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Comment Profit not revenue (Score 2) 199

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 Legally responsible entity (Score 1) 288

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 Freedom of speech does not apply (Score 1) 295

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) 295

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) 295

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) 295

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) 295

"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) 288

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) 288

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.

Comment Contracts (Score 1) 288

no, if you own a self driving car you own the income it generates for you. no exceptions

Incorrect. There is a very clear exception in the case where you sign an agreement assigning such revenue to Tesla. You don't have to sign such an contract but Tesla doesn't have to sell you a car without such a contract. Fortunately there are numerous places where you can buy a car that does not have a Tesla badge if that is a problem for you.

Comment Fix the problem not the blame (Score 2) 172

OP seemed to be implying find what the specific error was, find who made it and punish them harshly, I was just pointing out it doesn't really matter who made the actual error, who ever approved it is ultimately at fault.

Incorrect. The fault lies in the system that permitted the error to occur. It's (probably) not the fault of a person but of the structure in which that person works. Assigning fault to an individual is generally a waste of time and usually counter-productive. To use a crude example it's like shooting your dog because it peed on the rug. It technically solves the problem in a sense (the dog won't do it again) but it won't result in the outcome that is truly desired.

My day job is to to run a manufacturing company. When we have an error occur the first thing we look at is whether the production system was set up to prevent the error. Maybe the work instructions weren't clear. Maybe the inspection procedures were faulty. The error is almost never because an individual was being irresponsible. You can say that the responsibility falls to management and that is true but it misses the point. The point is that mistakes are not systematically fixed by just finding the proximal or authorizing party and punishing them. Fix the problem not the blame.

Comment Real engineering is expensive (Score 3, Interesting) 172

Real engineers go to jail when they fuck up.

People who pretend to be engineers go to jail. Did you actually read your link? It's nothing but people with forged documents and other fraudulent acts. Nothing about sending people to jail for honest errors where nobody died.

Maybe a little accountability for you "coding is an art" folks would be a good thing?

If someone is willing to pay for the proper quality control structures then fine. Most software engineering quality control is severely budget limited. There are folks out there who know how to write incredibly robust software but doing that isn't cheap and it isn't merely a matter of throwing money at the problem either. It's not a secret how to do it but it isn't cheap and it isn't easy. If you want people to do a better job then you need to give them the resources and organizational structure necessary to make it happen.

Answer this. Would you do a job where you could go to jail for making a error in a calculation? Especially if no one was injured?

Comment Are you trying to kill the space program? (Score 1) 172

Yeah, whoever signed off on it. Who's head of the ESA these days? Maybe 'jail for a very long time' is a bit harsh though.

Anyone who seriously believes that sending people in the space program to jail for a failed mission is a good idea is an idiot. If you want to kill a space program that would absolutely be the fastest way to make it happen short of completely defunding one. What engineer or program manager is going to risk going to jail for making an innocent error in a calculation?

Some missions are going to fail. Get over it. It's the cost of doing business if you want to go into space. Only a complete imbecile would treat that as some sort of criminal act.

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