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Comment Re:Hybrid drives anyone..? (Score 1) 232

I got a 500GB/4GB one about three years ago. It's definitely faster than my previous (250GB/5400 rpm) drive, but it's also a lot more power hungry and seems to rarely spin down. SSDs, on the other hand, have much lower power consumption and are way faster. If your computer has USB3, you're definitely better off getting a small SSD and a 2TB 2.5" USB3 external drive.

PS. My first one died within a couple months, and this one's SMART says it's been failing for nearly 7 months now, but I'm stuck waiting until it shows a clear symptom or fails Seagate's own utility before I can RMA it.

Comment Re:Badly worded poll is bad (Score 1) 232

Technically, none of them are spinning. Both elementary particles (along with many more) have intrinsic angular momentum which we call spin because it's similar to the angular momentum classical objects have when they are spinning. Since (let's be honest here), physicists make up enough words as it is, using an existing word (the noun "spin") when it almost fits is probably a good thing. But the downside is that the verb "to spin" doesn't really apply.

Comment Re:GMO is not a problem (Score 5, Insightful) 400

It's not entirely the fault of the populace that they are ignorant. Have you tried finding out in what way GMO foods at your local supermarket have been modified?

Heck, if the agriculture companies had started using genetic engineering to make crops healthier, they would have been far more likely to be accepted. But they started by making crops more watery (and thus less nutritious), making it so farmers can blanket entire US states with herbicides without affecting the desired crops, and introducing pesticides that AFAIK are just assumed to be safe. So a broad brush was used, and because of the agriculture companies it was the bad brush instead of the good one.

Comment $25 billion a pittance?! (Score 1) 233

Duke's market capitalization is $50 billion and their annual earnings are $2.2 billion. How is $25 billion a pittance?

To that end, there are several companies trying to come out with pre-approved smaller reactor designs (50MW instead of 1100MW) which they would build for $1 billion apiece and then build them one after another on the same site until they had however many they wanted (could be 24, could be 6). That way, at any one time the financial risk is actually manageable.

Comment Re:Cue anti-union rage (Score 1) 467

The grad student union where I was a grad student is responsible for lowering the pay of grad student researchers and teaching assistants in sciences (when the first unionized 10 years ago). And the new postdoc union is responsible for contractual prohibitions on graduating PhD students getting temporary postdocs (as recently as 2 months ago) at their school before moving elsewhere, creating lots of unnecessary red tape, or being employed as a grad student researcher even after getting a PhD. Of course, that means you also are not eligible for the postdoc health insurance, (and you're not eligible for student health insurance if you're not enrolled).

None of that is remotely beneficial.

Comment Re:Mass Mail (Score 1) 473

Once a week is a bit extreme, and would require the post office to store a whole lot of mail over the course of a week, but I figure we could switch to standard 3-day delivery without a problem. Half of each zip code gets mail Mon, Wed, and Friday, and the other half gets mail Tues, Thurs, & Saturday. So if someone mails you something, it'll at most take an additional two days (1 extra day waiting to go out, and 1 extra at your post office waiting for your delivery day)---assuming you check your mail every day anyway. And the post office needs half as many maintained vehicles, half as many drivers, and uses half as much gas. And there's always the possibility of charging extra for everyday delivery.

Comment Re:American concept of pricing? (Score 2) 303

To be fair, LA is 266 miles away from Las Vegas; drive 1mph slower and you'll make it. Alternatively, they plan to put in a fast-charge station in Barstow (152 miles away) as one of the first 6 fast-charge stations just to make sure people can make it from LA to Las Vegas.

Many families in the US have multiple cars and only take one on a road trip at a time. Most families don't need both cars to be able to go 450 miles on a tank that's fillable anywhere in 5 minutes.

Most people live on the coasts, and are a lot closer to places they'd regularly drive to. You could drive from New York City to Boston or Washington DC on a single 265 mile charge. In southern California, you could drive from LA to San Diego and back on a 265 mile charge. You could even drive around the entire San Francisco Bay Area on a single 190 mile charge (the $60,000 version).

A large number of (wealthy) people in San Francisco, New York, etc. don't even own cars. Surely if they don't need a car then a limited-range EV would satisfy their needs. Sure, EVs aren't for everyone; but a lot of US driving done with gas-powered cars could be easily done with EVs.

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