×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Tesla About To Start Battery-Swap Pilot Program

WindBourne Re:But what about my burger? (127 comments)

where do you want to spend your money? On food or on energy?

yesterday
top

Tesla About To Start Battery-Swap Pilot Program

WindBourne nope (127 comments)

the reason for the longer range is that you move across cells. It is the number of charges (combined with heat) that is detrimental to cells. As such, they will likely always have about 160-250 MPC.
BUT, you are right about rentals for true long distance driving.

yesterday
top

Tesla About To Start Battery-Swap Pilot Program

WindBourne I think that they are making a mistake (127 comments)

These should ONLY be in the service centers and the batteries should be for say 400 MPC. IOW, this is not to be used to fill up for local driving, but instead used for putting in long distance batteries so that you can take a vacation. With a battery that has say over 120 KWH, that first 30 min will still bring you up over 250-300 MPC, which is plenty long for extended driving.

yesterday
top

The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

WindBourne Re: Well, duh (372 comments)

Actually, there is.
Robots, actually androids, can be updated right away with any improvement. With humans, we have to undergo a generation cycle. Basically, look at speed of change of regular cars vs Tesla. Because of Tesla's heavy electronics manufacturing, new updates change it regularly, making the car newer and better, in a much faster way.

yesterday
top

Staples: Breach May Have Affected 1.16 Million Customers' Cards

WindBourne Re:Staples outsourcing prime factor in PCI breache (92 comments)

Well, that is a good question. I would like to think that it can. But, I do not know.
However, I DO know that they can be held personally liable.

yesterday
top

Staples: Breach May Have Affected 1.16 Million Customers' Cards

WindBourne Re:One number to breach them all (92 comments)

Yes, they CAN go if people would SUE.
I make a habit to never put my CC in stores that run windows or that outsource to India, or any nation where the coders are paid a pitance of western coders. As such, I have not had my CC's stolen.
People need to put together mass lawsuits against companies and their CEO/CIO personally. Once that starts happening, then and only then, will things change.
Even here, it would be nice to see a lawyer step up and state that they are willing to do a class action against these companies.

yesterday
top

Staples: Breach May Have Affected 1.16 Million Customers' Cards

WindBourne Re:companies need to be held accountable; Not quot (92 comments)

The company, along with the CEO and CIO need to be held accountable. Once these ppl realize that they can be held PERSONALLY responsible for their bad actions, then and only then, will we see real issues solved.

yesterday
top

Staples: Breach May Have Affected 1.16 Million Customers' Cards

WindBourne it will not matter (92 comments)

Look, everybody is ignoring the common things. Instead, they see what the crackers WANT them to see, which is other doorways than what was initially used.

yesterday
top

Staples: Breach May Have Affected 1.16 Million Customers' Cards

WindBourne Why? It would not matter. (92 comments)

Look, the problem here is that ALL OF THESE COMPANIES THAT WERE CRACKED have 3 things in common:
1) they run windows.
2) they outsourced to India.
3) the company is not allowed to operate in India.

Basically, Indians are being bought off to leave backdoors on the production system.

yesterday
top

Staples: Breach May Have Affected 1.16 Million Customers' Cards

WindBourne No, they will not (92 comments)

That happened at Target. And yes, they got CCs, but they also got medical info.

yesterday
top

Staples: Breach May Have Affected 1.16 Million Customers' Cards

WindBourne Re:Staples outsourcing prime factor in PCI breache (92 comments)

The problem is, that they are no different than any of the others that have been cracked. Every last one of them is running windows and have outsourced to India. Now, 30 years ago, when considering security clearences, payrolls were looked at. Why? Because if somebody was on clearence and had too low of a salary, they could be bought.
Well, the Indian coders are paid less than $10K / year back in India. All it takes is somebody from china, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, etc to offer just ONE of them 100k (or 10 years worth of their salaries) to release a bug in the production systems. Of course, it is happening.
This is how and why these companies are getting cracked. What is really needed is for customers and banks to SUE these companies, and NOW. And not just the company, but the CIO and CEO for putting their data at this much risk. Once CEO/CIOs are looking being held personally responsible for their actions, well, things will change.
Issue solved.

yesterday
top

Staples: Breach May Have Affected 1.16 Million Customers' Cards

WindBourne Windows and outsourced again (92 comments)

Hey, is anybody noticing a trend that Windows combined with outsourcing == cracked systems.
When will managers learn to think?

yesterday
top

NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

WindBourne Re:As with all space missions: (198 comments)

Not likely. One of the large costs with any of these missions is launch. With SpaceX pushing re-usable systems, and about to drop their prices a great deal in about 3 years, it will make missions like this possible.
In addition, keep in mind that Musk is now looking at building a satellite factory. Once he starts that, he will be after all sat manufacturing to make them cheap. While this is an airship, the guts will be satellite based.

