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Comment Re:It ought to be legal to scam ISIS (Score 1) 220 220

It's just like banning people from joining them. We should be lining those people up and flying them over there right after they sign papers saying they aren't citizens anymore. Let them go, fight and die as long as they never return.

Banning them from joining does effectively the same thing. It's not like someone is standing there physically preventing people from joining. If people go and join, they get put on a list. If they try to reenter their home country they are arrested and rot in jail.

Remember, making something illegal doesn't prevent it from occurring. It just provides a means to prosecute those that commit that act.

Comment Re:Already been done in China for a while (Score 1) 238 238

I've been saying for a few years that if you just had a few solar panels in your back yard, and didn't want to go through the expense of all the inverter stuff, you could just use it to charge a small battery and power a DC air conditioner.

The big advantage of the DC air conditioner is that you can run it in parallel to a traditional air conditioner and don't have to worry about the grid connection. This will take load off of the main air conditioner and save money. No special controllers needed, just set the target temperature on the DC unit below the target of the traditional system. That way the traditional system should only run when it's both hot and dark/cloudy.

Comment Slow Response? (Score 1) 157 157

As an automotive engineer, I'm frightened by the rapid response to this issue. This isn't Facebook. When an auto manufacturer "moves fast and breaks things" people get hurt. Every change should go through months of validation before being released to the customer.

I realize this exploit is a concern. However, is Chrysler sure they haven't introduced a bug with far worse consequences by implementing this change?

Comment Re:I hate it already! (Score 1) 118 118

I too am an engineer, and I optimize things for a living. However, you have to exercise some level of restraint. There are plenty of projects that can be marginally better, but the customer won't notice or care. At some point a project is "good enough" and you ship it. If you obsess over making everything perfect you will either end up making vaporware or annoying your customers with seemingly pointless changes (e.g. Google Maps).

This has taken me years to realize. As an engineer I want to optimize everything. However, optimization for optimization's sake is a waste. Focus on what will really improve the experience for the end user. If the end user thinks it's perfect, LEAVE IT ALONE!

Grandpa was an engineer too. Learn from his years of experience.

Comment Re:Holy Jebus (Score 1) 220 220

Most of those outsourced parts are electronic, because Elon Musk doesn't own a semiconductor factory (yet).

I doubt he owns his own bauxite mine or aluminum refinery either. The rabbit hole goes much deeper than just shaping raw materials. The quality of the material was the root cause in this case.

Comment Re:Transparency (Score 1) 220 220

Random testing can only pick up systemic faults within an entire product line not random ones.

Statistics is your friend in this case. Random testing should show a large standard deviation (assuming they test to failure). You should then be able to calculate the probability of failure.

This may not be so random. ...Or some shlub forgot to heat treat two of the struts.

Comment Re:Apparently Toyota Units Fail Often... (Score 1) 56 56

But... Ford's system IS Toyota based... they licensed the HSD system from Toyota.

The details are what's important. Did they license the technology, or buy it from Toyota Who was responsible for the software, calibration, and integration?

Wikipedia says Ford licensed the technology but developed it themselves.

Comment Apparently Toyota Units Fail Often... (Score 1) 56 56

According to a New York taxi mechanic quoted in this article talking about Ford hybrid systems:

They’re great. I’ve never seen a cell go bad or a module. I’ve had to crack a few open (only twice) and put new cooling fans but other than that they are perfect. The camry and prius burn battery packs like crazy.

It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river. -- Abraham Lincoln