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Comment: Children will have to teach adults how it works. (Score 1) 814

by ajlowe (#44294399) Attached to: Hardly Anyone Is Buying 'Smart Guns'
Children are not as dumb as you think. This will work as well at keeping children safe as child proof caps and parental internet filters. The one and only thing a firearm must do is absolutely, positively go bang every time you pull the trigger. Anything contrary to this principle will be rejected by the market. If you want to keep your child safe, 1. Teach them firearms safety. 2. store firearms in a secure and safe manner.

Comment: Energy Density (Score 1) 590

by ajlowe (#41823599) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Stands In the Way of a Truly Solar-Powered Airliner?
There are two basic problems with a solar powered aircraft. First is energy creation. As many posters have pointed out, given the available surface area of a aircraft, even with ideal (perfect) solar panels, you would not be able to get close to producing the amount of energy necessary to keep the aircraft in the air. Second is energy storage. Since a solar powered aircraft can not generate enough energy during flight, it will have to have some form of energy storage. Currently the "best" option for storing energy in electric form is a battery. Currently batteries store so little energy per pound that it would be more accurate to call a solar / electric / battery powered vehicle a train then an airplane because it will weigh so much that it will never get off the ground. To get an idea of how abysmal batteries are, see wikipedia: Pay special attention to the graph. I don't work for Exxon, or anybody else that might benefit from continuing to burn fossil fuels. I just took a few physics classes in college. The basic math I picked up about how the world works in those classes informs me that a conspiracy among oil barons or power brokers is completely unnecessary since those bastard scientists have already "written" the laws of nature to ensure that most of our transportation energy needs can only practically be solved by fossil fuels given the current technological landscape.

Comment: Re:Good while it lasted... (Score 2, Informative) 102

by ajlowe (#40186211) Attached to: Google To Require Retailers To Pay To Be In Google Shopping Results

... who are sure to keep their prices fixed to one another.

As the owner of a medium size e-commerce site, I can tell you that most of the time that prices are fixed, it is not the fault of the retailers. Nine time out of ten, when you see every reputable retailer listing for exact same price, it is because the manufacturer has established a MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing) policy where they will refuse to sell their product to any retailer who advertises their products below the MAP price. Most online retailers hate MAP as evidenced by our efforts to get around it by marking out prices, asking customers to create an account for best pricing, or not showing prices until the item is in the cart. These are all attempts to get around MAP policies which are instituted by manufacturers in order to protect their brick and mortar retailers by artificially inflating the price of the products online. MAP policies were illegal and considered price fixing in the US until a 2007 Supreme Court Case. More info

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