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Comment: Re:network (Score 1) 136

by lgw (#47554443) Attached to: What percentage of your media consumption is streamed?

WiFi vs powerline networking is very much house-specific. Modern WiFi works great in most places these days, but it matters what's in the walls between here and there. Powerline networking works great in some places, but other are wired so there there's no signal at all between certain rooms, because of deliberate isolation (only heard o fthat in newer houses). One or the other is pretty likely to work for you, if you can't get GbE wired where you need it. At least try to wire up your most-used TV.

I use the Handbrake command line to rip these days, because of the DVD/BR trickery, language choices, and so on. With a few scripts I get the audio and subtitle tracks I want, reliably. I have a little program to scan the DVD (using handbrake) and generate a ripping script, needing as input only whether it's an animated title, which 90% of the time I can just run. It's only the stupid BluRays where there are many bogus titles that it takes me more than a few seconds of effort these days.

BTW, Disney isn't the main villain when it comes to the fake BR tracks, that's LionsGate. I haven't seen that from Disney for some time now (Disney cartoons do typically have 1 title choice per language, since they localize on-screen writing and sometimes the credits, but that's just a few titles to sort out, not the 9-title puzzle box).

Comment: Re:How to regulate something that is unregulateabl (Score 1) 147

by lgw (#47552681) Attached to: US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

Gold notes were just as virtual as anything else. Physical gold coins, or barter for consumables, is the only way to avoid virtuality, and there were many practical reasons we went away from that. Nothing, of course, will prevent a government from debasing a currency - it's what they do, it's all they do.

Comment: Re:Don't be silly. (Score 1) 114

by Rei (#47550685) Attached to: Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

I actually totally get Amazon's logic on this one. If there's only a $10 extra profit on each drone delivery (something I'm sure tons of people in range of the service would pay for in order to get their item in half an hour), and if we assume each drone operational cycle takes one hour (delivery, return, charging), then that's $240 a day. Doesn't take a lot of days to justify the cost of a drone with a return like that.

Comment: Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (Score 5, Insightful) 114

by Rei (#47550589) Attached to: Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

Except that you have bought them; you just haven't realized it. Energy density of li-ion batteries has grown by about 50% in the past five years. Have you seriously not noticed how cell phone and laptop battery mah ratings keep growing while they keep making the volume available for the batteries smaller?

It's big news when a new tech happens in the lab. It's not big news when the cells first roll off a production line.

Most new lab techs don't make it to commercialization. But a lucky fraction of them do, and that's the reason that you're not walking around today with a cell phone with a battery the size of a small brick.

Comment: Re:More Range Needed (Score 2) 114

by Rei (#47550555) Attached to: Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

If everyone last person was going to be driving electric cars tomorrow, yes, that would be a problem.

Given that that's not the case, and for decades it's always going to be such that the people whose situation best suits an electric car are going to be the next ones in line to adopt them, then no, it's not a problem. You really think people can't build curbside/parking lot charging stations over the course of *decades* if there seems to be steadily growing interest in EVs?

As a side note, I don't know those exact neighborhoods in your pictures, but in my experience, most people who live in such places don't own *any* car.

Comment: Re:More Range Needed (Score 1) 114

by Rei (#47550501) Attached to: Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

Actually, 800 is quite a sensible number. At an average speed of 60 miles per hour (aka, factoring in driving / bathroom / meal breaks), that's 13 1/2 hours of driving - a good day's drive. Throw in a few more hours driving time / a couple hundred miles more range if you charge while you're taking your breaks. Once you get that sort of range, charge speed becomes virtually irrelevant because it happens while you're sleeping (and getting ready for bed / getting up in the morning). A regular Tesla home charger could handle that sort of load.

I agree with you that a half hour charge isn't actually that onerous, but it definitely will scare off people who are used to filling up faster. And charge stations that can do half hour charges on 300 miles range (150kW+ for an efficient car, more like 250kW for a light truck) are exceedingly rare as it stands. A charger that powerful isn't some aren't some little wall box with a cord hanging off of it, it's the size of a couple soda machines put together (bigger if you add a battery buffer so that you don't need a huge power feed) that feeds so much power that its cable has to be liquid cooled and which costs around $100k installed. Ten minute charges are, of course, around three times that size. I've only ever come across mention of *one* charger in the ballpark of the required 750kW to charge a 300 mile light truck in 10 minutes - an 800kW device custom made a couple years back for the US Army Tank Command. I have no clue what it cost, but I'm guessing "Very Expensive".

