Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:How is it cheaper? (Score 1) 50 50

Not necessarily. On the upside, the drones only weigh a few kilograms, compared to a tonne or two for a truck, and the drones can fly as-the-crow-flies direct routes, and they are electric vehicles, so are actually potentially much *more* efficient, particularly in Switzerland, where they get a lot of their energy from hydroelectricity.

I suspect in a lot of cases they will be faster and more efficient.

Comment: Re:take care of yourself and you will look good (Score 1) 235 235

> A restaraunt my wife frequents has completely separate grills and utensils for gluten free cooking. That's pretty much fanaticism.

No, for people that actually have celiac disease (as opposed to people that are "gluten free"), that's how you have to do it. They're allergic to even small traces of gluten; similar to the way peanuts trigger allergies in minute traces.

Comment: Re:Idiotic Question! Answer: Price, Range, and .. (Score 1) 662 662

As I understand it, your situation is that you get stuck in traffic jams every day, in 35C weather for 6 hours, which would mean the A/C would flatten the battery, you're probably going to change jobs so you 100% definitely will have to sell the car, even though you don't have a new job yet, you have no fast chargers on any freeways you may be doing long distances on, you do high mileage, which you apparently think means the battery pack will wear out, but simultaneously, you think that the vehicle won't pay for itself because electric vehicles only pay for themselves on high mileages which you aren't going to be doing. In addition, your car is uninsured, so you may crash it and lose all the economic value in the battery. You also live in the south, where the batteries age more quickly. Oh and Nissan are going to fraudulently reprogram their battery indicator, and the courts are totally going to let them get away with it.

Makes sense!

Comment: Re:Idiotic Question! Answer: Price, Range, and .. (Score 1) 662 662

As I have already pointed out, even in the US, the average daily mileage is only 30; and most people don't suddenly jump into their car and drive for days on any regular basis.

And there's very little problem with a 2 hour jam. It's a 7+ hour jam that does for your range.

I'm not saying that batteries don't degrade, only it takes more than a 'few years'. The batteries are expected to last 10 years/100,000-150,000 miles or more without significant degradation, and there's no evidence that this won't be achieved.

The other thing I haven't mentioned- cost. Yes, electric cars are fairly expensive right now, but they batteries are getting exponentially cheaper every year. Fossil cars, are NOT getting cheaper. We're right about at the crossing point now; electric cars are going to be cheaper- and second hand cars are becoming more and more available and more and more cost-effective, and they're cheaper to run. Pretty soon everyone will preferentially run an electric car, because it's cheaper.

I mean, sure, electric cars are better for only 99% of most people's journeys.

Comment: Re:Idiotic Question! Answer: Price, Range, and .. (Score 1) 662 662

I'm in the UK; it has a half decent; but not fully decent infrastructure, some parts of the country don't have very much public charging infrastructure.

Obviously, if you don't have much public infrastructure around you, you shouldn't get the Leaf.

Nissan Leafs don't seem to lose much range; it's still a relatively new car, but so far it seems that there's very little degradation of the batteries; the idea that range plummets after a 'few years' is clearly bullshit.

Indeed, the second hand value seems to have gone up recently for vehicles of the same age.

The rule of thumb that Leaf drivers use is 70 mile range at 70 mph; note that the A/C or heating makes very little difference; unless you're stuck for hours in a traffic jam; which is pretty damn rare, but even then you have the choice of how much to use the A/C; it's not like you're going to be unexpectedly stranded, the car keeps you informed of the situation.

Comment: Re:EVs are a PITA (Score 1) 662 662

He started the journey only half full, in a region with hardly any charging infrastructure. Like, why?

If he hadn't done that, if he had been fully charged, he would have had far fewer problems.

It's because if he hadn't had done that, the review of the range extender would have been pointless. i.e. the charging infrastructure would have got him the whole way with less problems without using the extender.

And note, the reason the chargers weren't working was because he hadn't set the cards up, and when he did set the cards up, he got going again.

