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Comment: Re:Charging amperage (Score 1) 395

It doesn't say what the capacity of this battery is.

It also doesn't say what the energy density is, and there is a comment that something called the "power density" needs improvement.

I was confused by that comment at first.

Last year, Prof Yazami was awarded the prestigious Draper Prize by The National Academy of Engineering for his ground-breaking work in developing the lithium-ion battery with three other scientists.

“However, there is still room for improvement and one such key area is the power density – how much power can be stored in a certain amount of space – which directly relates to the fast charge ability. Ideally, the charge time for batteries in electric vehicles should be less than 15 minutes, which Prof Chen’s nanostructured anode has proven to do so.”

I believe he was stating that the power density in the lithium-ion batteries he helped to invent left room for improvement, and this new invention improved upon that.

Comment: Re:200kW * 1 hour == 85kWh?!? (Score 1) 395

Math isn't hard. I know because I have a degree in it :)

The 200kW was a typo - it should have been 120. And although my degree is in math, not EE, even I know that the charge rate of Lion cells is non-linear. Take a look at the graph in the "How it Works" section here: You clearly need more than 85kW to charge an 85kWh battery in 1 hour.

Comment: Re:Charging amperage (Score 1) 395

20KW would *melt* domestic feeds even before you get to the meter. Over here the average home has a 60-100A meter fuse (with 60A becoming more and more common, I had to pretty much demand a 100A and a leg main out to my garage) at 220V, that's 13KW or so at the meter - before you get to the distribution bus. Your ring main is rated at 3.6KW max total load *for the entire circuit*.

Well, I have zero first-hand knowledge - I'm just repeating what I read elsewhere. You can get a 100A home charger that provides 20kW if your house is wired for it. Source: Wikipedia

Besides, the context of this article is commercial charging stations for on-the-go charging. The superchargers already deployed provide 90kW, but are capable of 400V 250A. So we're already talking about serious current in place. Source: Motortrend

Comment: Re:I call bullshit (Score 2) 395

The article only claims it could "increase their range dramatically, with just five minutes of charging" which is not the same as fully charging. Later they talk about fully charging in 15 minutes or less, which is only 4x faster than the Tesla superchargers on the 85kWh Model S.

Comment: Re:Charging amperage (Score 4, Insightful) 395

Well, it says they've developed "a battery" that can be charged that much that fast. It doesn't say what the capacity of this battery is. I'd guess it's a small research/proof-of-concept battery of cell-phone size or smaller. Later in the article, they talk about charging an electric car in <15 minutes. The Tesla superchargers provide 200kW, enough to charge the Tesla Model S with the 85kWh battery fully in 1 hour, and you can get home chargers that charge at 200V 100A. Surely 4 times the amperage wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility?

Comment: Re:Chinese Virgin (Score 1) 109

by almitydave (#48133761) Attached to: China Bans "Human Flesh Searching"

"My Mandarin speaking spouse said the most difficult English word for her is "twelfth".

My Mid-South redneck speaking self agrees with your spouse. I think the English were just showing off with that one.

My 4th-grade (age ~9 in the US) teacher once mentioned in an off-hand way that she thought the most consonants in a row in a common everyday English word was 4, but after class I mentioned that "twelfths" has 5. I know there are others, but that word has a particularly low percentage (12.5) of vowels. I wonder if there is one with lower... off to the RegExes!


Scientists Coax Human Embryonic Stem Cells Into Making Insulin 100

Posted by samzenpus
from the closer-to-the-cure dept.
First time accepted submitter kwiecmmm writes A group of Harvard scientists reported that they have figured out how to turn embryonic stem cells into beta cells capable of producing insulin. This discovery could cure diabetes. From the article: "'It's a huge landmark paper. I would say it's bigger than the discovery of insulin,' says Jose Olberholzer, a professor of bioengineering at the University of Illinois. 'The discovery of insulin was important and certainly saved millions of people, but it just allowed patients to survive but not really to have a normal life. The finding of Doug Melton would really allow to offer them really something what I would call a functional cure. You know, they really wouldn't feel anymore being diabetic if they got a transplant with those kind of cells.'"

Comment: Re:They'll have rights (Score 1) 385

by almitydave (#48104325) Attached to: Chimpanzee "Personhood" Is Back In Court

There is a spectrum of opinion [] on what "animal rights" means. At the very least, I think animal rights include the right not to suffer needlessly at the hand of humans. I doubt anyone would argue that is also a human right. So, continuing in that direction, I don't think it's a stretch to imagine that many human rights can be accorded to animals also.

More tangibly, this reluctance to abuse other species with certain characteristics is what lead to the domestication of cooperatively useful species (dogs, cats, cattle, etc). But our moral compulsion should not be mistaken for some sort of universally true innate "right".

It seems like these questions are at the forefront more and more these days: what is a right, where do they come from, and how do we know? And your comment touches on another very important point relevant to this thread: animals do have jobs, we just don't pay them a salary beyond food and care. Think of animals in agriculture and transportation, hunters' assistants, seeing-eye dogs and other service animals. Heck, they're even actors. Animals can be said to have jobs in the same way humans do, and in fact we've been working hand-in-paw with them for as long as we can remember.

I know some animal-rights organizations love to call these types of animals "slaves" but there's clearly something different between humans and animals. It just becomes very difficult to pin it down as something other than a matter of degree when we don't even clearly understand the nature of our own consciousness.

Personally, I don't believe animals have rights - I do however believe that we have responsibilities toward the animals, and are under moral obligation not to cause undue suffering. Experimenting on animals is therefore ethically a very sticky area.

BTW, there's a very good graphic novel about Laika that's historically accurate, based on information that became declassified after the fall of the Soviet Union. It's targeted toward adolescents, but worth a read.

Comment: Re:Does that mean they'll get to vote? (Score 1) 385

by almitydave (#48104027) Attached to: Chimpanzee "Personhood" Is Back In Court

It's a satirical reference to the 3/5 compromise which is commonly (and erroneously) claimed to have defined slaves as 3/5 of a person. What it said was that when counting population for the purpose of taxation and congressional representation, you counted free persons and 3/5 of slaves.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

Comment: Re:Does that mean they'll get to vote? (Score 1) 385

by almitydave (#48103965) Attached to: Chimpanzee "Personhood" Is Back In Court

Or, we could free the chimps and use aborted fetuses for clinical trials instead. Or perhaps remove the "unwanted tissue" from the mother without damaging it and (for instance) use a surrogate mother or some future "artificial womb" to have it mature sufficiently for research needs....

From what I can tell from the above, it shows that it's impossible to even discuss this in an objective way - any discussion will deteriorate into appeals to feelings.

I think the judge needs to state that animals have a right to be judged by their own, and that any act of giving them personhood takes away that right.

Actually, the GP's entire comment rationally presents an important ethical challenge that needs to be addressed for both issues (animal personhood and abortion), regarding members of one class/species defining personhood for another. We need to be capable of discussing this rationally without resorting to emotional non-arguments, since it's fundamental to all other discussions about social rights and responsibilities.

As for this case, the judge has to stick to the law and the facts, and I just don't see any legal basis for granting the status of "person" to animals that are not members of homo sapiens. Like the GP indicates, it would be very dangerous indeed for the judge to create some previously unrecognized criteria for defining persons beyond that.

I am very interested in the topic of sentience, intelligence, reason and personhood - since we evolved from non-intelligent species eventually acquiring the ability to reason, presumably other species on this planet will eventually evolve likewise as well.

Comment: Re:Miles to empty can vary (Score 1) 402

by almitydave (#48097535) Attached to: Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

Don't most gas powered things have a "reserve" amount that's technically beyond empty?

Not necessarily. My Pontiac G6 has a gauge that under-reports capacity: when the needle reaches 'E' there are 4 gallons left. A few years ago I rented a Buick that ran out of gas the instant the needle touched the line at E. That sucker was accurate. I've never seen a car in the US that had anything that indicated "reserve", just a single gauge that may or may not be accurately calibrated to the amount in the tank.

As for the whole "MPG vs. GPM" thing, I prefer MPG, because when I'm driving, I want to know how far I can go. If I have half a tank, that's 8 gallons, and at 25 mpg I can go 200 miles. The only time GPM would be more useful would be if I were filling up and only wanted to put in just enough to make a certain distance. Do people even do that? Still, I could just divide distance left by MPG to get that figure.

Your code should be more efficient!