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Comment Are lanes needed on small roads? (Score 1) 600

In residential areas where there is a 25MPH speed limit, is it safer to drive on the far right side of the road or is it safer to drive near the middle of the road? Obviously, you pull to the right to pass on-coming car, but what is there is little to no on coming traffic? The 'unexpected' tends to come for the sides of the roads and driving near the center of the road increases visibility and gives you more time to react. There is no real danger of hitting an on-coming car, both drivers have plenty of time to move to the right.

Comment Re:hyperloop without the hyper or loop (Score 1) 218

You are comparing the estimated cost of the hyperloop to the actual cost of an airline terminal. If an airline terminal actually costs $2 billion to build, do you really think that $6-$8 billion is a realistic estimate for the hyperloop? How would a hyperloop terminal be any less complex than an airline terminal?

Less land?? Are you forgetting the amount of land that the tube take up?

You could terminate in the center of a city iff you could acquire the right of way to the center of the city. Good luck with that.

Comment Cool but silly idea (Score 3, Interesting) 177

The idea sounds cool enough, but how does it benefit the customer? I am struggling to figure out what issue is solved by drone delivery. Drones are not faster than cars so it is not a speed issue. The drones require pilots so it is not a labor issue. Drones are expensive compared to a scooter or a used car so it is not a cost issue. Drones can't fly in bad weather so it is not a reliability issue...

If you are only 10 miles from your customer, you might as well open a retail store. Order on-line and pick up at the counter.

  Pizza delivery has been 30 minutes or less for decades and they do not need drones.

Comment Re:Carbon free power (Score 1) 98

. 12 years is about the longest half life of the 'dangerous stuff', which means you stop caring in a hundred years or so AT MOST

Bullcrap. cesium-137, strontium-90 and iodine-131 have half lives much longer than 12 years and are and are some of the more dangerous nuclear byproducts out there. You are a damned fool if you think you can stop caring about these after "100 years of so."

You are right in that materials with very long half lives are not that dangerous due to the fact that they are not that radioactive. Stuff with very short half lives does not stick around for a long time so it is not a long-term hazard. But you are WAY off in your assertion that a spent fuel rod is perfectly safe after a 100 years of so.

Comment Re:Magnox... (Score 4, Informative) 98

Unfortunately, it really is not. Pumped hydro energy storage facilities do work; they are reasonably efficient and they can store a lot of energy. But you have to have a pretty unique combination of geology and hydrology to build such a facility.

The energy storage problems really is THE ISSUE with solar and wind. There is no magic answer.

Comment They are all gone here. (Score 1) 138

We used to have at least half a dozen. Mock electronics, Webb electronics, W&W electronics, Austin Electronics, plus a few upstarts that only hung around for a while. They are all gone, every single one of them along with all the Radioshacks.

However, many things in the electronic hobby world are better then ever. Parts are CHEAP these days. I can buy brand new entire reels of resistors and capacitors for a couple of bucks. There are many dedicated surplus catalogs not to mention eBay. The stuff in the brick and mortar stores was interesting, but it was also over priced.

I do miss the SMELL of those places.

Comment AMA = Doctor's Union (Score 1) 305

The AMA was founded by doctors. It's main purpose is to promote the welfare of doctors. That is not good or bad thing, but it is a very useful to keep that mission in mind when you hear the AMA speak.

The first question I would ask is that if the AMA is really concerned about health care costs, why does it not push harder to make more drugs like birth control pills available over the counter without a prescription? Or streamline the prescription process for drugs that low potential for abuse or for causing harm (most ED drugs)?

The second question I would have to ask is why is a better-informed consumer a bad thing? If the ads are incorrect or misleading, that obviously need to be addressed, but other than that, why would a patient hearing about a possible new treatment option be a bad thing? Are we not supposed to ever question our doctors? Is a doctor's time really so valuable that they cannot explain treatment options?

There are some serious 1st Amendment issues here as well. 30 years ago, you could have made the argument that public airwaves are a limited resource and that the government should have some say in their use. With cable, that is no longer true. You really have to show that drug ads are a major concern for public health like the cigarette ads were. The fact that drug ads annoy doctors is not a good enough reason.

Comment Re:Not sincerely held (Score 1) 518

Investigation and fraud? Why? Are we never allowed to change our beliefs once they are 'sincerely held'?

Accommodation should never be made exclusively on religious grounds. First, it is not fair and secondly it puts the state in the rather uncomfortable position of evaluating the legitimacy of a religion.

Comment Re:Sodium lamps are more effecient than LEDs (Score 4, Informative) 75

High Pressure Sodium lamp produce somewhere between 50-140 lumens per watt depending on bulb size, bulb age, temperature, and the type of ballast used. LEDs have passed the 300 lumens per watt mark in the lab and real-word LEDs are currently running 70-120 lumens per watt and constantly improving. Unlike HPS lamps, LEDs are directional which can be lead to additional savings.

It is still not clear what the real-world bulb life of LEDs will be so it is difficult to calculate the total cost of operations. Since electrical power is usually abundant at night, power is only a small factor in the cost of operating street light. It is unlikely that further improvements in LED efficiency will have any meaningful impact on operating cost.

In spite of the relatively poor color rendering index of HPS lights, I also find the warm orange from HPS easier on my eyes for night driving. It is also possible (but not cheap!) to filter out most HPS light for sky viewing.

I wish we could re-think the whole idea of street lighting and use if more sparingly. It is very helpful to have intersections marked with lights but there is no need to light every street, every hour of every night. Dark can be quite nice!

Comment Limiting choices works well for Costco (Score 1) 358

Costco does not offer you a lot of choices. Want paper towels? You have two choices, a leading brand or the store brand. Same with toilet paper. Need a vacuum cleaner? There are maybe three to choose from. Jam? One brand, maybe two flavors plus some high-end organic stuff. Pop Tarts? One box, with two mixed flavors.

This model seems to work well for them.

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