Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:E-book prices (Score 1) 95 95

What's really amazing is that books are so insensitive to this trend.

That's the thing; they aren't so insensitive to it. You have the hardback, then the paperback, then they hit the discount racks, used bookstores, etc...

What's amazing is that it's the e-books that are so insensitive to this.

And going by what Baen's released for their policies, it's the distributors such as Apple and Amazon that are pushing not only this, but DRM and such.

Comment: Re:E-book prices (Score 1) 95 95

Digital content has to be cheap because it's worth much, much less than physical content due to lack of resales.

True, but given that I wait for said massive sales actually means that I end up paying LESS for my games(on average), than the difference between buying a game new and then selling it to a store like gamestop, and as a bonus I get to keep my game!

So I'd argue that it's not worth that much less, and I still remember reading an article where the author argued that the resale market for games, especially server-dependent online ones, actually drives the price for games UP, and that the continuing profit TO the studio from steam-style sales provides incentive to keep improving the game. His arguments were quite well reasoned, even if I didn't agree with all of them.

Of course, this is getting away from e-book sale prices a bit. You don't normally expect to see revisions to a published book, even though such would be possible with a e-book, and such may not be welcome. "Han shot first!" type stuff.

Comment: Re:Once Again (Score 1) 124 124

It's the compromises made to make the B share the same frame as the other planes that cases the problems.

Relatively speaking, the A version is 'great' compared to the B, but note that I didn't say that the F-35 is a suitable replacement, merely that we need new planes.

Comment: Re:Once Again (Score 1) 124 124

It's not the F-35a that's problematic, it's the F-35b STOVL variant that's costing a lot of the money.

Also, as retired USAF, I can tell you that there's reasons WHY we really need new planes. Seriously, we're still flying planes that the pilot's grandfather flew when HE was in.

That's not to say that the current system for acquiring new planes isn't messed up beyond belief. Just the process for new refuelers has been horrifying beyond imagination.

Comment: Re:Price is a second order function (Score 1) 281 281

I would not be surprised to find a better constructed idiot (though I do not expect most people to know) attempting to drive with a trailer.

How to put it? While I'd expect accidents because of the trailer, I'd expect accidents no matter what - after all, most accidents in the country, much less the world, don't involve trailers at all.

Basically, the number of accidents would be at 'acceptable' levels such that U-haul and such would be willing to rent them out. You're always going to have 'better idiots', but that can't be used as an excuse to not deploy a technology unless the results are too catastrophic - and a 'few' accidents here and there are acceptable.

I think it should be something you can disconnect from the vehicle, when you get to your destination, and used as a generator as well as a then-static EV charging platform.

Shouldn't be a problem to provide. A Model S uses 37kwh to go 100 miles. At 60 mph, that would be 22.2 kWh/h or 22.2 kW. Please note that this is a 'napkin back' calculation and is more for estimation. There are many real world considerations, including but not limited to: actual driving speed, any grade, additional drag from the trailer, the range of the EV assuming you're starting with the battery full and are willing to end driving with it near empty, any breaks taken, that you're skipping the 'battery' part which removes a 10% loss step, etc... Honestly, I think 22 kW would be 'oversized' in most situations.

And if a ~22kW generator isn't enough for your camp site...

Adaptive steering is going to help on vehicles that are equipped with it.

It's actually on the trailer. But I'm of the opinion that technological solutions are often superior to education, because education can be ignored, and often ends up being less effective and more expensive(time's expensive).

In the end, consider this: Most of the accidents you've described were to a person's own property. My scale of 'caring': Other people's lives. The operator's life. Other people's property, the operator's property. If they only damage their own stuff, who cares? If the trailers are costing people their lives, the it matters a great deal.

In the end, I think you're picturing a larger trailer than I am. Seriously, what's I'm figuring on would be tiny. How tiny? Not visible from the rear view mirror tiny.

You're also figuring on a 'vast increase'. I'm not, and even if there is, most of it would be on the highway where it's the safest, not on the roads in the cities.

As for added danger - how do you balance this against cars that will do things like apply the brakes themselves to keep you from hitting something? Backing cams?

