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Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 4, Interesting) 870 870

Funny, for all those "crazy Government mileage requirements", I find that the cost of new cars has generally risen at slower than the rate of inflation, even as they offer more features, better reliability, and (thanks to said mileage requirements) lower fuel costs.

Case example: My parents bought a Geo Prizm LSi (also marketed as the Toyota Corolla) back in 1990. At the time, it cost ~$12.3K. It was much smaller than the current Toyota Corolla, the electrical system sucked (adjusting the power windows dimmed the headlights and radio), etc. The LSi add-on features (power windows) are all standard now, the MPG has gone from 21-22/26-28 MPG city/highway under the old system (that rated all cars better than what you'd actually get), to 27-29/36-38 MPG under the new, more realistic rating system (and remember, the car is actually bigger now than it was), which reduces your fuel costs by a third or so. Yes, the cost is up, between $19.5K and $22K for most models (remember, the 2015 low end model is still better on features than the top end model of 1990). But that $12.3K from 1990 is ~$22.4K in 2015 dollars (according to U.S. Inflation Calculator). So the price actually dropped in inflation adjusted dollars, while the car got bigger, more efficient, and got more "luxury" features.

Remind me how big bad government mileage requirements are making cars so expensive?

Comment Re:HOME ownership is key (Score 1) 688 688

I was responding to the point about the time and difficulty associated with the rebates (namely, there isn't any issue). You can dislike the Leaf (I think it's an awful car if it's your only car, but perfectly fine if it's a second car in a household where both people have short-medium length commutes), but it's silly to criticize a post that answers questions as asked.

Comment Re:HOME ownership is key (Score 1) 688 688

Well, in MD, the check for the rebate ($3K IIRC; it was only $1K when I bought) comes in a month or two, and the dealership does the paperwork. You claim the federal $7500 credit on next year's income taxes (no additional paperwork beyond checking the box and providing a VIN IIRC). And if you have decent credit (I do), Nissan was giving $0 down, 0% interest six year loans. So I haven't paid a penny for my Leaf yet really; I'll hit "paid more than the credits gave me" in December of this year (having bought early last year).

Comment Re:So what? (Score 2) 529 529

The town already bans most transmitting devices. That's the whole point. The problem is that the wackos want stores to replace and/or disable lighting fixtures because of their "sensitivity", and they want staff in cafeterias to wait on them directly because they'd have to pass through lit areas to reach the food and don't want to. Read the article. I'm fine with self-treating psychosomatics, up until the point where they start imposing unreasonably on others.

Comment Re:Great (Score 5, Informative) 312 312

The U.S. Constitution says no such thing. Quit making shit up. Article III, Section 3 (omitting the second half which is all about punishment, not conviction):

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

If you levy war against the U.S., it doesn't matter if the U.S. has declared war against you. And you don't actually have to be making war, that's just one way of being labelled a traitor.


Robots In 2020: Lending a Helping Hand To Humans (And Each Other) 46 46

Lashdots writes: In the next five years, robots won't kill us (or drive our cars). But they will get better at helping us do routine tasks—and at helping each other too. Those are some of the predictions Fast Company gleaned from some of the robotics firms on its "most innovative" list, including Anki Robotics, robot-based genetic testing startup Counsyl, and Lockheed Martin, which has demonstrated a pair of unmanned aerial vehicles that work together to fight fires. I'm just waiting for drones that will simultaneously cut my lawn and deter burglars.

Wormholes Untangle a Black Hole Paradox 157 157

An anonymous reader writes: Like initials carved in a tree, ER = EPR, as the new idea is known, is a shorthand that joins two ideas proposed by Einstein in 1935. One involved the paradox implied by what he called "spooky action at a distance" between quantum particles (the EPR paradox, named for its authors, Einstein, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen). The other showed how two black holes could be connected through far reaches of space through "wormholes" (ER, for Einstein-Rosen bridges). At the time that Einstein put forth these ideas — and for most of the eight decades since — they were thought to be entirely unrelated.

But if ER = EPR is correct, the ideas aren't disconnected — they're two manifestations of the same thing. And this underlying connectedness would form the foundation of all space-time. Quantum entanglement — the action at a distance that so troubled Einstein — could be creating the "spatial connectivity" that "sews space together," according to Leonard Susskind, a physicist at Stanford University and one of the idea's main architects. Without these connections, all of space would "atomize," according to Juan Maldacena, a physicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., who developed the idea together with Susskind. "In other words, the solid and reliable structure of space-time is due to the ghostly features of entanglement," he said. What's more, ER = EPR has the potential to address how gravity fits together with quantum mechanics.

Comment Re:Stuff Happens (Score 1) 334 334

Neither of the hostages were "operatives" to be compromised. The U.S. citizen worked for USAID; he was a foreign aid worker (USAID administers the distribution of U.S. foreign aid money). Calling them "operatives" that were "compromised" (when they were both aid workers working entirely above board) makes it sound like some CIA cover op gone wrong. Please at least read the article before blaming people for ops gone wrong when nothing in fact went wrong.

Comment Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 823 823

Which is likely why electric car manufacturers are adding artificial noise at low speeds and letting tire noise handle it at higher speed. My Leaf emits a "strobing" sound below 18 MPH; above that, it stops on the assumption that the tire noise is enough.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long