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Comment: Re:I'll believe it.... (Score 1) 92

by silentcoder (#47718771) Attached to: How Argonne National Lab Will Make Electric Cars Cheaper

You do know that the Model S right now, is the cheapest car in it's class right ?
Or do you think "floor price" is the only price that comes into calculating the price of a car. Nearly all cars have higher maintenance costs over their lifetime than the floor-price, the second-hand price is a huge factor (the more value lost, the worst it works out when you want to upgrade) and of course the fuel cost.
Factor all those in and the model S is cheaper than any other car in the luxury sedan class - and offers out-of-the-box far more features than any you can get for the same price.

The best second hand car to buy in my country, South Africa, right now is the BMW 3xx Diesel. This is because
1) Those cars have a very long life
2) Being built locally - they are adjusted to the quality of our roads - excellent cars like Renaults or Chevolet's just don't LAST here.
3) A second-hand BMW 3-series, now about 10 years old, can be resold in 5 years for about 90% of what you pay for it ( which is not much).
4) It has absolutely top of the range luxury and safety features.

In fact, buying that 10 year old BMW works out MUCH cheaper than buying a brand-new car for R10K more, because the car you can GET for R10K more is going to be something like a fiat palio or or other bottom-of-the-range car that will lose far more value as you drive it off the lot, cost you a LOT more in maintenance and uses a much more expensive fuel - and it will be a much less safe car to drive.

My 8 year old Audi A3 is pretty much the second best choice right now after the BMW, but when I upgrade in the near future (now that I have a kid, a four-door becomes valuable) I will probably look at BMW.

There is SO much more to calculating the price of a car than the number written on the windscreen at the dealer - and when you actually DO those sums - there is NO car that's comparable to the model-S in features (or anywhere close) that isn't FAR more expensive a vehicle to own.

In the meantime battery costs will keep plummeting - just the scale-up in production alone will ensure that, throw in improved engineering in the batteries themselves and you're set for a few years of huge drops. Since the battery right now is the most expensive part of the Model-S - don't be surprized if even the sticker price drops dramatically over the next few years.

Frankly if I am ever stupid enough to buy a NEW car in my life, I won't consider doing that with anything EXCEPT a Tesla, it's literally the ONLY car that offers anything that even VAGUELY resembles value for money if you buy it new.

Comment: Re: Fusion Confusion (Score 1) 284

by silentcoder (#47711751) Attached to: If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

>. I've never understood how you could possibly get more energy out than you put in as has been the mantra for any current earth based fusion test. Wouldn't that nullify some fundamental principles?

No, because that sum doesn't count the energy in the fuel as "energy you put in".
The problem right now is that the energy required to CONTAIN the reaction is HIGHER than the energy you can get out of the fuel.
As we make the containment systems more efficient, they use less energy - eventually they will use little enough that the reactor can power the containment field and have energy left over for other uses.

That is what is meant by "more out than in". No energy CREATION or violation of any laws happening - just you misunderstanding what the sum being done actually REFERS to.

Comment: Re:Patent Trolls arent just little companies (Score 1) 96

by silentcoder (#47711647) Attached to: How Patent Trolls Destroy Innovation

Well you know all that "repackaging bad loans as if they are tripple-A rated investments instead of high-risk" that the banks did. There's nothing WRONG with high risk investments, many investors seek those out actively, but generally these are not big governments.
The repackaging meant that these investments were sold, under false pretences, to organisations (including governments like Iceland) as highly secure investments to store and grow their money.

How the hell that is not outright fraud and how EVERY bank CEO is NOT in jail is the question of the century. Sorry but when you LIE to people about what your product IS - that's the very DEFINITION of fraud ! Don't tell me "but the government forced them to make those loans" - firstly that's really not as true as you think but more critically NOBODY forced them to then use FRAUD to offset the risk - there are perfectly valid and legal ways they could have done instead.

Now let's imagine for a second that this part never happened. The bubble eventually burst, lots of loans defaulted. The banks end up with a bunch of houses (the security on any mortgage) which they sell and recover a large chunk of their losses - a lot of people who were formerly unable to buy a house gets one on the cheap, the banks perhaps sue the government for making them give loans to easy and maybe win a few bucks back.
What does NOT happen now is that suddenly half of Europe's welfare states who had all be highly profitable welfare states for DECADES are broke because the accounts where they stored all their surplus and emergency funds just fucking disappeared overnight ! They don't suddenly sit with pensions and unemployment and other benefits that their society has PAID for with taxes which they are UNABLE to pay out to the people who have the right to them under their laws.
They don't suddenly find themselves having to make cost-cutting laws that lead to protests in the streets and the rightwing idiots don't get to point to that as proof that "socialist countries always end up broke" - while conveniently forgetting that these countries were, ALL of them, so far in the green on their social spending that they could have covered their benefits for several decades even if they got no tax money in at all - and only had this problem because the place they put all that surplus money turned out to be a fraud committed by American banks.

You don't end up with a Eurozone crisis. You don't have China turning into a mennace 50 times bigger than they were ten years ago.

You probably have a recession but it's a fairly mild one, some job losses followed by rather MORE jobs being regained.
The teabaggers never becomes a significant political force. Michelle Bachman's is allowed to remain an OBSCURE moron. No government shutdown in 2013. No Ted Cruz in Washington. Rick Perry finally manages to get the job he was ACTUALLY destined to do but had twice failed to get due to being overqualified as the village idiot of some small town in South-east Texas. And Obamacare may just have been the single-payer system it SHOULD have been all along.

