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Comment: Re:DGW Dinsaurogenic Global Warming - crisis of ti (Score 1) 387

by sl149q (#47419461) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

Natural adaptation to fast changing CO2 might be hard.

But certainly fast adaptation of food crops is not only possible but already in progress (accelerated breeding and genetic modification). We simply don't grow the same stuff today that we did 50-100 years ago.

And we won't be growing today's crops 20 years from now even IF the climate stays exactly the same as it is today (which is unlikely, it will be slightly colder or slightly warmer or slightly drier or slightly wetter depending on where you are.)

Comment: Re:Good? (Score 1) 273

You can replace your land line phone with a flip cell phone.

You can replace your flip phone with a "smartphone" (well they did call them that at the time...)

You can replace your smartphone with an iPhone or an Android.

Do you think that we really would want to go back to what was the standard phone service in the 70's and 80's?

Or TV service (all 3-4 channels) of the sixties?

Taxi service has not changed all that much. There is a bit of automation in the dispatching. But the basic model of a regulated (medallioned) driver getting hailed or dispatched by radio (now computer) is essentially the same as it was 50-60-80 years ago. And really that was little changed from the horse drawn equivalent in larger cities in the 1800's.

It is seriously time to look at new models of service.

Comment: Re:Coal has downtime as well (Score 2, Interesting) 441

by sl149q (#47347143) Attached to: Researchers Claim Wind Turbine Energy Payback In Less Than a Year

Funny you should mention maintenance. Presumably the smaller generators on wind turbines will last longer with less maintenance. Especially since any maintenance that is required is distributed across a larger number of remote points (some in the ocean) and many feet in the air.

We have a gas fired plant locally that used to have yearly tours (sadly suspended after 9/11). Highly efficient and large turbines, but at the expense of frequent (well once every year or two if I recall) maintenance and overhauls. But large power plants have built in cranes to lift the turbines out of their cradles and move them to the attached tool shop that has all of the required tools and mechanics to rebuild them.

Wind turbines require that the mechanics with their tools get transported to the site, lifted in the air and then work in cramped and dangerous conditions. Of course if you are looking for a challenging and probably rewarding (financially) career the Wind Farm service industry is hiring. There are a lot of Wind Turbines coming off warranty.

Comment: Re: Seriously? (Score 1) 196

by sl149q (#47343573) Attached to: How Apple Can Take Its Headphones To the Next Level

And if you don't want DRM patent-encumbered connectors on your ear phones / ear buds then just don't buy an Apple device. It really really REALLY is that simple.

Personally I'm looking forward to new ear buds with Lightning. Most likely they will have a smaller connector, have better strain relief and last longer.

I suspect that currently Apple swaps about 1 set of ear buds for every Apple Care they sell for iPhones. IFF going to Lightning reduces that by any significant amount it will pay for any increased manufacturing cost and increase customer satisfaction.

Comment: Re:Translation : (Score 1) 314

by sl149q (#47232619) Attached to: California Regulators Tell Ride-Shares No Airport Runs

With Uber's recent capital infusion a quick end run would be to start a chain of hotels (UberHotels) that are located very close to airports. This could be easily and quickly done by buying existing ones.

Then just have the UberHotel shuttle take people to and from the airport to the UberHotel for a small fee. Once at the UberHotel the passenger could book a room or arrange for an UberX ride somewhere else.

Comment: Re:what's wrong with public transportation? (Score 1) 190

by sl149q (#47142659) Attached to: Is Google CEO's "Tiny Bubble Car" Yahoo CEO's "Little Bubble Car"?

Because most public transportation is less efficient than autonomous cars.

The exceptions are very high bandwidth routes carrying a consistently high amount of riders.

Most of the time for most routes you have large, expensive, low gas mileage vehicles running mostly at a loss.

Autonomous cars will be able to work efficiently in a dense configuration where they can operate very close together achieving almost the equivalent of the best of mass transportation.

And for the rest of the time (probably > two thirds) they are simply more efficient than pretty much any other alternative.

Autonomous cars also optimize for peoples time. The latency of your travel (time to get from a to b) will be lower. Since you don't have to walk to the closest bus stop, then take the local feeder bus to mass transit, then switch and wait for that, etc. You get picked up at home, and read your paper or work on your laptop until it drops you off at work.

Finally, building this out doesn't require mega-investments by local or state or federal governments. Since autonomous vehicles will re-use the existing road network (and more efficiently at that) multi-billion dollar investments in public transit lines won't be needed. Just encourage adoption of autonomous vehicles. As the old fleet ages out and the new one rolls out it becomes more efficient in its use of the road network.

Comment: Re:no (Score 5, Insightful) 437

Exactly. By the time this question is germane it will be equivalent of "would you let your kid ride in a taxi without you?".

The long term direction is a far safer driving experience solely based on removing human drivers from all cars. Allowing them to "override" the automated systems just makes them far more dangerous than cars today where at least the norm is drivers who are somewhat used to driving. Letting people who rarely if ever driver override is just a disaster waiting to happen.

Comment: Re:Bing = site for searching for Firefox (Score 1) 124

by sl149q (#47081799) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Windows 8.1 With Bing To Sell Cheaper Devices

Download chrome
Download classic shell
Download cygwin

And you now have a really nice windows system. I prefer it to Windows 7!

Very occasionally I stumble across some weird "tile" like things but one of them is labelled Desktop and that restores things to normal quickly :-)

Comment: Re:Next target, please (Score 1) 626

by sl149q (#47054145) Attached to: Driverless Cars Could Cripple Law Enforcement Budgets

The premise is stupid. Why is the car getting a ticket?

If it is getting a ticket because the law was broken because of a design defect the manufacturer pays.

If it is getting a ticket because the passenger overrode the safeties and told it to do something (drive 5% faster than the speed limit, I need to get to an appointment...) then the passenger pays.

By definition a well designed and behaved robotic car simply won't break the law and won't be in a position to get a ticket. Law enforcement agencies may find that trying to milk GM or Ford or Toyota or Google with their favourite fast yellow light scam or similar may also find that those companies have very well paid lawyers that WILL challenge them in court (and appeal as far and as long as is necessary) and the cost legal costs will exceed anything that could ever be collected.

Don't confuse your poor tired robotic car who has Harvard and Yale law teams on call with the average joe tourist who just doesn't want to spend the night in jail.

The universe is all a spin-off of the Big Bang.