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Comment Re:Supply and Demand - where is the demand? (Score 1) 425

I could see buying a gun with a fingerprint reader to release the safety. I wouldn't buy one with only the trigger finger being able to be read. Similar to you, I had issues with a fingerprint safe: sweat, paint, dirt often meant I had a finger that wouldn't work. Same with a reader on my phone.
Similar to kylemonger, instant access isn't something I worry about as a likely situation, I keep all in a safe now. Being able to always have one out with a simple lock, even if that lock wasn't 100% ready on the first try would be an improvement over my current situation.

Comment Re:one in every home? (Score 1) 228

Surely the point here is to get ethanol when you want ethanol instead of whatever strangeness you are thinking of?

The point is to maximize benefits. Correct, you would make ethanol to have ethanol, but you would ideally make ethanol where you can use the waste heat, and also want to remove CO2.

vent-less Natural gas fireplace

Not just strange - incredibly fucking dangerous to the point of insanity.

They are very popular, can buy them most home improvement stores in the US. It is all I use to heat my house in winter. It has a built in O2 sensor, I have a CO detector a few feet away, that has never activated. When burning correctly, it produces no CO if you see any soot at all, then it is producing CO. I live in the south, where it is warm enough that heat is only needed at night, and rarely stay closed up during the day. Garages and supplemental heat only up north. I love it, because it dumps a ton of moisture into the air, and I live where that is needed.

and not thinking of "cleaning the air"

You have missed the current focus, can we do CO2 capture at power plants is a big question today, likely why this has funding.

Also producing ethanol at location, from solar or natural gas would be a ideal solution. Because A) ethanol doesn't transport long distance as well as other fuels. B) I would much rather come home each night to a gallon of ethanol produced from solar panels, than a charged battery that I would have to either move into the car I was using, or take the time and inefficiencies to charge the electric car, and have to carry extra weight of batteries also.

Comment Re:one in every home? (Score 1) 228

> Resistance heating is not efficient by any definition

Resistance heating is nearly 100% efficient

This conversion is 60% efficient. Likely the waste energy is heat, so running it in a house needing heat would likely get to 100%, but I doubt you would get 100% efficiency when burning that ethanol for heat.

It may make sense to do this to get CO2 out of a house (if the ethanol is burned externally.) So I could see running this in a house that used a vent-less Natural gas fireplace, to clean the internal air of CO2, then put the resulting ethanol into your hybrid car. This could be much more efficient than even charging a battery in a electric car, at least when heating was also needed in the house.

Comment Re:Not needed (Score 1) 168

I have spent the last 18 years working in autonomous vehicles, IE I was riding in a autonomous truck in 2001 taking data, and looking through it, and have done this in a dozen places in 3 different countries. Trust me you way over estimate what the state of the art is actually doing. Tesla's accidents were not just a over site, they are a current issue with the state of the art.

> Cars already have temperature sensors,
> cars already have skid sensors.

Think about that from the computers position. Ice, snow do not melt instantly. It can alert on temperature, and it can alert after you have slipped. Not before. People use tons of clues computers just cannot grasp today. You will smell the rain, you will have driven on this same surface, and will pull in that background to sense a subtle color change, IE pick the sun position, the sign position, take the shadow positions into account. For example it could easily be well above freezing in the morning, the road could be clear everywhere but in a corner that is shaded from the sun, autonomy enters that corner at 75 mph, damn right that car is going to know moments before it crashes, that it is now on ice.

  To make a safe autonomous car that is not way too often a slow moving hazard, it has to have outside help. That same corner in the exact same conditions the last 10 times you went through was fine at 75, but because it didn't rain in freezing temps the night before, and when it did was on a weekday, a hundred cars had kept the tracks clear with the heat of tires. But this is Sunday, not enough traffic to clear the road from that midnight rain...
Very similar with the stupid slick warning from cars, they are wrong most of the time. But who cares, the driver decides if it applies this time.

> Advanced systems that rely on a stereo pair of cameras (e.g.: Mercedes, Mazda, etc.) and/or a LIDAR complementing the video feeds.

I have worked with those sensors, the LIDAR is insanely expensive to do and parse, and live on a rough road, and mount, also it is only necessary in a few situations. The Radar cannot pickup minute movements and distinguish a statue, from a horse, or a light pole from a person even with a stereo camera, until they move significantly. The car is moving, then angles and distances and timing are not precise enough due to environmental factors, are highly color and background noise sensitive... For this reason they will track things outside your path, but do not react to them.

>Outside of stationary sensors streets, the car will be unable to drive autonomously.

No, You don't need the sensors everywhere,

>The best would be for cars to optionally benefit from extra information.

Correct, that is 100% what I was saying, you need them where auto cars have issues. If the external sensors break or are missing, the car slows to 40 over that hill it cannot see over. It requires the driver to put their hands on the wheel, and refuses to take that path without a driver. Or it will only follow at speed once a trusted communication from another equipped vehicle has taken that corner and verified it...

