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Comment Re:While I love th instant torque... (Score 1) 467

Well, the Tesla Model X already seats 7, plus storage space, has over 300 miles of range (which I guarantee you is larger than the bladder capacity of the smallest of those 7 passengers). recharges faster than you can feed the whole family (which you also probably do a few times on your trip). and has a battery warranty of 8 years and unlimited millage.

So basically, your arguments are either already addressed, or artificially created.

How about price? Model X starts at something like $75k and the Malibu hybrid he mentions starts around $30k.

Comment Calm Down (Score 4, Informative) 285

I see a lot of people getting all bent out of shape at the absurdity of the concept of this SBIR topic. I am not a ballistics expert, so I can't comment on that, but please realize that the DoD funds 100s of these grants every year. Most of these, if they are phase I, are very small in scope - $100k - 200k. This is enough to pay a small team working part time to do a feasibility study, create a mock up, or develop a non-working prototype. It's a cheap (for the military) way of bouncing an idea off the wall.

In addition most SBIRs never make it past phase I development. In all likelihood, less will be spent on this program than is spent on a couple of hours of one of the training exercises they are talking about greening up.

Comment Re:It's private. Right? (Score 1) 65

The companies that run the old POTS lines are private businesses as well, and yet we had the right to privacy when communicating using their equipment. The right thing to do is for the courts to rule that Google Facebook et al have risen to such importance in our social fabric that they should be granted common carrier status right alongside the phone companies and ISPs. It still won't stop spy agencies breaking the law nor will it halt the collection of metadata, but it would at least be an additional bulwark against further erosion of our rights.

Comment Re:Basic small-government argument. (Score 1) 357

Imagine a wrongful death suit against a company like Uber where its software can be analyzed and its mistake pointed out exactly by a lawyer in a court-room. The mountain of evidence, and the big fat bank account will make them prime targets, and so they have a high incentive already to build safe products.

It's small consolation to the person wrongfully killed that their next of kin will get a payout. The permits are in place to make sure that the system has been built to a certain level of safety. These are public roads where the risk of using them are shared by all and Uber's system should have to go through a vetting process just as human operators are required to pass a license test.

If anyone gets hurt out of this Uber execs should go to jail for manslaughter. Not fined, jail.

Comment Re:Good for them! (Score 2) 858

The bigger question will be if Congress will give the President this new power. Who knows, but if anything is for sure, it's that there will be massive amount of spin from every direction when it finally hits committee.

I have a bit different slant on your question. And I really do not know my civics well enough, but I was wondering....

Are not these Departments (Energy, Education, EPA, etc)...not merely constructs through Executive Dept. decree?

Some yes, and some no. Many of the bigger departments are Independent Agencies. These agencies are regulatory bodies that are created through an act of Congress. While the president may have the power to appoint and remove the heads of these agencies, their power to regulate derives from Congress, and the President has no official power to order their agenda.

Now practically, since the power to enforce the rules and regulations put forward by these agencies falls to the executive through the DOJ, FBI, etc., the president certainly has a great deal of influence.

Comment Re:Good for them! (Score 2) 858

First...what exactly does the "Department of Energy" do for us in the US?

I honestly don't know and will look it up, but if anyone can enlighten me, I'd be interested in a quick read.

One of the big jobs of the DOE is to be in charge of handling our nuclear security, including running the nuclear weapons program. The DOE also manages, through contractors, many important national labs involved in basic atomic and subatomic research, including Sandia Labs, Lawrence Livermore, and Los Alamos, among others.

So no, it's not a department that you want to fuck up with inept cronies and anti-science appointees.

Comment Re:Colour me suprised (Score 4, Informative) 255

For example, if I'm going to an event in a rural area I'm probably going to have to park in an improvised parking area on an unimproved or only marginally improved surface. I may have to drive down a trail that itself is unimproved or only marginally improved, either following the directions of humans waving at me or else following something like the occasional orange cone or even the tracks of previous vehicles.

Heck, this is pretty common in an urban environment. If there is utility work going on, you'll see a few cones strewn about to vaguely indicate you are to use one of the oncoming lanes, with a cop looking down at his phone waving at you desultorily.

Comment Solar City sucks (Score 2) 428

I am actually kind of disappointed that Tesla is throwing their lot in with Solar City. Their sales people positively infest all of the Home Depots around here (Boston, MA). They are extremely pushy and act like you are the asshole for wanting to just shop instead of listen to their sales pitch. Any company that employs those kinds of sales tactics doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in me, and I plan to never do business with them. I was planning to consider a Tesla for my next car, but this deal is making me reconsider.

Comment Re:Color Me Skeptical (Score 1) 428

Also: are rake tines even steel anymore, or are they aluminum (even softer than steel)?

Also, about the previous comment: tool steels are a lot harder than mild steels and are much easier to scratch glass with. But you'd never make a rake out of a tool steel.

Roof rakes don't have tines. It's more like a small plow or snow shovel on the end of a long handle that you drag across your roof to remove snow. Usually the end is plastic, but I've seen aluminum as well. Some also have little rubber wheels on the side to avoid damaging the roof.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 119

The FCC could pass regulations that will be invalidated upon Trump's inauguration, or they could avoid wasting everyone's time and do this. They took the cost-cutting choice.

The FCC is an independent agency. The president gets to appoint commissioners, designate the chairman, and suggest policy, but he does not have the authority to set the agenda or give orders. Further only 3 of the 5 commissioners may be of the same party as the president. Trump will get to appoint two new commissioners in 2017 as their terms are expiring, so the new board will almost certainly got from majority (D) to (R).

There's a big difference between the new administration overturning something the previous one had set in motion versus the outgoing administration silently dropping it. In the former case, the press might ask questions about why the policy shift occurred, in the latter, the issue might disappear without a trace.

Comment Re:No one should be blamed for the spread of virus (Score 1) 380

That jerk who comes to work with an active flu and infects the whole place should have to suffer with ten consecutive flus for that.

I don't know about you, but I only get 5 sick days a year. Those have to cover not only myself, but I might also have to use them if my wife is too sick to take care of the kids, or the kids are sick but my wife has to work. So if I'm sick and I can work from home I will, but if that's not possible, I'll drag myself to the office unless I'm physically incapable of doing so rather than use a sick day.

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