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Comment: Re:Why would I buy a Prius (Score 1) 377

by randallman (#47253833) Attached to: Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

Most car enthusiasts get a manual in a sports car for control, not "engagement". Triptronic is just the old style automatic with options to "slowly" select gears. This is not the same as Porche's PDK and the likes.

If you've payed attention, all the high end sports cars are going to automatics in the form of "automated manuals" such as Porche's PDK. They're superior to traditional manual transmissions in all ways. Shifts in these advanced transmissions happen in about a tenth of a second. I've driven a Porche Panamera and a Mclaren MP4-C and had no want for a "stick shift" in either one. I think some Lamborghini and Ferraris don't even offer stick shifts any more.

As for noise, that's just baseball cards in the spokes. If see Mustangs and Pickups making lots of noise while hardly accelerating. And as a tech, you should know that sound is wasted energy. I'm over it. Give me instant torque all the time and great handling. That's the real fun.

Comment: Re:Neither of the above, it will be CNG (Score 1) 659

by randallman (#47011743) Attached to: Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?

The only production CNG vehicle in the U.S. is the Honda Civic GX, which has a range of 250 miles, 200 miles less than its gasoline counterparts. It also has a $10,000 premium price tag at $29,000. And as for fueling at home, Honda recommends against it to fuel quality concerns and will void your warranty if you do. That means we need an entirely new fuel infrastructure.

So we roll out CNG fueling stations. Maybe doable in 10-15 years. Then what happens when we run out of NG? We have 11 years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shale_gas_in_the_United_States) of proven reserves and 100 years of "postulated" reserves. I'll bet those numbers drop quickly when we switch out gasoline for CNG. On the other hand, electrified vehicles are immune to fuel changes so our investment in infrastructure has 0 risk.

Comment: Re:Nuclear? (Score 1) 433

by randallman (#46747731) Attached to: UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

"When are you environmentalist nuts start studying how the electrical grid actually works instead of having fantasies about how it should work."

While a agree with your sentiment about anit-nuke positions, I think your "study the grid" viewpoint is narrow-minded.

Power demand (and thus supply) fluctuates greatly throughout the day. I'm an M.E. I worked for FPL, who know runs three solar power plants. I know how the grid works and it's sad that we still have to match production to demand. Energy storage systems are long overdue. There are some in place including uphill reservoirs, flywheels and thermal salt storage, but we haven't arrived yet. Though I'm not sure if centralized or decentralized (panels on houses) is best, it's clear that grid storage is a necessary step that will enable much needed flexibility on our power grid.

Grid storage is no more a "fantasy" than splitting atoms. I personally like nuclear. And I like wind and solar. And geothermal. They could work together nicely as base plus spike production. After we move to grid storage and look back, our current system of ramp production to meet demand will seem ridiculous and truly ancient.

Comment: Re:Hardware requirements (Score 1) 641

by randallman (#46693683) Attached to: Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

XP has been used as an embedded system on some large format scanners, printers, lab machines and other specialized hardware where I work. Other machines such as digital copiers have their own OS providing services such as SMB, FTP and other network services. Do you think these other OS's are somehow inherently secure and free of security holes? Why require embedded XP to have current updates and not the other embedded OS systems?

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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