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Comment Re:Tickets / civil liability / criminal liability? (Score 1) 220

First, imagine this: the price of a self-driving car will be too high to allow it to sit idle in your garage. You will never, ever own a self-driving car. You can choose to buy a car that you drive yourself, or you can choose to consume Transportation-as-a-Service (TaaS). Uber will provide it. Google will provide it. Maybe car manufacturers will provide it. You can answer all your questions yourself if you replace "self-driving car" with "taxi."

TaaS will be in competition with car ownership, so providers will have to comfort users and provide a better experience in order to compete. For what it's worth, it is not a high standard to provide a better experience than insuring, maintaining, fuelling, and driving a car. One specific way that they can provide a better experience is by dealing with all the annoyances that you mention, and more.

Comment Re:Butterfly Ballot not Supreme Court decided 2000 (Score 2) 634

Everything that you say is correct; however, it's a risky proposition for the Republican party to focus on it, because it papers over the dire straits in which the party finds itself.

I'm not American, so this is an outsider's perspective. I think that the Republican party does focus on the truth that Bush won the election over Gore and that he won it fare-and-square. In doing that, they ignore the more salient truth: since 1992, the Republican party has won the popular vote for president exactly once.

That is a sign of a party out-of-step with the country they want to govern.

Comment Re:Obligatory reading (Score 4, Informative) 419

the 24,000 [year] half life

TFA refers to Pu238, which is quite active. It has a half life of about 88 years. It is an energetic alpha emitter, which is not dangerous outside the body because the skin absorbs the emission and you can wash Pu238 off pretty easily. However, once it's inside you, virtually all of the alpha emissions will be absorbed by your body unless/until you can excrete it. A good fraction of any amount ingested will eventually emit energetic radiation that you will absorb. A disaster could be bad.

Having said all that, including Pu238 in a spacecraft is a problem we have solved before, so it's not all that crazy.

Comment Re:I was wondering the same thing... (Score 1) 461

The appliance-type cookers can have a glass lid, and the pot-on-the-stove versions (always?) have a metal lid. I think that the appliance-type ones have all the pressure release valves and knobs in the pot rather than the lid which puts a glass top in play. I'm not sure about that because I've never owned an appliance-type cooker. They aren't as versatile because you can't quickly depressurize by using cold water on the lid or base.

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