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Comment: Re:Movies (Score 1) 122

by ScentCone (#47438373) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

But one could describe yours as being backwards just as easily as mine. It's simply a matter of perspective.

If by that you mean that clearly written words in the English language have no actual meaning, then sure, I guess. If you mean that the Constitution, and the countless supporting documents and correspondence written to, between and about its authors and the large groups of representatives that agreed on its purpose and amendments to it were just setting us with something that had no actual meaning, then sure. But that's BS, and you know it.

No, I never said "every" anything. I said drones. Period.

The Constitution makes no such distinctions between one tool and the next. But of course the people who wrote it were very clear that there were some tools that some people would - given a period of power in the congress - try to deny to the public, and so they added amendment that explicitly reminded the government that it cannot act in those areas. The Constitution is built around the concept that the government's powers over what you may or may not do it inherently limited to the things that are enumerated therein, and generally prohibited otherwise, with the states having all such other authority. This isn't a matter of "perspective," and it isn't true for certain tools, and false for other tools. If you think that "drones" (but not, say, chain saws) should be singled out for capricious bans by the federal government despite laws recently passed by the congress explicitly to the contrary, then you're completely missing the point.

Personally I'd say they were flying model aircraft not drones.

Semantic games like that show how completely unserious you are.

... using a car to take people where they ask. If you are doing it for free, or nothing more than fuel cost split, no problem. If you are doing it commercially then you tend to require a permit.

A matter decided upon, legislatively. at the municipal, county, and (rarely) state level. Not by capricious extra-legal, counter-constitutional fiat from a political appointee of the White House, as in the case at hand.

Comment: Printed THC (Score 1) 84

by MillionthMonkey (#47438371) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC

They are genetically engineering stuff to produce stuff that is already available? Benefit would be....?

I'm not going to bother with genetic engineering. I'm going to get a 3D printer, download THC.sdl and CBD.sdl, and print my own cannabinoids.

Which reminds me I also have to print a new bong because this one is starting to smell like yeast.

Comment: Re:Can someone explain how... (Score 1) 122

by ScentCone (#47438239) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage
Because the FAA, by federal statute (passed by congress, which is made up of representatives of all of the states), is granted that regulatory authority. There is legal precedence for their authority over everything that flies in the air, right down to an inch above the ground. Which doesn't mean that their position on this stuff isn't incredibly absurd. But it's their turf.

Comment: Re:The FAA needs to follow the law. (Score 1) 122

by ScentCone (#47438225) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

so the FAA either is or soon will be operating in direct contradiction to the law passed by congress

Why should the FAA, which is part of the Obama administration, feel any urge whatsoever to enforce or obey laws passed by congress? We have ample precedent of him using the pen and phone about which he so regularly boasts to simply do what he wants anyway, even in direct contradiction of plain language in the laws he swore to uphold. Any expectation that the chief executive of the administration will be asking his immediate (appointed, by him) subordinate (the Secretary of Transportation) to instruct HIS subordinate (Huerta, the director of the FAA) to actually comply with the law, is laughable. The administration takes laws (like their own favorite, the ACA), and completely ignores hard-wired dates and other requirements as it suits them for political leverage with the portion of the voters to whom they pander. Happily, that particular instance is about to be challenged in a civil suit coming out of congress - that's very good news.

We just need another suit, along the same lines, requiring the administration's law breaking at the agency level in the FAA to be discussed in the bright sunshine of court. Something you'd think that the "most transparent administration in history" would applaud, right? Yeah.

Comment: Re:Movies (Score 1) 122

by ScentCone (#47438193) Attached to: FAA Pressures Coldwell, Other Realtors To Stop Using Drone Footage

This is the way it SHOULD happen. An overall prohibition on drones then specific exceptions for uses where the benefits to society are seen to outweigh the costs

You have your entire concept of liberty, and of the constitution, exactly backwards.

Should every new concept, innovation, invention, tool, technique, strategy, and technology be prohibited by default? What the hell is wrong with you? If I come up with a clever new way of slicing deli meat, should I be prohibited from using it or showing someone else how to use it until I've sufficiently begged an un-elected, un-accountable agency bureaucrat to allow me to use it?

And in the case at hand, picture two people standing right next to each other. Each has their hands on the controls of a 4-pound plastic quadcopter carrying a GoPro. Each takes off, sends the little machine up to 45 feet above the same house. Each of them use the device to record the condition of the houses's gutters, sparing somebody a couple hours of putting up a dangerous extension ladder a dozen times. Each of them get the job done in minutes, and land their little quad back down in the driveway right next to each other. You think that one of those two people should be banned from what the both just did, but the other should not. Why? Be very specific.

