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Comment Re:Everything is watching you these days... (Score 5, Informative) 208

Actually, what's more likely is that they saw his post on the Tesla Motors Club forum detailing what he'd done and then connect the dots between the forum post and ownership data:

Successful connection on the Model S internal Ethernet network

Tesla has been known to connect forum users to actual owners and proactively contact the owners via phone when they report problems with their car there.

Comment Re:To little, too late. (Score 1) 111

Even with built-in battery or UPS, while that reduces the risk of unexpected power loss, in my experience it still happens.

As far as comparing reliability of SSDs to HDDs, an actual study found that SSDs were much more likely to lose lots of data, sometimes bricking the entire drive.

http://www.cse.ohio-state.edu/...

Enterprise HDDs were the most reliable, even the best SSD they tested was not as good (though similar to consumer grade HDD).

Unfortunately, the study does not reveal which drives were tested.

Comment Re:SMS Integration (Score 1) 293

No, you could use the Facebook Messenger app as a replacement for the crappy stock Android SMS app and it would use your phone to send/receive SMS messages just like the newer Google Hangouts does.

You could also use it to just send regular Facebook messages, just like you can use Hangouts to send messages to other Google users using a regular internet/data connection.

Comment Re:SMS Integration (Score 1) 293

The last big update of Facebook Messenger for Android not long ago REMOVES the ability to send SMS messages. There is also no way to send SMS messages through the main Facebook app. Why would Facebook remove the ability to send SMS messages through their apps if their long-term goal was to be able to send SMS messages through their apps? IMO their goal is to have all messages routed through them directly instead of SMS, but they really screwed up by removing a feature that a lot of Android users used.

Coincidentally, Google Hangouts added the ability to send SMS messages right around the same time that Facebook Messenger removed theirs.

Comment Re:Shouldn't have to run oil by rail (Score 1) 199

> as evidenced by the enourmous growth in PV generation as well.

No, that is evidence of government subsidies, and laws requiring them to charge a extra fee to customers directed to provide more clean energy.

The rate of growth has been enhanced by subsidies, but even without them, the industry would still be undergoing very rapid growth as costs have come down an order of magnitude.

Comment Re:Shouldn't have to run oil by rail (Score 1) 199

I love it how the goal-posts keep on moving - and how a solution has to solve 100% of the problems or it is a complete fail. Why can't a solution simply be a step in the right direction? Or a solution that works for a very large portion of the population?

On to your arguments:

Tesla will be able to get you from Virginia to Tuscon and Colorado via their Supercharger network in the next month or two. St Louis will be accessible by the end of the year.

Will it be as fast as a gas/diesel vehicle? No, but for cross-country road trips just rent a Prius if you're aiming for maximum speed and efficiency. And as many people will attest, actually slowing down an enjoying the scenery can enhance the road-trip experience. Or simply use a plug-in hybrid - all your local miles will be electric - and you can still have your road trips. The vast majority of your annual miles are within 40 miles of home - low hanging fruit.

As far as 18-wheelers: Most of that cargo should be moved to rail leaving short/medium haul trucking. Short-haul trucks can be electrified, medium-long haul can use natural gas and/or fuel cells. Railways can also be electrified (most trains are simply diesel generators that run electric motors, anyway). Aircraft are a tough nut to crack - bio-fuels are probably our best bet there in the near term.

And as far as power plants go - we need more low-carbon power plants regardless of whether or not we electrify the fleet. But a huge portion of the fleet can easily be powered without substantial changes to the electrical grid.

Comment Re:Shouldn't have to run oil by rail (Score 1) 199

PV can't become the dominant source without some fundamental change.

I would never claim otherwise. My math is for small residential installs. For larger installs the cost is already half - they are getting installed for $2/watt.

As far as "flex", sure they can flex, but of course the cost to run those plants goes up the more you flex them. There's a reason why all plants aim for 100% run-time. Similarly you can "flex" PV by simply reducing power output. Or by adding storage. Both of these will increase costs, but as we can see, costs are already reaching parity with conventional generation sources - as evidenced by the enourmous growth in PV generation as well.

Comment Re:Shouldn't have to run oil by rail (Score 1) 199

If/when solar becomes big enough so that it overwhelms the grid during the day, like I said earlier, we can easily shift charging to daytime from night. There are a lot of industrial loads that run at night to take advantage of low off-peak rates that I'm sure would prefer to run during the day as well.

Low interest loans are available that let you take advantage of solar with low money up front - you can easily roll the cost into your home loan.

At some point we will have enough solar so that storage is required, but by then costs are projected to be low enough to make it worth while regardless.

Solar will likely be a dominant energy source in the future as costs fall unless something better comes along. But still, it will be far from the only source of energy. My primary point is that solar today can provide energy for less than the cost of gas for the most efficient car on the market - and it takes a lot less solar PV than one might expect.

Comment Re:Shouldn't have to run oil by rail (Score 1) 199

Getting enough solar PV so that grid storage is required to make use of it is not going to happen overnight.

By the time you get to that point you'll have enough used EV batteries from old EVs to use for static grid storage for load shifting and the cost of solar PV will decline even further. The rest of the time, you'll plug in at work to charge instead of plugging in at home.

Solar PV will never be the sole energy source except in localized areas. It will always be more cost effective to use some other source of energy to get the rest of the way without a ton of storage, but instead of fossil fuels and all the drawbacks that come with burning those, perhaps it will be methane captured from landfill, sewage treatment plants, etc (not to mention whatever other renewables make sense in the area such as wind, geothermal, etc).

Comment Re:Shouldn't have to run oil by rail (Score 1) 199

Problem with solar is that its hard to run cars on it. Fix that, and we're walking in tall cotton.

Done!

Assuming 3 kWh / mi (less efficiency than your number) and driving 12,000 mi year for a consumption of 4,000 kWh / year.

In Phoenix, Arizona (one of the sunniest areas of the USA, 1 kW of solar PV will generate about 1600 kWh / year (data from PVWatts)
In Seattle, Washington (one of the least sunny areas of the USA, 1 kW of solar PV will generate about 1000 kWh / year.

So in Seattle you need about 4 kW of solar PV and in Phoenix you need about 2.5 kW of solar PV. Solar PV is only around $4 / W or less for a residential install (without tax credits rebates or other subsidies) and will last at least 20 years. So for 20 years of driving or 240,000 miles, your energy will cost between $10,000-$16,000, or about $0.04-$0.07 / mile which is cheaper or equal to the cost of fueling a 50 mpg Prius!

Conclusion: Driving on solar power is possible today and cheaper than gasoline!

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