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Comment Re:Too secure for insecure? (Score 1) 348

If you're a Ron Paul supporter voting for Trump, I fear that "confused" is rather an understatement of your mental state.

I think not so much "confused" as "shallow". I can see a very surface correspondence between Paul and Trump: They both like to buck the establishment. The fact that the do so in very different ways and for very different reasons requires looking past the top millimeter of each. I suppose a vote for Obama (in his first presidential campaign) could fit as well if the same incredibly shallow analysis just focused on the "Hope and Change" slogan.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 120

There are many other (large) industries that rely heavily on batteries. They've been heavily researched for over 100 years.

Yes, but so have ICEs, and they still suck. Only minor improvements in efficiency have been realized in the last forty years. A forty year old turbo diesel still provides pretty good thermodynamic efficiency. It does it without producing much CO2 as a result, although it will tend to crank out quite a bit of NOx. Over that time, automotive ICE efficiency has improved by only in the low double digit percents, while electric motor efficiency has about doubled — and it's over three times as good as an ICE.

Cars are fun, I like engine noises as much as or even more than the next guy, but ICEs blow.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 2) 120

There is already an awesome battery tech, holding about 10kWh of energy in a small package that already exist, it's good old gas. The only problem is that it takes 100 millions years to produce.

The other problem is that you can't just feed it into an electric motor. You have to either feed it into a fuel cell which is lame for many reasons which I should not need to enumerate here, or you have to feed it into an ICE which is lame for even more reasons which etc etc. Or an external combustion engine, but (stationary generation aside) that only really works for trains and it's not really convenient there, either. Electric motors are wonderful in every way compared to ICEs, and batteries are wonderful in most ways compared to fuel cells despite their many annoying failings. In fact, you can't efficiently build a fuel cell car without including battery in the motive power system.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 2) 120

EVs would have been overtaken by ICE technology regardless of whatever conspiratal notions you are imagining.

ICEs still provide a superior driving experience per dollar, and most people who have an EV wouldn't have one if not for subsidies... to compete with the entrenched energy monopolies' subsidies.

Comment Re:We need this (Score 1) 120

Seriously, we need people actively looking into making those new type of batteries instead of just researching them and never do anything with the research, like we've seen for the past 5 to 10 years.

That's right! That's why my cell phone which uses more power than my cell phone of 10 years ago with a battery less than a third the size lasts significantly longer - because everyone's been "never doing anything with the research", right?

Good research results make news. Their employment in commercial products generally doesn't.

Comment Good on him (Score 1) 120

Better battery tech is about the most important thing in energy today, because it will let us make more use of "alternative" energy sources (you know, ones which were in use to do work long before anyone was using electricity, or building ICEs or steam turbines or even steam engines) right now. The only thing that might be even more compelling in the short term would be a safe way to store apparently physics-defying quantities of hydrogen and release small or large amounts of it later as necessary without having to expend a lot of energy to do so, but even that has less applications than a better battery.

One (okay, I) wonder[s] where battery tech would be today if EVs had remained dominant and not been pushed out by subsidized oil and coal.

Comment Re:They actually want to kick appliances off. (Score 1) 144

I don't "misunderstand" anything, that is exactly what the device did. It didn't precool anything, it didn't ramp anything down, it just randomly shut off when too many people had their AC on (aka, when it was hottest). And in Iowa in July, even if you did know when it was about to go off and tried to "precool" (which I assure you, does not work well), you'd be burning up long before the AC kicks back in.

Comment Google does something like this (Score 1) 147

Google does something like this, on a selective basis.

I think it started as something done only for special cases, but I know a few people who arranged it. One woman I know works three days per week instead of five, for 60% of her normal salary. She has also taken a large chunk of her 18-week maternity leave and uses it one day per week, so she actually works two days per week but gets paid for three, until the maternity leave runs out. Her husband has arranged a similar structure with his employer (not Google), working three days per week so one of them is always home with the kids. She's a fairly special case, though, because she's a freakishly brilliant software engineer who any smart company would bend over backwards to accommodate.

However, it's now been expanded to be made generally available to full-time employees. It requires management approval, but the descriptions I've seen make it clear that management is expected to agree unless there are specific reasons why it can't work. Salary, bonuses and stock are pro-rated based on the percentage of a normal schedule that is worked. Most commonly, people work 60% or 80% schedules (i.e. three or four days per week instead of five). Other benefits, such as health care, etc., are not pro-rated, but either provided or not, depending on the percentage of normal hours worked.

I could see myself going to a 60% work week in a few years, having a four-day weekend every week in exchange for a 40% pay cut.

Comment Re:Yep. (Score 1) 164

One part of your experience that rings false to me is the level of support required for Windows machines vs Macs. My experience is narrower than yours, because I'm a programmer not an IT support guy, but I do get used as an IT support guy by friends and family because, you know, I "do computers". With that caveat, my experience is that the single biggest thing I can do to reduce my support burden is to get them to trade in their Windows laptop for something else. The very best alternative is a Chromebook, then a Macbook. Installing Ubuntu instead of Windows is also a good support-reducer, but not as many have gone that route.

As far as mobile devices go, I do more Android support than iOS support, but I think that's mostly because all of my immediate family, and most of my extended family, uses Android. Plus the Apple users are a little less likely to come to me for help because they know I'm an Android guy (because I work on Android system development).

Comment Re:They actually want to kick appliances off. (Score 2) 144

If you're willing to lose your AC during the hottest part of the day, then you might as well not have AC at all. So there's no reason to get such a device, you might as well just sell your AC.

"Pre-cooling" a house does not work. In the hottest part of the day it was enough of a challenge for the AC to just keep up.

Comment Re:They actually want to kick appliances off. (Score 2, Informative) 144

I once lived in Iowa when I lived in the US, and my then-spouse signed us up for one of those programs without consulting me first. I just came home one day and the AC was no longer operating when it was hottest. Utterly, utterly miserable, and I had to wait weeks to get the thing disconnected. Why would anyone willingly choose to have one of those things in their home?

Comment Re:That's bullshit (Score 5, Interesting) 286

The only actual way to reduce teen pregnancy is to encourage them to stop fucking so much

You have figures for all the other methods. What are the figures for "encouraging them to stop fucking so much"?

The birth control available to them _does not work_.

The figures quoted say otherwise. True, the worst contraceptive you mention is successful with 72% of users across a year never having a problem, however the pill is successful for 91% of users (over a year), and the CDC includes reversible birth control measures that are more than 99% effective in the chart you mention.

It's also worth mentioning that the failures aren't necessarily a function of the devices themselves so much as user error. Condoms usually "fail" not because they break or anything else obvious, but because people who rely upon them frequently decide to chance not using them. Almost all versions of the pill can be rendered useless if combined with certain drugs - notably many antibiotics - and are more than 99% effective if used properly.

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