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Comment Re:1% (Score 1) 68

Tesla sales curves are growing at a factor of 1.5x annually, which is the definition of exponential.

However this will no longer be the case when they ship the Model 3 in late 2017, since at that point sales are expected to grow by a factor of 2x for a couple of years.

Comment Re:fun fact (Score 2) 68

This is false. The car industry likes to say as a joke that the first car costs 1 billion to make, and every other car thereafter costs $1,500 in parts and labor. This is so because design and factory tooling are ultra expensive, but once the line is up and running the costs drop precipitously.

Now, this expression comes from the early 80s, so you need to adjust the figures for inflation, but you get the picture.

What this means is that it takes years to amortize the cost of car design and factory tooling and only in later years of production do you start making money from each model. Tesla's model S has already amortized it's design costs, but not yet their factory tooling costs as until very recently they were still growing by leaps and bounds their plant to meet enormous demand.

In the meantime accounting ignoramuses like yourself can get to say that they are losing $7K per car. Nothing further from the truth.

Comment Dire predictions (Score 1) 352

I believe in general in Global Warming, however I've always been very uncomfortable with the dire tone of the weather predictions and the certainty in which they are stated. Here's how I would say it:

1. Fact: We are producing increasingly more CO2 since the 1800s

2. Fact: In a closed unchanging system this would create global warming.

3. Fact: We know of no mechanism that would remove that much C02 from the atmosphere, however, we are a bit uncertain about how much exactly will be extracted by natural processes.

4. Left unchecked and without counter measures, all manner of bad things could happen (famine, flooding of low level areas), however one would expect that countermeasures for these will be taken, such as dutch style sea walls around all low lying coastal cities in the world.

5. Some of our computer models predict awful scenarios such as storms, however our computer models are highly imprecise even under unchanging conditions, and all the more so in a world with changing temperatures. They are our best guess of what would happen, but the degree of uncertainty is pretty high.

6. There is no such thing as point of no return. This is not a nuclear chain reaction that cannot be stopped.

7. It is difficult to predict what will be the impact of some lands turning into deserts while others become feasible land for agriculture.

8. It is equally difficult to predict how wildlife will adapt to this. Will they migrate? become extinct?

9. Surprisingly and contrary to what we would expect we do not see a linear direct correlation between CO2 and the earth's temperature. Modeling this correlation remains one of the big open questions of science today (a similar thing happened with fluorocarbons where initially the chemical processes involved were not very well understood. the persons who resolved this conundrum eventually won the nobel prize of chemistry).

Comment Re:Shorter hours (Score 1) 904

None of this is true. Developed countries offer healthcare far beyond minimal and there is plenty of medicine being developed outside of America. HIV virus was discovered in France, Ebola vaccine in Canada, latest Nobel Prize in Medicine went to a Japanese, etc.

As I said, Americans keep on making up reasons why it is not implementable, in spite of over 30 developed countries who have it, at a lower price and with a higher life expectancy.

Comment Re:If the point was ... (Score 4, Insightful) 334

There's no proof that it has anything to do with Wikileaks, but in a world of IoT devices with no thought toward security, anyone who cares to do so can mount DDOS with the power of a national entity.

What's the point of doing what Assange and Wikileaks have been doing without any moral position? He isn't helping his own case.

Comment Re:Legal? (Score 2) 281

No, of course it is not legal to set a trap to intentionally hurt someone, even if you expect that the trap could only be activated by the person committing property theft or vandalism. Otherwise, you'd see shotguns built into burglar alarms.

Fire alarm stations sometimes shoot a blue dye which is difficult to remove or one which only shows under UV. Never stand in front of one when pulling the lever! But they are not supposed to hurt you.

And of course these booby traps generally are not as reliable as the so-called "inventor" thinks and tend to hurt the innocent.

Comment Re:Extradition? (Score 1) 80

Bush's "the constitution is just a damn piece of paper" playbook

Sidenote: I was trying to explain my beliefs on politics to my son earlier this week, and decided to look up this quote on the fly while I was telling him about it. I learned that there's no evidence Bush ever actually said this. Although he did certainly act like he felt that way.

I realize you're not necessarily asserting that Bush actually said it - but I thought you might be interested. It was interesting to me.

Comment Re:So it appears . . . (Score 1) 184

This is yet another reason why I think Elon Musk's plans for Mars are on the optimistic side. I think we'll be doing great if a human lands in Mars before 2040, and a small permanent station is running by 2080.

An actual colony, with Martians? not before 2200. Think about it, we reached the South Pole over 100 years ago and even so we still don't have Antarctians permanently living there.

Comment Re:Pretty interesting (Score 1) 412

As the others have said, Wikileaks isn't out of play at all.

You're right, they are not necessarily out of play on this. The out-of-play scenario I have in mind (with zero evidence for it, mind you) is that the organization with all this data has been sending it to Assange (or making it available online) encrypted with his public key.

With Assange unable to handle things, they would have to find another part of Wikileaks they trust to share their publication goals. Perhaps that's not so easy.

Comment Pretty interesting (Score 1) 412

With WikiLeaks (likely) out of play, whoever has been sending WikiLeaks the Democrats' data will either have to find another channel for release, or stop releasing. In the former case, that may give intelligence agencies a better idea of their target.

I wonder if there was a back-channel conversation with Ecuador -- something like "Whoever is behind this, Ecuador is effectively acting as an accessory to some outside party attempting to alter the US presidential election. Is that *really* how you want us to treat this?"

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