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Comment: Re:What's the big deal with intelligence? (Score 2) 366

by es330td (#48159215) Attached to: Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

Really? You want a kid with no ambition? One that will happily work at a dead-end job and bum around with his friends rather than put in the effort to be a better person.

As you go throughout your day, look around you and try to keep track of people in so called "dead end" jobs as a proportion of the people you see. The world in which we live depends on a certain percentage of the population doing those jobs: garbage truck worker, toll booth operator, road maintenance crewmember, janitor, etc. While I certainly hope that my children excel, it is more important to me that they be happy doing whatever it is they are doing. I am reasonably successful and come from a family of very successful people. My father is content to know that me and my siblings were given opportunities and support and that what we ended up doing was much less a measure of our success than our qualities as parents, spouses and members of our community. As long as my kids choose, rather than settle, I can support them in what ever they do.

Comment: Re:I LOVE READING PROPAGANDA (Score 1) 981

by es330td (#47930209) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

The only reason we dropped behind China recently is because they ramped up their manufacturing so much.

It also doesn't hurt that they have roughly three times the US population. If everyone there bought 1% more manufactured goods the change in GDP would be greater than the total annual production of some entire countries.

Comment: Re:Known this forever (Score 1) 212

While I can see a need for putting together and rehearsing a plan for "after" I would like to see the cost-benefit analysis on hardening the infrastructure. There are a lot of things we *could* do in life, like making planes more protected from missile damage we don't do because the likelihood of the event being protected against is so low relative to the aggregate cost to implement said solution. Are we prepared to build EMP shielding into every electronic device, thereby increasing the cost of life in general to protect against a very unlikely event? (Note I am not advocating one way or the other, simply asking the question.)

Comment: Re:waste of time (Score 1) 380

by es330td (#47328271) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

There really is no excuse for 30 years of innovation... for gas mileage to have gone down.

The only way this works is if cars remain exactly the same while improving only the engine technology. In 1981, the Honda Accord was 175" long, 64: wide and weighed 2,083 lbs. The 1.8L engine made 75hp. A current Accord is 191" long, 72" wide and weighs 3,287 lbs. Its 2.0L engine makes 154hp. The power-displacement ratio of the engine went up by 84% but the weight went up by more than 50%. As long as people want faster/bigger/more we will eat up any efficiency gains to have more comfort. Only when forced will the average person use efficiency to decrease consumption.

Comment: Re:Nice to see. (Score 1) 216

by es330td (#47325875) Attached to: Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

Batteries are already good enough.

...for many applications. For a significant portion of people's driving needs battery powered vehicles are great. For the rest they absolutely fail. No amount of money will get me to trade the 4x4 diesel used at my family's ranch for existing electric car technology. The qualities that make liquid fuel attractive cannot be touched in this application. I can carry a whole Prius battery pack of energy in a couple external cans of diesel on my trailer.

Regarding emissions, I am going to have to argue that the jury is still out on that. While the battery powered car itself has zero emissions, the power had to be generated someplace. While some are quick to jump in to offer solar or wind power, iirc charging a Tesla S is the equivalent of adding half an average house's load on the power grid in off peak hours. Solar and wind work best when the sun is out, so other power sources will be required when it is dark out. That means coal, nat. gas or my favorite, nuclear. As of today, electric cars displace emissions, not eliminate them. Electric cars are part of our transportation future. A perfect alternative they are not.

Comment: Re:Nice to see. (Score 2) 216

by es330td (#47318727) Attached to: Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March
He doesn't have to work for an oil company to hold this opinion, though "always" is an awfully long time. Personal transportation presents one main problem to overcome, that the energy to power a vehicle must either be carried on the vehicle or delivered to it. Unless we want to all drive slot car racers, vehicles must carry their fuel, the optimal fuel being determined primarily by two factors. The first is the energy stored per unit of volume, the other is the amount of energy stored by weight. As of today, liquid petroleum is the optimal maximization point of the combination of these two factors. Lithium-ion batteries are very poor energy storage in comparison being beaten by a factor of 40 by weight and ten by volume. I certainly think that we will see improvements in both of these, but I hold the opinion that a different technology will be required to compete with liquid energy.

Comment: Re:20cm of stupidiy (Score 2) 174

by es330td (#47195463) Attached to: Greenland Is Getting Darker
Did you actually read the wiki article to which you linked? As stated in TFA, "...many of the "subsidies" available to the oil and gas industries are general business opportunity credits, available to all US businesses." The value of subsidies specifically targeting fossil fuels is only a small fraction of the total subsidies received. If you take away the subsidies available to all businesses we can just lower emissions by crushing the economy at large. I'm sure Silicon Valley would love to see the R&D expense credit go away in the name of eliminating fossil fuel subsidies.

+ - Doesn't all computing power help mine?->

Submitted by es330td
es330td (964170) writes "

"Mining BitCoins these days requires a specialist rig featuring graphic cards so using low-powered embedded systems is not terribly practical. "Kudos to camera DVRs hackers for finding something worse (ie, very ineffective cryptocurrency mining) to use them for than surveillance,"

While I recognize a low power system is not likely to find the next BitCoin, isn't there at least a non-zero chance of any system mining to be successful? Nobody in their right mind wanting to mine Bitcoins would start out by saying "let's design our engine using a 386SX CPU" but offered a bunch of them for free, wouldn't it still make sense to add their compute power to the big picture so long as it is capable of running the software?

If the odds truly are zero (not almost zero) then what these guys did is a complete waste of time. If not non-zero then using surveillance cameras to mine Bitcoins is a big middle finger to TPTB and hardly "dim witted.""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Electric. (Score 1) 659

by es330td (#47002093) Attached to: Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?

but it is just a matter of time before there is a breakthrough in battery or power supply technology

Why do you think this is true? Further, even if there is a breakthrough in storage technology, some other factor may make it unusable, e.g. toxicity, chemical instability, throughput, scalability, cost, etc. We have reached a point that we are pushing the limits of the elements themselves. The entire model for electric cars depends on the power to weight ratios available only with rare earth magnets. I am all for thinking about what could be possible, but if you bank on technological breakthrough you will find yourself broke.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"