And note the hardware that did fail was the extender. Failures of pure electric cars are fairly rare. What do you expect from a much more complicated drive train?

So, no, it's a bullshit review; and the idea that he 'wouldn't have made it' is bullshit as well.

Comment: Re:Idiotic Question! Answer: Price, Range, and .. (Score 1) 662 662

No, not double, even with a Nissan leaf, on very long journeys with fast charging, it's about 50% longer, not double (like 11 hours versus 7) and travel comfort is better if anything (cabin preheat). On journeys only slightly beyond maximum range there's far less difference, and there's hardly any difference with a Tesla at all, ever.

Obviously if you need to do a lot of long journeys, frequently, a Nissan Leaf is probably not the right car, but it can do it if you need to do that occasionally with no problem, provided there's fast chargers on your route anyway.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 834 834

So adding an A-13 modernized Warthog, and F-36 new Lightweight Interceptor would be very useful.

Not at a $Trillion a program. It crowds our spending for stuff that actually works. I think the first-wave stuff should be top-of-the-line stuff that we dump R&D into to keep it 20+ years ahead of everybody else and I think the first-wave stuff should be capable of making it safe for everything else to fly pretty much unchallenged. After that, give me cheap stuff that works. We can have multiple types of aircraft in each role, but they need to be cheap to design, cheap to build, and cheap to fly.

The F-16D's unit cost is $27.4 Million. A fleet of 1000 of those costs you $2.74 Billion (which over 5 years is pocket change).
The F-35's unit cost (averaged between the three models, which range from $148 Million to $337 Million) is $245 Million each (no R&D costs included, just building one). A fleet of 1000 then costs $245 Billion. Over 5 years, that will consume 9% of the entire DOD budget. For one plane. One shitty plane that can't dogfight and whose cockpit is too tight to allow pilots to look behind them.

The F-35 doesn't even have a well-defined role. The F-22 rules the skies; bar none. The B-2 owns all ground targets regardless of ground defenses. What's left that we need a plane that costs up to $337 Million before we put gas, weapons, or a trained pilot in it?

Comment: Re:Idiotic Question! Answer: Price, Range, and .. (Score 1) 662 662

Nah. The average time it takes the owner to recharge is about 15 seconds, you plug it in, walk away. When you come back- it's fully charged.

Slightly less cynically, most users average 30 miles per day. On a ~3kW 240 volt charger (which is available in most places) that will only take about 3 hours to top up; but you don't really care, because almost certainly you won't be waiting for it, and you may well not need to recharge every day; it's like a cell phone. And most home chargers can do it faster than that.

Recharge stations depend where you are. But pretty much any wall socket that is anywhere near a road is a recharge station at a pinch.

Comment: Re:Design Counts (Score 2) 662 662

Actually the reason the Leaf looks a bit odd, is the headlights.

They're not a statement.

The headlights look like that for a good reason- it makes the car a lot quieter for the user; it deflects the air away from the side mirrors.

Because it's an electric car, it can actually be quiet, and then you actually notice these things.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 834 834

In an ideal world they'd probably be building a new version of the A-10. Something has to have advanced in the field of aircraft design since my Mom's 21st birthday. The F-16, AC-130, were also all designed well before Mom hit the big-21.

What's the age got to do with anything? We have working airframes; working designs that are proven to be exceptional at their respective jobs. We could spend a whole bunch of time, money, and lives (test pilots mostly, and some regular ones too during initial roll-out) on new designs, but we'll get maybe slightly better (or possibly slightly worse) performance out of them and in the end we'll net out behind.

Fire up the plants and start rolling new A-10s and F-16s off the assembly line (alone with F-22s). Streamline the manufacturing so they're produced as inexpensively as possible. If we find how to do their jobs better in 20 years, we'll have wasted only some minor resources in manufacturing, so the risk is minimal. They're a fantastic investment. Own the skies with the F-22, the ground defenses with the B-2, and everything else with cheap, effective aircraft.

I know our government doesn't like that because it isn't porked up all to shit, but it's the right way to move forward militarily.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.