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Comment Re:Many gas stations to close? (Score 1) 746 746

According to the article, many gas stations will close once 10% of cars are electric, to the point of inconvenience.

Bullshit. I drove a vehicle with one of the most damn inconvenient fuels out there: Propane. In my province, 0.2% of vehicles run on Propane. In my city are alone (population: ~500,000), there's still 4 fueling stations and I'm never more than 15 km away from one.

Apples and oranges - you have [propane] fueling stations because they piggyback on the infrastructure that distributes propane for other uses. Gasoline infrastructure is unique to gasoline powered cars - and when the demand on that infrastructure drops, eventually even still active stations will find it hard to obtain stocks as the infrastructure starts to shut down.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 746 746

The key is when you retire.

Rent goes up faster than retirement income.

I use a home warranty service. As long as you don't try to sign up and then get a repair higher than your annual premium right away they are pretty reasonable. And their repair people are REPAIR people which is nice. A feeling of comfort knowing my max bill will be $65 too. No phony recommendations "well this is so old, better we replace it for several thousand dollars!

And predictable costs which is good when retired.

Comment You have no idea what you're talking about. (Score 1) 62 62

No, you won't find this on a small cruiser - but you also don't find the poor little cruiser out in the middle of the ocean by itself.

Actually, yes, you do. The Navy does a lot more than just sail around in full carrier centric battle groups.

I imagine newer boats have full on CNC machines.

They don't.

Comment Re:This just in (Score 2) 62 62

US Navy ships have machine shops on-board, because they often need to fabricate objects while at sea.

Other than carriers and large support vessels however, the machine shops are generally pretty basic and operated by relatively unskilled/inexperienced people. (They're trained in the operation of the tools, but it's not their full time job.)

3D printing is a game changer even for the Navy in that it requires essentially no skill or significant training.

Comment Not going to be feasible at a publicly traded cmp. (Score 1) 125 125

They have controls in place that require executive approval of all changes. Any unapproved changes are a firing expense. So the little tuning changes we always used to do for "free" can't be done. Likewise, the changes won't be approved since by management point of view, there is no value to the activity since it is not a feature (this is true at small companies too- had a developer bend my ear on this issue literally today a few hours ago).

Comment Re:No Compromises (Score 1) 149 149

https://www.google.com/wallet/ [google.com] : "An easier way to pay. Google Wallet makes it easy to pay - in stores, online or to anyone in the US with a Gmail address. It works with any debit or credit card, on every mobile carrier".

For Google Wallet, this is true. But NFC and Google Wallet are only tied together in certain Apps and for certain purchases. One of my favorite stores takes Google Wallet / NFC which would be great, except the damn store is a Faraday cage and I can't actually use it there.

Comment Re:Yeah, be a man! (Score 1) 586 586

Be a man, in response to revealing our massively illegal behavior which you had no legal way to address and protecting most the citizens of this country (slightly) from our invasinos, we'll put him in a solitary cell for the rest of his life.

Just to make sure no one else ever makes the mistake of trying to protect the country from our illegal behavior.

Comment Re:If there was a criteria for safe unlocking (Score 1) 83 83

this sandwich very likely isn't as expensive as you think

Only because, like most armchair engineers, you've breezily handwaved away issues you have quite cleary no clue about.
 

Yet, for being the least reliable, it's a method that works very well - presuming the operator is properly trained.

No it doesn't. Not even in the slightest.

Millions (billions?) of man hours of operation of aircraft, spacecraft, submarines, etc... etc.. says just the opposite. Again, you have no fucking clue what you're talking about.

Comment Re:A "safety feature" (Score 1) 83 83

It's interesting as the unique tail section was actually touted as a "safety feature" by the company. I'm not necessarily saying it can't be the case, but like any feature, even a safety feature (see: exploding airbags), defects or improper use can cause more harm than in it's absence.

An improperly implemented safety feature (emergency ballast blow system) contributed to the loss of USS Thresher... In the same way, the Apollo 1 crew died (in part) because of a system (a well locked down hatch) that had been installed to prevent a repeat of an earlier accident. (Which, by morbid coincidence, one of the crew had been involved in.)
 

It's a bit strange, as it seems like such a fundamental error - not some obscure feature that could be overlooked. What pilot would say to himself "Hey, I know I'm supposed to unlock the tail at time X, but what the hell, why not just do it now?" It seems really strange that they wouldn't have precise procedures for this, since it's such a critical part of the entire design.

It's not so much that, as the pilot appears to have become confused due to a) the simulator not properly conditioning them, b) lack of recent and overall experience with the vehicle, and c) high cockpit workload at that point in the flight compounding a) and b). At least that's how I read the report. (The abstract and summary of which is not clearly linked of the summary or TFA but which can be found here.)

From my experience in the Navy, I can say that obtaining those reflexes isn't easy, and neither is maintaining them (regardless of experience).

Comment Re:If there was a criteria for safe unlocking (Score 2) 83 83

If there was a criteria for safe unlocking of the hinged tail section then why wasn't it interlocked until the criteria was satisfied?

There are problems with interlocks that aren't often appreciated by the armchair engineer. They add weight and complexity to a system. They themselves can fail. They add to the maintenance burden. They add to training, Etc... etc... TANSTAAFL.
 

A bigger error here is reliance on operator training. It's the least reliable form of ensuring a certain outcome.

Yet, for being the least reliable, it's a method that works very well - presuming the operator is properly trained.

Submission + - Amazon Proposes Dedicated Airspace For Drones->

An anonymous reader writes: Amazon has published two new position papers which lay out its vision for future drone regulation. Under Amazon's plan, altitudes under 200ft would be reserved for basic hobbyist drones and those used for things like videography and inspection. Altitudes between 200ft and 400ft would be designated for "well-equipped vehicles" capable of operating autonomously out of line of sight. They would need sophisticated GPS tracking, a stable data uplink, communications capabilities with other drones, and sensors to avoid collisions. This, of course, is where Amazon would want to operate its drone delivery fleet. From 400ft to 500ft would be a no-fly zone buffer between the drone airspace and integrated airspace. Amazon's plan also makes room for "predefined low-risk areas," where hobbyists and other low-tech drones can fly higher than the 200ft ceiling. "Additionally, it is Amazon's view that air traffic management operations should follow a 'managed by exception' approach. This means operators are always aware of what the fleet is doing, yet they only intervene in significant off-nominal cases."
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