Friday, February 22, 2013
Driverless Cars Possible NOW
£5,000 Self Driving Car System Uses Off the Shelf Parts and can be added to any Regular Car
The Oxford University’s Mobile Robotics Group (MRG) RobotCar is a modified Nissan LEAF. Lasers and cameras are subtly mounted around the vehicle and taking up some of the boot space is a computer which performs all the calculations necessary to plan, control speed and avoid obstacles. Externally it's hard to tell this car apart from any other on the road. It is designed to take over driving while traveling on frequently used routes.
The MRG team sees an immediate future in production cars modified for autonomous driving only part of the time on frequently driven routes. They estimate that the cost of the system can be brought down from its current £5,000 ($7700) to only £100 (US$155).
Post production refitting of anything is far more expensive than doing it on the production line and computerisation follows Moore's Law on capcity cost, so the £100 addition per new car seems ambitious but feasible.
And the timescale is NOW.
Which means that the only thing that will stop it is government preventing it or requiring a man with a red flag to walk in front, as a previous British government did, making Britain a late developer in motor transport.
The potential effects of fully automated roads are almost beyond comprehension. What individual or industry will not finmd life considerably easier; how many deaths and injuries will be prevented; how many Mary Whitehouses will blame the deprevity of today's youth on it? And will we have it legalized before Zimbabwe?
==================== Driverless cars are just another major human expansion brought on by research done to win prizes. The canning industry (Naploeon's food preservation prize; plastics and film (celluloid), Australia, NZ & most of the Pacific (longitude prize), much of the aircraft industry etc. Just about the only thing on Earth that has more potential than driverless cars, shale gas, or nuclear power is government deciding to accept the principle that they should use the excess wealth created by inventors to fund X-Prizes.
Labels: ecnomic growth, Science/technology, X-Prizes
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Alex Orr Shows How The Scottish Papers Censor and Lie
"While the party has had success south of the Border, where the majority want the UK to leave the EU, in Scotland this position is reversed. While UKIP in England has forced Mr Cameron into an In-Out referendum on UK membership of the EU, its isolationist agenda has only ever seen it inhabit the fringes of Scottish politics, where it is destined to remain."
The fact is that he is a board member of the European Movement, also an SNP activist actively supporting all SNP policies.
He has never revealed that he is Managing Director of Orbit Communications, which is a public relations and public affairs specialist.
They have done PR work for numerous wind turbine developers.
They have also worked for Renewables UK "the voice of wind and marine energy".
It once again confirms that wind developers have the financial clout to hire such companies as Orbit Communications.
Not surprisingly Orbit are also members of the government financed wind propaganda machine Scottish Renewables.
Should Mr Orr's future letters not carry a "health warning"??
We don't know whether Alex Salmond's SNP pays for Alex Orr's avalanche of pro-SNP letters on the supposed benefits of the EU and how wind turbines will save the planet. Possibly not., but if not would anybody bet that Alex salmond's SNP government is giving him a lot more lucrative taxpayer funded contracts beyond just the windmill ones.
In any case it is inconceivable that experienced journalists at these papers are in any ignorance that he is not simply an ordinary reader.
Neither paper has allowed any reply. This is the one I sent, but even if they thought mine too truthful to publish they could have chosen another.
"Alex Orr is entitled to his opinion that UKIP are wasting our time standing in Scotland. However for propriety he should, in this and the other letters he regularly gets published in the Scottish press, acknowledge that his is not the opinion of an ordinary reader but of an SNP activist and managinmg director of a PR company working for various "renewables" subsidy receiving firms. If he doesn't the papers that host him certainly should.
Fortunately in a democracy nobody is obliged to take advice not to stand.
Parties should be judged on their policies. The SNP support an "ever closer" EU; "100% renewables" by 2015 and thus ever rising energy bills; ever more bans; the catastrophic global warming scare story; increasing immigration; more job destroying regulation; opposition to free markets; & opposing referendums.
UKIP stand against the EU which costs Britain £150bn a year; for lower energy bills & thus also for ending the recession; for inmexpensive unsubsidised shale gas and nuclear rather than expensive subsidy driven windmills; for economic freedom as more successful than political control of the economy; for exposing the catastrophic warming scare as the fraud it is; for rolling back the smoking ban to allow smoking rooms; for not banning other things; for an independence referendum on the EU; for not being part of the EU's Shengen agreement pushing more immigration; and a general right of referendums to stop the politicians pushing through things the public don't support.
If mr orr honestly believes in your party's policies (which I grant are mainly also the policies of thje LabConDems) he should promote them honestly and we will promote ours.
The Rutherglen council by election on Thursday, where UKIP got twice the Green vote and only 17 short of the Tories shows we have some way to go but that we are moving fast in the right direction."
A letter based on all but the first 2 paragraphs also went out to the other papers. They weren't published either. A comment I put on the online Herald didn't appear either (the Scotsman having long ago banned me for not keeping silent about the dissection of living people in Kosovo. I have put up this new comment and will await its appearance or otherwise. "It is regretable and arguably a sign of a lack of journalistic integrity that while both the Herald and Scotsman publish the same vitriolic letter (which makes no attempt to address the difference between his employers' and UKIP's policies) from this professional PR representative of the "renewables" industry, the SNP and the EU, both papers have declined to publish any reply from UKIP supporters (including mine).
Perhaps both papers should just let the SNP/EU/Windmill salesmen write all their letters and provide all statements from "members of the public" thus cutting out the middleman."
Labels: Media, UKIP, Unpublished letters
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Ofgem Apparatchik Admits We Can't Keep Lights On Without Generating Capacity and Blames Nobody
The energy watchdog predicts power station closures could mean a 10% fall in capacity by April alone.
Mr Buchanan has said the UK needs more gas supplies to fill the shortfall....
The BBC's John Moylan says that, while we have heard such warnings before, the difference with this one is that the process is already underway. Plants are already closing, and although planning permission for new ones is out there, nothing is actually being built."
Thank Ghod for shale. We clearly need it not merely to stop the economy collapsing but to prevent mass deaths. If prizes could play a part in getting new capacity up in a year (the main part would be getting rid of the "planning" restrictions) it is worth bringing it to people's attention, even our blinkered opponents.
And then the Ofgem chief justifies his pay by showing his loyalty to his paymasters
"There isn't a single person or people to blame. In my view it was a single event - the financial crisis. Before the financial crisis the government had backed a a visionary approach to energy on wind, water and nuclear... then came the financial tsunami."
When (A) without a recession energy demand would have been greater, (B) without the Luddism there would have been no recession (C) he is, of course, deliberately lying about wind and water ever doing anything useful.
As I said a few days ago we could build new gas plants and extract enough shale gas to fuel them in a year if we combined getting rid of almost all planning restrictions and gave relatively small X-prizes for early production.
That means we could not only keep the lights on but sharply reduce electricity prices and get out of recession any time the corrupt thieving murdering fascist parasites of the LabNatConDem parties wanted it.
Variants on this have been round the political wheel before and nobody in any of these parties in any way deny that the programme would work, would save thousands of lives and would end the recession. Nor do they have any interest in doing so.
Thus I don't think any of them can credibly deny that the parties they support are indeed corrupt, thieving, murdering fascist parasites. In the spirit of informing blinkered opponents this will go out to them and I'll let you know if any do.
Labels: British politics, Cheap Energy, Government parasitism, X-Prizes
Monday, February 18, 2013
Unpublished Letter - Reply to the Replies to My Letter in the Metro
This is my reply which they didn't print. Not really upset at that since the Metro letters page is not really attuned to long debates on politics (though to-and-fros on starlets are common.
A good range of answers on Wednesday by SNP supporters to my calling their party subsidy junkies. But no disproof.
Most relied on saying that the government has to pay for electricity stations or nobody will buy electric cars. Petrol stations never got government funding but somehow the petrol car industry prospered nonetheless. Even John Curtis, former head of low carbon vehicles and fuels at Transport Scotland, said that because recharging takes 3 hours “Honestly, no, I don’t think they will get used"
.If practical, electric cars would not need such subsidies to prosper, and in fact electric cars get several other subsidies apart from the £43,000 per car I mentioned. It is only "industries" that cannot attract real paying customers that depend on politician's hand outs.
