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Comment Safest it's ever been (Score 4, Interesting) 82

"The fact that we have brains hasn't made the world any safer"

Now, I understand that life isn't a zero-sum game, and I don't want to belittle any of the truly horrible things that are happening in the world right now... but on the whole, the world is a safer place than it's been in probably any point in humanity's history.

Violence is down.

People are, on average, living longer, healthier lives.

Poverty is declining, if only slightly.

And so on... never been a better time than right now.

Comment Re:What does Science have to say about this? (Score 5, Insightful) 587

I disagree. There is no reason at all to show lights if what you are really testing is sensitivity to radio signals.

There's no parlor tricks here. The lights are the placebo in a placebo-controlled study.

If you want to determine if a medicine is really the cause of the effect on patient's health - positive or negative - then you use a placebo to rule out the possibility that swallowing a huge pill or getting an injection itself is causing some psychological effect. You have the real medicine (lights+signal), fake medicine (lights + no signal), control group (no lights + no signal), and sometimes an alternative treatment (no lights + signal).

There is a known (or at least claimed) correlation between WiFi signals and reported illness. The test is designed to isolate the effects of perceivable stimulus (lights on the device) with the supposed cause of the illness (the invisible WiFi signals). Intuitively we all "know" that WiFi signals do not cause any physiological effects. But something is apparently effecting these people, and the test is aimed at figuring out what that something is.

Comment Re:Wise move? (Score 1) 59

I think the point is that if a hobbyist paying retail prices for the parts can put one together for $5k

You can build an EVSE for well under $100. The problem is you need certified parts, materials, construction methods and quality controls to maintain certification; certs are not a one-time cost and it balloons the costs all the way up the supply chain.

Yeah, 640k will be enough for everyone... (never say never).

I'm pretty confident that a typical home will never have a 480V/3Ph electrical service at 400+ amps. Not only is that amount of power completely unnecessary and cost-prohibitive, but that type of power isn't even available in most suburban residential areas. Plus it's a safety hazard in its own right.

Comment Re:Suckers (Score 1) 59

The only thing that might make more money is if having an EV charger would somehow decrease vacancy..

You're assuming that a house for rent - and remember these are explicitly houses, not just rooms - is always occupied with a renter. There is no reason to think that is the case. You generally don't rent a house for a single night so the concept of "vacancy" is a little different here.

You're also assuming that someone who has had an EVSE installed would not increase the asking price, since their offering is now more valuable to a certain demographic.

In short, there is absolutely no reason to think increasing the value and appeal of their offering will NOT increase their profits; that's what every business strives to do.

Comment Re:Wise move? (Score 1) 59

While you certainly COULD build an EVSE for cheap, you will not be able to build one that is certified compliant with all codes and regulatory requirements. These devices are first and foremost safety devices designed to mitigate risk of electrocution and fire, and for that purpose a $30 piece of shit will not do. No credible manufacturer would risk that liability even if it were legal.

As for L3 chargers, there are exactly zero such units available for domestic installation - and there never will be - so that point is DOA.

Comment Re:Suckers (Score 2) 59

Considering the deal is available only to AirBnB locations where they rent out the entire house, and considering the installation cost is under $1000... ...and considering renting out a house can pull in north of $20K per year...

I'd say they could probably recover the costs in a few months. Basically one month's worth of rental would cover it any anything beyond that is gravy. There is essentially no recurring cost but it's a capital asset and a selling point.

Fuck, they can probably write the whole thing off as a business expense, too.

Comment Re:Short-sighed refusal (Score 1) 698

On the other hand, a gun has a much higher intimidation value and can be used without getting too close. This is what makes them effective tools for armed robbery - you can't stab the guy behind the counter as easily as you can shoot them, so you use a gun to intimidate and force compliance.


Comment Re:Short-sighed refusal (Score 1) 698

On the one had, I agree that a bunch of idiots wandering around with stun guns is preferable to a bunch of idiots wandering around with real guns. Not only are they less lethal than firearms, but they have a limited range so that limits the collateral damage they can do if misused.

On the other hand, the notion that using the weapon won't kill the victim may make the owner more likely to use the weapon, resulting in more injuries.


Comment Re:But this is California, so of course it's stupi (Score 4, Interesting) 135

California requires warnings about metal concentrations on virutally ALL FOOD

Good. I don't see why that makes the warning useless; the effects are cumulative and people need constant reminders that they are being exposed. It keeps manufacturers and third party groups on the ball for monitoring levels to catch cases where exposure is unreasonably high.

Comment Re:As a chemist, I have something to say. (Score 4, Interesting) 135

Except, unlike table salt which is water soluble and excess is quickly eliminated from your body, heavy metals tend to accumulate. Small, repeated doses over a long period of time can accumulate toxic levels in your body tissues.

You're right that exposure is unavoidable, but they set exposure limits for a reason.

Comment Re:Efficiency (Score 1) 904

Right, once you're designing a custom motor instead of using one made for electric cars, then you can avoid or refute all arguments that are based on practical situations using retail equipment.

Why the hell would any auto manufacturer NOT use a custom motor? To try and use an off-the-shelf part would be a serious compromise in your design.

If magnetic coupling is exotic, how the heck are you going to build the custom motor?

Why would you use a magnetic bearing on a motor? Energy storage flywheels need active magnetic bearings in order to maintain their stored energy as long as possible. Motors do not need anything that fancy.

Lots of gearheads have flywheels in their garages somewhere. Not all have fancy things like vacuum packing or magnetic bearings. You actually don't need that for many use cases.

What the fuck? You DO realize there's a distinction here between a flywheel as a general concept and a flywheel specifically designed to store energy specifically as an alternative to electrochemical cells, right? When you're trying to cram kilowatt-hours or energy into a flywheel you're dealing with some serious engineering hurdles.

You really do not seem to have this concept straight in your head. We're talking about flywheel storage specifically as it pertains to automotive use as a prime mover and/or bulk energy storage. In that respect, not a single vehicle manufacturer has developed one past the prototype stage because it's a shitty way to go about it.

Comment Re:No compelling evidence? (Score 1) 663

Your metabolism doesn't extract 100% of available calories, that depends on the bacteria in your gut along with a slew of other chemical activities.

It doesn't have to. At any given moment your body requires a certain amount of energy to maintain its current level of functionality. If there is more than that available, it will store the surplus. A prolonged surplus will result in the creation of fat to store it for the long term.

So if you routinely eat more calories than your body needs, you'll get fat. It doesn't matter how much of what you eat gets absorbed or what your specific caloric needs are or any other factors that change what your body needs at any given instant - eat too much, too often, you get fat.

"Can you program?" "Well, I'm literate, if that's what you mean!"