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Comment Re:What are they going to replace with? (Score 1) 482 482

When I went to France I noticed a lot of people use resistive heating because the electricity is cheap.

Electric (resistive) heating is generally considered more expensive than other methods of heating in France. Of course that depends on the price of natural gas and oil so it ma change. Really the advantage of electric (resistive) heating is that the equipment is really cheap. So it's favored by landlords but also by people who cannot afford better. Finally there's another reason it's popular in France which is that it has been pushed forward to ensure nuclear reactors have some place to send their electricity to at night as they cannot simply be turned on and off.

Comment Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 674 674

Trains don't use electricity from a power company, they generate their own electricity

That may be true in the US but a self-respecting train network is electrified and the article is about the UK and even there this is true for 60% of the journeys. Also if the power outlets where fed from the train's generator they could not be used for cleaning the train when it is at the depot with the engines stopped. The article would also not have said: “If something was directly plugged into it (for example a standard computer, or a laptop without a battery in) the equipment would probably be damaged at any section gaps where the power supply changes from one substation to another!”.

So the "cost" of someone using a tiny amount of electricity is zero, because the generator is always running, etc.

This is totally wrong: you're putting a load on the generator which causes the engine to work harder to keep the set speed, thus using extra fuel. I'll grant you however that the consumption increase caused by charging one iPhone is totally marginal and probably not measurable at the generator.

Comment Re:He stole, he got arrested (Score 2) 674 674

From the linked article:

"Electricity sockets on Overground trains are clearly marked with the words: “cleaners use only and not for public use”

The sign sounds more like "we cannot be held responsible if this destroys your device" than a hard interdiction. Besides it's a really stupid way of doing things: they should just have a switch to turn off electricity to all these switches in the driver's compartment. The drivers would just have to turn the switch on/off when taking/parking the train (they already have a checklist to go through). Then the public can safely plug in all they want, without risk of 'abstracting' electricity or damaging their equipment.

Comment Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 5, Informative) 674 674

So assuming he fully-charged his iPhone 6 Plus, 11.1WH * 0.61 * 0.15/1000 = 0.00101565, he would have used 0.1 UK cents worth of electricity.

I think your calculation is wrong. The charging efficiency normally specifies the fraction of the consumed energy that actually ends up being stored in the battery. So your calculation should be 11.1WH / 0.61 * 0.15/1000 = 0.00272950 so almost 0.3 pennies. Still not enough to make it worth charging him (though I don't know what the capacity or charging efficiency is in his case ;-).

Comment Re:The inherent problem with electronic voting (Score 2) 116 116

They (supposedly) didn't have enough ballots to go around, and thus polling places were closing hours ahead of schedule, with the reason given by the Registrar of Voters as "We didn't have enough ballots for everyone to be able to vote".

That's really a trivial problem to solve and the fact that it occurred means the election officials were criminally incompetent which is now obvious for all to see. In contrast detecting hacks in voting computers is close to impossible, proving them harder still and preventing them while maintaining transparency downright impossible.

Comment Re:Uber has demonstrated contempt for the law (Score 1) 334 334

Regardless of whether the laws as written are correct (I would argue that the very existence of a "medallion" that costs more than the filing fee is evidence of collusion between the taxi authority and the taxi's)

In Paris the taxi medallions are free but there is a 15 to 18 years waiting list. So most drivers either get their medallion on the secondary market where the price was multiplied by about 20 in the past 25 years, reaching about 250 000 €. This financial pressure may be at the root of a lot of misbehaviors like refusing short rides, refusing credit cards (cash makes cheating the IRS easier), refusing to load passenger within a quarter mile from a train station (they can charge more at the train station), etc. There were 12 500 taxis in 1956 and they are now 19 500 (a 0.78%/year increase). There should be more but, besides the obvious lobbying (which I guess you could call collusion), every time the government wants to do so the taxis go on strike and block all traffic like last week (extortion). Some say the government should promise to buy back existing medallions but besides not making very much sense, that would cost well over 4 billions euros. Just for Paris!

So neither side is clean. At all.

Comment Re:Super-car? (Score 1) 134 134

Another aspect is that the space tubing uses up a lot of space, hence the single seat in the car. As is it won't ever have an impact on regular everyday cars. So while the approach may be revolutionary, it's only for a niche market and won't revolutionize car manufacturing in general. I also take exception to calling this a '3D printed chassis' when only small bits and pieces are 3D printed.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like Musk's hyper loop (Score 1) 124 124

I did. You'd need hundreds of cameras (more than two per mile on each side) leading to quite a bit of complexity and high maintenance costs (e.g. to replace those that break down). Even so you'd have to limit the field of view to only far away scenery otherwise the transition from one camera to the next would not work. That would be a problem near urban areas. Really does not seem practical/worth it.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like Musk's hyper loop (Score 1) 124 124

Rather than windows, it's to have large digital wall displays that show the outside as if you had giant picture windows. This is the direction airplanes are looking to move in the future as well.

The difference with planes is that any camera attached to the capsule will still be inside the metallic tube and thus useless. They could show some unrelated video footage or a pre-recorded one of the trip however.

Comment Re:Projections based on what? (Score 1) 310 310

We've been over this. 10 years into the future is still well within the 30 years that it takes to define climate.

And forecasting one particular day each year falls strictly under weather, not climate. It seems you are the one who has trouble with distinguishing the two.

First you should re-read the terms of the bet! Second, either it's weather and you should enter the bet, or it's climate giving you reason not to enter the bet. Make up your mind.

Comment Re:Projections based on what? (Score 1) 310 310

We can't precisely model weather patterns, despite such events happening at a pace that allows us to test the model daily, continuously. So why do we think we model climate perfectly?

And here you go again, claiming that difficulty in predicting weather means we cannot model climate. What makes the weather hard to predict is that it's a turbulent phenomenon and that people want to know if it will rain where they are when they come back from work, not a mile away or an hour before they leave. Climate has neither of these problems so your analogy with weather falls flat on its face. Proof: I can infer things based on climate ten years into the future without even a hand calculator when supercomputers are unable to predict where and when it will rain next month. Don't believe me? Enter the bet!

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.

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