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Comment Re:Higher voltages (Score 1) 147

Energy storage is proportional to voltage squared at constant capicatance? Really??? So if I connect two (super)capacitors in series, thereby doubling the voltage limit, I have somehow squared the energy storage! I don't think so!!!

Power goes up with voltage squared in resistive circuits, but that's a different issue. In this case, you'd get that power for a shorter time.

Comment Re:Lesson of the day (Score 1) 113

The algorithms at risk to quantum computing attacks (RSA, etc.) are essentially used just for key exchange. Unless you have an offline channel, you need these to communicate your one-time pad. Besides which, when using a one-time pad, the parties have to store it in at least two places before use, greatly increasing the time that these precious bits are at risk of being leaked or stolen.

Once key exchange has been accomplished, modern protocols rely on block or stream ciphers, which are not known to be vulnerable to QC attack.

Comment Re:Erm... (Score 1) 130

Unless the levelized price for renewable generation drops substantially below that of coal, I don't see how this will "spur renewable energy adoption" except for regions where electricity prices are substantially higher (e.g. Hawaii, $0.30/kWh)

Excellent point. Now... where can I get a 100 mile long extension cord for my electric car?

Comment Re:Environmentally friendly and sustainable? (Score 2) 130

How are batteries of environmentally friendly and sustainable?

Batteries are an enabling technology that can store intermittently available renewable energy for convenient use. Think wind powered cars and solar street lights, both can be made practical through the use of battery storage.

Comment Re:Spontaneous combustion (Score 4, Informative) 130

Uh... no.

"Lipo" (lithium-polymer) batteries are subject to thermal runaway (exploding into flame) if abused. Plus they can be more vulnerable for reasons including the typically soft packaging (OTOH, cell phones are not often bursting into flames in people's pockets). Maybe you were thinking of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, which have lower voltage and lower specific energy density, but are more robust?

In any case, I thought *we* were discussing all sorts of batteries here, including a variety of lithium chemistries.

Comment Re:Shocking! (Score 4, Insightful) 171

Utility of a 2.8 second 0-60 time for most ICE car owners = 0.
Utility of being able to drive 500 miles and then 'recharge' in five minutes = lots.

Utility of having decent range and never having to stop at a gas station = priceless!

Seriously. Buy a second car (owners of this Tesla can certainly afford one). Or borrow a friends (they'll be happy to drive you Telsa for a day). Or rent a car for your trip. The convenience of having a fully charged car every morning more than makes up for any range anxiety I might have had, and my electric has less than half the range of a Tesla.

Comment Re:Obvious machine not subtle furniture problem (Score 1) 720

There's always the Mac Pro: Small; built to be hammered with ridiculous workloads; extremely quiet; and comes with that lovely trash-can-sleek styling. We play Windows games on mine using a Parallel's Virtual machine, but you'll want to boot directly to your game's OS for best results.

The price isn't pretty, but nobody said marriage is cheap.

Comment Re:There is no "almost impossible" (Score 2) 236

"Almost Impossible" can be made very precise. Indeed, modern cryptography is based on the understanding that certain algorithms are "almost impossible" to reverse. Cryptographers prove theorems with wording like "indistinguishable from random by any polynomial time algorithm" when they mean almost impossible. So, Apple may be quite correct in their statement.

My take on this is that Apple likely has received legal orders it can not disclose, and implementing real, strong security to protect user's data.

Comment Re:So wait... (Score 2) 462

"Good afternoon, Officer. My time is valuable. Your time is valuable. Please don't waste time by asking questions I am not required to answer."

"Sir, Have you been drinking?"

"Am I required to answer that question?"


"Please stop wasting time. As I said, my time is valuable. Am I free to go now?"


Comment Re:Lacking data (Score 4, Informative) 491

Here's what the US National Academies have to say: "One might think that airplanes, trains, and buses would consume most of the energy used in this sector but, in fact, their percentages are relatively small--about 9% for aircraft and about 3% for trains and buses. Personal vehicles, on the other hand, consume more than 60% of the energy used for transportation."

Completely eliminating emissions from buses would make only a small difference in the big energy picture.

That said, electric buses might not be such a bad thing. I'm driving an electric car these days and it is awesome (even if it isn't a Tesla).

Comment Re:Not all that surprising... (Score 1) 131

Modern type safe languages have a lot going for them, but they don't solve the hard problems of concurrency. (n.b. purely functional languages allow easy parallelization of some mathematical functions, but do not solve the hard problem, either). Highly efficient threading, especially at the system level, is not made easier by type safety.

This instruction set extension offers transactional memory access, so a thread can begin speculative execution that modifies a block of memory, and roll back on a conflict, rather than stalling on a semaphore lock.

Comment Re:Keratoconus (Score 1) 550

If you look around, you can find eye surgeons performing corneal collagen cross-linking in the US. My doc works in Colorado. The basic idea is that the combination of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and UV light causes the corneal layers to bond more tightly to teach other. The stiffer cornea is likely to maintain a better shape, but the main advertised benefit is stabilization, preventing worsening of the keratoconus.

In my case, laser ablation was used to remove the corneal epithelium (outer layer of cells) so the riboflavin eye drops would more readily diffuse into the cornea. I was a good candidate for the procedure, with a relatively thick cornea, and the outcome was good. The experience was a also a lot more painful than I expected, but worth the suffering. My eyesight is now OK (neither terrible nor great), and I can now consider Lasik if I want.

Of course, Intacs (small rings inserted into the eye that circle -- and help shape -- the cornea) are FDA approved for keratoconus, but the approval is under a Humanitarian Device Exemption, meaning they have not been proven effective.

"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'." --John Sladek