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Comment Re:Efficiency (Score 4, Insightful) 503 503

At night? Of course. Better yet, at some time between midnight to 7 am. Why do you ask? The power grid capacity is sized for peak hours as there is usually no way to store the electricity generated by big power plants for later use. These peak times occur as people leave home and when they return from work. When everyone is sleeping that generation capacity becomes idle, and then It can easily be put to other uses.

Disclosure: I am a developer, but also a power plant technician.

Are We Reaching the Electric Car Tipping Point? 503 503

HughPickens.com writes: Geoff Ralston has an interesting essay explaining why is likely that electric car penetration in the US will take off at an exponential rate over the next 5-10 years rendering laughable the paltry predictions of future electric car sales being made today. Present projections assume that electric car sales will slowly increase as the technology gets marginally better, and as more and more customers choose to forsake a better product (the gasoline car) for a worse, yet "greener" version. According to Ralston this view of the future is, simply, wrong. — electric cars will take over our roads because consumers will demand them. "Electric cars will be better than any alternative, including the loud, inconvenient, gas-powered jalopy," says Ralston. "The Tesla Model S has demonstrated that a well made, well designed electric car is far superior to anything else on the road. This has changed everything."

The Tesla Model S has sold so well because, compared to old-fashioned gasoline cars it is more fun to drive, quieter, always "full" every morning, more roomy, and it continuously gets better with automatic updates and software improvements. According to Ralston the tipping point will come when gas stations, not a massively profitable business, start to go out of business as many more electric cars are sold, making gasoline powered vehicles even more inconvenient. When that happens even more gasoline car owners will be convinced to switch. Rapidly a tipping point will be reached, at which point finding a convenient gas station will be nearly impossible and owning a gasoline powered car will positively suck. "Elon Musk has ushered in the age of the electric car, and whether or not it, too, was inevitable, it has certainly begun," concludes Ralston. "The future of automotive transportation is an electric one and you can expect that future to be here soon."

Intel and Micron Unveil 3D XPoint Memory, 1000x Speed and Endurance Over Flash 168 168

MojoKid writes: Today at a press conference in San Francisco, Intel and Micron unveiled 3D XPoint (Cross Point) memory technology, a non-volatile memory architecture they claim could change the landscape of consumer electronics and computer architectures for years to come. Intel and Micron say 3D XPoint memory is 1000 times faster than NAND, boasts 1000x the endurance of NAND, and offers 8-10 times the density of conventional memory. 3D XPoint isn't electron based, it's material based. The companies aren't diving into specifics yet surrounding the materials used in 3D XPoint, but the physics are fundamentally different than what we're used to. It's 3D stackable and its cross point connect structure allows for dense packing and individual access at the cell level from the top or bottom of a memory array. Better still, Intel alluded to 3D XPoint not being as cost-prohibitive as you might expect. Intel's Rob Crooke explained, "You could put the cost somewhere between NAND and DRAM." Products with the new memory are expected to arrive in 2016 and the joint venture is in production with wafers now.

Comment Re:extracting "fuel" from the very fabric of space (Score 1) 479 479

Hey, you are in space. You don't need high power-to-weight ratio in space if you can mantain a tiny amount of thrust for a long enough time. What you're looking for is a source of eletric power reliable enough to run non-stop for years, but it do not need to be massive

Comment Not for Brazil (Score 3, Informative) 96 96

Here the parasitic "eletronics industry" (in quotes because we do not have a real electronics industry) managed to keep the barrier of 60% (minimum) of import taxes on any and every electronic product. And that when the customs or the post office do not simply steal it.

Comment Re:No one (Score 1) 236 236

"Human" intelligence like childrens are "wetwired" in our monkey brains to be accepted, part of the "natural and know things" like trees and this shiny yellow thing on the sky. And AI is also "unknown", and all things that is unknown activates yet another irrational primate fear on humans. It's a very difficult situation.

I live in a country where the population acts as if he were still in the medieval Middle Age in cultural terms, and it is easy to find entire people on this planet still living as hunter/gatherers. try to explain in this environment that the fear of AIs is irrational. :-(

Comment No one (Score 1) 236 236

Humans are terrified of anything that they can not control, and a true artificial intelligence would be a good example. And things that cause such horror are perfect to be used as "evil things to be defeated by the good guy" in films. There are some rare and few movies that are exceptions of course, but as the focus of Hollywood is the "Joe six pack" then films that use logic rather than appeal to the irrational primate fear will remain rare exceptions.

Comment Re:Good luck with that ... (Score 1) 119 119

My impression is that Microsoft UI team was stormed by the team responsible for the aberrations called "innovations" like Live Messenger / Skype. Perhaps the former team retired and the MSN idiots have taken over, and the result are things like the "Metro".

Comment Re:Only IRAN is celebrating (Score 1) 459 459

Well ... Right now your government is funding a bloodless coup in my country to overthrow the democratically elected president and put a front in place (we call this "testa-de-ferro"). The goal is to divert our newly discovered oil reserves (pré-sal) for your country at the price you country wants to pay and prevent any attempt at independent initiative by the rulers of my country. We only do not rebelled and tryed to burn your country because the average Brazilian was domesticated for a long time and is trained from childhood to always obey without question (maybe CIA, local traitors, who knows), especially if the "boss" speaks English. And my country is only one of many countries where your country does this kind of things. So I can understand perfectly why Iran has so angry at you, even though I do not agree with their methods.

Submission + - NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Zips Past Pluto in Flyby->

mpicpp writes: “We’re going to do our 10-9-8 thing and you can get your flags out,” S. Alan Stern, the principal investigator for NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto told the people gathered here at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which is operating the mission. “We’re going to go absolutely ape.”

About 7:50 a.m. Tuesday, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its closest pass by Pluto, coming within 7,800 miles of the surface.

The crowd, which included the children of Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930, cheered.

As soon as it arrived, New Horizons was leaving, speeding along its trajectory at 31,000 miles per hour.

For now, no one knows how the spacecraft is faring.

New Horizons, which is in the middle of 22 hours of automated scientific observations, will not check in with mission controllers for several more hours, with the signal scheduled to arrive on Earth at 8:53 p.m. By Wednesday, the spacecraft will be mostly finished with the data-collecting phase of the mission and begin sending back the trove of information for scientists to delve into.

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