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Comment Carbon Fiber? Who is going to repair and recycle? (Score 1) 353

Ya, I love the strength per weight that carbon fiber brings, but the stuff is (as of yet) unrecyclable and non-repurposable. Shatter a bit of carbon fiber and all you have is is a bunch of broken carbon fiber. The repair process is shaky and there's no reclamation process for the baked final product...

My idea of a an irony-laden "green" auto:
Carbon Fiber Frame/body
Plug-In Battery Electric
Owned and Operated in Appalachia

Metals are recyclable. Plastics can be recyclable. When we keep our eyes on the cradle-to-grave aspect, we make better judgements for the futures of our children, grandchildren, etc.

Comment It's not "Rideshare". That term is taken. (Score 1) 133

Rideshare is an industry term in Transportation Demand Management. It refers (oddly enough) to any of the following modes of transportation:

Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar are all well-aware with the misuse of the term and they defend is with the simple statement that "two people going to the same place in/on the same vehicle is a carpool." Detractors aptly point out that it's actually one person with that genuine destination with the other (the driver), being paid to take the passenger to that destination.

So Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar changed their systems early on. No longer would there be fares or fees, but "expected minimum donations" and the driver's weren't for "hire", they were FRIENDS!

"This is my pal, Steve! My app told him to come pick me up and we're going to be best of buddies because he's taking me somewhere I want to go while expecting (though not requiring) a donation!"

In reality, the systems function as taxi services. No rational person can deny that. They need to be insured and everything else at the same standards that taxis are. The end.

Comment Ah... -- So my "Troll" post had merit... (Score 1) 377


It looks like Tesla properly understands the value of combining quick fueling with slow charging! The only thing they have to do is create a system (likely subscription) so that you don't have to pick up your original battery pack. The battery pack should belong to the fueling company and your subscription should provide the insurance/assurance against battery pack damage.

Battery packs will be standardized within a small group of performance levels (just like today's gasoline) and the only other variance between vehicles will be the *number* of battery packs swapped in/out.

And by the time that's perfected (oh the joys of "proprietary technology"), hydrogen fuel cell automobiles should be breaking into the market.

Comment Re:... with government funds and subsidized chargi (Score 1) 311

I never said it was cheap to do anything with gasoline. Instead, I quite directly say that installing fast chargers are so cost-prohibitively expensive that it's likely that they're being subsidized by the federal government to serve expensive, wasteful electricity to the very, very few people who would actually use them.

At the very least, gasoline stations are paid for by private industry and will be able to pay off their own expense. These fast chargers are just getting people used to sub-market value fuel prices.

Comment Re:... with government funds and subsidized chargi (Score 1) 311

Note that if the photovoltaic farm is being installed to power the chargers, then the cost of the photovoltaic farm should be included in the cost of the charging station.

Also consider the amount of electricity per square foot that can be generated even by some of the higher end panels today. How much area would be needed to charge a single Nissan Leaf @ level 2 versus a Tesla at level 3/fast charge? Enough to charge 2 cars simultaneously? If not that, then the sheer amount of batteries required to store the power until needed.

Comment Re:... with government funds and subsidized chargi (Score 1, Interesting) 311

You're right that they're more efficient than combustion engines, but so are bicycles. The point is that fast charges are not the future-- they're a dead end to a technology.

Battery swapping, on the other hand, is the most cost efficient, environmentally friendly, and quickest form of refueling an battery EV.

Comment ... with government funds and subsidized charging. (Score 1, Troll) 311

First, 100 fast chargers does not a nationwide blanket make.
Second, these things are extremely expensive to install (especially if they're not immediately next to major power lines). We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Third, fast charges are very inefficient by comparison to level 2 chargers-- there's a lot of waste energy.
Fourth, fast chargers are most likely to be used midday when electricity is at its costliest.

So, they're expensive to install, wastes electricity, and are most likely to be used when electricity is at its most expensive. Thus, if they want to install them and want people to use them, there's going to have to be massive subsidies.

Or Tesla's spending themselves into a hole again because they figured out that the quagmire that is proprietary charging payment systems has stymied adoption and they're going to just do it themselves... because their product depends on it! And because they missed out on the only true future for battery-electric vehicles: Battery Swapping!

Comment "Just" $229 for the 16GB version? Are you kidding? (Score 0, Flamebait) 228

With a title description of "Basic" iPod Touch, I was thinking it would be a smaller, lighter, more storage, non-touchscreen, longer battery version of life iPod touch. Basically, a cross between the nano and original iPod.

But no, you still have WiFi, Bluetooth, web-browsing, a forward-facing camera, etc. How is that basic? It has a touch screen!

