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Comment Has Diesel ever been considered in the Volt? (Score 2) 229

I always wondered why the volt was not diesel-electric, like a submarine.
Is meeting the EPA NOx to cost prohibitive?
I would think that the engine would have less load variance than a conventional car.
(The power plant could be run in some optimized range for charging the battery and fro hi-speed use)

Comment Re:Broadcast Radio? Eeew.... (Score 1) 126

I listen to radio on my 45 minute commute. Here in Dallas we have a Listener Supported station KXT. It supports (plays) local and national artists and does not have an overly restrictive/repetitive play list. I do find that I use it for discovery, sometimes I stream it at Work. It is about 50% of my discovery and the rest is spread around (friends, internet 4KW stereo in other guys car). I do understand Eeew, it has pledge drives that are well, Eeew. For some reason I never upgraded the radio in my commute car, it is and old OEM becker piece that in the past I had refurbished by the factory. I no longer remember why (should have just replaced it)

Submission + - Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket (

jfruh writes: Back in Februrary, after a lengthy dispute, Netflix agreed to pay Comcast for network access after being dogged by complaints of slow speeds from Comcast subscribers. Two months later, it appears that Comcast has delivered on its promises, jumping up six places in Netflix's ISP speed rankings. The question of whether this is good news for anyone but Comcast is still open.

Comment Re:Down? Or encrypted? (Score 2) 148

Most likely encrypted.
They, (The Russians) are massing troupes, maybe by historical Russian standards, a small mass.
It would make sense that they would test whatever secure military mode that is built into the system.
12 hours is not an a huge amount of time, but is could be enough to operationally test most of the hardware that is deployed on the 'frontier'.

Comment Re:$5000 gets you... (Score 2) 196

Too bad the first thing GM did not do, was change the "1.4-liter gasoline-powered range-extending engine" with a state of the art Euro-turbo diesel. Then the thing could be diesel electric, not like a locomotive but more like a submarine. 1.6 liter might do it.
When you are slogging around in traffic it runs on the battery. The power unit could just cut in to fully charge the thing when necessary, and provide direct drive for hi-way speeds just as it does with the petrol unit.
Again this is GM, does anyone else remember the "Cimarron" looks like GM has done it again.
On another note, it is not an electric car like the Tesla it is a serial hybrid that cheats on the serial part a bit. Apparently it will never be elegant like the Tesla ether ...

Comment Re:In related news (Score 1) 266

"International cooperation hasn't proven that valuable"
That has been absolutely true.

However it would be necessary to overcome that to achieve a meaningful mars mission.
Mars is not the moon, you can't go there and hang out for 3 days and go home.
To be cost effective, may need to look to China as a resource.
Again it would not be an easy road to achieve International cooperation
It could become we (the US) pays for the bulk of it, but big pieces are outsourced.

Politically that could prove most difficult.

Comment Re:In related news (Score 4, Interesting) 266

I don't believe that a manned mission to mars could ever be achieved from international competition. It would require international cooperation on a massive scale.

Costly, expensive does not even begin to cover it. A program for a manned mission to Mars is at least a magnitude of order more difficult than the Apollo program. A starting guess would be 10x of the cost of the Apollo program in adjusted dollars for inflation. One figure I found was $135-billion in 2005 Dollars (cost of the Apollo program).
Now if it is 10x harder to do mars, are we talking about 1.3 Trillion?

Personally I would like to see this seriously pursued in my lifetime, however ..
We have gotten good at robotic missions and I would like to see more exploration and science missions. I know that a sample return mission would get some level of excitement, but it is likely that placing more science on the surface is of more benefit. Maybe rovers with an ability to find samples to be sent to a surface based robotic lab instead of / in addition to of self contained rovers.
We also must ask if Mars is to use so many resources would we be neglecting other robotic planetary missions?

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