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chwe

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What do you guys think about the statements Linus Thorvalds made last week about ARM?
"Linux kernel king Linus Torvalds this week dismissed cross-platform efforts to support his contention that Arm-compatible processors will never dominate the server market."
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/02/23/linus_torvalds_arm_x86_servers/?fbclid=IwAR0XJwGOEPjQofKo-FI38an3GrGVptbfJGhKFnAcnKOY3PKG_w3vQPv1gLs

Some of the most important things in the article.
"Some people think that 'the cloud' means that the instruction set doesn't matter," Torvalds said in a forum post. "Develop at home, deploy in the cloud. That's bullshit. If you develop on x86, then you're going to want to deploy on x86, because you'll be able to run what you test 'at home' (and by 'at home' I don't mean literally in your home, but in your work environment)."


"For Torvalds, it may be that supporting Arm architecture complicates kernel development, demanding more work and creating more potential issues to resolve."

"The scarcity of developers running Arm devices for their daily work helps ensure Arm architecture won't come to dominate the server market, the kernel chief seemed to say."

"and Torvalds reckons the Arm world is doing itself no favors by lacking Arm-based computers on which developers and admins can toil away before flinging their work at an Arm-powered server."

""Cross-development is mainly done for platforms that are so weak as to make it pointless to develop on them," insisted Torvalds."

"Not everyone agrees with this. Redis creator Salvatore Sanfilippo, a.k.a. antirez, in a post to Hacker News contends that most developers "don't care about environment reproducibility at architecture level." Supporting Arm architecture on Redis, he insisted, was fairly simple."

 

"While Torvalds's observations may have been true in the past, they fail to anticipate the possibility of change. Apple is said to be preparing to introduce Arm-based Macs in 2020, and its iOS hardware lineup relies on its homegrown Arm-compatible CPU cores. Microsoft is supporting Arm development for Windows 10 apps. Qualcomm, which is designing laptop-class Arm system-on-chips, has said that it's working on an Arm port of Google Chrome for Windows 10 Arm laptops."

""I still will hold judgement until we actually see widely available hardware that people actually can use for development and deployment," he said. "I've just seen too many promises and 'released' hardware that never went anywhere and nobody really had reasonably available. … But hey, maybe they'll surprise me.""
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Article is done here...........................
Not that much information is to be found in the article. I would have liked to know what the outcome is of this.

 

Does this sentence "Linux kernel king Linus Torvalds this week dismissed cross-platform efforts to support his contention that Arm-compatible processors" mean he stops his efforts or that he's just not happy about it?

Does Linux need the support of Linus to be able to break thru on arm? Does Linux need ARM to be able to break thru?
Do you guys agree that ARM isn't going to make it in mainstream desktop pc's/servers?
I find it strange he's making these comments now while so much work is being done for server grade ARM chips.
Or has Intel payed him a few millions just to say these things to counter their own problems?
Could this have implecations for Armbian?
I'd like to hear your opinions. Cheers

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You probably should link to the original post cause the Register tends to be a bit....

https://www.realworldtech.com/forum/?threadid=183440&curpostid=183486

 

His statements in the whole context sound a way more reasonable:

Quote

Guys, do you really not understand why x86 took over the server market?

It wasn't just all price. It was literally this "develop at home" issue. Thousands of small companies ended up having random small internal workloads where it was easy to just get a random whitebox PC and run some silly small thing on it yourself. Then as the workload expanded, it became a "real server". And then once that thing expanded, suddenly it made a whole lot of sense to let somebody else manage the hardware and hosting, and the cloud took over.

besides a few SBCs, ARM SoCs are 'only' found in Android, where power-consumption matters a way more (it matters for servers as well but it's not the 'main' thing, whereas for mobiles it is).. Routers etc. are mostly driven by MIPS. Intel tried once (with throwing a bunch of money into it) to enter the android world but they horribly failed and canceled more or less their low consumption small chips...

