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Comment: Light but reactive element = high energy density (Score 1) 63

by Ungrounded Lightning (#47718377) Attached to: How Argonne National Lab Will Make Electric Cars Cheaper

"lithium is in the upper left-hand corner of the periodic table. Only hydrogen and helium are lighter on an atomic basis."

  I'm wondering if this is a non sequitur for electric batteries.

Not a non sequitur at all.

An important factor for batteries is energy density: How much energy is stored per unit mass. This is particularly important for electric cars: The higher the energy density, the less mass you havce to haul around for a given amount of "fuel", which means the less "fuel" is spent hauling your "fuel" around, so it's a more-than-linear improvement.

Lithium is both extremely light and a very reactive nonmetal. So you're talking about a lot of energy per unit mass for the lithium-based electrode's contribution to the reaction.

Comment: Re:Marx is a painful read (Score 1) 38

by Arker (#47718121) Attached to: Marx sure does spew him some drivel
"Gleaning from the Gospels, the line on the Sadducees I'd heard was that they were the over-educated, liberal poofs of their day, whereas the Pharisees, while mired in legalism, were relatively less off-course."

Hmm, I dont know about that. My read of the NT definitely wasnt adulatory to the Sadducees but I always thought the Pharisees came off as even worse there. The big BC power struggle in judaism was between the Zadok priesthood and the Pharisees, but it was effectively over in Judea when the Maccabees usurped the High Priesthood. (Ironically sons of Zadok survived later in Samaria.) The Maccabees destroyed the country repeatedly but they are idolized by the rabbinates precisely because they destroyed the priesthood and the rites and laws ordained in the Torah, allowing the rabbis to usurp their place with new rites and laws. The Sadducees were so sad in part because their struggle had been lost before they were born, and they had no animating principle or focus. There were many other groups - the early Christians, the Essenes and whatever group one would posit for Philo, for instance. All of these to some degree feed into karaism as it developed, but there was no constant unified name or identity beyond just being jews that embraced the Torah while viewing the 'oral law' stuff with skepticism.

But the impetus for actually proclaiming it 'officially' and giving it a name and turning it into an identified movement was very practical and concrete, and again the context was political power struggle. The Gaonate usurped the Exilarchate over time, starting the moment of Islamic conquest if not before. It came to a head with Anan ben David. He was the rightful crown Prince, but the Gaonate had acquired the theoretical right to appoint their own boss from the caliphate already, and chose this moment to assert it practically, choosing his brother. There were many jews that were skeptical of the rabbis, not just in academic or theological sense but also of the governance of the Gaonate and Anan stirred them up with speeches, causing a bit of a disturbance. The rabbis run to the Caliph and accuse him of insurrection. And so he is locked up.

So Anan is jailed by the caliph, who is actually a friend of his and hates to do it, but technically they are right - by challenging their right to appoint the exilarch he challenged the authority of the caliphate as well. But the rabbis are busy too - one of them, Natronai, denounces Anans brother Josiah and proclaims himself the new Exilarch, so instead of two factions of jews rioting against each other and disturbing the caliph there are now three! Also he receives word that North Africa and Spain have erupted in revolt, and an army of Franks has been seen sailing for the area as well. Sounds aggravating doesnt it?

So the caliph offers a way out - just declare a different religion, separate from judaism over whom the Gaonate at this point has the legal control. And this was instantly recognised, giving not just Anans followers, but all the jews that were rejecting the Gaonate, a legal existence throughout the caliphate - which of course stretched from India to Spain at the time. A legal right to continue to exist without having to answer to and obey the Gaonate. And a legal contination, at least for some time, of the line of David in a (separate) exilarchate.

Comment: Re:This is ridiculous. (Score 1) 123

by _Sharp'r_ (#47717869) Attached to: Researchers Find Security Flaws In Backscatter X-ray Scanners

If you want to get all strict-constructionist on this matter though, planes, cars, buses, and rail didn't even exist when the Constitution was written, so one could argue that there's no Constitutional protection when travelling by anything beyond horseback, carriage, or walking.

This argument doesn't make any sense, and certainly wouldn't to a strict-constructionist.

Either the Constitution was intended to cover any type of travel when originally written, or it wasn't.

If it was, then any type of travel is protected, because nothing in the Constitution authorizes the government to restrict travel.

If (as you argue) it wasn't intended to cover, say, flying, because it didn't exist at that time yet (silly, no one really argues that but let's go with it...), then still, nothing in the Constitution authorizes the government to restrict travel via flying.

