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Comment: Re:Talk about creating a demand (Score 2) 81

by peragrin (#49567433) Attached to: Why Our Antiquated Power Grid Needs Battery Storage

Not true. Electricity can wear out. The time frame is much longer but it does happen.

Electricity has resistance. resistance adds heat. The sun adds heat. hot ,cold, hot, cold, that changes the temperance of the metals, making them brittle. Granted it takes a while. but over time electric cables wear out. Then you have the insulation materials which ear out faster, when those break you get shorts.

That isn't even talking about erosion and physical damage from being outside.

So yes solar panels can wear out. You might get 30-50 years out of one but it will happen.

Comment: Re:Pinto (Score 1) 156

by serviscope_minor (#49567317) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

In most sane countries you are required to keep a distance long enough that the car in front can perform an emergency stop without you hitting it. If you do hit it, you've caused the accident (and in Oz, will get hit with a negligent/careless driving charge).

Pff. I'd say the UK is a sane country, and we have very safe roads compared to most countries. We generally have decent drivers: the safety level is despite the relatively high density. But...

Well, I tried maintaining a safe distance on the M25 once and it was simply impossible. I mean literally impossible. You can slow down until the gap in front of you widens and once it's big enough, someone zips into it. Then what are you meant to do? Well, you can keep up the process in which case, people keep zipping into the nice gap. If you keep on slowing down people will STILL keep going into the gap and you'll present a hazard.

I ended up just giving up and going at the same speed as the surrounding traffic (the M25, so that's about 20 mph, amirite?).

Keeping a safe distance is one of the simplest things I can do.
There are two points: Firstly if the roads are sufficiently empty, but on crowded roads even with basically everyone driving decently it becomes more or less impossible.

Secondly, you can't control the idiot behind you who insists on not keeping a safe distance.

Comment: Re:This is a response to RISC-V (Score 1) 39

by Bruce Perens (#49566497) Attached to: Imagination To Release Open MIPS Design To Academia

Repeating the AC because he's posted at karma 0. That's "University of California at Berkeley", AC, but the rest of this is spot on:

Berkeley University is pushing really hard to get universities to adopt RISC-V (an Open ISA and set of cores) as a basis for future processor and architecture research. The motivation behind RISC-V was to have a stable ISA that isn't patent encumbered, isn't owned by one company, and is easily extensible (OpenRISC didn't fit the bill here).

I can see that ARM and MIPS would have a problem with this, especially as there is nothing particularly innovative or performance gaining about either ISA, and some recent RISC-V cores have demonstrated similar performance to some recent ARM cores in half the area. This is there way of fighting back against something open that stands to lose them significant marketshare.

Cool. Someone found us the agenda!

Comment: Re:It's marketting, not "open source". (Score 1) 39

by Bruce Perens (#49566485) Attached to: Imagination To Release Open MIPS Design To Academia

I get paid to train EEs within large companies on intellectual property issues, and to help the companies and their attorneys navigate those issues. Infringement is rife within software companies. Not because anyone wants to infringe, but because of a total lack of due diligence driven by ignorance.

Comment: Re:Talk to us first if you wish to patent the chan (Score 1) 39

by Bruce Perens (#49566471) Attached to: Imagination To Release Open MIPS Design To Academia

You've made my point for me.

And any informed patent holder knows that any violation must be prosecuted, or the validity of the patent evaporates.

No, that's just the ignorance of the uninformed that "everybody knows", but it's wrong. You don't lose your patent from failing to enforce it. You might be confusing it with trademarks, which can go into the public domain if you allow them to become generic terms rather than specific brands. And you can sometimes lose the capability of being able to enforce against a specific infringer if you hold back until the market develops, that's the Doctrine of Laches. But you don't lose your patent. Nor would you lose your copyright due to failure to enforce.

Comment: Re:Mid-engine sports cars (Score 1) 156

by drinkypoo (#49566351) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

There is no reason that a company couldn't custom design a safe frame first and build a car around that, but the big (3?) names aren't nimble enough or interested to become that until more Tesla-like companies come along to shake up the market.

It costs a lot to build a safe car. Tesla and Audi A8 drivers walk away from accidents that tear their cars in half. But you'll note that these are some of the most expensive cars to produce. Cadillac is now using the same techniques (plus some, so they can build an aluminum unibody with steel floor pans) so your wish has been granted, the first genuinely safe cars are coming out from a big 3 automaker. Problem is, they're coming from the marque that doesn't share platforms.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"