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Comment Re: Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 859 859

I called you daft for not understanding the concept that someone who runs a swapping service station covers all costs related to their business activities and rolls them into what they charge for service, just like every other business does. I fail to see what is hard about this for you to understand. The answer to "who pays for X cost" is *always* "the service provider, with the costs indirectly passed on to their customers via the rate charged".

Really, you think that bad fuel can't damage an engine? It can and does. And it's the supplier who ultimately bears the cost. No, "bad electricity" is not a proper analogy (although your sarcasm in this regard is funny given how many devices are damaged by surges every year); a gas station fuels vehicles by insertung fuel into them, while a swapping station fuels vehicles by inserting pre-charged batteries into them. Batteries correspond to fuel in this context.

In what world do you live where car parts are regularly inspected by the manufacturer after being installed into the vehicle? Cars have hundreds if not thousands of parts more safety critical than a battery pack, and yes, manufacturers *are* liable if their failure modes due to damage pose an unreasonable risk of injury. Think of a famous failure case - say, for example, the Ford Pinto fires. Were the gas tanks defective? Nope. But the cars had an unacceptably bad failure mode in certain types of crashes, and it fell on the manufacturer to fix it - as it always does. A part must meet its use case, and if its use case is "deliver electricity from a swappable system and not burn the vehicle down if damaged", it has to contain the necessary safety systems to do that.

Lastly, you're still stuck in bizarro world where ICE vehicles full of combustible fuel are incombustible, whereas EVs with no combustable fuel and more often than not with batteries less flammable than a block of cheese (once again: *not all li-ions are the same*!) burst into flames left and right. Meanwhile, in the reality that the rest of us live in, the opposite is true. Heck, last summer I saw a flaming hulk of a passenger car with fire crews trying to put it out to extract the burned bodies of the two tourists who had been driving it. Meanwhile, Teslas and Leafs have been in many wrecks - go to Google Images and search for "crash tesla" or "crash leaf". Where are the fires from these oh-so-flammable vehicles? Yes, they have happened, but at a much lower per-vehicle rate than gasoline cars according to NTSB stats. Sorry, but your fire conceptions are just not based in reality.

Comment Typically (Score 1) 181 181

Autonomous rates will be $400 cheaper when you first get it. And after a few years it will be the same price unless you change companies.

I'm changing back to allstate from 21st century this year. Allstate wanted to charge me $1200 a year-- 21st century was $700. Now 21st century is closing on $1000 and allstate has offered me $1000, $900, $800,and now $700 to switch back over the last 4 years.

Comment Re:Why does ./ link to reviews from tech troglodyt (Score 1) 255 255

There is no ethernet cable in the world which is sufficiently bad, that there are enough retransmits for mere audio to stutter or stall.

I think you'll find that this very expensive cable has sufficiently poor quality that it will impact the reception of data.

Comment Re:wait, what? (Score 1) 255 255

The idiots in question had this to say about the quality of their digital data:

"Extremely high-purity Perfect-Surface Silver minimizes distortion caused by the grain boundaries which exist within any metal conductor, nearly eliminating harshness and greatly increasing clarity"

"Sound appears from a surprisingly black background with unexpected detail and dynamic contrast."

"All audio cables are directional. The correct direction is determined by listening to every batch of metal conductors used in every AudioQuest audio cable."

If that's your starting point for idiocy, the only next step is to start painting equipment with magic symbols to repel gremlins and evil noise fairies.

Comment Re:Don't buy the cheapest cable (Score 1) 255 255

This comes up whenever audiophile cables are discussed, but it's worth repeating: don't buy the cheapest cable.

I'm not sure if you read the follow-up article, but this bears repeating.

The cable that was used for comparison was the cheapest cable. In fact, it didn't even pass the Cat-6 certification tests done by Blue Jeans Cable after the even had finished.

But even with that nobody could tell the difference in the final sound quality.

Comment Re:Why animals can't be given human rights. (Score 1) 166 166

There's an easy definition to Homo Sapiens: a child of a Homo Sapiens. This works for all possible people throughout human history.

Except that it doesn't. It's a classic case of begging the question.

