Quotulatiousness

February 15, 2018

The Volkswagen Thing Is Slow, Old, Unsafe… and Amazing

Filed under: Germany, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Doug DeMuro
Published on Oct 13, 2016

GO READ MY COLUMN! http://autotradr.co/Oversteer

Thank you to Morrie’s Heritage Car Connection for letting me borrow your Thing!!
http://morriesheritage.com/

February 13, 2018

The Grand Tour: Legally Tesla

Filed under: Business, Humour, Law, Technology — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

The Grand Tour
Published on 12 Feb 2018

In a test of the Tesla Model X, Jeremy Clarkson is joined by lawyers in this legally perilous task.

****These observations about the Tesla Model X are made in Clarkson’s personal capacity and should not be regarded as any statement or opinion by any other person or entity about the general safety, road worthiness, mechanical effectiveness, or any other standards of the vehicle about this specific model or any other Tesla vehicle.

February 10, 2018

Protecting (some) women from their own decisions

Filed under: Business, Liberty, Politics — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Kirio Birks on the Formula One “grid girls”:

Objectification, we are told, is degrading. Why? Because any job that requires employees to be sexually attractive and gazed upon for that reason necessarily dehumanises them. It encourages others to treat them as pretty ‘things’ rather than as autonomous people with their own lives, passions, thoughts, and desires. Or so the thinking goes. ‘Grid Girls’ – models employed by Formula One for promotional purposes – have just discovered that their role is to be discontinued. As Formula One’s managing director of commercial operations explained: “While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms.”

But in their hurry to spare Grid Girls the indignity of the male gaze, nobody making this argument seems to have stopped to wonder whether Grid Girls might have an interest in defending what they do. Instead, a collective of ostensibly progressive voices leapt to their defence without bothering to ask the girls themselves if they needed defending at all. In response, Formula One abandoned its Grid Girls so that it can be seen to be moving with the times and hip to contemporary mores. In doing so, Formula One’s executives have implicitly conceded that they have spent too long objectifying women instead of empowering them. They would like it to known that they’d rather see women driving the cars, or as members of the engineering teams, or just about anywhere other than track-side holding a driver’s name-board and looking beautiful.

What baffles me is that a move supposed to empower women came at the expense of other women, and only because a minority of outsiders found Grid Girls inappropriate, problematic, and otherwise an offence against good taste. But even if Grid Girls are being objectified, then – contra the explanation offered above – it’s not at all clear that objectification is wrong in and of itself. It is acceptable to use people as a means to an end – that’s called employment. Grid Girls obviously know that they will be objectified and they make an autonomous, informed decision to take the job anyway. They are not harmed, they are paid for their time and their work, and many of them have come forward to say, with understandable indignation, that they enjoy what they do. Needless to say, this has not impressed those feminists who applauded their redundancies. But surely a woman has a right to be the object of somebody else’s desire if she wants and surely it doesn’t matter if she is being paid for it?

Opponents may suggest that Grid Girls have internalised their own oppression in a society shaped by patriarchal values, but not without making two claims: (1) that Grid Girls are unable to adequately think for themselves because of the society they live in and (2) that thinking for yourself is only evidenced by acknowledging the existence of a patriarchal status quo and resisting it.

February 9, 2018

DicKtionary – C is for Car – Henry Ford

Filed under: Business, History, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 06:00

TimeGhost
Published on 8 Feb 2018

C is for car – the automobiles
And nothing is cooler than a boss set of wheels,
From selling some cars, this man made a horde,
Mechanic and boss man, here’s Henry Ford.

Hosted and Written by: Indy Neidell
Based on a concept by Astrid Deinhard and Indy Neidell
Produced by: Spartacus Olsson
Executive Producers: Bodo Rittenauer, Astrid Deinhard, Indy Neidell, Spartacus Olsson
Camera by: Ryan
Edited by: Bastian Beißwenger

A TimeGhost documentary format produced by OnLion Entertainment GmbH

Horsepower vs Torque – A Simple Explanation

Filed under: Technology — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Engineering Explained
Published on Jan 17, 2018

What’s The Difference Between Horsepower & Torque?
Why Is Peak Acceleration At Peak Power? https://youtu.be/cb6rIZfCuHI

Which is better, horsepower or torque? Two words that are often stated in the car community, but often misunderstood. This video seeks to clarify the difference between the two, without silly analogies like “horsepower is how fast you hit the wall, torque is how far you take it with you” (which, by the way, is highly inaccurate).

Torque is a force acting at a radius, while horsepower simply incorporates time into the equation. This video will discuss the differences, how each applies to internal combustion engines, how they relate, what peak torque and peak horsepower actually mean, and how to analyze torque and horsepower curves. Finally, what’s more important for acceleration, a car with lots of power, or lots of torque?

