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Comments

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Multiple Manufacturers Push Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars, But Can They Catch Tesla?

AaronW Re:next gen batteries (209 comments)

I spend 5 seconds plugging in my car when I get home and 5 seconds unplugging in the morning. I spend far less time than I spent filling my gas car up where I'd have to go out of my way to a gas station, wait in line and fill up. Yes, there's a bit of a wait on long trips, but for most of my driving I spend far less time. When battery swapping is available it will take me roughly 90 seconds without me ever having to step out of my car (and for those who don't know, battery swapping includes getting your original battery back on the return trip).

2 hours ago
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Obama's Immigration Order To Give Tech Industry Some, Leave 'Em Wanting More

AaronW Re:I bet Infosys and Tata are dancing in the stree (179 comments)

And how many of these require congress? The executive's job is to execute the laws. He can pass or veto a bill but he can't write them. He can choose how to execute the law, what laws to prioritize or not but his power is limited.

This is especially true for anything tax or budget related. All spending bills must originate in the house. Ever since he swore the oath of office the Republicans have bent over backwards with fillibuster threats for just about everything, even the stuff they wanted. The healthcare law only passed because there was only a brief window when democrats had a fillibuster-proof majority.

A bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill was passed ages ago in the Senate but what has the republican-led house done on it? Absolutely nothing.

It also doesn't help that a huge percentage of department heads have been blocked because Republicans have used the fillibuster to block many of these appointments, many since Obama began his first term.

The republicans have been up in arms and done everything to prevent him from doing his job out of spite, making constant racist comments about his birth, or that he's Muslim, etc. etc with Fox News blowing the horn for them with crazy conspiracy theories.

The republicans blame the president about illegals and children crossing the border. The border control says they need more agents and more money to better control the problem. The president says to provide more money. The republicans say no more money and continue to blame the president for something that needs funding which must originate in the republican dominated house.

2 days ago
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The EU Has a Plan To Break Up Google

AaronW Re:Wont They Die? (312 comments)

They also are making a fair amount of revenue selling services. For example, my employer had so many problems with Microsoft Sharepoint that they switched to Google Drive. I use both Google and Microsoft's services. Microsoft's (at least Email) leaves a lot to be desired.

Google is also in the transaction business like Paypal and Amazon as well as hosting services.

For another organization I'm looking into Google services now to handle documents and email.

2 days ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

AaronW Re:Subsidies? (498 comments)

It comes from fission. All that U235 splits into other elements, which then split further down the line.

4 days ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

AaronW Re:don't tax alternative energy and transportation (498 comments)

Solar cells do not use mirrors unless you're Solyndra. Anyway, the amount of silver is fairly low since only a very thin layer is required.

4 days ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

AaronW Re:don't tax alternative energy and transportation (498 comments)

There are a lot of other costs involved with coal. Unlike China, the US requires scrubbers on all of the smoke stacks, then there's the storage of all of the ash left over, transportation costs for the coal, etc. That's why natural gas is overtaking coal. You just shove natural gas into a pipe and pull it out the other end. No long line of train cars, no scrubbers, no ash to deal with.

4 days ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

AaronW Re:Who pays for the infrastructure costs? (498 comments)

Your link is outdated and only considers a limited number of battery technologies, i.e. lead acid. There are many promising grid storage type batteries that are cheap and can handle far more cycles with greater energy density, such as liquid metal and liquid salt batteries. For areas with hydroelectric power there's pumped storage which is around 70% efficient. With pumped storage when there's excess supply water is pumped back into the resivoir. There's also flywheel storage, compressed air, molten salt, gravitational potential energy and many other storage methods. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_storage.

4 days ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

AaronW Re: "eye sore" (498 comments)

You also must take into account the electricity being pumped back into the grid during times of peak demand. It's helping reduce the utility's non base-load generation which is generally quite expensive compared to the base load generation.

