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Comment Re:Me too. (Score 1) 851

My smartphone changed my life (I think for the better). It's the GPS, not the web browsing that is the best feature. Last week I went on a business trip, rented a car, didn't have to bother with maps or worry about getting lost, my phone told me where to go.

Comment Re:Ohhhh shit (Score 5, Informative) 344

This is getting blown way out of proportion.

See this article for another view:

Specifically the last paragraph:
"What is left unsaid in all this is the fact that conventional cars with a tank full of petrol are far greater fire hazards than electric cars will ever be. Some 185,000 vehicles catch fire in America each year, with no fewer than 285 people dying as a consequence. But, then, people have been living with the hazard of petrol for over a century. Irrationally, electric-vehicle fires are perceived as somehow more worrisome simply because they are new."

Comment Re:For one battery that goes, billions are just fi (Score 1) 277

It would be nice to know if the phone was ever dropped, or its battery replaced at any point, or if a non-standard charger was used.

In this case, the backplate of the iphone had been replaced (you can tell from the apple logo in the picture). Obviously I don't know if this was the cause though, but perhaps the backplate was replaced because the original broke during a fall which may have jolted some internal circuitry close to the battery causing a local hotspot near the battery and then thermal runaway. Somehow I doubt that the battery would have been punctured just by dropping/replacing the backplate though.

Comment Why all the hate for these patents? (Score 2) 323

After reading multiple posts and comments about Apple's patents, there are a lot of people who feel this is counter productive...I don't know why.

IMHO, the patent system is broken when a company can file a patent without actually having a solid working product first, this sometimes happens. But clearly, in a lot of Apple's patents, such as this one, it isn't the case. If Apple, or another company, invests billions of dollars into R&D to make a product, they should be able to protect it. In fact, it would be counter productive if they couldn't protect it because it would discourage them from investing in R&D and then the nice things wouldn't even be invented in the first place.

Comment Re:redesign needed - (Score 1) 225

but you're ok with lithium-ion batteries exploding if short-circuited or heated to above 120C, mm?

I'm just saying be realistic and stop making it sound as if lithium-ion batteries are intrinsically dangerous so that you can push your agenda for your design

A lithium-ion battery will not normally reach 120C. It will only do so if damaged or if there's a defect. Just like you don't want to be driving around in a car with a damaged gas tank. You're in just as much danger sitting on top of a tank of gasoline as you are sitting on top of a lithium-ion battery pack.

Lithium-ion batteries are not any more intrinsically dangerous than other high energy content materials. Whenever you concentrate high energy things, they must be treated with respect. Just because you have to take different precautions when working with lithium-ion batteries as opposed to gasoline, does NOT mean lithium-ion batteries are more dangerous.

Comment Re:redesign needed - (Score 1) 225

you _can't_ put a material that spontaneously catches fire when exposed to air and water (lithium) into a car!

You realize that you're talking about lithium-metal right? All mainstream electric vehicles are using lithium-ion which is a different technology. A lithium-ion battery _will_not_ catch fire when exposed to air and water. Lithium-ion batteries will catch fire when heated to above around 120C which can happen by an internal short circuit, or if punctured by a piece of metal.

Stop spreading FUD. Lithium-ion batteries are much safer than lithium-metal batteries, which is why lithium-ion batteries are being used despite their lower energy density.

Comment Re:Overheating already... (Score 1) 172

"Two cases in point, a Toshiba laptop with AMD and a 13" MacBook Pro with Intel, the fans run annoyingly at high speed, the bottoms are hot enough to fry eggs on. That's just sitting with one web page open. How long can one expect machine like that to last? A year? two maybe?"

This is an 13" MacBook Pro doesn't get hot or have the fans turn on with a single web page, nor does this happen while browsing the web/watching youtube.

Comment Re:Magic (Score 1) 562

It's just a solid oxide fuel cell. The only magic is that Bloom Energy is able to market them.

The inks are made out of ceramic/metal powders, probably either sprayed or screen printed to make a typical sandwich type solid oxide fuel cell (or maybe a ceramic tube). It's a standard way of making solid oxide fuel cells. Electrical efficiency is likely 40-50%, total efficiency (assuming they are able to recover some waste heat and, for example, heat hot water) would be around 80%.


Submission + - Interview with Prof. Tad Patzek (UCB) on Biofuels (

Ben K. writes: "For a bit of weekend energy listening, here's a conversation that we had with Tad Patzek (talking about ethanol's energy balance. This was recorded 2 years ago now, but it still remains quite timely today. 52 minutes. Filled with great details and explanations, Professor Patzek does a wonderful job explaining why ethanol is silly from a scientific standpoint."

Comment Re:Yeah, right! (Score 1) 519

And if thousands of people do die from your mistake, is it you who goes to jail or is it your company's ass on the line? If you're an engineer, it's you who goes to jail. (although, I'm sure the company would also be in trouble).

Submission + - Google sued for patent infringement

User Journal

Journal Journal: Energy efficiency is the key

The only way to prolong oil and gas supplies is through efficiency. We have to use the 80:20 rule and focus on the areas that are the least efficienct in our lives - in my opinnion, these are cars and meat. The US has 200 million cars that consume 2/3rds of all of its oil. The US uses 25% of the world's oil, and so cars in the US alone use 16% of the world's oil [ref].

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