 

Quote

Without a development platform, ARM in the server space is never going to make it. Trying to sell a 64-bit "hyperscaling" model is idiotic, when you don't have customers and you don't have workloads because you never sold the small cheap box that got the whole market started in the first place.

and that is actually true, Armbians buildscript is also x86 only, cause it might be hard to find good build servers to natively build our images on ARM.

Quote

The price advantage of ARM will never be there for ARM servers unless you get enough volume to make up for the absolutely huge advantage in server volume that Intel has right now. Being a smaller die with cheaper NRE doesn't matter one whit, when you can't make up for the development costs in volume. Look at every ARM server offering so far: they were not only slower, they were more expensive!

Price matters.. The more volume, the lower the price.. See (android) TV-boxes.. where intel has no chance to enter the market..

Quote

And btw, calling this an "unixoid" mindset is just showing what a total disconnect to reality you have, and how stupid your argument is. Unix lost. Yes, it lives on in the shape of Linux, but Unix lost not just to Linux, but to Windows. In fact, arguably it lost to windows first.

Why? Same exact reason, just on the software side. In both cases. Where did you find developers? You found them on Windows and on Linux, because that's what developers had access to. When those workloads grew up to be "real" workloads, they continued to be run on Windows and Linux, they weren't moved over to Unix platforms even if that would have been fairly easy in the Linux case. No, that was just unnecessary and pointless work. Just continue to deploy on the same platform.

well, I quoted this one just cause it's funny. :P

Quote

Exact same issue on the software side as with the hardware. Cross-development is pointless and stupid when the alternative is to just develop and deploy on the same platform. Yes, you can do it, but you generally would like to avoid it if at all possible.

 

End result: cross-development is mainly done for platforms that are so weak as to make it pointless to develop on them. Nobody does native development in the embedded space. But whenever the target is powerful enough to support native development, there's a huge pressure to do it that way, because the cross-development model is so relatively painful.

I programmed once my calculator, it was painful cross-platform an on itself.. But that's more related to the capabilities of it.. I think @JMCC is one of the few here who compiles debian packages on the SBCs itself (except @wtarreau)..

 

and followup:

https://www.realworldtech.com/forum/?threadid=183440&curpostid=183500

 

Quote

Which is why I've been so adamant about asking for ARM developer boxes (not "development boards" - those are for hardware people).

make a nice case and don't tell him that there's a pinheader on it, maybe he don't see a difference.. :ph34r::lol:

 

Don't get me wrong, willy's buildfarm (https://www.cnx-software.com/2019/01/07/nanopi-neo4-build-farm-rk3399-overclocking/) is great, but not everyone wants to build such a farm just to avoid cross-compiling.

 

4 hours ago, NicoD said:

Does this sentence "Linux kernel king Linus Torvalds this week dismissed cross-platform efforts to support his contention that Arm-compatible processors" mean he stops his efforts or that he's just not happy about it?

besides merging he probably never contributed a single bit to ARM development on Linux (I could be wrong here, I don't have record on which sub-systems he contributed in the beginnings). But as he stated multiple times, he's more 'kernel manager' and gate-keeper than programmer.. Just read through a few speaks from him to get a clue about his job in kernel development.

 

4 hours ago, NicoD said:

Does Linux need the support of Linus to be able to break thru on arm? Does Linux need ARM to be able to break thru?

https://www.zdnet.com/article/linus-torvalds-would-like-to-see-an-arm-laptop-but-he-doesnt-expect-it/

https://www.zdnet.com/article/linus-torvalds-still-wants-the-linux-desktop/

 

It's not that he dislikes arm.. There are multiple statements where he was in favour for an arm based machine (especially during the spectre/meltdown phase he made some of them). But where others try to be as polite as possible, he prefers a rather strong wording to make his points clear. And I would say he has enough valid arguments to point out why arm is nowhere on server at the moment.

