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Comment Profit not revenue (Score 2) 201

At a U.S. average rate of 12 cents/kWh = $120/MWh = $0.12 million/GWh, that's $947 million worth of power generated per year.

The amount of revenue it generates is not the important consideration in determining if a project is economically worthwhile. It has to generate enough PROFIT to repay the investment. If the annual cost of generating your $947M worth of power is $947M then the project will never repay the cost of building the plant. The cost of generation plus the amortized cost of building and maintaining the plant has to be less than the amount of revenue brought in. Presumably the amount charged for a unit of electricity is high enough to pay for the plant during it's lifetime but you cannot just assume that to be true. In the case of a plant that cost $4.7B to build and is expected to last for 40 years you would need to bring in $117.5M in revenue each year in excess of the operating costs just to break even. And that is ignoring inflation, financing costs, etc. So by your example that electricity had better not cost more than $829.5M per year (actually less than that in the real world) or the plant will not break even.

Comment Economic benefits (Score 1) 71

So now that the costs of research and experimentation have been paid for by the public, "entrepreneurs" are willing to step up and reap the profits?

Yes! That's one of the great things about publicly funded research. It turns into economic benefit to society via technology transfer. You seem to be implying (wrongly) that this is somehow a bad thing. Quite the contrary - this is a hugely awesome good thing. It means tons of jobs, new industries, and economic benefits all around. It grows the economy. Keeping the research in a lab where it will do nothing would be pretty much the worst thing you could do with it because then you spend the money and get no economic benefit either.

Comment Re:6.8 Billion (Score 1) 201

US or Russian naval officers would disagree with you.

See what I wrote above. You can make a reactor of any size. But you lose efficiency - both neutron efficiency and cost efficiency - the more you scale down. Nuclear sub reactors' scaledowns are aided by the use of highly enriched uranium as fuel, something you don't want to do with civilian nuclear plants. And note that even nuclear subs' reactors aren't "small". A Los Angeles class, for example, uses a 165MW reactor. And nuclear power plants, unlike subs, generally need to have multiple reactors so that they can be taken down for maintenance / fueling.

Comment Legally responsible entity (Score 1) 289

Substitute the word "use" for the word "drive".

Ok but it doesn't change the argument meaningfully.

I can see why Tesla would want to be able to impose that kind of condition. However, I think the First Sale Doctrine is going to say they can't. Especially, if they allow it to be used on their own driverless taxi network.

First sale doctrine doesn't apply if you sign a contract that stipulates explicitly that you will not use the car for that purpose. Now the interesting thing is that the second buyer of the car cannot be bound by the first buyer's agreements so you'd have to have a GPL style agreement whereby the first buyer would be forced to impose a similar restriction on future buyers. Not sure if that would work out in Tesla's favor under current laws.

BUT here is the real question. We need a legal determination for who is operating the vehicle when it is being driven autonomously. If the legally responsible entity that is considered to be the "driver" is Tesla then they have every legal right to refuse to use the vehicle for purposes they do not approve of. After all, it would be unreasonable for me to be able to incur liability for Tesla with them having no say in the matter. If the legally responsible entity is determined to be the vehicle owner then Tesla really shouldn't have any say in the matter. To date I don't think there is a clear determination legally for this key issue.

Comment Re:6.8 Billion (Score 2) 201

The GP is correct. Solar farms are a pretty dense energy source - comparable (when the reservoir is included) to all but the highest head dams, and an order of magnitude or two more than a typical dam. And some designs can get even more dense, such as linear fresnel reflectors (which cover a higher percentage of the ground because of less issues with self-shading as the sun moves). Plus, solar can be paired with wind. Wind is a low energy density source with respect to total acreage, but very high with respect to actual surface area required on the ground.

Beyond this, a few notes. Much solar doesn't have to take up any new land at all, as one notes from rooftop solar (ideally industrual/commercial), parking shelters/covered walkways, etc. And places where solar plants are made are most typically desert areas. And there's a curious reversal in the desert when it comes to life: while shading terrain hinders life in moist areas, it encourages life in desert areas. In the desert, places that provide shade (ironwood trees, saguaro cacti, large rocks, etc) tend to turn into oases of life - not simply by providing relief from the blazing sun, but slowing down the rate of water loss from the soil. Now, this doesn't usually happen with solar plants because at this stage, most are kept cleared. But that does not have to be the case.

Comment Freedom of speech does not apply (Score 1) 302

Apparentley there is no more freedom in opinion in Australia, and also no more freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech does not apply here. Conscious misrepresentation of known and proven facts by medical practitioners who should know better is called malpractice. It's a crime with real consequences for good reason. They are literally harming patients by spreading provably false and dangerous information. People who do that should at minimum lose their license to practice medicine and if anyone is demonstrably harmed they should go to jail for their actions.

Comment Syndromes = we don't know much about it (Score 1) 302

Autism can and does run in families but I don't know if there is a gene or genes you can check for it.

We don't because autism isn't a single thing as far as we can tell and we don't even have a clear definition of what it is. Any time you hear the word "syndrome" what that really means is that we have a collection of symptoms that we have observed seem to run together but we don't know much about the cause or pathology of them. Autism is clearly a real thing but we don't understand it terribly well and we certainly don't know the cause(s). Genetics seems to play a role but the nature of that role is still being determined.

Comment Ignorance is not an opinion (Score 1) 302

Suppression of freedom of opinion and expression thereof is never 'very welcome'.

Conscious misrepresentation of known facts by individuals who should know better because of their professional training is not expressing an opinion. Ignorance (willful or otherwise) of a fact does not make an "opinion" about those facts valid when the expression of that "opinion" demonstrably results in illness and death of others.

Comment Words are the means to meaning (Score 1) 302

You are just stating your opinion, not more than that. What if we'd prosecute you for your opinion?

When the expression of your opinion directly results in people becoming ill and dying then you are effectively an accessory to manslaughter, particularly if your "opinion" is actually a misrepresentation of the known facts.

Comment Not a matter of opinion (Score 1) 302

"The worry is the confirmation bias that can occur, because people might say: 'There you go, this is proof that you can't even have an alternative opinion.' It might in fact just give people more fuel for their belief systems."

That's right. On this matter there is no room for an alternative opinion because it isn't a question of opinion. Vaccines work and they are safe and are critical to keeping the population healthy. That is a proven and indisputable fact. You have the right to elect to not get a vaccine but you should not be allowed under any circumstances to spread misinformation or discourage others from vaccination. If you want to decline to be vaccinated that is your prerogative but there should be some quarantine consequences to your actions. Nurses who should know better discouraging others from getting vaccinations is particularly odious and to my mind criminal. Such people have no business being in the field of medicine.

Comment Who is the driver? (Score 1) 289

Tesla is trying to say "you can't drive your own car in a manner that we don't like."

If software is driving the car then by definition you are not driving it. For all practical purposes Tesla is the driver. And if Tesla is driving the car it is actually kind of reasonable of them to want to do it on their terms if for no other reason than to protect themselves from liability.

Comment Liability protection? (Score 1) 289

I predict Tesla will be told in court that they can't enforce such a clause when they sell someone a car, even though there is an ongoing service component, specifically because they are competing and that would be anticompetitive.

Certainly a possibility. This is a legal grey area currently. Bundling of services like that definitely gets into areas covered by anti-trust law so it wouldn't shock me at all.

What I don't get is what the point of it would be for Tesla unless it is to protect against liability. They aren't going to compete with Uber and the whole value of a service like Uber is in the network effects. Tesla doesn't sell nearly enough cars for that to come into play so the only value in it to Tesla seems to be to cover their ass from liability.

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