I'm not saying that the problem is intractable, by any stretch, I totally believe that we're going to transition over to EVs. I just question the sort of time scales that a lot of people envision. The average car on US roads is 10 years old. Implying an average 20 year lifespan. And many cars don't get scrapped then, they just go to the third world. Even if you suddenly switch all new car manufacturing over to EVs, you're talking decades to replace them. But of course you can't just switch over like that - even if everyone was right now sold on the concept of EVs with current tech, you're talking at least a decade, possibly more, to tool up to that level of production. But of course, not everyone is right now sold on the concept of EVs with current tech.

Realistically, you're looking at maybe a 40 year transition. I hate to say that, because I love EVs, but I'm not going to just pretend that the reality is other than it is.

I'll also add that while fast chargers are big and expensive, the size and cost actually are comparable to building a gas station on a per-pump basis, and the economic argument works out for making them even if there's only a reasonable (50% or less) surcharge on the electricity sold and if they're only selling electricity a couple percent of the time. But you need to get a couple percent of the time usage to economically justify them - one person stopping for 10 minutes every few days just isn't going to cut it. And not every EV is going to stop at every charger even if they're driving on the same route - if your chargers are that far apart, then that means you're pushing people's range so much that they're not going to be comfortable driving that route. All together, this means that if you want to have fast charging infrastructure economically justifiable in an area you need high EV penetration, where several dozen EVs driving long distances will be going by each charger every day - even out in the boonies. And when you're talking at prices on the order of $100k per unit, you're no longer talking about a range where peoples' goodwill toward EVs or interest in having a loss leader outside is going to pay for them.

Basically, while busy interstate routes on the coasts and the like can economically justify them with a small fraction of a percent of people driving EVs, out in the boonies, they're going to be stuck with smaller, cheaper, slower chargers for a good while. Unless people are willing to pay a big surcharge on the electricity sold, that is (500% surcharge instead of 50% = 1/10th as many vehicles needed).

Comment: Re:Didn't you Know? (Score 1) 289

pedantic
adjective \pi-dan-tik\

Definition of PEDANTIC
1 of, relating to, or being a pedant(see pedant).
2 narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned but with no social skills.
3 unimaginative, dull, boring, tedious, lives in the basement of the female parent.
4 internet grammar Nazi.
5 Loser

Comment: Re:Hipsterism at its finest (worst?) (Score 4, Insightful) 283

by TheGavster (#47540241) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

You fail to account for how slow SD cards are so that they need to be powered longer to extract data off them.

Every so often, this argument is brought up. What universe do you live in where the wireless interface is faster than the local storage? MicroSDHC cards read at 832Mb/s (104MB/s = 832Mb/s). 4G LTE tops out at 300Mb/s (wiki). And that's optimal speed, not accounting for latency. On my personal mobile device, playing a 5 minute song from Amazon's cloud service takes 1-2 minutes to buffer and then keeps the radio going the rest of the 5 minute song. From local storage, that song would load into working memory in less than a second.

Regardless of the net energy usage, the propagation of cloud services for things that could very easily be handled locally is completely insane.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 120

I love the quote, "Five hundred kilometres is pretty much as far as a normal person would want to drive in a single day." Oh, man, I've driven further to see a live show, and driven back essentially the next day

Indeed. Aren't things in Australia nearly as spread out as they are here? 300 miles is nothing. 300 miles won't even get you from Las Vegas to San Diego. I've done that as a same-day round trip. I've driven from Las Vegas to Denver in one day. 770 miles makes for a long day behind the wheel, but it's doable. You can cover 600 miles in 8 hours at 75 mph.

Comment: Re:Appre (Score 1) 223

by lgw (#47534063) Attached to: VP Biden Briefs US Governors On H-1B Visas, IT, and Coding

I disagree. If you can hold down a professional job in America, you should get a green card (after only a criminal background check). If you can hold down any job in America, you should get a work visa (after only a criminal background check). The only way in which legal immigration can be bad for us is when people come here without jobs to consume federal programs. Have a job? Welcome aboard!

If native population were growing fast, it might be a different story, but since native population is shrinking (birth rate below replacement rate), we need people, those with professional skills preferred.

Comment: Didn't you Know? (Score 0, Troll) 289

These scientist need to understand that the people writing the checks get to make the priorities. If they don't like it, get elected and change it or find someone with money that agrees with them. Being a "Scientist" does not mean you have some moral superiority over others concerning what tax dollars are spent on.

Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.

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