4 days ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

AaronW Re:They WILL FIght Back (498 comments)

It makes me glad that in my state they have added rules limiting stupid things HOAs try and do. HOAs cannot prevent solar from being installed and they must allow EV charging to be installed. The latest HOA laws prevent HOAs from requiring residents to water or prevent from putting in plants that require little water... we're in a major drought and some HOAs tried to fine people who wouldn't water their lawns or who put in low-water plants.

Thankfully I don't have to deal with an HOA.

4 days ago
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Toyota Names Upcoming Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

AaronW Re:How many gas stations were there... (194 comments)

They already had one hydrogen fire at the hydrogen fueling station in my county for the county fuel-cell powered buses, and this isn't some place where idiot joe public can fill up their car.

about a week ago
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Toyota Names Upcoming Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

AaronW Re:How do I refill it? (194 comments)

The problem is that it takes a horrendous amount of electricity for electrolysis compared to steam reforming and it is far far more expensive, that's even with the catalysts available. 95% of all commercial hydrogen produced uses steam reformed natural gas. The cost difference is very significant.

about a week ago
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Toyota Names Upcoming Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

AaronW Re:Chicken/Egg (194 comments)

Unlike EVs a lot more public refueling stations are required. For example with my Tesla I do most of my charging at home overnight where it takes me 5 seconds to plug in and 5 seconds to unplug. The rapid charging stations and battery swap stations (when they're built) are only needed for long trips. For HFC vehicles a lot more filling stations will be required since most people will not be filling up at home or work. Many companies (though not mine) offer EV charging stations to their employees so they can charge their cars while they work. For people who live in apartment complexes it is a bit more complicated, but as time goes on they'll start installing charging stations there for their tenants, in fact this is already happening.

A hydrogen filling station costs far far more than an EV charging station, anywhere from 500K to 5 million. It's estimated that Tesla pays around $100-200K for their supercharger stations which are generally only needed for long distance travel. Slower commercial charging stations cost a few thousand dollars. The cost of the charging stations is also dropping. An EV charging station can be built any place there's electricity. I have a coworker who just uses a regular 120v outlet to charge her Leaf. In my case I can charge just about anywhere. I can charge at most RV parks though it's a lot slower than the supercharger stations.

about a week ago
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Florida-Based Magic Leap Builds Its Team With Bay Area Hires

AaronW Re:Crazy (161 comments)

Most drivers in SV do 10-15 _over_ the speed limit when traffic is open. Elderly generally stay off the freeways except on Sunday... Sunday drivers tend to be slow road boulders.

about two weeks ago
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Florida-Based Magic Leap Builds Its Team With Bay Area Hires

AaronW Re:Perhaps the answer is taxes (161 comments)

Silicon Valley weathered the 2008 bubble better than most of the country and bounced back very quickly. Unemployment is quite low and there are a lot of new tech companies going in. Currently things are far more diverse than they were when the dot com bubble burst.

Part of it is the whole environment of Silicon Valley which is not easy to duplicate. Silicon Valley rewards failure. If your last two startup ventures failed, you're more likely to get support for a new one. People also hop from company to company if they're not happy, and the California making non-compete clauses irrelevant has helped a lot. The weather is quite nice though rain would be quite welcome after two years of severe drought. We may get a few hot days in the summer but it's usually a dry heat and it cools off after a few days. The winter rarely gets below freezing. And as a software engineer, it's an engineer's market. If I'm not happy I can just go across the street and work someplace else and the employers know it. Also, the social services here have not been cut nearly as much as in many red states. That isn't to say that there aren't problems, like bad traffic and high housing costs, much of which is due to the demand greatly exceeding supply. There's not much room to build more housing either since Silicon Valley is surrounded by hills.

The state's financial situation recovered much faster than many other states and has had a balanced budget the last few years. Once we got rid of all the gerrymandering the state has been balancing its budget with minimal fuss since the current voting laws promote moderate candidates.

about two weeks ago
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OpenSUSE 13.2 Released

AaronW Re:Don't bother trying Btrfs. (42 comments)

I have had things fail and XFS performed like a champ and all data was recovered. I also love the xfsdump/xfsrestore tools and xfs_fsr which will defragment a mounted filesystem (though XFS is excellent at not fragmenting in the first place).

