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Lego Robot Solves Rubik's Cube Puzzle In 3.253 Seconds

cnaumann Re:Applications (60 comments)

Try LEGO model railroading. Yes, it is a real hobby.

about a month ago
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Adobe's New Ebook DRM Will Leave Existing Users Out In the Cold Come July

cnaumann Re:*Shrug* (304 comments)

If you are not expecting to update the firmware on your TV, you have not purchased a web-enabled TV. Mine updates its firmware all the time. Same with your car.

about 2 months ago
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Court Says Craigslist Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support

cnaumann Re:Dont do anyone any favors (644 comments)

Sure, but why should the tax payers pay for it?

And what does the manner in which the child was conceived, the relationship between the biological parents, the fact that the mother is gay have to do with anything?

If you want a system where the biological father can simply sign a document that says he want nothing to do with the child, fine, lets implement such a system. But that is not how the current system works.

The court is not wrong here.

about 3 months ago
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Will Electric Cars and Solar Power Make Gasoline and Utilities Obsolete?

cnaumann Re:Uh? (734 comments)

Two things will drive the cost back up.

1) You still have to build roads. Roads are largely paid for by a tax on fuel, but electric cars do not have to pay that tax, yet. Make no mistake, they eventually will be taxed. There will be no 'free' travel.

2) Solar availability. Even if you have enough storage capacity to get you through the night, there will likely be time where you go several days without a lot of sunlight. What do you do? Grid power? You are going to find that utilities simply cannot afford to maintain an infrastructure for people to uses every now and then. The first thing that will happen is that they will stop buying your excess power at full retail rates. That step alone will increase the cost of solar power, because you will have to use or store every Watt you are generating in order pay back the cost of the installation. The second thing that will happen is that utilities will slap you with a very significant 'availability charge' just to be connected for those few days a month you need grid power.

Solar power _will_ have an impact on how utilities work, but there is no way it alone will make grid power obselete. With transportation, don't bet against fluid hydrocarbons.

about 3 months ago
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US Justice Blocks Implementation of ACA Contraceptive Mandate

cnaumann Re:This is the problem with religious people. (903 comments)

You can extend the argument. If they pay their employees with money, and the money can be used to purchase contraception, then they risk Hell. Therefore they should not pay their employees with money.

I cannot see the difference between purchasing an insurance plan for employees that covered contraception and paying them with money that can be used to purchased contraception.

about 3 months ago
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60% of Americans Unaware of Looming Incandescent Bulb Phase Out

cnaumann Heat pumps (944 comments)

Heat pumps have one serious problem. When it gets cold, your house needs more heat and the amount of heat that a heat pump can deliver goes down. Almost every heat pump installation uses resistive auxiallary heat to make up the diffrerence. You are usually better off using a little extra heat from either a small electric space heater or light bulbs in the rooms you occupy to bring them to a comfortable temperature than using the heat pump to heat the entire house to a constant temperuture.

about 4 months ago
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60% of Americans Unaware of Looming Incandescent Bulb Phase Out

cnaumann Halogens are avialble for now. (944 comments)

Unfortunately, Halogens will not make the 2020 cut.

about 4 months ago
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Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

cnaumann Re:reasons for it (314 comments)

Define 'pollution'.

A weedwacker burns less than half a gallon of gas in an hour.
A Hummer burns about 5 gallons.
I run a weed wacker about 10 hours a year.
I spend about 500 hours a year driving.

about 4 months ago
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Lawmakers Out To Kill the Corn-Based Ethanol Mandate

cnaumann Re:Minimal ghg impact (314 comments)

Lets see...

There was the 100MPG carburetor,
the water-powered dune buggy,
the overunity generator,
cold fusion,
and at least 6 of Tesla's inventions.

about 4 months ago
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Smart Cars: Too Distracting?

cnaumann Ironically (180 comments)

My car navigation system and "infotainment" system locks out certain seemingly random features while the car is in motion. For example, you can change Bluetooth devices while the car is in motion but you cannot sync a new device to the system. I did not know this. I found it incredibly distracting to try to figure out what the hell was wrong with the system while driving, and I wasn't even the one trying to use the system.

about 4 months ago
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Woman Fined For Bad Review Striking Back In Court

cnaumann What about the credit reporting agency (249 comments)

That seems to the be the real problem here. Why can any flight-by-night company kill your credit rating like this?

about 5 months ago
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A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

cnaumann Re:How does this story play in Arizona (1030 comments)

Most likely they are refusing to buy excess solar-generated power at retail rates. They also may charge more for a grid tie-in if the load is very light some days and very heavy other days. This HAS to happen eventually, the utilities cannot buy power at retail rates and maintain their infrastructure.

about 5 months ago
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EPA Makes Most Wood Stoves Illegal

cnaumann Re:Which company bought this 'new' rule? (1143 comments)

There are so few CEO's that they can't be the main problem. If you confiscate all the wealth of all the billionaires, in total, you get 2 months of government spending.

