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Comment: Re:Butlerian Jihad (Score 1) 583

by skaralic (#48245273) Attached to: Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

Or read the back story of Dune perhaps?

The Dune series was hardly a work of deathless literature, but as for that piece of shit, save yourself the wasted calories. It is very possibly THE WORST book ever written in the history of human communication. I think I paid $1 for a used copy and even then I wanted to sue to get the $1 back plus damages for the intentional infliction of ultimate boredom.

I can attest to this. Currently suffering through the Battle of Corin. Save yourself and never pickup any one of these books.

Comment: Re:Performance (Score 3, Interesting) 283

by skaralic (#48113031) Attached to: Tesla Announces Dual Motors, 'Autopilot' For the Model S

This is how electric will win. Performance. When I was in High-school I raced RC cars for fun, and I remembered by gear head friends giving me crap about working on "Toy cars" until I challenged one of them to a drag race, against his real, full sized muscle car, and won hands down. The torque from an electric motor is just monstrous. So much so, that I suspect if they continue to build electric sports cars, the gforce alone will become a safety issue. My drag car would pull 100amps off the starting line and could melt battery cables, and the thing only weighed 2lbs. It'd be doing the scale equivalent of over 1000mph when I got to the end of the track. Yes, yes, I know at full scale wind resistance is different and such, but still. I had a hunk of carbon fiber doing 100mph in a few feet for Christs sake.

The sorts of people that hate electric because it's a "hippie thing" will embrace it because the fact of the matter is that, in the end, it just performs better. Can't have hippies beating your Cudda with a Prius.

Random video I found on youtube as a demo:

Yeah, but does it have... soul. :D

Seriously, I like the mechanical sound of a nice inline 6 or a V8 under the hood. I love the control of a manual transmission and clutch and how it engages the driver and makes him/her an essential part of the vehicle. Yes, dual-clutch autos are faster and electric cars are even faster but something is lost in the process and it's a shame. But, most people don't care about such things so electrics will be perfect for the masses just not for us "enthusiasts". Now get off my lawn!

Comment: Re:Backward-thinking by the DMV (Score 1) 506

by skaralic (#47760051) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

Look at the deaths per vehicle miles travelled chart of Wikipedia. I would say humans as drivers are doing very well, helped by better cars, roads and technology over time.

How about a dual-mode car. You can drive it yourself in the city and have the computer drive it on the highway (like an autopilot). In many ways the highway is a simpler problem for the computer to handle and much more efficiency can be gained from higher speeds and shorter distances between following cars. Of course, the highway would allow the system to fail more spectacularly as well when a few hundred cars going 200kph (120mph) pile into each other.

Comment: Re:Angry Proliferation Game (Score 1) 224

by skaralic (#47584579) Attached to: China Confirms New Generation of ICBM

Nuclear proliferation is becoming to sound like the plot to some absurdist classic Star Trek episode.

The leaders of all the planets' nations sit in a room, arrayed in a circle. The room is white and completely bare, except for their chairs, and in the center of the room a single gleaming, chromed post rising from the floor about 3 feet tall. Atop the shiny post is a single large, tennis-ball sized red button.

It is widely accepted among all the leaders that pressing the button activates a mechanism that destroys the planet. Yet this doesn't stop them from rising from their chairs, and arguing - yelling, taunting even - other leaders around the circle, so enraging them that at times several of them are close to snapping, rushing forward and pounding the red button.

Because at the end of the day, the leaders are all flawed human beings, driven by the psychological baggage of behavioral evolutionary holdovers, cultural and religious constructs, and overwhelmingly the inability to view the other participants in the room as peers equally deserving of resources as the tribes represented by the leaders.

Sooner or later, someone - in a moment of hubris, misplaced confidence in their own technology or military, or religious zeal - is going to dash out of their chair and smack that button.

I would venture to guess that the leaders peddling this stuff rarely believe their own propaganda. It's marketing to get their people's support and posturing for the other guy's people. They just have to make sure they don't whip the locals up into such a frenzy that they do elect someone who believes it.

Comment: Re: Hmmm (Score 1) 205

by skaralic (#47503165) Attached to: New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

Not good enough... we also traded in the minivan when the kids were a bit older, but our small SUVs only get around 23MPG... I'd traded in my 93 Civic that routinely got over 35MPG, now you don't even get that in a Civic or other small car without it being a hybrid or something... with very few exceptions. I may get a Mazda 3 or 6, though. They get upwards of 35.

I will say this, though, to actually contribute to the conversation about minivans... I had no problem driving one, and felt no stigma about it. All the people buying giant SUVs and justifying it because hey, once or twice a year they may buy a big box item and save on delivery! Or they need to carry a lot of passengers... Our Honda Odyssey carried 7 people a lot more comfortably than any SUV I've been in, and when you needed cargo space it was right up there with the big boys when you folded the rear seat down... even more than a lot of big SUVs; add decent towing capacity and overall better mileage, and the only reason for most people not to get one was the "stigma." Unless you're towing a yacht, or need to go off roading, a good (200hp+) minivan is a much more logical choice.

Most people do not think logically when buying a car. It is based much more on emotions, for better or worse.

Comment: Re: Question (Score 1) 299

by skaralic (#47379175) Attached to: Site of 1976 "Atomic Man" Accident To Be Cleaned

Sex symbol.

Like Henry Kissinger.

Henry Kissinger
How I'm missing yer
You're the Doctor of my dreams
With your crinkly hair and your glassy stare
And your machiavellian schemes
I know they say that you are very vain
And short and fat and pushy but at least you're not insane
Henry Kissinger
How I'm missing yer
And wishing you were here

Henry Kissinger
How I'm missing yer
You're so chubby and so neat
With your funny clothes and your squishy nose
You're like a German parakeet
All right so people say that you don't care
But you've got nicer legs than Hitler
And bigger tits than Cher
Henry Kissinger
How I'm missing yer
And wishing you were here

C for yourself.