Ok, I'll admit it. I hate iProducts... but Apply could convince me to give up my Creative Zen X-Fi 32GB that I bought 6 years ago for $150 bucks. It has:
+Drag-and-drop music loading
+No need for iTunes
+Buttons so I don't have to stare at the screen to skip a track
+SD card slot
+No need for OS updates and obsolescence

To be fair, the Zen is over-engineered to have the ability to play video, view pictures, etc. and had they omitted those dumb things, price could have been even cheaper.

Comment Re:Little to Learn About Mass Education from Outli (Score 1) 141

Hi Nemyst,

I love this question and I appreciate your forwardness and honesty in asking it.

The problem with "lazy, complacent, and dull-minded people" just being left to their own devices is that we assume that they are also kind and want for little. But then there's strain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strain_theory_%28sociology%29).

Strain theory suggest (rather aptly) that people who want (or feel they deserve) more than to what they have legitimate access will find illegitimate means to obtain their wants. When you have a nation full of people who are trained from day one to consume more and more and to seek out luxury, but are not given the necessary requirements to *earn* that luxury through appropriate means, they will (and do) turn to crime.

Your standard education curriculum seeks to change both the goals and the means to achieve those goals by teaching that you don't need a life of luxury to be happy (via ethics, philosophy, history, literature, etc.) and to provide the usable life and career skills to not need to turn to crime.

In short, we can't just let the happily uneducated stay uneducated because they will not be able to contribute enough to their own well-being via legitimate means and will thus ruin it further for us all.

To speak to another point you make ("We're wasting valuable resources trying to keep mediocre people from entirely failing..."), I don't think we're allocating *enough* resources. But I'm not talking about raw cash, electronics, or amazing new buildings. The most important and long lasting investment you can make in beneficially affect low-performing students is to have a fantastic person in front of the classroom.

In California, there are thousands and thousands of these fantastic educators dying to get into the classrooms, but the state and districts are either severely underfunded or the money isn't being spent as well as it should. Moreover, the cost of becoming a teacher is insane. Let's just take a look at someone who, in high school, seeks to become a great teacher:
(1) Do well in school.
(2) Apply to 4-year universities. ($45/application. Assume 6 schools.)
(3) Graduate from 4-year university ($120,000)
(4) Take GRE ($185), CBEST ($40), CSET ($140)
(5) Apply to Masters/Credential Programs ($60/application. Assume 4 programs)
(6) Graduate from MS/Cred program ($40,000), Receive Preliminary Credential.
(7) Apply to school districts/schools. Wait. Wait more. Travel expenses for interviews ($?)
(8) Get hired, non-tenure track, work for 3 years on-and-off depending on June-Layoffs
(9) Enroll in Professional Teacher Instruction Program, take more classes over a year. ($50 application fee, variable tuition)
(10) Complete "Clear" Credential from PTIP.

So... if someone wants to become the teacher that low-income, low-hope students need, s/he would have to spend/in-debt over $200,000 for investing in the *right* to make that change. When your average teacher in California gets paid $35,000/year for the first few years and slowly trudge up to $45,000 without job security, without pension security, and with a for-profit industry doing everything it can to reduce the amount of respect that a teacher receives, it's a pretty hard sell.

I know this stuff because I got to step (5), completely willing to accept the rest with a smile on my face. But then the recession hit and I just couldn't drag my partner through the rest of the steps without any realistic expectation of stability. I took an offer to pursue a secondary passion and am making more than a 10-year veteran teacher would be making after only 2 years on the job.

Comment Little to Learn About Mass Education from Outliers (Score 1) 141

An educator does not deal with driven, curious, and happily intelligent people all day. Her job is instead to take the lazy, complacent, and dull-minded and instill knowledge and analytical ability.

"Hundreds of people are spending 20 or 30 hours a week just taking free Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs. They're not looking for credit, just the challenge of learning."

Hundreds, huh? Out of MILLIONS? They are the outliers within the outliers!

MOOC addicts are not the norm.
iPad owners with 4G connections are not the norm.
Slashdotters are not the norm.
AP students are not the norm.

Increasing access to those who already have access will give only marginal gains. If you want to start a revolution in education, focus on the students that regularly receive Cs, Ds, and Fs as course grades. Change THEM and you change the world.

Comment What are the alternatives? (Score 1) 177

Honest question.

What alternatives are there to a low-production, high-powered laser that likely requires a ton of support crew/machinery to take out missiles?

Phalanx or successors? Are these considered competent?
What about missile-to-missile platforms?

And how useful is this thing if it's not an on tangential course?

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