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Comment Re:This simply means we're succeeding. (Score 1) 229

> 7.5 m^2 of 22% efficient polycrystalline solar cells covering its flattish surfaces

Did you check that figure? Lets:

We just got a Subaru Forester, a relatively large car. It's roof is about 1.25 m wide, and the hood and roof together are maybe 2.5 m long, so that's ~3.25 m^2. Now you might cover the sides too, but A) that means only one side could possibly be in the sun, and B) the cosign error makes it entirely useless.

Now 22% solar cells still have to go through 95% efficient inverters/charge controllers, and then into a 90% efficient battery and back out again. So that's maybe ~18% end-to-end, ignoring dirt. And finally, you get maybe 3 or 4 hours of "bright direct sunlight" per day once you consider cosine error. (look up PVWatts and play with it)

So, that means: 3.25 m x 1000 w/m x 0.18 x 3.5 = ~ 2 kWh

In a Tesla that would get you maybe 10 km, and there's no way a "real" car of any description is *three times* as efficient. And it's likely smaller than a Forester too. So yeah, color me skeptical.

Comment Re:US is tops in freight rail (Score 2) 229

> but trucking was then deregulated, so it became cheaper to ship a lot of stuff by truck.

It has nothing to do with deregulation, and everything to do with time. You need to go watch them switch a railcar onto an industrial spur some time, it takes HOURS. The last one to go into Dominion Color, a single tanker car, took most of a day.

If your product has any time-dimension value, and they all do, then there is a price differential that means trucks are cheaper end-to-end. That line moves with the *relative* price of trains vs. trucks. Trains are cheaper than trucks, about 35% IIRC, but that's not enough to justify it unless you ship a LOT of stuff that can move from one siding to another. Like steel, or coal.

I seem to recall a study that said when diesel hits $4.00 a gallon an ungodly amount of freight suddenly moves to trains. I guess that's why the train companies are spending so much effort on truck-to-train systems, for that day when it might come.

Comment Re:This simply means we're succeeding. (Score 2) 229

> There, one is forced to use fossil fuels

But we can reduce it significantly. Especially in cars, where plug-in-hybrids can easily double (or more) average milage with basically zero effect on the way the car is used. Pure electric doesn't really help much on top of that.

> solar powered cars would be completely viable

Not possible. Literally.

A Tesla, which is actually pretty average, goes about 5 km on a kWh. At highway speeds, that's three minutes of driving. The S has a roof about 2 square meters. There are 1000 W per meter of sunlight under perfect conditions. That means in those 3 minutes you will collect about 2000 * 0.05 = 100 Wh of electricity, or about 0.5 km. So basically you're discharging 10 times as fast as you could possibly charge.

If you consider realistic conversion on the order of 10% (15% power conversion, 30% geometry losses), its more like 100 times. Even if you drive and then park, there simply aren't enough hours in the day to cover even the shortest transports. A garage roof covered in panels *might* do for people who do shopping and such.

Comment Re:This simply means we're succeeding. (Score 2) 229

> Air travel and air freight are the worst offenders for carbon output for work done.

So? If the goal is to reduce carbon, you start at the top. And that's car's.

We get equal carbon reduction by increasing car efficiency by 10% or increasing jet efficiency by 100%

Which do you think we should start on first?

Comment How is this supposed to be surprising? (Score 1) 207

I saw my first HDTV, a 42" Pioneer Elite plasma, during the 1998 winter olympics. It cost $24,000.

I bought my first HDTV, a Sharp 50" which I still have, circa 2006. It cost $2300.

4K has been out, what, a year for real? You can get name-brand 60" models at Cosco for $2300.

So basically what took about a decade to happen with HDTV happened in about a year in 4k.

So given that 4k is currently at the price point that made HDTV "break through", no, I don't find it at all surprising everyone is buying one. The delta in price is fairly minimal, and although there's little content today, if it lasts 10 years like my HDTV, then it's certainly not a bad deal.

Comment Re:Nothing to see here, folks (Score 1) 192

"This is just one supplier who fucked up, and that supplier will pay a price for it's incompetence"

No, it's ONE MORE supplier who fucked up. And it's not the supplier that pay a price for it's incompetence, it's YOU.

There's a reason that the F-35 now costs more than the F-22, and it's not because of any one problem.

Comment Re:Cost benefit (Score 2) 141

A particular project, perhaps not. But in general, it's easy to see that "new" fields will produce more output than "old" fields. It's simply a matter of how deeply the field has been mined.

For instance, thermal expansion of metal wad one a very serious field of study, and about a century ago was the topic of a Nobel prize. However, today there is basically nothing left in that field to dio, and if you proposed spending 10 million to study it you'd be laughed at.

The standard model has remained largely unchanged since the 70s, meaning it is approaching its 50th birthday. It had been largely mined out since the 1990s. Since then they had spent a lot of time and money proving things most people assumed wss true. For instance, pretty much everyone believed in neutrino oscillation and the higgs, but we spent tens of billions proving it. And science didn't advance at all as a result. So far it's 10 billion very poorly spent.

Now it is entirely possible that LHC will detect something new. But we have a lot of good ideas what that would look like. And LHC can't detect most of those. Neither will one that's four times as big. Yo really test any of these theories we need a machine that we have no idea how to build. And so, anything in the middle, like SSC out this Chinese machine is really a total waste, and everyone knows it.

What's a bit sad about all this is that HEP is really one very tiny part of physics as a whole. It hasn't been a practical one since the 1960s, nothing any off the machines since then answers anything but HEP questions. But HEP is the darling of the physics community, because that's where the big machines are. It's rather circular.

The good news I'd that there is plenty of real good physics going on. And better yet, it takes place at your local university on a lab the size of a closet on a budget about what you spend on coffee for a year. And those experiments are producing both new science and real practical results. Look at the blue led for instance. Yet there's no documentary on that, while there's dozens on the LHC.

Comment False flag operation? (Score 1) 629

> Hillary suffered a "terrible" concussion requiring "six months of very serious work to get over."

So the very thing that would make us like a politician - overcoming adversity to rise again - is supposed to be a disqualification in this case?

That this comes from the AAPS is not at all surprising, but if anyone needed more ammunition to believe conservatives in the US are sexist, they're doing a fine job of providing it. Thanks, AAPS.

Comment Re:It's hard to believe. (Score 1) 109

> M$ not doing that is not surprising, they're pants-on-head retarded.

Let me repeat this in all caps:


There, does that make it clearer?

The suggestion that the data was incorrect was synthesized by the Register from a tweet from MS. And this is precisely why sources like the Wiki are better than single-editor sources like the Register.

Comment More BS from the Reg (Score 2) 109

As /. regulars are no doubt aware, the Reg has been fighting a single-handed battle against the Wiki for some years now. This has often led to some hilarity, as is the case here.

If one visits the Melbourne page on the Wiki, you'll find the coordinates are correct. If one examines the history, you'll see they have been correct for longer than Bing Maps has existed. There is no error in the data. The problem is MS's import.

Nevertheless, the Reg decides to read MS's tweet another way and blame it all on MS being stupid for trusting the Wiki. This is rather ironic.

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