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Comment: Re:Good. How is uber any different... (Score 3, Informative) 110

by Rhywden (#47808605) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

It's a grey area and the companies you link already have had some problems. However, the companies themselves already link the limits on their sites themselves:

  • No cars with more than 9 seats
  • No profit making - the money you collect may not exceed the costs you incur for gas and car usage (deprecation)
  • No regular routes
  • No drivers who make this kind of driving their job.

Comment: This can get expensive for Uber fast (Score 1) 110

by Rhywden (#47808539) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

The linked article lacks one important detail: The fine of up to 250,000€ is for each instance of breaking the injunction.

Sure, the first violation may only cost 2,000€. But that will go up for every violation. And you can bet your ass that the competitors will use the apps to check on Uber. And they will report any violation they find.

Comment: Re:They are a bit nutty.... (Score 2) 143

by Rhywden (#47720225) Attached to: How Argonne National Lab Will Make Electric Cars Cheaper

You're wrong there. The VW Up exists as both a pure electric and pure gasoline version. The difference in price? 10,000€

That's the price for the battery. In the case of the Up it almost doubles the price (from 12,000€ to 22,000€). And "all the other bits" being expensive? Seriously?

With the switch to pure electric you just god rid of the following: The alternator which provides the energy for all the gizmos in a normal gasoline car. And, more importantly, the transmission, one of the most complicated and intricate mechanical pieces in a car with a combustion engine.

Two complicated parts of the car, just poof! gone like that. The engine itself also just became way more easy - you don't need carefully timed pistons. You don't need the 3-way catalysator and the lambda probe. And so on and so forth. Hell, if you wanted to you could let each of the 4 wheels be driven by a separate motor! (which gets rid of the need for a differential!).

Comment: Re:Expert?? (Score 2) 442

by Rhywden (#47693767) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Yes. But they're not cheap and the production process is quite involved. And he specifically drew a relation between material used and possible aerodynamics:

[...]Replacing metals with ultralight, ultrastrong materials like carbon-fiber composites can provide safer, lighter and more aerodynamic vehicles that consume severalfold less energy and could be simpler to produce with 80% less capital.[...]

From:"Reinventing Fire: Three Energy Gamechangers for China and the World, Nov. 15th, 2013, pg. 2

He specifically mentioned "more aerodynamic" in addition to "lighter". I'm also not that convinced of "ultrastrong" materials being safer due to the fact that you want a crumple zone to soak up kinetic energy.

Not to mention that "severalfold less energy" is a lie: The BMW i3 already largely consists of carbon-fiber and is not that much lighter and, if you calculate the average energy consumption, doesn't consume that much less energy.

Lastly, carbon-fiber is not more "simpler to produce". Folding, bending and melting metals is easy compared to what you have to go through for carbon-fiber. Not to mention that it's not recycleable. Metal is easy to recycle.

Comment: Re:"Dance" = rolling blackouts (Score 1) 442

by Rhywden (#47692959) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Well, that's the problem with most renewable energy creators: They're dependent on an external factor. So, keeping some in "reserve" might not exactly yield the result you want. What use are additional windmills is there's no wind? What use are solar panels if it's nighttime or overcast?

Yes, there are others like biogas or waterpower, but most of those would fall under this heading of "energy storage" which this guy proposes to be superfluous. If they aren't storage technologies, they're usually not scalable enough, either due to provisioning problems (biogas) or geographical restrictions (water).

Comment: Re:Expert?? (Score 2) 442

by Rhywden (#47692939) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

I did read some parts of it. For instance, he proposed that switching to carbon-fiber instead of metals that we would be able to create more aerodynamic shapes. Which is rubbish, of course, the shape of a car is not dependent on the material used.

He also proposed that switching to carbon-fiber would reduce costs. Far from it: Production of carbon-fiber is a very expensive process due to the way the shapes are formed. One of the reasons, by the way, why the BMW i3 is quite expensive.

There were a whole slew of conjectures, shoddy/dubious reasoning and exaggerations in there.

Comment: Re:Expert?? (Score 3, Informative) 442

by Rhywden (#47690223) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Well said. He also forgets that we already have problems with failover and unexpected losses of transmission lines which lead to blackouts.

I mean, one could probably design a system which works as he proposes - however, this would almost certainly mean a complete revamp of the existing electrical grid.

At which point investing in storage technology and facilities will be the cheaper and more reliable solution.

Comment: Re:Books (Score 1) 421

by Rhywden (#47645635) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Should Schooling Be Year-Round?

I sincerely doubt that teaching matrices in 7th grade raises "understanding and awareness". As I said, I am a teacher and there's a reason why we don't begin with Maxwell's equations when talking about fields.
Again, difficulty of a subject does not automatically yield deeper understanding. You're making the same mistake as anyone who thinks that there's one way to teach: That there's one single way which works best.

There isn't. Teaching effectiveness depends on the pupil, the teacher, the subject, the classmates and a whole slew of other conditions.

And, to drive the point home: Simply raising the difficulty is a very bad way to go about it. Because you will lose the weaker pupils. You're obviously suffering from the notion that what was good for you must be good for others. I'm seeing this all the time: This notion of intellectual superiority just because you yourself mastered some difficult subject or other. Extrapolating from your subjective viewpoint to a general notion is a very big mistake.

"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults." -- Peter De Vries