 

5 hours ago, NicoD said:

Or has Intel payed him a few millions just to say these things to counter their own problems?

https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/1/21/192

 

5 hours ago, NicoD said:

Could this have implecations for Armbian?

IMO not at all, development of linux on arm won't stop cause Linus says that he doesn't think that arm will make it on the server market.. All our SBCs (except maybe the SolidRun) aren't server SoCs. We deal mostly with TV-box SoCs here.. As long as they push their stuff upstream and the code quality is good, he will merge it.. He just points out clearly why (in his opinion) arm won't enter the server market.. There aren't (m)any affordable workstations nor notebooks nor simple desktop computers based on arm, so that people deploy stuff on ARM. Even on bigger distros (Debian, Ubuntu, Suse etc.) arm is only the side-kick of x86 or AMD64. I don't think that this will change soon. Just look at commercial binary only software... If there's Linux support for it, it's mostly x86 only.. More or less nobody provides arm64 or armhf packages of their binaries..

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16 minutes ago, chwe said:

@JMCC is one of the few here who compiles debian packages on the SBCs itself

Yes, and believe me, total time difference is not that big compared to a core i7 cross-compiling on a VM (we're talking about the high-end ARM SoC's, the ones with A15's, A17's and A72's). Plus, it saves you the time and boredom of setting a cross-compiling environment. And it's funny to do anything on a small $50 device made with random TV box pieces soldered to a cramped PCB :D

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6 minutes ago, NicoD said:

If it were truly cross-platform this shouldn't be needed.

not everything is cross-platform.. Just look at this one here:

https://www.mersenne.org/

 

The code is opensource, but cause written in x86 assembler, there's no way to get it working on arm (well you can emulate an x86 but it will be horrible slow).. A lot of stuff might work on arm as well but is optimized for x86.. blender could be such a case.. And compiling an RaspberryPi kernel on a Pi2 takes you roughly 2h40'.. (don't ask.. it was just a funny experiment :lol:)

 

15 minutes ago, JMCC said:

Yes, and believe me, total time difference is not that big compared to a core i7 cross-compiling on a VM (we're talking about the high-end ARM SoC's, the ones with A15's, A17's and A72's). Plus, it saves you the time and boredom of setting a cross-compiling environment.

could be nice to make a short tutorial out of it? ;):ph34r::thumbup:

 

 

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4 hours ago, chwe said:

Don't get me wrong, willy's buildfarm (https://www.cnx-software.com/2019/01/07/nanopi-neo4-build-farm-rk3399-overclocking/) is great, but not everyone wants to build such a farm just to avoid cross-compiling.

Please note, my build farm is used for cross-compiling only. I used to do native builds 20 years ago, and after having been hit several times by accidental dependencies on the build host, I stopped and am always cross-compiling nowadays, even when doing x86 on x86. That's why I can use whatever host is available for the build farm. My build farm at home is heterogeneous, it's made of the armv8 boards above, one armv7 board (odroid xu4) and sometimes some x86 hosts when the devices are up. So yes, I'm a huge proponent of cross-compiling.

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15 hours ago, chwe said:

could be nice to make a short tutorial out of it?

What exactly are you thinking the tutorial could be about? Like, for example, backporting packages from Debian Unstable unto Armbian? Or something more specific, like certain particular package?

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something like how to create a debian package by compiling stuff from sources. E.g. what do you need.. etc.

 

13 hours ago, wtarreau said:

Please note, my build farm is used for cross-compiling only. I used to do native builds 20 years ago, and after having been hit several times by accidental dependencies on the build host, I

well maybe you should enter the discussion there? :P

 

I'm not sure that arm won't make it on server markets, simply cause I don't do in server maintenance nor informatics at all.. But I still think his points that there aren't any cheap arm 'workstations' is valid. People tend to favor what they know from 'daily live'. Example a bunch of self build NAS-boxes are still x86 based where there's mostly no reason to do it.. (I'll soon 'upcycle' an old HP proliant microserver with an RK3399 thingie and maybe make a nice tutorial out of it :P ). Seems that a bunch of people don't believe in arm as soon as it hits the 'professional' environment.. (except their smartphones.. :D)

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Nice. My list of software includes FreeCad and KiCAD. I use LTSpice (free but not open source) for simulation.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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On 3/5/2019 at 11:14 PM, TonyMac32 said:

and KiCAD

boooh, KiCAD takes 5,4Gigabyte of stoarge with all the 3D files.