The fallacy you seem to be falling into is thinking that the Constitution needs to explicitly permit or protect a particular freedom (like travel) or else the government can do what they want in regards to it. The Constitution doesn't grant people rights and doesn't protect only enumerated freedoms. It enumerates specific powers for the government and reserves everything not specifically granted to the States and the people.So if the Constitution doesn't apply to something, then the Federal government doesn't have any authority whatsoever in regards to that something.

In actual fact, the courts have ruled that any limitation on the fundamental right to travel must pass strict scrutiny. See a few hundred thousand links from Google.

Comment: Re:I have worked at a few ISPs (Score 1) 234

by evilviper (#47709925) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

One ISP in my area that provides anything beyond DSL speeds.

DSL isn't dial-up. I don't see why people act like 5Mbps internet access is unacceptable, substandard and inhuman.

Besides, they know people want better, and keep their prices low to compensate... That should help you negotiate a better deal with your cable company, who doesn't know you really want the higher speeds.

Comment: Re:McDonallds should sue ... (Score 4, Interesting) 234

by evilviper (#47709911) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

most of us don't have a choice. It's Comcast or no TV.

TV antennas have worked since the 1940s. With the digital switchover is the 2000s, people even further out can get a digitally-perfect picture in higher quality with less artifacts than any cable or satellite provider offers. And you probably have several times more TV channels available to you than you would expect, possibly several good ones that are not even carried on cable.

Since the 90s, direct broadcast satellite has been an option for the overwhelming majority of people. If you've got any way to put a tiny dish where it'll have a view towards the equator, you can get subscription TV while avoiding your local cable monopoly.

And today, with high speed DSL and FIOS, you may be able to get more content than you can watch, for under $10/month. Even if you choose not to go this route, the threat of it is likely to keep your cable co in-line and behaving themselves.

Comment: Re:Is there an counter to this? (Score 1) 234

by evilviper (#47709901) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

call your supervisor over, I'd like to speak to them immediately. Inform them that if THEY can't disconnect my service, I'll be asking for their manager as well

There's no legal obligation for them to transfer you to their supervisor. You can ask a dozen times, and the "supervisor" or "manager" you get, will keep being the guy in the next cubicle over.

Comment: Re:I have worked at a few ISPs (Score 4, Interesting) 234

by sheetsda (#47709107) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

"...attempts to retain customers at any cost."

I use this to my advantage.

1. A competing trash service sent me a flier offering the same service at about 60% of the price I was paying. The current service matched the price for 1 year. Even if they're not making a dime on me they're dividing their fuel cost one more way.

2. Last month I called Time Warner and told them I wanted them to match the introductory price of competing internet service (~75% of regular price for 1 year). They did. This is the second time I've had my price lowered to an introductory rate without being a new customer.

When these prices run out I'll call again and get the rate lowered again. Or I'll cancel and go to the competitor. Either way, these add up to about $360 saved this year for two 15-minute phone calls. Pretty good $/hr.

Comment: Re:NOT CONFIDENTIAL!! YAY!! (Score 1) 225

by Mr. Slippery (#47708741) Attached to: $125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

You do realize that settlements are basically private contracts right?

There is no such thing as a "private contract". A contract, by nature, is an agreement that the state will enforce. State actions are not private. If two people make an agreement and will never disclose that agreement to anyone else under any circumstances, then a court will never see it, and it is in no meaningful way a contract.

Of course that only goes double when one of the parties is a government agency. Nothing a government agency does is private.

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 2) 687

by evilviper (#47705385) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

"[W]hite western women" are not "the most privileged creatures on this planet", as things like wage disparity

What wage disparity exists, comes as a result of what career paths women choose to take. So says a number of studies. Giving women the same wages as men, despite them being in less demanding jobs, is pure man-hating, women-are-perfect, political correctness gone completely awry.

sexual abuse

Huge populations of men are doing long jail terms and then being made unemployable and homeless for the rest of their lives, due to ever more strict laws that conflate rape with any and every other legal infraction that happens to have any minor sexual component.

access to healthcare

Men pay considerably more for health insurance, specifically to subsidize the higher cost of providing health care for women. Whatever the problems with the US health care system system, women aren't being disproportionally affected by it.

Comment: Re:what about misandry? (Score 1) 687

by evilviper (#47705191) Attached to: News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

Why is it that sexism is only banned in one direction?

Who said it was? Rape jokes directed at men are banned now, too.

How it'll actually pan-out remains to be seen, and I can only hope it doesn't turn into the man-hating women's club everyone is expecting.

It wasn't that long ago that Fark stopped posting nudie pics every day, and spun that off to a separate Foobies site that next to nobody visits.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers