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Comment Re:Next Up -- Banning the rest of the robots (Score 1) 138

We don't have industries like the nascent auto industry in the late 19th and early 20th century

Before there were car factories, cars were assembled one-by-one in garages. Car factories automated the process, and GREATLY REDUCED the labor to assemble each car. So obviously the car factories should have been banned to save jobs.

Comment Re:Or fuel requirements (Score 5, Interesting) 224

I'm also curious how much more fuel this uses than subsonic commercial airliners.

As a general rule of thumb, fuel consumption goes up as the square of the speed. Double the speed, and you quadruple the fuel consumption.

But there are a lot of other considerations. For instance, faster planes can fly higher, where air density is much lower, and jet engines can be designed to work better at high speeds and high altitudes, but with the tradeoff that they work worse during the low speed take-off and landing.

On the other side, big planes are much more efficient per passenger-mile than small planes. The Concorde had a narrow body, and just couldn't carry enough passengers to make it cost effective. But it is questionable if there is really a mass market for fast and expensive air travel. Would you pay an extra $2000 to shave 3 hours off a trans-Atlantic flight? I certainly would not. I'll just download an extra book to my Kindle.

Comment Re:Won't somebody think of the birds? (Score 4, Informative) 245

Is there a solution to repel birds?

The solution is better education, especially in math, science, and critical thinking. Once we have done that, people will no longer be stupid enough to believe that the "bird problem" is a real issue.

The best estimate for bird deaths from wind turbines is between 140,000 to 328,000 in North America

... and 3.7B birds are killed annually by domestic and feral cats in America. That is at least 10,000 times more.

Comment Re:Emerges (Score 4, Informative) 245

Build it like an oil drilling platform.

They are. This wind farm is being built by Statoil, the Norwegian state oil company. Their expertise in building floating oil platforms, and their existing construction infrastructure, made them the obvious choice. The platforms are being built in a Norwegian fiord and then towed across the North Sea to Scotland.

Comment Re:These things are huge! (Score 4, Informative) 245

If this is true, these things a gigantic...

There are indeed gigantic. There are several big advantages to hugeness:

1. The winds are steadier and stronger the higher you go. Since power production goes up as the cube of the wind speed, this makes a big difference.

2. There is a lot less salt up high. It drops off nearly exponentially.

3. Much of the maintenance scales less than linearly with turbine size, so it is more cost effective with big turbines.

Comment Re:We have laws for this already (Score 4, Insightful) 325

Shouldn't all politicians seek to find policies which resonate with their constituents?

No. Politicians should have principles, and stick to them. They should stand up for things they believe in, and try to convince voters that they are right. What they should NOT do is find out what a plurality of voters want, and then just bend their principles to give it to them.

Comment Re:A knife is dangerous.. (Score 1) 97

You also aren't permitted to carry more than a small pocket knife unless you have a good reason

This is also true in America. Carrying a concealed knife is illegal in California. California bans some types of knives entirely, such as a knife that is balanced and can be thrown, so even having a knife in your kitchen is illegal unless it is asymmetrical.

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