Basically I could see a future where 10% of the cars have precise sensors, those can go more places, and can lead, have cheaper insurance. Perhaps they get paid for their service. Not needed in enhanced areas of the city, and on interstates. The cheaply sensor-ed cars need to always have human assistance to operate outside these covered areas. A cheaply equipped Uber auto car, may have to schedule a precisely equipped escort through any tough areas, or a drone fly over. Taking the auto car to a city without augmentation may cost much more, costing the businesses in those areas, so they will move, or pay for them...

Comment Re:My state/county can barely afford asphalt (Score 1) 168

You can see a example of that with the 405 in LA That highway alone handles 400,000 cars per day. If you zoom in you will see a few thousand roads not monitored. Obviously no way can you monitor all of those streets and provide something useful visually. Then you have the opposite end, where you have 10% of the roads in the US don't have any network close to them, no cellular, no WiFi, only a sat phone would get you data. So your not going to get a nationwide database of all the US road status without an insane amount of infrastructure.

Comment Re:Not needed (Score 1) 168

>you need plain fucking simple street maps to have a vague idea in which general direction you want to go, and let's have highly sensitive/detailed sensors on the car to continuously see and analyse what's in the imediate vicinity of the car and react accordingly

Many important events the car cannot see. Did it rain on this road when it was below freezing? Was salt applied to the road before the Ice, did the temperature go below 0F (IE salt water freze point.) Is that horse shaped object on the side of the road a restaurant billboard, or is it momentarily stopped. Honestly the details the car needs are pretty simple, the details the car needs to pickup those simple details is very complex. Also humans often take huge risks while driving, They will decide to drive into areas they cannot see, and trust that because other cars are taking the same risks, it most be covered. For example driving 70 on a icy interstate over a hill they cannot see far enough to stop safely if something is their. We decide (often wrongly) the risk of this vs the time savings. If I am in a big vehicle alone I will take more risks, than driving a car full of kids... At times driving the risk free speed based on what a car can see for the road conditions, is just not going to be worth it for most. Definitely going to really piss people off in the transition if every auto car is suddenly slowing to 20 MPH in slightly off conditions on the interstate, for a little rain. It will result in many accidents.

A stationary set of sensors installed in critical areas to facilitate autonomy would allow so much cheaper sensors in the cars, and better speeds, and safer. Currently to drive and pickup with the lasers, the car most know every movement to mm precision, because it is taking the car position, distance, angle and adding that point to a cloud of points taken over several seconds, then calculating a 3d image, then picking out known shapes from that cloud. A stationary sensor would be so much simpler. Especially since it would build a image and concentrate on the new stuff. Instead of having to concentrate on small sections of the environment, like the cars are having to do today, to be able to process all of this in less than a second.

Comment Re:My state/county can barely afford asphalt (Score 1) 168

> You have a far higher population density (about 100x the land but about 1000x the population). That makes things easier.

Your assuming things scale lineally up with size and down with population. I don't think that is even close to true. Getting a way for me to checkout my entire route in the US might involve anyone of millions of sensors, so it seams like the difficulty would increase probably exponentially with the number of people, and the number of sensors.

  > 3) So are you saying that there is no such sensor network in the US?

Their are in most major cities, for the major highways. Also google, etc keep track of movement of cell phones, and produce traffic maps of most of the country from them. But mostly it is just the news networks that report back to the people any status.

> Why?
We have constitutional restriction on government monitoring, etc. We want our privacy from the government.

Comment Re:No difference (Score 1) 375

> "I will eliminate regulations and leave it up to the free market."
That is not a accurate representation of Johnson's views, see:

His stance is better than most conservatives, and definitely more progressive than Trumps (granted not by much, compared to Hillary.) He definitely sees a need for strong environmental regulations. And the way I see it, is while it is sad he wouldn't lead on global warming protections, it does look like he would follow. As long as most other countries were taking on the same restrictions, to keep US competitive.

Comment Re:Unreasonable (Score 4, Interesting) 218

>Asking customers to remain alert while the car drives itself for hours on end is unreasonable.

It is also be unthinkable to have your "backup" to evaluate the performance of the autopilot watching only the output. I have hundreds of hours logged in autonomous vehicles, but I would review the data, see all the diagnostics logged, all of the GPS signal lost, or drifted, etc for the week. I thus have never completely trusted them. All of the operators, even when told by engineers of running a beta release with big untested changes would spend all of their time working on their phones. Without knowing when every backup and sensors have failed to read something wrong. You cannot evaluate the maturity just off of, well it stopped the other 5 times someone stepped in front of the vehicle, why would I have to worry about walking in front of them. If you don't know 15 times in the last mile the cameras failed to maintain the road edge monitoring, and 20 times during that same period that sensor was the only thing that kept you on the road. Only dad those 2 events overlapped, which they eventually will, would the failures actually show up in the output.

Comment Re:A real comparison? (Score 1) 286

> By my calculation, I'll save about $1000 / year on energy costs

Curious what prices are like where you live? You do realize Tesla isn't planning on giving Super charger access to the Model 3's? Teslas calculator shows 70 miles on national average $.13 /kwhr will be on a 110V charger $4 to go 70 miles. National average is $2.20 per gallon @ 35 mpg = $4.40 to go 70 miles in the honda. To save $1000 you would have to go through 2500 gallons of gas, so 85000 miles a year. You'll have likely gone through 5 Tesla battery's before you save $10k.

