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Comment: Re:what's the point? it can't work (Score 1) 101

by Smidge204 (#49130645) Attached to: Amazon Files Patent For Mobile 3D Printing Delivery Trucks

how fast is 3D printing?

How fast is traditional manufacturing? Sure, once you get your tooling set up and dedicate an entire warehouse to production and assembly, you can crank out ten thousand widgets a day... but it takes months and lots of money to get to that level of production.

Meanwhile, if a part can be 3D printed, you press a button and the next morning you have it in your hand. Client/customer needs some customization? No problem, a day or so of computer time and press the button...

can you 3D print in a moving truck?

Probably. Depends on the printing method. It's not completely certain it would be necessary to print on the go to make this work, though.

is a 3D print product pretty? flexible? neon colors, black, and white are what you have, assuming you are not slinging molten metal or concrete, the other two mediums in use. not flexible.

Full color printers have been available since before most people knew 3D printing was even a thing. Flexible? Could be, with the right materials. Just about anything you can reduce to a fine powder could conceivably be used.

The relatively cheap filament-based machines that are all the rage now are far from the pinnacle of additive manufacturing. 3D printing is 30+ years old at this point. ...All that said, though, I think Amazon's idea is kinda dumb. It's amazing what some people would rather have than money, though.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 590

by Smidge204 (#49130117) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

regulations prevent innovation directly

How?

And what regulations were relaxed that were holding the telephone industry back, again?

When regulated as a public utility, the company is to some extent protected from competition

The "regulation" means they can't gouge their customers. Also, there is actual, historical precedent that runs counter to your claim.

ISPs are, in many areas, a monopoly or duopoly at best. There is zero competition, and as a result we get the worst service-for-the-buck on the planet. Why is it that ISPs in other countries, which are regulated, are able to provide better service than currently unregulated US companies?
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 590

by Smidge204 (#49128933) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

Cite these deregulations, please.

It's not coincidence that prices started to fall and service improve shortly after the industry monopoly was dismantled. This has always been the result since the trust-busting in the early 20th century and there is sound reasoning behind why it works: Competing companies will lower prices and improve services in an effort to make them more attractive to potential customers compared to their rivals. Monopolies have no incentive to keep prices low or to really innovate new and better services or products.

You, on the other hand, will have to cite what regulations could possibly have been preventing Ma Bell from providing better service when it was clearly possible to do so all along.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 590

by Smidge204 (#49127897) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

That's what happened to telephone service in the 1980s. There was something of a golden age where everyone and their dog was offering cutthroat long-distance telephone service. Prices fell and service improved.

Power utilities are another example. Chances are, you are under no obligation to buy electricity specifically from your utility - some areas allow you to buy your electricity from third parties, and your utility just acts as a middleman and collects a connection fee to maintain the wires, which they do anyway.

Natural gas is the same way, though you might need to be a major consumer to get that kind of deal.

Now imagine if the internet follows that path: The company that owns and maintains the last-mile infrastructure need not be the same company that actually provides the connection to the main networks.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:energy balance doesn't work out (Score 1) 68

by Smidge204 (#49057423) Attached to: Converting Sunlight Into Liquid Fuel With a Bionic Leaf

first, diesel is maybe 10-15% more energy rich than gasoline.

Mea culpa - I got KWH confused with BTUs since I'm more used to using BTUs for diesel equivalents. Yes, it's about 15% more.

The actual amount of energy was however many billion gallons per year, the space requried was however many square kilometers. isn't that exactly was I said?

The closest you come is stating insolation as joules per square meter but at no point did you bring total energy required or total area required in your original post. It took you several hours before someone prompted you to actually go back and do that.

Basically you only managed to be relevant in hindsight after you got dogpiled.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:energy balance doesn't work out (Score 1) 68

by Smidge204 (#49056339) Attached to: Converting Sunlight Into Liquid Fuel With a Bionic Leaf

The point is, the article says that this bionic leave can be used to create fuel.

And that's exactly what it does.

What I'm arguing is that fuel requires so much energy that there's no way the bionic leaf capturing energy from the sun could produce enough fuel to meet our needs, using practical assumptions.

But at no point did you include how much energy we'd actually need, nor did you account for how much space in total we'd need to dedicate to harvesting in order to meet that demand. Only after including those factors could you argue that the bionic leaf could not meet our needs...

The honest truth is there is a ridiculous amount of energy in a gallon of gasoline.

About 36 KWHr. That's pretty tame; a gallon of diesel has about four times as much... Maybe you have a strange concept of "ridiculous" amounts of energy, though.

And while liquid hydrocarbons are fairly good in terms of specific energy, they are horribly inefficient compared to alternatives. I suppose it's good that you can easily carry that much energy around with you when you will inevitably piss 80% of it away as waste.

And I'm pretty sure "god's fuel" would be hydrogen, used in the form of nuclear fusion. That literally powers the universe and is the source of all complex matter that we know of.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:Sharing Economy? (Score 5, Interesting) 215

by Smidge204 (#49055115) Attached to: Japan Now Has More Car Charging Points Than Gas Stations

Well, the difference is that the cost-per mile electric driving is a fraction of the cost of gasoline.

A gallon of gasoline will get you ~40 miles in a good car. A gallon of gasoline is also ~36KWHr of energy. 36 KWHr of electric charge will get you over 108 miles in a mediocre electric vehicle.

A gallon of gasoline right now, in my area, is roughly $2.40. A kilowatt-hour of electricity, including all taxes and surcharges, is roughly $0.20. So fully charging an electric car will cost about $5 while fully refueling a normal car will cost about $25.

And as others pointed out; it needn't be for free. But at a maximum of $5 per visitor it needn't be cash either. Hell, bring a box of good cookies and I'll let you charge at my place for a few hours...

And if it's an emergency type situation, maybe a couple bucks to help someone get home isn't that bad a gesture in and of itself.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:energy balance doesn't work out (Score 1) 68

by Smidge204 (#49054991) Attached to: Converting Sunlight Into Liquid Fuel With a Bionic Leaf

so you're saying that even though the methods are roundabout, the conclusion is sound. I agree!

No, I'm saying your conclusion has nothing to do with your opening premise.

I already said there's nothing wrong with your math.... it's simply irrelevant to your opening premise and unrelated to the topic at hand.

You start by stating that the energy balance doesn't work. Nothing you said demonstrates that it doesn't work, and the assumptions you make (e.g. gasoline, efficiency) have nothing to do with the main article.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:energy balance doesn't work out (Score 1) 68

by Smidge204 (#49045835) Attached to: Converting Sunlight Into Liquid Fuel With a Bionic Leaf

But the approximation makes no sense since it has zero applicability to the topic at hand. It's like estimating the number of piano tuners in Chicago by starting with the number of cab drivers in New York and concluding that light rail public transit isn't viable in rural Iowa.

Just because the math works doesn't mean it's apropos of anything.
=Smidge=

Comment: Re:energy balance doesn't work out (Score 1) 68

by Smidge204 (#49031095) Attached to: Converting Sunlight Into Liquid Fuel With a Bionic Leaf

It's not at all clear what you're trying to prove or argue....

The process produces isopropyl alcohol, not gasoline.

The published article abstract clearly states that the overall efficiency for the process is "up to" 3.2% efficient.

No claim was made as to the rate of production.

Basically, while your math is correct it's completely irrelevant and inapplicable here. Thanks for sharing, I guess?
=Smidge=

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