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Comment Re:First note to the PAs on the new show: (Score 2) 122 122

You know, that would be the best prank ever. Convincing Clarkson that he's getting a new TV show but having the actual point being to secretly film him when he's not acting for the fake "show", as they subject him to situations that would be increasingly uncomfortable for a speed-obsessed labour-hating hot-headed racist diva. Sort of "Top Gear" crossed with "An Idiot Abroad". ;)

Comment Re:Percentages? (Score 1) 128 128

A recent Childline poll found nearly 10% of 12-13-year-olds were worried they were addicted to pornography and 18% had seen shocking or upsetting image

Years ago (mid 80s or something) there was a "video nasty" frenzy in the UK based on figures that purported to show what percentage of kids and watched "video nasties". The data was gathered by asking kids which of a list of films they had seen. Turned out to be totally bogus, a later study got the same results when the list had a mix of real and invented titles. Not suprising really. Are these figures any better?

This is the internet, 135% of all statistics are made up. The last 47% are skewed in favor of whatever the article is trying to sell.

Comment Germany has reciprocal spying agreements (Score 0) 53 53

They would never prosecute the NSA, they don't want to lose those agreements.

The NSA spying on Merkel is a diplomatic faux pas, but it changes nothing. The German people get angry, German politicians say a few huffy words, and no one doers anything. Because Germany is playing the same game the NSA is in every capacity with the BND.

You are a fool if you think it will ever be otherwise and you are bigger fool if you are German and you think it should be otherwise. The point of spying is to gather vital intelligence. Every nation does it. Every nation always will. What kind of airhead thinks it will ever be otherwise or should be otherwise? To respect people's private information? Am I supposed to laugh?

Does anyone think a few idealistic naive bloggers is ever going to change the nature of espionage? Are there really people out there who think espionage can ever be respectful or honest or straightforward?

I agree they should not prosecute the bloggers, but exactly what the hell were these bloggers thinking? They were going to shut down or change the nature of spying? Make it respectful and transparent? What kind of quixotic cluelessness about reality is this?

Comment Re:Why animals can't be given human rights. (Score 1) 122 122

I tend to weigh on the side that sentient animals should receive protections similar to the protections we give to children or to adults deemed legally incompetent. That means they can't exercise many of the rights that we recognize adult humans have, but neither can they be wantonly exploited, physically or psychologically harmed.

There are already animal cruelty laws that could be amended to grant better protection from human-on-animal neglect and abuse. The problem with giving them rights is that they'd apply to animal-on-animal action or environmental harm. You wouldn't let a child assault another child, would you? But it would be crazy if we were equally compelled to intervene if a gorilla assaults another gorilla. And we wouldn't let kids hunger or thirst or freeze to death, yet that happens to animals in nature all the time. Not doing them harm is way different from being responsible for their well-being.

Comment Re:The Segway problem (Score 1) 37 37

The hapless Segway would have been hero technology had it first been marketed to those handicapped who can stand but not walk. It would be intermediate tech between fully mobile and chairs, which take you out of the eye-contact world of the normally upright.

And who exactly might that be? Anyone with a bad hip or knee wouldn't want to stand any significant amount of time. Nor the morbidly obese. And those with balance or support problems probably can't use a Segway at all, they'd still need their walker. Amputees would still prefer prosthetics that cloak their handicap better. Sure they're faster and less tiresome, but I can't really think of any condition where you're unable to stand/walk short distances and still able to use a Segway.

Comment What a load of bullcrap (Score 1) 78 78

Compassion and empathy is an indication that while I have a life to live, I care about yours too. Computers and robots already exist solely to serve me, whether they can beat me at chess or not doesn't give them any life of their own. If you're already a doormat, there's no point in saying please walk all over me. For the same reason I've never felt the need to say please to a computer, though I might occasionally call on a higher power for it to please work. And you will know it's a load of circuits, unless you like to live a self-delusion you'll know there's no feeling behind it. Faking it will just get creepy, like HAL 9000: "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that" instead of "Permission denied."

Let's review a few of the inventions that have replaced work already like the washing machine or the dishwasher. If I had a person to do my laundry, I mean literally scrub it like in ye olde days I'd treat them nicely. The washing machine I turn a few knobs and it works or I curse it because I have to call a plumber. I won't thank my car for driving itself, nor for a robot being my housekeeper, chef, waiter, butler, gardener, delivery boy or whatever else work they can get it just becomes a piece of machinery that we expect to work. I've already outsourced my vacuuming to a slightly intelligent robot, the main thing is it's functional.

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 775 775

How old are the batteries? Do you own your battery? What is a battery worth? Do you load your truck with aging, unreliable batteries to swap-off with other aging, unreliable batteries?

When it comes to a truck which will have a sizeable number of large batteries, you're pretty much statistically guaranteed to never have more than a dud or two so long as the battery management process is sound.

As a service station manager, how do you test each of these batteries to ensure its safety and reliability (its level of aging)

By, for example, any of the dozen or so methods already used for this purpose?