Even at $4 a gallon, your saving maybe $2 a gallon, so 500 gallons or 17,500 miles a year. Well over the national average. You'll be pushing the battery life to the absolute max driving the Tesla 175,000 miles before you save your $10k.

For at least the next 5 years, electric will still be tied to petroleum prices, so it is very unlikely electric prices won't also nearly double if gas does.

Right now I am at $.18 for electric, and $1.85 per gallon. My 40 MPG motorcycle is about $300 cheaper per year for fuel than the Tesla would be (at my current rates.) A Prius would do even better.

Comment Re:How do electricians work on big power lines? (Score 1) 243

You talking much higher voltages than this. 600Volts to 1.35 Kvolts is the medium voltage. Anything below 600 doesn't require special certifications to be around. Those below 600 volts you can touch the insulation on hot wires without risk of shock (assuming no nicks...) Above 600 you start having to use the special poles to check if they are hot. it is more in the 25 kV plus stuff your talking about, where you can get arc flashes that kill you while still several feet of air.

Comment Re:Correct me if I'm wrong, but... (Score 1) 56

> Don't the mileage and emissions numbers come from tests performed by the vehicle manufacturer themselves,

Not sure about Japan, but US does have the manufactures report the tests and results to the EPA, and the EPA reviews, and will then test 15%-20% of the vehicles themselves.

Issue is that manufactures need to advertise cars in advance of when they go on sale, with Fuel economy posted. So they are not production models, but prototypes. So they will change things, remove add extra features, so different tires different weights... So even the EPA tested ones are easily fudged if they specially prepare the vehicle they send.

The EPA does say it has started testing used vehicles, not sure when they started doing that, and what they do with the results...

Comment Re: see what the Union free work place get's you! (Score 1) 297

> I doubt that any company's leadership at any point in history has ever said "hey, I'm thrilled that our workers just unionized because this is going to make everything so much better."

I agree, find me a manager that admits their sub par, and then I can show you a manager that would appreciate a unions help.

>Unions do not provide stability. When a union strikes, the company grinds to a halt.

That is anecdotal at best. If you purely take the one point in time when both management and the union broke down, and apply that one point in time and decide that happens at every shop constantly. I know I saw the other side, I worked as a union guy, and saw a company bought out by a company who had management that knew it all, so much they opened a new factory in a new state for tax breaks and were pulling machines from the one I was at and close it over time. They had no idea how to make tires and it immediately failed, never making a sale-able product with the same machines working perfectly before moved. The only reason they had a profit was because the union guys were running the factory, fixing machines, and making improvements together.

Comment Re: see what the Union free work place get's you! (Score 1) 297

I have heard the right wing crap before. Basically comes down to thinking workers are so stupid they don't realize they wont have a job if they bankrupt the company. In reality, since they workers have the bigger vested interest in than a company than is about stockholders, or millionaires not working at the factory every day. In those cases, the union typically hires, and knows more about the company, and what it takes to keep it running efficiently than the board.
Union contracts also usually give more stability, not less. You set a cost, and expectations. They have set times to negotiate changes, and know better the local pay scales. It is true, companies that think of employees as necessary evils to attempt to screw over, are generally the ones with unions you hear about. A well run and managed company will have no issues with a union. If the unions run the others out of business faster, it's all good, in my book.

> They served a purpose in the beginning
Since China is in the state where they do not have trustworthy government and regulations, it is exactly like those days now. The people need a voice that can voice the issues and suggest improvements, rather than just quitting or just ending up dead. As the workers are the ones who know best what is happening in the factory, if you can get them involved in a way they can have someone they can trust to talk to, and voice grievances through, it will make everyone's lives better.

A few bad Unions do happen, and I am not happy that most unions in the US are getting more focused on taking care of retirees than actual workers. But I have never seen them kill a company, other than one that was destined to fail anyway.

Comment Re: see what the Union free work place get's you! (Score 1) 297

> The only thing a labor union would do here is to drive the business elsewhere

Sorry, you would have to give some reason to back that up. This was a short term push, exactly what a union typically has rules to avoid. If the factory wasn't competitive before this push to lower costs, then it would already have lost the work. When they attempt to cut corners in safety for workers in a competitive factory, union rules and the threat of a walkout absolutely would stop that. Moving the product to a new factory would incur significant costs, and a short term loss in productivity. So with a union trying to lower short term costs at the costs of workers wouldn't work. Without a union, it takes time for workers to find other jobs. So even if no one would take this job, it would take time for the workers leaving to restore protections.
These are not 0 skill jobs, they have to teach skills that take time to learn, and many take specialties, that not everyone can do, due to good sight, good hand eye coordination, often small strong hands.
Also the labor share in China doesn't appear to be on par with the rest of the world. Since labor is 2-3% of costs of manufacturing in china, retooling a factory is going to be more costly than doubling the labor wage.

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