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Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 188

????? WTF? Plenty - OK all - spacecraft and aircraft with human pilots can be wrecked by said humans. There is no expectation of any airplane or spaceship being idiot proof. A self-driving car is a very different thing and the human cargo would not be expected to take over in time if it veers off the road and runs over a group of nuns escorting kids to nursery school or something. I can tell you that anyone expecting human saves of computer errors will be VERY disappointed.

Comment Re: Not what he said. (Score 1) 594

I *had* a diesel Mercedes. I am not unfamiliar with them. It was far from trouble-free, but it could tow things you never thought a car could move. Diesel torque is fun :) You and whomever else thinks old BMWs are cheap to run is hitting the crack pipe a little too hard though. Between my friends cars and mine I have wrenched on about 6 old BMWs. They are great fun to drive when they work, but Satan on Wheels when they don't.

Comment Re: Not what he said. (Score 2) 594

I have never had a Chinese car and never will. That said, having put 250,000 miles on a BMW, 200,000 on a Porsche, 95,000 on a Mercedes, and 50,000 on another Mercedes, I can tell you they run AT LEAST 3X the cost of repairs per mile as my Toyotas and Mazdas have. At 195,000 miles, my Mazda 3 has had a battery, tires, brakes, spark plugs, and a thermostat. The BMW it replaced by that time had all 4 window regulators replaced, new water pump, new radiator, new power steering pump, new ignition coils, new tie rods, besides the usual brakes and tires. It did fun stuff like have the expansion tank blow up at 102,000 miles (100,000 suggested replacement they weren't kidding!), the radiator fan bearing got loose and the fan attacked the radiator, and the freaking parking light sockets would fall apart (WTF?). The dealer wanted around $1,000 to replace the whole front wiring harness too! I found sockets on Amazon for $5 each and saved $990. The Mercedes needed a new cylinder head at 50,000 miles and had weird electrical issues that made the heat run full blast and disabled the windows. The dealer tried to bone me on the warranty too until I proved I had been complaining about using a quart of oil every 500 miles for 2 years. Oops - forgot I had a Volvo that had an indestructible engine and an interior that rotted to pieces if you looked at it wrong.

Comment Re:fun fact (Score 1) 136

Yes, more or less. Gasoline is not taxed NEAR enough to cover all the hidden costs associated with using it. Electric cars would be more attractive and need less subsidy if gasoline cars were paying enough fuel tax to cover all the things government does to provide hydrocarbon fuels. Some time ago a left-leaning publication had an interesting article stating EU taxes on fuel were TOO LOW and they really needed to be sending $1 a gallon to the USA to cover some of the cost of keeping the sea lanes open for oil imports to the EU.

Comment No flying cars, airplanes that taxi fast on roads (Score 1) 282

No one wants to beat up their 6 or 7 figure airplane duking it out with rusty old Chevys. The invention of the rental car desk at the airport is the end of flying car dreams. Or...maybe you DO want to spend weeks or months and $50,000 getting a parking lot ding fixed by an FAA certified carbon fiber repair shop.

Comment Re:Solar bubble? (Score 1) 160

The numbers I got from the solar people assumed the commercial electrical rate went UP every year forever. It saved money past year 10 because commercial power went up every year. It could go DOWN just as easily. BTW - I used to sell and install wind and solar systems. They are 100% amazing on boats or off in the woods or other places out of reach of 10 cent/KW power.

Comment Being off-grid is esy. (Score 1) 264

I can sail my boat around in the middle of the ocean and be utterly invisible to everyone. I could hike back in the woods and hunt my own food. I could be homeless in the city. What is about impossible is to live anything like normal life interacting with normal people and conducting normal business. Putting yourself in some kind of voluntary prison is not winning!

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