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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

Smidge204 Re:So? (475 comments)

Our government has backed an expensive and inefficient renewable energy tech - that's the only reason we're even having this conversation.

As opposed to our government backing an even more expensive and inefficient incumbent system?

By subsidizing solar power for domestic installations, that tax money is effectively being put back into the hands of the general public through savings, rather than into the coffers of multi-million dollar, often international corporations where it can further corrupt the system.

And I'd be happy to pay a "road use tax" even though I don't drive an EV (yet...). I figure I pay about $130/yr in gasoline tax, which if I switched to an EV I'd save about four or five times that easily.
=Smidge=

2 days ago
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Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

Smidge204 Re:Americans trust science too much (451 comments)

If you can cite a study to prove your point you have won the argument.

That's not trusting science too much, that's laziness. Usually the person citing the study has a tenuous grasp of what it really says, and in all but a handful of cases they are betting on the fact that few people will bother to look it up and read it themselves.

You can tell this is what's going on, because it only further polarizes people; if the "study" reinforces their existing view, then it's the best thing ever, and if not then the scientists who did it are clearly corrupt or they're just plain wrong. No attempt to understand, nothing changes, just reinforcement of bias.
=Smidge=

2 days ago
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Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

Smidge204 Re:Maybe citizens saw duplicity? (451 comments)

For starters, please provide citations for everything you put in quotes.

If scientists were so desperate for money, so easily bought by whoever was willing to pay them, we'd have volumes of studies saying that burning fossil fuels is good for everything from water quality to sex drive, that dumping toxic waste into rivers makes fish taste better, and that tobacco smoking curse cancer.

But we don't. For every study that suggests (or is construed to suggest even though it clearly doesn't) that climate change isn't occurring there's at least a hundred that says it is.

The best explanation I can come up with is that the scientists are not chasing paychecks like some people claim, but are doing their best to honestly study a subject they feel is important and are interested in.
=Smidge=

2 days ago
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How 3D Printers Went Mainstream After Decades In Obscurity

Smidge204 Re:3D plotter (69 comments)

I'm willing to bet that machine costs more than $1000 complete, and probably doesn't use belt drives for the axes.

Also, 230mm/sec is 13.8 meters per minute. And that's while extruding - I'd be genuinely impressed to see a mill that can do a cutting operation (not just move) at that speed.
=Smidge=

3 days ago
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How 3D Printers Went Mainstream After Decades In Obscurity

Smidge204 Re:3D plotter (69 comments)

What kind of machine is it?

I agree a teacup should not require support, unless the handle has a loop that dips below the attachment point. But even then only the underside of that loop would need support.

The layering can leave stripes, but a nice material with good print settings on a well made and tuned machine it's more of a texture than actual visual artifacts. They're like grooves on a record; you can feel the individual grooves but unless you look closely or get the light at just the right angle it just appears as a matte finish.

I've only printed an object intended to be liquid tight once, and it worked fine. Again, it comes down to print settings, calibration and good quality material.

So in the interest of improving your 3D printing experience, I'd like to know what machine you have, what material you use and what the settings are.

As for speed, that's also generally a limit of the material... but I've gotten mine up to ~230mm/sec before the heater in the nozzle couldn't provide enough power to melt the filament at that rate.

In practice you have a lot of moving mass which limits your top speeds on complex parts - the forces from accelerations can overwhelm the cheap belt drive systems most hobby-level printers use. Of course, if you want to shell out for better parts you can make something a lot better :)
=Smidge=

5 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Smidge204 Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (596 comments)

I've been using the twirly type CLFs in a ceiling fan "glass ball" light for years (upside-down and enclosed, expressly against the manufacturer's warnings to not use them inverted in enclosed fixtures!).

In fact I've gotten into the habit of dating them with a sharpie before I install: Nov 2011. Since this is in my bedroom it's used for several hours a day, every day. Coming up on 10,000 hours, which is the rated life of the bulb, despite the warranty-voiding installation.

