Water Cooler 2/1/18 Open Thread; Blue Wave Oh Really ?; Gas Engine Roaring Back To Life ?; Google Takes It Up A Notch

watercooler

Looks Like That Blue Wave In The House May Have Broke

If you bet money on the house going to the Democrats  this year you may want to hedge your bet while there is still time.

Republicans are gaining on their Democratic counterparts in the generic House ballot, a new poll published Wednesday found.

Democrats maintain a lead over the GOP on the generic ballot, with 47 percent of registered voters saying they’d support Democratic candidates over Republicans if the election were held today. Forty-five percent of voters would support GOP candidates, according to a Monmouth University Poll.

That latest figures for the generic ballot are a marked shift from December, when 51 percent of voters said they would back Democrats, compared to 36 percent who would cast ballots for Republican congressional candidates.

—Washington Examiner

Things to note, the poll is Republicans vs generic Democrats, the margin of error is 3.5%, and there’s still going to be lots and lots of people finding out about “The Crumbs” from the tax bill.  So for now it looks like the momentum is on the GOP’s side.


Gas Engine Cleaner And More Efficient Than Electric ?

I feel a little guilty about posting this. If I had a dime for every revolutionary engine/corroborator/fuel additive etc story that has come out over the years and wound up being complete B.S. and hype, I’d be able to buy a new car with the dimes. This one demands a look or two though. It’s from a major automaker and it’s about innovations already making their way into production.

Speaking at a tech forum in Tokyo, Mazda powertrain chief Mitsuo Hitomi said that the main goal with Skyactiv-3 is to increase the engine’s thermal efficiency to roughly 56 percent. If achieved, that would make the Skyactiv engine the first internal-combustion piston engine to turn the majority of its fuel’s energy into power, rather than waste due to friction or heat loss.

To date, the most thermally efficient automotive internal combustion engine belongs to Mercedes-AMG’s Formula 1 team, with an efficiency of 50 percent; AMG hopes the F1-derived engine in the Project One street-legal supercar will achieve 41-percent thermal efficiency, which would make it the most thermally efficient production-car engine in history. Automotive News says Mazda’s 56-percent goal would represent a 27-percent improvement over current Mazda engines. Hitomi didn’t provide a timeline for when Skyactiv-3 would reach production, nor did he specify how Mazda hopes to achieve such an improvement.

—Road and Track

Granting the claims as valid, this is a really great example of why having the government pick winners and losers is a bad idea. Technology is complex and the more important a tech is, the more complex it is. Transportation tech isn’t just an engine, it’s numerous interconnected technologies from road building, to logistics, to all the little bits that go into a car to make it work.  When we get bureaucrats deciding what we should use instead of markets, it’s often not about what is best for us, but what is best for people trying to use the government for profit. They aren’t scrying out the next revolutions so much as putting their thumbs on the scale to benefit their friends.


Google Declares War On Conservatives

Going full Orwell, a Google senior VP is declaring war on whistleblowers that report the company’s pattern of harassment towards conservatives. What’s more instead of actually checking what’s going on in his company, he is using an article from Wired as justification.

Google VP Urs Hölzle’s threat follows a recent article on Wired that interviewed Google employees who have been accused in the James Damore lawsuit of discriminating against Caucasian men, who were instead painted as the victims of harassment by the publication—and their whistleblowers as aggressors.

Breitbart reports that in the months following the termination of Google engineer James Damore over a leaked memo that criticized the company’s “diversity” efforts, numerous employees at the company have blown the whistle on the company’s internal goings-on with allegations of threats of violence, harassment, abuse of HR, intimidation, and labor violations.

Following the publication of the Wired story, that piece was reportedly circulated within the company by progressive activists, in an alleged attempt to intimidate their conservative peers from speaking to the press.

Google management, led by Hölzle, is reportedly using the article, which paints conservative and libertarian whistleblowers as “harassers” and “doxers,” to identify and out errant employees and hold them responsible for “reprehensible conduct.”

—Daily Caller

You have to wonder how long it’s going to take them to find people to pretend to be conservatives to give them bigger excuses to crack down.


Drink up That’s it for the Watercooler today. As always it’s an open thread