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Comment Re:So what's the range of the full size prototype? (Score 1) 86

Agree -- just don't assume that a production version of this won't be pulling up to the Jet-A dispenser to deliver reasonable operational ranges. Might we someday end up with batteries that are as energy dense (volume and weight) -- certainly that is the hope, just not necessarily reality as yet. Even when that stage is reached, time and ease of charging is still going to be a concern (i.e. "portable" military facilities for this kind of aircraft are not likely to be next to a decent sized electrical sub-station) -- meaning that diesel powered electrical generators will likely be the norm, and time to "re-fuel" will need to be measured in minutes and not hours...

Comment Re:So what's the range of the full size prototype? (Score 2) 86

Probably limiting by the hydrocarbon based fuel carried onboard, per: "A few improvements are slated to be incorporated into the full-scale model, most notably a hybrid turboshaft engine to drive the electric generators powering the fan units, as opposed to simple batteries used in the demonstrator model."

Comment Re:Five years away? (Score 4, Insightful) 389

These cars might work out fairly well in sunny southern California -- but the NorthEast during significant parts of our driving season? I drive an AWD drive sedan with studded snow tires from November to April, and when one gets into not too atypical conditions (snow/ice covered highways, no lane markings visible, snowing/reduced visibility, etc.) -- driving becomes almost a black art. You can forget about cruise control in these conditions -- unless to have a strong desire to end up in a ditch. Nuance is the rule, and the expectation that your vehicle will go where you steer/drive/stop to -- well, you are more hopeful then I am in these conditions. Turn down the radio, turn off cruise control, light touch on the wheel, paranoia re: other cars on the road -- assume the worst, etc... My suspicion is that self driving cars will resolve this issue by significant slowing, which then presents is own set of danger issues (i.e. everyone else on the road expects traffic moving 50+ even in fairly bad conditions, and cars going 10 or 15 in limited visibility on divided highways -- well, I wouldn't want to be around for the resultant carnage...

Comment Re:AT&T isn't far behind (Score 1) 214

Could not agree more re: Frontier. They buy an asset at whatever state it is in, and they milk it for all it's worth -- that is their business model after all. If they bought Fios -- good for their Fios customers, they get to keep fiber type speeds. If they bought a 50+ year old copper infrastructure -- then great, those customers get to keep 1-2 Mbit/sec DSL -- I guess good for them too. Frontier does not invest in new/cutting edge technologies as that is not their core competency. Last year I reevaluated my internet options (i.e. Frontier and Time Warner). For a business type line (i.e. no TOS restrictions, /29 of public addresses, etc.) which was going to be $100+ with either company, Time Warner could give me 10 up/50 down, Frontier in 2014 could offer me 1 down, maybe 2 if I got lucky, and up, well forget about it -- which is the same performance they were offering over a decade ago when I last had them...

Comment Re:What? (Score 2) 440

Not sure how one could come to such an assumption. Let's take a real example: Israel with a population of 8 million people has already built a fence of 300+ miles, with a final length of 400+ miles (the project started in 2002). This fence has nearly shutdown any and all intrusion attempts from some of the most "determined" border crossers on the planet. Any you to suppose that a country of 300+ million people (nearly 40 times more people) cannot build an equally competent fence of 3000 miles (only 7 to 8 times longer) then the Israeli's have? We might not have the political will to do so -- but the task is certainly not "IMPOSSIBLE".

Comment Too many other lakes... (Score 1) 151

2 things to note: Represa de Furnas is a reservoir -- which didn't exist until man created it in 1957. The Aral Sea is a natural feature, and to give some perspective on how much water was diverted, one could transfer all the water from Lake Erie and Lake Ontario (Great Lakes) and still not refill it...

Comment Re:Dreadnoughtus schrani now the largest known din (Score 5, Funny) 91

But what about flying whales? (or should that be falling ones)... Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet. And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more.

Comment Re:Oh, look! Just what the economy needs! (Score 3, Interesting) 600

But you have to remember that a significant "influencer" on the democratic side of the legislation was the trial lawyers guild (hence no tort reform in the bill). If we truly "nationalize" the industry, you end up either throwing the trial lawyers under the bus, which would probably be the best case for the taxpayer, but not good for a significant source of democratic campaign cash -OR- you have the trial lawyers going after the government directly for malpractice payouts. The former might actually be a plus for nationalizing health care -- i.e. the majority wanted government to run and be responsible for doctors and nurses and hospitals and so forth -- no problem, but don't sue if anything untoward happens or perfection is not achieved when government bureaucrats make the decisions on what and how care is provided. The alternative is somewhat scarier to be honest. Mistakes happen (which it seems like they must), the same or even empowered trial lawyers guild steps in to sue the government, which then re-directs more taxpayer money to those harmed, with the trial lawyers take a percentage on, which cuts another chunk of that lucre back to the politicians -- wash and repeat -- and see how corrupt this process end up...

Comment Re:Lies. (Score 1) 353

Could not agree more with this statement -- Unix under the hood is THE reason I have a half dozen mac's today (whole family). I have made a number of serious runs at switching back to Windows (latest several months ago with Windows 7 (64 bit), but the combination of Unix under the hood and the UI above is just a tough combination to beat.

Comment Just say no -- for all our benefit (Score 4, Funny) 291

Not quite understanding the purpose behind this application. After all, the perpetrator who illegally parked their car is admitting quilt, just that they want to pay less to the government. This is what is wrong with this country in the first place. Folks are too selfish as it is, don't they realize the benefit that comes from transferring their money to the government? It is proven that that money spent by the government returns more value to society then any other type of potential spending. The sooner we all buck up and pay government it's fair share -- the sooner the economy will pick up, providing benefit to all folks in the most equitable manner possible.

Comment Re:Rail, no thanks (Score 1) 897

You might need to bump up the total cost when one thinks of depreciation, but for the most part, you've got it right. I travel nearly weekly, and I've only ever done it on trains 3 times for business. The first was a business meeting in Chicago (Sears Tower) in the afternoon. Took an overnight from upstate NY to Chicago (12 hours), walked the block from the train station to the meeting and an overnight back. At the time, the cost was a third what the airlines wanted, but today it would be MUCH different. Flight costs have moderated a lot from the go-go 90's. Nowadays, traveling by train could never work (especially since my company has to pay for every hour of travel time (which mostly counts as overtime -- i.e. time and a half), due to the latest California laws (although getting paid for the 36 hour trip to Chicago would have been nice).

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