As a service station manager, how do you offset the cost of rotating out old batteries traded in by truckers?

By rolling that into the swapping cost?

Could you please ask questions a little harder than "What does 1+1 equal?" I'm seriously not getting why you don't already know the answer to these questions you're asking.

Changing batteries in something like a truck is a labor-intensive process.

Wait a minute, you think that when people talk about battery swap they're talking about someone going up and swapping batteries by hand?

mounting may preclude a fast removal operation.

Many companies have already demonstrated battery swap for cars, which is a far harder target than trucks. With trucks, my preferred mounting is on the trailers themselves (with the cab having its own, non-swappable batteries). You already have, today, stuff mounted to the underside of trailers. It's right where the structural strength is already located and you have tons of open space underneath for easy access and standard form factors. It's an order of magnitude easier challenge than for cars, which you practically have to have disassemble their frames to get their batteries out.

The operation may take 40 minutes overall

Battery swap in the much harder case of cars can be done in less than a tenth that time.

Mounting the batteries affects balance, thus handling, thus safety

And you're envisioning that one would load all of the batteries only on one side or something...?

Think about it as if you were going to swap an entire, pre-filled gas tank

And think about having the tank you plan to switch out be a standardized external tank mounted in a standard form factor on a standard trailer.

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 775 775

Assuming an overall pack energy density of 200 Wh/kg, 1kWh would weigh 5kg. A typical truck may move around 1 tonne 120 miles per gallon of diesel. A gallon of diesel contains about 10kWh of energy. An electric motor will use it about 2,5 times more efficiently than a diesel ICE, so 120 miles per gallon of diesel equates to 300 miles per 10kWh of electricty, or 30 miles per kWh electric, or 30 miles per 5kg of battery pack. So every 30 miles of range you want takes up 0,5% of your cargo mass. If you want say 300 miles range then it would consume 5% of your payload.

On the other hand, the price difference in the cost of fuelling the truck (diesel vs. electricity) would be massive. For each tonne of cargo (assuming 300 miles vehicle range and an average haul distance per hour of say 60 miles), giving up 50kg of cargo to enable to you spend $0,30 on electricity ($0,10/kWh) instead of about $1,80 on diesel ($2,70/gal), or a savings of $1,5 for giving up 50kg of cargo. If we scale to say 50 tonnes of cargo then this equates to giving up 2,5 tonnes (5%) of your cargo to save $75 per hour.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 411 411

I've never understood why it can't do this during the 10 hours a night that I am not using the laptop instead of doing it when I need to quickly shut down and leave the house or quickly shut down and leave work.

Windows is codependent, it wants your attention at all times. And this is unlikely to get any better now that that attention is worth money.

Comment Re:Trucks will be hybrids, not pure EV (Score 1) 775 775

There have been electric delivery trucks for a long time - for example, Smith Electric Vehicles has been making li-ion trucks almost as long as Tesla has been around. And they follow up on a long history of electric delivery vehicles on a continuous line dating back to the early lead-acid days. But "existing" doesn't mean "having blown the market wide open". The big question is when that could happen.

You know, though, as ridiculous as it sounds, I almost wonder Tesla's efforts could evolve into a killer delivery vehicle. The Model S / Model X drivetrain is already starting to get into the power range of a big rig, and big rig budgets can afford their high prices. Combine that this potential solution to charging over long distances and you really could have a winner.

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 775 775

I wouldn't count on really powerful fast chargers ever getting really cheap. Cheaper than they are now, sure, but just ignoring all of the communication and high power conversion hardware you still have to have:

1) A powerful cooling system in your charger (for a really powerful connection, you even need to liquid-cool the charging cable)
2) A huge amount of copper (or aluminum, but that comes with a number of additional challenges) in your charger
3) A high power feed installed to your location
4) A high capacity and high power battery buffer to even out your charges if you want really fast charges / fast charges for big packs (say, 250+ kW)
5) A professional electrician to do the installs (and remember, we're not talking about home wiring here, we're talking about huge-current high-voltage connections). ... and so forth. These things will always add up. So maybe we'd not be talking about $100k to add one.... but I'd be shocked if even in mass production they could be manufactured, delivered and installed for under $10k. Probably several tens of thousands of USD per unit.

Comment Re:It's shocking- read it (Score 1) 411 411

Well, I note most of these involve Cortana - Windows 10's digital assistant. If you want your OS to be your personal assistant it's going to be tough if it doesn't know anything about you. If you feel this is more like a Microsoft stalker, I'm sure there's an off switch.

Comment Re:It's fine... from the ISO. (Score 1) 411 411

This scares the shit out of me, a guy with almost 30 years of programming experience. What the hell is Grampa supposed to do?

Same thing he usually does, I suppose... he'll just keep using whatever is currently installed on his PC, until one day he decides to buy a new PC, at which point he'll start using whatever OS was pre-installed on that one.

He who is content with his lot probably has a lot.

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