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Comment: Re:Enough of the Tesla circle jerk (Score 1) 177

by evilviper (#47731885) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

In quite a lot of Europe you simply cannot do that without substantial changes to a lot of things, which is why EV's and hybrids have quite some way to go yet.

Actually, it sounds like Europe has "quite some way to go yet."

If EVs continue to develop, and become cost-effective, they will be widely adopted, and it will be Europe that lags behind and at a disadvantage, not EVs.

Comment: Re:And how long does it take... (Score 1) 177

by evilviper (#47731821) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

you can often legally store a drum of diesel

You're still getting your fuel at a station, you're just batching the process into fewer trips and higher up-front costs.

The in-home alternative would be to have home heating-oil deliveries, which you (illegally) use to power your truck.

You can make your own biodiesel

No, I'm pretty sure I can't... I don't have vegetable oil lines coming into my house, so I'm no better off.

Comment: Re:And how long does it take... (Score 1) 177

by evilviper (#47731771) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

as a workplace who wants to support plug-in EVs is that, in doing so, you are becoming a refueler-- a gas station. You're entering another business with costs, time demands, enforcement requirements, and drama.

You could... OR you could hire a company, let them lease the space from you, and leave them to own the equipment, manage/police the equipment and the users/customers.

Oh, and plug in EVs aren't zero emissions. We're still on the hook for the power generation emissions that result from the electricity demand.

That depends on your locale. Some areas have lots of cheap hydro-power. Some areas have lots of nuclear power. Some have lots of wind, and a few have lots of solar.

Finally, there's a major equity issues. The vast majority of EV buyers are rich

That was true of automobiles at the start, too. In fact, that's probably true of damn-near any early adopter. If you think about it, those rich people are subsidizing the R&D, and will be lowering the cost for those who come after, including, eventually, the poor.

The low-income population by and large lives in apartments whose landlords are not even considering installing EV chargers.

This is a "city" problem, rather than a rich/poor problem. I've lived in plenty of apartments, where my car parked a short distance from at least one of my windows, and it would have been no trouble for me to run an extension cord out to my vehicle.

In a high-rent area, where apartments are high-rises, that becomes more difficult. But honestly, ANYBODY who can afford to live in those high rent areas, even in an apartment, is pretty well-off, themselves.

The faster you charge an EV, the more waste electricity.

High-speed charging is only needed near highways. In most situations, including yours, much lower speed charging is fine. Even if a few people might WANT high-speed charging, nothing forces to accommodate them. Certainly businesses would generally be happy to force people to stay around a little longer.

the future is in either hydrogen fuel cells or battery-swapping EVs.

That's a pretty idiotic thing to stay, for someone who has supposedly studied the problem in-depth.

Hydrogen fuel-cells are a non-starter. Horribly inefficient, difficult to store, astronomically expensive, etc.

Battery swapping would basically require an end to car ownership. Swapping the battery that you bought with your car, means you're getting the depreciated value of whoever showed-up at the station before you. It means you have to trust the fuel station you're paying $10 to, with he much of the value of your vehicle, and hope they don't completely rip you off, or otherwise just screw-up.

There's no way in hell anybody with more than a single-digit IQ would ever consent to battery swapping. It just can't work, unless we all switch to renting our EVs, making the cost of charging, and depreciation of the batteries something the company has to handle, and we can always get a new one for no extra cost, at any time, no matter what.

Comment: Re:And how long does it take... (Score 1) 177

by evilviper (#47731583) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

I was talking about long-range driving,

No you weren't, because you were using numbers for ALL gas stations. The distribution for EV charging stations would be completely different, and not as simple as just multiplying the number of gas stations by the added charging time, for so-many reasons I don't know where to start.

make the station just the pumps with card paying and they can be incredibly compact.

Not a chance. They're all large, including the ones that have NO convenience store, because of both the large fuel storage tanks that have to be installed underground, and for fire-safety, so when you have a fueling accident, it doesn't burn down the businesses right next to it.

