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Comment: Re:volume (Score 5, Interesting) 191

by TrekkieGod (#46799561) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

Their factory will only "drop battery costs dramatically" if it runs at full capacity. Its capacity is about 500,000 cars per year, while Telsa has only sold 25,000 cars in total.

The factory isn't for Tesla vehicles only. Tesla and Panasonic (the factory is a join venture) intend to supply other electric vehicle manufacturers with cheaper batteries. So the potential market is much greater.

Comment: Re:resell value already bad (Score 4, Interesting) 191

by TrekkieGod (#46799455) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

An electric car is pretty much a write off the moment you drive one off the lot.

I suggest you try searching for used Model S prices, before just offering your reasoned-out guess as fact. Year-old vehicles are going for incredibly close to retail. So much so that it doesn't make sense to sell back to Tesla at their Best Resale Value Guarantee, which assures that the depreciation is going to be less than equivalent BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus or Jaguar vehicles.

Comment: Re:So - who's in love with the government again? (Score 1) 397

by TrekkieGod (#46799317) Attached to: Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

You might want to read that article. In particular, "But he added that distillers grains aren't likely the sole cause, because on some operations, the foam will emerge in some buildings but not others, even when all the hogs are getting the same feed mix."

I think far more disturbing than the feed the hogs are eating is their living condition. If the hogs weren't all jammed up in a building living atop their own manure, the foam wouldn't be particularly dangerous, even if its composition remained the same. Also, less problems with disease transmission between them. If we're going to raise the cost of meat, I'd rather do it by giving the hogs a bit more space than by making the feed more expensive.

Comment: Re:Should void warranty (Score 1) 208

t if you lost the touchscreen while moving on the road you could be in a lot of trouble.

What part of, "I've personally rebooted while driving" did you miss? Everything continues to work just fine. Headlamps, doors, regenerative breaking. The air suspension doesn't start suddenly doing anything. I can accelerate and slow down, as well as steer just fine. And when the touchscreen comes back online, it still has the powerplant data you're talking about, the watt/mile graph...it shows data collected while the screen was rebooting, because that functionality doesn't reside there.

The touchscreen computer, and the front panel computer for that matter, is the interface to that functionality, it doesn't control the functionality. My phone can control the headlamps and doors for the Tesla, but if I shut my phone off, it doesn't impact anything. Same for the center touchscreen. What you're saying is the equivalent of saying that an exploit in a browser means an exploit in the server you're connecting to with said browser. There *could* be an exploit to the actual important stuff in the car, but being able to execute code on the touchscreen doesn't imply that.

Comment: Re:Should void warranty (Score 5, Interesting) 208

If you jailbreak your car, however, and inadvertently change something that impairs reliability, you're compromising the safety of everybody else on the road. Everything (including braking) in Tesla cars is tied into the software, and this is not something you should mess around with.

Bullshit. Tesla has stated that the computer that controls the 17" and panel LCDs are completely separated from the important stuff in the car. They'd be stupid not to. Case in point, you can reboot both systems by holding left and right buttons on the steering wheel. You can do so while driving, I've personally done it. The music stops playing, and you need to put your gps destination in again after it finishes rebooting. If you reboot the panel screen, you lose your speedometer until it boots back up. Steering, acceleration, braking, cruise control, it all continues to work normally.

Yes, you can change driving settings from that interface, but it doesn't mean the functionality resides in that interface. It just passes the message through to much more robust computer handling actual car functions, and I'm sure said messages are sanitized to the extreme on the receiving end.

Comment: This is not a bad thing (Score 4, Insightful) 870

by TrekkieGod (#46579723) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

Many minimum-wage jobs are reportedly at high risk, including restaurant workers, cashiers, and telemarketers. A study rated the probability of computerization within 20 years: 92% for retail salespeople, 97% for cashiers, and 94% for waitstaff...

A few other jobs that were lost to technology:

The knocker-up was a person whose responsibility was to go out to people's houses and wake them up so they could get to work on time. Alarm clocks eliminated the need for them.

Acoustic locators were people who listened to acoustic mirrors to detect incoming aircraft before radar was invented.