3 days ago
top

NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

WindBourne Love the science mission (198 comments)

This actually makes sense for an interesting science mission. Not sure if it makes sense for humans to go there, but loads of science can be done from above.

3 days ago
top

The Shale Boom Won't Stop Climate Change; It Could Make It Worse

WindBourne Re:Sad that the far left screws this up. (392 comments)

First off, B&W already has a reactor that could be up within 5 years. They are nervous about demand. What is needed is a guaranteed number of reactor buys (say 10 ) to get them moving again.

BUT, what is really needed is to focus on gen IV reactors esp. using thorium. They can burn up the old waste.

Now, with the last congress, I would have agreed with you. And IMHO, this coming CONgress is going to be a major fuck-up. HOWEVER, the GOP supports nukes. In addition, so does O. As such, I think that we will see an energy bill that will push new reactors.

4 days ago
top

California's Hydrogen Highway Adds Another Station

WindBourne Re: Only 118,746 ... (87 comments)

Actually, Audi, GM, Ford, BMW, etc are all going to push FC cars. They are doing the EVs currently because California as well as Tesla forces the issue. But, other than nissan, all of the major car companies have said that the battery is dead and that FC are the way to the future.

That is why Gen 3 is so very important. When it comes out at say 35K and the owners have access to the Super Chargers AND Tesla is building out the new battery exchange mechanism, well, at that point, I think that the FCs makers will look foolish since relatively few cars will be sold while Tesla (and hopefully nissan) will be backed up.

BTW, I have issues with Nissan. The leaf is a POS. In fact, IMHO, all of the EVs are poorly designed except for Tesla. The leaf does not deal with heating/cooling of the batteries. The range SUX.

4 days ago
top

Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

WindBourne Re: So it is official. (167 comments)

Uhhh, you realise that Ariane 5 has launched many many many missions successfully, and has a better reliability record than the US's launch vehicles, right?

That was the original quote from beelsebob. He made it Europe vs. US, not me.

about a week ago
top

Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

WindBourne Re: So it is official. (167 comments)

Look at the original discussion. It was about European vs. American rockets. It was not Ariane vs. F9.

about a week ago
top

California's Hydrogen Highway Adds Another Station

WindBourne Re: Only 118,746 ... (87 comments)

While what you wrote is 100% accurate (as pertains to the efficiency), economics and regulations play major parts in deciding winners.
H2 is a disaster. BUT, if oil companies, along with all of the top 10 major car companies push it, it is POSSIBLE for them to win.
Now, with that said, I think that when Tesla releases Gen 3, I believe that it is all over. I think that the majority of buyers will INSIST on cars to be built like a tesla. And sales will slide for the top 10 companies.

about a week ago
top

Airbus Attacked By French Lawmaker For Talking To SpaceX

WindBourne Re: So it is official. (167 comments)

FH is not really vaporware. It consists of 3 cores, which are fully flight tested. These are tied together via plumbing that is software controlled. Well, that part is fully tested as well. Remember those 6-12x where spacex announced louder than normal testing? Those were FH testing. What remains to test can only be tested in flight, which is the side separation. OTOH, explosive bolts are well known and tested. Iow, slim chance of issue there. What is holding back FH testing is that spacex is focused on stage recovery, along with dragon2 and that Kennedy needs to be modified for FH.

so, u can claim that it is vaporware, but, Russia, Europe, China, japan, american, and Indian launch groups say that it is close enough to reality that they can not compete. And I will trust their opinion, over yours.

about a week ago

Submissions

top

Branson wants to work with USA on IFR

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 2 years ago

WindBourne (631190) writes "British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has written to President Barack Obama seeking help commercializing an alternative type of nuclear reactor known as an Integral Fast Reactor. This contrast with Bill Gates who is approaching China to share American technology with them."
Link to Original Source
top

China 'has up to 3,000 nuclear weapons hidden in t

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  about 3 years ago

WindBourne (631190) writes "China may be using thousands of miles of underground tunnels to hide a nuclear missile arsenal that is far bigger than current estimates, according to researchers.


They spent three years translating secret military documents, scouring the internet and studying satellite images for clues – and concluded that China may have as many as 3,000 missiles, compared with general estimates of between 80 and 400."

Link to Original Source
top

China says Space Weapons are inevitable.

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 5 years ago

WindBourne (631190) writes "According to China's air force top commander Xu Qiliang, As far as the revolution in military affairs is concerned, the competition between military forces is moving towards outer space... this is a historical inevitability and a development that cannot be turned back. The PLA air force must establish in a timely manner the concepts of space security, space interests and space development. We must build an outer space force that conforms with the needs of our nation's development (and) the demands of the development of the space age."
This comes with China having announced last year a soon to be coming new series of military only space stations, as well as develops and test a satellite killer."

Link to Original Source
top

Bigelow Aerospace pushes "Orion Lite" conc

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 5 years ago

WindBourne (631190) writes "The print issue of Space News this week has an interesting article about a proposal that Bigelow Aerospace has presented to the Augustine panel. They propose that a simplified "stripped down" version of the Orion capsule could be developed and flown on an Atlas V by 2013. Of course, the real question is, no matter what Augustine picks, what will Obama and Congress fund?"
Link to Original Source
top

Orion to shrink in crew size

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 5 years ago

WindBourne (631190) writes "Due to Ares I's payload limits, it appears that Orion is about to reduce to a crew of 4 rather than 6 for LEO. Nothing is being said about Moon access which was expected to be 4. Even though the ISS is about to jump to 6 crewmen, this will have no impact since it is expected that Soyuz will be there as well. But will it have an impact on Congress's mind set? With yesterday's news about Ares V slipping, is this the opening that Direct is looking for?"
Link to Original Source
top

Cap and Trade or VAT

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 5 years ago

WindBourne (631190) writes "Regardless if you believe in Global Warming or Not, it appears that the US is about to join the rest of the west in combating CO2 output. At this time, Obama and the Dem's are pushing cap and trade. This approach was developed by Bush I as a means of dealing with SINGLE point of pollution emissions. That approach makes sense for a LIMITED number of emitters. But CO2 is dominantly from our autos, power plants, and manufacturing. In addition, China has moved to be the largest emitter of CO2 (as well as pollutions). This is in large part due to companies moving manufacturing bases there, while the Chinese gov has ignored the pollution problems. Since Kyoto, China has promised to address CO2 if US joined in.
Now, china has changed its tune. In particular, it is claiming that it and other developing countries should not have to control CO2 for anything that is to be exported, while insisting that they west, particularly the US, uphold the current Kyoto. Of course, under cap and trade that will encourage more commerce to shift elsewhere, while ignoring the real issue; solving the CO2, and perhaps pollution issues.
Since Kyoto, the nations involved have been shown to be cheating at all aspects of it. Basically, all the participating countries have tried to argue that their cap is much higher, so that it does not harm their industry. IOW, it should be seen that Cap/Trade does not really cut production since all knows that it will in fact, put the country at a disadvantage. It seems that the ONLY way to do this, is to shift the Kyoto protocols from cap/trade to a time incrementally increasing VAT on all goods (those produced locally as well as imported) applied based on where the good came from and how much emissions from there (ideally, including pollution). That would give an advantage to countries such as Japan and France who have moved heavily towards nuke power and encourage AE. In addition, it would encourage ALL countries to lower emissions.
My question is, does something like this violate trade agreements? This is not a tariff, but a VAT that would be applied on all goods. Why do many of the Kyoto protocol countries, and now the US, seem to be preferring the cap/trade over a VAT (or a "sin" tax)? This appears to be the only way to level the playing field and get all nations to solve this problem."
top

China's new military space stations coming soon

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 5 years ago

WindBourne (631190) writes "China will be launching 2 news space stations this next year. One is for their civil program as ran by the military, while the second is openly for the military. It appears that their will be multiples of the military version to be launched in 2010. It appears that they are developing the same U.S. Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) that was canceled in 1969. In addition, it appears that China is accelerating their timelines on a number of the earlier space announcements."
Link to Original Source
top