Calculate the cost of adding that to almost every parking spot on a lot

Nope. You only need to install a few. Those who need a charge will park there. Those who don't will choose a non-charger spot. You're still hung-up on the idea of a gas station, which is not what the future looks like.

I'm not talking about the occasional Tesla vehicle going by. I'm talking about a future where this is the dominant form of transport.

It's BS to jump from the today to 100% EVs. The future gets built-out slowly... The first few charging stations will pay themselves off, and keep working, and help pay for the installation of the next few. That's vastly different than pretending that a company needs to install hundreds of them, immediately.

And for this future of yours, that's decades from now, for some reason you're using the high, early-adopter prices of these charging stations, today. Even you can't pretend that's fair.

Comment: Re:Enough of the Tesla circle jerk (Score 1) 177

by evilviper (#47726163) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

Not only do you have to plan your driving based on where you can find a suitable outlet,

Give them a little bit of time to develop, and they'll be everywhere. They'll get the infrastructure developed even faster, since it just requires existing power lines, and little no-maintenance boxes at the corner of regular parking spaces.

waiting for half an hour every two hours isn't very competitive

I'd say that's about half-way there... Maybe a bit closer. You're already likely to stop every 4 hours or so, for food and restroom breaks. There just needs to be a charging station next to a few of those parking spots, and you'll get fueled up with zero waiting. You sure won't have to go hunt down a gas station and stand around like an idiot, waiting for it to fuel-up.

Saying how wonderful and convenient gas stations are, is like complaining that nobody runs their own steam boilers anymore... It's so wrongheaded and backwards that I can't even process it.

One of the biggest advantages of EVs and plug-in hybrids is that you can fuel-up AT HOME, overnight, drastically reducing the number of times you have to suffer through stopping at a gas station.

Comment: Re:And how long does it take... (Score 5, Insightful) 177

by evilviper (#47726125) Attached to: How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?

Replace all the cars on the long-distance highway with EVs and you'll need a service station about an order of magnitude larger in size (i.e. your typical 12-pump gas station becomes a parking lot with over 100 chargers).

Complete brain-damaged nonsense. With fossil fuels, you HAVE TO fuel-up at a station, every single time.

With electric, MOST people will fuel up, slowly, overnight, at home.

In addition, gas stations MUST be large and separate facilities you have to go out of your way to drive to/from.

EV charging stations can be (and ARE) just regular parking spaces with a small device at one corner. That means you just stop for your normal food and restroom breaks, and incidentally, your vehicle is getting fueled up with no extra time or effort from you.

Comment: Re:McDonallds should sue ... (Score 1) 246

by evilviper (#47725039) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

Well - the only data players where I live are Verizon FIOS and Cox. Both of which will charge you $70 per month for data only.

I had Cox at pretty good speeds for about $30/month.

That was true of FIOS, but they currently have a $30/month option with 25/25Mbit symmetric service with 2-yr contract. They also force a $5/month router rental on you, but if you do things right, you can send it back right after installation:

Comment: Re:McDonallds should sue ... (Score 1) 246

by evilviper (#47724925) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

. I'm less than 30 miles from one set of towers and about 40 from the other, and I have far fewer dropouts from DirecTV than from antenna.

I didn't say crap TV antennas don't exist.

Buy a Winegard 8800 and a Boost XT preamp, and that distance should be no problem. I happen to be 50 miles away from the towers, with mountains in the way, and lots of local interference, and still get very good reception.

Comment: Re:McDonallds should sue ... (Score 1) 246

by evilviper (#47724883) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

That's patently false. The digital switch was a knife to the back of anyone using an antenna.

No, it was a huge improvement. I use an antenna, and there was no knife in my back.

I can tell you first hand at our cabin - we got about 20 channels. Since the digital switch, none of them work.

Is it a VHF-only antenna? Did all your local VHF channels switch over to UHF where your antenna doesn't work?

