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Forum Post: Internal combustion engines and modems have a lot in common.

Posted 11 years ago on May 18, 2013, 8:05 a.m. EST by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I don’t have much follow-up on that just thought the headline was worthwhile. I was reading about how Tesla is worth more than Fiat and if it passes GM by 2022 the CEO gets a big bonus. I remembered when US Robotics was king of the internet, their modems were the best around hands down and their stock was soaring. Then it occurred to me that internal combustion engines are a lot like modems, with the modem it mattered about all kinds of specs, people knew them like CPU speed and memory today people see the computer as an appliance and few care about specs as long as the job gets done. With the internal combustion engine there are all sorts of specs and parts to be proud of, but as Americans move away from believing that their objects define their worth the car will provide less ego and instead just provide go. When this occurs, as it is now, the quite electric car that doesn't require dialing in or dial-up will become the norm, sure as with modems the sticks will be the last to adopt but it will happen.



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[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 11 years ago

Future transportation may well be a composite of no transportation, virtual presence, and digitally directed modular transportation.

With forethought and planning, a number of transportation events have no reason nor any need to take place -- hence, no transportation.

High-bandwidth high-resolution telecommunication can achieve virtual presence obviating any real transportation.

Digitally directed docking techniques will enable personal and cargo pods to coagulate into buses at source hubs and dissolve when the buses reach destination hubs. Containerization of shipping revolutionized global shipping so we can emulate its modular approach by having egg-carton-like buses.

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

isolation could be a side affect, it is already seen in some areas, still I see what you mean

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 11 years ago

Physical isolation can be a really good thing to curb the spread of new and deadly diseases. We do not have to be mentally isolated so the knowledge and technologies to combat the diseases can be imported rapidly.

We have already seen how that had helped in the Fukushima nuclear-meltdown disaster. Of course, it took a long time for the higher-ups there to ask for help but that was a cultural and organizational problem of Japan. We do not have to behave like that in the future if we organize our society differently.

[-] -2 points by wittlelittlecloud (-83) 11 years ago

You use words and expressions in very strange ways that mostly don't work. It makes for nice flourishes, but it doesn't make sense.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 11 years ago

I understand that they are indeed used in very strange ways but that was what it took to express the ideas in technically correct terminologies. It may not make much sense but sense can come out of non-sense upon reflection.

To put the ideas simply, in the future, the need for actually transporting persons and other physical things will be greatly diminished by:

  1. doing away with transportation via thinking,

  2. doing away with transportation via tele-reality, and

  3. the remaining real transportation can be done mostly via module-docking and -undocking techniques akin to how we transport eggs. The key is to make the docking/undocking reliable and smooth.

[-] -1 points by wittlelittlecloud (-83) 11 years ago

No, my point was that your language was not technically correct.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 11 years ago

Can you make the technically incorrect part(s) more specific?

Ideas can transcend the drag of pitiful language -- so yes, I was counting on that. If they can be made clearer, I certainly will try again.

It does not take much information to index every single thing in the whole universe. The information is less than sixteen bytes per thing. In principle, transportation can often become unnecessary if we can characterize things in well-defined categories and trade them in universe-wide exchanges. Those people on the pacific island using giant and heavy stone money did not have to transport their money around much.

[-] 2 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Where does the electricity required to charge up an electric car come from?

[-] -3 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

More and more of it is coming from photostatic reactions. (solar)

The thing is that this is where transportation will go for places where public is not adopted.

Moving the problem to how to make sustainable electricity makes it easier to solve, I know that the fuel cell has many fans but my feeling is that it is more complex and remember the cell is to make electricity which drives the car, golf carts work great, they are simple and hardly ever break down, wait and see I think we will all be driving golf carts one day.

[-] 3 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

I done some work on fuel cells. They are no substitute for the internal combustion engine. The problem is fuel cells run on hydrogen, and since there are no natural sources of hydrogen, hydrogen needs to be produced; the most practical source being from fossil fuels in a reformation process. One ends up with the same stoichiometry as for a fuel combustion process; the costs and efficiencies being about the same. One essentially ends up with something little better than an internal combustion engine.

Solar and wind become the only viable electric sources if one wants to circumvent the problems caused by fossil fuel combustion, or nuclear power. But solar and wind have problems of their own right now. I understand the cost of making a solar panel with today's technology is more than what it produces over its life time.

