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Comment Re:They're the same.. (Score 1) 247

They are NOT the same thing.

With do the right thing, you're supposed to seek out 'goodness', but with 'don't be evil' you're supposed to avoid badness.

Although avoiding badness sounds weak, it's more in compatible with western values; western societies have a list of things you're not supposed to do.

To do the 'right' thing, is more of a totalitarian position.

Comment Re:How long will the company stay up? (Score 1) 494

> The issue is that the pollution from these VW cars isn't that bad, it is perhaps better than the cars they replaced.

VW just manufactured 11 million of these fuckers. The cars they replaced would very probably have got taken off the road anyway, and they're not going to be better than the cars that would have been bought if VW hadn't fucking lied, the owners would have bought something else, something better.

That's 11 million cars that got manufactured, that should NEVER have been made.

Comment Re:How long will the company stay up? (Score 1) 494

No, not big news, CNN knows this stuff already.

Those are actually the estimates I've seen based on the proportion of NOx that can be ascribed to these particular diesels as a fraction of the total deaths due to NOx.

I mean, make no mistake, this is ultimately WHY this is such a big story. It's not just that they've lied to the EPA, no one really gives much of a fuck about that, it's that the EPA actually set these numbers to try to reduce (somewhat) the loss of life due to air pollution (mainly in LA); and that's why the EPA have the ability to levy such massive fines.

Most people don't realise that, for example, in the UK, ~30,000 people die from air pollution every year. Mostly asthma, heart disease, that kind of thing.

There used to be the visible smogs in London, when thousands died in just a few weeks, but while the visible smogs are gone... plenty of pollution is still there, you just can't see it. People don't die over a few weeks, somewhat less people die, but over the whole year.

And in case you're wondering, this isn't some weird conspiracy, this is just what the air quality researchers at bona fide universities and doctors say.

Comment Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 146

Because they took a while to find better chemicals to use.

This is basic research, they came up with an entirely new type of battery using organic molecules, but one of the chemicals was pretty toxic, but otherwise the battery was pretty good; and they've been fine-tuning it ever since, trying to get it even better.

It's not like there's a roadmap for this kind of thing, there's lots of complex trade-offs between cost, longevity, battery voltage, weight, volume etc. etc. and trillions of different battery chemistry combinations that they could investigate.

Incidentally, the cell isn't ideal even now, the cell voltage is quite low, like 0.7 volts or something, so you'd need quite a few cells in series to get up to a more useful voltage.

Comment Re:Speaking as an engineer... (Score 2) 569

If I was designing the test regime, I'd do exactly what the government does; but add a random real world driving spot test on top. Just pick a few cars from different manufacturers each year and drive them around with an emissions collector attached to the exhaust, and make sure the results were within reasonable agreement.

Comment Re:This wasn't an engineering decision... (Score 1) 569

Nahhh. This looks very deliberate. There was a widely publicised not-meeting-emissions problem that went on for months and then suddenly there was no problem and they shipped. They haven't even bothered claiming it was accidental either.

Comment Re:That'll teach you... (Score 1) 301

At the moment, my back of the envelope calculation suggests that VW probably killed more people in the UK alone with this from air pollution in just the last year than died from GM's stupid switch over a far longer period. The thing is that in the UK diesel cars are really popular, and Golfs are fairly popular, but they pump out 10-40x more NOx than the other cars, which means that their NOx pollution will tend to dominate the overall numbers.

In the UK tens of thousands of people die each year die from air pollution related illnesses; and a large amount of that is NOx related... 8-(

I need to get firm numbers on each of those bits to confirm it, but it looks pretty worrying.

It may even be worse in France, diesels are super, super popular in France.

Nothing recedes like success. -- Walter Winchell