)

If high school started an hour later, the kids would be on the streets less while parents are off work, too. So it seems like a win-win, without actually increasing the number of hours of instruction.

Increasing the duration of school won't automatically improve education. "No Child Left Behind" certainly didn't, but it did require greater duration to the school day if you actually met all of its requirements.

Comment: Re:Call me when.. (Score 1) 104

by drinkypoo (#48679269) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

What about a motorcycle's range? Are these vehicles not ready for prime time?

Of course not. Motorcycles only fit the needs of a minuscule segment of the population, they are not and never have been a "prime time" [equivalent] type of vehicle. They also get poor mileage (for their mass, especially, but many of them actually get poor mileage on the small car scale now, since small cars have come so far) and they have high pollution except in the few places where catalysts are mandatory. Even then, you can expect more pollution per gallon burned.

Comment: Re:Coincidentally... (Score 1) 104

by drinkypoo (#48679263) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

They also have new tires, which improve the rolling resistance coefficient by about 20%.

Do they mention that the minimum stopping distance has now increased by 20%?

Every year, tires get better. They can probably get the same level of traction with today's LRR tire as what they had before. We bought this year's best All-Terrain (Cooper AT3) which has finally solved their wet traction and tire wear problems, but it still has awful tire noise in turns, makes you think a wheel bearing's going. In a couple more years I expect them to have solved that particular problem. LRR tires have come a long way too, and there's a whole new generation of them now to fit into the space they used to occupy, for the cars least expected to handle well.

Comment: Re:Coincidentally... (Score 1) 104

by drinkypoo (#48679257) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

"assuming you don't have antilock brakes" is irrelevant to any vaguely modern car, because the EU made ABS mandatory years ago

So did the USA. And the USA has also made yaw control and traction control mandatory since 2010. As usual, the USA has more strict requirements for new cars than anyone else in the world, both in safety and finally now in emissions and mileage. (The USA has the strictest emissions laws sometimes, but not all the time...)

Comment: Re:There is a set of speeds and driving conditions (Score 1) 104

by drinkypoo (#48679253) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

Worse in the winter cause you're blasting heat? Why not just put a coat on?

People don't buy an $80k car so that they can wear a heavy coat instead of turning on the heater. People who can afford them just move closer to where they want to go in order to defeat range anxiety. #poorpeopleproblems

Comment: Re:Now we're getting somewhere (Score 1) 104

by drinkypoo (#48679249) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

In fact, strike that, this is simpler. Have your solar cells pump water to the cistern for all the hours the sun is in the sky. Have a separate pipe in which the water flows down hill to spin the turbine, which is your power source. The cistern acts as a ballast, storing energy during peak production times to be used during times of low or no production.

The electric motor which pumps the water might be 95% efficient, but you have to use it to fight gravity. Or you could just not have any conversion loss at all, and not fight gravity, when you're actually using the power. And that's why this is a dumb idea.

Comment: Re:careful about the tires - less safe (Score 1) 104

by drinkypoo (#48679241) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

Owners might want to take a close look at the NHTSA testing of the tires. Generally speaking, lower rolling resistance means less traction, which means less safe when cornering, maneuvering around an accident or animal ahead, or braking.

Sure, although they could have updated the traction/yaw control software to account for the reduced traction as well, and may have done.

+ - A new technology for astroturfing (and the same old Union corruption)

Submitted by sam_handelman
sam_handelman (519767) writes "New Voice Strategies (N.V.S.) has developed a technology which takes astroturfing to a new level: VIVA Idea Exchange(TM). You give them a message, and they will find you stakeholders whose input, using "proprietary algorithms", will then be molded to reflect your message. The former President of the Mass. Teachers Association (MTA), Paul Toner steered a contract to purchase N.V.S.'s services for the National Education Association (parent of the MTA). Who would have expected, the leaked preliminary N.V.S. NEA report shares action items with the report that Arizona Charter School Association purchased. In comments on the report, the teachers who wrote the N.V.S. NEA disclose that they were pressured, but still wish to pursue their algorithmic appointment as spokesmen, so the technology works to that extent. In other surprising news, Paul Toner, having lost his bid for the NEA board, is now President of N.V.S.."

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