How do we know you are human by that definition?
We would have to know that your parents were human.
But how do we know that?
We would have to know that your grandparents were human.
But how do we know that? ... and so on

Before long, we look at a common ancestor to you and the chimp. Which either makes the chimp human, or you not.

No, you can not get around this by saying in modern recorded history either, because how do you determine that the first person in modern recorded history was human? There must then be another criterion.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 859 859

All true, and it stands with my point well; I'll point out that your argument distinctly is not a counter-point. There is no way you can buy yourself into a house to the point that you can't scrounge $20 more to make on the payment each month and expect to actually make your payment every month in the first place; it is almost guaranteed that your ability to easily afford your payment every month doesn't imply any ability to find an extra $600 every month to add to it. Buying into a slightly-cheaper house (location, size) would magnify the effects I describe in high-interest-rate markets; it is, in fact, the strategy I took even with 2.875% interest rates, hence my 3-year mortgage.

Comment Re:Please (Score 1) 326 326

Its like saying "Hey, Chevrolet, you know your customers like the radio station set to 101.9, why cant you engineer your cars to respect their choice instead of forcing your nefarious 101.5 agenda."

Yeah, but this is a Mozilla car analogy we're talking about here.

In the current 2015.7 model, release, the UX team has decided that a 5-button hamburger menu on an AM dial (and only from 1100Khz to 1150KHz in 10KHz increments) is all that's needed. Users who want to access a wider range of frequencies in the AM band are free to write an extension or purchase a third-party radio head unit.

To further improve the user experience, we remind prospective extension developers that in the Aurora channel for the 2016.1 model year, the about:config setting for frequency.megavskilohertz has been removed, along with the FM antenna. The UX team has made this recommendation based on telemetry that suggests that few drivers actually listen to FM radio, especially since the 2013.6 model, in which the AM/FM toggle switch was removed because the UX team for 2012.1 felt it was cluttering the dashboard.

Comment Re:Why go without GPS? (Score 2) 29 29

On the Moon or Mars they wouldn't reach very far. But a RTG-powered version on Titan would have unlimited range (although may need to land periodically to recharge its flight batteries). And even a rocket or gas jet version would have quite significant range on an asteroid.

Such a design is obviously going to be very mission sensitive, hence the need for different propulsion systems. Some missions would benefit significantly as well from wings to allow for long distance flight on bodies with atmospheres (Venus, Titan, maybe Mars, etc). A couple worlds, such as Titan, might benefit from landing floats. And so forth. But that's where rapid prototyping tech (such as 3d printing) becomes useful - they engineer the base model and then can play around with variants with ease. Hopefully in the end they'll have a sample collector module with a workable version for almost any body in the solar system. And for the interests of science, we really need something like that, a universal adaptable drone module - to be paired with a universal adaptable ion tug module, one of a couple variants of a universal adaptable reentry / landing modules, and the same for adaptable ascent modules.

It's impressive what science can be pulled off on the surface of another world. But it's nothing compared to what we can do here on Earth with a sample return.

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 859 859

Seriously, you can't be this daft. The operator, of course, with the price rolled into the service cost.

You claimed that you're unlikely to have more than a dud or two in a truck, dismissing the idea that failure rate *per* *battery* would be the same as anything else, when I pointed out that the operator would have to manage the cost of rotating out end-of-life batteries.

Your answer to "how will the operator handle disposal costs of bad batteries?" was "Oh, that's not a real consideration." Then you call me daft for pointing out that it *is* a real thing.

No, they're not. Even your laptop battery estimates its capacity, and that's about as simple as li-ion battery packs get.

I said estimating capacity is easy, but estimating integrity is hard. Will the fucking battery EXPLODE UNDER YOUR TRUCK? A simple capacity measure won't tell you if it's dangerously damaged.

No, it's the manufacturer's issue to ensure that the product meets its stated usage specs - in this case, the specs including safe handling of damage and X number of swap cycles.

Unfortunately, the manufacturer doesn't have control of the batteries once they've been placed into a truck.

Just like gas stations check their gas for impurities that can cause damage to an engine?

