The Speculist: FastForward Radio


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FastForward Radio

Phil Bowermaster, Stephen Gordon, and Michael Darling covered a lot of ground with this show.

dark knight.jpg

They talked about The Dark Knight film, the hybrid bridge to electric vehicles, how a Blue Ray player makes regular DVD's look better, and they took a shot at figuring out how an electron can be two places at once.

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The topics:

  • The Dark Knight

    The movie was a successful combination of a gritty cop story, a James Bondesque spy story, a post-911 terrorism story, and a Horror movie. And, oh yeah, it was also a superhero movie.

    Stephen thought it was so good he wondered how they could go forward with the series. How could a Penguin story possibly compare? Sure there will be sequels, but what more is there to say? Nevertheless, it was worth it to get this movie.

    Here's the final trailer:

  • The hybrid bridge to all-electric vehicles:

    The chairman of Tesla Motor Company, Elon Musk, argues that hybrids are not the future - all-electric is where we're going. Your hosts agreed that electric car problems of range, refuel time, and infrastructure will be solved during the transitional hybrid era. They also agreed that this could be a relatively short bridge - a decade or so - to an all-electric transport era.

  • Researchers have controlled the position of a single electron in a silicon circuit.

    An international team of researchers has shown that it can control the quantum state of a single electron in a silicon transistor--even putting the electron in two places at once. Their discovery could help pave the way toward a practical quantum computer.

  • The Washington Post interview with President and CEO of Phillip Swan about the HD/DVD war. Part of what they got into was the fact that standard DVD's can be made to look better with the right equipment.

Our front bumper is a sample of Marginal Prophets' "The Difficult Song."

Our exit music this week is from Lato. The song is "Hollywood for You."

Don't miss the FastForward music compilation:

The Best of Sunday Night Music, vol. 1

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We love audience participation. If you'd like to call in to the show, or get in on the FastForward Radio text chat, listen live! FastForward Radio goes live again next Sunday night:

10:00 Eastern/9:00 Central/8:00 Mountain/7:00 Pacific.

Get all the details at Blog Talk Radio. While there, check out the past shows in the archive.

We want your comments! Please leave your questions, suggestions, corrections, praise, or criticism in the comments section below.


My answers for a few questions:

* Why weren't the big companies do the electric cars?

Same reason big companies don't do all kinds of thing: too much risk. Lots of literature talks about how large companies traditionally become very risk averse.

* For the whole 100 mile electric car thing.

People value time a LOT. It's why many people still drive 70+ with gas at the cost it is; their time is worth more.

I couldn't have done my mini-vacation to a 250 mile away vacation spot this weekend if I had to spend 5 hours waiting for a battery.


I agree that risk aversion is an important reason big corpAmerica hasn't innovated more on ev's and other things.

As for the value of time- I agree that people appear to value it a lot. But I would predict that if the added expense of cruising at 80mph (the norm here in Colorado) instead of 60 were visible and large enough- people would slow down.

And while your 250 mile mini-vacation was only doable because refueling/range were not large impositions, I'd argue that if the fuel expense differential was large enough- it would overcome the range/recharge discomfort.
Example- say the ev range was just enough for half- 125 miles.
A driver could preposition a second battery pack at the halfway point- if the swap could be done briefly (Midas has a new biz) - pack 1 gets charged and is ready on the way home.

Or that kind of trip might become a thing of the past.
But I think 250 mile ev range is just around the corner- though your point would stand for "commonly taken now but longer than ev range car trip". I think it can be addressed by an EV...if it's cheap enough.

Oh, also what I wanted to mention about that location was that it's a vacation spot that is used in a manner that a lot like the way I described in this area.

People have vacation homes there are use the area for small vacations to just get away for a long weekend.

So if travel increases by say 5 hours ( to this destination that takes about 5 total right now ), the entire area would suffer a lot, as almost the entire area revolves around this.

I'm also sure a lot of other eastern coastal cities have things like this.

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