Tech Tuesday 04/15/19 – “Taxes In The US Are So Stupid” Edition

Oscar Gordon

A Navy Turbine Tech who learned to spin wrenches on old cars, Oscar has since been trained as an Engineer & Software Developer & now writes tools for other engineers. When not in his shop or at work, he can be found spending time with his family, gardening, hiking, kayaking, gaming, or whatever strikes his fancy & fits in the budget.

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16 Responses

  1. J_A says:


    From the article

    “”The market for renewable energy isn’t going away, ….,” she said.”

    Understatement of the dayReport

  2. Slade the Leveller says:

    [TT2] Cat’s Cradle on the other end of the thermometer.Report

  3. Oscar Gordon says:

    Related to TT01 – Vox does not disappoint. Nothing said in here is incorrect, but the music, and what is not talked about speaks volumes about the reporters intention.Report

  4. Doctor Jay says:

    [TT7] I keep wondering these days when the talk turns to flying cars about air traffic. How do we regulate this airspace? How do we cope with congestion? Will we require a pilot’s license to fly a flying car? The airlanes from SF to San Jose are already pretty crowded. And for a good portion of them, you can’t go higher because you will interfere with the restricted approaches to SFO and SJC.

    I mean, yeah, the technology seems cool, but can we actually make better use of it than we do a helicopter? Apparently the fuel use profile is encouraging, actually better than a shuttle bus? Even an electric shuttle bus?Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      Airspace crowding for airliners is very different from airspace crowding for small VTOL craft. VTOL craft will need more separation that a car on the road, but considerably less than airliners in approach and departure lanes. And small VTOLs will never operate in the cruise lanes of airliners. I wouldn’t be surprised if the FAA gave such things a hard ceiling of 2000′ (maybe 3000′ for larger vehicles?) and severely restricted their operation around airports.

      As for piloting, that is the kicker. These will have to be largely auto-piloted. How that is going to work, and what kind of traffic control will be employed… yeah, that’s got a ways to go.

      As an aside, if such VTOLs became popular, I’d expect we’d see the decline and closure of a great many small airstrips. The ones that are currently kept alive through fees on air travel because it’s politically expedient to do so (or such airstrips would be re-purposed into recharge way-stations).Report

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if the FAA gave such things a hard ceiling of 2000′…

        How loud are these things going to be? My city’s municipal code sets decibel limits on the amount of noise that can be created in residential areas. (The police do literally respond to some noise complaints with a decibel meter and then issue a citation.) What’s the aggregate noise level going to be for a steady stream of VTOLs flying overhead at something less than 2,000 ft?Report

        • Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

          Depends on the design. Put the props in ducts, and they are pretty quiet at a distance, since all the noise of a prop is at the blade tip.

          If they become popular, you can employ whisper quiet prop and ducting designs (they are more expensive, which is why none of the early designs or prototypes use them).Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      It’s a lot easier to regulate when everything is a drone that operates under central control.

      People talk about “flying cars” like they’ll get in and operate it entirely themselves, the way we run automobiles, and it’s just not gonna be like that.Report

  5. Murali says:

    The thing I’ve wondered about flying cars is how traffic might be managed. If we’re confining people to a set number of clearly marked routes, then you’re going to get traffic jams. If you’re not confining people to a set number of clearly marked routes. You’re going to get lots of accidents. Keeling eyes on side mirrors and blindspots is one thing. Looking out for traffic from up and down as well? I don’t see this going well at all. Being the only one up in the air is cool. Having 9 999 other maniacs up there with you is an absolute nightmare.Report

  6. dragonfrog says:

    [TT6] I recently had a few hours to wait downtown in Calgary, so I went to the library. It is truly amazing. I stepped in the front door and stopped, wide-eyed. I pulled out my phone, took photos, and then looked over to see other people who’d just come in the building, also wide-eyed and photographing.

    If I lived or worked near downtown Calgary, I’d sure spend a lot of time there. Our downtown library here in Edmonton is also being extensively rebuilt, and I look forward to the finished product. I doubt it’ll win any architecture awards, but I think it’ll be pretty cool.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to dragonfrog says:

      Now you make me wish I’d visited the library when I was in Calgary some years ago.Report

      • dragonfrog in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        The library that won the architecture award is under a year old. The old library was a totally unremarkable beige cube of a building. Generic six or so storey building that will probably become offices or condos now. Pleasant enough, because library, but nothing to go out of one’s way to see.

        I didn’t actually know there was a new library, and had just meant to go to the library as a place where I could sit down and read for a few hours before catching my bus, since it was cold enough I didn’t feel like going for a walk. Getting to see this beautiful , airy, inviting secular cathedral was a total surprise.Report

  7. dragonfrog says:

    [TT7] is a pretty weird way to compare.

    I mean, to get the VTOL to come out looking better, they had to compare the emissions per passenger-kilometer for 4 occupants in a VTOL vs 1.54 occupants in a car.

    If you were going to drive somewhere alone, and want to reduce emissions by even more than taking a fully occupied VTOL, car-pool in a regular car.Report