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Skinny, androgynous techno-nerd Weaknesses include a love of microbrewed beer and a preference for cars… more »

Aug 12, 2013 Orv commented on Dreaming of Hyperloops.
@40: Yeah, but man, those tailpipe emissions... ;)
Aug 12, 2013 Orv commented on I, Anonymous.
Post office regs say to always type or write the address in all caps with no punctuation, to improve OCR accuracy. I imagine that's where some of this habit comes from.

Also, when I fill out credit card forms, it always says 'Cardholder name (exactly as it appears on the card).' On my card it's in all caps.
Aug 9, 2013 Orv commented on Hostile Policing.
I had a similar interaction with a cop at the Seattle Library. He was waking up someone who'd fallen asleep at the library -- a homeless person, presumably -- and asking them to leave. I happened to be nearby texting on my phone. He angrily demanded to know if I was taking his picture.

There's a real us vs. them attitude in the SPD.
Aug 9, 2013 Orv commented on Dreaming of Hyperloops.
@31: As I see it the main problem with hydrogen is the extremely high losses involved in compressing it, since it has to be stored under very high pressures. That process causes a *lot* of energy to be lost as heat. Then when the gas is expanded again for use, you have to find a way to put heat back into the system, lest the whole thing ice up -- as anyone who's watched a propane regulator turn into an ice ball on a cold day can tell you. Ultimately it's just another way of storing energy -- another "battery," one that's very inefficient to charge. About the only benefit is a hydrogen tank can be filled much quicker, but fast chargers are eroding that advantage.

If you wait long enough anything will "always fail." We don't have a lot of experience with modern battery chemistries in electric cars, but so far battery life in hybrids has been very good, with many of them hitting 100,000+ miles without needing new packs. The days of lead-acid batteries that had to be replaced every three years appear to be over.

Nothing currently around can compete with the energy density of gasoline or diesel -- even hydrogen-powered vehicles have generally had ranges of only around 120 miles, because even compressed it's just not very dense.
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Aug 7, 2013 Orv commented on Mitt Romney Urges Republicans Not to Shut the Government Down.
We've never had a shutdown where soldiers didn't get paid. They've always found a way to prioritize things like defense. For that reason I don't think the Republicans are scared of the consequences -- from their perspective, the "good" parts of the government will carry on regardless.
Aug 7, 2013 Orv commented on Dreaming of Hyperloops.
Wasn't the Segway also supposed to revolutionize technology? The only thing it seems to have revolutionized is how mall cops get around. I'm not holding my breath.

He's done amazing work with Tesla, but Tesla's technology is evolutionary, not revolutionary.
Jul 19, 2013 Orv commented on City Proposes Waterfront Highway on Top of Tunnel.
This is why I favored rebuilding the Viaduct. It would have been cheaper, and people could have walked under it to get to the waterfront just like today. Add some lighting and some paint and it could even have been reasonably pleasant down there. As I said all along, the only people who benefit from a tunnel are property owners who get to build a new swath of view condos.

Incidentally, you know those interesting-looking brick commercial buildings there that have been around for a hundred years or so? You can expect those to be replaced with character-free luxury condo towers.
Jul 18, 2013 Orv commented on Morning News: A Standoff, a Sad Tradition, a Peeing Policeman, and Technical Difficulties.
The Washington Post points out that $0 for heat might be realistic if you live in the South. But most of the Southerners I know have triple-digit electric bills from A/C during the summer, so I don't think that actually represents any savings.
Jul 17, 2013 Orv commented on Anti-Gay Bullying Claims Another Victim.
@30: I hope so. Right now I see people protesting anti-bullying programs as an attempt to "feminize boys," and I just feel despair about the culture ever changing.
Jul 17, 2013 Orv commented on Anti-Gay Bullying Claims Another Victim.
The sad truth is, to eliminate bullying of queer kids you'd have to overturn all the American cultural assumptions about masculinity and what's desirable behavior for boys. That just ain't gonna happen.
 
 

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