Elon Musk Talks Tesla, Apple, Model X
They're buying off-the-shelf batteries from the same suppliers that build batteries for the rest of the portable electronics industry. Since batteries are a resource intensive product (they're made from commodity materials that must be mined and processed), there is always going to be a fixed cost associated with their production. Here's a free hint: more electric cars being sold will only put more demand on battery manufacturers, and I don't have to explain how supply and demand works.
You are dead-on with with the reflection on the maturity of electric vehicles. They've been around a LONG time.
But regarding battery manufacturing, you may have missed the recent news about Tesla's plans for building the world's largest battery factory this year - it seems that Musk has anticipated your concern:
The Most Useless Key On My Keyboard Is...
I do the same thing in xwindows. I added this to my ~/.bash_profile :
xmodmap -e "remove Lock = Caps_Lock"
xmodmap -e "remove Shift = Shift_L"
xmodmap -e "keysym Shift_L = Caps_Lock"
xmodmap -e "keysym Caps_Lock = Shift_L"
xmodmap -e "add Lock = Caps_Lock"
xmodmap -e "add Shift = Shift_L"
Progress On Electric Cars
I haven't done the math, but I suspect that even if MANY millions of people were charging cars at night, it still wouldn't approach the daytime load of the grid. Keep in mind that most people would only need to top off their charge from their short (25 miles perhaps) daily commute.
This is exactly my description. I have a 12.5 mile commute each way to work and back. I am currently converting a 2002 Ford Focus to full electric. I expect to have a total range of about 40 miles per charge.
The charger I'm using is what I would consider a middle-of-the-road charger, in terms of power consumption (about 4.8KW). It is wired for a 240 VAC, 20 amp circuit, and should be able to charge my 144 volt, 28 KWH pack in about 6 hours. Keep in mind, 4.8KW is less than the steady state power consumption of a typical 1.5 ton capacity heat pump. The grid will trivially be able to handle this kind of load during the night.
The Presidential Portrait Goes Digital
By the way, what's the "it" in "It's enough for basic point and shoot needs"? Are you talking about 16 MP??
Yes. The 5D is still considered "prosumer," albeit high-end.
The Presidential Portrait Goes Digital
It's enough for basic point and shoot needs (i.e. grandma who uses the $5 disposable and runs down to the 1-hour photo lab at Wal Mart). Beyond that- no.
1. Film resolution is measured by granularity of the crystals used. In other words, MOLECULES. Digital resolution is measured in pixels. Molecules are more granular than pixels.
2. Color saturation of prosumer image capture devices are about an order of magnitude worse than good film. This is why all the mucking about in photoshop, etc is required to artificially enhance digital photos and make them "pop." Even so, in many cases, no amount of postprocessing can correct this deficiency. Remember that rule #1 in photography is "good light."
3. Longevity. What's the longevity of a pixel on digital media? I have lots of negatives and slides, over 100 years old, which still produce very nice prints.
Why ISS Computers Failed
That reminds me many years ago, when my friend worked as a programmer in a major bank writing small programs for an online international financial system. He issued an 'shutdown' command through JCL(Job Control Language) and that really shutdown the entire system. He didn't realize he had the privilege to issue administration commands.
I'm forced to wonder, did the sysadmin who granted a programmer (one responsible for "small programs," natch) administrative priveledge get fired? How about the manager that signed off on it (assuming a proper change control system)? How about the executive that probably wrote off the proper change control system as "unnecessary overhead"?