That said, the early generations of CFLs were absolute shit. Don't let that turn you off on the tech, and a few extra bucks for buy a decent brand is worth it.
=Smidge=

5 days ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Smidge204 Re:The article is more extreme than the summary (794 comments)

Your entire thesis hinges on the premise that there's a difference between "truth" and "Truth."

If you are unwilling or unable to justify that premise, then you have no argument, and you're just talking out of your ass.

Bald assertions aren't allowing in science or philosophy.
=Smidge=

about a week ago
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CDC: Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million In 4 Months

Smidge204 Re:Endemic would be really bad.. (279 comments)

It's not even really about infrastructure, just basic sanitation.

If you have the resources to wash your hands - which much of Africa does not - then you'll probably be able to contain an Ebola outbreak without much trouble.
=Smidge=

about a week ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Smidge204 Re:The article is more extreme than the summary (794 comments)

And no I will not define those as they are of no concern or interest to science, that is philosophy.

But you have to define them in order to justify the assertion that science isn't concerned with it.

You are making a distinction between "general truth" and "Absolute Truth" - and you need to back that up or you have no argument beyond "because I say so."
=Smidge=

about a week ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Smidge204 Re:The article is more extreme than the summary (794 comments)

How is it committing a logical fallacy to ask you for a definition and example? Not a definition of science, a definition of "Truth." That seems entirely within the purview of this thread.

As to your supplied "definition" ... Going back to Webster (your own source)

3 a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method

Oh look, science is the knowledge of truths obtained though the scientific method. I guess science DOES seek truths!

(This is why citing a dictionary almost always makes you look like a douchbag, BTW.)
=Smidge=

about two weeks ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Smidge204 Re:The article is more extreme than the summary (794 comments)

I'm not asking the question for my own curiosity - I'm asking you, specifically, to define the difference between "Truth" and "truth."

I'm asking you to do this because you have asserted that "science is not the pursuit of Truth" - which makes me presume that you actually know what "Truth" is at least well enough to define it.

So, please elaborate on what this "Truth" is, so I can better understand why science can not pursue it.
=Smidge=

about two weeks ago
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Friendly Reminder: Do Not Place Your iPhone In a Microwave

Smidge204 Re:If you're not smart enough to realize this is B (240 comments)

To charge your iPhone you need a $150 crisper... ere "Inductive charging" pouch that your phone goes into before putting it into the microwave.

Keeps it clean, you see. Not using the "Inductive charging" pouch may void the warranty.
=Smidge=

about two weeks ago
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How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Smidge204 Re:The article is more extreme than the summary (794 comments)

Okay, what is "Truth," how do you pursue it, and how do you know when you've found it? What is the difference between "True" and "true" things?

Science as a whole is an application of a pragmatic criteria of truth; it finds explanations and methods that work, and therefore assumes that they are true at least to the degree that they are able to be applied. We then seek better explanations... better "truths." (Perhaps once you've pinned down the difference between "True" and "true" things it will become clear how this is not a pursuit of "Truth"?)

So if you're going to insist that there's a difference between "Truth" and "truth" you will need to present examples in the form of "X is True because Y" where Y is not merely an argument of formal logic, because formal logic alone cannot distinguish true from false. At some point you're going to have to apply other criteria and/or test.
=Smidge=

about two weeks ago
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The FCC Net Neutrality Comment Deadline Has Arrived: What Now?

Smidge204 Re:How does Net Neutrality as proposed solve that? (131 comments)

Well it's a shame then the FCC rules under discussion would have nothing whatsoever to do with that,.

Except this is exactly what it's about, and it's something that Comcast has already been caught doing. Allowing "fast lanes" would just be a way for them to legitimize the practice of stymieing competing services and/or extorting money from content providers.
=Smidge=

about two weeks ago
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The FCC Net Neutrality Comment Deadline Has Arrived: What Now?