Scottonfire may think it is "well known" that Scotland is out of recession. Less well known is that the Scottish figures are several months behind the UK ones. Several months ago Cameron was announcing the recession over, as the SNP now are. What odds that like him, in a few months they will be announcing it is back on?
"Electrical engineer" is equally wrong to say that coal prices are driving electricity price rises. In fact there is a world glut in coal and prices, after adjusting for inflation, are at a historic low. Coal and nuclear, and in America shale gas, provide reliable power at as little as 1/10th of what windmills do.
I also agree with Mobil-D that we should be building practical electricity capacity. Cockenzie power station will close in 2015 due to new EU emission standards, Peterhead has also lost some capacity for that reason. Torness and Hunterston are due to close in 2023 leaving us with no large supplier of electricity baseload (windmills being intermittent cannot provide baseload).
Economists know that nothing is as closely linked to economic growth as growth (or in our case reduction) of energy use. Scotland has enough shale gas to provide inexpensive power for at least many centuries. It is simply that we have politicians across Holyrood not just in the SNP (but none in my party UKIP) who would rather devote their time to potty subsidies than to letting us end the recession.
References - low cost of coal (due to Chinese slowdown) http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-04/coal-prices-to-fall-in-2013-as-china-economy-cools-ihs-says-1-.html
Known shale gas reserves for 1500 years, with map showing the Lowlands of Scotland well supplied. http://www.thegwpf.org/good-true-britain-shale-gas-1500-years/
I would understand if you felt you had to remove the reference to my party in the 2nd last line, but I hope you don't
Scottish government apparatchik, promoter of electric car power points saying "Honestly, no they won't get used" http://www.scotsman.com/edinburgh-evening-news/transport/fears-electric-car-charging-posts-will-go-unused-1-2778353
Labels: eco-fascism, letters, Scottish politics
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Cheap Power In A Year-18 Months
Which shows that we are about 10 years behind the US in shale gas production, but also how fast the tap can be turned on - - basically from under 1 to over 7 trillion cubic feet in 4 years.
Remember also that this was not done with the US pulling out all the stops but with Obama in charge, a man publicly committed to opposing the development of the energy industry (except for the state subsidised windmill industry). It is simply that in the US government, particularly central government, has less power and individual states have chosen to allow market freedom.
Natural gas based electricity generators have regularly been built in 18 months so that is a maximum. I would suspect that iff the paperwork were cut (or excluded\) and incentives provided for speedy building we could have new megawatt generators up in a year.
And that we could have serious amounts of shale gas being delivered in the same time.
If this industry could have grown twice as fast without Obama and the bureaucracy's "help" in America and if our government were to actively promote it and take advantage of the fact that the learning how to do it has already been done, then we could grow 4 times faster than the US industry has and catch up in 3 years.
How to do it.
First and most important get government out of the way - let gas mining outside built up areas and anywhere sufficiently un-beautiful that a windmill has been considered within 20 miles start tomorrow. Let building of new gas power generators start next week - they also don't infringe on senic beauty remotely as much as the "environmentalists" windmills do.
Second - active promotion. Put up an assorted few £10s of millions in prizes: £5 million to the first well to extract 1 million cubic feet, 10 million; 100,000; first online gas generator of 600 MW or more; half that for the 2nd prize, half again for 3rd.
Third - a major disincentive we could get rid of at any time would be, as Bishop Hill points out, that potential generating comapnies are told they will have to switch off their generators any time the windmillers are actually able to provide something because they have to get the chance to seel their expensive electricity to us in first prefernce to the cheap, reliable, power shale gas can provide.
That would do it.
Total - about £40 million - when our government is saying we have to spend £200 billion on windmills.
Set a target of 23% growth in electricity supply per year for the immediate future and until it has been surpassed keep the regulations as light and the prizes coming.
With gas prices dropping by 3/4as as they have in the US and thus the price of gas made electricity dropping at least half and gas already being about 40% of the cost of the basket of generation we use (ie everything else costs 40% and wind then takes billions extra) we should expect electricity costs to drop to not more than 20% of current - and if economists know anything, demand and thus the economy to keep growing well beyond four fold.
Labels: Cheap Energy, Science/technology, X-Prizes