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Electric Vehicles Might Not Benefit the Environment After All

andrewagill Electric infrastructure more efficient than cars (775 comments)

A mobile internal combustion engine has to have certain concessions for weight, vibrations, ease of maintenance, and other things that a stationary power plant does not need, and power plants can install expensive equipment and expensive maintenance to reduce emissions that a car cannot have.

See for example: and let's assume that we are generating our energy according to 2012 rates so that average CO2 production per kwh is 1.20.

Let's compare the 2013 RAV4 which gets 44 kwh per 100 miles (the worst I could find that has a gas equivalent). Compare that to the RAV4 2WD which gets 26 MPG.

1 mile on the gas-powered RAV4 produces .63 pounds of CO2.
1 mile on the electric RAV4 produces .52 pounds of CO2.

(I used to do the same calculations on coal alone, but it appears that either coal has gotten more polluting or gas powered cars have gotten a lot more efficient since I last checked)

about a year ago

Forging a Head: The Upside of Scientific Hoaxes

andrewagill Water *is* a greenhouse gas (201 comments)

Just sayin'. It's unlikely that the girl in the story was talking about the feedback effect of water in an ecosystem that was already warming due to other factors... but she could have been.

more than 3 years ago

Senator Wants to Tax Internet Shopping

andrewagill Do I have to pay sales tax on top of the use tax? (705 comments)

I'm pretty sure I already have to pay my own state's sales tax if I purchase something from out of state. They just call it use tax instead.

more than 3 years ago

Google Cuts Chrome Page Load Times In Half w/ SPDY

andrewagill What about sites that can't afford a certificate? (310 comments)

What happens if you can't afford to buy an SSL certificate for your mom and pop website? (Yes, I know, someone at Comodo will buy one for you. Har har.) Is SPDY only for large hosts or can the little guy benefit as well?

more than 3 years ago

Contemplating Financial Trading At Picosecond Resolution

andrewagill What does this mean for my Picosecond Event Timer? (448 comments)

As of today, we have some pretty sophisticated equipment used to measure picosecond-sized times. I sincerely doubt that, for any definition of not too distant future, we'll get down to the level where something that is in only a few research labs is used for trades. Also speed of light.

more than 3 years ago

World's Most Powerful Optical Microscope

andrewagill living viruses? (163 comments)

Just to be clear, viruses are not classified as alive. Sometimes, I'm not convinced that this is entirely correct, but that's what the biologists say.

more than 3 years ago

The Psychology of Horror In Video Games and Movies

andrewagill Uncanny valley/Mirror neurons (126 comments)

The need to know it's fake might have some sympathy with the uncanny valley phenomenon. If we know that something is not real, but looks almost real, we have a visceral reaction to it, since we can detect that there's no mind there.

Might it be similar here, but in reverse? We can detect that there's no mind in the fake violence, so it's placed in the (positive) uncanny valley and our reaction ceases to be what it would be if we could detect a mind?

more than 2 years ago

Vatican Bans IOS Confession App

andrewagill I'm surprised he didn't mention Simony (323 comments)

Simony would seem to be the greatest objection here. Someone is charging $1.99 for a sacrament? That's never been anywhere near acceptable in Catholic teaching.

more than 3 years ago

World's Worst Hacker?

andrewagill Re:Best Part (174 comments)

See that's the thing though. Since you hadn't heard about it, you wouldn't try to run it. He heard about it, presumably knew that it was a linux executable, and tried to run it on a machine that he thought was also capable of running Windows executables. It takes a special type of dumb to be aware of something, but to try to run it on something that shouldn't be able to run it.

more than 3 years ago

World's Worst Hacker?

andrewagill Re:Best Part (174 comments)

And yes, I do recognize that he could have downloaded wget to a Windows machine, but he did not do that.

more than 3 years ago

World's Worst Hacker?

andrewagill Re:Best Part (174 comments)


I'm not sure exactly how this guy thought he was going to run perl and wget and win2ksp3 on the same machine. That takes a special kind of dumb.

more than 3 years ago

Julia Meets HTML5

andrewagill fully interactive what viewer? (129 comments)

Oh, a fractal viewer. Or more specifically, a Julia set viewer.

Would have been nice to know what sort of a viewer this was by the summary. After all, it's not like there are other things named Julia or that fractals have been used for other types of viewers.

more than 3 years ago

Cybercriminals Shifting Focus To Non-Windows OSes

andrewagill Re:Macs are still no mans land (265 comments)

Why not just install Sophos' free version for Mac?

more than 3 years ago

Cybercriminals Shifting Focus To Non-Windows OSes

andrewagill trust exploitation? (265 comments)

Are they talking about confidence games? As in, ``It's called a confidence game. Why? Because you give me your confidence? No. Because I give you mine''?

I'm not sure why Cisco feels the need to invent a new term for something that has been commonly understood since 1849...

more than 3 years ago

Should Dolphins Be Treated As Non-Human Persons?

andrewagill Should we lock them up, then? (785 comments)

The infanticidal tendencies of dolphins have been well-known for a decade. If a human did that, we would be forced to lock him up. Does the fact that it's a non-human dolphin make any difference?

more than 3 years ago

Rushkoff Proposes We Fork the Internet

andrewagill My comment over there (487 comments)

It's worth repeating here.

I think the first steps should be pretty clear:

(1) New internet over old internet. Like IPv4 over IPv4, we should be able to connect to the new network over the infrastructure of the old. That doesn't mean that we have to use the old infrastructure, but that we can if we have the capability and inclination. This is necessary for mitigation and/or migration.
(2) Tor-ified e-mail. It should be a simple matter to set up a mail client that works over Tor and that incorporates full public key encryption. It might take some jiggering, but you should at the very least be able to set up a makeshift listserv that has RSS feeds that update with the latest messages. Publish it on your computer in an RSS feed the listserv is set up to check, cryptographically sign it and encrypt it with their public key, and the listserv decrypts it, reencrypts it with each recipient's public key, and the recipients retrieve it via RSS password protected by HTTP basic access authorization. You now have a message that you can be sure came from the sender and has not been tampered with--so if it's spam, you know who the spammer is, and you do not know who is sending messages unless you're the recipient. You would probably also want a list of message-IDs for the messages downloaded to be kept on each recipient computer, so that the messages can be removed from the queue once the other computer receives them. I'm sure this could be streamlined, but this method works now.

(Please do not construe this opinion as representing that of my employers)

more than 3 years ago

Why Published Research Findings Are Often False

andrewagill Re:Barber! Barber! (453 comments)

Well, the article in the New Yorker is not a research article. Apart from that, the article that the title refers to, ``Why Most Published Research Findings Are False,'' probably would include itself in the list of possibly wrong articles.

more than 3 years ago


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