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Comment Lest you forget...the music industry is fine... (Score 1) 227

The music business is doing fine

HOW they are doing fine, I have no idea. I know I sound old, mainly because I am, but I am quite astonished what my nearly-teen daughter listens to. It's not that I don't get it... some of it catchy. But so much of it is just terrible in every way. I pull songs off of youtube for her, mainly because I can then monitor what she listens to and I can look up the lyrics as well. Also, she listens to things like parodies of songs and other things that aren't necessarily under the thumb of the music industry.

The other reason I can't believe they doing fine is because the entertainment industry has never really embraced digital music. If they had done so back in '98, '99, 2000, etc. they would have been able to capitalize on the desire for it. Instead, they fought against it. Just like VCRs, cassettes, CDR, DVDR, etc. They just can't loosen their grip on trying to maintain complete control. This is no different.

And I will say, I do listen to youtube at work, it's easy to just pull up some music. And if there is a particular old album out there that I don't have... it wouldn't be inconceivable to just download it from youtube, rip the audio, and run mp3splt with silence detection to get individual tracks.

Comment Re:Everything Trump does is bad (Score 1) 117

If she deleted emails AFTER them being subpoenaed by Congress she would be in prison now.

Perhaps. That's a question for Congress, and the Republican Congress has chosen not to pursue it.

If she deleted work related emails after being subpoenaed by the FBI, as Comey confirmed she did, she would be in prison now.

Clinton claims that the deleted emails were personal, not work-related. The DoJ found that she had the legal right to withhold and delete personal emails. Whether the emails actually were personal, of course, we'll never know. But barring existence of some evidence that they weren't personal, there is no prosecutable offense here.

If she lied under oath to Congress, as confirmed by Comey, she would be in prison now.

Almost nobody goes to prison for lying under oath to Congress. Comey has done it, and didn't go to prison, for example.

Just because there is a different set of rules for her and she doesn't go to prison for committing crimes doesn't mean she didn't commit crimes.

I don't see any evidence that there is a different set of rules. There's a lot of evidence that she is given every benefit of the doubt within the rules, probably more than others would. I suspect that some of that is due to the influence of a Democratic administration, but I think most of it arises from the fact that no one wants to destroy a major party's candidate for president without extremely clear cause. It seems entirely appropriate to allow the voters to hold a referendum on these issues in November... and, frankly, if her opponent were anyone other than Donald Trump voters would destroy her for it.

I should mention that I do not like Hillary Clinton, at all. I'm a conservative-leaning libertarian who generally votes for Republican candidates, so I disagree ideologically with Clinton, and as a person I consider her to be a cold, grasping, schemer. But I dislike the post-factual era that US (and world) politics seems to be entering even more.

Comment Re:This simply means we're succeeding. (Score 1) 217

Finally, you can't shave *that* much weight off the car even if you stopped worrying about crashworthiness altogether; you can only make a steel box for 4/5 people so light, and still make it ride nicely, not be noisy inside, have comfortable seats, be able to fit people over 6' tall, etc.

As a first step you could roll back vehicle weights to what they were 40 years ago. You can also shift from steel to lighter materials, and you can eliminate the entire engine compartment (using small hub motors instead) so you can simply chop away much of the existing vehicle. Further, in an autonomous-vehicle world, it seems very likely that individual vehicle ownership will largely become a thing of the past, so you wouldn't have to have a box for 4/5 people except on the occasions you actually have to transport 4/5 people. Of course, the smaller you make the vehicle the less surface you have for solar panels, unless you have something like a highly-streamlined "solar umbrella" which is larger than the vehicle.

As for solar panels, again, no, it's completely impossible. At highway speeds, you need tens of horsepower to overcome air resistance.

Depends on streamlining, and on what "useful speed" means (you said highway speed, not me -- the solar challenge vehicles go much faster than bicycles but not highway speeds), and on how much you can rely on batteries. I know I said "from on-board solar panels" but didn't mean to preclude the idea that the vehicle also has batteries. If the vehicle is parked in sunlight a significant portion of each day to charge the batteries, and it's very light and has very low air and rolling resistance... it may be possible that it can operate usefully without charging from an external source. Or perhaps just without very much external charging.

Also, you're implicitly assuming that the vehicle must overcome air resistance by itself. That needn't be true with autonomous vehicles at highway speeds, which could close up into big trains drafting off of one another. Perhaps the vehicles in the train could even join electrically or physically, so that the lead and trail vehicles don't have to draw down their batteries to maintain speed.

There are options, and I don't think the possibility should be dismissed out of hand. It's a stretch, certainly.

Comment Re:Don't agree with the conclusion .... (Score 1) 217

Electric cars are a fad. The biggest problem is what do you do with all the batteries? Sure you can recycle them, but they will all eventually die. Then what..?

Among other things, EV batteries are going to have a long life as home electricity storage batteries. After a decade or so of use in a vehicle, a battery will have lost ~30% of its capacity. That sucks because it means you have a lot of dead weight to haul around. But it's not nearly as much of a concern to have it parked in the corner of your garage or basement. A couple of old EV batteries would be fantastic for time shifting rooftop solar production to match home consumption. And in that usage model, you should be able to get several more decades of use out of a battery.

And then, recycling... which provides access to high-value raw materials much less expensively than mining.

Comment Re:Don't agree with the conclusion .... (Score 1) 217

High fuel prices punish the people who are already struggling, on tight budgets. If they need to drive a vehicle for any kind of delivery or taxi job (Uber, Lyft, etc.) - it means their costs go up, because they can't just "drive less".

That doesn't mean it shouldn't be done, it just means that it shouldn't be done too quickly or without warning. People can adapt, by moving where they live, by relocating businesses, by switching to telecommuting, by carpooling, using mass transit (which may require transit buildout) etc. (and taxis can simply raise their prices to account for the higher fuel costs -- or switch to electrics). The key is to give people time to adapt, and let them know that they need to.

IMO, we should implement a schedule of federal fuel tax increases. The increases should start very gently, but then get steeper, much steeper, and everyone should know they're coming well in advance. And the taxes collected should be invested in renewable and mass transportation.

Comment Re:This simply means we're succeeding. (Score 1) 217

You can't, unless you're proposing to have vehicles that can't go faster than bicycle speed. The size and weight of modern cars stems directly from crash-safety requirements.

Crash-safety requirements are necessary only because cars crash. When we mandate fully-autonomous vehicles, crashes will be reduced to a miniscule fraction of what they are, because they'll occur only in cases of severe mechanical failure or some non-vehicle object on the roadway (big rocks, etc.). Effectively, we'll move the crash safety assurance from heavy steel to lightweight sensor, communications and computing equipment.

I'm not sure if cars can be made lightweight enough to operate at useful speed from on-board solar panels, but we will be able to get much, much closer than we are now.

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