Let’s get technical. With the context of an engine: Power = Torque x Angular Velocity. In imperial units, this translates to Horsepower = Torque x RPM / 5252.

Engineering Explained is a participant in the Amazon Influencer Program.

January 23, 2018

Top Gear – lost in translation

Filed under: Britain, France, Humour, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Jean Girard
Published on 26 Feb 2009

James May and Jeremy Clarkson discover the perils of a literal translation.

January 15, 2018

Top Gear Discusses Emergency Sirens

Filed under: Britain, Humour — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Jacob Epstein
Published on 12 Jun 2014

Series 18, Episode 7

January 7, 2018

Inside the Rolls Royce Armoured Car I THE GREAT WAR Special

Filed under: Britain, History, Military, Technology, WW1 — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

The Great War
Published on 6 Jan 2018

Check out The Tank Museum on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/tankmuseum

Indy speaks to David Willey, curator of The Tank Museum in Bovington, about the Rolls Royce Armoured Car, one of the most iconic armoured cars of World War 1. From its early, improvised days on the Western Front to deployment in the far corners of the British Empire.

January 4, 2018

QotD: “[G]reedy corporations sacrifice human lives to increase their profits”

Filed under: Business, Economics, Quotations — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

The charge that sways juries and offends public sensitivities, and helps explain the large awards, is that greedy corporations sacrifice human lives to increase their profits.

Is this charge true? Of course it is. But this isn’t a criticism of corporations; rather it is a reflection of the proper functioning of a market economy. Corporations routinely sacrifice the lives of some of their customers to increase profits, and we are all better off because they do. That’s right, we are lucky to live in an economy that allows corporations to increase profits by intentionally selling products less safe than could be produced. The desirability of sacrificing lives for profits may not be as comforting as milk, cookies, and a bedtime story, but it follows directly from a reality we cannot wish away.

The reality is scarcity. There are limits to the desirable things that can be produced. If we want more of one thing, we have to do with less of other things. Those expressing outrage that safety is sacrificed for profit ignore this obvious point. For example, traffic fatalities could be reduced if cars were built like Sherman tanks. But the extra safety would come at the sacrifice of gas mileage, comfort, speed, and parking convenience, not to mention all the things you couldn’t buy after paying the extraordinarily high price of a Tankmobile. Long before we increased automotive safety to that of a Tankmobile, the marginal value of the additional life expectancy would be far less than the marginal value of what would be given up. It simply makes no sense to reduce traffic deaths as much as possible by making automobiles as safe as possible.

Dwight R. Lee, “Sacrificing Lives for Profits”, The Freeman, 2000-11.

December 10, 2017

Top Gear – penis length

Filed under: Britain, Humour — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

eduard toma
Published on 18 Sep 2009

Top Gear blokes talk about cars but as usual, they are deviated to other things

November 29, 2017

Self-driving cars

Filed under: Liberty, Technology — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Michael Walsh isn’t a fan of self-driving cars, no sirree:

A “self-driving” car is an oxymoron, in the same way that “paying for a tax cut” is. Someone or something is going to be driving that car, and the whole point here is that it ain’t going to be you, brother.

For while you may at first think you are directing the destination of the vehicle, the fact is you’re a passenger in a computer-controlled mobile living-room whose every move is dictated by Big Brother, whether directly or remotely. It’s bad enough now, when the computers in your car can rat you out to highway checkpoints, and your Bluetooth-connected cell phone broadcasts your whereabouts to every law enforcement officer in the county.

But once the “self-driving” car juts its snout into the marketplace, and tries to drive out the you-driving cars, whom do you think is going to be calling the shots? In quick succession, say hello to the road-mileage tax and ever more vehicles on the roads, given that no one will have to qualify for a vision-tested or skills-tested drivers’ licenses anymore.

Be also prepared for restrictions on where and when you can be chauffeured around in robot-propelled comfort; which kinds of gasoline you may purchase, and when; and with whom you may someday be forced to share your vehicle as the cars are pre-programmed at the factory to respond to commands from elsewhere, including checking IDs. We used to want God to be our co-pilot; instead, we’re going to get Google.

So buy that car you’ve been fancying — you know, the one with a functioning steering wheel, accelerator, and brakes; the one that goes where you want it to, more or less — while you still can, because an unholy alliance of national-security TSA types, social justice warriors, and tech nerds are bound and determined to take it away from you. We can’t have folks mucking about inside of Fortress America, free to go when and where they please, without so much as a by-your-leave. From King of the Road to a sack of spuds, suitable for carting, in just a few postwar generations: welcome to the world of the Emasculated American Male.

H/T to Small Dead Animals for the link.

