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Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars

Sqr(twg) Re:weird choice (156 comments)

Battery-electric cars, in theory, actually stabilize a power grid, if the chargers are controlled to charge when electricity is the cheapest on the spot market, i.e. when there is a surplus of electricity.

5 days ago
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Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars

Sqr(twg) Re:Why isn't the U.S. doing things like this? (156 comments)

are you five?

As I wrote in the first sentence of the post you are replying to, I worked for seven years in research and development on fuel cell vehicles. You do the math.

Have you ever even driven a car or owned one?

I've driven a fair number of different vehicles, including prototype fuel cell cars.

You seem hot have no clue about weighing pros and cons or understanding the challenges new tech must overcome.

Unlike you?

You know what? nobody gives a crap! the three important things for hydrogen stations are cost per mile, fuel source, and GHGs. nobody cares about mathematical efficiencies.

Efficiency is the most important factor in determining cost per mile. A car that requires four times as much electricity will have approximately four times the cost per mile. It will also cause four times the green-house gas emissions, assuming that the source of the electricity is the same.

(Protip: If you want to be taken seriously in any kind of scientific argument - Don't say that "nobody cares about mathematical ..." Scientists do care about math.)

you know what people do care about? range and convenience time. you know what's not convenient? recharging for four hours every 20 mins!

Four hours charging for every 20 minutes of driving was over twenty years ago. Today, most electric cars have a range that exceeds what their owners drive on an average day. This means the owner spends 10 seconds per day (one minute per week, assuming that he has Sundays off) plugging in the car when he gets home. The average non-electric car owner spends much more time than that filling up his car. A fuel cell car owner would spend even more time, because hydrogen cannot be transferred as quickly from one tank to another as liquids can.

about a week ago
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Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars

Sqr(twg) Re:Why isn't the U.S. doing things like this? (156 comments)

I worked on fuel cell vehicles for seven years, but quit because I realized there will never be a future in it.

There are lots of reasons, but the main argument is this: It takes about four times as much electricity to power a fuel cell car as a battery-electric car. (Fuel cells convert hydrogen into electricity at about 50 % efficiency, and making hydrogen from electrolysis has about 50 % efficency, not counting losses in compressing the hydrogen and when tranferring the compressed gas to the car. Batteries can have 95 % efficiency both in charging and discharging.)

You could make hydrogen from natural gas, of course, but the "no fossil fuels" argument goes away, and efficiency is still no advantage over a combustion engine that runs on natural gas directly.

The only advantage a fuel cell vehicle has over a battery-powered one is range, but range is less of an issue whith batteries, because chargers could be everywhere, unlike hydrogen tank stations that have lots of safety issues.

about a week ago
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Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

Sqr(twg) Re:Bah (278 comments)

Using a password manager with one strong master password + randomly-generated passwords unique to each website is better.

...if, and only if, the password manager is completely secure in itself.

If the terminal used to access the password manager is compromised, then the attacker gets the master password and thus access to all keys - not just the one that was requested.

In other words, you might have used an insecure computer to log on to slashdot, and the attacker now has your bank login credentials.

about two weeks ago
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Google's Project Zero Aims To Find Exploits Before Attackers Do

Sqr(twg) Re:Code name "Only our back doors" (62 comments)

You don't have to trust them. Even if they don't point out the vulnerabilities that the NSA use, they will point out vulnerabilities that the Russians or Chinese might use, and that's already better than nothing.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Climate Change With Trade

Sqr(twg) Re:Does anyone oppose this? (155 comments)

The tarrifs are a result of the German company SolarWorld's decision in 2012 to use its influence on the US state department to impose tariffs on Chinese exports. The Chinese responded in kind.

Presumably there are still some companies that sell more domestically than they export. The question is then: how much political influence do these companies have.

(If it weren't legal for corporations to buy US politicians and civil servants, the problem would probably have existed in the first place.)

about two weeks ago
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How To Fix The Shortage of K-5 Scholastic Chess Facilitators

Sqr(twg) Re:If they learn chess on tablets, (128 comments)

Either that, or just poin a webcam at the table so that a remote judge can be contacted when needed.

When I played chess as a kid, we'd often play tournament games without a referee. Both players are required to write down the moves (unless short on time) so the game can be played back afterwards if there's any ambiguity. This approach might not work if one of the players is an asshole, but none of the members of our club was.