Or was it an indoor set-top antenna with a little tuner knob on top of it, that badly distorts the signal and makes it impossible to pick-up digital signals, where you just need a $6 replacement?

Or are you using a very old 1st gen ATSC tuner? They get better every few years, better at picking up weak signals and better at rejecting interference.

With digital, you either get it, or you don't. There's nothing in between. That means if you were remotely on the edge of the signal before, you're getting nothing now.

No, it goes the other way. When you were getting a mess before, that could barely be distinguished from the background static video and audio, now you can get a crystal-clear picture.

And I can tell you at least where we're at, the broadcast signal strength they're using for digital is significantly lower than it was before.

I find it hard to believe that 20 different channels all reduced their broadcast power. Maybe one or two would do that, but it's more likely you've run into some other reception problem that you haven't figured out.

Comment: Re:Is there an counter to this? (Score 1) 246

by iCEBaLM (#47710153) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

A: Do not be reasonable or polite, they count on that. Remember you're in the midst of a con.

No, no, no, a hundred times no. Always, always, always be polite first. Even FLAs (front line agents) have small, non-inconsequential, amounts of power that can cause you headaches. If you are rude and/or a dick right off the bat, they can do things like screw with your account, or "forget" to document some important part of the call that can cause you a lot of pain down the road to fix. There are times to get belligerent, the beginning of the call is *not* one of them.

B: Do not get upset or use poor language, that's a free ticket to hang up on you.

This is true, almost all companies instruct their phone monkeys that they do not have to take verbal abuse from a customer. Most institute a "three strikes" rule, where if you warn a customer twice and they continue then you are free to disconnect.

C: Waste as much of their time as possible.

Again, no. This is a high stress job. Wasting time for the sake of wasting time will just piss them off more and give them less incentive to help you, and possibly an incentive to fuck with you.

D: Never let them put you on hold.

There are times when FLAs *have* to put you on hold. The two main reasons are to transfer the call, or to speak to a (mentor | senior | team lead | supervisor | group coordinator | authorizer | ). Transfers are pretty self explanatory, however as someone who doesn't understand how call centers work, speaking to a supervisor may not be. There are various reasons why an FLA may need to speak to one without prompting from a customer, usually it's to obtain authorization of some kind. FLAs fuck up a lot, it's just part of human nature. When you have so many of them, it happens, because of this there are usually a smaller group of second level agents (I've seen ratios as low as 25:1 and as high as 50:1), that can go by various different designations, that FLAs can contact for help, or FLAs are *required* to contact to get an authorization to do something. Everything is monitored in a call center, maybe the FLAs have been sending out too many replacement cable modems lately, or maybe there is a company edict that credits of a certain amount must be authorized by second level agents. They need to put you on hold to do this, they can't do it while the line is active, period, because technically customers aren't supposed to even know these second level agents exist, and if you ask for one, you will never get one.

The best advice I can give, is to just state what you want, if it's not being delivered, ask for a supervisor. If the agent offers any kind of upsell, just decline it politely.

Comment: Almost all tech support requires upselling (Score 2) 246

by iCEBaLM (#47710033) Attached to: Comcast Training Materials Leaked

I've worked in the telephone tech support business for 10 years. I have performed tech support for fortune 500 companies you would instantly recognize.

towards the half-way point of my stint, upselling became a *required* part of the job, a metric on which your performance was measured.

First incentives were put in place to weed out those who didn't upsell: shift bids started being held every 90 days instead of "as the business needs dictated" with top sellers given first picks. This caused those who didn't sell to get terrible shifts, requiring many to quit due to life obligations.

Then those who failed to sell were given bad reviews, causing them to lose out on annual salary increases.

When I left poor sellers were being written up, put on notice, and eventually terminated.

Note, that positions these people were initially hired for were inbound technical support jobs with no mention of selling anything. These people would be manning the technical support lines for major corporations that you have heard of, and no one calling any of them would expect to be given any kind of sales pitch.

How many weeks are there in a light year?