November 27, 2017

Top Gear Facts Of Handbrake Turns

Filed under: Britain, Humour — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

Dave Lee
Published on 20 Jan 2014

Sorry for the bad quality. Season 19 Episode 4

November 18, 2017

The two biggest problems holding back widespread adoption of electric cars

Filed under: Economics, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Warren Meyer explains why the current crop of electric vehicles are still only niche players, despite lots of overblown media hype and over-generous government subsidies:

There are two problems with electric vehicles. Neither are unsolvable in the long-term, but neither are probably going to get solved in the next 5 years.

  1. Energy Density. 15 gallons of gasoline weighs 90 pounds and takes up 2 cubic feet. This will carry a 40 mpg car 600 miles. The Tesla Model S 85kwh battery pack weighs 1200 pounds and will carry the car 265 miles (from this article the cells themselves occupy about 4 cubic feet if packed perfectly but in this video the whole pack looks much larger). We can see that even with what Musk claims is twice the energy density of other batteries, the Tesla gets 0.22 miles per pound of fuel/battery while the regular car can get 6.7. That is a difference in energy density of 30x. Some of this is compensated for by heavy and bulky things the electric car does not need (e.g. coolant system) but it is still a major problem in car design.
  2. Charge Time. In my mind this is perhaps the single barrier that could, if solved, make electric cars ubiquitous. people complain about electric car range, but really EV range is not that much shorter than the range of traditional cars on a tank of gas. The problem is that it is MUCH faster to refill a tank of gas than it is to refill a battery with a full charge. Traditionally it takes all night to charge an electric car, but 2 minutes at the pump to “charge” a gasoline engine. The fastest current charging claim is Tesla’s, which claims that the supercharger sites they have built on many US interstate routes sites will charge 170 miles of range in 30 minutes, or 5.7 miles per minute. A traditional car (the same one used in point 1) can add 600 miles of range in 2 minutes, or 300 miles per minute, or 52 times faster than the electric car. This is the real reason EV range is an issue for folks.

November 8, 2017

Self-Driving Cars Will Make Most Auto Safety Regulations Unnecessary

Filed under: Business, Economics, Government, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

ReasonTV
Published on 6 Nov 2017

Cars are becoming computers on wheels, meaning software, not hardware, will soon be paramount for safety. This will eliminate the need for most federal vehicular safety regulations.

Federal auto safety regulations fill nearly 900 pages with standards that determine everything from rear-view mirror and steering wheel placement to the shape of vehicles and the exact placement of seats. Many of the rules don’t make sense in the coming era of self-driving cars. Autonomous vehicles don’t need rear-view mirrors, or (eventually) steering wheels. Their ideal physical form is still a work in progress.

But an even bigger rethink is in order. As motor vehicles become essentially computers on wheels, software, not hardware, will soon be paramount for safety. This will make most government regulation unnecessary, and, to the extent that it slows innovation, could even cost lives on the highway.

“Basically, the entire vehicle code can be boiled down to be safe and don’t unfairly get in the way of other people,” says Brad Templeton, an entrepreneur and software architect, who has worked as a consultant with Google on its self-driving car project. (He also blogs regularly on the topic.)

One difference between self-driving cars and traditional automobiles is that companies will have every incentive to fix safety problems immediately. With today’s cars, that hasn’t always been the case. Templeton cites General Motors’ 2014 recall of 800,000 cars with faulty ignition switches. The company knew about the safety flaw over a decade prior, but didn’t act on the information because recalls are so costly. The companies actions had dire consequences: One-hundred-and-twenty-four deaths were linked to the ignition defect.

But the safety problems of the future will primarily be bugs in software not hardware, so they’ll be fixed by sending ones and zeros over the internet without the need for customers to return hundreds of thousands of vehicles to the manufacturer. “Replacing software is free,” Templeton says, “so there’s no reason to hold back on fixing something.”

Another difference is that when hardware was all that mattered for safety, regulators could inspect a car and determine if it met safety standards. With software, scrutiny of this sort may be impossible because the leading self-driving car companies (including Waymo and Tesla) are developing their systems through a process called machine learning that “doesn’t mesh in with traditional methods of regulation,” Templeton says.

Machine learning is developed organically, so humans have limited understanding of how the system actually works. And that makes governments nervous. Regulations passed by the European Union last year ban so-called unknowable artificial intelligence. Templeton fears that our desire to understand and control the underlying system could lead regulators to prohibit the use of machine learning technologies.

“If it turns out that [machine learning systems] do a better job [on safety] but we don’t know why,” says Templeton, “we’ll be in a situation of deliberately deploying the thing that’s worse because we feel a little more comfortable that we understand it.”

For full text and links, go to: https://reason.com/archives/2017/11/06/self-driving-autonomous-regulation

Shot, written, edited, and produced by Jim Epstein. Filmed at the 2017 Automated Vehicles Symposium.

October 29, 2017

Renault 4’s history: reviewed by James May on Top Gear

Filed under: France, Humour, Technology — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 02:00

R4OfficialChannel
Published on 27 Dec 2015

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress