Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Signals, zoning, and subsidizing transit (Score 1) 802

by Grishnakh (#49739005) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

I'm pretty sure today's full-size trucks are usually close to 5000 pounds. Yes, the small pickups are lighter, but most people drive the full-size ones, at least where I live. Ford's new F150 does succeed in shaving some weight off with an aluminum body, but it still is about 4000 pounds for the lightest model.

http://gas2.org/2014/10/08/201...

Comment: Re:This is backward! (Score 1) 802

by Grishnakh (#49736237) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

soon all the cars on the road will be electric and with just a gas tax there will be little money to maintain roads and they will, over time, become impassible

BS. Even if everyone drove an EV there, how is all the cargo going to get around? There's no such thing as an electric tractor-trailer, and those are the vehicles doing all the damage to the roads.

Raise the diesel tax, or better yet raise the commercial vehicle taxes.

Comment: Re: Why? (Score 1) 289

by Grishnakh (#49725513) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

And how exactly do you propose to lock a dish onto a single satellite when they're moving around like that? Or is the idea to have enough of them out there that you don't need to lock onto a single bird, just have one in range?

Either way, it sounds expensive. Launching 7000 satellites isn't cheap, plus you have to have them reboosted constantly (500 mi is not a very high orbit, though it's better than the ISS) somehow. Unless they think they're going to get a ton of subscribers (and their system will actually be able to handle them all), it's not going to be economically feasible. Remember, they tried almost exactly this not that long ago with the Iridium satellite-phone system. It was a complete failure, and while it's still in use, the company that built and launched the satellites went out of business and it all had to be sold to another company for pennies on the dollar; they kept it going because their start-up costs were so low and they didn't have much of an investment to recoup. That doesn't sound like a good business plan to me. The only commercial satellite services that have been successful have been ones using GEO satellites, like DirecTV, since you can just launch one or two satellites and get coverage of the whole USA and not have to worry about boosting or replacing it frequently. GPS has been successful, but it wasn't commercial at all (the government does it for military purposes; we're just all benefiting from it), and even it only has a few dozen satellites.

Comment: Re: Why? (Score 1) 289

by Grishnakh (#49722357) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

We already have satellite internet. Go to hughesnet.com and check it out for yourself.

The problem with it is that the ping times are terrible. There's nothing that can be done about that unless you figure out how to communicate faster-than-light, because radio waves take a certain amount of time to travel to a geosynchronous satellite and back. You could stick satellites in lower orbits, but then they won't stay there long without boosting, and more importantly, you can't fix a satellite dish on them because they're constantly moving across the sky, just like the ISS does. Only GEO orbits allow you to fix a dish on a satellite and not need to move it.

Comment: Re:It's about money. (Score 1) 289

by Grishnakh (#49722335) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

How did he violate his oath? He was supposed to uphold the US Constitution, is he not? His state's anti-gay law was unconstitutional, so he had every right to refuse to enforce it.

If his state passed a law banning Catholicism, do you think he should be bound to enforce that one too, even though it's obviously and clearly in violation of the First Amendment?

Comment: Re:Fuck you. (Score 1) 616

by Grishnakh (#49717013) Attached to: Editor-in-Chief of the Next Web: Adblockers Are Immoral

Yeah, but aren't the search engine ads also less obtrusive, like usually on the side where they're obvious that they're ads? That makes them easy to ignore (and doubly so, since they aren't graphical with flashing colors and shit like that which draws your eye to it).

I'm not saying they're perfect by any means, but compared to most advertising these days, it's a giant step up IMO.

Comment: Re:Cost bigger issue than sonic boom (Score 2) 72

Some of the hysteria is probably because a very low-altitude plane flying supersonic can probably break windows, so people are worried about that. Of course, we're talking about higher-altitude planes here, so that isn't really justified.

The other worry is probably the frequency of the booms. One boom a month isn't a big deal, but what if they decide to make a frequent flight path over your house in the suburbs or in the country? Now you've got sonic booms every day, throughout the day. No one wants that.

They don't occur often over the continental USA because they're illegal (except for military planes), and these days because there's no supersonic passenger planes left. The Concorde was the only one, and it was limited to trans-Atlantic routes over water because of the restriction on sonic booms. I don't think it's unreasonable for people to be worried about something that isn't a problem now because of legality and current technological state; these things can and do change. Texting-and-driving 20 years ago wasn't a problem either, but now it is; it would have been helpful if someone had worried about it a little more. Drunken driving wasn't a problem 120 years ago, but again maybe someone should have worried about it and done something before it turned into a big societal problem.

Personally, I don't even see why supersonic travel should exist for passengers. It uses insane amounts of fuel, and even if that problem is fixed, it's unlikely it'll ever be as fuel-efficient as subsonic flight. No one really needs to get around that fast. If you don't like 14-hour flights over the Pacific, then don't do them; stay at home instead, or choose a closer vacation destination. Maybe eventually we'll avoid this problem altogether with some kind of sub-orbital vehicle which is both fast and fuel-efficient, but I'm not holding my breath.

"Buy land. They've stopped making it." -- Mark Twain

Working...