Smidge204 Re:Spoilers (131 comments)

This doesn't address what is the true threat: It's not about ISPs choking bandwidth to individual consumers, it's about ISPs choking bandwidth to their competitors.

For example, Comcast offers, internet, streaming video, cable television and telephone services.

If I, as a third party, want to offer telephone services that use broadband internet (VoIP), Comcast will be able to make my access to their consumers so crap that I can't compete with their telephone service. The only way around that would be to pay them for "fast lane" access which will also ruin my ability to compete as it cuts deeply into my budget.

The end user can have all the bandwidth the infrastructure can provide, and it won't mean a damn thing because my traffic, specifically, will be choked by the monopoly ISP guarding the gates.
=Smidge=

about two weeks ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

Smidge204 Re:sure, everybody can (444 comments)

Free kinetic energy? Where?

In the wind. There is no capital cost for making the wind blow.

There's a capital cost for building and maintaining the equipment required to tap that energy, but the energy itself is free once you've covered that initial cost.

Also, the Model S is not their "entry level" vehicle. That vehicle is still under development. Tesla aimed to cover the high cost of relatively low volume early production vehicles by producing their high end sport offering (Roadster) first, then their luxury offering (Model S). Part of the reason the gigafactory is such a big deal is it would help lower the cost of the battery packs, reducing the price of future vehicles.
=Smidge=

about three weeks ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

Smidge204 Re:It's not horseshit. It's happening. (444 comments)

Basically you're saying that just because the presence of a knife in someone's chest correlates with their death, is no reason to assume causation between these two things.

After all, plenty of people have been stabbed in the chest and lived, and there are no witnesses, so even though the coroner has ruled out every other possible cause of death we can't say for sure the knife is the problem.

To bring it back: There have not yet been any proposed totally-natural mechanisms that account for the current warming trends we see. There are natural mechanisms of course, but none of them add up to what is being observed. The only explanation is that human activity is indeed significantly impacting the global climate. This should not be terribly hard to believe, considering the damage we do almost routinely; Lifeless sea floor in the gulf of Mexico, dozens if not hundreds of once flourishing species now extinct, entire mountains cut down, entire forests leveled, ect.
=Smidge=

about three weeks ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

Smidge204 Re:Not just Reno (444 comments)

Still not burning "record amounts" of brown coal.

=Smidge=

about three weeks ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

Smidge204 Re:Not just Reno (444 comments)

Except that they aren't burning "record amounts" of brown coal, and total coal burning is down quite significantly.

http://www.ag-energiebilanzen.... (PDF)

=Smidge=

about three weeks ago
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SpaceX and Boeing Battle For US Manned Spaceflight Contracts

Smidge204 Re:Decisions, Decisions... (123 comments)

As an astronaut, I wonder which would appeal to me more? The "Exciting Choice" or the "Safe Choice?"

Depends... is your surname "Kerman" ?
=Smidge=

about three weeks ago

Submissions

Smidge204 hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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More info from Nissan LEAF Tour

Smidge204 Smidge204 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Nissan's national tour of their new electric vehicle offering, the LEAF, recently completed its last stop at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey. Nissan representatives were on hand answering questions about the car and their plans to bring it to market, and I was able to collect a lot of good information which the Slashdot community might find interesting and useful. Below is a fact-dense summary of everything I was able to tease out of them.

The LEAF is a 5 passenger, 4-door hatchback bearing a striking resemblance to the currently available Versa, although once you see it in person it becomes obvious that the car is an entirely new platform designed specifically as an electric car, rather than a tweak of an existing vehicle. First impressions, shared by other visitors I met, was the vehicle was much bigger than the phrase "electric car" brings to mind.