There is around $50T in total household wealth in the US. The upper 1% controls about 30% of that, call it $15T. Government spends maybe $5T a year total....

about 5 months ago
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Zuckerberg To Teach 10 Million Kids 0-Based Counting

cnaumann Re:We don't (295 comments)

How many years old were you from the time you were born until your first birthday?

about 5 months ago
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Duke Univ. Device Converts Stray Wireless Energy Into Electricity For Charging

cnaumann Re:Measuring charge by measuring potential (216 comments)

The fact that the internal resistance of a battery changes as a function of charge is not the reason that the potential of a battery changes as a function of charge. You didn't say that it did, but you implied it.

There is nothing 'roughly proportional' about the relationship between the potential on a capacitor and the voltage on a capacitor. They are proportional. If they are not proportional then you do not have a capacitor. Real world, non-ideal, capacitors do have some non-linearities, some types more than others, but they are generally quite small.

about 5 months ago
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Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze In More Passengers

cnaumann Re:Bullshit we won't notice (466 comments)

I am 6' 7". I don't worry about the person in front of me leaning their seat back because it is physically impossible to do so since my knees are jammed hard against the back of their seat. I do not believe that it would be physically possible from me to fit into a seat on a 31" pitch. I would be more comfortable standing, only I cannot stand up right on most planes.

I would gladly pay more for exit row seating but it is not always available.

 

about 6 months ago
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Engineers Design Tornado Proof Home

cnaumann Wine Cellar beats Theater room. (189 comments)

It is $50K for the entire house, not for the improvements to build a tornado-proof core.

about 6 months ago
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Intel Rolls Out Raspberry Pi Competitor

cnaumann A netbook is not open. Neither is the pi. (214 comments)

I was seriously dissapointed in the raspberry pi. The price is good, but that is about it. It order to get it running, I had to purchase the folowing: HDMI capable monitor ($120, I have plenty of old monitors that take VGA, but none that take DVI/HDMI), usb mouse and usb keyboard ($40, same issue, all my old mice and keyboards are PS2), power supply, case, and memory card. That actual cost of that little $35 board was was well over $200. True, this board will require much of the same hardware, and will cost well over $400 to actually get it up and running. So in reality, it is about twice as expesive as the pi.

Once I got the pi up and going, I realized that much of the marketing hype about being an 'open' development platform for learning about computers was total garbage. You cannot get a schematic of the board, you cannot get the complete spec. sheet for the processor nor can you get much of the source code. It was not the product that I had hoped it was.

about 7 months ago
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Nuclear Trashmen Profit From Unprecedented US Reactor Shutdowns

cnaumann Re:Oh yes, store the waste (74 comments)

There will always be something left. There are a few isotopes of caesium, iodine and a few other elements that have a medium half life (10-100 years), that are biologically active, and have a TINY neutron cross section. The medium half life means they will be around a long time (thousands of years) and will be quite dangerous for that time. Biologically active means that your body will absorb them and concentrate them. The small neutron cross section means that you CANNOT burn them up in a reactor. Long term storage is the only (safe) option for getting rid of materials. Every nuclear fuel cycle produces these, even the much-hyped liquid salt reactors.

Safe long-term storage of waste is not technically difficult. It is politically difficult and distracts from the real danger of nuclear power. The real danger of nuclear power is the almost unfathomable cost of a reactor accident. Not in terms of lives lost, but in terms of property damage. Imagine for a minute the implications of a Fukishima type accident at a US site on a major river. Every city downstream of the accident would have to be evacuated.

about 7 months ago
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The Greatest Keyboard Shortcut Ever

cnaumann Doesn't fix the real problem. (506 comments)

I cannot count the number of times that I have been filling out a form on a web page and hit the backspace to edit only to discover that I had lost focus on the form and had the tab slammed shut and all information on the form lost. This is a problem on EVERY version on EVERY browser that I have ever used. Unfortunately this little shortcut does not fix that issue. I don't find backspace to be a useful navigation tool. I want to be able to turn it off or at least have a way to recover the information.

about 8 months ago

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