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Comment Re: What? "We're sorry we got caught"? (Score 1) 301

European test are indeed stretched. The makers have had too long to figure out how to "cheat" on the tests. (Optimize for test conditions based on imaginary 70s traffic.) Hopefully the new testing cycle soon to be introduced will give better results.

As an example, a couple of years ago I drove my moms "super efficient" VW Polo 3 cylider Diesel on a 5000km around Europe. According to the manual that car can achieve 78mpg. The best the trip computer ever told me was 67mpg, while I was doing 50mph for 15 minutes on a perfectly flat road in Denmark. (I reset it for testing.) On rural roads in Norway I got 60mpg for 3 hours. Blasting an average of 88mph for half an hour in Germany (meaning I really was bouncing between 70 and 110mph due to traffic) it told me 33mpg. Trip average was 50mpg, but besides those 15 minutes in Denmark I wasn't really trying to drive economical at all.

Comment Re:When they test these autonomous cars... (Score 1) 167

And if that is the response, that is why autonomous cars will NEVER work on public roads.

Either the car drives itself 100% of the time, or I drive it 100% of the time.

I would love a car capable on cruising along pre-approved rural interstates, but handing over control to me for city driving. Set your destination to a city 7 hours away, and watch a movie, read a book, or maybe even take a nap, while the car keep a more vigilante "eye" on driving than a human possibly can for any extended period of time.

Of course it should be 100% capable of driving itself when in charge, and not suddenly hand over to a human. When it needs refueling, or if the weather deteriorates it needs to notify the human well in advance, and be capable of safely pulling over and stopping if the driver fails to take over in time.

Comment Re:5% less leg room? (Score 1) 65

Plane: 90+60+30+70 min flight time = 4h 10 min hour. Train: 20+10+5.20 train time = 5h 50 min. You have a 3 hour 20 minute difference in travel time for a return trip.

On the other hand, pretty much all of those 4h10m are spend being unproductive if flying. Barely any time to do any work in between moving to the next stage, standing in line, and waiting for a few minutes here and there. However in the train scenario only half an hour really prevents work from being done, leaving a solid 5 hour work block to be utilized.

Flying might get you there faster, but you'll get more done on the train. Depends on your priorities and needs.

Comment Re:Why the 1st model starts at -800? (Score 1) 65

The big-planes, infrequently model doesn't really work with the hub-and-spokes model popular in the USA

Also, apparently American airlines typically use revenue management software optimized for smaller aircrafts, compared to that used by European carriers.

Comment Re:Ouch (Score 2) 161

I find myself empathizing with the kids on this one, who I'm sure arn't seeing this as an investment in their future but rather yet more time spent in the dungeon.

The question is what they'll do with that extra time. And how it affects homework. IIRC in Finland (or maybe Sweden?) Primary/Middle school takes up a fairly large chunk of the afternoon, but there is virtually no homework until the kids reach High school.

Of course doing something like that would require a rather drastic reform, so the Boston kids in question are probably just stuck in the dungeon longer, and get home loaded with even more homework...

Comment Re:Uber, uber, uber, uber (Score 1) 257

In contrast imagine being able to run trucks nonstop using robot drivers that don't need sleep, [...] Maybe every Xth truck on the route has a human (who doesn't drive) just in case a truck encounters a problem that needs a human around.

Sounds like you're trying to reinvent trains.

Which of course would be a step back in the right direction as far as long haul cargo does.

Comment Re: Quite warm beneath the car, right? (Score 1) 49

They could probably make some kind of door/lid that only opens once the car is in place. (This might add a few seconds to the pit stop, so maybe some other solution could be found?) If the dug-out isn't a mere dug-out but more like a basement underneath the entire pit area there would be other escape routes for people below in case of a fire.

Comment Re:Redefine (Score 1) 188

Or if they "need" a name-change for whatever reason, why not XMBC (eXtendable Media Based Center)?.

I've found myself accidentally calling it that already because it is easier to say, and no messing around with meaningless "shiny" names like pointed out elsewhere.

Comment Re:lost the human touch? (Score 1) 102

Why can't the terminal simply spit out my baggage sticker for myself to put on?

It may be about putting the sticker on correctly. [...] allows for a human check to ensure things like: the bag is within dimensional limits, the bag isn't already damaged, [...]

Most (if not all) airports in Norway have had the machines print out luggage tags for you to put on yourself for years now. Some have self-service bag-drops where you scan the luggage tag (and iirc fingerprint) and be on your way. I'm sure the machine would refuse overweight luggage, and there is usually a person nearby keeping an eye on everything.

Of course, if traveling to the US (and probably a number of other destinations as well), you're required to interact with a manned counter at some point.

Comment Aircraft Fuselage (Score 1) 274

If you don't mind living close to an airport (or at least a suiteable airstrip), an old aircraft might be a cool idea. At Stockholm Airport in sweden a 747 has been converted to a hotel. And I've read about a pilot wanting to do the same for a home. A 747 might be a bit large, and limit your location more than something a bit smaller of course. But the pilot reconned it wouldn't actually cost all that much. Once the plane is in place a lots of the equipent, like engines and hydraulics can be sold off. He estimated paying around $50.000 for the stripped down fuselage. And given that they spend a lot of time in -50C air, aircrafts are pretty well insulated. (But as pointed out elsewhere, local building codes and be problematic.)

Comment Re:reusing building materials (Score 1) 274

Train tubes or aircraft fuselages were not intended to live in. They will be energy pigs: little insulation,

Read recently about an airline pilot wanting to convert a 747 into a house. Remember that aircrafts fly in -50C, so there is plenty of insulation in those thin walls. (There is also a 747 converted to a hotel in Sweden. Construction-wise a hotel shouldn't be too different from a home.) Getting a reasonably sized fuselage to anywere but next to sufficiently large airstrip will of course be a problem.

"Everybody is talking about the weather but nobody does anything about it." -- Mark Twain