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Comment: If they are not public companies (Score 1) 534

then here must be specific contracts that are drawn up to pay for their services. If that is true then the public has a right to see any and all documents pertaining to the nature of these contracts. Failure to comply should be met with withholding of public funds, as otherwise rampant theft of public property might be taking place without oversight. Perhaps, this is the primary reason they are so reluctant to let anyone know what they are doing.

Comment: Re:Supersize Meal... and a Diet Coke. (Score 1) 216

by turkeyfish (#47326231) Attached to: Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

Don't forget to adjust the accident statistics to take into account the size of the cars. Although damage to the smaller car will be greater than to the larger car, the larger car by virtue of being larger is more likely to either hit or be hit by something else as compared to the smaller car by virtue of its smaller size. Consequently, smaller cars are less likely to be in accidents in the first place when the larger number of smaller cars is also considered in evaluating the statistics.

Comment: Re:Nice to see. (Score 1) 216

by turkeyfish (#47326051) Attached to: Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

GOP and Fox News talking points. What a great way to propel debate.

Those leaf drivers probably are smiling as they are keeping dollars in their pockets that the GOP and Fox News are desperate to get their hands on. The good news for the GOP and Fox is that there are still plenty of fools to take advantage of.

Comment: Re:Nice to see. (Score 1) 216

by turkeyfish (#47325839) Attached to: Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

If hydrogen is used for auxiliary storage to power the car when grid charging will not be convenient, electric cars can be built, sold, serviced, and most importantly operated at a fraction of the cost of conventional fossil fuel vehicles. Elon Musk has already demonstrated that one can actually charge two Tesla's one after the other in the time it takes to fill a tank of gas at the average filling station. This is possible given improvements in battery charging technologies and new battery types.

The big cost difference is the lack of such charging stations and in ramping up manufacturing and distribution infrastructure that is not presently available to further drop cost per unit produced. Once dual hydrogen/electrical charging stations are available electric cars will prove far more economical. Keep in mind that most people don't drive their cars continuously for more than about 3-4 hours before they get out and do something for a few hours. If charging stations are ubiquitous and cheap relative to fossil fuels, this disadvantage can easily be overcome with tremendous savings, which electric car owners can then poor back into investing in more solar/hydrogen powered infrastructure to further force down the price of electricity making further profits from their savings.

Comment: Re:Nice to see. (Score 1) 216

by turkeyfish (#47325613) Attached to: Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

"Going to hydrogen gas is also NOT a environmentally sound solution either."

Although you are correct that presently most industrial hydrogen is produced from oxidation of hydrocarbon (fossil) fuels, there are quite a few other methods of production that are being ramped toward industrial sized outputs, particularly concentrated solar-powered production at high temperatures and enzymatic (biomolecular) production based on algal growth that are likely to dramatically change the sources of industrial hydrogen in the very near future. The Japanese automakers are well aware of this and are investing heavily in these clean technologies. As much as 50% of all vehicular production could be converted to hydrogen within 20 years, if the will to invest is there. Given the amount of new electrical energy rapidly being added to the grid by alternative sources, hydrogen could easily be the cheap solution to the storage of solar power on a 24/7 basis along with water based potential energy storage attained by using solar to lift water uphill during the day and then generate electricity at night via hydropower. The reality is that the amount of untapped solar energy available is enormous compared to human electricity use. As such infrastructure goes into place in the next 20-25 years, fossil fuels will simply become uneconomical for most transportation or heating needs, except perhaps in aeronautics and marine applications. Despite all oil market manipulations that various global players engage in to prop up the price of oil, most of the fossil fuels industry will likely be phased out in the next 25-50 years through nothing more than increasing efficiencies of new alternative technologies. Ask yourself, why should a company like Amazon.com pay for all that oil to deliver their packages when they will soon be able to deliver such goods by electric powered drones that can be recharged in Amazon owned solar power stations for a fraction of the cost of paying for fossil fuel, labor, insurance, and other delivery costs and when they can instead send the savings right to their bottom line?

Comment: Re:This always ends well.... (Score 3, Informative) 76

by turkeyfish (#47199763) Attached to: South African Schools To Go Textbook Free

Actually in South Africa it is far worse than that. The government can't even get the textbooks it has already purchased to students. Tens of thousands of textbooks were lost in warehouses, were rain and wind destroyed many before they were even delivered and as it turns out audits showed that huge discrepancies in what was paid for and what was delivered.

For South Africa going "all digital" is more likely another opportunity for an increasingly corrupt ruling party to steal even more money from the existing system, which is bordering on collapse. Teachers aren't being paid, many school buildings don't have windows or desks, or even walls. To be sure that this is some kind of bad joke, its no secret that the country's electrical supply system is so spotty that it can't keep the lights on in most major cities, without constant power failures even for the homes of the wealthy, much less schools without electricity. Coupled with mounting evidence that computers can actually retard learning and you have the makings of another incredible mess, not to mention much missed opportunity for South African students.

Comment: Re:I wonder... (Score 1) 208

by turkeyfish (#46944305) Attached to: Stanford Getting Rid of $18 Billion Endowment of Coal Stock

MIght be a good question to ask the Roman emperors, the French and English Kings and Queens. They seemed to have managed to leave a legacy without electricity. Besides, its not as if the only way one can generate electricity is by burning coal. In fact, solar and wind are proving progressively more and more competitive by the day and will likely be cheaper within 5 years time, which is one of the reasons Stanford is smart to get out while the price of their shares still has some value and they can get in on the ground floor of emerging alternative energy companies.

Comment: To the contrary (Score 2, Interesting) 208

by turkeyfish (#46944103) Attached to: Stanford Getting Rid of $18 Billion Endowment of Coal Stock

By selling Stanford will put downward pressure on the stock of coal companies, which means they have less capital against which to borrow and pay executives their stock options. It will take more and more stock options to keep the insiders happy, which will put further pressure on the stocks as other stockholders recognized they are soon to be the last guy out and the one holding the bag. If owned stock in a coal company, I would be selling as quickly as possible and moving into solar, wind and other renewables, since these will be the growth industries of the future, while fossil fuels will be creating more and more pollution and health problems for more and more people, leading to more litigation, more calls for regulation and less profits, especially as the world grows hotter and hotter and the 99% figure out they are being stuck with the tab. Its bad enough that oil companies have been raising prices recently to fund lobbying and campaigning for their favorite republican candidates. As fracking leads to more earthquakes and health and water issues, expect to see the profits in the fossil fuels sectors decline as those in the alternative energy industries rise as new technologies power increase efficiencies and growing public acceptance. It will only take one El Nino to drive this point home to all but those most deeply in denial.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie