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Comment: I can save Americans $4.3B/year (Score 3, Insightful) 218

by loshwomp (#46621423) Attached to: Smartphone Kill-Switch Could Save Consumers $2.6 Billion

Americans currently spend around $580 million replacing stolen phones each year and $4.8 billion paying for handset insurance.

At that factor of 8, folks, is why insurance is a bad investment. Americans could save $4.3B per year by not buying insurance with a poor ROI.

Comment: Re: Add a range-extender engine, perhaps PV too (Score 1) 94

by loshwomp (#46437729) Attached to: California District Launches Country's First All-Electric School Bus

Unless you want to take kids on a field trip...

It doesn't make any sense to optimize for outlier trips like that, unless you have money to burn. Rather, you keep a few diesel buses around.

PV is better (economically, for efficiency, and for the grid) when it's stationary and grid-connected, and range extenders negate the benefits of the simple electric powertrain (bringing back ICE maintenance). A "range extended" EV embodies the complexity of both a full-power EV and a convention internal combustion powetrain.

Comment: Re:Add a range-extender engine, perhaps PV too (Score 1) 94

by loshwomp (#46436063) Attached to: California District Launches Country's First All-Electric School Bus

PV could be installed, to also help with range

It doesn't need any "help with range". Fleet vehicles (like school buses) are already a near-ideal case for electrification; they follow well established routes and schedules. Range is either sufficient or not, and once sufficient, the marginal value of additional range is zero.

Comment: Re:Economic problems with hydrogen power (Score 1) 551

by loshwomp (#46169983) Attached to: Should Nuclear and Renewable Energy Supporters Stop Fighting?

Basically you have to get charging time down below about 10 minutes for at least 200 miles of range.

That's only required to make electrics practical for the last 3-4% of transportation needs. Several standard deviations of our driving can be met with existing technology. Overnight charging at 6-12 kW is ideal because it's cheapest, and it happens while you do other things (like sleep), and it's when the grid is the cleanest.

Comment: Re:Report validates the "dead man walking" assessm (Score 1) 207

by loshwomp (#45995699) Attached to: Previously-Unseen Photos of Challenger Disaster Appear Online

The report makes it pretty clear that saving the Columbia was about as realistic as saving the Titanic.

I'm glad you weren't in charge of Apollo 13. : ) Seriously, I think your interpretation is unusual (or maybe we're talking about different documents). The CAIB pretty clearly says the scenarious were plausible. Obviously risky, with no guarantee of success, but not impossible. I can't see how you got from that to "certain doom".

Comment: Re:PHB's strike again (Score 4, Interesting) 207

by loshwomp (#45981471) Attached to: Previously-Unseen Photos of Challenger Disaster Appear Online

The Columbia crew were dead men walking the moment the foam damaged the tiles. Columba was a wreck the moment the foam caused the damage. She would never reach earth's surface whole once she entered space.

This claim was solidly refuted in the official accident investigation report, which explores parallel scenarios--one for rescue, and another for improvised repair while on orbit.

The report is a fascinating read, by the way, and highly recommended. It manages to be satisfyingly technical without going over the head of a typical engineer or even lay person.

Comment: Not really buying it. (Score 1) 520

by loshwomp (#45918461) Attached to: 4K Is For Programmers

More is better to a point, but productivity does not scale linearly with the number of lines of code displayed simultaneously.

I'm open minded, but unconvinced that it's especially better than two (or three) modest size displays. I'd be interested to hear from others who have tried both approaches (enormous display vs. a few smaller ones).

Comment: Re:Let's go BACKWARDS! (Score 2) 200

by loshwomp (#45261293) Attached to: Stung By Scandal, South Korea Weighs Up Cost of Curbing Nuclear Power

other energy sources are already cheaper [than nuclear]

That depends on how you account for the strip mining, fracking, CO2 and things like radiation (from coal plants) spewing into the atmosphere (which we all share). There aren't low carbon sources that are both cheaper than nuclear and suitable for base load.

safety is still somewhat lacking (accidents, like Fukushima, still happen)

And for perspective, coal plants emit more radiation when working normally, 24x7.

Safer and cheaper nuclear reactors should be possible.

Are possible, and much safer technology (than was in place at any of the high-profile incidents) exists today.

Comment: Re:firing squads have one blank. (Score 1) 1160

Killing someone is cheaper than letting them rot for life in prison, feeding them, housing them, guarding them and perhaps even risking parole at some later date.

Your statement confirms that Americans care only about one thing - money.

Actually, it also confirms that the GP is wrong about the financial arguments, since it's exceedingly well documented that executing prisoners costs about an order of magnitude more than the alternative.

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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