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Batteries are designed to store energy for later use, they can accept energy at a slow rate and deliver it quickly, there are several ways to address the need to get people from place to place over medium distances. After reviewing work down at Tesla, I am now convinced that battery driven cars with recharge stations, most likely set up by electric companies will be the way individual transportation is achieved going forward. There is already a company that will let you pay a monthly fee and you pick up a car when you need one and drop it off when your done, the first thirty minutes covered by your monthly fee. If they were running electric cars their customers would never have to worry about charging or gassing their car.

Then of course then we have to find better ways to get the electricity on the grid, but I do think the question of what replaces the car when we do run out of gas has been answered and if we move there before we burn all the oil in the world, we just might save our standard of living somewhat.

[-] 2 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

I don't think burning up the worlds gas supply will be the problem that stops us from driving. I think more it will be the possibility of drowning in our guano; the pollution from burning fuels that is.

Either way, some grid power as you describe may likely be the way technology will go. I like the idea, but I'm nervous about the batteries as batteries come with their own environmental disposal problems, and if that is not done right we can have another mess. Hopefully, somebody out there is thinking about that. Of course there is also the option of latching onto a rail which provides power.... Ultimately, I believe the solution includes figuring out how not to drive so much in the first place. Just think; we as a society can cut our energy consumption drastically right now with no new technology, simply by driving less, and driving vehicles with smaller engines slower. We may well all be driving around in low powered golf karts after all.

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds isn't exactly low power, but I get what your saying but there is no support for a nation wide building project that the rail ideal would entail, there is the ideal and there is the possible, this is possible to the point that it will almost certainly happen


[-] -3 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

If you haven't seen it i invite you to the companion piece:


As I recall the modem drove the internet for a couple of decades that's got to equal a hundred years in real world time, which would mean the internal combustion may be nearing an end.



[-] -3 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

each thing, of course, is unique

however, I find the comparison useful for a few reasons, some of which I have referred to another is that i noticed how with the latest type S it is offering a 85 Kwh battery with starting price of $72,000 while in 2010 they had 53 Kwh in smaller car at $109,000, that's the sort of performance/price move we normally see in computers being driven by cheaper batteries, I think they can hit the desirable $20,000 to $30,000 range by maybe 2020 at this rate, then this whole thing could explode, high speed electrical charging stations would be very profitable for utilities and they are always looking for places to throw cash.

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 11 years ago

Most electricity is the US is generated via the burning of fossil fuels. The only by-products of the burning of hydrogen (the most abundant element in the universe) is oxygen and water.

[-] -3 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

right now it takes more electric power to separate hydrogen than you can get from burning it, so it sort of works for fuel cells when mobile power is needed, but as a way to make grid power, it just doesn't work. Still battery storage is more efficient to store the power than making hydrogen then making electricity via fuel cell.

[-] -2 points by HCabret (-327) 11 years ago

It is physically impossible to separate hydrogen. Do you mean oxygen or carbon or something else?

[-] -1 points by wittlelittlecloud (-83) 11 years ago

Your comparison is flawed.

People used to care about modem and computer specs when they were so low that it affected productivity. Computers can now display all colors and are fast enough that it doesn't hurt the application's use. Still, some people care about specs like video editors who need fast machines for renders.

People who care about engine specs care about them for a whole other reason. If it was like modems and computers, that the engine specs limited the use of the vehicle, the solution would simply be to make faster and stronger combustion engines until they would be sufficient enough for the application. However, they have been sufficient since a very long time. Actually, most car engines have degraded from V8 to V6.

The thing that will push us towards electrical solutions is not spec problems of combustion engines. It's the fact that they pollute the environment a great deal.

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Even a failed attempt to understand will exercise the mind, thanks for stopping by.

You focus on speed when it is the cost of transportation that is determinate. The speed is set by law, as far as specs they are marketing, which is already falling by the wayside, in both the computer and transportation areas.

[-] -2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 11 years ago

Cars as we know them are relics yet to crumble away. 8, 6 cylinders, V, straight or rotary, ridiculous! Obsolete! Just milking every last drop of sucker $$ they can suck up! The real question is, how are we going to repair all of our cities now that we have contorted them into car-centric hells??

W up there is suspiciously similar to various disturbing incarnations of a troublemaker(s) that have infected this site, and more than once convinced some I was him, so it's not me, and watch out.

NOW: What's going on with this site??? Is this the end or construction???

