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Comment: Re:What a nightmare (Score 2) 327

Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As 'Fun, Watchable'

Long time fans of the Star Trek franchise say JJ Abrams' enjoyable, engaging prequel betrays what Star Trek is all about.,14333/

Comment: Re:Butt Ugly (Score 5, Informative) 90

by Ralph Wiggam (#48655881) Attached to: Google Unveils New Self-Driving Car Prototype

Electric vehicle range is hugely affected by aerodynamic drag, particularly a highway speeds. What looks aerodynamic is surprisingly unrelated to the drag coefficient. So modern car designers do things to actually improve drag, which seem weird and ugly to you.

The Ferrari F40, a triumph of car design in the late 80s, has a drag coefficient of 0.34. The Koenigsegg CCX has a Cd of 0.30. A 2001 Toyota Camry has a Cd of 0.29. And my Nissan Leaf has a Cd of 0.28.

My most notably odd feature on the Leaf is the big bug eye headlights. At highway speeds, those headlights create a bubble of low pressure around the side view mirrors, significantly decreasing drag. I'm a function over form kind of guy, so I think it's awesome.

Comment: Thanks, Obama (Score 3, Informative) 51

by Ralph Wiggam (#48638937) Attached to: T-Mobile To Pay $90M For Unauthorized Charges On Customers' Bills

Remember when the Republicans in Congress fought against the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? This is why.

The CFPB was actually proposed by Elizabeth Warren, then still at Harvard. She was Obama's first choice for its Director, but her appointment was blocked.

Comment: Re:Decentralization (Score 4, Informative) 76

by Ralph Wiggam (#48612505) Attached to: Uber Limits 'God View' To Improve Rider Privacy

That was my first reaction. But the official Uber twitter account sent this-

"We are all concerned with events in CBD. Fares have increased to encourage more drivers to come online and pick up passengers in the area."

Then an hour later, after getting hammered on twitter, they decided to make all rides free. Uber pretty much has the worst PR department I have ever seen.

Comment: Re:Converts gas cars to electric? (Score 1) 37

by Ralph Wiggam (#48510383) Attached to: Ben Harris Shows off the Electric Vehicle Challenge Simulator (Video)

Electric vehicle range is very dependent on weight and drag. So you can certainly convert heavy, boxy cars. And a larger vehicle will give you more room for batteries. But the performance will not be good.

A common conversion is using a small pickup truck, which is cheap and light, and then filling the bed with batteries. Obviously you need a cap over the back.

The first version always gets thrown away.