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Comment: Re:I'm driving a rented Nissan Pathfinder while my (Score 1) 617

by rfengr (#49529289) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

car is being repaired. Ridiculous! 20 MPG and every time I step on the brakes or the gas it rocks back and forth like a rocking chair. It seats about as many people as a sedan and can carry only slightly more junk than a sedan. Why do people want to drive these things? They aren't attractive, they don't stop/go fast, they can't carry much stuff. I don't get it.

I don't understand why so many people want to drive pickups either. In a pickup you can only haul stuff you care about in decent weather. I get it if you're a farmer or ranch hand and need to haul messy stuff year round, but why would anyone else want to drive a truck? And why is it that the bigger the pickup, the greater the odds that they will back into parking spaces?

Haul'n shit! Seriously though, most of the stuff I haul I really don't care about. I've loaded mine (compact pickup) up with rocks, mulch, wood, scrap metal, furniture, and numerous other things. I also have a small utility trailer, and have loaded both. If you don't have one, you won't miss it, but if you do have one, you may find it is indispensable. Granted I have a utility trailer too, and that would work for most cars, but most cars don't come with a factory hitch, much less a 2" hitch.

Comment: Re:Progressive Fix 101 (Score 1) 617

by rfengr (#49529101) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs
Sheesh, I have two kids and the family barely fits in my 4-door Toyota Tacoma pickup. I'm 6'5" so I put the seat all the way back, and kids are required by law to be in car seats until they are probably 10. We also have a Honda minivan, and that is comfortable only because it seats 8. Cars these days, especially what they call mid-sized sedans, are complete crap.

Comment: Re:My B.S. Detector is Going Off (Score 2) 76

by Bruce Perens (#49515639) Attached to: Old Marconi Patent Inspires Tiny New Gigahertz Antenna

If the end of the coil that is hanging is grounded (earthed), it becomes an autotransformer. As it's shown, it's a variable inductor and the disconnected end is irrelevant and has no meaningful physical effect at the frequency a spark transmitter could have reached.

This comment seems to get closer to what they actually mean in their scientific paper. But the article about it is garble and the paper might suffer from second-language issues, and a lack of familiarity with the terms used in RF engineering.

Comment: Re:Hmm, I guess I invented this as well... (Score 1) 76

by Bruce Perens (#49513567) Attached to: Old Marconi Patent Inspires Tiny New Gigahertz Antenna

Damn, I wish I would have patented that and all its quantum magic...

I noticed that my vertical transmitting antenna often works better if I connect a horizontal wire about the same length as the antenna to ground at its base! The wire isn't connected to the transmitting side of the circuit at all! And how well it works varies depending on the length! Obviously there is some deus ex machina at work here...

Comment: Re:My B.S. Detector is Going Off (Score 1) 76

by Bruce Perens (#49513517) Attached to: Old Marconi Patent Inspires Tiny New Gigahertz Antenna

Clearly you missed the bit where they invoked quantum mechanics, surely that explains away all the inaccuracies, like the fact you can already buy chip scale dielectric antennas

The thing that I really hate about Innovation Stories is that the reporter invariably doesn't understand what's going on, and invariably is easily convinced that The Obviiously Very Technical People have some very valuable invention.

Comment: Re:vs. a Falcon 9 (Score 1) 75

by Bruce Perens (#49501071) Attached to: Rocket Lab Unveils "Electric" Rocket Engine

They can carry about 110kg to LEO, compared to the Falcon 9's 13150kg. That's 0.84% of the payload capacity. A launch is estimated to cost $4 900 000, compared to the Falcon 9's $61 200 000. That's 8.01%. That means cost per mass to orbit is nearly an order of magnitude worse.

Yes, this is a really small rocket. If you are a government or some other entity that needs to put something small in orbit right away, the USD$5 Million price might not deter you, even though you could potentially launch a lot of small satellites on a Falcon 9 for less.

And it's a missile affordable by most small countries, if your payload can handle the re-entry on its own. Uh-oh. :-)

Comment: Re:You Can See (Score 1) 113

Microminiature accelerometers are really cheap and very very light, and you don't have to wait for them to spin up or deal with their mechanical issues. I doubt you will see a gyro used as a sensor any longer.

Similarly, computers make good active stabilization possible and steering your engine to stabilize is a lot lighter than having to add a big rotating mass.

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