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Comment Trucks will be hybrids, not pure EV (Score 1) 224 224

And frankly, current ranges on EV's make them pretty much useless for trucks. Who really wants to stop for a couple hours a couple times a day?

You won't see pure EV trucks for a long time. What you'll see is a power train similar to that on locomotives. Diesel engine charging electric motors with a battery bank to deal with the excess. It's very efficient, huge torque and the technology is well understood. I'm kind of surprised we aren't seeing it already.

Comment Problems can be solved (Score 2) 224 224

EVs cost significantly more than gas cars, don't have the range of gas cars, and apartment dwellers have no way to charge them overnight.

All of which are solvable problems. With scale EVs eventually could be cheaper than gas cars since they have fewer parts. There already are EVs with range competitive with gas cars (see the Model S) and they are only getting better. As for apartment dwellers, eventually apartments will end up providing charging infrastructure though I fully expect this to happen late in the game because the cost isn't trivial.

Electric vehicles will probably reach a tipping point when either A) recharge times get to less than 15 minutes with a 200 mile range or B) EVs with a 500+ mile range are developed and economically feasible. Until that happens we'll see hybrids serving as a technology test platform until such time as the battery technology matures sufficiently. I fully expect most luxury cars to be plug-in hybrids within the next 10-15 years. I think you'll start to see semi trucks and long haul vehicles becoming hybrids with a power train similar to locomotives (diesel with electric motors driving the wheels).

EVs won't reach the tipping point tomorrow or even probably 5 years from now but I do think they are the likely future with hybrids being a stepping stone to get there.

Comment A concession stand that sells gasoline (Score 1) 224 224

Apparently the deals they make with the gasoline/diesel suppliers are so bad there is almost no profit in selling gas.

That is correct. The business model is basically that it is a concession stand that uses fuel as the means to lure people to the store. Kind of similar to how a movie theater makes all their money on concessions because the revenues for the movie (around 80%) go back to the company distributing the movie. Pretty much all the profits in the oil and gas industry are made by the big oil and gas companies. They might have service stations (like ExxonMobil) to vertically integrate the entire supply chain but independent fuel stations really don't make any money on the fuel itself.

Comment Only children should fear the dark (Score 2) 102 102

If no lighting makes residents stay at home because they don't feel safe outside when they'd otherwise be out and about, that seems like a problem.

Their perception of danger is of no concern to me. I'm concerned with the actuality of danger. They are adults and not children who ought to be afraid of the dark. If they don't feel safe outside then I'd suggest they spend their money improving their policing or move some place where they feel safer. Again, if they are scared of nothing (and the data indicates that they are) and decide to stay home rather than face the night then I don't see an actual problem.

Or maybe spend money and resources making residents feel safe and secure in their community?

Real security isn't going to come from a bunch of wasteful street lamps. At best it is security theater and it definitely is a huge waste of resources.

Comment At least make it motion activated (Score 1) 102 102

scrabbling around with a torch to get into your car (and check tyres etc before setting off for work)

I press my remote entry and it lights up the car. No handheld light necessary. But even if you didn't have that what is the big problem with using a light? It's not clear to me why you need to have a large and wasteful light constantly lit on the off chance you might decide to get in your car at some point during the night. At least have it be motion activated.

I have no idea why you would bother checking the tires before driving off as a routine activity. Do a lot of tires in your neighborhood wind up unexpectedly deflated?

Comment So they stayed home. So what? (Score 1) 102 102

Did they take into account how many people used the darkened streets? Maybe people felt less safe in the dark, so avoided going out in the dark.

Ok, if that is true then where is the actual problem?

When I bike home in the dark, I take a longer route with streetlights rather than go on the dark side streets.

So we should waste money and resources and pollution lighting up roads so you can bike home? I'm all for biking but I think this is a needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few situation.

Comment Most streetlights are wasteful (Score 3, Insightful) 102 102

I see street lights as a waste of money.

Not just a waste of money. Most of them are a waste of fuel, serve no meaningful social purpose, create needless light pollution as well as emissions and waste resources in their creation and installation. We could eliminate vast numbers of street lights in all likelihood with no adverse effect at all while saving a lot of money and reducing pollution. I'm always astonished when I fly over a city at night how many empty parking lots, unoccupied buildings, unused streets and other things we pointlessly and wastefully light up.

Comment um no (Score 1) 107 107

The point of Steam Machines is to get rid of Windows and MS... so how does Windows 10 help with that?
Also... you can already plug your video card into your TV. You've been able to do that for over 10 years with a $10 extra long HDMI or Display port cable.
If you want it wireless, there are devices that do that for about $100
If you want a real "Stream" or shared desktop, Chrome Cast can do games now and the dongles $29

Also... this story hit a day or two ago... on pretty much every "Pay to play" tech website out there at the same time. In other words, this is a paid Microsoft commercial we've been duped into reading. Thanks Slashdot, you're really going down the tubes.

Comment Installed base of AC (Score 1) 167 167

I've long thought that whole local power grids would switch to DC eventually anyway.

Unlikely to happen any time soon. Too much installed base of AC power. Not like people are going to rip open their walls to switch from AC to DC and virtually everything you plug into the walls is designed with AC in mind. The only wide spread DC cabling standard is USB and that's mostly low power stuff.

I have no principled objection to DC power but I think any switch will take many decades if it happens at all.

Comment Re:Policy should be based on facts (Score 1) 254 254

1-The only people making an in depth examination of the issue are those who make a lot of money if the answer comes back "safe".

Demonstrably not true. Certainly a lot of the studies are industry funded but there are plenty that are not. Not to mention that we've been eating the stuff for decades now as a sort of in-vivo test without any evidence of problems attributable to GMO crops or animals. If people want to be paranoid that's their problem - don't make it mine.

2-Is it ok to put pork in sausages shipped to the middle east and not lebel it?

Nice strawman. Saying something is GMO without any further details is nearly meaningless. GMO by what technique, using what genes, with what evidence of harm? If I tell you something is GMO and you make a decision based on that information alone with no further details then you are not making any sort of meaningfully informed decision based on actual evidence. You are simply being scared of something you don't fully understand.

As a parallel, there is basically no evidence that organic foods are more nutritious and it is not clear that they are better for the environment. The argument for organics is more one of logic than of actual evidence. It sounds good in principle but sounding good doesn't make it true. They require more inputs to get the same yield, the "organic" pesticides used (and they are used) are often more toxic than the synthetic options, etc. If someone wants organic food that is fine but you label what is different, not what is standard. You have the person who wants the specialty good pay extra for it.

Most food is non-organic just like for many types of food GMO has become standard. If there is a market for non-GMO food (like there is for organic) then that is fine. It might not mean much but let those who care pay extra for it. Personally I don't care but until there is some actual evidence of harm I don't care to pay for labeling that I think is unscientific and pointless and frankly amounts to scare-mongering.

Comment Shortcuts are a signal of bad design (Score 1) 631 631

Shortcut keys are for power users and aren't really meant to be memorized directly.

The term "power user" is fairly meaningless. It typically references someone who knows all sorts of arcane stuff about an application or system. But it reinforces my point. If they need to know all this arcane stuff and the system is so clumsy they need shortcuts then the system needs to be designed better. I could be considered a power user of quite a number of applications but I still think shortcut keys are usually a clumsy workaround in most cases. There are exceptions but they are exceptions that prove the rule. I think keyboard shortcuts are a perfect example of the "if the only tool you have is a hammer everything is a nail" principle.

I prefer nice menus but I tend to go look up the shortcut keys or try to create a macro when I notice that I keep doing the same thing over and over again.

Exactly my point. I do the same thing (when possible) but I maintain that generally if I need to do that it very often means the interface needs some rework.

If you want to know how useful shortcut keys can be, try playing StarCraft 1 with someone who uses shortcut keys. They will beat you every time if you're just using the mouse.

It's not that they aren't useful or that they don't work. The problem I have with them is more of a design principle than a specific complaint. For example I happen to know that the shortcut to display the History in my browser is Ctrl+Shift+H. In my opinion if I'm using that so much that it needs a shortcut then it should be a more prominent part of the interface. As a general rule I think keyboard shortcuts should not be application specific any more than absolutely necessary. Cut/Copy/Paste are fine. Ctrl+Shift+A to open the Add-Ons in Firefox should either be user defined or simply not be given a shortcut or be made more prominent in the GUI.

Comment Policy should be based on facts (Score 4, Insightful) 254 254

However, I also believe people have a right to their own paranoid delusions

That depends heavily on exactly how harmful the delusion is. Some are harmless, others not so much. But public policy should be based on actual facts and real evidence.

therefore they have a right to know whether or not the food they buy contains GMO ingredients

Why do they have a "right to know"? Is there any actual evidence that they are harmful even a little bit? If the answer is yes then maybe you have an argument. But since the answer so far is an unequivocal no, despite large amounts of research into the question, then I cannot agree with you. I prefer my public policy decisions to be made on scientific facts and not made on ill informed paranoia.

If there is a market for people who want to know if a food is GMO-free then you will see labeling to that effect on some products and that is fine. Although if they are truly paranoid I'm not sure how they could ever be sure the label was actually true.

1 + 1 = 3, for large values of 1.