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Greg

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interesting things [Sep. 17th, 2008|03:06 pm]
Greg
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[Current Mood |bouncybouncy]

I have a list of tabs open in Firefox mentally filed under "to post about" but I'm only really interested in about half of them - this half!

- GM reveals Chevy Volt design
The Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid car that scheduled to be released in 2010/2011. This is a car I could see buying (hopefully I won't need a new car by then!) - it goes 40 miles solely on charge alone, and after that there is a gasoline motor but it's just used to charge the electric battery, not for propelling the wheels (like the Prius does). Downsides - it's going to be expensive ($40Kish?) and only hold four people. Apparently the battery pack takes up room where the middle back seat would be. I've been keeping my eye on this - it would be nice for an America car company to take the lead in green technology for once, and plug-in hybrids are cool!

- Familiar Ground May Be Election's Deciding Factor
Right now, it looks like Obama's easiest path to victory is Kerry states + Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado, which is very doable. fivethirtyeight.com's numbers are favoring McCain now but I'm confident they'll swing back the other direction.

- Federal bank insurance fund dwindling
I don't claim to understand what the hell is going on, but our financial system seems to be going to hell and it's kinda scary. The subprime crisis has the classic hallmarks of a Black Swan in that apparently few thought it was possible, and the amount of money that's been lost is pretty staggering. If there's one thing I learned from "The Black Swan" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, it's that things are more uncertain in Extremistan than we think...

In NCAA 09 news, the U of H Cougars lost to Florida in the Fiesta Bowl 14-6 (sooo close to tying it up at the end...) but finished the season #10 in the nation, and had a good recruiting season. We're about to start season #2!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: djedi
2008-09-17 08:59 pm (UTC)
The plug-in sounds pretty cool (except for the price tag)! But yeah, hopefully we aren't replacing the Prius anytime soon, so perhaps by the time we do, the price will and battery size will come down!

"The Black Swan" is a good book if you can wade through the stupid parts. His basic gist is that if the cost of something goes to infinity fast enough, then the fact that the probability of it is decreasing doesn't mean the "expected value" is decreasing/zero. In other words, many things in life are not actually Gaussian despite the fact that everybody and their dog is in love with the curve.
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