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

patniemeyer Re:weird choice (156 comments)

The only reason that I can come up with for this focus on fuel cells is that Toyota and the other existing car manufacturers want to see a hydrogen distribution system put in place so that they can continue producing internal combustion engines using hydrogen instead of the fuel cells themselves. I think these car companies see their long term intellectual property investment as being in the internal combustion engines and drive train technology. My guess is that they fear the drive trains becoming commodity parts (how many ways are there to make an A/C electric motor) and then they are left simply styling auto bodies and being fashion statements...

I think that fear is unwarranted, as Tesla has shown just how differentiated an electric car can be and how much innovation there can be in the car cabin and features themselves... But history has shown that old companies cannot always change even when they recognize that a disruption is coming. And oh boy is one coming...

Tesla = iPhone
Gas cars = Blackberry at best

about two weeks ago
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The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

patniemeyer And the battery is still under warranty... (443 comments)

If we assume that the driver wasn't deliberately trying to wreck the car then technically that battery is still under warranty... even though it's been stolen, cut in half and set on fire. That's how good the Tesla battery warranty is.

about three weeks ago
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Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

patniemeyer Why fuel cells? (216 comments)

I don't understand why Toyota would pursue this technology when we have batteries that are competitive with it currently and they get better every day... and battery technology is just manifestly better in that we already have electricity distributed to every location on earth... Why build a completely new, energy inefficient, liquid transportation industry just to add a middle-man to electricity distribution and make life less convenient for the the drivers?

It just seems to me like an attempt to keep hydrocarbon fuels relevant... or perhaps to see hydrogen deployed so that Toyota can keep their ICE engines relevant... It just doesn't make sense otherwise.

Yes, I'm sure there are special applications one could point to where hydrogen may make sense in some niche under some circumstances... but... for general automobile usage? I just don't get it...

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

patniemeyer Re:Nice to see. (216 comments)

Tesla has demonstrated that they can swap the battery on the Model S in 90 seconds... It weighs 1000 lbs. But they have also said that they will eventually get the charging time on their superchargers down from (currently about 20 min for half charge) to 5-10 minutes... If they can do that then not sure why anyone would care about swapping batteries...

There is a misconception among people who have not used electric vehicles that you need to go somewhere to charge your vehicle, like one would with a gas station. Imagine that you had a gas station at your house and somebody topped off the car for you every morning - how often would you stop for gas? probably never...

about a month ago
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Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

patniemeyer Re:Dead on arrival (not) (345 comments)

Your thinking about the engine noise will totally change after you drive an electric bike that is faster and better performing than any gas bike could ever be... You'll pull up next to someone with an old fashioned gas bike roaring and making noise and fumes and you'll just effortlessly smoke them while they are roaring and straining to keep up with you.... and you'll start to think of the noise not as power but as "poser"... like a fake strong man groaning to lift a tiny weight or a rock guitar player making that strained face as if it it takes physical effort to play. It will happen to you...

about a month and a half ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

patniemeyer Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

Another way to put it - I bet somebody in the 60's thought a good way to look for life on other planets might be to watch for them to ignite hydrogen bombs... which surely they'd be doing all the time.

about a month and a half ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

patniemeyer Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

Exactly - and not only are we directing less power into space but our leakage is heavily compressed and frequency shared / hopped to the point where our communications look more and more like background noise... And this evolution in communication from "blast to space" to super low power, compressed, and know where to find it terrestrial sources has happened in the span of one or two generations... What do you think communications will look like in another 100 years? How much energy will be wasted to space and how much signal will stand out over the compression to even be noticed?

This - the power and compression factors - is what gives me hope that there is no paradox... We just need another way to look for life other than to expect it to blast us with radio waves.

about a month and a half ago
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Century-Old Drug Reverses Signs of Autism In Mice

patniemeyer re: "Helicopter parenting" (207 comments)

I had always misinterpreted the term "helicopter parenting" to mean the exact opposite of what it means: To me the thing that characterizes a helicopter is the fact that it can land and take off at arbitrary places... So I assumed that this mean a parent who drops in on their child (out of the blue) and then disappears... i.e. intermittent parenting. But apparently people think that helicopters can hover in one place for long periods of time and use it to mean the opposite - a parent who hangs around / hovers around their child too much. I have never gotten used to the term... It just strikes me as the wrong way to think about helicopters :)

about a month and a half ago
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The Brakes That Stop a 1,000 MPH Bloodhound SSC

patniemeyer Re:Killowatts are power, not energy (262 comments)

FYI, Tesla automobile can generate about 60kW while in max regeneratively braking
and 4.5kW is only about 5hp.

