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Comment Exporting censorship (Score 1) 300 300

I thought the whole idea behind the 'right to be forgotten' was that google would 'forget' who you were. If they only forget you in the EU(search results come up as 0), but still have all the data on you (serach indexes, etc) then you haven't been forgotten have you?

I think that's what France is trying to point out here.

And what France is missing is that their precious "right to be forgotten" is ridiculous and unenforceable. It's effectively an attempt to export censorship. No private sector company could reasonably follow that silly law without entirely gutting their business in the process. France has NO right to prevent me from searching for data here in the US just like I don't really think China should have the right to censor what I read outside of their country. They are trying to put toothpaste back in the tube with stupid laws that make no sense which nobody can reasonably follow or execute.

Comment Google is right (Score 2) 300 300

Wow. And techies thought Microsoft was arrogant when dealing with Europe in the 2000s.

The arrogance is entirely on the part of the French government. Google is right. Google cannot possible afford to let each country dictate their business practices (and by extension my use of their services) globally. The French government is making an unreasonable demand to have their particular viewpoint be enforced worldwide by Google. Google is 100% right in telling them to fuck off. That may cost them business in France but if they actually did what France asked they would be effectively unable to function outside of a single country.

Comment Companies are made of people with rights (Score 4, Insightful) 300 300

It is a worry that there is a fight between a company and the people of several countries and that it is even contemplated that the company and not the people, has some rights.

If companies have no rights there is no reason for them to exist at all. Since companies are almost entirely responsible for the economic well being of the world, you should seriously consider the practicality of your position. Just because some country comes up with some loony irrational law doesn't mean that the rest of us living in other countries should have to live with it. Should I have to respect the Chinese government's position on Tienanmen Square when I live in the US? Because that is EXACTLY what you are arguing for.

In this instance Google is right. There is no way they could respect ridiculous laws like this one globally. If the people of France are uncomfortable with that then that is their problem and they have no right to make it the problem of the rest of the world.

If it is between the people and anybody else, some countries even pretend to talk about "We, the people ..." and they should ALWAYS be priority number one. If it is inconvinient for a company, fuck that.

Those very same people work in the companies you are so quick to dismiss. Companies are nothing more than a collection of people working together. So because people work in a company their rights no longer matter? Thank goodness you aren't in charge of anything if that is what you really think.

Comment BS statistics (Score 1) 368 368

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 images.

Kids going through puberty find porn interesting. News at 11.

I'd say the percentage of kids that have seen "shocking or upsetting images" is a good approximation of 100%. The other 82% are merely lying about it. It's impossible to even turn on the evening news without seeing shocking or upsetting images. I welcome the day when I no longer have to hear any more ads for boner pills. Try explaining that one to a 6 year old.

Comment Physics and economics don't care (Score 4, Insightful) 173 173

"Crappy power" is normal. Manufacturers need to design for that.

Yeah, see physics doesn't care what you think is "normal". While it's possible to design for a reasonable range of power conditions it is not economically possible to design for all of them. Frankly if your power quality is so poor that they are constantly blowing out light bulbs the answer is to fix the power, not the bulbs. You take the bullets out of the gun rather than insist everyone wear a bullet proof vest.

Comment Hybrids make sense for trucks (Score 1) 869 869

When you scale down to car or truck size, mechanical transmissions work reasonably well, and are very efficient these days.

True but...

There is a significant loss, compared to a purely mechanical setup, that occurs when you turn mechanical energy into electrical energy in a generator, just to send it over the wire and convert it right back to mechanical energy at the wheel.

By that logic hybrids in cars wouldn't make any sense either but they do. They are demonstrably more efficient at comparable horsepower even in the face of the conversion losses. Doesn't matter if they are plug in hybrids or not. Plug-in technology helps but it isn't a necessity.

If the bulk of the electricity stored in the batteries comes from a cheap source (i.e. an outlet), it still makes sense, but if you are talking about a high endurance application where the vast majority of electricity is generated locally it doesn't.

Being able to plug in helps but hybrids without plug-in tech still make sense economically. I think for something like a semi or a UPS truck it would be almost a no brainer. Honestly unless there is something huge I'm overlooking I think hybrids make WAY more sense for commercial trucks than they do for passenger cars.

Comment Definition of competitive (Score 1) 869 869

I don't understand your statement

Didn't think it was all that complicated. Your ICE car can go 200-500 miles between refueling. The Tesla Model S can go 200+ miles between refueling stops. That is good enough for plenty of people and hence it is competitive.

My ICE car has effectively unlimited range.

No it does not because you still have to refuel it no different than an EV. The only difference right now is that it for long distance trips it is much quicker to refuel a ICE vehicle. If you drive less than the full range of the vehicle on a given day (most people drive 50 miles per day) then the EV is actually more convenient since you can refuel it at home when the car is not in use. For local driving I'd MUCH rather have an EV in most cases. For long distance driving you want a ICE or a hybrid right now. In time that may change.

Comment Trucks will be hybrids, not pure EV (Score 4, Interesting) 869 869

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 3, Insightful) 869 869

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) 869 869

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 1, Insightful) 293 293

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) 293 293

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) 293 293

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 4, Insightful) 293 293

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.

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