And sure, we can talk about buggy whips. The point is, quite a few jobs and entire industries no longer exist as a result of automation. We can start throwing our shoes at the machines like during the industrial revolution, or we can enjoy the benefits they bring us, accept the growing pains, and adapt to the new world. Personally I don't want to have to pay some guy to come knock at my window every morning so I can go to work. I hope I live long enough to talk to the younguns about all the ridiculous jobs that used to exist when I was their age.

Comment: Re:Tesla (Score 1) 394

by TrekkieGod (#46571169) Attached to: Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

Teslas didn't use to do that, until enough people complained that the car didn't behave like other automatics they were used to. Sigh...

So now it's an option, you can switch creep on or off. I imagine most people have it off. Much safer that way. I've seen a video of a car having a minor crash, then starting to move again on its own into oncoming traffic and having a major crash.

People weren't really clamoring for creep. They were complaining about the lack of a hill hold feature, and we got creep instead. When I drive a stick, I can use the clutch to hold the car as I switch from brakes to accelerator. On the Tesla I'm going to run into the idiot who stopped an inch from my bumper behind me at the stop light as the car rolls backwards on the hill, if I don't have creep on.

Comment: Re:A bit late (Score 1) 498

by TrekkieGod (#46450833) Attached to: Ukraine May Have To Rearm With Nuclear Weapons Says Ukrainian MP

No, the sensible thing would have been to have gotten rid of them ALL on BOTH SIDES in the heady years right after the Wall fell. Now a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has passed, all because some people refused to let go of the Cold War. Now we're stuck with the fucking things, and more and more countries are desperate to get them because they see them as their only defense against a U.S. or Russian attack.

Oh, please. It shouldn't really be possible for someone to be that idealistic.

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be rid of all nuclear weapons everywhere was gone the moment physicists realized that maybe such a thing would be possible. From that point forward, somebody was going to figure out how to make one and invest the money, because it's too good of an advantage to have. After the cold war ended, if everyone had agreed to get rid of all their nuclear weapons, the game would be to either figure out how to hide a few without the other side knowing, or how to build new ones in secret. It's simply not feasible to prevent this from happening, the policing power isn't there. it's the equivalent to software piracy in the torrent age. You can make it illegal all you want, you can have several people who either agree with the law or want to avoid punishment, but you really can't ensure that NOBODY will do it. Because you can't monitor everything and everyone all the time.

Another thing to consider is that nuclear weapons have probably brought more peace and stability than they've done damage. MAD actually works, and if it weren't for nuclear weapons being invented the cold war wouldn't have been just a bunch of proxy wars everywhere. It would have turned into World War III in the middle of Europe. The existence of nukes made the cost far too high, which actually promotes peace. The last time nukes were used where in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when there was no threat of retaliation. Get over it, it will never be used again, and the only reason it will never be used again is because multiple people still have them, so it's not just a question of who can rebuild their arsenal quicker.

Comment: Re:Last Heroic Act (Score 1) 498

by TrekkieGod (#46450697) Attached to: Ukraine May Have To Rearm With Nuclear Weapons Says Ukrainian MP

If you are about to die (or your country is about to dissolve), what would stop you from trying to get a parting shot off at the enemy who is destroying you?

The knowledge that there's a difference between a government and a people. That even if your government is about to be dissolved, and your territory taken by a foreign enemy, the people living there will largely survive...unless you do a dumbass thing like an attack which won't actually win the war for you, but will cause retaliation which will kill those people who would have survived the invasion otherwise. Those people include your family and friends.

You don't use a nuclear weapon if you're not assured that you'll destroy their retaliation capabilities. It doesn't make any sense, it doesn't win you anything. It doesn't even win you the satisfaction of making them suffer, because you're going to be responsible for the suffering of your own people in that mix.

Comment: Re:And that's my problem with Snowden... (Score 3, Insightful) 77

by TrekkieGod (#46440319) Attached to: The NSA Has an Advice Columnist

I feel I have every right to know what my lovely little government thugs are doing.

Is your point of view that there should be no such thing as classified information, and that every single thing the government does and knows should be public domain and easily accessible to everyone?

If so I disagree with you, but find your position internally consistent and wouldn't argue with it. It's just a matter of opinion, and I don't share yours as I find that secrets are sometimes necessary and unavoidable. If, however, you see the benefit in the government keeping some secrets, then you must expect people who are in position to have access to these secrets to exercise a high level of caution and discreteness when they find it necessary to overrule the system in place that decides what is classified and what is public. When necessary to stop illegal behavior, you disclose what it is absolutely necessary and not a single thing more.

Comment: Re:And that's my problem with Snowden... (Score 4, Insightful) 77

by TrekkieGod (#46440275) Attached to: The NSA Has an Advice Columnist

They're paid for by your taxes. I'd say you have a right to see whether they're doing their job or whether your money is being squandered on frivolous crap like an "advice column".

Managing employees is hard. If you just crack the whip and make them do nothing but focus non-stop on the task at hand, they're going to be much less productive and waste much more of your money than if you actually invest a bit of money on keeping morale high and put out the small fires in human interaction that happens when not everyone in your team is socially compatible.

The NSA would be no different in this than a private company. You take a tremendously successful company like Google, and they're spending money on play rooms and free food for their employees. If that makes them more productive by causing some of them to not have a problem staying in the office longer to work on a problem and others to get a burst of creativity that you only get when you quit thinking about the problem for a bit and free your mind, then that investment is worth every penny. If that advice column is helping your team deal with problems they encounter in an effective way and thus making them able to work together more effectively, it's far from "frivolous crap."

If, on the other hand, it was a leak about the NSA giving every project manager a free Ferrari, you'd have a point.

Comment: And that's my problem with Snowden... (Score 0) 77

by TrekkieGod (#46440133) Attached to: The NSA Has an Advice Columnist

Is there any reason this should have been leaked? Yeah, we can poke fun at the irony of NSA co-workers concerned about their office gossip being spied upon and how they consider that an intrusion of their privacy. Does it constitute information a whistleblower should disseminate? The point isn't that this is damaging to national security, it's an advice column, but it was happening inside their intranet and not cleared for public scrutiny.

My problem with Snowden isn't that he leaked info about NSA unconstitutional activities. If you see your employers doing something blatenly illegal, it's your duty to do something about. My problem is that his leaks are completely indiscrimate. He didn't just deliver the documents that contained information on what he considered were illegal activities by the NSA. He took everything he could get his hands on and turned it in to journalists. I don't know how he could possibly justify that.

Comment: Re:Another Tesla story? (Score 1) 318

by TrekkieGod (#46341137) Attached to: Consumer Reports Says Tesla Model S Is Best Overall Vehicle

But why should running off of electricity somehow make a car interesting? Because it's "new"? No, people have experimented with electric cars since the 19th century, the main difference now is we have batteries that make it semi-practical.

So you're saying there's something new now that wasn't possible before?

Seriously, what is so exciting about this car that it gets so many Slashdot stories?

Well, compare it to the other electric cars, and I don't mean golf carts or the ones that were being built in the 19th century. Compare the Model S to its contemporaries, who can and do use the same battery technology that makes electric cars feasible now. The Model S has a much larger range. The Model S accelerates faster. The Model S doesn't make the annoying high pitched sound the Prius does, and is relatively silent. The Model S looks better. The Model S isn't trying to get its range by being smaller and lighter, and is a nice spacious car. Tesla is making it such that you can drive everywhere it not by compromising and making it a hybrid, but by building an infrastructure of chargers and battery swapping stations.

What's exciting about the Model S isn't that it's an electric car. You're right, there's nothing interesting about that. What's exciting about the Model S is that it's a no compromise electric car. It's not just a great electric car, it's just a great car, period. You can't say that about any other electric car. If they weren't electric, you'd steer clear from them because a short-range, small and heavy vehicle is a horrible idea. But if the Model S was an internal combustion vehicle, people would still want to buy it, at that same price point. It wouldn't be making press, but it would still be a great car.

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