 

Some news on the developing front, are you also curious how good this Microsoft Visual Studio Code is - people seem to like it!

But before you try, watch a 14min video to save time  https://youtu.be/0poh_2rBq7E

 

And now you can try and throw it away, if you don't like it... Visual Studio Code 1.33 as Snap-Package  direct link https://snapcraft.io/code

 

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6 hours ago, Tido said:

boooh, KiCAD takes 5,4Gigabyte of stoarge with all the 3D files

...yes?  Well worth it.  Export the step file and give it to the designer to design it into either an end product, case, etc.   No guesswork.

 

7 hours ago, Tido said:

how good this Microsoft Visual Studio Code is

Hmm, I'm not usually opposed to M$ tools, but I'm not sure I understand the need to add it to my life.  Might check it out anyway.

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15 hours ago, TonyMac32 said:

the need to add it to my life.

Well, I am with GEANY IDE (quick, easy & in armbian) pretty happy too, however I have heard people praise VSC.  Which is your favorite Code Editor ?

 

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notepad ++ for windows and atom for armbian (on ubuntu).. problem is.. when creating patches.. the whole kernel repositories are root:root which makes editing in it uncomfortable.. @Igor a rational behind it?

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1 hour ago, chwe said:

notepad ++ for windows and atom for armbian (on ubuntu).. problem is.. when creating patches.. the whole kernel repositories are root:root which makes editing in it uncomfortable.. @Igor a rational behind it?


I don't think there is any. Unfortunately not everything is perfect in this build system ... but we will fix it once :) 

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I use gedit over an SSH session with Xming on Windows 10. that keeps me from from having to have multiple mouse/keyboard setups with my gaming PC.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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27 minutes ago, Igor said:

I don't think there is any. Unfortunately not everything is perfect in this build system ... but we will fix it once :) 

well I'll have a look into why it happens and if we can avoid it. But maybe it had some rational behind it you never know. :D I don't want atom as root.. as smart as I am I would probably kill somehow my entire ubuntu partition.. and since I don't follow recommendations.. :ph34r: it's not a virtual one.. with other productive stuff on it.. :ph34r::lol: Do what I say not what I do.. :D

 

Cause it's the news diet chat.. Remember the guy from google they fired cause he said something like women and men are different? (well that's a bit buzz-wordish, in fact he wrote a document about biases which somehow leaked...) Well now microsoft has also employees which may think different compared to their employee..

https://qz.com/1598345/microsoft-staff-are-openly-questioning-the-value-of-diversity/

 

Things get complicated now.. cause it's not a men, it's a women sharing her opinions. She has some rather taff comments there:

Quote

To be clear, I am referring to the fact that senior leadership is awarded more money if they discriminate against Asians and white men,

 

I'm curious how this one is going for her assuming that it's kept in the news for a while..

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Looks messy. I had seen some data suggesting east Asian candidates for education and career positions in the US were being discriminated against due to their 'over representation'. It's the standard-issue over-reaction of institutions to external stressors, in this case a logical fallacy that dictates a need for everyone to cross the finish line at the same time, instead of just giving everyone the same track to run on.

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3 hours ago, chwe said:

notepad ++ for windows and atom for armbian (on ubuntu).. problem is.. when creating patches.. the whole kernel repositories are root:root which makes editing in it uncomfortable.. @Igor a rational behind it?

 

I've raised this before - the build system having to run as root (or Sudo) - one can run things inside a throw-away container/vm, but still...

 

@Igor did respond - acknowledging the issue, but the current build scripts for Armbian need root access to move things around - I'm assuming this is still on the "To-Do" list...

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3 minutes ago, TonyMac32 said:

Looks messy. I had seen some data suggesting east Asian candidates for education and career positions in the US were being discriminated against due to their 'over representation'. It's the standard-issue over-reaction of institutions to external stressors, in this case a logical fallacy that dictates a need for everyone to cross the finish line at the same time, instead of just giving everyone the same track to run on.

 

With Big Corp - if one is a white middle-aged male in the staff level engineering/professional ranks - there's a big target on one's back...

 

Demographics be damned, one should be able to compete based on skills... but in today's climate of "diversity" and the desired to be "edge" driven in the latest/greatest systems/methods for engineering, business, etc - a lot of good experienced folks have been kicked to the curb in layoff's, reductions in force, and those folks are having a real hard time getting jobs because of bias...

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On 4/20/2019 at 12:15 AM, Tido said:

Well, I am with GEANY IDE (quick, easy & in armbian) pretty happy too, however I have heard people praise VSC.  Which is your favorite Code Editor ?

 

BBEdit - been using it for years on Mac... even before OSX on Classic MacOS

 

SlickEdit (formerly known as vslick) - extremely powerful editor for Windows

 

Both of them are "not free" - but the money spent is worth every penny - and they integrate nicely into IDE's on those platforms...

 

VSC is nice, and it's cross-platform - even in Ubuntu, there's a Snap for VSC - but VSCode has a long way to go...

 

Played with Atom, it's cool - problem there is that it's a memory pig, as it's basically a WebApp wrapped inside an Electron shell..

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1 hour ago, TonyMac32 said:

I use gedit over an SSH session with Xming on Windows 10. emoji38.png that keeps me from from having to have multiple mouse/keyboard setups with my gaming PC.

 

Hehe - vim with tmux or screen - even better with byobu (which is a really cool text window manager written by one of the smart guys at Canonical, Dustin Kirkland - sadly he moved over to the Google Cloud team...

 

http://byobu.co/

 

It's in the Ubuntu repo's - give it a try...

 

 

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1 hour ago, sfx2000 said:

Played with Atom, it's cool - problem there is that it's a memory pig, as it's basically a WebApp wrapped inside an Electron shell..

well I think the extra bucks for 16gb in my small notebook was worth it.. And normally projects I load aren't that heavy so that it works decent... But for most of the stuff I do, Notepad++ is sufficient.. :ph34r:

 

Well since I don't do in tech but in science.. It's not really 'as inclusive' here.. Most people here in biology or chemistry do bachelors, masters followed by 4years PhD (and if you want to be in a 'big company' in research + 2 years post doc). Means roughly 10-12 years after high-school.. Being pregnant and you won't enter a lab anymore (it's also an insurance thing).. Assuming that you don't want to start your working (after university) career with getting pregnant in the first year.. don't plan to have kids before being ~33.. Or take a break in your PhD or postdoc.. and lab-work is often not really compatible with a normal work day (e.g. experiments/reaction which should be monitored but having a duration of 10-16hours.. including set-up such a reaction, you can easy spend 'a bit longer' in the lab..)

 

Assuming we want to make it more inclusive. Do we organize a kindergarden which has 'enlarged opening hours' or stop such experiments at all.. Or is it no longer expected that 'besides your normal working day' you should spend some extra hours.. As a famous example: :ph34r:

Spoiler

5558417802_3f9d5fbed9_o.png

 

 

Is this really an issue or not? Actually it would be an interesting topic to discuss, but one wrong word and you got the jackpot of being a shitbag across the whole internet.. :ph34r:

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1 minute ago, chwe said:

well I think the extra bucks for 16gb in my small notebook was worth it.. And normally projects I load aren't that heavy so that it works decent... But for most of the stuff I do, Notepad++ is sufficient.. :ph34r:

 

Chromebook with Linux App Support - makes things really cool... Lenovo N22 Touch - this is the machine I take with me to China... Byobu makes things useful on the road in a terminal - along with my USB150 over Wireguard back to the office.

