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Comment: Re:This is stupid (Score 1) 280

by pem (#49590603) Attached to: New Study Suggests Flying Is Greener Than Driving

No, you want to compare likely transportation alternatives. If you're going to go on vacation, a likely decision you'll face is whether to pay for airline tickets and fly, or pay for fuel (and possible rental) and drive.

That's all well and good, but while you're making decisions, you'll also have to decide where you're going on that vacation. Maybe you decide to drive a couple of hundred miles, or maybe you decide to fly to Hawaii.

These things don't happen in a vacuum -- well at least until the space plane becomes a reality -- so while it's entirely possible that, given the current infrastructure, if I want to get from point A to point B, flying may be more environmentally friendly, that's a marginal case. If all the planes disappeared tomorrow, what would that do to our energy consumption?

Comment: Re:How you drive (Score 1) 247

by pem (#49574519) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

When you drive, you have to always assume that everyone around you is an idiot with a death wish in a broken-down car and try to correct for this with your driving.

Absolutely. But realistically, 50% of the people in head-on collisions are at fault, and probably well less than 20% of the people who get rear-ended. Even most people who stomp on the brake don't get rear-ended, and most people who pull out in front of others (failing to yield right-of-way) don't get rear-ended, because somebody paying attention manages to go around them. Most serious rear-end accidents are more like this, if not quite so dramatic.

Driving defensively is all well and good, but getting rear-ended like that is often one of the most difficult things to defend against -- if you are stuck in traffic, you may have literally nowhere to go.

Not only do most people realize this, but the law itself realizes this. If you rear-end someone, it will be difficult or impossible to prove you're not at fault. This is why the Pinto was an outrage to the public -- it was expressly designed to blow up the people who were least likely to be at fault.

Comment: Re:KDBus - another systemd brick on the wall (Score 2) 232

by pem (#49565201) Attached to: Linux 4.1 Bringing Many Changes, But No KDBUS

Virtually every program written has ["caused occasional instability and breakage, and consumed resources unnecessarily"]

Yes and "virtually every program" is something that the user voluntarily and directly starts. Avahi, pulseaudio, and systemd... aren't. Which makes it exceptionally frustrating for both users and developers when there is a problem, both from a standpoint of not knowing where the problem came from, and from the standpoint of finding an alternate program to use instead.

Which is why systems programmers should be held to a higher standard than applications programmers. Their mistakes should be fewer and should also be rectified more quickly.

so that comment of yours makes the rest of your post baseless and not worth replying to.

"There are lots of incompetent programmers so it's no fair pointing out that systemd is written by an incompetent programmer."

Is that really what you meant to write?

Comment: Re:You no longer own a car (Score 1) 649

by pem (#49516955) Attached to: Automakers To Gearheads: Stop Repairing Cars

I used to work for A major auto maker, this story is a bit of click bait since more likely what they are talking about is liability issues with modified vehicle controllers. People would over tune there car via third party apps, then end up blowing the motor on race day. They would flash the car back to stock and make a warranty claim.

That sucks, but the answer is better technology that makes that sort of thing easier to prove, or better technology that makes it more idiot-proof (like most cellphones have separate radio and baseband processors), not outlawing hacking.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 4, Informative) 533

by pem (#49507767) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power
If you're batteries are completely full, and you don't need any power, your controller simply won't pull any power from the solar panels, so the "heat sink" is merely your panels getting slightly warmer than they would have.

Household inverters will dump power into the grid as long as the grid is being maintained within some tolerance of voltage and frequency. This tolerance is quite wide, because otherwise inverters wouldn't work a lot of the time.

But the utility company would ideally like to be able to control the grid to whatever tolerance makes sense under current conditions, and this problem is not simplified by random (from its perspective) energy sources dotted around.

Also, the utility company has to maintain generation for the base load, and when a cloud greatly reduces the solar it has no control over, it has to quickly ramp generation up and then back down when the cloud goes away.

Comment: Re:The third factor (Score 1) 385

by pem (#49503023) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?
Actually, a lot of ADHD people procrastinate on a lot of things, partly because impending doom can be a focusing event that gets them moving.

But while they're procrastinating on things that others would think are important, they are usually working on stuff they think is important. Procrastinating on everything is more likely a sign of something else, perhaps depression.

Comment: Re:The third factor (Score 1) 385

by pem (#49503009) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?
> I wouldn't call being bad at something you don't like a disease.

I wouldn't either. And I don't call ADHD a disease, but it's not what you describe. The typical ADHDer either would love French and (assuming his ADHD does not coexist alongside learning disabilities) learn it really well, or hate it and not bother.

Once it hits the fan, the only rational choice is to sweep it up, package it, and sell it as fertilizer.