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Comment: Re:Skeptical about Democracies (Score 1) 208

by drinkypoo (#48679283) Attached to: The World Is Not Falling Apart

Because in other places 'democracy' is not just a slogan,

[citation needed]

usually because it was not something took for granted.

Every day you're not doing something to improve your lot, you're taking it for granted. Most of us are guilty. But this is all irrelevant, because this is based on the opinions of the people writing the report, and not of the citizenry of the various countries.

Comment: It should start later, esp. for high schoolers (Score 1) 41

by drinkypoo (#48679279) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day

No need for school to start at the absolute butt-crack of dawn. It's actually been shown to be harmful for teenagers. Their natural sleep cycle involves sleeping in. Many of them simply physically cannot function so early in the morning. (Thinking is a physical process...)

If high school started an hour later, the kids would be on the streets less while parents are off work, too. So it seems like a win-win, without actually increasing the number of hours of instruction.

Increasing the duration of school won't automatically improve education. "No Child Left Behind" certainly didn't, but it did require greater duration to the school day if you actually met all of its requirements.

Comment: Re:Call me when.. (Score 1) 97

by drinkypoo (#48679269) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

What about a motorcycle's range? Are these vehicles not ready for prime time?

Of course not. Motorcycles only fit the needs of a minuscule segment of the population, they are not and never have been a "prime time" [equivalent] type of vehicle. They also get poor mileage (for their mass, especially, but many of them actually get poor mileage on the small car scale now, since small cars have come so far) and they have high pollution except in the few places where catalysts are mandatory. Even then, you can expect more pollution per gallon burned.

Comment: Re:Coincidentally... (Score 1) 97

by drinkypoo (#48679263) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

They also have new tires, which improve the rolling resistance coefficient by about 20%.

Do they mention that the minimum stopping distance has now increased by 20%?

Every year, tires get better. They can probably get the same level of traction with today's LRR tire as what they had before. We bought this year's best All-Terrain (Cooper AT3) which has finally solved their wet traction and tire wear problems, but it still has awful tire noise in turns, makes you think a wheel bearing's going. In a couple more years I expect them to have solved that particular problem. LRR tires have come a long way too, and there's a whole new generation of them now to fit into the space they used to occupy, for the cars least expected to handle well.

Comment: Re:Coincidentally... (Score 1) 97

by drinkypoo (#48679257) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

"assuming you don't have antilock brakes" is irrelevant to any vaguely modern car, because the EU made ABS mandatory years ago

So did the USA. And the USA has also made yaw control and traction control mandatory since 2010. As usual, the USA has more strict requirements for new cars than anyone else in the world, both in safety and finally now in emissions and mileage. (The USA has the strictest emissions laws sometimes, but not all the time...)

Comment: Re:There is a set of speeds and driving conditions (Score 1) 97

by drinkypoo (#48679253) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

Worse in the winter cause you're blasting heat? Why not just put a coat on?

People don't buy an $80k car so that they can wear a heavy coat instead of turning on the heater. People who can afford them just move closer to where they want to go in order to defeat range anxiety. #poorpeopleproblems

Comment: Re:Now we're getting somewhere (Score 1) 97

by drinkypoo (#48679249) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

In fact, strike that, this is simpler. Have your solar cells pump water to the cistern for all the hours the sun is in the sky. Have a separate pipe in which the water flows down hill to spin the turbine, which is your power source. The cistern acts as a ballast, storing energy during peak production times to be used during times of low or no production.

The electric motor which pumps the water might be 95% efficient, but you have to use it to fight gravity. Or you could just not have any conversion loss at all, and not fight gravity, when you're actually using the power. And that's why this is a dumb idea.

Comment: Re:careful about the tires - less safe (Score 1) 97

by drinkypoo (#48679241) Attached to: Tesla Roadster Update Extends Range

Owners might want to take a close look at the NHTSA testing of the tires. Generally speaking, lower rolling resistance means less traction, which means less safe when cornering, maneuvering around an accident or animal ahead, or braking.

Sure, although they could have updated the traction/yaw control software to account for the reduced traction as well, and may have done.

Comment: Re: Raise a stink and vote with your poket (Score 1) 24

by TheRaven64 (#48679235) Attached to: India Faces Its First Major Net Neutrality Issue
If this works the same way that it does in Europe, then even after you've gone through this you get a code valid for 30 days that you can give to another operator to port your number. This gives them a little window to try to change your mind and is a fairly good way to protest.

Comment: Re:I hate to do it (Score 1) 24

by TheRaven64 (#48679157) Attached to: My laptop lasts on battery for ...

Apple got a lot of bad press a few years ago for massively overestimating their battery life and is now quite a bit more conservative. They've gone from claiming 6 hours to claiming 8, but at the same time they've shipped lower power CPUs and doubled the size of the battery. There was a Kickstarter for an open source compatible laptop with very similar specs to the MBP floating around last week: they were also claiming 8 hours on battery, but they were shipping a battery half the size of the MBP. I guess they think Linux users keep the screen turned off.

Adjusting the brightness has a big impact on battery life for the MBP. Cutting it to 50% can give you another hour or two. I have gfxCardStatus installed and so disable the nVidia card if I'm going to be using it on battery for a while.

Comment: Re:Not useful without more data (Score 1) 24

by TheRaven64 (#48679151) Attached to: My laptop lasts on battery for ...
A big part of the reason for short battery lives is people who don't realise that LiIon and NiCd are not the same and think that they get the best battery life by completely draining the battery then charging it. LiIon prefers partial discharge and then full recharge, although the controller typically wants a complete discharge cycle every month or so for calibration.

Comment: Re:5% less leg room? (Score 1) 24

by TheRaven64 (#48679147) Attached to: First Airbus A350 XWB Delivered, Will Start Service in January
The 787 has more legroom than any other plane I've flown in and this is aimed as a 787 competitor. Note that it depends a lot on the airline though - they get a lot of say in the exact layout of seats, so you'll see different amounts of legroom for different carriers and the same aircraft.

Comment: Re:Why the 1st model starts at -800? (Score 3, Interesting) 24

by TheRaven64 (#48679123) Attached to: First Airbus A350 XWB Delivered, Will Start Service in January

Hopefully the A350 can make up for the anemic A380 sales

The A380 is really huge. A lot of the long-haul flights that I've been on in the last couple of years haven't been full, even when they're the one flight of the day between two points and are on a plane with half of the capacity of the A380. It's a very economical plane to fly if you can fill it up, but if it's likely to be under half full then it's very expensive. The big-planes, infrequently model doesn't really work with the hub-and-spokes model popular in the USA, because it either needs more coordination with short-haul spoke routes, or layovers (and the cost of near-airport hotels means that these can often make it cheaper to book a different airline's flight).

I flew on the 787 (LHR - IAH, both directions) for the first time this year and it was such a massive improvement over earlier models that I actually enjoyed flying for the first time in ages. Even in the cheap seats, there was lots of legroom, lots of overhead space (so you didn't feel cramped), the air pressure stayed good for the entire flight, the seats reclined comfortably without invading someone else's space. I managed to get more uninterrupted work done on the outbound flight than any other time over the surrounding few months. I'm really looking forward to airlines using similar craft on all long-haul routes.

Comment: Re:F Paul Graham (Score 1) 403

by TheRaven64 (#48679117) Attached to: Paul Graham: Let the Other 95% of Great Programmers In
One really good developer can, by code review, good design, and mentorship, dramatically improve the productivity of half a dozen middle-of-the-pack developers. To the point where it's actually worth a company's while to hire them. So you're arguing against the availability of jobs for you, not for it.

The absent ones are always at fault.