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Comment Re:Welp. In. (Score 1) 94

Come on, Nintendo, give us a real NES/SNES/N64 combo box.

Don't bet on it. A combo console would be very hard, maybe impossible, to design the look that would trigger nostalgic feelings, which drive these sales, because it physically won't look like any of the original consoles. Also, Nintendo can also sell more units by splitting the systems up.

If the look of the console doesn't matter and you just want to play the old games, then Nintendo happily resells them to you through their virtual console digital store.

Comment Re:and improved battery life (Score 1) 82

IIRC, the Verge claims that the battery life is just meh, but that the overall power design is supposed to allow it to hold 95(?)% of it's original charge (at full cap) after two years.

I think they're all just lying about everything at this point, because nobody can really test them properly.

...and if 2 years later you discover they were lying about the battery life it's far too late to do anything about it.

But, FWIW, my wife and I both bought Samsung S5's about 2 years ago and the batteries are still holding up well. So, maybe they aren't lying...if you trust them to keep consistent battery/power management design 3 generations later [and not explode].

Comment Re:and improved battery life (Score 1) 82

Agreed... and I want to know how those batteries hold up 1-2 years from now. A battery that is constantly drained and recharged to the max will lose long-term effectiveness. Cell phone manufacturers use their OS to create "minimum" and "maximum" battery charges that will conserve the battery's life time, but these out-of-the-box battery life comparisons don't reflect long-term battery life.

Comment Could less lint = fewer house fires? (Score 1) 440

Lint build-up in dryer vents is a common source of home fires, so maybe a dryer that creates less lint would reduce the chance of a fire, and in turn public safety? Of course dryer vent/lint fires typically occur because homeowners are negligent in cleaning vents out, BUT if this could remove or reduce long-term dryer vent cleaning effort/cost that would be another benefit. I'm just speculating, of course...

Comment Re:typical delusion (Score 1) 99

Mostly the same experience with maintenance costs here after 2 years of owning my Nissan Leaf. My monthly electric bill went up ~$15 and my maintenance so far has only been new wipers and topping of windshield fluid. However, saved myself the initial sticker price by buying Nissan-certified pre-owned, 1.5 years old, 10K miles, for ~$15k. So, I'm admittedly bragging, but I'm also pointing out the initial investment in an EV car doesn't have to be high.

Also regarding the EV car's cabin heating, the heated steering wheel is key, because as long as my hands are warm I am comfortable setting the cabin temperature much lower.

Comment Re:"Green" technologies aren't sufficient. (Score 1) 251

Without knowing your definition of "clean" I can't really answer the question. It's impossible to have incineration without creating carbon byproducts. But you can read about the Philadelphia trash to steam plant here:

Note the article says that 40 percent of the cost of building the incinerators is environmental controls (e.g. air scrubbers, filters, ash collection, etc.) and they have no visible emissions. They claim the carbon that does escape is cleaner and off-set by eliminating more climate-potent methane the trash would have generated in a landfill. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if European "clean" incinerations are basing their claims on similar logic/calculations. Also, anecdotally I can tell you the Philadelphia plant is in suburban area with neighbors that would not accept an old-fashioned soot-spewing furnace.

The article also notes that Covanta Energy owns/operates 42 waste to energy plants across the US, so there are plenty more examples beyond the one I gave.

Comment Re:"Green" technologies aren't sufficient. (Score 4, Interesting) 251

Or we could, you know, build clean garbage incineration units like they have in Europe which are actually net producers of energy.

We do have trash to steam plants in the US. I know Philadelphia, PA and Camden, NJ have them and I'm sure there are more, but you'll have to look those up. Funny thing is though that often trash to steam plants are advertised as "recycling centers"... which is a little stretch of the truth [or green-washing], but whatever they call it, it's better than a landfill.

Comment Re:Economics wins again (Score 1) 251

Umm. You put a natural gas power plant near the pipeline and then put the power on the transmission grid. Same with coal, hydropower or nuclear. The power grid makes location a non-issue.

As usual, when someone gives a simple answer it's often wrong. We have a power grid that spans the country already and here's a map of it:
But, transmission loss over distance is a very real thing that destroys efficiency and forces regions to have their own "local" power sources. So the source of electricity in the grid is vastly different depending on what region or state you are in. Here's a breakdown of the source of each US state's power grid:

Comment Re:Useless (Score 1) 74

Setting aside the pursuit of knowledge, dinosaur fossils have real world value that only an idiot would ignore. Individuals and institutions are interested in dinosaurs and are willing to pay a lot of money, sometimes even millions of dollars ( ) to own and display them. Dinosaur fossils can be tourist attractions that generate revenue. There's also a large black-market for fossils illegally stolen from lands. If some "study" allows one to protect, document, and safely unearth dinosaur fossils so that they can be resold at the highest value, that could be money very well spent.

Comment Re:Given that Venezuela's economy is tanking (Score 1) 93

because of a temporary drop in oil prices (we're a long way off from oil becoming worthless) why the heck are they doing so bad? I'm not gonna chuck if up to gov't corruption because _everywhere_ has that. Usually the rest of the world will send some aid to a country floundering like this. Heck even Greece got some. Did they piss everybody off somehow?

Venezuela's over-reliance on oil and low global oil prices may be the spark that started their economic fire, but they made a many other really bad economic decisions before and after the oil price drop that made things much much worse. Mind you there are other oil-dependent countries with economies that may be hurting, but they aren't spiraling into economic collapse like Venezuela...there's a lot more bad stuff going on there. I highly recommend listening to NPR's Planet Money podcast about Venezuela's current economic collapse, here:

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