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Comment Re:so much for environmentally friendly (Score 1) 216

Another thirty seconds:

According to EIA data, national, annual electricity transmission and distribution losses average about 7% of the electricity that is transmitted in the United States.


I would think the US Energy Information Administration knows what they are talking about.

"distribution" doesn't start at the plant and end at the wheels.

That's actually exactly where the electricity is generated and where it is consumed. There is no electricity before that, and none after that. If that does not include the whole of the "distribution", then I don't know what does.
You argue that from the plant to the middle of the road 35% of the energy is lost. But the above source says that the transmission and distribution losses in the grid are 7%. Even if you include additional transformers (which have efficiencies of upwards of 98%) for getting the electricity into the road, you are still far, far away from losses of 35%.
So please, where from exactly do you get these 35% losses?

Comment Re:so much for environmentally friendly (Score 5, Informative) 216

I think volvo, and most people, forget that the benefit of fuels (solid, liquid, or gaseous) is that they are very cheap to transport. Electricity, on the other hand, is insanely expensive to transport. Think about a 10% loss for every major hop. The middle of the road in a large city is likely 4 major hops from the power plant. That takes 100 down to 65. That's up to a 35% total loss.

It took me all of thirty seconds to find a quote on that:

Transmission and distribution losses in the USA were estimated at 6.6% in 1997[10] and 6.5% in 2007.

This is a fair cry from the 35% losses you are postulating.

And let's not forget that an electric motor is 90%+ efficient, while an ICE is somewhere around 18%-20%.

Comment Re:Microsoft is proving EU with a bailout (Score 3, Insightful) 126

Wow, that is a chunk of change - the EU could really use the money right now too (conspiracy ???). This could pay for the bailouts being debated right now throughout the EU.

The fine is 860 million euros. The Spanish banks are getting up to 100 billion euros. The Irish got some 60 billion euros, Greece has gotten several hundred billions so far. These 860 million euros are chump change in comparison.

Comment Article Doesn't Add Up (Score 5, Informative) 284

I actually read the linked article and also skimmed through the leaked documents. I really can't find the things that the article is claiming are in there. From what I can make out, the leaked documents talk about taxes when billing telecommunication across borders (e.g., to prevent taxing services twice), like mobile phone roaming. How the article claims that this is about taxing large companies like Google and stuff is really beyond me. Can anybody point me to the part where it says that?

The whole article just seems inflammatory and some kind of anti-UN, anti-European reflex. I suppose mission accomplished, the knee-jerk reactions are already pouring in...

Comment Re:Prices are what the market will bear (Score 2) 259

If only it were that simple. I know of a similar situation in Europe, where a car dealer in country A had the same idea, and started buying cars from car dealers from country B just across the border (where they were significantly cheaper) and sold them locally with a significant discount. What then happend was that the car manufacturers threatened to stop selling cars to any car dealer in country B who sold cars to the car dealer from country A. I am not even sure how you could go after car manufacturers legally, considering that this is happening in a different country.

Comment Re:Global Warming alarmists (Score 2) 473

As well as simply moving people out of areas that might be impacted.

All 200 million of them? Although that seems to be a conservative estimate, other estimates go up to a billion of displaced people by 2050. But I guess there is nothing to worry about, those will mostly be poor people in Bangladesh or some island states, it is not like we care about those. Oh, no, wait, seems London, New York, Tokyo and others will also be out of luck.

And, of course, the fact that potentially 15%-40% of all species will die out with only a moderate amount of warming is just an added bonus. I mean, that is not going to affect us, right?

Comment Re:Electronic voting for a better democracy (Score 1) 221

Consider this. You only get one vote every few years, which is then supposed to show your support for every decision your elected representative makes. It would be much better if you could vote on all the major issues, such as major bills, decisions to start wars, etc. With a physical based voting system though, it would be all but impossible to do this as the amount of effort to collect votes is enormous [...]

This is called a direct democracy which is what we have in Switzerland and it is all counted by hand. Now, of course Switzerland only has approx. 7+ million people but AFAIK the sytem used to count the votes scales without problems. Each "county" (or whatever the translation is for the administrative units we have) counts their own votes and forwards them to some central location. Counting votes usually takes around 8 hours but already a few hours in there is normally already a clear tendency visible.
As an interesting (I think) sidenote, the people who count the votes are normal citizens selected by a random process.

Where the direct democracy is concerned, it has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that people really get to influence the politcal process (well, a cynic might call that a disadvantage) but believe me, the whole process is slow (which also stems from the fact that we have 4 major and several minor parties). On the other hand it is very stable.
Direct democracy in our case also means that the people can submit proposals for laws (called an initiative) by collecting 100'000 signatures (IIRC) which will then trigger a public vote.

Admittedly, the whole system is rather slow but it is stable, so on the whole I think it is worth it.

Oh, the direct democracy does not go all the way to the top: Our 7 ministers (the executive) are elected by the two chambers, not by the people (but I believe that is a good thing).

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