Comment: That said... (Score 4, Informative) 49

by Rei (#47437451) Attached to: Sand-Based Anode Triples Lithium-Ion Battery Performance

... the greater your capacity, the less cycle life matters. If you want an EV that battery that will run a 250Wh/mi vehicle for an average 20 miles a day for 15 years, then you want it to cycle through about 30MWh. If you use a 100 mile (25kWh) battery pack, then that's 1100 cycles. If you use a 200 mile (50kWh) battery pack, then that's 550 cycles. If you use a 400 mile (100kWh) battery pack, then that's a mere 275 cycles. Actually, the improvement is even better than that in the real world, because the greater your capacity vs. how far you're actually driving, the more you can cycle the cells through a less destructive state of charge range rather than doing deep discharges.

A lot of people picture battery packs in EVs backwards, they think that things like hybrids stress the packs the least, PHEVs moderately, and EVs the worst. But it's reversed. If you look at how big hybrid packs are vs. how much electric range they hold, you'll see that they're disproportionately large, even after you factor in any differences in Wh/kg. The reason is that because hybrid packs get cycled so much, they have to keep the cycling in a very narrow state of charge range, only allowing shallow discharges. So if you only have a narrow discharge range, you have to make your pack bigger to make up for it. EVs can discharge through much more of their pack because they need fewer total cycles and only rarely go down toward the lower end of their allowable discharge range. Some EVs also let you limit the max that your pack charges up to to further extend lifespan (it's usually destructive both to use the very top end and the bottom end of the discharge range).

Comment: Re:Correct me if I'm wrong, but... (Score 4, Informative) 49

by Rei (#47437401) Attached to: Sand-Based Anode Triples Lithium-Ion Battery Performance

1024 mAhg1 is excellent capacity even vs. brand new graphite or amorphous carbon, about 3x as much as graphite's maximum. Silicon's theoretical max is 8-10x that of graphite, but the main problem with it is durability, it tends to tear itself apart on loading. There are silicon anodes in some newer li-ion cells on the market, but the tech is in its infancy.

That said, the real papers you want to be on the lookout for are cathode improvements, there's a lot more potential for volume/mass reduction there than in the anode. But it seems to be a more difficult challenge. Getting a 3x improvement in anode density is absolutely not the same a getting a 3x improvement in battery life.

Comment: Re:Little Bit of History Repeating. (Score 3, Insightful) 49

by Rei (#47437377) Attached to: Sand-Based Anode Triples Lithium-Ion Battery Performance

Commercial li-ion battery energy densities have continued to improve during that time period, including the commercial introduction of cells with silicon anodes. Of course, silicon anodes are a new tech, so there's a great deal of room for improvement, which probably won't come close to "maxing out" for a decade or more.

Of course, that said, this article is your typical fluff piece following the guidelines of fluff science reporting.

1. Present an oversimplified version of one technology challenge that may or may not address the biggest issue and certainly doesn't address all of them - but don't mention that.
2. Introduce an outside-the-establishment loner with a passion - or at least someone you can try to present as "outside the establishment" and glaze over anyone who helped him.
3. Loner gets a "vision" based on some everyday activity
4. Present their solution and make it out to be a huge revolution that will certainly solve all our problems - if they can only get corporate backing / funding!

I think these sort of articles hurt the image of science because people read them, think "OMG, all our problems are solved!", then when everything's not solved afterward, fail to trust science in the future. For example, in this case, the most important element to improve is the cathode, not the anode. And cathode improvements are less common and usually less major than anode improvements. There's also tons of different anode improvements out there in various stages of research. Pretty much all of the silicon ones get way better than graphite or amorphous carbon.

That doesn't mean that this isnt an important paper - actually, from looking at it, it looks pretty good. It's just not "all that".

BTW, anyone know how credible this journal is? I see it's hosted on Nature.com but not part of Nature, and I tried to find an impact rating for it but couldn't.

Comment: Re:Tell me how this is suppposed to work. (Score 1) 150

by ScentCone (#47433853) Attached to: Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

It's difficult to see the market for this service as anything other than single family residence, upper class suburban.

Or to the rooftop mail room chute in a large office building that might contain hundreds of Amazon business customers. If you're picturing suburban doorstep delivery to un-prepared recipients, you're imagining the wrong scenario.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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