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Comment Re:Drowning in Buzzwords (Score 1) 12

Leave it to the Slashdot misanthropes to find the negative in everything. Facebook's Oculus Rift, which you evidently haven't even tried, is actually a pretty impressive piece of gear for a 1.0 product release. I suspect they will have a mass market version in a couple years. The people who built it are shuffling themselves a bit to get themselves beyond the startup roles they've been in since 2012. Makes sense to me.

Comment Dealerships are a facade (Score 4, Insightful) 261

They're really just repair shops who've applied with an auto manufacturer to become a local monopolist middle-man for a brand of automobiles and associated parts. They make the bulk of their money on repair work (in-warranty from the manufacturer and out-of-warranty on highly marked-up fees charged to consumers).

As far as I'm concerned, the sooner we move to a world where all cars can be purchased online direct, the better.

Comment Re: Solar panels are nice, but what about storage? (Score 5, Funny) 60

Well, one thought is that they could put the building on a huge hydraulic lift and in this way store solar energy as potential energy, then slowly drop the building to release that energy post-daylight. This has the added advantage of forcing workers to stay inside rolling lithium until the wee hours of the morning when, presumably, the floor reaches ground level.

Comment Re:remember everything that savings mean (Score 1) 183

Yeah I think everyone gets it, but don't you think you're being a bit overly dramatic about Amazon warehouse pickers? Think of all the paper shufflers personal computers put out to pasture 30 years ago. That had a much bigger impact than the few thousand seasonal warehouse pickers that will be impacted by this. Society will survive.

Comment Re:I'm surprised it took so long (Score 1) 183

Ok I'll bite.

While I'm sure there is some truth to your assertions, why didn't one of the old industrials with the gray hairs running the show simply take their automated warehouse tech and dominate electronic retail so thoroughly? Were they just not greedy enough? I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that Amazon warehouses have subtly different requirements that required unique solutions.

Comment Re:1 billion batteries every ten years. (Score 3, Informative) 630

The primary constituents of lithium ion batteries are actually relatively straight forward to recycle (Lithium, Cobalt, Copper, Nickel, Graphite (carbon), Aluminum are the most common elements), and the batteries have useful lifetimes well beyond 10 years. However, the capacity degradation curve for Li-ion chemistries is mostly logarithmic, meaning even after it's done as an EV power store (say at 2/3s original capacity which might be reached after 10 years), it can last another 20+ years as grid storage, which doesn't require anywhere near the same weight/size to energy ratio.

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"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban