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Submission + - Charge Rage: Electric Cars Are Making People Meaner in California

HughPickens.com writes: Matt Richtel reports at the NY Times that the push to make the state greener with electric cars is have an unintended side effect: It is making some people meaner. The bad moods stem from the challenges drivers face finding recharging spots for their battery-powered cars. Unlike gas stations, charging stations are not yet in great supply, and that has led to sharp-elbowed competition. According to Richtel electric-vehicle owners are unplugging one another’s cars, trading insults, and creating black markets and side deals to trade spots in corporate parking lots. The too-few-outlets problem is a familiar one in crowded cafes and airports, where people want to charge their phones or laptops. But the need can be more acute with cars — will their owners have enough juice to make it home? — and manners often go out the window. "Cars are getting unplugged while they are actively charging, and that's a problem," says Peter Graf. "Employees are calling and messaging each other, saying, 'I see you're fully charged, can you please move your car?'"

The problem is that installation of electric vehicle charging ports at some companies has not kept pace with soaring demand, creating thorny etiquette issues in the workplace. German software company SAP installed 16 electric vehicle charging ports in 2010 at its Palo Alto campus for the handful of employees who owned electric vehicles. Now there are far more electric cars than chargers. Sixty-one of the roughly 1,800 employees on the campus now drive a plug-in vehicle, overwhelming the 16 available chargers. And as demand for chargers exceeds supply, a host of thorny etiquette issues have arisen, along with some rare but notorious incidents of "charge rage." Companies are finding that they need one charging port for every two of their employees' electric vehicles. "If you don't maintain a 2-to-1 ratio, you are dead," said ChargePoint CEO Pat Romano. "Having two chargers and 20 electric cars is worse than having no chargers and 20 electric cars. If you are going to do this, you have to be willing to continue to scale it."

Comment Re:Reasonable Doubt (Score 1) 112

They already have an expert witness - the author of the program. He is willing to testify how his program reached the conclusion it did. At some point you need to accept whether or not an expert is indeed an expert, otherwise you get into an infinite loop of "my expert needs to verify your expert's expertise"

In this case the defense is on a fishing trip to find a bug or two in the code, which they will then use to discredit the entire program even if the bug has nothing to do with the conclusion.

All that said, I agree that the source should be made available.

Comment Re:Seems appropriate (Score 1) 36

It's unlikely he'll serve that much time.

But the punishment might be appropriate, depending on how much it cost the company to recover from the hack. Typically something like that ends up costing the victim tens of thousands of dollars; it's the same as if he stole that much money or torched someone's car.

Comment still blowing smoke (Score 3, Informative) 419

Wind power, including U.S. subsidies, became the cheapest electricity in the U.S. for the first time last year4, according to BNEF.

Why include subsidies? They don't lower the cost, they only chage who pays the bill.

However, in locations where wind is a good option the combination of wind, hydro, and natural gas makes a lot of sense. Especially if you have a few good nuclear plants to handle the load that wind and hydro can't supply at their peak.

Submission + - How writing literature is like writing code (opensource.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In an article on Opensource.com, University of Texas at Austin developer Lacey Williams Henschel writes:

The truth is that technology and humanities aren't so far apart; in fact, a lot of concepts we English majors perfected over our thesis papers get used in our daily lives as developers. This article isn't about what coders can learn from humanities majors or vice versa. It's a demonstration of the overlap between the two disciplines; a study in their compatibility and how they complement one another.

Submission + - SPAM: Luscious Latvia: Specials things are waiting for you

carrycalvin writes: Tucked between Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south, Latvia a north European country laden with stimulating fixings. Thick green foliage forms the Gauja Valley of pines; beautiful domed cathedrals decorate the local towns and spicy Riga adds an extra zing as the countryâ(TM)s cosmopolitan nexus and the unofficial capital of the entire Baltic. This country is beneath the radar profile makes it the perfect pit stop for those seeking something a bit more authentic than the overrun tourist hubs further afield.
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The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan