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Comment Re:hyperloop without the hyper or loop (Score 1) 195

Uh, the Jetta TDI gets 62mpg in practice (someone did a 5,000+-mile trip going counterclockwise, west across the northern U.S. and then east along the southern U.S), while its gasoline counterpart boasts 32mpg on the highway and 27mpg in the city.

In most of the U.S., you need ULSD. Here on the east coast, gasoline costs $1.55 now and diesel is going for $1.75. A 300 mile tank on my Mazda 3S with the 2.4L (averaging a good 25-28mpg) costs $18 now; a few months back it was still around $25, when gas was $1.92. Surprising me with these low fuel prices.

BTW: At CA electricity and gas prices you're claiming that a 100% efficient Tesla, consuming only 62MJ of electricity, will make that trip, but a gasoline powered car would require 1180MJ to make the same trip. That is a 5% fuel-to-travel efficiency, not the 14-30% [fueleconomy.gov] that is known.

Yes but California is a lunatic state. See also: Texas, where some cities have electricity for under 5 cents per kWh.

Comment Re:File a Complaint (Score 1) 85

Try speaking back to them in a drawn Indian accent, and then tell them it sounds like they may have a virus and you'll need to check their Internet History Report. Then start talking about how their computer appears to be distributing large amounts of child pornography, including child bestiality, and that you think they've been receiving bitcoins from a source infected with the Win32-dot-Zika computer virus.

Comment Re:hyperloop without the hyper or loop (Score 5, Insightful) 195

A ground-level, rail-mounted tube doesn't expend energy holding itself against gravity, and faces less wind resistance than an airplane in orbit. That means operating the hyperloop would require less total energy expenditure than operating an air plane.

The Tesla car has higher instantaneous torque and a flat torque curve. The cost for me to drive 300 miles on gasoline is around $25 now; on biofuel, it's around $35; on diesel, it's around $12; on electricity, it's $3. Battery storage loses less energy in conversion than biofuel chemical storage. Electric cars are less complex and require less maintenance than reciprocating piston engines. Superior power, performance, durability, longevity, and cost doesn't seem inferior.

Comment Re:Other side of the airtight hatchway (Score 3, Informative) 132

Actually, you only have to insert it into the current working directory. For example: Get a dll file downloaded into Downloads, then wait for the user to run Setup.exe and have UAC hand it admin privileges. Now your non-privileged process has put a DLL file in the Downloads directory *with* Setup.exe, which loaded Downloads\CommDlg32.dll and was granted Administrator access. Now you have admin access.

Microsoft Word used to do this if you had a DLL file with the same name as a System32 DLL in the same path as a Word document.

Comment Re:You are so right .. (Score 1) 104

This is more like fad economics (Furby) than anything else. They're buying time, not product: they want this particular thing, and they want it now, thus they're paying to have it now. This is slightly different from things like superbowl tickets (you won't get Superbowl 50 tickets next year; the supply is time- and space-limited) or Roman coins (you can get them any time, but there are only so many in existence).

I have a theory of scarcity which covers that human labor time produces all things, but things don't scale infinitely. The easiest example is food. When you run out of arable land, you start using more fertilizer and irrigation for smaller yields. Each 100,000 more people added to your population requires 2,000 working to make food until then; after that, you add 100,000 more and find you need 10,000 working to make food to feed these new people. You of course have to pay the wages of those 10,000 people (in most basic terms, they must at least have the means to survive); and, in societal wealth terms, you're short 8,000 people working to make other things, so now there are slightly less products (cars, running water, coats, iPhones) available per person, and so society becomes more poor (this mechanism creates scarcity pressure to slow population expansion).

It works the other way, too: the familiar economy-of-scale descends from fixed costs. To stand up a new fabrication facility, I'd need hundreds of millions of dollars; if my target market is small, Intel can fabricate the chips cheaper than I can, as they have existing capacity. Small markets with low demand, thus, experience high prices. (Subjective Theory of Value explains this by saying people pay what they perceive to be the correct price, and handwaves away market influences; it was created to explain why diamonds are so expensive if they're so plentiful.)

In context, we basically have low-demand scarcity: competitors aren't sure of the demand in this market and don't know if they can compete with a clone device. They *do* know the cost to start manufacture and the cost to market the new device would make it initially more expensive, as well as risky. Thus they currently see a low-demand market where they're not 100% certain of profitability and can't enter with low prices intending to catch up on the initial cost and turn a profit after shipping several million units. It's between apartment markets and semiconductor markets in nature.

As I said in the beginning: this is a temporary situation, and the people paying high prices are trying to buy a non-scarce product before its production is rolled out. This is a product which we can foresee a high supply of--give it a few months, most likely--yet people want it now. Fad economics. Wait a few months and you can buy all the Furbies you want.

Comment Re:Nice non-sequiteur at the end (Score 1) 104

All the other vendors died because McDonalds has a high supply to meet demand. You assert Raspberry Pi has a low supply, and the demand is not available for higher-priced alternatives. Sounds like a natural market to me: people decide they need X, they can get X for a price, and they don't value X *now* more than X *later* so they wait for supply to flow in at the lowest price.

Do you want $5 today or $10 in 6 weeks?

Comment Re:Density is nice, but what about longevity? (Score 2) 166

Samsung Evo 840 is rated for a 28-year life span at 10GB of data write per day. That's about 100TB written. According to some tests, the 840 starts experiencing sector relocations (bad NAND) around 100TB; somewhere about 9 times that, it suddenly fails without warning.

If you're constantly buffering HD video at 11GB/hr, that should give you 378 days to 100TB and maybe 9 years to sudden catastrophic failure.

Comment Re:I can understand small first batches (Score 1) 104

It's even bad as an Arduino replacement. The Arduino is a microcontroller with no high-latency general-purpose computing paths; the Pi has system buses and a memory management unit. Where the Arduino can just go straight to hardware and RAM, the Pi has to dawdle around waiting for interrupts and timing systems to give access to devices, and has to wait for row precharges and other operations before it can access memory. A 10uS operation becomes a 2mS operation because of a memory stall.

Comment Re: A Porsche Self-Drive? (Score 1) 212

This is a silly fallacy. It's a statistical manipulation to hide information by mashing disparate groups together, like saying half the world's population has ovaries.

The most egregious one I've seen was someone trying to explain technology didn't cut down the amount of time we spend collecting food because some 20% of the earth's population are farmers. In developed countries where agriculture uses advanced farm management techniques and powered machinery, we expend under 2% of our labor time producing food, including the cost of all that machinery and the fuel for it; low-development countries with subsistence farming tend to expend 18% or more. Taken as a whole, the statistic of how many farmers are working to feed 100% of the earth's population drastically weakens my argument; examined as developed vs developing, we see the countries using developed technology expend *much* less labor per unit food, which firmly supports my argument.

Your argument paints the world as one socio-economic unit. It's the kind of argument people use for pulling away from China, citing low pay and poor working conditions, while ignoring the low cost-of-living and the bare fact that a loss of jobs means more starving, homeless Chinese people. Treating Burkina Faso as if it's America with some people's rights getting infringed is a grand delusion.

Comment Re:APorsche Self-Drive? (Score 1) 212

Ridiculously inflated? I've looked at buying myself a Porsche. It's a little more than my standard fare, but nowhere near the nuttery of Ferrari's barely-functional, glass-construction shit boxes. Not only does a Porsche only cost a few tens of thousands instead of a few hundreds of thousands, but you can hit potholes without incurring maintenance costs exceeding the MSRP of a brand new Porsche.

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