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Comment: Re:And I thought I was inefficient (Score 1) 327

by cyclopropene (#45460477) Attached to: Monthly net electricity use in my household:

Okay I found the bill really sucks to read. It showed the 10kWh under the total but later it also showed 290 kWh under the total which makes a lot more sense. Still seems like a very small amount.

Ok, man, as a "Chemical and Biological Engineering Student" you really should have done the math first... I'll forgive you as I doubt you sleep much ;-)

10 kWh/month wouldn't even power a dorm room mini-fridge...

Comment: Re:yep (Score 5, Informative) 671

by cyclopropene (#44997485) Attached to: Obamacare Could Help Fuel a Tech Start-Up Boom

Most Silicon Valley startups offer healthcare.........if they don't, they are horrifically underfunded and you should avoid them.

It takes time to obtain funding. The article is talking about the people who take a risk and actually launch startups, and their health insurance during the time that they are pitching their ideas to investors to obtain the funding to offer insurance to new employees, not people like you, who only join after the funding is secured.

Comment: Re:autopilot for cars so like all the cost of the (Score 1) 287

by cyclopropene (#44889167) Attached to: Tesla Working On Autonomous Cars: Musk Wants Teslas With Auto-Pilot

From the common person's perspective, a self-driving car should be no different than hiring a taxi. Get in and state the destination, then don't care about the details of how it gets there.

Except you don't own the taxi--the owner of the taxi pays the insurance and passes it along to you in the fare. What you are describing is more like Zipcar. But iIf you own the self-driving car you are responsible for the insurance as much as the owner of a taxi or Zipcar is. However you dice it, though, the person sitting in the back seat staring at his iPhone benefiting from the self-driving car is the one who will ultimately pay, either through insurance or the price of the vehicle or through registration fees if it comes to that.

I don't disagree with you that the common public won't accept it. I also don't yet believe that these are ready for the common public either.

Comment: Re:autopilot for cars so like all the cost of the (Score 1) 287

by cyclopropene (#44888521) Attached to: Tesla Working On Autonomous Cars: Musk Wants Teslas With Auto-Pilot

I think the owner of such a car should end up paying for accidents through insurance costs, unless a driving algorithm was fundamentally flawed.

But overall, while I don't much like the idea of cars on autopilot, as I like to make eye contact with a driver before, say, crossing the street in a crosswalk, I nonetheless like them better than drunk drivers, of which there are plenty right now. Let's turn it around--maybe we need to think of it as having an autopilot ready to take over (or anyway loudly warn the driver) if its sensors pick up the driver doing something stupid. Let's look for beneficial uses of the sensor array necessary for these cars to navigate...

Comment: Re:It's an alkyne. (Score 1) 82

by cyclopropene (#44588851) Attached to: Carbyne: a Form of Carbon Even Stronger Than Graphene

Sadly, I don't remember enough organic chemistry to know what the double/double would be called.

Here's an article on cumulenes, but I don't know what a the proper name of a long chain of it would be.

The proper name is cumulene. In fact, that's pretty clear from the first line of the Wikipedia article you tried to link:

A cumulene is a hydrocarbon with three or more cumulative (consecutive) double bonds.

Emphasis mine.

One of those days... :)

Comment: Re:Whats the efficiency? (Score 1) 181

by cyclopropene (#44302963) Attached to: New Thermocell Could Turn 'Waste Heat' Into Electricity

From the Abstract:
"Power densities reached >0.5 W m2 in unoptimized devices, operating with a 130 C hot side. "

So apparently it generates 50 watts per square meter on a temperature drop of about 100 degrees (assuming the cold side is room temperature or about 25-30C).

I gather that 50 is indeed >0.5, but I'm not sure how you go from ">0.5 W M^-2" in the abstract to 50 watts per square meter. It's half a watt per square meter, which is pretty poor.

Comment: Re:99% - 47% = 51% ?! (Score 3, Informative) 526

by cyclopropene (#43155031) Attached to: For 2012's U.S. tax season ...

If you're talking about Romney's "47%" comment, he didn't say that 47% didn't pay income tax. He said the "47%" got back more from the goverment than they paid. Significant difference.

An excerpt from an actual transcript (emphasis mine):

Romney: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48—he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that's what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people—I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not, what it looks like.

We can leave it as an exercise for readers to determine how "significant" the difference is. Actual video clip can be seen here in case someone doesn't believe the transcript.

Comment: Re:What efficient substitute for Internet radio? (Score 1) 314

by cyclopropene (#40729695) Attached to: Fair price for an unlimited wireless data plan?

So if someone wants to listen to music other than the music that the major labels pay the FM stations to play, how should he more efficiently listen to such music while away from fixed line broadband?

One way is to look at some of the lesser known FM stations (public/college radio) that are out there, especially if you live in the vicinity of an interesting city (if not, you might well be out of luck). I have a 45+ minute commute by car, and no data plan, so I face this problem daily. Here in the Boston area, I listen to WZBC (Boston College) and the local NPR station, and sometimes the MIT station (WMBR). When I lived in New York City, it was WFMU 24/7 basically. I send money to these stations to help keep them viable among the absolutely awful commercial FM radio stations and internet streaming they have to compete with. Finding and supporting local alternative FM stations is critical to solving this problem. It's getting more difficult, though.

Comment: Re:Just an excuse. (Score 1) 105

by cyclopropene (#39463647) Attached to: Red Wine and the Secret of Superconductivity

This immediately reminded me of a paper I came across some years ago reporting measurement of the magnetic susceptibility of cigarette ash from different brands of cigarettes:

Magentism of Cigarette Ashes (pdf)

From the experimental section:

We have studied ashes (whole products residue)
from smoked by different smokers cigarettes from
three different commercially available on the
market brands, labeled as follows: Camel
(CM)—three varieties: Camel filter normal (CM),
Camel Light (CML) and Camel 100s (CM100);
Marlboro (MR) and the Bulgarian brand
Shipka (SH). Ashes were collected in glass pots
and used for magnetic measurements without
further treatment.

Glass pots. You mean, ashtrays?

(by the way, I have had that same sig for many years, but it perhaps has never been so appropriate...)

Comment: Re:If you want the short answer (Score 1) 290

by cyclopropene (#38885931) Attached to: Why Linux Vendors Need To Sell More Than Linux

I disagree. There is a market for a linux distro like Ubuntu 10.04. Just a bare bones linux distro with some gadgets and some UI fringes, but basically a linux that you can use for work. Ubuntu has moved away from that. I have to find another linux that gives me just a shell and apt-get and some more. I am a programmer. I don't want my linux to become windows because I want to be in control.

But, how much would you pay for said distro? Downloading for free is not a "market", and I suspect as a programmer you would not buy it.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)