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Comment Re:Silly article (Score 1) 597 597

DC motors are quite expensive once you go past a couple 100 watts, even below that they cost more than the AC equivalent and there isn't much efficiency gain worth mentioning. Don't think any heavy appliances are going DC any time soon, even Tesla cars have an AC inverter and motor in them. If you never use any corded power tools, never wash your own clothes, never hoover or use one of those silly robot things, never run any pumps, compressors, saws, kitchen appliances, industrial milling machines you can get away with using DC only. When you think about it though that is probably a lot of people although most in the USA will want air conditioning.

Comment Soon 'mere humans' won't be allowed to do anything (Score 2) 341 341

Except sit at home with their tablet / laptop which is all that most people including most politicians do these days. We'll be living in a curated idiot-proof society soon, where the overlords decide what pre-packaged entertainment you're going to soak up today. All the old adventurous hobbies like driving sport cars and other vehicles, hunting and even things like doing certain DIY work on your own house are slowly being regulated out of existence to protect people from themselves.

The thing is, governments see us only as tools to keep the economy going, the economy and creating jobs are far more important than getting people to extract enjoyment out of their lives so it is in their interest to keep us as dependent on the economy as possible and since in the West we don't manufacture much anymore it also means coaxing people to use as many services as possible

Comment A sad reflection on 'Western society' (Score 1) 31 31

We can't get enough of cheap imported crap from China while we are too lazy to make anything ourselves (or even get a robot or a 3D printer to make our stuff for us). We would rather busy ourself with high-level low-energy activities like

accounting (pushing money around between each other and eventually to China),
design (telling the Chinese how to make the stuff we want so they won't need us anymore soon),
bureaucracy (making rules that mean that the stuff we want can only be made in China unless we want to pay 20x the price to comply with all the little rules we made for ourselves that the Chinese don't have)

Meanwhile the quality of stuff keeps going downhill. Someone recently gave me a faulty Galaxy S5, I thought it was fake because of how badly it's put together. Designed 100% for the one-year upgrade cycle

Comment Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 823 823

In fact, there is something nice about a Tesla or Prius's silence at idle

Unless you're blind, or happen to be looking the other way when the drunk in a prius bears down on you. Which is why some sort of fake engine noise will eventually be mandated (if it hasn't been already).

This is actually mandated now, but the rules are kind of mushy. It was signed into law in 2011 here in the US, and applies to 2012 models, but there weren't initially strict guidelines on the noises. So you'll find the 2011 Nissan Leaf has a 'silent' mode where it won't make the backing-up beep-beep alert or the turbine-like engine noise when driving, but the 2012 and later models cannot silence the engine noises.

Wikipedia has a good breakdown of the state of the current noise laws across the US, Japan, the EU, and the UK:

Submission + - The Outdated Thinking Behind Apple's New Headquarters-> 1 1

fiannaFailMan writes: Apple's futuristic new building is neither a new concept nor a progressive innovation. Like the Pentagon and GCHQ, both of which are also owned by secretive organizations, the building is designed to be viewed from the air with no consideration for how it is to be viewed from the street other than hiding it like an embarrassing relative behind a forest of trees, rendering it invisible to all but airline passengers. Its sprawling and insular design philosophy is a last gasp of a dying utopian architectural vision that is thankfully being abandoned as we return to more traditional and sustainable models of urban planning.
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Submission + - The Police State Cometh->

fiannaFailMan writes: Police departments of small American towns and cities have been stocking up on an arsenal that would hold back an alien invasion. Meanwhile, an aerial observation system called Persistence Surveillance Systems that can record the movements of vehicles and pedestrians for later analysis, allowing police to go back to the time and place where a crime was reported and see it taking place, was used in 2012 in one Californian city for two weeks without public knowledge or consultation. Such invasive surveillance combined with excessively militarized policing could undermine support for, and hence the effectiveness of, law enforcement.
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Submission + - LinkedIn busted in wage-theft investigation->

fiannaFailMan writes: Following an investigation by the US Department of Labor, LinkedIn has agreed to pay over $3 million in overtime back wages and $2.5 million in liquidated damages to 359 former and current employees working at company branches in four states. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires companies to have record-keeping systems in place to record overtime hours worked and to ensure that employees are paid for those hours, requirements that the company was not meeting.
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Submission + - USA's record-breaking high speed flagship could be saved from the scrapyard->

fiannaFailMan writes: The SS United States is the fastest ocean liner ever built. A far cry from the heyday of these great ships that were made obsolete by jet travel, her gutted hulk has been rusting in Philadelphia since 1996. However, like the majestic Queen Mary that now serves as a floating hotel and museum in Long Beach, there are plans afoot to finally find the "big U" a permanent home in New York as part of a waterfront redevelopment.
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Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long