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Comment Re:Dissimilar markets (Score 3, Informative) 99

They're buying off-the-shelf batteries from the same suppliers that build batteries for the rest of the portable electronics industry. Since batteries are a resource intensive product (they're made from commodity materials that must be mined and processed), there is always going to be a fixed cost associated with their production. Here's a free hint: more electric cars being sold will only put more demand on battery manufacturers, and I don't have to explain how supply and demand works.

You are dead-on with with the reflection on the maturity of electric vehicles. They've been around a LONG time.

But regarding battery manufacturing, you may have missed the recent news about Tesla's plans for building the world's largest battery factory this year - it seems that Musk has anticipated your concern:
http://gigaom.com/2014/02/19/t...

Education

Quantum Physics For Everybody 145

fiziko writes in with a self-described "blatant self-promotion" of a worthwhile service for those wishing to go beyond Khan Academy physics: namely Bureau 42's Summer School. "As those who subscribe to the 'Sci-Fi News' slashbox may know, Bureau 42 has launched its first Summer School. This year we're doing a nine-part series (every Monday in July and August) taking readers from high school physics to graduate level physics, with no particular mathematical background required. Follow the link for part 1."

Comment Re:Make Caps Lock another Shift key (Score 1) 939

I do the same thing in xwindows. I added this to my ~/.bash_profile :
xmodmap -e "remove Lock = Caps_Lock"
xmodmap -e "remove Shift = Shift_L"
xmodmap -e "keysym Shift_L = Caps_Lock"
xmodmap -e "keysym Caps_Lock = Shift_L"
xmodmap -e "add Lock = Caps_Lock"
xmodmap -e "add Shift = Shift_L"

Comment Re:Wash your hands! (Score 1) 374

This is good advice, and gives me an opportunity to speak to the community at large: some of us who go to cons and are in a position to shake tons of hands politely decline. It's not because we're being dicks, it's because we know it's a good way to substantially decrease our chances of catching and spreading any germs.

Comment Oh, cruel irony (Score 2, Interesting) 374

I played the PAX Pandemic game, where the Enforcers handed out stickers to attendees that read [Carrier] [Infected] or [Immune] (There was also a [Patient Zero].

I got the [Immune] sticker, and by the time I got home on Monday, it was clear that I had the flu. I've had a fever between 100 and 104 all week that finally broke last night, but I'm going to the doctor today because I think whatever I had settled into my lungs. I'll tell him about the H1N1 outbreak and get tested if he wants to run the test, but at this point I think it's safe to assume that I was [Immune] to the Pig Plague, but definitely [Infected] with the damn PAX pox.

Even though it's been a week of misery, it was entirely worth it, and I don't regret going to PAX for a single second.

Comment Re:That's it? (Score 1) 594

I haven't done the math, but I suspect that even if MANY millions of people were charging cars at night, it still wouldn't approach the daytime load of the grid. Keep in mind that most people would only need to top off their charge from their short (25 miles perhaps) daily commute.

This is exactly my description. I have a 12.5 mile commute each way to work and back. I am currently converting a 2002 Ford Focus to full electric. I expect to have a total range of about 40 miles per charge.

The charger I'm using is what I would consider a middle-of-the-road charger, in terms of power consumption (about 4.8KW). It is wired for a 240 VAC, 20 amp circuit, and should be able to charge my 144 volt, 28 KWH pack in about 6 hours. Keep in mind, 4.8KW is less than the steady state power consumption of a typical 1.5 ton capacity heat pump. The grid will trivially be able to handle this kind of load during the night.

Comment Re:Something lost (Score 1, Interesting) 295

It's enough for basic point and shoot needs (i.e. grandma who uses the $5 disposable and runs down to the 1-hour photo lab at Wal Mart). Beyond that- no.

1. Film resolution is measured by granularity of the crystals used. In other words, MOLECULES. Digital resolution is measured in pixels. Molecules are more granular than pixels.

2. Color saturation of prosumer image capture devices are about an order of magnitude worse than good film. This is why all the mucking about in photoshop, etc is required to artificially enhance digital photos and make them "pop." Even so, in many cases, no amount of postprocessing can correct this deficiency. Remember that rule #1 in photography is "good light."

3. Longevity. What's the longevity of a pixel on digital media? I have lots of negatives and slides, over 100 years old, which still produce very nice prints.

Comment John Scalzi on why it won't work (Score 1) 370

John Scalzi wrote a hilarious exchange on his blog the sums up perfectly why this idea is made of fail:

Sony BMG spokesperson: We're pleased to announce we are the final major music corporation to release electronic tracks without that pesky DRM! All you have to do is leave your house, go to a selected retail outlet, buy a special card there, go back to your house, scratch off the back of the card to find a code, go to our special MusicPass Web site, enter said code, and download one the 37 titles we have available, from Celine Dion to the Backstreet Boys!

Kid #1: Or, in the time it takes me to jump through all those hoops, I could just download all 37 of those albums off of Pirate Bay.

Kid #2: Or, I could just scratch off the back at the store, record the pin number, go home and download the album through a Tor connection, so you can't trace my IP number.

Kid #1: Also, what's with this first slate of artists? Celine Dion? Backstreet Boys? Kenny Chesney? Barry Manilow? Are you high?
There's much more, but I didn't want to jack his entire post.

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