It may be possible, safer, to simply engineer a method that allows carrying this generator behind the vehicle without it actually being towed.

As you say, such capacity would have to be engineered into the vehicle. You're looking at about 600 pounds for the generator and fuel alone. Well within range for a class 1 hitch that most EVs can take, but they're normally only rated to 70 pounds or so for tongue weight. Hell, it'd exceed the capability for the class 3 on my light truck if you wanted to just suspend it there. I can't put much more than a bike rack or grill on my hitch if it's going to just be suspended there.

Plus, you might not be thinking about this, but it'd affect the balance of the whole car, and not in a good way. So no, it's not a 'trivial matter'.

Comment: Re:Renewable versus fossil - where is nuclear? (Score 1) 281 281

People on this site keep saying that, but I have yet to see any proof.

This is a forum site; have you gone looking for 'proof'?

There is no reason why over the course of 20--30 years we couldn't invest in more energy storage

I'm going to have to rephrase my statements a bit. Tense problems, mostly. We couldn't, and currently can't, produce enough green energy to replace coal&oil economically, IE without making major sacrifices in quality of life elsewhere.

Somehow I dropped the battery part of my post as an additional option. Where the cheaper and more efficient the storage technology is, the more likely you are to store power rather than just build out your renewable energy infrastructure and just 'throw away' power during 'good' power production days.

Still, we appear to be on the cusp of radical changes. 30 years ago solar technology produced less power even at 100 times the cost. Lithium-Ion technology was a gleam in somebody's eye, much less possibly poised to take the market as the cheapest battery technology.
Lead Acid: $.194/wh.
LiIon: $.236/wh.

If ONE of the recent battery technologies that I've read about succeeds, or Musk's factory to cut the cost of his batteries in half, that means that LiIon will actually be cheaper than Lead-Acid. This would be huge.

Meanwhile they keep working to cut the cost of solar panels even as they increase their efficiency.

Comment: E-book prices (Score 4, Interesting) 95 95

I'm still irked by the pricing. Now, I don't expect to be able to buy an ebook for the price of a used book, but by golly, I refuse to pay more for the book than I do for a dead-tree version, and given that I'm a halfway 'smart' shopper, 30% under 'list' is the average for me, I can often reach 50% or more, for a book that's not quite a new release. As such, I'm pretty much stuck buying from Baen for now.

They need to hold more sales like Steam. But no, the publishers don't want that. Apple & Amazon don't want that.

Comment: Re:Bolt will be cheaper than the average car (Score 1) 247 247

Of course household outlets won't do that, but a properly wired supercharger can probably do that.

If the battery is cheap enough, you could have one of those tesla home batteries which would trickle charge through the day, then 'dump' the accumulated charge into your EV battery.

So when you get home, given enough time to shower, change clothes, apply makeup and have a snack, you have a vehicle back up to 80% charge.

So many 'fun' things would be possible if we could have a battery that stores 1kWh for $1. ;)

Comment: Re:Nice but his arguments make not much sense (Score 1) 281 281

In other words, all thinkable problems regarding modern power production can and should first be tackled via SmartGrids, then comes long nothing, and then potentially come storages.

Except that EVs are storage devices and smart grids normally involve storage to help make managing them 'smart'.

Comment: Re:Nice but his arguments make not much sense (Score 1) 281 281

Preview is your friend, my friend.

there is no nation in the world that right now has so much surplus that there is a "storage problem".

That's the problem, you keep arguing that it's not needed now, which I've never actually disputed. You keep arguing against it though when I mention that it would be handy in the future WHEN renewables are the biggest slice of the power production pie.

So: when does such a situation arise? Obviously it can't arise when the total non dispatch able input is only 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% or 50% or even 75% of peak!

Nope, 50% would be enough. Minimum power draw is generally around 40% of max.

You're the one using 'desperate', not me. I use things like 'economical'. And yes, it can be 'economical' to be able to spin down some of your plants more or less permanently, while keeping others spinning at their optimal load, while storing power during low demand and releasing it during high. The cheaper and more efficient the storage method, the more practical and economical this is.