The proposals in TFA (brain implants, rfid tags in chess pieces) are stupid beyond belief.

about two weeks ago
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Insurance Claims Reveal Hidden Electronic Damage From Geomagnetic Storms

Sqr(twg) Obligatory (78 comments)

xkcd

about two weeks ago
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In 2012, Facebook Altered Content To Tweak Readers' Emotions

Sqr(twg) Re:consent (130 comments)

[citation needed]. Almost every major website does A/B_testing. Is there a law againt this? (That's not a rethorical question. I actually would like to know.)

about a month ago
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Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

Sqr(twg) Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (216 comments)

the only reduction in CO2 comes from the centralization of production

...where you can do CO2 sequestration and, theoretically, bring emissions down to zero.

(Other than that, I agree with everything you wrote. I worked in R&D on automotive fuel cells for seven years and quit because I believe there's no future in it. They might have been a good idea when the competition was lead-acid batteries, but not any longer.)

about 1 month ago
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Endorphins Make Tanning Addictive

Sqr(twg) I've seen it. (51 comments)

I can certainly believe that tanning would be addictive. I know some people who just don't seem to be able to stay off the tanning beds. At age 30 they have the skin of 60-year-olds. (Although this is in Sweden, where you only get a couple of hours of natural sunlight per day in the winter, and lack-of-sun depression is probably more common than tanning addiction by orders of magnitude.)

about a month ago
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Traffic Optimization: Cyclists Should Roll Past Stop Signs, Pause At Red Lights

Sqr(twg) Re:Negative accidents (490 comments)

Clicking through to the actual study, I found this quote: "Boise was 150%-252% safer (2.05-2.52 times safer)." Looks 150% correct to me.

about 2 months ago
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The NSA and Snowden: Securing the All-Seeing Eye

Sqr(twg) Re:easy (97 comments)

This is especially true, since the security measures suggested by TFA are only designed to stop the lone rouge sysadmin. Even with all those measures in place, it would still be possible for two sysadmins working together to extract top secret documents.

about 2 months ago
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Pirate Bay Sports-Content Uploader Faces $32m Lawsuit

Sqr(twg) Re:Breach of Contract? (149 comments)

They were targeting the individual who ripped their shows from a cable TV broadcast. It probably seemed logical to them that someone who has cable TV signed a contract in order to get it.

As they found out, people who make a career out of torrenting tend to live in their parents basement (and thus use their parents' cable subscription) so the "fraud" and "breach of contract" will likely be dropped.

about 3 months ago
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3 Former Astronauts: Earth-Asteroid Collisions Are a Real But Preventable Danger

Sqr(twg) Re:I am all for this research (71 comments)

Just like the moon is going to crash into the Earth unless we pump an incredible amount of energy into it to keep it at a distance?

(Read the Wikipedia article I linked to, if you want to know the details.)

about 3 months ago
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3 Former Astronauts: Earth-Asteroid Collisions Are a Real But Preventable Danger

Sqr(twg) Re:I am all for this research (71 comments)

This is called a gravity tractor, and researchers do consider it seriously.

0.000000001 m/s^2 is approximately 0.15 earth radii per year squared.

about 3 months ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Sqr(twg) Re:No, they wouldn't (1633 comments)

If you want to see it on a small scale, well ask yourself why the US has been unable to secure Afghanistan or Iraq. They had considerably more forces than your silly "1 aircraft carrier" scenario, it was hardly the whole population fighting, yet after years and years, they have been unable to secure the countries.

Afghanistan and Iraq actually prove my point. A fraction of the US armed forces was able to install a new government in each country in very short time. Since then, the fact that the insurgents have weapons leads to a lot of suffering on both sides, but it does not threaten the power of the US-backed government.

There are quite a few examples of unarmed civilian uprisings that have lead to a change in government, but I can't think of a single armed civilian uprising that has overturned a government with an air force.

about 3 months ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Sqr(twg) Re:It's crap (1633 comments)

The whole point is for the citizens to be able to form a militia in order to defend themselves from their own government.

That might have been the case in 1791, when the strenght of an armed force was roughly proportional to the number of men with guns it had.

Today, if you would pit every civilian gun-owner in the US, with all their weapons, against the forces of a single aircraft carrier (one thenth of the aircraft carriers that the US government controls), the civilians would lose. Hellfire missiles beat automatic rifles every time.

If you want the second amendment to imply that the people can defeat the government by force, then you either have to massively reduce of the government-controlled armed forces, or allow civilians to own cruise missiles.

about 3 months ago
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NYU Group Says Its Scheme Makes Cracking Individual Passwords Impossible

Sqr(twg) Re:WTF? (277 comments)

The point here is that you cannot test a single password. You must test, say three, at a time. (So you'd have to try all combinations of 18 characters in this case.)

The downside of the method is that after a server reboot you will have to wait for three trusted people to log in before you can authenticate any of them (unless you also have a weaker system to use for the first few logins.)

about 4 months ago

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