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Comment Re:Fantastic, really. (Score 2, Informative) 306

> a modern ICE will cost you less than 4 grand in fuel for the entire life of the vehicle

In the USA, maybe. In nations where the tax on fuel makes up most of it's cost like the UK... I spend about £2,000 a year on fuel in my tiny little Skoda CitiGo, commuting a mere 60 miles round trip 4x a week.

Tesla Model 3 (the closest they've come to a mass-market car) has a range of 215 miles. The battery pack makes up a large amount of it's mass. If you can cut the battery down to 1/3rd the size, the range of the car will go up, so you can probably cut it a little further - maybe to 1/4. Now you're talking about a battery that only costs 2.5x as much.

Plus the speculation that these batteries will cost 10x as much when the inventor describes them as "cheap" is wild. If they cost 3x more to manufacture, they're definitely already worth it for electric cars - because even a unit that holds the same charge as the current battery, and thus costs the same, improves the car by being lighter, taking up less space, and charging faster, giving it better range or carrying capacity and greater utility.

Comment Re:Fantastic, really. (Score 1) 306

> Will the market be willing to pay over 10x as much for a battery with 3x the charge is the business question.

The cost of the battery module in an iPhone 6 is around $4.50, the total cost is $236 [1]

At the margins they sell them at - Apple would probably drop the battery size by 1/3rd, put in the new $30 battery module, eat the extra $25.50 in costs themselves, and then take great glee in pointing our that their phones were now even lighter, and had double the battery capacity and charged 5x faster than every other phone on the market.

At which point every other manufacturer would have to sit up, take notice, and start using those batteries themselves or be viewed as genuinely inferior, instead of generally superior (in terms of hardware capability, most of the premium Android phones crap all over the iPhone, they just don't have the shiny case and the Apple Reality Distortion Generator). You might get long-term holdouts in the cheaper end of the market, but the premium lines would have to adopt it, which would expand the market, make it more viable to manufacture those batteries, economies of scale kick in, etc.etc.etc.


Comment Re:Fantastic, really. (Score 1) 306

The later second generation of General Motors EV1 ran on NiMH batteries, leased at prices comparable to a BMW, and had a 100-140 mile range on a full charge - more than enough for the vast majority of journeys (a 50 mile commute each way from city to city is about 3-4 hours driving depending on traffic, I sure as hell wouldn't want to drive more than that on a regular basis). Hell, even the 1st generation EV1 with a lead-acid battery (70-100 mile range) would be enough for my current commute.

Comment Re: Fantastic, really. (Score 2) 306

And unless your particular battery module is a commodity component, this is worth jack.

Nokia had the right idea on this ; most of their user-replaceable battery modules had lifespans longer than the line of phones they first appeared in. But with the trend toward integrated batteries, everyone started designing special-purpose units for one particular model, which is no longer worth manufacturing after that model became obsolescent. Which is a shame, because treated well, most phones will, as you note, outlast their battery.

Batteries degrade even on the shelf when you don't use them, so unless your phone was so mega-popular that it's worth manufacturing new ones (basically just iPhones), any module you're going to get is going to be old stock, or a knock-off manufactured so cheaply that you could almost rely on being able to use your phone as a grenade.

I have a Nexus 4 that I've had 5 years, has survived being repeatedly upgraded to the latest version of Android even when Google / LG stopped supporting it, is even outlasting the TPU case I bought for it, has only one or two imperceptible scratches on the screen. It's still my daily driver and still a great phone - the only two components I worry about are the USB port (I got a wireless charger to help reduce the number of cycles) and the battery - I still get 2 days of standby time if I'm careful, but it's starting to drop charge a little quickly once it drops below 40% now. I'd love to get a brand new, official, manufactured-this-year LG battery module for it, but such a thing does not seem to exist. And even the third-party knock-offs all seem to have been made in 2013 and sat in some superheated SE Asian warehouse since then, degrading to the point where they are sometimes worse than the unit they are replacing (as far as anecdotes on /r/nexus4 seem to reflect.)

Comment Re:No shit (Score 3, Insightful) 215

And frankly, who gives a shit.

You sweat the same stuff as you get in pee. You're covered in this stuff already. You're probably get more of someone else's on you from shaking hands with someone than you do from jumping in the pool.

And unless you have a bladder infection, pee is sterile.

There's no reason for concern, and what's more, people don't want to know. There was a vogue for putting chemicals in the pool that turned purple when they mixed with pee. Guess what? No-one uses them any more, because thinking about swimming in someone else's pee is far more of a (mental) health hazard than actually swimming in someone else's (highly diluted) pee.

Comment Re:AV Free for years (Score 3, Insightful) 352

Problem with whitelisting is that it destroys your computer.

It's not a computer any more. It's an appliance.

Which is fine for people you can only trust to run an appliance, but it prevents anyone from programming aka becoming more productive.

It's a nice little racket - it guarantees the IT dept. a job (they were charging £2,000 to vet programs for distribution at my last place), it gives the "real" programmers more work, but it stops users reaching enlightenment and getting the computer to do what it's for - lots of repetitive tasks in an automated manner.


Aside from that, whitelisting software has been responsible for some of the more spectacular performance drops I've seen - like taking a process that writes around 30,000 files and increasing it's runtime from 2 minutes to 15 minutes, taking an operation that subject matter authors were doing when they felt like it and making it a tea-break thing, totally wrecking productivity.

Comment Re:Its the capacitors (Score 1) 195

You wouldn't use electrolytic capacitors in space because the low pressure would cause the electrolyte to boil away fairly rapidly. Yes, even faster than normal.

As Mark Watney discovers in The Martian when his laptop goes "phut" when he takes it outside of the dome, consumer electronics, even units approved for usage on NASA missions, aren't designed to withstand environments outside what's normal on Earth.

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There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923