Google and others are investing in geo-thermal

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 6 years ago

WindBourne (631190) writes "While Pickens, anschutz and others are investing billions pretty much into Wind energy, Google, Paul Allen, Kleiner Perkins, and others are investing into geo-thermal power. In particular, 2 new start-ups in AltaRock for EGS (fracturing deep rocks and sending water through the cracks to be heated) and Potter Drilling for new deep drilling rigs, and a small grant to Southern Methodist University Geothermal Lab for mapping heat. Just google's investment alone is more money into geo-thermal than USA feds has invested in geo-thermal. Various European countries have several small RD operations while Australia is building a 1/2 GW plant. Unlike Wind and Solar PV, geo-thermal is capable of being a base power plant. That is it can run 24x7. Solar thermal is the only other main Alternative systems that can run as base load power( with cheap salt thermal storage ). Solar thermal has 10's of gigawatts expected to come on line over the next 4-8 years.
It appears that a number of companies want to make money by producing lots of much cheaper cleaner energy."

Link to Original Source
top

second COTs selection to be delayed?

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  about 7 years ago

WindBourne (631190) writes "Rocketplane Kistler threatened NASA or pay them another 10 million or else they would involve Congress. Apparently, the house of rep. are now involved and telling NASA to not chose the next selection until the issue with kistler is resolved. In addition, they are calling for Government Accountability Office to investigate the situation. Finally, the reps are calling for the COTS to be cut by 1/3 and provides only 160M, of the requested 263M. So, the question is, will kistler be able to get by with this blackmail? Will a very real attempt to replace the shuttle be scuttled by the US congress?"
Link to Original Source
top

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 7 years ago

WindBourne (631190) writes "Here is an excellent story about Elon Musk and watching his 2'nd launch. Elon Musk is betting his 2x fortunes for the chance to put mankind into orbit CHEAP. Even now, his timing could not be better. It appears that America will be without a man-rated launcher (again) for at least several years. Spacex could be the only American player during that time. If so, then he will be launching not just people to the ISS, but to multiple Bigelow space ships and doing cargo. But then again, with another failure or 2, he may end up broker than he was at age 12. Now the question is, will he also be able to build a launcher that is cheaper and bigger than the planned ares V due out in a decade?"
top

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 7 years ago

WindBourne (631190) writes "Paul Allen has a long history of being the true dare devil with regards to being on the ground floor of businesses. Now, in spite of Paul's funding of the winning X-Prize, it would appear that Bill Gates may actually beat Paul Allen into space. Of course, one possible side effect would be that Gates would get into the space race, perhaps funding some of the current attempts such as t/space or even a lunar base."
top

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 7 years ago

WindBourne (631190) writes "Apparently, Elon Musk is going to sell Electric cars to the middle class masses, not just the wealthy.Musk's Tesla Motors, based out of San Carlos, California, will use the plant to produce its "WhiteStar" car — a four door, five passenger sports sedan which is 100 percent electric. I will be be nice to see this encourage GM/Ford/Toyota/Honda/etc to get the true hybrids and electrics out the door sooner, rather than later."

Journals

top

New Democrats? Not likely

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  about 8 years ago Well, 4 years ago, I voted for Kerry (a first for me as I never voted for a Dem candidate before). This election, I pulled a nearly straight ticket Dem (a few libertarians, but mostly Dem's) with NO republicans. And why did I do it? Because I was hoping that there would be a difference. Now, near as I can tell, there is no difference.

The big issues that killed the republicans were

  1. Total failure in the Iraq war combined with continuing lies.
  2. Near total failure in the terrorists war (different than the Iraq).
  3. Obscene Deficits.
  4. Corruption that is more akin to a 3rd world country than a superpower.
  5. A total failure in morals and ethics.

.
And what are the Dem's talking about doing about this? Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Nowhere do I hear of them pushing a balanced budget amendment. You would think that if they were worried about deficits, that they would be pushing an amendment.

Or that they would be re-doing the lobbying/election funding process. But not a peep. In fact, here in Colorado, we passed an anti-corruption bill that prevents ex-congressman from lobbying for several years and prevents them from taking more than $50 in "gifts". nearly all of the Republicans howled in fear and hatred of it(very much expected). But most surprising was that a large number of Dem's joined that howling. I think that this will take Joel Hefley's ideas to stop all of this. Too bad that they republicans ran out their last ethical member on a railroad.

As to the war, well, the Dem's backed the backer committee as well as it appears that they will be backing Gates for Secretary of War. And who is Gates as well as who is in the committee? All the same ppl who participated in the October surprise AND the Iran-contra affair. Basically, they are all criminals who have learned that you can screw over the nation AND get away with it. It would appear that we are still doing the same antics of the 80's. I only hope that this time we put a all of them in Levinworth.

And as to ethics and morals, well, let's hope that the corrupt DOJ and DHS will be spying on all the Dems and will stop them before they become as bad as republicans.

top

America's needed auto solution

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 8 years ago

America (and the west for that matter) is in a pickle over oil. Why? Because we depend on it. Yet, there is only several dependencies.

  1. Electricity consumption. This is easily replaceable by Nukes, Alternatives and even Coal. IOW, oil is not really needed for this.
  2. Home heating. Again, we have alternatives for home heating by the use of ground based heat pumps (great for cooling too), natural gas, solar, and even electricity.
  3. Chemical production. This is not the mainstay of oil, but there are no alternatives. In this case, it would be in the interest of the west (as well as most of the rest of the world) to have the price of oil plummet because it is used for only chemical production.
  4. Finally, transportation. This is our Achilles heal.

Transportation is our weakness. At this time, America (and even more so, canada) is spread all over. Worse, we have a minimal infrastructure to support an alternative transportation. In Europe, the companies are intermixed with homes. Many people either walk or take the bus. Big difference. We need an easy alternative to the car, but the entire infrastructure is geared around wheeled vehicles. So what can be done different? Simple; do not depend on a oil based automobile.

Our real problem is that Detroit (and Europe with Japan) is building oil based automobiles. Even the new hybrids are being built all around an oil economy. What is needed for them to survive is a hybrid that works along the lines of train; vehicles with electric motors, a small bank of batteries (enough for say 5-20 miles), and then a empty engine bay. The bay could then hold a number of different energy. The first item in there should be an E85 compliant gas generator. Why? because then it can burn either gas or ethanol mix. The nice thing about that is that for a plain car the generator will need to be on the order of 20K or better. That means that a car can then power a house during an electrical outage (think hurricane, earthquake, or tornado outages) or at a job site (such as construction).
Of course, One might be more batteries. In particular, this would be attractive to somebody who does not drive but say 30-50 miles one way in a day i.e. a house wife or a city person. This person could then recharge at home or at work.
Finally, another might be a fuel cell as these come on-line. So what is the real advantage? Society would not have to undergo massive change to accommodate switching to different energy. All in all, only the refuel point would have issues. But this would mean that we could easily switch to what ever is the cheapest to run.

top

Bush's Immigration "solution"

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 8 years ago

While I have not gone over 100% of Bush's work (or for that matter, the senates or houses), I am concerned by what is happening.

The real problem is that illegal immigration to USA is rarely a freedom/citizenship issue, but generally one of economics. Most of these ppl come here to make money for a time and then leave after 10-20 years (i.e. once they have enough to be comfortable). This will not be solvable via a legal game. It is only solvable via economic solution (think in terms of the drug war). Bush's (and the others) solutions show that there are other interests here rather than solving the real problems.

One of the first issues is that as long as a person can make lots more money here, then they will flow here. So we really have only 2 solutions. Create higher paying jobs there, or decrease the jobs here (with decreasing pay).
NAFTA is a good starting point for increasing jobs there, but it would be useful to see mexico push venture capital and education.
Now, as to creating a disincentive here, that would mean removing jobs as well as lowering the pay. The only way to lower the job count will be to automate the jobs that are being done. That would mean farming, construction, restaurant, and janitorial. If our gov. put in the money that they are looking into spending on a fence solution, into developing robot tech., then we would see the low-end jobs go away. Interestingly, each industry is rather easy to automate and then market to businesses. One good place would be to automate restaurants and then start selling it to resort restaurants. Think of ski industries which have large crush loads iff the snow is good. But will have very light loads if the snow appears to be bad, or better in other places. Ski resorts restaurants would gladly automate if the robots will actually do the job. Each major industry would automate if the cost of hiring illegals is higher than the costs of the robots.

Another issue is that the admin (and congress) have the choice of allowing illegals or not. For those that are pushing us to allow illegals, they all say that the person had to commit no felony. But there are more problems. In particular, they should speak english. They are in our country. If they have not bothered to learn, then why should we bother with them. Also, if they worked here, then they should have paid taxes. If they counted on the employer to pay, then the employer should be listed and we should dtermine who was not paying taxes. One of them, should have to deal with the consequences of tax evasion, which should be jail time and penalities.

Another problem with Bush's solution is his use of computerized ID. The idea is that somebody tells the employer that they are immigrant and then show their computer card. From there, the card is checked in a central DB along with a fingerprint. Ok. No problem. Right? Wrong. With just this approach, all the person has to do, is say that they are a legal citizen and produce a fake license. IOW, it is the same situation that we have now. Unless the gov. is planning to have ALL of us useing this, which is almost certainly the case. W. is using this as a prelude to having a federal issued ID for all citizens. To really make this work, we will need to be fingerprinted and DNAed (because fingerprints can be faked). Basically, he is backdooring his federal ID which he could not push on us in straight forward fashion. Sig Heil! Bush.

top

Tackling the oil issue.

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 8 years ago Throughout most of the world, oil/gas is expensive. Every so often, we go through these oil spikes that make a lot of money for OPEC and those that service them. But the question is, how is America (and western countries in general) going to stop being hit by these?

Well, the Republicans will tell you that the way out of all this, is to depend on capitalism. As a good Libertarian, I agree in principal. But the problem is that oil is not under free economic policies. Basically, the bulk of the worlds oil is controlled by just a few entities (OPEC and Russia). OPEC is made up of small countries, but they mostly act in unison. So between the 2 of them and the companies that service the industry (companies such as enron and halliburton being good examples), we literally have a monopoly. It is in their best interest to keep the rates just below what the world will tolerate and then slowly keep raising it. And that is what they currently do. IOW, free enterprise is not in play here.

OTH, the Democrats will now try to legislate the issue. That is, they will either insist on raising the fleet MPG average, or they will ask for subsidies for some pet project (which is not much different for republicans/neo-cons of today). This has already shown that if the republicans get control back, they will simply roll back the changes. Notice where Carter's energy changes and Clinton's electric car efforts are? All ditched. Interestingly, Carter's main work was on alternative esp. solar and wind which are finally paying dividends. In addition, while W. pushes subsidized oil and hydrogen, it is the hybrid car with increased battery size that is making an impact.

So, is there an alternative? Yes. We need to understand that we are in the situation we are because we are so heavily entrenched into oil. So we need to change that. One of the bigger issues is that autmobilies hang around for ages. So the cars that middle class bought when gas was relatively cheap, will filter down to the poor. Since automobiles are long-term issues, then oil needs to be a long term issue.

  1. We need to roll back the oil production taxbreaks that has been given. Basically, we are subsidizing keeping our country reliant on oil. Big mistake from a debt and policy POV.
  2. W. actually did major cuts into NREL. The money needs to be restored and focus changed slightly; Basically, we should be researching not energy generation, but energy storage. Alternative energy is awesome, but its generation is rarely consistant. Demand is so varied, that if we can store during the off times, and use it during the peak demands cheaply, then all come out ahead. In addition, a storage system would allow for localized distribution.
  3. We need to kill off the fleet average mpg requirements. They serve no purpose and only allow the auto companies the opportunity to point to "doing enough". Yet, they are dragging their feet. It really causes them to shoot for the minimum, which is a mistake. If GM wants to create 5 mpg hummers, then let them. Look at where they are today vs. Toyota/Honda who build high MPG cars.
  4. Finally, we need customers to buy cars KNOWING that gas will go up. Reagan and W. came in preaching cheap oil. That is a mistake. Since oil is a monopoly, it should be taxed. Basically, we should create a progressive tax on Gas that is known ahead of time. Say every 6 months for the next 2 years, gas tax will go up .25. After that for another 2 years, it will rise .50 / gal / 6 months. That means in 4 years, gas will go up by $4/gal. Now, that sounds harsh. And if you are driving a 5 mpg hummer, it is harsh. Of course, if you are driving a 60 mpg hummer, you really do not mind. This will enocurage those that tend to make long range decision (typically high/middle class) to buy more fuel efficient cars or switch. Why? Because they will not want to be tapped for the gas, and they know that the 5 mpg car WILL depreciate fast. Nobody will want to buy it.

