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Comment: Re:in further news show tanks (Score 2, Insightful) 558

by Guspaz (#49345763) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

The only other form it has existed in was cancelled, and the only reason the franchise survived was because they relaunched it with Clarkson. It has yet to be proven that any other form of the show could succeed in the UK without him... particularly if the three hosts end up going elsewhere to host a similar show. Many viewers could consider such a successor show to be "the real Top Gear" even if it had a different name on a different network.

Comment: Re:Wouldnt NiFe be a better battery chemistry here (Score 1) 184

Cost is one reason, although NiFe is already more expensive than Li-Ion, and rapidly becoming more and more so. Particularly when EV batteries are available so cheap. They also ought to last more than a year or three. NiFe's cost also needs to take into account the fact that they require a massive increase in infrastructure compared to lithium ion. What you can do with a single building worth of lithium ion batteries would require twenty buildings of NiFe batteries. That's not an insubstantial difference!

It's also worth noting that nobody uses NiFe batteries for backups either: they use lead acid. That's not a coincidence. Lead acid is still at the point where the lower costs negate the lower efficiency, although that may eventually change.

Comment: Re:Wouldnt NiFe be a better battery chemistry here (Score 1) 184

NiFe batteries have great longevity, but very poor performance compared to Li-ion. Lithium Ion batteries can store ten times as many watt hours per kilogram, and twenty times as many watt hours per litre. NiFe is also not any cheaper than lithium ion, and when you consider that Tesla is going to be producing a large number of "worn out" battery packs that are still perfectly usable for grid applications, NiFe will end up a bunch more expensive too.

Also, weight and size definitely do matter. Shipping stuff around isn't free, buildings have load limits, and real estate isn't cheap.

Comment: Re:This is why NASA needs to privatize (Score 4, Insightful) 59

by Guspaz (#49305639) Attached to: Report: NASA May Miss SLS Launch Deadline

Boeing is doing SLS on a cost-plus contract. SpaceX' work for NASA is a fixed-price contract.

What that means is that, with a cost-plus, if a contractor goes over budget, then NASA will pay for the overage, no matter how much it is. With a fixed-price contract, NASA pays a fixed amount, and any overages are up to the contractor to absorb.

There are certain justifications for cost-plus, for example a small company where a fixed-price contract could bankrupt the company if something goes wrong. In that case, NASA gets nothing, because there is no opportunity to fund the overage. But with a cost-plus, the safety net is there, where NASA would have the choice to either terminate the contract, or pay the overage.

The problem comes when you have big companies like Boeing doing cost-plus contracts, who are perfectly capable of absorbing cost overruns without going bankrupt. They have no incentive to stick to any sort of budget or schedule.

Comment: Re:Getting sued costs money (Score 4, Informative) 52

TekSavvy didn't get sued. They made the mistake of trying to protect their customers' privacy, and the court decided that they should not be compensated for the costs of doing that. They never actually objected to the subpoena for customer information, they just insisted on privacy safeguards and advanced notification of customers and ensuring accuracy of the list of people they would be forced to reveal the information of and such things.

Turns out that doing the right thing doesn't pay.

Comment: Re:I don't buy it. (Score 4, Informative) 166

by Guspaz (#49303693) Attached to: Internet of Things Endangered By Inaccurate Network Time, Says NIST

Exactly. The vast majority of Internet-of-Things devices can solve the problem by just installing ntpd and being done with it. My refrigerator or coffee maker or dehumidifier don't need hyper-accurate timing, and in the past year my devices running ntpd have never been more than around a tenth of a second off, which is still more accurate than anything that I actually need.

I get that you may need hyper-accurate timing for some things, but if something is so critical that a few milliseconds of clock skew can kill people, it shouldn't be connected to the Internet anyhow!

Comment: Pocket change (Score 4, Insightful) 54

by Guspaz (#49299031) Attached to: Target To Pay $10 Million In Proposed Settlement For 2013 Data Breach

They're simultaneously trying to scam Canadian suppliers out of $1.5 billion in unpaid bills. They declared bankruptcy, and now they're trying to claim that they are their own biggest creditor, so all the money from their liquidation should basically go to themselves. All the while, the parent company is making billions in profit.

Comment: Census is mandatory and that works (Score 1) 1087

by Guspaz (#49295759) Attached to: Obama: Maybe It's Time For Mandatory Voting In US

The census is mandatory (at least in Canada), and that seems to work well enough. If you don't fill out your census, eventually somebody shows up at your door to remind you, and if you keep ignoring it, then you get in trouble. I don't see how mandatory voting is any harder. The same number of people need to be made to do something, and it happens every roughly the same number of years (four years for voting versus five years for census, at least in Canada).

Of course, there's also a possibility for mistakes to be made. Like how last census, I filled out the census online, only to have a guy show up at my door telling me that I hadn't filled out the census and demanding that I do so. Which meant that I had to fill it out all over again, from scratch. And on paper this time, because if you get to the point where they show up at your door, then they also make an appointment to come pick it up, so you have to do the paper version.

Comment: Re:EA got too greedy (as usual) (Score 1) 256

by Guspaz (#49283193) Attached to: SimCity's Empire Has Fallen and Skylines Is Picking Up the Pieces

Can you back that up with a source? I can't find any reference to the game requiring an online connection, or such a thing having been removed in a patch, and most of the reviews on launch called out the fact that it didn't require an online connection as one of the advantages the game has over Sim City.

Comment: Re:projecting UV images from below liquid resin? (Score 2) 95

Huh? This basically works the same as existing laser-based stereolithography printers (see the FormLabs Form 1), except that this one uses a projector instead of a scanning laser. Basically it cures an entire layer at a time instead of having a laser trace out each layer, resulting in a large speed increase.

After Goliath's defeat, giants ceased to command respect. - Freeman Dyson