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Comment No more traditional SUVs (Score 1) 543

I often think about an SUV conversion project, my 2004 TrailBlazer was a very popular model as was the blazer before it with many still on the roads today. These body on frame Trucks are a dangerous safety hazard.

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/are-suvs-more-dangerous-than-minivans/

I can't find it now, but there was a pretty famous article about SUVs how users wanted to be up high, and have plenty of metal around them, as well as lots of cupholders. The height invites rollovers, the metal makes them terrible at avoiding crashes, and the owners died or were maimed hundreds of times more often than minivan owners. The models compared were the Ford Explorer and Aerostar minivan.

For a long time body on frame SUVs were not tested for safety, unlike the minivans.

So you're better off from a safety perspective with a Crossover SUV or a minivan.

Meanwhile we'd all be safer and more efficient if all the body on frame SUVs dissappeared tomorrow, so making them more efficient keeps us all worried about getting crashed into by an SUVs so people don't opt for the smaller cars in any great numbers.

I had my crossover Equinox in the shop for 2 weeks and the delaership loaned me an HHR, a boxy little minivan-car sorta thing. It felt remarkably like my Equinox in so far as size, seating, cargo and modest comfort, but it was lower to the ground, had way less materials the doors sounded hollow when you shut them. It also seemed peppier, it got around town great and accellerated much faster than my Equinox or Trailblazer both of which have larger 6 cylinder engines. I drove the thing for 2 weeks normal commuting and errands on 7 gallons of gas as opposed to 14 gallons in my Equinox, couldn't guess on my Trailblazer we try not to use it outside of commuting to public transportation and big truck jobs.

So from a safety perspective you should be looking to refit a crossover or unibody style SUV, but from an efficiency perspective you should rethink the idea of an SUV that's towing an extra ton of vehicle it doesn't really need.

Comment Yes it will, no more Phantom Traffic Jams (Score 2) 648

There are problems with people noticing brake lights, stopping and then resuming flow that computers will not have. MOST of the traffic problems are with people stopping, starting and not knowing how to merge with traffic and other drivers not letting them merge. All of these things will go away and while the actual capacity of the road won't change, it will seem like it has increased because people will get off the roads quicker and the capacity is used more efficiently.

Phantom traffic jams can last for hours, you seem hopelessly stuck going 5 mph or less and then over one hill and its back up to highway speed for no reason, these are Phantom trafic jams, the original source of the problem has been gone for hours, but the backup caused by the backup has caused more backup its like a zombie process for humans, only computers won't have it.

Comment Headline is wrong, looking in the wrong places (Score 2) 70

In TFA they say that people looking for Exo-planets are looking for ones with close orbits. They believe now that because of tidal forces those planets would have hotter temps and not be candidates for a Earth-like planet.

Looking for close orbit planets is a fine way to find exoplanets.

What they should say is that looking for close orbit planets is not a good way to find earthlike planets with liquid water.

Now take in your head the originally believed habitable zone, you are going to have to shorten that on the side closer to the star. One would not necessarily extend that zone an equal distance away from the star as planets not in close orbits won't get the extra heating.

Comment Wrong question (Score 1) 500

If flooding the market with a commodity lowers the price too much, then only bring enough to meet the annual industrial demand. Plus tell the Chinese to screw their monopoly on "Rare Earth" materials.

A lot of Gold, Silver and Platinum are sold for industrial users, silver goes into making solder and those hard plastic packages that are a pain to open.

Until recently the gold, silver and copper in electronics mostly went to landfill or was shipped to Africa where the heavy metals and chemicals in them are leaching into the water supply.

If I could mine all the asteroids and just park my inventory in LaGrange Point L1, then these become my reserves just as if I had them underground in a mine. Reserves are usually priced against the market value of the commodity, so my stock options become more valuable based on my reserves if I do not flood the market with more Platinum than industry can absorb.

Try re-asking your question what happens to Oil prices if they dump all their reserves on the market, and ask yourself why that doesn't happen.

This will be a net positive for the Solar industry if real industrial capacity moves into space.

Comment Solar Pathfinder is what you need (Score 1) 85

Get an installer to bring out a Solar Pathfinder and get an estimate.

http://www.solarpathfinder.com/?id=mxhu3Rj5

The specially designed dome and template inside the dome let them take a picture of the reflection from your skyline and trees on the dome, their software analyzes the picture and tells you what your solar potential is.

I saw it on This New House and have no affiliation with the company.

Comment Bilbo Baggins (Score 1) 388

I take my wife there periodically for brunch (Elevensies or Second Breakfast?).

I like their pasta Carbonarra, they also have a wine tasting bar, but I've never been in that side of the building.

The Menu has some little black and white line drawings of trees and such that remind you of the shire a bit, but aside from that, there is nothing Tolkein infringing going on there. Maybe one of the salads has has a Hobbit name.

Comment 20% is also the amount you spend (Score 1) 408

On training the new guy when the old guy burns out. Ask your HR dept how much money is spent on employee churn, how much does it cost to look for a new employee, advertise, recruit how ever many names you have to interview just to get one person in the door.

Now name a program that costs about the same or less than that and keeps fully trained empoyees on the payroll.

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