The LEAF's technical specifications are no less impressive, though still somewhat tentative as production is not scheduled to begin until this fall:

80kW (107.3 HP) synchronous AC motor producing 380 ft-lbs (280Nm) torque. 24kWh worth of air-cooled, modular (48 modules, 192 cells total), laminated lithium-magnesium batteries located under the floor and rear seats giving a listed driving range of 100 miles (as tested under LA4 methods, aka "the city test") and a max speed of over 90MPH (144KPH). Curb weight is approximately 3300 pounds (1500 kg) including the 480 pound (217 kg) main battery pack. The main battery is rated for full capacity from -30ÂF to +100ÂF (-34ÂC to +38ÂC) and has a life expectancy of 7 to 10 years, with "end of life" defined as capacity degraded to 70% of the original. The LEAF comes with four wheel disc brakes and two stage regenerative braking which can recover up to 30% of the vehicle's kinetic energy in most situations. Brakes are hydraulic (w/ electric booster) and steering is drive-by-wire. A cable operated parking brake is also included.

Power from the main battery is cut in the event of an accident for safety. It is not known if a separate kill switch for disconnecting the battery manually will be provided.

The LEAF is capable of three charging options: it comes standard with a 110v outlet charging cord, allowing you to plug your car into any 15 amp outlet for charging via the charger incorporated into the vehicle itself. Charge time for 0% to 100% is estimated at 16 hours using 110v. Alternatively, you can charge the car using 208v using a required "charging station" in about 8 hours from 0% to 100%. Both of these methods use the same J1772 socket, recently made a standard by SAE International, meaning this and all other vehicles that plug in to charge will use the same connectors.

The 208v "charging station" is, I was told, simply a surge protector and over-current protection device which must be professionally installed and certified for code compliance and liability issues. While Nissan plans to offer Nissan-brand charging stations, you will not be obligated to buy one as the 110v charging cord is supplied with the car. Charging stations may also become available from third party manufacturers since they do not contain anything proprietary, and like the J1772 connector should be compatible with any plug-in car on the market.

The third "quick charge" option uses 480v connection through a second, dedicated socket and connector and can charge a dead battery to 80% in just under 30 minutes. Quick charging is halted at 80% to prevent damage to the battery. There are no plans to offer quick charging stations to the general public since very few houses have 480v electric service available. Nissan is working with private companies to install both 208v and 480v public charging stations for general use.

The LEAF includes, as standard equipment, an integrated GPS navigation system which helps you plan routes that pass near by public charging stations. Monthly updates to the navigation system will be provided for free. Also included is 3G communications which allow the on-board computer to send and receive data via the internet. The computer can be configured to send e-mail status updates, and various features such as charging schedules and heat/air conditioning operation can be done remotely via internet connected PC or cell phone. When asked about privacy concerns, the reps said that Nissan plans to collect usage data via an opt-in program only from their initial test users. There are no long-term plans to monitor driving and charging habits.

Other standard features include heated seats and steering wheel, air conditioning, power locks and windows, AM-FM/CD stereo with aux input for portable players, keyless entry/startup and 24/7 roadside assistance. All vehicle lights are LED. Features that are not offered include power seats, sun roof and spare tire.

The "ignition" is a large power button located just below and to the right of the steering column. The rep said there is no delay turning off - meaning you don't have to hold the button - but she never tried it "at speed" so it is unclear exactly what will happen if you turn the vehicle off while driving.

There is no set price yet, but I was given a target range of $28,000 to $33,000 before rebates and incentives. Official pricing is due to be announced in April. At present, the LEAF qualifies for $7,500 in federal tax rebates, along with 50% of the install cost for the 208v charging station (up to $4,000). Additional rebates and incentives may be available from your state government as well. Nissan plans to offer buy and lease options, but they can not offer battery-only leases due to federal laws. The federal government considers the battery to be part of the drive train, and it is illegal to sell a car without a functioning drive train.

Production is scheduled to start in Japan this fall, with a portion of those vehicles being imported to the US for test markets and early adopters. Official announcements are scheduled for December of this year. By 2012 Nissan plans to have a vehicle and battery manufacturing plant operating in Tennessee with a capacity of 150,000 vehicles and 200,000 battery packs per year.

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