The last item is a real hard thing. First it goes against my beliefs. Second, it will be next to impossible to get it passed. After all, JC and Poppa Bush paid with their jobs for doing what was in national interest. Finally, asking citizens to accept a tax that will grow is unheard of and will be judged Unamerican. Yet, we need a way to encourage LONG range choices to be made.

top

The long-term view of Illegal Immigration in the USA and EU

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I have been giving some thought to what some of the US leaders have been saying about immigration (esp. illegal immigration). If you ignore the racial rantings of such idiots as Tom Tancredo (sadly, he is my district representative), there is an interesting angle that many Americans have not thought about.

Basically, the illegals do come here and they take the low-end jobs that regular Americans do not want. Considering that these ppl do not bleed the system (no welfare, no medical, no retirement, etc), but instead contribute to it (almost all pay taxes), it would seem to be fine(IOW, they contribute more than they take out).

But the real problem is that by having these illegals come here, it discourages us from moving forward. If they were not here, then farmers would be paying much more for workers. Likewise, we would see dishwashers, construction workers, lawn workers, etc. get paid a great deal more. In doing so, it would encourage robotics for these low-end menial jobs.

A good example is that at the Colorado Ski resorts, we need seasonal workers. But they may get lower hours if snow is bad and skiiers are cancelling.

OTOH, if a fast or medium food restaurant were to use robotics for dishwashing, and cooking, then it would be lower costs overall. More importantly, it would allow the wait staff to focus on the customer rather than dealing with the back area.

Another example is that the farmers here are not roboticizing the work when they could afford it. Now, it is much harder to do so, and instead most will start parting their farms to big businesses or selling their water to cities.

Japan has the right idea WRT to doing robotics on the moon and esp. on mars. The ability to have 24 construction and exploration going on would be useful. Because they invest in science and R&D as a nation, there system will go futher down the road.

top

Alternative Energy and storage of power

WindBourne WindBourne writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I have been a big fan of alternative energy. It was obvious back in the 60's and 70's, that we would be where we are today. We have disagreement over wether pollution is causing problems (global heating, ozone hole, etc). Likewise, arguments locally about if we are currently fighting our war for Oil/Gas or for our Freedom. The main thing that would help, would be to make our country less dependant on other countries. That basically means the Middle East (for oil) and China (for production).

To minimize or remove oil dependancy, we will have to turn to alternative energy sources. That would basically come down to two main forms: electrical generation and Hydrogen production.

Personally, I believe that GM will see to it that H2 production will occur if they get their hywire to production. But it will be slow and spotty. Most likely, it will also be expensive as the producers will most likely be Oil/Gas companies that do not wish to change. In addition, the mechanics will not want to work on this for some time, even though it should be much easier to do.

So we are back looking at electrical generation. Most forms (wind and solar) are intermitent. This will require supplementing either with centralized generation or with some form of storage. Currently we use mostly centralized generation and minimal amounts of storage. Either way is very expensive.

But the one thing that seems to elude most people in the field is that you will not make wholesale conversion to different sources, storage, and useage in one clean sweep. To do so, would require huge changes in a system that does not reward big changes. So we have some alternative production today, but would like more. This requires boosting Normal generation or Storage.

Electrical storage must happen if alternatives are to take off. By de-centralizing storage, we would also be able to store energy for helping during the day, but also during times of crisis. Three good examples come to mind.

  • 9/11
  • The recent power outage
  • Isabel.

In all three cases, Local area energy storage(LAES) would ahve enabled local supplements will the main units and lines were out. These would also allow for night time generation rather than building new plants.

An interesting one is the Sterling engine using high-temperature salts being developed by Beoing. It should be possible to build small units about an acre that would store energy for the local area. By then encouraging the creation of small companies (perhaps co-ops), we create a decentralized approach to energy storage. This prepares for the future use of alternatives as well as helps during times of crisis.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?