If you want to do a very large filesystem then XFS is the obvious choice since EXT4 can't scale beyond about 16TB. My only complaint, and this is not with XFS itself, is that the tools like gparted do not play nice with growing XFS partitions. They balk that the partition is mounted then complain because they don't know how to deal with XFS. The thing is that XFS has its own tools for growing the filesystem.

One of my friends was actually one of the original authors of XFS at SGI and it was interesting talking to him. A lot of work went into the real-time part for handling live video streams when hardware was much slower.

about two weeks ago
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Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security

AaronW Re:I wish I'd thought of that (221 comments)

With my 2006 Prius I was told that if I lost both keys that the only way to recover was to replace the computer. If I had at least one key fob I could add more key fobs but it required having at least one fob.

My current car does not have a physical lock, making it all the more difficult to break in to. It can't be programmed over ODB either.

about a month ago
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Black Swan Author: Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin

AaronW Re:Bad argument (432 comments)

Peanut allergies are also higher in people whos mothers did not eat peanuts for fear of it affecting their babies.

about a month ago
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Black Swan Author: Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin

AaronW Re:I'm all in favor... (432 comments)

On top of that, glyphosphate is one of the least toxic herbacides out there that generally breaks down relatively quickly in the environment.

about a month ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

AaronW Re:Is this legal? (700 comments)

A compatible chip does not use the FTDI USB ID. FTDI paid for their USB ID. It is not available to other chips, whether they are "compatible" or not. The chips, BTW, are fake chips with FTDI's logo and part number printed on them, not compatible chips if you read the article. USB to serial chips are not a general class like USB storage devices where there are many compatible chips so in other words one cannot make a compatible chip. In the USB storage case, each chip or device has its own vendor and device ID which is not needed to be compatible. For USB serial this is not the case since there is no standard.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Researchers Closer to Industrial Graphene Production Due to $10 Bet

AaronW AaronW writes  |  about 3 months ago

AaronW (33736) writes "After trying and failing to convince Nina Kovtyukhona to test her technique of separating layers of graphite and boron nitride to instead try graphene, Thomas E. Mallouk made a bet with Nina that her technique method would work. If it worked, Nina would owe him $10. If it didn't, he would owe her $100. Thomas is now $10 richer and we are now a step closer to industrial scale graphene production."
Link to Original Source
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3mm Inexpensive Chip Revolutionizes Electron Accelerators

AaronW AaronW writes  |  about a year ago

AaronW (33736) writes "Scientists and engineers at the US DOE SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have discovered an advanced accelerator technology smaller than a grain of rice. It is currently accelerating electrons at 300 million volts per meter with a goal of achieving 1 billion EV per meter. It could do in 100 feet what the SLAC linear accelerator does in two miles and could achieve a million more electron pulses per second. This could lead to more compact accelerators and X-ray devices."
Link to Original Source
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Earth May Once Had Two Moons

AaronW AaronW writes  |  more than 3 years ago

AaronW (33736) writes "According to a story at space.com, Earth may once have had two moons. The smaller moon, estimated to be 750 miles (1200km) wide and only 4% of the mass of the larger moon, crashed into the far side of the larger moon which caused the features we see today on the moon. The surface of the far side of the moon is quite different than the side facing the earth, having a different composition and a much rougher terrain."
Link to Original Source
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Moon Rock from Apollo 11 Sent Back Into Space

AaronW AaronW writes  |  more than 5 years ago

AaronW writes "According to this article at collectspace.com, a rock collected by Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission was quietly sent up to the ISS back in March. It was sent up in a special case to protect it with instructions given to the astronauts to not open it. Contamination isn't a huge issue since the rock sample had already been exposed to the air and was not that remarkable, resembling Hawaiian lava. It will be revealed tonight for a 40th anniversary celebration at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC."

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