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2017-08-19 06:35 by Karl Denninger
in Energy , 575 references
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Mazda has announced that it has mastered and will produce HCCI gasoline engines, dubbed SkyActiv-X, for their 2019 vehicles.

This has been attempted by car manufacturers for some 30 years, yet tiny Mazda, not Honda, not Chevy, not Ford -- has apparently finally done it.

The value of this breakthrough cannot be overstated.

If it works to anywhere near its promise this breakthrough will utterly destroy the EV industry -- including Tesla -- for light passenger vehicles.

Mazda knows what it has as well -- it has announced that it has no intention of selling these engines to any other vehicle makers.

Let's be clear: This engine and the vehicles it will be deployed in will utterly decimate the EV industry.  The only remaining argument for EVs will be political, not economic or energy-related.  I note that gasoline can be produced from any carbon source desired, which means it's an infinitely-renewable fuel and it has zero range issues since the tank can be refilled in a couple of minutes.  The infrastructure to refuel a gasoline vehicle not only exists everywhere there are literally no places within the United States where you are more than a quarter-tank away from another fueling station on any road you choose to drive.

This will not be true for EVs for decades, if ever.

Further, battery-powered vehicles suffer from an inherent physical infirmity that cannot be overcome -- the reactants for their energy production must all be carried inside the case of the battery.  An ICE, on the other hand, obtains one of its reactants from the atmosphere -- oxygen -- and thus it will always have a massive size and mass advantage.

This in turn means the EV always loses in the total energy budget (from source to the wheels) calculation and it always will because the more mass you must accelerate the more energy is required.  Since you must carry the reactant and product mass with you in a battery all the time you therefore must lose in this regard.

We do not use petrol for fuel because we're pigs -- we do it because nobody can get 114,000 BTUs into a one-gallon liquid container via any other means than liquid hydrocarbons.  To put it more-succinctly, one gallon of gasoline is equivalent to ~33 kilowatt-hours of electrical energy; an "80 kWh" battery, assuming you can use all of it (you can't; depth-of-discharge limits range from 50-85% without damaging the pack) has less than two gallons of gasoline in energy contained in it at full charge and it not only massively outweighs the 12lbs of gasoline (by 100x!) it also consumes many times the physical space.

These are physical laws; they cannot be violated by political decree.

Diesel engines have, under heavier and heavier constraint on both particulate and NOx emissions, been forced to turn to expensive, efficiency-robbing and complex exhaust treatment systems.  These systems make the economic argument for current light-duty diesels impossible.

This problem does not apply to HCCI gasoline engines; traditional catalytic converters with common closed-loop fuel control, as has been available and in-use now for close to 20 years, is sufficient to meet those requirements.

What this means is that 50mpg highway-mileage mid and full-size sedans are now scheduled for production.  A "light" hybrid that can recapture braking energy and use it in city driving (a huge amount of the energy lost in city driving, occurring at relatively low speeds where air resistance is not a major factor, is from braking) will make that sort of mileage possible in the city as well, but whether the additional cost will be worth it is another question -- I suspect the answer is "no."

I note that my current Mazda "6" can break 40mpg on the highway if I keep the speed at or under 65mph (and I have proved it on multiple tanks in the real world) so reaching 50mpg is pretty-much right up the middle in terms of expectations.

I will finally note that in over 110,000 miles of operation to date my current SkyActiv Mazda 6 has required exactly zero in terms of maintenance input other than routine oil and filter changes, plus tires and one set of brake pads.  In other words the argument that the EV will "win" on service costs is flat-out bunk and I have no crazy-expensive battery pack to worry about either.

Put it all together and the bottom line is this: It's coming folks.

You see, this won't be a $30, $40 or $50,000 car -- base models should be right around $20,000 -- with a cost-per-mile of operation nearing if not at the lowest among vehicles on the road today.  Oh, and reports are that it has forced induction via a supercharger and as such the engine both has a higher peak output than the current SkyActiv engines for a given displacement and materially-superior torque as well.

What this means is that there is neither an economic or "green" argument for EVs compared against a vehicle powered by this technology.

Bye-bye Tesla.....

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2017-08-18 08:02 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 134 references
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Point your eyeballs this direction....

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2017-08-17 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 389 references
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This is a pretty-good read, all-in.

