May 12

The Stonecutters are gonna be pissed.

If you have an E46 BMW 3-series with a blown engine and $15k just lying around, you might be interested in this electric vehicle conversion kit:

At the heart of the system are three banks of non-volatile (fire-proof) lithium-ion phosphate batteries which store 30-35KWh of energy. One pack is located under the hood along with the 500hp motor and its controller (which also handles regenerative braking), the second pack is located under the trunk (in the spare tire area), and the third is located under the car along with the charging system (presumably replacing the gas tank). There are two range options — 100 miles and 180 miles (rated at a constant speed of 65mph) — the latter sacrificing some luggage space in the trunk.

Performance is impressive, at least on paper: 0-60mph in less than 6 seconds with a top speed of over 120mph. The kit provides a generous 300hp and 300ft/lb of torque, matching the specs of BMW’s current 335i. It only takes 2.5 hours to fully charge the batteries from a 60A circuit and the 12KW charging system uses a standard J1772 socket compatible with both Level 1 (110V) and Level 2 (240V) charging stations. Donor cars can be either automatic or manual, the latter usually operating in second gear (and fourth gear on the highway).

As is the case with most new tech, it’s not exactly cost-effective1, but it’s still really cool.

  1. Assuming the nationwide average of 15,000 miles driven per year (which is itself likely high, given the range limitations), premium gas at $4 per gallon and an average of 20 gas-powered MPG,  it would take five years to pay for the kit, not including electric bills or the donor car.
May 12


Back again. Let’s get it:

Jan 12


Honeymoon photos coming soon! Promise.

  • I don’t know if I buy the “Internet is killing serendipity” argument, but this essay makes the case as well as any I’ve read.
  • The history of the reeeeemiiiiiix.
  • Just FYI: “Everyone else is just as bad” isn’t really a good defense, Internet commentariat.
  • Obviously, the answer to “Why do we need SOPA?” is, “We don’t.”
  • Pitchfork’s impact and history. For you lazy-ass TL;DR types: “A Pitchfork review may ignore history, aesthetics, or the basic technical aspects of tonal music, but it will almost never fail to include a detailed taxonomy of the current hype cycle and media environment. This is a small, petty way of thinking about a large art.”
Jan 12

No future (part 2).

At the risk of being hyperbolic1, you should listen to this Titus Andronicus track while reading this Cory Doctorow essay:

As we saw in the copyright wars, all attempts at controlling PCs will converge on rootkits, and all attempts at controlling the Internet will converge on surveillance and censorship. This stuff matters because we’ve spent the last decade sending our best players out to fight what we thought was the final boss at the end of the game, but it turns out it’s just been an end-level guardian. The stakes are only going to get higher.

We haven’t lost yet, but we have to win the copyright war first if we want to keep the Internet and the PC free and open. Freedom in the future will require us to have the capacity to monitor our devices and set meaningful policies for them; to examine and terminate the software processes that runs on them; and to maintain them as honest servants to our will, not as traitors and spies working for criminals, thugs, and control freaks.

I think most people will remain blissfully2 ignorant of this problem–every time Apple releases a new iOS device, people clamor to be allowed into their walled garden, and the piracy, copyright and patent wars3 rate similarly low on people’s priority lists. Which is an extremely long, link-heavy way of saying: “I am very pessimistic.”

  1. But only a little.
  2. And often willfully.
  3. Patents for concepts are especially bad news, as Yglesias lays out in the last two posts.
Jan 12


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