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Comment Wrong Target... (Score 3, Interesting) 171

At least my computer and monitor, out of the box, go to sleep after a while.

Please, , let them turn their attention to Cable and Satellite TV boxes that when turned "off" with the remote still pull 20+ watts. Let them turn their attention to items like the Roku 3, which didn't even have the concept of "off" (and which kept a moving logo on the screen permanently to keep your TV from turning off). Let them turn their attention to all the IOT thingies, for whom implementing low-power states is an even lower priority than providing basic security.

Comment Re:Better cost a LOT less (Score 1) 174

Using an off-peak electic rate of $0.044 / kWh, it'll cost me about $2.64 to get roughly 215 miles of range. If I were to use the nationwide average rate of $0.12 / kWh, it'll cost me about $7.20.

Driving my 32 MPG Honda Civic will take about 6.72 gallons of gas to go 215 mile. At current, historically low, gas prices (say, $2.25), that's at least $15.

It's safe to say that electric vehicles are already obscenely cheaper than driving an economy car - anywhere from 1/2 to 1/5 the fuel cost per mile.

Comment Re:Electric cars won't take off (Score 1) 174

Let's talk about average people, not corner cases.

I drive a 70 mile commute every day. A couple of times a year I'd like to visit my family in SoCal from Phoenix. Half a dozen times a year, my son goes camping with the Boy Scouts.

So, for roughly 260 days a year, I get in my car in the morning with a full tank of electrons. I do my commute, get home and plug in. I won't visit a gas station the whole time. And I'll save about $120 / month using electricity instead of gas, even though gas is at historically cheap inflation-adjusted prices and I drive a 32 mpg gas car.

Roughly 6 times a year, I'll probably need a different vehicle to go camping, because the Boy Scouts like to camp a long way from Phoenix for some reason, and there's likely to be no superchargers on the route. That's a drawback.

Twice a year, I'll stop in Quartzsite (conveniently and purely coincidentally halfway between Phoenix and SoCal). It'll take an hour to charge, and my family and I will eat and pee. Then we'll drive into SoCal, and plug in to a probably 120 Volt outlet at my mother's place.

People will quickly figure out that, even driving an economy car using really cheap gas, electric cars are significantly cheaper to operate. Once neighbors and friends have electric cars and love them, most people will realize that they seldom have a need to travel more than 200 miles on backroads. If they're going to travel on highways, an appropriate choice of electric cars will mean that they get delayed (an hour on a 5 hour trip) but that's not such a big deal.

My prediction is that 10 years from now, the vast majority of new cars will be electric despite the minimal drawbacks we see today; the day-to-day utility will completely overshadow the relatively minor inconveniences.

I can't wait for my Model 3 to be ready...

Comment Typical government boondoggle (Score 2) 72

So the only company with a charger with a high enough charge rate that its actually usable for highway travel, the only company with an existing charger infrastructure covering almost all highway routes across the nation, the only company that offers to license all of its patents on this technology to any and all manufacturers who would wish to use it as long as they share in the costs and the ethos of open access, isn't involved in this project?


Comment No, god, please no... (Score 2) 107

I've got enough helicopters flying over my house at all hours of the day and night. I don't need another bunch of entitled rich bastards doing it because it's gotten easier.

I really wish that the FAA didn't have the duties to both regulate air traffic, and promote air traffic. The second duty tends to have a lot of impact on the first to the detriment of anyone on the ground (to whom they have no duty).

Comment Re:Useful, but not very accurate... (Score 2) 66

To be pedantic, I am certainly finding the data useful, as I am certainly using it. Whether the data is accurate/correct or not, I agree that I have no way to tell. I'm making the assumption that there is some reasonable level of accuracy to be expected from their testing (B12 doesn't use their Edison machines), and getting an expected smooth curve out of most of the independent trials implies some level of process control and precision, but the outliers suggest that individual measurements are suspect.

Of course, it's unclear how I'd get a "control" for this test. I could go to another blood analysis lab - but everytime I've had blood drawn in the last decade, the vials get drawn at a storefront "lab", then packaged up and processed at a backend lab somewhere else. It's not clear to me how to tell whether all the storefronts use a common backend lab, or which storefronts use which labs. A "control" could turn out to be verification of a lab's results by the same lab.

Comment Useful, but not very accurate... (Score 5, Insightful) 66

I loved being able to go to Walgreens, walk into the Theranos booth, and get a $10 B12 test without a prescription. Let me do all kinds of analysis that the standard physicians approach didn't.

But, with weekly B12 readings over the space of two months, there was 1 of the 8 readings that was obviously wrong. As an engineer, I'm used to noisy data so was still able to find the data useful.

Last month, went to Theranos (to one of their blood testing centers, as Walgreens had shut them down by then) and had another done. Another obviously, completely incorrect reading, confirmed by a doctor-ordered test at another lab.

So, even though I love the control they gave me (I could order any of a hundred tests on my own without having to convince my doctor to order it, or my insurance company to pay for it), I think it's best that they go away. Too much of modern medicine is conditioned on the results of a single, unverified test - the assumption is that the lab doesn't have an error rate. At least in my apocryphal case, Theranos grossly failed.

I'll go back to the fantasy land where the other, more traditional labs (that want to charge me $150 for the same B12 test) always have correct readings...

Comment Re:A real comparison? (Score 4, Informative) 286

The amount you save on gasoline, even over the full life of the car, will not pay for the premium price.

Not for current cars, but that's where the Model 3 is so exciting. $35000 is the median car price for new cars in the US, and that's where the Model 3 is intended to hit. There certainly was a premium for the Model S, but the premium is no longer there for the Model 3. Heck, if Chevy is going to try to sell the compact-sized Bolt for 35000, you could say that the Model 3 will be selling at a discount being as it's a bigger car with more features (like, say, a charging infrastructure).

By my calculation, I'll save about $1000 / year on energy costs over my Honda Civic. I normally keep cars for 10 years or so, so I'll be about $10,000 ahead at the end of my ownership - which is about the premium I'd pay over buying a new Civic. That's assuming that gas stays at it's current low price - let it climb back up to $4 or $5, and I'll be way ahead.

Comment Re:And in other news... (Score 5, Interesting) 180


The "chlorine" smell in pools is from Chloramines - a compound made of chorine and amines (ammonia). You get more of it from urine, but it'll build up anyway from other sources. The Chloramines are also what stings and irritates the eyes, nose, and lungs.

How do you get rid of it? Raise the free chlorine level in the pool to 10 ppm or so (normal range is 1 - 3 ppm). Presto, changeo, the pool stops smelling like chlorine.

Cryptosporidium is a difficult to remove parasite that can exist in pool water. How do you treat pool water that's been contaminated with crypto? Raise the chlorine level to 10 ppm for 24 hours (20 ppm if you use stabilized chlorine).

Me? I just keep my pool between 10-20 ppm chlorine all the time. Crystal clear water, no algae, no eye irritation, no chlorine smell, no nasties in the water, no side effects at all. My kids swim in it eyes wide open for hours at a time, friends come over and say "I'm glad you don't use too much chlorine; I can't even smell it".

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