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Comment: Maybe the expectations are unrealistic? (Score 5, Insightful) 242

by zzzy (#40762809) Attached to: Apple Blames Earnings Miss On iPhone 5 Anticipation
Anyone with a shade of education will understand statistical deviation around a steady trend. If you expect to make the exact extrapolated revenue figure, well, you should maybe go back to school or finde a more appropriate job than administering investment funds or consulting for the investment community. Just a thought.

Comment: Re:Where do these numbers come from? (Score 1) 200

by zzzy (#37082988) Attached to: US Pumps $175M Into Advanced Auto Fuel Research

versus burn in power station (more efficient that small scale internal combustion engine) +

The power station efficiency is roughly 35%. To calculate the total efficiency, the operation should be multiplication, not addition. Also, do not forget losses during voltage stepping and rectification, and losses while charging and discharging the battery. (hint: any heating in the battery pack means that part of your precious energy has just turned into heat)

Comment: Re:Still using gasoline? (Score 0) 200

by zzzy (#37082710) Attached to: US Pumps $175M Into Advanced Auto Fuel Research

Since you don't understand that the sun hits earth with over 1000 times more energy than a planet of 10 billion Americans

Aside from the fact that I don't understand your comparative above, why don't you go ahead and use that 1000 times more energy than whatever? Oh, I see, there must be some big oil conspiracy preventing you from doing that. Now go crunch some code and hug a tree.

Comment: Re:Still using gasoline? (Score 1) 200

by zzzy (#37080890) Attached to: US Pumps $175M Into Advanced Auto Fuel Research
Ha! it does look like a manifesto doesnt it. The thorium piece lost me at the point where i started imagining the thick, heavy lead casing needed to contain the radiation. By the time you take that extra weight into account, 8 grams turn into 8 kilos. Plus, the 5 hr energy(R) folks would make a fortune selling fashionable potassium iodide pill dispensers.

Comment: Re:Still using gasoline? (Score 1) 200

by zzzy (#37080662) Attached to: US Pumps $175M Into Advanced Auto Fuel Research

I'm a little disappointed that they thing we'd even be using gasoline in that far-flung future. Aren't there a bunch of competing technologies just around the corner, if not ON that corner?

The short answer is: No. The long answer, nature has stored solar energy over millions of years in this nice carrier called hydrocarbons. I call them nice because they are very energy dense, lack chemical reactivity almost completely (well, aside from combustion that is), and tend to stick together and away from water and thus come concentrated enough to use after only minor processing. Our civilization was built on the premise that this energy dense carrier is available. The nicest thing yet about them, all we have to do to get hydrocarbons is drill holes in the ground and pump them out! Yes, they are not sustainable, yes, they are slowly changing the atmosphere's composition, in other words, are completely unsustainable. But our daily activity as we know it is paced in perfect accord with the readily available hydrocarbon fuels. If what we want is sustainability, we have to give up the crazy pace of this entire civilization. There isn't any possible thermodynamic cycle on the planet that could generate *useful* energy from what the Sun gives us to move things around, cool and heat homes, etc, at a fast enough *rate* to keep us going at the current pace. The rate of available energy is what had kept humanity stuck in the dark ages for so long. If all you have is mules, tallow candles, olive oil, and forest wood, nothing will happen too fast. You can't make enough steel by just burning wood to build wind or hydro turbines. There is not enough wood to make concrete that would build us dams for hydro electric power. Just with wood as a fuel you can't melt and purify silicon to make computers. There is not enough biomass to turn into fuels for transportation at the current demand levels because of the limited efficiency of the chemical processes and thermodynamic cycles involved. We are simply burning energy too fast for what Mother Nature can give us sustainably. We *are* the children of fossil fuels, coal and hydrocarbons, they are what define the current civilization and has been so since the Industrial Revolution. Unless we are ready to give up most of what we have and are today, and return to ox plowing, no governments “visionary” program (like the “hydrogen economy” nonsense) can make us sustainable. We are like a flame consuming a canister of gas. Unless the flame is gone, the gas will keep burning, but we can’t keep burning like we are today without the fuel which sustains us.

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