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Comment Let's be honest about thtis (Score 1) 213

As mentioned elsewhere in this story and thread:

Landmines are autonomous, durable, and persistent. Very dangerous. And easily forgotten by their employers.

Claymore mines ditto, though less appreciated for their durability, and found so much more quickly.

Technology has produced much more interesting autonomous weapons, mobile, with greater range, but if you're all worked up because they are being controlled by operators half a world way that high-five each other when they obliterate a wedding party, well, you've missed the old white men and women in a room full of screens showing blobs moving and some going cold...

And before that, old white men in subway tunnels moving little wooden icons around a map, listening to telephone reports, and lighting up a cigar to celebrate that they have, once more, survived the night.

War is more and more fought elsewhere. This may be offensive to your delicate sensibilities, but be thankful you are not shooting from your bathroom window. Or not. Just don't ask me to pretend you have any moral high ground. We must change things or accept the world as it becomes.

Comment Re:Energy in? (Score 1) 156

Don;t forget that internal combustion engines are terribly inefficient, returning maybe 40% of the energy input in work output.

You only, for my car, need to fill with 16 gallons, so that 534+/-kW only results in 213+/-kW of useful work.

Note the Tesla Model S battery is rated at 85kW, and range is estimated at 265 miles. My Impala would seem to be half as efficient as a Model S. I can see that.

So a 40kW charger can recharge my car to full capacity in what, 5 hours? And that 16 gallon equivalent gets me at least 360 miles, as my car is terribly inefficient beyond even the IC engine limitations?

No, the limitation is the battery. It doubles the cost of the car in small, 'affordable' vehicles. The premium for higher-priced vehicles is tolerable even without subsidies.

Fix batteries, or more correctly the storage, and things make sense. If I could get 100 mile range for a 5 hour charge, and do so with a mechanism that is safe to use in hard rain, disconnects automatically, prevents theft, and is reliable in the 5 year term, I'm in. And that's my home charger. At work they could, maybe, build those covered spaces we love in Arizona and the tops are solar cells harvesting the fusion reactor (Sun) output we largely fail to leverage now.

Dorman is selling Prius packs for just shy of $3k ($1.9K-$900 core). I should be toting up the cost of a motor, drive train, controller, charger, and accessory drive, and buy an '04- Ralliart with a blown motor/trans and a good blend door. Or a Saab with a good convertible top, the subframe just screams for an electric conversion. Delete the exhaust, ECU wiring, fuel piping, etc, and this is pretty doable. Finding a spot for the battery pack

Conversions are possible. Even better platforms exist, though I'm not interested in a Metro or Echo.

Comment Re:Energy in? (Score 1) 156

And why doesn't this make sense for carbon 'sequestration'? Even though it isn't sequestration.

Creating a somewhat closed loop of CO2->CH3OH->(2CH3OH(l) + 3O2(g) --> 2CO2(g) + 4H2O(g)) seems, superficially, like a win. The inputs, probably the required energy, make you question the economics of the process. So let's think.

Carbon sequestration is always expensive. Paying credits and such is a game that really doesn't reduce carbon anything but makes us^H^Hthem feel better. Costs to change processes etc are all reflected in pricing of products and services.

But while a CO2-Methanol loop still might cost, it may mitigate that cost enough to be viable.

And if it is implemented cleverly, at the source of the CO2, even better than extracting it from the atmosphere, probably.

Now to make ti actually work.

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