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Comment Re:Limit of Energy Density (Score 1) 138

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) 138

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) 138

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) 138

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:Re-writing history are we? (Score 1) 536

Prior to massive regulations insurance was affordable.

Um, that's if they're willing to sell it to you. I could not get insurance for epilepsy pre-ACA because the medications I needed were expensive, and also because people always called 911 after every seizure which meant routine ER visits, about two per month. Since insurers wanted to keep their insurance "affordable" for healthy dickheads trying to decide if they even needed it, that meant telling me GFY- which they did because there were no "massive regulations" preventing them.

Comment Re:Not hard to fix... (Score 2) 536

The problem is that it requires a Republican Congress to vote in favor of something that lets corporations get away with being stingy. Trump might decide to support it because he doesn't like Silicon Valley, but I can't imagine a Republican Congress siding with the little guy when it comes to money.

Comment Re:Why move to hangouts? (Score 1) 68

The way to improve a product isn't to scrap it and build a new one every 6 months,

Lets not exaggerate. Google Talk was introduced 12 years go. Hangouts came 8 years later. Allo, 3 years after that.

I understand that it can be tough to let go of old applications, but sometimes a software company can no longer support it.

For old desktop programs, that just meant that it may or may not work anymore as systems are upgraded (as long it it uses only local resources and just isn't a client for an internet service). For web based applications though, it means they go away. Either embrace web based software and accept that or stick to traditional style desktop software.

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