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Comment Re:If a consumer didn't pay a premium for electric (Score 1) 327

... they'd probably already be a lot more popular.

As it sits, you're looking at putting down an additional $10k on a car *JUST* because it's electric, while the typical price-conscious consumer looks at that money difference and realizes that they can actually just get a whole lot nicer car instead.

I suppose I'm an "atypical" price-conscious consumer, because I looked hard at the costs... and chose to buy electric because it's cheaper. Sure, if you just look at the vehicle price, gasoline-powered vehicles are less expensive, but when you factor in fuel and maintenance costs over a suitable time horizon (I chose 8 years), gasoline isn't so cheap. Even without any subsidies, I found that the break-even point was just shy of 6 years for the less-expensive EVs (LEAF, i-MiEV, etc.), at least for my driving patterns. With the federal and state tax credits available, it was two years.

Comment Paywalls ... strangulation of scientific progresse (Score 5, Insightful) 189

Whether or not taxpayer-funded research should be accissible to the taxpayers for FREE is a matter to be acertained, but the fact is that it is no longer possible for anyone, including the professional researchers, to know where to find the result of the various facet of related research on a given field.

It is as if we are back to the pre-Internet days.

Before Internet, it was a Herculean task to find out if there had been a research carried out on any particular subject, simply because there was no one central database.

When Internet first arrived, the situation was greatly improved - although there were still no centralized database for all research results, at the very least we could search for it online.

Now ?

Not only the research papers are hidden behind paywalled, most of them don't even appear on search queries anymore.

Paywall does not only representing GREED that is retarding the progress of the human society, it is actually STRANGLING the progress of scientific research.

Comment Re:The Bush Administrations argument... (Score 1) 321

Between the Patriot Act and Citizens United we no longer are a constitutional democracy.

I am vehemently opposed to the PATRIOT act, but I personally cannot understand the notion that people, when acting together, lose their constitutional rights, and that's exactly what an opposite ruling in Citizens United would have implied.


Comment UNDER THE POLICE STATE ... (Score 5, Insightful) 321

... there is NOTHING FREE !!!

I am speaking on experience.

I am an American, a naturalized American citizen.

I came from China.

I, and many others, risking our lives and swam to Hong Kong back in the 1970's. They were shooting at us, back then.

We risked our lives not because we were poor (and we were) but because there was NO FREEDOM for the people.

Everything that we did - who your friends were, where you been to, what you did, why you did what you did, everything - was under the watchful eyes of the BIG BROTHER.

I went to the United States precisely because, back then, the United States of America was the only country that could guarantee my freedom, because, back then, the government of the United States of America still had respect for The Constitution.

I became an American citizen precisely because I found the freedom that I had longed for.

That was back then.

Not now.

Nowadays, the so-called "freedom" has all but evaporated.

When the prosecutors (or rather, persecutors ) can charge people with warrantless wiretaps , what is the difference between the United States of America and the former East Germany under Stasi or China under CCP ?

Back when I became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America, my new government was still operating under the Constitution of the United States.

No more.

Under the Obama administration, I am sorry to say, the Constitution of the United States has become as valuable as soiled disposable diaper.

As an American, I am sad.

As one who was from an oppressed state, risking live in order to gain freedom, I am HORRIFIED.

I am watching THE COUNTRY THAT I ADOPTED turning into just like the one I ran away from.

Comment Re:There is no Magic Energy Fairy (Score 5, Interesting) 327

Running a car on energy from the electric grid is greener than running on gasoline, even if your power comes from coal plants

To put some numbers to this, the EPA says that the average car emits 423 grams of CO2 per mile, and that the average US coal plant emits 1216 lb (551 kg) of CO2 per megawatt-hour produced, which is 551 g per kwh. My Nissan LEAF gets about four miles per kwh. Assuming pure coal power, and ignoring line losses, that means my car causes 138 grams of CO2 to be emitted per mile I drive.

Now, the LEAF is a very small, very efficient car, significantly more efficient than most gasoline-powered cars (mainly for range reasons). So comparing 138 to 423 straight up isn't a fair comparison, but even if you assume a normal car is half as efficient as the LEAF, it's still 276 grams per mile vs 423 grams per mile. Throw in some line losses and the gap closes further... but it's pretty clear that electric vehicles cause less CO2 production than gasoline vehicles, on a per-mile basis, even if all of the electricity comes from coal.

For me it's even better because although Colorado is primarily coal-powered, I mostly charge my car only at the office, and my employer (Google) pays a little extra to buy "green" power, mostly wind and hydro, I think. So my car's carbon footprint is much lower. This highlights another aspect of electric vehicles: if we switch to EVs (where appropriate -- they don't work for everything), it is at least possible to replace coal generation with something cleaner. Wind, hydro, wave, solar, nuclear, geothermal... there are lots of clean ways to generate electricity.

I should also note that I, personally, don't care that much. I bought a LEAF not because I was anxious to save the planet, but because it's cheaper to own and operate than a gasoline-powered car, at least for my driving patterns. The fact that it's cleaner is a pleasant bonus. It's also a lot of fun to drive because electric motors have awesome torque and I love how quiet it is. It's a great little car, and I'm very happy with my decision to buy it (lease it, actually... I think EV tech is changing fast enough right now that there's value in being able to upgrade regularly).

Submission + - GCC 4.9 Will Make Compilers More Exciting In 2014 ( 1

noahfecks writes: It seems that the GCC developers finally took actions to improve after CLANG is stepping ahead. Among the highlights to look forward to right now with GCC 4.9 include:
  • The Undefined Behavior Sanitizer has been ported to GCC.
  • ADA and Fortran have seen upgrades.
  • Improved C++14 support.
  • - RX100, RX200, and RX600 processor support by GCC.
  • Intel Silvermont hardware support.

Submission + - Skype Terminating Desktop API ( 1

mikejuk writes: Developers are waking up to the fact that the Sykpe Desktop API is to be withdrawn at the end of December 2013 — and are trying to reverse the decision with a petition.
Although the decision to "de-commission" the Desktop API was communicated to Sky partners in July, it didn't get much attention at the time. Now notices announcing that apps and devices will stop working in December have started to appear when users download the latest version of Skype and try to start a third party app.
So what are developers expected to use to create future apps — for mobile, web and desktop apps?
Currently the replacement URI API hardly justifies the name. It is a Rest-style API that provides very few facilities — place a call or start a chat and that's about it. This limits what you can now do and the idea that you can bring existing applications up-to-date is laughable.
Developers whose apps are affected are blaming Microsoft, which acquired Skype in 2011, and certainly it can be seen as part of Microsoft overall policy of deprecating the desktop while promoting mobile devices. By killing the API Skype is killing existing apps and existing add-on hardware.
If you want to make your voice heard sign the petition:

Comment probabilities. FaceTuring does none for returning (Score 2) 81

If the earlier checks suggest it's likely to be a bot, use a harder captcha to double check. If it's likely to be a human, use an easier captcha as confirmation.

If the system is pretty sure it's a returning user, FaceTuring doesn't require a captcha at all. I don't know if recaptcha ever goes as far as not requiring the captcha at all.

Comment For all the surveillances ... (Score 5, Interesting) 88

... why can't they prevent that soldier boy Lee Rigby from being chopped to death in the Woolwich area of London, by two Moslems from Africa ?

In America too ... refugees from Somalia returned to Somalia to become terrorists

If the surveillances are so effective, why can't they prevent all these from happening ?

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