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Comments

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60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

CaptSlaq Re:3 Companies (544 comments)

"He made a load of money from a scam and used his ill-gotten gains to fund toy projects." FTFY

[Citation needed]

about two weeks ago
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60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

CaptSlaq Re:Top Gear was worse. (544 comments)

Price? It's priced competitively with other cars in its class (most people don't buy luxury sedans).

Cross-country trip? What about it? The supercharger network reaches coast to coast, and by the end of the year there will be a few more cross-country routes possible.

LA to SF? This was literally the first place they built superchargers.

while technically true, it's only on very specific routes currently. Tesla claims this will be fixed by (effectively) 2016.

Source: http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger

about two weeks ago
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Linux 3.14 Kernel Released

CaptSlaq Re:PI KERNEL (132 comments)

Yay! We've finally reached that!

And it's delicious.

about three weeks ago
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Top U.S. Scientific Misconduct Official Quits In Frustration With Bureaucracy

CaptSlaq Re:Been there. (172 comments)

We're so productive, but *what* are we producing and for *who*?

Great post. That's the million dollar question, right there. We certainly are propping up an outdated socio-economic system. But powerful people retain their power through this system. That's the obstacle I see. Otherwise we could all be working much less, have full employment and much more time for personal pursuits.

Your "outdated socio-economic system" is someone else's "reality". While we are rapidly eliminating jobs for people on the left side of whatever IQ test you wish to use, we still have to pay people for food and to build stuff. When we automate THOSE jobs, we'll STILL have to pay for the energy production, energy usage, and maintenance of said automation, energy production and energy distribution.

"Powerful people" aren't the problem. Energy and materials science is. Until energy production and transmission is zero cost, or close enough to it that it becomes an advertising expense, the leisure society isn't going to happen. I also don't believe that "Powerful people" are hiding the near zero cost energy production silver bullet. To speculate that it is so leads down the dark hole of conspiracy. Near zero cost energy not going to be in my lifetime, and probably not in my child's either. If the NIF (or any of its analogs) produce a self-sustaining fusion reaction, that will be tipping point. The materials science problem is nearly taken care of, but said materials (Iconel, among others) are too expensive and (again) energy intensive to produce in large quantities.

There is speculation that if we actually get to the zero cost for energy society, mankind will inadvertently self-exterminate. I can see this being a very real possibility.

about a month ago
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White House: Get ACA Insurance Coverage, Launch Start-Ups

CaptSlaq Re:There is a silver lining with the ACA (578 comments)

The American public can finally see, first-hand, just how incredibly expensive healthcare is in this country. It's incredibly easy to forget if you have a large company to help buffer the cost. Maybe, hopefully, if enough people get pissed/fed up/tired, we can talk about tackling the root causes instead of the symptoms.

And what are those root causes of heathcare being expensive? 12+ years of education? $BIGNUM spent on research for new/better ways to do things? Malpractice payouts driving malpractice insurance through the roof? The large number of people employed by insurance companies? Something else?
Education and Reasearch takes time from multiple people. Malpractice is a real problem and takes up lawyers time. Apparently all those people employed by insurance companies are needed for one function or another. All of these people need to eat and an incentive to keep doing what they do. Money is what feeds them and the incentive. I'm not sure how to change that equation, or even lower its end number.

about a month ago
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Environmentalists Propose $50 Billion Buyout of Coal Industry - To Shut It Down

CaptSlaq Re:opposite of brilliant (712 comments)

I suspect that most if not all the Hydro is being used that is economically and perhaps practically feasible.

There has been exactly 1 permit for a nuke plant in the US in the past 40ish years that I know if (Vogtle). The 3 mile island non-incident gave nukes bad enough press that between the NIMBY crowd and the "Gotta ensure my job" crowd basically killed nukes until someone gets really desperate. The number of nukes going offline soon is troubling enough. Fukushima has not helped in the US and actually started to cause other governments to massively back off from nukes

The 'whatnot' I guess could be:

  • CNG/Propane and such fired plants, which may be feasible considering the boom the US has had in fracking.
  • Some of the tide based generator stuff, but I'm unclear if it's been proven effective yet.
  • Biomass, but that's proven to be expensive and a bit of a shell game when it comes to where fuel comes from.

Replacements for coal are tricky, as the GP pointed out. If they were easy and close to cost neutral, someone would have already capitalized on it.