 

On the desktop - it's BBedit for the most part - Windows is nice for vendor support apps and solitaire

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7 minutes ago, chwe said:

Well since I don't do in tech but in science.. It's not really 'as inclusive' here.. Most people here in biology or chemistry do bachelors, masters followed by 4years PhD (and if you want to be in a 'big company' in research + 2 years post doc). Means roughly 10-12 years after high-school.. Being pregnant and you won't enter a lab anymore (it's also an insurance thing).. Assuming that you don't want to start your working (after university) career with getting pregnant in the first year.. don't plan to have kids before being ~33.. Or take a break in your PhD or postdoc.. and lab-work is often not really compatible with a normal work day (e.g. experiments/reaction which should be monitored but having a duration of 10-16hours.. including set-up such a reaction, you can easy spend 'a bit longer' in the lab..)

 

Little one is post-grad at UCSD - working on his masters and pre-work for his PHd program there... I keep warning him about getting too deep..

 

Applied Mathematics - I used to be able to help him with his homework in AP-Math back in High School, but these days, even as a 30 year veteran of the Wireless community, some of the stuff is way over my head. Makes me happy with my BSEE from University of Montana (USA)

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38 minutes ago, sfx2000 said:

 

Applied Mathematics

well.. there are some 'nice words' in swiss-german

Quote

lieber är als iich...

I think there's not really a good translation for it.. but basically.. No way in hell that I would study applied mathematics.. :lol::ph34r: But if he likes it.. go for it... I don't think that we have to many good mathematicians around.. :D

 

1 hour ago, sfx2000 said:

Windows is nice for vendor support apps and solitaire

you would laugh how often I see solitaire open on one of the open access machines for some analytical chemistry devices... :lol: Problem here.. there's no decent structure editor opensource..  and most software for using other devices is either windows or for a few cases unix (well they also compile you a linux version now.).

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45 minutes ago, TonyMac32 said:

Belgian journalist and German scientists? I ain't trusting that for a bit.
They don't emmit co2. But there's co2 released making them. Just like there's co2 released making any other car.
It also takes 1 barrel oil to produce 3 barrels(if we're lucky(tar sand is 2 for 3))

The article is bs. At least the title is. It tries to confirm some people's idea they're not doing anything wrong wasting oil. Acting on their confirmation bias...
And that's what 95% of the internet has become. Truth isn't important, that doesn't sell(produce click)

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To be clear I've gone through the heat rates and power losses through the electric vehicle power chain, and in a mountainous region using coal generation a Tesla gets 25 MPG.

Never forget that electrical generation is external combustion turbine, 40% efficiency. Then go through the grid, then the massive losses during charging, and the losses by simply sitting in the driveway in the cold. A new Toyota 4 cylinder gas engine can do that.

There is potential in electric vehicles, and I like the technology, but as an engineer with experience in energy storage and power distribution, it isn't mature enough to push yet, it very clearly causes as many problems as it solves, even in the most optimistic vision.

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Yeah. The bycicle is still the most efficient vehicle mankind ever evented. But it uses our own our own energy for it. But a lot more efficient that running. Not for lazy people.
It's very dangerous since not much good bikeroads in the world.
Ain't nothing perfect. You've just got to make out what you can pack in your bag of guilt :D Some don't care and ride big pick ups with a chimney for exhaust.
Some want to feel better and buy and electric vehicle. But then plug them into mains. When producing your own energy then it's a lot better.
Energy is everywhere, but we just need to learn how to get it at the places where it's needed. Enough place in the sahara for solar plants, but no people there who ned it. A lot of energy in oceans. Again not where people live(yet).

All the pieces ar available to make great improvements. But whose going to put them together? I don't think Elon Musk. He's just a salesman.

 

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