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Comment Re: Austin 16 minute commute? (Score 1) 174

Who lives in Stockholm and pays less than $1500/month for an apartment? (Or did they exclude second hand rent, which is 300% of list price?)

Stockholm isn't exactly cheap, granted, but if you're paying that much for a flat there, you're doing it wrong. My mortgage + maintenance for a 105 kvm (almost 1100 sqft, which is huge for Stockholm) 3BR ("fyra rum + kök") is about half that, it takes about 5 minutes to walk to the nearest stop on the Tunnelbana and it's about 15 minutes to ride the train from there to Centralen.

ProTip1: You do NOT have to live on Kungsholmen or Södermalm to have a nice home in a nice neighbourhood with easy access to downtown. I'm right next to Nacka Reservatet, too.

ProTip2: The rental market in Stockholm is the most completely fucked up I've seen anywhere, and I've lived all over the US and 4 other countries. Buying is heaps cheaper, and that way you get equity as part of the deal.

Comment Re:As opposed to? (Score 1) 33

The ACA was the largest government handout to industry in possibly the history of government.

That's a a very narrow view. Guess you're middle-class, huh?

The GOP would have happily voted in favor of it if only the white house were occupied by a republican; they opposed it because they didn't want a democrat to get credit for health care reform.

Events from the last 2 weeks would seem to undercut that argument quite a bit.

but the bill did largely the opposite of that.

There are, at minimum, 24 million of your fellow countrymen who think that argument is full of shit.

He gave the GOP the bill they wanted.

That's a bizarre statement to make, considering that not one single solitary GOP congresscritter voted for its passage.

Comment Re:Limit of Energy Density (Score 1) 135

Electric cars lose on the energy storage, but win on the engine. Instead of 300 kg of engine and 70 kg of fuel in a petrol car, you can have 30 kg of motor and 340 kg of battery in an electric car without increasing the mass. (Note that those masses are guesswork on my part.)

On top of that, it is hard to sell cars with 100 mile range, so electric cars dedicate more of their mass to propulsion+energy storage than fossil fuel cars.

Comment Re:What's in the future for batteries? (Score 2) 135

There are many reasons why this isn't ever happening. A very big one is that such a 'battery' would be producing heat all the time. Say your device has 10W peak demand, and your radioisotope thermal generator (nuclear battery) has efficiency 10% (better than we've yet achieved), then you'd need an RTG which was emitting 100W of heat all the time. (On the plus side, it would do a fine job of heating the interior of your car on cold days.) (If your device only uses 10W occasionally, you could pair a 1W output RTG with rechargable batteries, but now all you're saving yourself is the need to plug it in each night.)

Further reasons:
* Cost - even with efficiency of scale, producing radio isotopes will be very expensive
* Scaling - the technology works (sort of) for 100W power generation, it may be hard to scale down to 10W or 1W
* SIze - a 100W RTG is the size of a person.
* Safety - they contain really nasty radioactive sources. If you use alpha emitters, you can make them 'safe' with very thin shielding, but once the material escapes into the environment (e.g. in a house fire, or someone chops the battery with an axe) it is very nasty indeed.

Yes, future technology can help somewhat with any of these - but it needs to improve all of these problems, each by many orders of magnitude, before nuclear batteries will be practical.

Comment Re:Just looking at the first few questions... (Score 2) 135

The five stages of name-pun reaction:
1) Amusement. This stage starts at age about 4 to 6, when the punee first gets the joke. It typically lasts about 30 minutes.
2) Tedium. This stage typically lasts a few months
3) Anger. Will you stop with that stupid joke already?
4) Bargaining. If you stop making those stupid jokes, I'll stop pummelling your ribs with a baseball bat.
5) Acceptance. Let the jokes flow through you, omnipresent yet harmless like the air. Find your inner peace. Make it your life's mission that everyone who has ever made this joke will be carrying in their pocket a chemical bomb of your design.

Comment Will there always be a demand for lithium? (Score 1) 135

Demand for lithium is soaring and supply is scrabbling to keep up. If I was contemplating constructing a lithium mine/extraction facility, I would be worried that my investment might do fine for five years and then suddenly become worthless when some new battery chemistry came along. Is this fear justifiable? Is it reducing current or near-future lithium supply?

Comment Re:As opposed to? (Score 1) 33

rather that the democratic response to it was

Yeah, HUAC sure was contentious at the time...

They were only allowed to be cowards from that point onward, even when they had "power".

I used to fall for that analogy, but really it's the difference between a party that believes that democratic governments are a good thing vs. a party that thinks the private sector ought to do everything but defense. But sure, they're cowards.

That doesn't change the fact that what was passed in 2009 was in no small part influenced by the Heritage Foundation and their own requirement for an individual mandate.

That's not what we're arguing here.

Except that Obama was willing to sign damned near any piece that crossed his desk,

Would love a cite on this considering everything that's been written about this topic ad nauseam is that this was an issue close to Obama's heart, and unlike Trump, him and his team spent an inordinate amount of time haggling and dealing with the Dems in Congress (and trying and failing same with the GOP side).

Are you suggesting then that the heritage foundation document on the heritage foundation server that calls for an individual mandate is somehow not the heritage foundation calling for an individual mandate?

Another point we're not arguing.

Comment Re:As opposed to? (Score 1) 33

I will point out that the GOP pretty well took control of the meaning of "Un-American" and applied it to everything they didn't like starting on Sept 12 2001

No no no. American conservatives have been calling American liberals all kinds of traitorous names since the late 40s. This has been going on the entire modern era.

The democrats wrote it to make the Heritage Foundation happy

Also incorrect. As I've pointed out numerous times, health care reform was a major topic of discussion during both of W's terms, as it was clearly understood that the current health system (both government and private) were headed for disaster. You then "lucked" out that Obama came in 2008 with an idea to make it his signature legislation. As for Obacamare being a lightly remixed version of The Heritage Foundation plan everyone loves talking about, they couldn't be more different.

Comment Re:German approach (Score 1) 152

germans ARE allowed to monitor.

csb time: I used to work at cisco in the US and a friend who worked at cisco in .de told me that they disclose to their german employees the kinds of wiretapping they do (mgmt) to their employees. mgmt can turn on the webcam and mic at any time, do screen captures, enable keylogging, lots of things. all cisco laptops from corp IT come baked-in with corp spyware. not to worry, ALL big corps do this, now, and they bake-in fake certs so that you authenticate with the corp firewall even when you get a 'lock icon' on your ssl browser.

the only diff is: the US managers are not allowed to say all this and the german mgrs have to disclose it. the only way I, a US employee, knew about this is that I was friends with someone who did get told this, who lives in .de.

they most certainly log and do bad things; just like the US does. but their people, at least, are TOLD about this.

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