So why is it, that the thing which made your average run of the mill EVERY congress has one silly economic policy turn into a global motherfucking disaster and which is a very obvious crime under even the bloody mosaic code ... has seen not a single jail sentence, in fact the sole fall-out anybody got was JP Morgan's fine - which we know for a fact was less than HALF what they BUDGETED for fines when they bought Bear Sterns.

Comment: Re:How the Patent System Destroys Innovation (Score 1) 96

by silentcoder (#47711489) Attached to: How Patent Trolls Destroy Innovation

You do realize that you didn't actually contradict him.
His term is perfectly valid and your clarification did not alter that at all.

Nobody claimed patents were a monopoly on ALL ideas (though it's patently [if you'll excuse the pun] clear that the limitations you hold so dear have no practical meaning) - the very idea of a monopoly on ANY idea is inherently suspect.
Benjamin Franklin considered it a completely unacceptable proposal and while refusing to patent any of his many inventions also actively campaigned against establishing patent law in the USA. His arguments in this regard were really rather good.

As for your question on incentivizing - the answers really aren't that unclear, in fact several studies done on the subject have consistently found that the sole advantage a patent system offers countries today is to protect them from international diplomatic pressures of other countries wanting them to honour patents.
Literally the ONLY advantage is that the USA will refuse to sign a trade agreement with you if you don't honour their patents - an advantage which, you may notice, have absolutely NOTHING to do with the patents or with innovation.
Stallman points out that, legally, software companies in countries where software patents are banned have a massive competitive advantage over software companies from other countries. Living in such a country - I can sue an American company in America for violating a patent I hold there, but they cannot sue me here in my country for violating THEIR software patents because those patents are not VALID here (and since I'm not a citizen of their country, as long as I don't directly do business there - I am not subject to their laws, it's fairly well established that YOUR citizens importing my product does NOT count as ME exporting it or confer legal responsibility onto me - if I don't actually ship product there to be sold then it's not my problem).

Comment: Re:That's a problem we have (Score 1) 557

by silentcoder (#47664531) Attached to: Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

I never suggested you throw away better qualified candidates to hire a very poor one purely based on gender, I suggested that if you are concerned about diversity you take positive steps to help improve things without harming the quality of your workforce.

There are probably some extremely talented potentially IT workers with vaginas who have simply never had the opportunity to explore their potential. Whoever figures out how to tap into that massive overlooked talent pool will make a killing.

Now if the particular suggestion I made is illegal, there are surely other ways one could approach these things.
I actually believe that apprenticeships and internships are among the best ways to learn I.T. for those who did not have the right exposure as children to arrive at university already mostly self-taught like I did.

Comment: Re: That's a problem we have (Score 1) 557

by silentcoder (#47664501) Attached to: Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

Right... because people scholarship students all starve unless they are employed while studying...

Of course, you will also find that statistically those students who did internships have a much higher rate of postgraduate employment since they have an advantage over their classmates: they have some work experience in the actual field they are entering.

When I was studying I was dating a girl who wanted to become an animator - she actually PAID A COMPANY for the privilege of being an intern for them while studying to get the experience.
She wasn't just unpaid - she paid THEM to work for them for a year.

Personally - I think THAT is terrible, but a couple of hours a day in between classes when the job is mostly learning-while-doing is a valuable thing which will pay for itself a thousand times over and many students would be grateful for such an opportunity.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 1) 557

by silentcoder (#47664473) Attached to: Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

While I should point out that not all feminists are women and not all women are feminists what you describe is otherwise pretty much exactly my experiences as a young father and a man who, some 20 off years ago in my late teens had seriously considered a career as a child-care giver, so that I could do my engineering passion completely outside of the constraints of finances.
As it happens, even today, my best work is the stuff I do in my free time and give away for free - the stuff they pay me to do will simply never have quite the same level of passion attached because it wasn't MY creations.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 1) 557

by silentcoder (#47662255) Attached to: Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

> Were I to consider a teaching job, my enthusiasm would drop as the student's age decreased. I like younger kids just fine, but I sure wouldn't want to spend all day, every day teaching them. I'm just a sampling of one, of course, but those rates makes perfect sense to me, and it has nothing to do with others' perceptions.

Well, speaking as the father of an infant, and an engineer in good standing with one of the largest companies in the world (suffice to say it's one of the three most bashed companies on /. but I only ended up with THEM because they bought out my startup)... I would have traded it all in for a chance to be a preschool teacher and spend my life showing infants the wonders of the world. And I LOVE engineering - but I would have done it as a hobby and had a preschool dayjob in a heartbeat if the world would have let me.

At least, as a dad, I'll get a small taste of that.

So now we have a sample of 2 - with a 50% split, more-over the samples are almost certainly not accurate because the samples themselves are polluted by the the same stereotypes (it's called gender conditioning).

There isn't really a good way to control for that, but what I will tell you with absolutely no fear of science ever contradicting me is that the numbers as they are CANNOT represent more than 5% of what they would be in a non-sexist society.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 1) 557

by silentcoder (#47661747) Attached to: Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

>I doubt there's some grand conspiracy to prevent men from becoming kindergarten teachers

Oh there most certainly is, only it's not women or feminists behind it but other men. It's the patriarchal stereotype that men cannot be nurturing which means any man who shows affection to children gets branded a paedophile - and that means getting hired in preschool or kindergarten teaching jobs become virtually impossible as too many parents will harbour such unfounded suspicions.
Gender roles and sexism hurts men as well as women - only, not quite so often.

How ironic that you chose to try and prove your point by showing a field where men are under-represented and failed to realize the main REASON they are under-represented is because of the sexism of other men !

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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