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Comment Re:Can't wait for solar power and electric cars ta (Score 1) 111

The problems with mass rapid transport and rail are that they seldom go exactly where you want them to go.

That's why PRT is good. It's cheap, small and light enough to go places that rail won't go. Then you can use the ordinary rail for long hauls. You can load PRT vehicles onto railcars if you like.

Comment Re:Can't wait for solar power and electric cars ta (Score 1) 111

Unless you are constantly locking up the wheels during braking, I'm not sure how braking would wear the tires more than driving.

It puts more force through the tires than cruising. But yes, just driving does the same thing, just not as rapidly as accelerating or braking.

Comment Re:Can't wait for solar power and electric cars ta (Score 1) 111

Where do you think the power for that electric car comes from? 75% of that power on average comes from burning coal. It's tit for tat.

Just using existing scrubber technology well within typical effectiveness norms delivers something like a 15% improvement in emissions per mile when you use coal power to drive EVs instead of burning gasoline (which is itself a refined product with its own energy input.) Of course, you would need an EPA with both a spine and teeth in order to keep coal plants running within the legal limits; we can find out-of-spec emissions as fast as we can come up with money and personnel to sample smokestacks.

Comment Re:Can't wait for solar power and electric cars ta (Score 1) 111

Alas, the car still has rubber tires, and some of the rubber is worn away during braking, and some of it is actually turned into a gas. Most of what is worn away during braking becomes rubber dust, which is both made of and coated with petroleum products. Some of it is transferred to the road, and some of that will be liberated later by other vehicles passing over it.

Cars are lame. Really, really lame. I really enjoy driving, I adore the sound of a V8 with an open exhaust at full song- hell, I thrill to hear the little growl that my W126 300SD makes during a full-throttle change-up, and that's a diesel with 120HP. I really love cars. But they are a really, really crap way to move people around. We should be replacing them with a combination of PRT and rail, and relegating cars to motorsport — where they should be run on carbon-neutral fuels or electricity, and run on biodegradable, carbon-neutral tires. That sounds like a bunch of hippie bullshit, but every tire manufacturer is actually working on such things in expectation of future environmental protection regulations which will effectively outlaw the compounds they are using today, and carbon taxes which will make them unprofitable in any case. And of course, we already have some electric racing series. We have carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative replacements for both diesel and gasoline (green diesel or biodiesel and butanol, respectively) so all of the pieces are there. As usual, the only thing missing is the will.

Comment Re:Can't wait for solar power and electric cars ta (Score 3, Interesting) 111

Yep, L.A. was really bad in the sixties and seventies. My family went through there on our way to visit grandparents that lived in Palm Springs. The air was a yellowish brown and was quite difficult for my mother at the time.

Ironically, much of the improvement in LA actually was due to cleaning exhaust pipes, and not due to cracking down on industrial production. Don't get me wrong, they did do that as well, but Los Angeles has a serious transport problem. Back when cars were more polluting, they had a serious transport pollution problem. But these various laws that people love to hate in California actually made a substantive difference in vehicle emissions. I myself am not very happy with the regulations surrounding equipment restrictions; if a vehicle can pass a tailpipe dyno emissions test then you should be able to mount whatever equipment to it you like. But that's another rant.

I fear those growing up since that time who want to eliminate EPA regulations fail to realize what it was like before those regulations existed.

The EPA regulations are a bad joke. It took the CARB (an entire additional emissions regulation board!) to fix the problems in Los Angeles (and the state as a whole) because the EPA is so pathetic. California has the most vehicles, almost the most road, and the most vehicle-miles traveled, so cleaning up vehicle emissions made a big difference. But the CARB also handles other kinds of emissions, like VOCs and particulates from commercial sources.

California could probably do without the EPA, because we could replace it by expanding the CARB's mandate. The rest of the country would go immediately to shit. Well, more shit than it is now. Enjoy your lead, America.

Comment Re:This is bullshit. (Score 2) 64

I realize that 'apps' are the future and all; but "a sperm bank is now an app" is pure nonsense.

Yep. Unless my phone can sequence my DNA, upload the results "to the cloud" and then someone else can download them on their phone and print a sperm, the sperm bank is not an app. I don't use the sperm bank by spooging on my screen, so the sperm bank is not an app.

Why is this even a story?

Slow editor day.

Comment Re:People deserve their government. (Score 1) 381

But if we're going to use these emails as part of a measuring stick as to who is more trustworthy, when we tally up all lie and half truths of our major candidates - Trump and Clinton - Trump loses.

No, America loses.

And what's sickening is that our parties have allowed such people to be the ones running for POTUS.

The founders wanted to pretend parties didn't exist so they didn't place any limitations on them. This was a gross mistake, one which must be corrected if we are to approach democracy.

Comment Re:It won't matter what Comey says (Score 1) 381

Yes she's so incompetent that the GOP can't charge with anything. What does that say about the GOP?

It says the GOP is not the potential prosecutor in this case. Comey said that no one would seek conviction in this situation, because he couldn't find sufficient evidence to seek a conviction. Not that there wasn't evidence of malfeasance.

I am with you in being puzzled by people who think that Trump is somehow better than Clinton. What I am confused by are people who think that Clinton is great.