I'm not saying that a better/cleaner/cheaper method of generating electricity shouldn't come on line. I don't think many, if any, would disagree with that. When you start to talk about cutting one of the major resources that enables the research for the improvements (the amount of power the NIF in the US uses is patently absurd), it becomes difficult to work out a reasonable transition from the "bad" to "anything else".

about a month ago
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70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

CaptSlaq Re:And... (676 comments)

I think you're thinking of Bastiat.

about a month ago
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70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

CaptSlaq Re:And... (676 comments)

Soylent green is people...

about a month ago
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70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

CaptSlaq Re:Makers and takers (676 comments)

It was one obvious example.

Other examples are the people who payed FICA all their life and are now collecting. The people who payed UI and are collecting. These people are counted in that 70% figure, even though they are just withdrawing from a (mandatory to participate) insurance program that they were formerly funding.

Lots of claims in this thread as to "plenty of statistics" about how many freeloaders there are. No actual statistics provided. Tell you something?

Politicians and their buds just want to steal the cash retirees put into the system.

This assumes that they haven't already. That is a false assumption. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Trust_Fund#An_economic_perspective

about a month ago
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Walmart Unveils Turbine-Powered WAVE Concept Truck

CaptSlaq Re:Why so many trucks? Why not railroads (242 comments)

I would buy this if diesel were taxed at the same rate as gasoline. That's not true, as it's usually about 10% more. Considering the sheer volume of fuel these large trucks go through, claiming that they aren't paying their fair share seems a bit of a stretch.

Also consider that while a large truck does carry a significant amount of weight, they also distribute it over a significantly larger contact patch. While I will grant you that load on the asphalt is still higher than most cars, it's not nearly as straight forward as one might think. If someone with more time could google a comparison, that would be very enlightening.

about a month and a half ago
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Google Ordered To Remove Anti-Islamic Film From YouTube

CaptSlaq Re:In before... (321 comments)

Its too low budget and obviously biased to be believed. If they had a point made by any fact, it was lost in their enthusiasm to trash Islam. However this opens the door to Christians taking down Atheist videos, Atheist taking down Christian videos, Islamic taking down Jewish videos, Jews taking down Islamic videos, $cientologists taking down Subgenius videos, Subgenii taking down $cientology videos and Anonymous taking down any server that displeases them. I think we can live with a few offensive videos and keep everyones grubby mits to their goddamn selves.

And thus the prophecy from FSM will be fulfilled: Cats will be all that is left on the internet.

about 2 months ago
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Portal 2 Beta Released For Linux

CaptSlaq Re:Portal + Minecraft: I don't get it (99 comments)

Can someone please explain the appeal of these games? To me, they're full of stupid puzzles and sophomoric quirkiness. What am I missing? Is it symptomatic of a dull generation?

Portal had some of the most amusing dark humor in a game that I've ever heard. While I won't say that the gameplay redefined a genre, as someone who is terrible at FPS, it was a refreshing change to not be "go here, blow this up, shoot these guys, get cake". Granted, it was "go here, press this button, get cake", but I actually like puzzles, so perhaps that is where I found most of my entertainment.

Minecraft is digital Lego Mindstorm.

about 2 months ago
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Tesla Used A Third of All Electric-Car Batteries Last Year

CaptSlaq Re:Gimme a cheap car (236 comments)

At the EU and Asian auto shows, Tesla was talking about 2015 west coast introduction of a $36k version, as well as something in the $60k range.

Credibility on a 36k Tesla is low, but hey, I'd love to be proven wrong.

about 2 months ago
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Elon Musk, Tesla CTO Talk Model X Details, Model S Upgrades

CaptSlaq Re:Model X is the Wrong Model (155 comments)

I hate to break it back to you but the S is not a hatchback in any way shape or form and it's stupid to say that it is. The Golf segment hatchback in the US and throughout the rest of the world dwarfs anything else. As it is he's got no chance of selling US-centric cars in the rest of the world and will forever be painting himself into a niche.

"The golf segment" means "compact car". I think "Mid size" would be generous. If you want a compact, Tesla is not catering to you. Sorry. Largely due to the fact that even in a smaller dress (Like the original Tesla Roadster) it will still be outrageously expensive (Like the original Tesla Roadster) for its size.

If you want something right now, your best bet is probably a Ford CMax or Nissan Leaf. The stupid little thing that Mistubishi is pushing is a city car. While they have their applications, many in NA will not find it useful.

about 2 months ago
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Obama To Ask For $1 Billion Climate Change Fund

CaptSlaq Re:Sure, why not? (410 comments)

the free market is allowed to make mistakes *I* dont pay for them, the owner of the company does.