Pat

about 2 months ago
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Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?

patniemeyer Electric cars will always perform better... (659 comments)

Energy density doesn't matter... Once people experience what an electric car can be like they just won't want anything else. Instant torque, faster and better handling than anything else on the road, roomier, safer, basically maintenance free, always has a "full tank" when you leave the house, costs almost nothing to drive, single-foot driving with regen braking...

They'll get cheaper soon and they will be everywhere.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Practical Bitrot Detection For Backups?

patniemeyer rsync -c (321 comments)

I have a pair of 4TB disks that I keep cloned with rsync. Periodically I verify the contents using rsync -c, which forces rsync to do a full checksum on the files. A few times a year this will identify a file that is actually corrupt and I'll manually recover it from the good copy.

about 8 months ago
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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

patniemeyer Re:Should have been driving a Tesla (961 comments)

The Tesla P85+ has the same performance 0-60 as the Carrera GT: 3.9s (the speed range where normal humans would use the power), is the safest car you can buy, and costs 1/4 of the Porsche!

about 8 months ago
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No Love From Ars For Samsung's New Smart Watch

patniemeyer Re:Is anyone surprised? (236 comments)

If Apple releases a smartwatch it will probably be about as much a watch as the iPhone was "just" a phone...

I've never worn a watch in my life but I can *imagine* a wearable computer that is cool and useful enough that I might consider it... Can't you?

Pat

about 10 months ago
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Owner of Battery Fire Tesla Vehicle: Car 'Performed Very Well, Will Buy Again'

patniemeyer Fire fighting procedures and battery... (232 comments)

Actually the letter from Tesla said that, while the firefighters did follow their own standard procedure and ultimately got it under control, it would have been better in this case if they had not punctured the battery pack to inject water. The letter says these holes allowed the flames to enter the trunk area. The implication is that perhaps the fire would have remained confined to one section of the the (individually fire-walled) battery compartment or directed away from the car had it not been holes punched in the top.

Also, it's really interesting to read some of the patents that Tesla has on the battery technology. They include coating the individual battery cells in an "intumescent" material that expands and insulates the cells if they exceed a certain temperature. So the cells are effectively individually firewalled to try to limit the spread of heat through the compartments and redirect dangerous levels of heat to the metal casing.

Tesla put a lot of thought into this and from everything we know the car behaved exactly as it was designed.
 

about 10 months ago
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NHTSA Gives the Model S Best Safety Rating of Any Car In History

patniemeyer Re:Five Star (627 comments)

Ok,

A) I never said it was reasonably priced. I said that for some people the gas savings would make it "more reasonably priced"... i.e. when compared another car that could conceivably be considered in the same class such as a mid-range BMW or Audi. Some people have long commutes and burn hundreds of dollars worth of gas a month... For those people the car is not *that* much of a premium over another other luxury car.

B) The car should have almost no maintenance... No trips to the gas station, no oil changes, no transmission fluid. Brakes pads may not need changing since you hardly ever hit the brakes (regen braking is a better way to drive). How much is that worth?

C) It's by a wide margin the safest car in the world right now... How much is that worth?

D) It's car that can hold seven passengers plus luggage and do 0-60 in 5.x seconds... How much is that worth?

E) It gets over the air software updates that make it better several times a year...

F) It's pretty and fun and a from a little bit in the future...

about a year ago
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NHTSA Gives the Model S Best Safety Rating of Any Car In History

patniemeyer Re:Five Star (627 comments)

The Model S starts in the $60k range and for many people who finance and factor in the gas savings monthly the payments are equivalent to that of more reasonably priced car right out the door. Also Tesla has stated that they are planning a more mass market mid-priced car in 2-3 years.

about a year ago
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Electric Vehicles Might Not Benefit the Environment After All

patniemeyer Tesla provides numbers for this... (775 comments)

Elon Musk addressed this at the Model X event. Tesla says that if you live in CA and take power from the grid you end up producing 1/4 the CO2 as a gas car and in the worst case scenario where you live in West Virginia and get most electricity from coal you still only produce 1/3 the CO2.

Here is the relevant part of the clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=YoNd2eMsPHU#t=334s

1 year,28 days
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How Ubiquitous Autonomous Cars Could Affect Society (Video)

patniemeyer Why? (video quality, content) (369 comments)

Why does this video quality suck so badly?
Why are we listening to two random guys speculating about the future? Who are these guys?

about a year ago

Submissions

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Real-time video edge detection on iPhone...

patniemeyer patniemeyer writes  |  more than 3 years ago

videoguy (444913) writes "This is a demo of real-time video edge detection on the iPhone. It shows both a standard Canny edge detection and an adapted "skeletonize" effect that produces a sketch or line drawing style image at 30fps. This is the first app (of which I'm aware) that utilizes the raw video feed available in iOS4 to perform rendering or true video effects."
Link to Original Source

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