No you miserable fucking idiot, more like how Blue Rhino inspects and tests every tank for safety defects at every exchange. The gas station doesn't swap your god damned fuel tank, so they don't have to inspect it for dangerous leaks and rust spots.

You may as well have said "they'll inspect the electricity they charge it with to make sure it's clean power" if you wanted to make a show of being that stupid.

Tesla's battery packs have an 8 year, unlimited-mile warranty

You still don't know how many 72-pound pieces of iron road debris have smashed into the battery, if the driver used a defective charger to charge the battery at extremely high voltages, if the battery's been damaged by *other*, less scrupulous stations mishandling it, if it's experienced flood damage somehow, and so forth. Determining the actual physical condition of the battery requires labor-intensive inspection, unless you want to just tell everyone those swapped-out batteries carry no warranty and may explode on them and it's not your fault if they do.

In the parallel world where EVs are always catching on fire, and petroleum-fueled vehicles aren't - quite unlike our actual world.

More like in the current world, where the crisis of a vehicle on fire either means the driver is getting roasted or his cargo is getting roasted. If it happens 1 in 10 million times, there's still about 150 million trucks on the road. 200 fatal hazmat incidents occur per year in the US, meaning fuel tanker trucks and (notably) oxygen tankers blowing up. Managing to keep defective, poorly-inspected, "Wull it dun held a chawj, Jeb" batteries from killing your driver is an important risk consideration.

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 859 859

In one truck, yes. The frequency of dead batteries, however, will be the same as passenger vehicles; who will dispose of those?

Seriously, you can't be this daft. The operator, of course, with the price rolled into the service cost.

All of which are relatively involved.

No, they're not. Even your laptop battery estimates its capacity, and that's about as simple as li-ion battery packs get. Coulomb counting, voltage measurements at start and end compared to the charge temperature, charge voltage curve shapes, direct measurement of pack heating over the course of charge to measure internal resistance, and about half a dozen other methods are all usable and widely used to estimate capacity remaining in a pack. Pretty much every modern EV and hybrid in existence checks its battery pack's performance at least at the pack level, if not the individual cell level (Tesla does it at the "brick" level), to see how it's aging and when components or the pack as the whole need to be replaced.

Measuring remaining battery capacity is a concept older than the light bulb.

testing and inspecting a battery for damage and danger conditions so you don't install it into someone's vehicle and get a lawsuit for "vehicle exploded in a giant flaming blaze" (or drive all your customers away with "we don't test our batteries for anything but charge, and damaged batteries may set your truck on fire") is wholly different.

Just like gas stations check their gas for impurities that can cause damage to an engine? No, it's the manufacturer's issue to ensure that the product meets its stated usage specs - in this case, the specs including safe handling of damage and X number of swap cycles. Meeting damage control specs is why Tesla isolates each cell in a canister to prevent failure propagation. And why packs always come with fuses/breakers that blow when the pack gets wet or there's otherwise a short.

(Just ignoring that many types of li-ions don't burn even when abused. Tesla uses standard cobalt-based 18660s, which is why they have to have a failure isolation system, but vehicles like the Volt and Leaf use more stable spinel chemistries)

That may result in diesel being the cheaper fuel by far

Tesla's battery packs have an 8 year, unlimited-mile warranty. Even if we assume that they're only good for 1000 full charge cycles (which should be well on the low end), at 30 tonne-miles per kWh of charge, times 1000 cycles, and $150/kWh for the pack, that's 200 tonne-miles per dollar of pack capital cost. A diesel truck will get about 120 tonne-miles per gallon of diesel, and diesel costs somewhere in the ballpark of 6x more than electricity per unit range (depends on your location), meaning that the electric version saves about 3-4$ per dollars of energy cost per dollar of pack capital cost.

There are a lot more batteries on a truck.

Wait, so you're picturing them being done individually, one after the next? Seriously? *smacks forehead*

Fortunately, if you mount batteries under there without a bunch of armored doors and other shit to hold it all together, the cargo container catches fire when the batteries become damaged.

In the parallel world where EVs are always catching on fire, and petroleum-fueled vehicles aren't - quite unlike our actual world.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982