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Comment: Virtual water is silly (Score 1) 415

by Shavano (#49313049) Attached to: How 'Virtual Water' Can Help Ease California's Drought

The idea of virtual water is superfluous and somewhat silly. There's a real water shortage, so there has to be prioritization. Market pricing of water makes sense as part of the solution. But first you have to answer the question of who owns it in the first place. Maybe the State owns all the water rights and creates the market? Water law in the west is a mess.

Comment: Re:This statistic is misleading (Score 3, Informative) 154

That's not bullshit. They really are to some extent different occupations. The guy that designs power grids for a city can't necessarily design an IC and doesn't need to. To him, ICs are components that are on circuit assemblies that are inside systems that he cares about. The IC designer likewise doesn't need to know how to design a power grid. He doesn't even need to know when to use a Y vs. a delta transformer. In fact, he never uses transformers, except to couple RF signals onto the test boards for the ICs he's designing. Power comes from a regulator chip for him, not from a gas-fired generator.

But you get the same nominal degree to do both jobs.

Here's actual data from the BLS:
17-2060 Computer Hardware Engineers broad 77,670
17-2070 Electrical and Electronics Engineers broad 303,450

But the 17-2060 and 17-2070 categories mostly have BSEE degrees, some of them also holding MSEE and PhD's.

Then there's the software folks:
15-1130 Software Developers and Programmers broad 1,442,500
15-1140 Database and Systems Administrators and Network Architects broad 618,480
15-1150 Computer Support Specialists broad 706,360
15-1190 Miscellaneous Computer Occupations broad 196,280

So yeah, there are a lot more people doing software. It figures. A relatively few people are required to figure out how to make electrical and electronic hardware. A lot of that hardware consists of programmable machines that can in principle be programmed to do anything. Naturally there are more things to do with computer hardware than there are needs for different kinds of electronic hardware.

Perspective: I'm an electronics engineer and manager of several of the same. We're staying busy.

Comment: Re:Just recycle the energy! (Score 1) 221

by Shavano (#49209861) Attached to: New Concept Tire Could Recharge Car Battery

USA: 202 grams CO2 equivalent per km. According to EIA, burning a gallon of CO2 produces 19.6 pounds of carbon dioxide. (8890 grams). So to equal the electric car you'd have to get at least (8890 gCO2/gal) / (202 gCO2/km) = 44 km/gal. That's 27 miles per gallon, which is in the mid range for passenger cars. My all wheel drive Subaru gets that, so I'm doing as well for pollution as driving an electric car.

I'd do better to drive a hybrid, such as a Prius. That gets 48 miles per gallon which is a little more than half as polluting as my car. Also, since I an refuel it in 5 minutes like any gas powered car, it's as versatile as a standard passenger car, so it's good for short and long trips, unlike an electric.

Comment: Re:Just recycle the energy! (Score 2) 221

by Shavano (#49209805) Attached to: New Concept Tire Could Recharge Car Battery

Exactly. You lose the least energy to the tires when you simply run them at nominal inflation pressure. So measure the amount of electricity from the battery while running a defined course and speed with conventional tires at their specified pressure. Then replace the conventional tires and do the same thing again with your high-tech electricity-producing tires. How many amp-hours did you save? Enough to eventually pay for the tires?

If I had to bet, I'd bet that they cause a net loss of energy by allowing the tire to flex more than it should, which increases load on the motors.

Comment: Re:I Don't Know (Score 4, Interesting) 284

by Shavano (#49209617) Attached to: UK Gov't Asks: Is 10 Years In Jail the Answer To Online Pirates?

Why not make it a punishment that fits the crime, but per count? Put a realistic value on the illegal downloading. A song is worth (in the market) $1, so petty theft. A movie is worth, in the market, maybe $10 to $15. Again, petty theft. We don't put people away for 10 years for petty theft, no matter how many times they do it.

Instead, let the copyright owners sue for actual damages and let them make the case that they were actually out $1 for the illegal song download or $10 for the illegal movie download, or upload. Massive infringers could be put out of business. You uploaded a movie and provided it to 10,000 downloaders? You owe us $100k, and you're guilty of 10,000 counts of petty theft.

Comment: Re: Well, then I guess (Score 5, Interesting) 284

by Shavano (#49209575) Attached to: UK Gov't Asks: Is 10 Years In Jail the Answer To Online Pirates?

What is the rationale for treating real property differently than other property? That's an assumption worth examining.

Is it because real property can be used to generate rent? Then copyright and patents are kind of like real property.
Is it because a person's ownership of real property imposes a burden on everybody else because it restricts what would otherwise be their right to use it? Then again, copyright and patents are like real property.

Comment: Re:Mellinials dont watch boxing because (Score 2) 169

by Shavano (#49204235) Attached to: NBC Thinks Connected Gloves and "Bullet Time" Can Make Boxing Cool

Maybe if it were something they cared about, they'd pay. But it really is just two guys they don't care about beating each other up.

The "this is a sport, not just two thugs trying to hurt each other" veneer was ripped off the so-called sport when Mike Tyson was allowed to return to the "sport" after being convicted of rape, then bit off Evander Holyfield's ear and was allowed to return (with celebrity status) AGAIN, served time for yet another assault, cheated in another fight...

And was never banned from the so-called sport. Because it's a blood sport where the worst sort of brutality is not just tolerated, but encouraged.

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.

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