Monday 20 December 2010

Should I buy an electric car?

I have a largely unreasonable yearning for a cool new electric car.

I'd think I'd be a reasonable candidate. The majority of our car trips are down to Ithaca and back, which is about 10 miles each way, so a car with a 50 mile range would be quite adequate. We have half price power at night when I'd be recharging it. We have another car (well, three, actually, including my wife's 1995 pickup, but we'd rationalize) for longer trips.

There's now a standard charger called a J1772, so the charger installation is the same for any of them.

So here's what I think the near term options are. I think the Leaf looks most attractive.

Thursday 9 December 2010

Battered Leader Syndrome

From Wikipedia: ``a person ... becomes depressed and unable to take any independent action that would allow him or her to escape the abuse. The condition explains why abused people often do not seek assistance from others, fight their abuser, or leave the abusive situation. Sufferers have low self-esteem, and often believe that the abuse is their fault. Such persons usually refuse to press criminal charges against their abuser, and refuse all offers of help, often becoming aggressive or abusive to others who attempt to offer assistance. Often sufferers will even seek out their very abuser for comfort shortly after an incident of abuse.''

On tax cuts for millionaires: “This is the public-option debate all over again,” Mr. Obama complained, adding: “Now, if that’s the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then, let’s face it, we will never get anything done. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are, and in the meantime, the American people are still seeing themselves not able to get health insurance because of pre-existing condition, or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out.”

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Where'd that deal come from?

I read a Salon article that points out that the best predictor of whether a president gets a second term is the state of the economy, so this whole negotiation has been a clever ruse to pass a StimPak II and to try and perk things up by 2012.  While this does fit the facts pretty well, it assumes a level of economic understanding by the administration that has not so far been apparent. So it might just be doing mostly the right thing for the wrong reason.

Thursday 2 December 2010

Where's the open source search engine?

We have a wildly popular open source crowd sourced encyclopedia in Wikipedia. Everyone uses search engines, so is there a crowd sourced one?