“A speed of 22.7 megabytes is simply unobtainable, especially if we are talking about a transoceanic data transfer,” Folden said. “Based on the data we now have, what we’ve been calling a hack is impossible.” Last week Forensicator reported on a speed test he conducted more recently. It tightens the case considerably. “Transfer rates of 23 MB/s (Mega Bytes per second) are not just highly unlikely, but effectively impossible to accomplish when communicating over the Internet at any significant distance,” he wrote. “Further, local copy speeds are measured, demonstrating that 23 MB/s is a typical transfer rate when using a USB–2 flash device (thumb drive).”

I wouldn't go so far as to claim impossible, but I would say "highly unlikely."  The second part of the statement, however, is utterly true -- it is completely consistent with either a SD card or USB flash drive inserted into a computer.

When it comes to Internet transfer of data, remember one thing: You're only as fast as the slowest link in the middle.

There are plenty of places on the Internet with gigabit (that's ~100MegaBYTE per second) speeds.  But you would need such pipes end to end, and in addition, they'd have to be relatively empty at the time you exfiltrated the data.

What's worse is that there is a real bandwidth product delay problem that most "pedestrian" operating systems do not handle well at all.

In other words as latency and number of hops go up, irrespective of bandwidth, there's an issue with the maximum realistically obtainable speed, irrespective of whether there's sufficient available pipe space to take the data.  This is a problem that can be tuned for if you know how and your system has the resources to handle it on some operating systems -- specifically, server-class operating systems like FreeBSD.  But the "common" Windows machine pretty-much cannot be adjusted in this way and it requires expert knowledge to do so.

If that was the end of the evidence it would be pretty compelling.  But it's not.  Just as with Obama's "birth certificate" there is plenty of evidence of amateur hour attempts to frame the Russians in the narrative here, including blatantly-apparent metadata tampering in the files allegedly "stolen" by the Russians.

skilled hacker -- in other words, a Russian who knows what he or she is doing -- would not make that mistake.  They certainly would not make it on a consistent basis across all the documents.  But a clown-car brigade fool trying to frame the Russians certainly would -- not intentionally of course, but rather out of ignorance.

Why would the DNC not use a skilled hacker?  For the same reason a skilled person (with something real to lose) wouldn't forge a birth certificate: They would never take the job, knowing full well that getting caught would at best end their career and might lead directly to a prison cell.

The skilled folks, in short, are intelligent enough to understand the risks in undertaking the task, they know how hard it is to do and not get caught due to accidentally leaving a trace somewhere and in addition they have a lot to lose.  They also tend not to be so arrogant as to think they're the "smartest"; the real deal folks know damn well that no matter how good you are there is always someone better, and that "better" person is capable of catching you.

Is this report the last word on the matter?  No.

But it sure does cast a long shade on the claims of "Russians!" in this alleged "hack."  The simple fact of the matter is that the evidence points to inside exfiltration of the data directly from the physical machines in question, which is no "hack" at all: It's an inside job, performed by someone who had trusted, administrative access, and then doctored the documents later to make it look like Russians.

And, I might add, poorly doctored at that.

PS: Left unsaid in the linked article, but it shouldn't have been, is that if there was an SD card or external USB device plugged into the machine there is an event log from said machine documenting the exact time that said device was attached and detached.  Find that log (or the timestamp on it being erased, which is equally good in a situation like this), match it against the metadata times, and then start looking for security camera footage and/or access card logs for where that machine is and you know who did it with near-certainty, proved by the forensic evidence.

Now perhaps you can explain why the FBI didn't raid the DNC's offices with a warrant, take custody of said logs and go through them to perform this investigation -- which would have pointed straight at the party or parties responsible..... 

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2017-08-15 19:53 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 2780 references
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Let me say this just one more time:

That someone is a Neo-Nazi, a White Supremacist, KKK member or racist does not render them bereft of the First Amendment.  Just as being a member of BLM or the Antifa does not render them bereft of the First Amendment.

It is not acceptable, legal or excusable to meet speech by any such person with violence.


To suggest, state, or advocate that such is the case, or to promote the premise that violence is an appropriate remedy for speech you find vile and outrageous is to declare civil war, because there are others who will likely find your speech vile and outrageous and by your statement you have made the claim that just punishment for speech you deem vile is to be found at the hands of a mob.

The press and now lawmakers are openly advocating for the complete breakdown of civil society -- they are stating by the droves that violence in response to mere speech that one finds offensive yet has the protection of the First Amendment is not only worthy of said violence the person uttering same is not worthy of having their assailants prosecuted or the protection and investigation of the police forces to interdict violence intended for or served upon them.

These people are explicitly refusing to call on the carpet Governor McAuliffe and everyone in the chain of command from the Charlottesville PD upward who were involved in any way in intentionally funneling opposing protesters into each other, knowing that some of them were armed and then allowed said PD to sit back and withdraw when violence occurred.

Let me remind you that not only did the "alt-right" people have a permit the city attempted to revoke it and their action was struck down by a Federal Judge who granted an injunction against the city.  The organizers not only requested and received the promise of public law enforcement support a judge signed an order demanding same -- an order that was then intentionally disobeyed by everyone from McAuliffe on down and, as a direct and proximate result, multiple deaths and myriad injuries occurred.

In fact these same members of the press and lawmakers, who I have now lost count of, are in fact stating that it is perfectly acceptable for the police to intentionally ignore persons initiating and committing violence against those who speak in a way that someone finds offensive, and even worse, to intentionally foment violent confrontations between these groups due to their direct actions and deliberate inactions, and further it is completely acceptable for all of the above law enforcement and civil officials to ignore the lawful orders of a Federal Judge.

May I remind said members of the press, politicians and others that their speech is often found offensive by someone, and that if they advocate for and promote this rank lawlessness and blatantly unconstitutional behavior they will have nobody but themselves to blame when, not if, the nation erupts into violence on a level not seen in America since the 1860s and their homes, businesses and entire cities are sacked by persons who are aggrieved by their mere speech.

I have never in my life believed -- until today -- that we would see such an event in this nation again.

Today I fully expect it to happen and when this outcome occurs it will lay at the feet of the press and lawmakers.

There has only been one person thus far -- President Trump -- with the balls to make the statement in public that violence in response to speech is never acceptable.  For this you excoriate him.

He's right, you're wrong, and your course of action is begging for the literal destruction of our society.

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2017-08-14 14:44 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 1614 references
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What if it's all a scam?

What if Jason Kessler isn't really a right-wing extremist?

What if Jason Kessler used to be involved with Occupy Wall Street and was a strong Obama supporter -- right up until, quite-literally to the day, Trump won the election?

What if he's nothing more than a stooge?

In other words, what if Jason Kessler is just a plain old-fashioned *******-for-hire?


At one recent speech in favor of Charlottesville’s status as a sanctuary city, Kessler live-streamed himself as an attendee questioned him and apologized for an undisclosed spat during Kessler’s apparent involvement with Occupy. Kessler appeared visibly perturbed by the woman’s presence and reminders of their past association.

May I remind you that The Southern Poverty Law Center, the source of the above, is thought of as a fairly hard-left organization.  In other words, it's extremely unlikely they'd try to smear this guy with an unwarranted claim that he was involved with a hard-left cause!  Yet there's the accusation that he was formerly associated with Occupy, a socialist (if not communist) cause that was about as diametrically opposed to the KKK or "alt-right" as one can imagine.

Further, nearly all of the SPLC's documented incidents of his "hard right" behavior appear to date to just after and beyond the 2016 elections.


Again folks: What if all -- or at least most -- of Charlottesville was manufactured by people operating through paid stooges with the explicit intent of fomenting violence -- or worse?

One of the "intended speakers" for that event, I note (no idea if he actually spoke) is someone who has apparently stated that he'd like to see a second Civil War in America.

And finally, what if -- just what if -- Trump knew of this jackass' history when he said that the hate and violence was present "on many sides"?

What if Trump is right and this entire incident was basically manufactured, seeking and utilizing paid stooges to set up a volatile situation which the police not only allowed to turn bad but they appear to have had a hand in intentionally stoking the violent behavior of those present by chasing off the so-called alt-right folks right into the much-larger Antifa crowd?

Oh, sure, the people who were beaten and died still were beaten and died and everyone involved in that -- on both sides -- needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  But it matters quite a bit, I suspect, if the so-called "Nazis" involved in this were paid Nazis -- that is, stooges paid to show up, put on a "uniform" with some sort of "identity" and start trouble.  Further, one must ask: Why were the cops told to stand down, who gave that order along with the order to force the original protesters into the waiting maw of the counter-protesters and what sort of political affiliation does everyone involved in that decision hold?

The job of the police when there are demonstrations (which are lawful, permit or no permit) and counter-demonstrators show up is to keep the two sides apart.  Let them scream at each other across a street if they want; free speech is important, and to be protected.

Intentionally forcing one of the demonstrating groups into and through the opposing group is a felony criminal act and when done by a police officer or officers is a rank violation of federal law -- specifically, 18 USC 242 which makes it a criminal act to deprive anyone in the United States of their lawful Constitutional Rights under power of law or authority.   

Maybe there are a few more (serious) criminal charges that need to be filed than would first appear to be necessary.....

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