Comment Research Centers are Low-Risk for Apple (Score 1) 18

You run the risk of industrial espionage anywhere, but Apple sells products based not upon superiority but cachet. Thus, the risk is not lower for them, only the penalty.

If you're not actually building manufacturing facilities then there's no risk of losing your massive capitol outlay.

On the other hand, Apple will probably insensibly insist upon building their own campus while there's plenty of empty office space already.

Comment Re:Best selling computer? (Score 1) 269

You might as well argue that every time they changed suppliers for a 2N3904 that makes it a "different" model as well.

They actually changed not just the suppliers of the chips, but actually what chips were used, and therefore changed the schematic. I would actually suggest that there's really only two C64s, the C64 and the later-serial-numbered C64S. Still, that's two models.

Comment Re:Cost of Infrastructure? (Score 1) 230

Most of the UPS step vans are custom made for them,

Actually, all of their step vans are custom-made. They were doing Aluminum boxes long before it was trendy, to save weight and thus fuel, so they had to get them custom-made. Now they just do it to do it, since everyone is doing that. You're right about the euro vans, although ironically the drivers are not fans of them here. They have adequate physical design, but not the logic. For instance there's an oil level float in the Sprinters that would trip going up steep hills, how sad.

Comment Re:$3 per package, eh? (Score 1) 230

The problem with Prime is you can't just have the free shipping, you have to have the streaming video and cloud storage and other stuff bundled into one expensive package. A lot like cable companies.

That would be a problem if you didn't already get your money out of Prime, which many of us do. I still shop around but at least half the time I find a good price on Prime. And Amazon is much easier to deal with than most other suppliers, with refunds and replacements flowing freely in most cases, which is another strong motivation. Sure, I might be able to find something cheaper on eBay, but if it's coming from the Czech Republic I'm going to have a hard time with returns if it goes wrong.

The streaming video is also awesome. It works much better than Netflix (e.g. in low bandwidth situations) and has tons of content now. How do you complain about that? Don't have high-speed internet?

Comment Re:USPS (Score 1) 230

You are comparing letters with packages. Not a meaningful comparison. In theory USPS could compete strongly in package delivery but they haven't been effective at it to date.

They're fucking morons, that's why. They are shit at everything. My post office has had a notice up for the last decade about routing loops caused by mismatching zip codes and cities. The USPS scans literally every package to find out where it is supposed to go and then throws that data away — after, of course, handing it to the FBI. So they can't check whether a routing loop is occurring because they have no records of whether a packet — er, make that a package — has traversed a particular sorting facility!

They also have a problem with following procedure. My local post office decided for me that they would hold all my small packages and I could just come in and get them. That's not what I want. What I want is for them to follow the fucking delivery instructions. If it says do not deliver without signature, then hold it. If it doesn't say anything, put it in my fucking mailbox. I made many dozens of trips to the post office to pick up $5 packages from China, wasting my time and fuel because they decided to "help". The one time I did file a hold as I was going away for a week, they failed to follow the instructions completely. I said it was OK to deliver letters, but hold packages, and I would come and pick up all held mail at the end of the hold. They delivered nothing while I was gone (that's OK) but then went ahead and delivered everything including packages to my mailbox at the end of the hold, which I had explicitly asked them not to do.

The USPS would have gone out of business by now if they weren't delivering small packages for UPS and FedEx, which people would rather use than the USPS because they are dramatically more competent. And, of course, planet-raping dead tree spam. Thanks, USPS! You're fucking shitlords.

Comment Re:First it was Uber. (Score 3, Insightful) 230

People used to say that house prices would never go down ... until they did. We're still experiencing the financial hangover.

That was a brief moment, it was manipulation, and now we're "enjoying" record high prices because of more manipulation. The banks are sitting on multiple empty houses for every homeless man, woman and child in America — while homelessness is at a high not seen since the Great Depression. So is unemployment, if you measure it correctly. That means looking at the inverse of the workforce participation rate, and not just counting persons eligible to receive unemployment benefits which is how the official number is calculated.

People used to say that a degree was a guarantee of a job ... until nowadays it mostly isn't.

It never was. People just said that. Or, it still is, but now it's a PhD or a Master's, not just a Bachelor's.

People used to say that oil the days of cheap oil were over because of decreasing supply ... now we're in a glut and prices tanked.

The amount of oil production is similar to what it was previously. Prices have tanked because OPEC is dumping oil. This is going to lead to a more severe cost increase due to decreasing supply in the future than what we'd have already had, since it's leading to less renewables since people buy less of them when oil is cheap.

North Korea used to be a pimple on the world's butt ... and now they have nukes.

Not for long.

The US used to be the number one economy - now China surpasses it in terms purchasing power parity (ppp).

They're heading for an economic crash that makes what's going on over here look like fluffy kitten time. They keep building stuff they can't use because they won't let their people have things.

Comment Re:First it was Uber. (Score 1) 230

It's easy to gain a competitive advantage if you have more or less the exact same business model, but ignore the laws and regulations that govern your competitors.

Well, except that the business model is almost completely different, yeah, it's more or less the same. They both provide rides for a fare in a car, but that's about where it ends. Everything else about it is different.

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