Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

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The reason some popular posts are tagged ‘no title’ is not because they have no title—they all do—but because the old Blogger embedded the title at the top of text, and the new software does not see that. You can see the titles in capitals at the start of each snippet. (It would be nice if Blogger introduced an upgrade program that could fix this little problem.)

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Friday, 2 September 2005

Neil, who as it happens has seen and been told more of the design of the EStarCar than anyone else, and was impressed by how extraordinarily flexible and customisable it is, and thus how infinitely it could and would be modified once out on the road, observed that it was rather like Linux. Which may be true-ish. The heart of the car, what makes it go and stop and change direction is fixed. It has to be for safety, but the rest--the shape, the look and feel of the user-interface, the dimensions, the number of wheels and motors, the accoutrements, etc--can be whatever owners want to make them, or have made. Traditional cars are customisable, true, but for them it is the exception. With the EStarCar it is the rule.

So if the Linux kernel does not change much, and most of the enhancements are more out in the user-interface areas, speaking extremely broadly, Neil's analogy would be reasonable. Up to a point, hence that 'true-ish.' For with a car, you cannot publish any old enhancements and download them. Try that with a wheelcap, for instance. Difficult. Not enough bandwidth ;-) Even with the software it would be problematical, because a hacker could kill people. So the only software that that could ever apply to would be in add-on entertainment systems--only the stuff that does not power, steer, stop or otherwise control the vehicle.

But people could certainly share, build, enhance, download designs for bodies, right down to tiny structural details, designs in which certified engineers and engineering companies could share, so that you could go to a body-maker and get your desires turned into alloy in the comfortable knowledge that it would get the official stamp.

At the top of this posting I said 'out on the road.' Ooops! The EStarCar is so morphable that the road, or solid surfaces, are not its only beat. So revise that. Out there...