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By TheophileEscargot (Sun May 18, 2014 at 03:52:04 PM EST) Reading, Me, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "Osama". Me. Links.


What I'm Reading
Osama by Lavie Tidhar. Curious alternative history novel. In a world without terrorism, a detective is hired to find the mysterious author of pulp novels about a character called Osama bin Laden carrying out a mysterious private war.

It's nicely written, with a great sense of atmosphere. Very rich in references to characters and historical detail: you need to be alert as you're reading.

Downsides: I found the (deliberate) cliches a bit wearying, and would have liked to see more on how this alternate history unfolded.

Definitely interesting though.

Me
Getting on OK with the new job I think, the domain and the codebase are complicated but they're pretty organized, doing proper Scrum and near-proper TDD. Guys have been pretty nice too. Only downside is the dresscode, pretty formal though ties not required, but that's a minor point.

Drove a hybrid for the first time lately, a little Toyota Yaris. Feels a bit eerie waiting in silence at junctions just hoping the engine will come on. Decent enough in town, worryingly short on power and speed on the motorway, but that's apparently this particular model more than hybrids in general.

Baby's doing well. Did an 8.5 mile walk with him in the sling on Saturday, which definitely let me know he's putting on weight.

Links
Socioeconomics. How Milton Friedman Fomented the Barmy “Corporations Exist to Maximize Shareholder Value” Myth. If... objective is to maximize profits, a longer than optimal-for-output working day may offer attractive prospects.

Random. An Oldtime Strongman’s 15-Minute Morning Routine.

Sci/Tech. Be genetically invisible. Arabic programming language. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity may not exist, via.

Articles. Why Robert Nozick gave up on libertarianism. An Ex-Con's Guide To Prison Weightlifting. How to use "comprise". The real Phineas Gage.

< requiems | Another broke summer >
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WIPO by hulver (4.00 / 2) #1 Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:15:06 AM EST
A stopgap on the way to full electric.
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Cheese is not a hat. - clock
Hybrids by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon May 19, 2014 at 11:53:18 AM EST
Definitely not an issue with hybrids in general.  Because of the greater torque of electric motors, my Prius does particularly well from a standing start.  It also has no problem cruising at 90 mph on the freeway.  (140 kph in commie measures.)

And I agree with Hulver.  It's just a stopgap; a way of achieving somewhat better mileage without reducing size.

I figure we're on the verge of electrics taking over the hybrid market.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

depends on the hybrid by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #4 Mon May 19, 2014 at 02:27:18 PM EST
My understanding is that hybrids come in various catagories:
Prius: 90hp engine designed for extreme efficiency, electrics do the rest. You can't separate the engine/transmission/electric motor and have something that sells.
Accord hybrid: [200hp]Engine does nothing at less than 45mph (electric motor handles that), engine handles power above that point (with possible motor assist). -Note, I'm surprised this works as well as it is said to with such a powerful engine, but since it only handles "highway" speeds and charging the battery, it has it easier than most.
Volt. An engine because "fully electric" isn't here yet.
Everything else: stuff an electric motor on a standard engine. Might work for SUVs looking for starting grunt and can cruise with standard motors, but in general it is mainly useful for that beltway crawl.

It even looks like each new hybrid design is trying to be an electric (the prius didn't try so hard, it just tried for super-high mpg) without requiring the batteries and the hour long fuel up @50A.

As far as gas disappearing, prices of battery packs appear to be getting suspiciously close to the price of gas engines (at least the sufficiently fancy to hybridize) and likely crosses the line if you include the difference in the price of fuel. The charging issue isn't going to go away unless you use something like ultra-capacitors (which appear ideal for hybrids, but not electric cars).

[ Parent ]
Electrics by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon May 19, 2014 at 03:26:04 PM EST
Yeah, the Prius gets a boost because you can have both the electric motor and the gas engine sending power to the engines at the same time.

As far as electrics go, I think Prius sales show pretty clearly that it's not about money, or at least solely about money.  (As the current success of Tesla.)
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
Arabic language by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon May 19, 2014 at 11:56:51 AM EST
I found that article interesting, though there's a certain irony in using ruby given that that language was designed by a speaker of a non-Western language.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
There's a version of Python in Mandarin by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:58:31 PM EST
Intended as a teaching tool. Not sure how active it is.

Iambic Web Certified

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