Sure. Except when Exxon and BP dumped tons of oil into the water. Or when Wall Street banks and auto manufacturers were failing.

when the government fucks up *I* DO have to pay for it, That is the difference my friend

True, but the green energy investments were far, far more successful than private sector venture capital investments. And even if they were less successful, the government investments were for things which will benefit the entire economy, not just a few venture funds. You need both private and public funding or your economy falters.

Broken window. The Fed needs to stop digging and start filling in the hole that they're making to the tune of $1 trillion per year as opposed to throwing darts at a board for investing. I also think that all of your examples should have been allowed to go through the process instead of being bailed out by the Fed. Chrysler's done it twice now.

about 2 months ago
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Ohio Attempting To Stop Tesla From Selling Cars, Again

CaptSlaq Re:Meh... (387 comments)

While not germane to the current conversation, I'll say this: I'm not so sure. Base price of a Model S approaches $70k without any of the short list of options. I don't think I've spent half that on all the cars that I've owned in the past 20 years combined as a data point. While a 1/7th "incentive" to buy a car is not chump change, this still puts it well on the upper end of purchase price for the average NA car buyer. I don't think that 10k is really helping as much as you believe.

The best adage I've heard for this was actually applied to the Prius when I first heard it, but I think it fits: "The males who buy Teslas are buying them for much the same reason as the males who buy Corvettes. They're just looking to impress a different kind of woman."

about 2 months ago
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Ohio Attempting To Stop Tesla From Selling Cars, Again

CaptSlaq Re:Meh... (387 comments)

It does happen.

Here's what happens to vehicles as they leave an assembly plant.

1. Vehicle goes on a rail car. 2. Rail car gets transported to the depot nearest a dealership that can handle offloading. 3. Vehicle gets places on a car carrier. 4. Car carrier transports vehicle to dealership. 5. Vehicle is sold to customer.

There's a huge cost savings that can be injected between step 1 and 2 with upfitting a vehicle with after-production upgrades. Most of the auto-makers engage in a program called ship-thru. Vehicles come out of the plant and are transported to a nearby company capable of upfitting the vehicle with equipment. That vehicle is then returned back to the assembly plant where it's loaded on the vehicles. A number of dealerships will order trucks and vans and have them upfitted by an upfitter prior to being shipped by rail to the dealership. This is a value added service that is cheaper for the end customer because instead of dealing with individual pricing he gets to deal with the bulk pricing that the dealership gets to command as well as needed to avoid any additional and further costs in gas, transportation, and time.

The amount of "upfits" provided for a Tesla are, to my knowledge, currently exactly 0. The number of options that are available on their single model are exceptionally small.

about 2 months ago
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Ohio Attempting To Stop Tesla From Selling Cars, Again

CaptSlaq Re:Pretty Much. (387 comments)

--snip

Car sales direct to consumer are entirely a localized business all around the US, and for good reason! Car dealers are often active in their communities (mine are) and understand the unique needs of customers within a given region, making them better salesmen. They can reduce costs for both Honda and the consumer by ordering in bulk from the factory, which maximizes efficiency from the plant.

This would be true for large manufacturers of vehicles that have several models, as regional tastes should be considered when dealing with a large inventory and/or model selection. Telsa is a boutique manufacturer. They currently have exactly 1 model that has a handful of options. Most if not all are built to order. There's a rather large gulf between these two situations. While there will be 2 in the near future, and possibly 3 a while after that, they're not going to approach the size and model lineup of any of the major manufacturers anytime soon.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Signs point to XKCD's time ending

CaptSlaq CaptSlaq writes  |  about 9 months ago

CaptSlaq (1491233) writes "According to the current imagery, it looks like Randal Munroe has finished the story he was telling with the Time series. The long running series that has spanned over 3000 images and spawned multiple methods of viewing and comment appears to have come to an end."
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Infiniti to offer steer by wire next year

CaptSlaq CaptSlaq writes  |  about a year and a half ago

CaptSlaq (1491233) writes "Fly by wire has long been a mainstay in aircraft, and now Infiniti is ready to try it out for your car. The design is interesting using cameras and other sensors to manage the small stuff, and has a mechanical fail over in the event something goes wrong. If the mechanical fail over could be removed, this would be quite the boon for automotive packaging, as the steering mechanism can be put outside the engine bay, and the steering wheel can easily be put anywhere else inside the car."
Link to Original Source

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