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Comment Re: So what does it do then? (Score 1) 485

I only used it on rather flat ground, so I don't know. If it started to chug I would have taken it off cruise and shifted myself, but I believe if you clutched it would have killed cruise. In owning it 4 years I never actually clutched with cruise on, so I don't know. All I can say is that it worked fine for my needs.

Comment You can't do autonomous half-way like this. (Score 5, Interesting) 485

The car was basically equipped with a stay-in-lane and slow-down-if-you-approach-the-car-in-front-of-you kind of system, which is not an autonomous vehicle, nor can you take your eyes off the road. At best it reacts a bit faster if someone in front of you hits the brakes. Google did a talk on this and said in their tests, as soon as a car seems to be working by itself, drivers stopped paying attention to the road, so half-way-autonomous is a bad idea. People don't want to pay attention and they won't if the car seems to be doing a good enough job.

Only a fully autonomous car will be good enough.

Comment Re:How to collect "atmospheric" CO2? (Score 1) 170

So I just read that article, and they're talking about using CO2 from an industrial source, not getting it from the atmosphere ("The Keyes ethanol plant already uses a dual-pass wet scrubber to produce 99.9% pure CO2"). It's referred to in the article as Carbon Capture and Use (CCU). That's what they're doing for $160/ton.

Comment How to collect "atmospheric" CO2? (Score 4, Insightful) 170

Atmospheric CO2 is about half a percent (400 PPM), though it's rising. Most of these "sequestration" ideas only work if you have high concentrations of CO2 to begin with, so you take the high CO2 concentration from some kind of industrial process and instead of dumping it in the atmosphere, you pump it underground, or in this case into volcanic bedrock. It's not a good way to get existing CO2 levels down. Still, it's a much needed improvement if it works.

Comment Employment will shift to manufacturing (Score 1) 327

When the price of oil dipped down in the last year, that dropped the Canadian dollar, all of which had two effects: it hit the Alberta economy really hard (because of oil companies cutting production) and it was a boon to the Ontario economy (where manufacturing is strong). Suddenly buying manufactured goods from Canada was a lot less expensive, and everyone was hiring in Ontario. In a future where fossil fuels are in less demand, you'll just see exactly the same trend - a lower Canadian dollar meaning more demand for Canadian manufacturing exports. So Canada will be fine, but Alberta's going to become a "have-not" province again. Considering how they lord it over the rest of us when oil prices are high, I don't expect much of the rest of Canada to give a damn.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 415

Robot cells here cost more money and a lot of that increase in cost can be attributed to the additional safety restrictions we put on robot cells in North America or Europe. I'm in industrial automation and a very significant amount of design time for any automation cell goes into safety design. I'd imagine those restrictions are a lot lower or non-existent in China.

Comment Oh my gosh, something got hot and melted! (Score 4, Informative) 196

I work in a factory and stuff is occasionally installed wrong or fails in such a way that stuff breaks, sometimes by melting or having smoke come out of it. Nobody was injured and the result of the problem didn't cascade and create other problems (at least nothing serious apparently) which means it's not a huge deal. Replace the cables, align the mirrors properly this time, update the process for mirror alignment and verification and get on with life.

I seriously wonder what kind of sheltered life people must be living to not have experienced stuff breaking down and having to repair it. Have you not owned a car? A washing machine or dishwasher? A computer with a hard drive? I've twice been in the vicinity of electrical transformers that exploded rather spectacularly, both of which due to high winds. They're up on a pole so nobody got hurt. They were fixed within a matter of hours. Seriously, stuff breaks down, usually for quite run-of-the-mill reasons, often due to human error, and it has to be fixed. Why the shock and mock outrage?

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