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Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 112

There are many other (large) industries that rely heavily on batteries. They've been heavily researched for over 100 years.

Yes, but so have ICEs, and they still suck. Only minor improvements in efficiency have been realized in the last forty years. A forty year old turbo diesel still provides pretty good thermodynamic efficiency. It does it without producing much CO2 as a result, although it will tend to crank out quite a bit of NOx. Over that time, automotive ICE efficiency has improved by only in the low double digit percents, while electric motor efficiency has about doubled — and it's over three times as good as an ICE.

Cars are fun, I like engine noises as much as or even more than the next guy, but ICEs blow.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 2) 112

There is already an awesome battery tech, holding about 10kWh of energy in a small package that already exist, it's good old gas. The only problem is that it takes 100 millions years to produce.

The other problem is that you can't just feed it into an electric motor. You have to either feed it into a fuel cell which is lame for many reasons which I should not need to enumerate here, or you have to feed it into an ICE which is lame for even more reasons which etc etc. Or an external combustion engine, but (stationary generation aside) that only really works for trains and it's not really convenient there, either. Electric motors are wonderful in every way compared to ICEs, and batteries are wonderful in most ways compared to fuel cells despite their many annoying failings. In fact, you can't efficiently build a fuel cell car without including battery in the motive power system.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 112

EVs would have been overtaken by ICE technology regardless of whatever conspiratal notions you are imagining.

ICEs still provide a superior driving experience per dollar, and most people who have an EV wouldn't have one if not for subsidies... to compete with the entrenched energy monopolies' subsidies.

Comment Re:We need this (Score 1) 112

Seriously, we need people actively looking into making those new type of batteries instead of just researching them and never do anything with the research, like we've seen for the past 5 to 10 years.

That's right! That's why my cell phone which uses more power than my cell phone of 10 years ago with a battery less than a third the size lasts significantly longer - because everyone's been "never doing anything with the research", right?

Good research results make news. Their employment in commercial products generally doesn't.

Comment Good on him (Score 0) 112

Better battery tech is about the most important thing in energy today, because it will let us make more use of "alternative" energy sources (you know, ones which were in use to do work long before anyone was using electricity, or building ICEs or steam turbines or even steam engines) right now. The only thing that might be even more compelling in the short term would be a safe way to store apparently physics-defying quantities of hydrogen and release small or large amounts of it later as necessary without having to expend a lot of energy to do so, but even that has less applications than a better battery.

One (okay, I) wonder[s] where battery tech would be today if EVs had remained dominant and not been pushed out by subsidized oil and coal.

Comment Re:They actually want to kick appliances off. (Score 1) 143

I don't "misunderstand" anything, that is exactly what the device did. It didn't precool anything, it didn't ramp anything down, it just randomly shut off when too many people had their AC on (aka, when it was hottest). And in Iowa in July, even if you did know when it was about to go off and tried to "precool" (which I assure you, does not work well), you'd be burning up long before the AC kicks back in.

Comment Re: Red Box is Cheap (Score 1) 332

Yeah, I addressed that: Netflix instant-play doesn't carry the stuff Redbox does; Redbox stuff is fairly recent releases, whereas Netflix's instant-play stuff is usually older stuff and TV shows. Netflix disc is certainly cheaper than Redbox if you watch at least 5 or so movies a month, but it's not as convenient if you want to be able to grab something and watch it that night. The other online stuff is what competes with Redbox: newer releases, and you can select it and watch it immediately. But it's a lot more expensive, and you're really paying for that convenience.

Comment Re:They actually want to kick appliances off. (Score 2) 143

If you're willing to lose your AC during the hottest part of the day, then you might as well not have AC at all. So there's no reason to get such a device, you might as well just sell your AC.

"Pre-cooling" a house does not work. In the hottest part of the day it was enough of a challenge for the AC to just keep up.

Comment Re:All on my kindle (Score 1) 33

I'm normally the first one to defend Kindles. I love how easy and ubiquitous they made eBooks. However, I do agree that limiting eBooks to just Amazon sources isn't too bright. This thread has made me come to a decision regarding my first novel (to be published next month - shameless plug). It'll be available in paperback and Kindle versions as per usual book publishing methods (because, like it or not, that's where most people will buy the book from), but I'm also going to look into setting up a DRM-free option for people. Perhaps even a Pay-What-You-Like system.

If anyone has any recommendations for systems like this that an author (with a web development background) can put into place, I'd be interested in hearing them.

Comment popular in northern eu (Score 2) 33

I think they just re-invented geo-caching, only with books.

(and PockemonGo itself is just virtual geo-caching, only leveraging Nintendo's brand recognition to bring it to the masses, Apple-style.)

in north-european countries, anonymous book exchanges seem quite popukar. there was a book-shelf in the middle of a small plaza near where i was living back in Germany. each day I passed in front of it, the contents seemed to change.

this Belgian teacher has mainly managed to make it popular with the kids by leveraging the PockemonGo craze. nice job!

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