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

The site is an organic creature grown from the experiment that is/was OWS within it are contained the seeds of destruction of the current 1% ruled system but mining that information will be the job of generations. There are always many dead ends in any evolutionary process, perhaps OWS will be another of those, but then there are other things that do survive in one form or another, I believe the ideas discussed here have merit, or I wouldn't be here.

[-] -2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 11 years ago

...or a pied piper trek off a politically irrelevant cliff?

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

evolutionary dead ends do occur, but it is the nature of things that the successful models grow in number/strength there are truths being discussed here and such things are independent of the messengers

[-] -2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 11 years ago

Let's hope.

[Perhaps] the "creature" was conceived with good intent, but the execution smacks of Jujitsu friendly fire. Coincidences are tween dreams. If we want to make use of the "truths" here, we'd better make like bears and snatch them while they swirl by before they disappear down this exceptionally well appointed relevancy drain.

Until the anesthesia runs out or someone creates an anecdote, our creature/experiment of reform remains a virtual "Free" Speech Zone/landfill.


[-] -2 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 11 years ago

Media conditioning and corporate dominance make lots of un needed travel. Recognize that, and the electric load of charging is justified.

When the abridging of free speech ends, we will see media get real with their conditioning.

[-] -1 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

Clarity of thought would also be useful.

[-] 0 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 11 years ago

So conservation means nothing? If everyone bought teslas tomorrow, gov would have to build nuclear power plants and coal generation in order to charge the cars.

Your unconscious practice of corporatist consumerism is not logical.

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

ahh did you run out of words? had to use mine? well there there now don't cry, but getting to this comment....

your attempts at trolling are soooo cute it does make me smile, I'll give you that...

I'd counter your arguments but really you haven't said shit as of yet.

[-] 0 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 11 years ago

Attitude might work in your social circles, but what you show is that you have'nt a clue as to the impacts of everyone switching energy sources for transportation.

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

I know you are, but what am I?

Really you pull this kind of shit in your "social circle" do you?

Do you really want a government so powerful it can tell you exactly where you have to live.

[-] -1 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 11 years ago

Juvenile rebuttal gets no where.

Article V is about protecting rights and freedoms, or the people controlling government.

Because we have not had ART5, government seeks to enslave us through its corporate partners.

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

and yet your comments say you want government to have even more control over people's lives, my rebuttal was too considered for your debate

[-] -1 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 11 years ago

You cannot show where I advocate gov have more control over us.

The reverse is true. aRT5 is where we control gov.

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

How would you get people to live in these high density cities of which you speak, if people want to live in high density they would be, you say we don't need transportation because people should live differently, how do you cause that to happen without government involvement? I know you don't pay attention to what you say as that's not your purpose, but really man you should have some clue as to your line of thought.

[-] 0 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 11 years ago

You were supposed to show where I advocate more gov control over us. You did not.

People only live in the cities because that is all they know. Zoning is the problem. Once it started it has been used to create idillic environs for the 1%. It started with obnoxious industry under corporate control. That was way before environmental concerns.

Now we know some industry should not happen at all. We can phase it out while people learn other ways of living.

It does not, and will not happen all at once.

We have to make models and test them to see what works best then reace the dysfunctional with that.

[-] -2 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

who is this magical "we' you speak of? who creates this "zoning" that will fix our transportation problems? You advocate minute government control with every comment.

[-] 0 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 11 years ago

You intentionally misinterpret. We fix our own transportation problem by CONTROLLING government. We eliminate unneeded zoning by changing our industrial methodology and our distribution technique.

[-] -3 points by factsrfun (8310) from Phoenix, AZ 11 years ago

again I ask who is this "we" you of? you and the mouse in your pocket? if it is not government? you claim alcohol has been banned from advertising then demonstrate you compete lack of logic or any understanding of the topic at all, you come here and talk about a compete realignment of the way people live in order to flame the post, yet the comment you make, makes no sense at all, of course you don't really want more government control, but what you want has no bearing on your comments because that purpose there is to be a jerk, which you are marginally acceptable at, I guess everybody has got to something,

[-] -2 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 11 years ago

You have not shown I advocate more Government control.

I have shown how the principles of the constitution are expressed through advertsing bans on addictive, destructive substances. I have also shown that the highest human principles, love and understanding are enabled by free speech.

Sad you view the needed changes of sustainable culture and society in the way you do as an imposition.