Comment: Re:Price is a second order function (Score 1) 281 281

Have you driven with a trailer? Have you done so in an urban area? Have you done so in heavy highway traffic? Have you seen other people drive? How about on poorly maintained roads?

Yes, sort of, not really, yes, define 'poorly maintained' and explain why people with an EV will be going over them.

My trailer is single axle.

Also, you ignored my point about the adaptive steering that they can do. You literally can't jackknife them.

Comment: Re:Bolt will be cheaper than the average car (Score 1) 247 247

Yes, and that is why I said I think we're a long way from that, the price of the battery is the real problem.

I'm sorry, this made me crack up because just yesterday I was arguing with a guy who was saying it's NOT the cost of the battery that's killing EVs. He kept insisting it's 'range anxiety' and that they're 'too slow to refuel'. He couldn't seem to understand that a bigger battery would fix both issues*, and the reason they don't put a bigger battery in is cost.

*You probably already know this, but you wouldn't need to charge a 300-600 mile battery as often and as a bonus you can put more watts into it, translating into more 'miles per minute' of charging.

Can the small engine in the series hybrid do that? Would the regenerative brakes act as engine braking on downgrades? Can the engine pull 8,000lbs up a 6% grade when the battery has run dry?

1. Yes. Note that 'small' would only be relative to the engine you have now.
2. Of course. Probably also do the trick of putting resistive strips somewhere in case you need to resistive brake when the battery is full. Locomotives put them on their roof.
3. Not the use case, but yes. You'd just end up going slower. If you want 'full speed', you don't deliberately run the battery dry before that slope. I'm picturing you either telling the truck's computer that you want that battery charged, or even that you have your route planned on it's GPS and it recognizes that the slope is ahead and prepares the battery accordingly.
4. Hell, as I've mentioned for pure EVs before, put a generator in the trailer so it's providing the extra watts necessary.

I may need grade power for 20 min at times, and I imagine the battery wouldn't last long pulling a combined 14,000lbs up a 6% grade for anything other than a min or two.

Nitpick: It's likely to be more than 14k lbs once you add the battery pack, and given that I was picturing one capable of about 100 miles without a trailer, it probably would be able to take the 20 minutes of 6%, though there wouldn't be much left. You'd charge it again on the down slope. Still, if you're looking at towing through Colorado as a regular thing, you might want to either spring for extra battery or bigger engine(though still not as big as current). Or hell, build the battery and/or supplemental engine into the trailer.

Perhaps it would make more sense to turn stuff like the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander into full EVs first, since they are not used to tow nearly as often (but they can, up to 5,000lbs)

They've made them before. But the hybrids have either been weak with minimal fuel savings or not have the towing capacity.

Comment: Re:Copyright Law (Score 2) 188 188

It's similar to the case where the guy got his YouTube URL taken away just because someone with money wanted it. Or - the original owner had the store way before the car company renamed themselves.

Another example would be McDonald's restaurant(USA, Arches) suing MacDonald's family restaurant(UK). They lost, because there had been a MacDonald family restaurant(reincarnated on a regular basis, but always with 'MacDonald' in the name) there since before the USA was a country...

Comment: Re:Price is a second order function (Score 1) 281 281

As Lost Race mentioned, there's a HUGE difference between a boat trailer and the little dinky generator trailer I'm specifying. Also frequency? Not all that often. It'd only be the road warriors who are too determined to drive straight through that they can't even make usage of things like supercharger stations.

For example, the big trucks hauling those boats you're talking about? Could probably hold the whole generator system on their hitch.

Now yes, once you add fairings I figure that you might as well add the ability to toss a couple bags of luggage into the trailer with the generator(suitably shielded from the heat&emissions), because if you're using one you're obviously going on a long trip, and that's associated with carrying more stuff.

Also, parallel park, 'get through traffic'? The specified use for the trailer is extended range, IE zipping down the highway.

Hell, with a trailer this small they have adaptive steering packages that make the darn thing pretty much invisible - it'll steer itself to keep itself out of trouble.

As of next Thursday, UNIX will be flushed in favor of TOPS-10. Please update your programs.