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Comment: Re:The reason is more simple (Score 4, Insightful) 563 563

Battery life and cost are big factors only following range anxiety.

Often the 10 year + life is cited for many of the hybrids such as the Prius. The long life is only obtained through battery maintenance. The state of charge is kept between 50 and 80% most of the time.

In an electric, that would severely limit range to preserve battery life.

To get maximum range, EV's often top off the battery (100% charge) which shortens the life and deep cycles them, also shortening the life. Think about other devices you deep cycle on a regular basis with the same battery technology. How long does your cell phone, laptop, tablet, etc last on a charge the first year and after 3 years of use. Do you expect an EV to get the same distance after 3 years of daily commute? Give me an EV with a guarantee of >80% capacity after 8 years or 100,000 miles and I am so on it. Making it only 60% of the way to work after 3 years is not going to cut it.

Comment: Re:Older Car Radios... (Score 1) 190 190 *might* be that your radio used an IF (intermediate frequency) to decode the AM or FM encoding...

This signal is sufficiently high in frequency that it actually 'leaks' outside the radio - and, I suppose, might be picked up by a radio in a nearby car. But the IF's frequency isn't close to where you're I'm not sure this completely explains the story.

(In Britain, there is a television licence you're supposed to pay to operate a TV receiver - and at one time the government used "Television Detector Vans" that drove around to houses that didn't have a TV license and picked up the IF frequencies that televisions inadvertently send out...allegedly, they could tell which room the TV was in - AND which channel you were watching - so the IF frequency must be different for different radio channels.)

I dunno - this is one of those stories that sounds kinda OK in theory - but I really doubt it would work in practice.

Comment: Re:brute force the unlock code on car stereo (Score 2) 190 190

I heard you could fix that issue by putting the stereo into the freezer for a while. Allegedly this takes the memory chip down below it's minimum operating temperature and erases it so the stereo boots up with factory defaults. Never tried it myself, but it's a trick that car stereo thieves are known to use.

Comment: Paperclip saves fairground ride. (Score 5, Funny) 190 190

I was working on one of those gigantic 'motion theatre' fairground rides:

This was back in the era of 286 PC's - running DOS. The software was suffering timing issues and we really needed a hardware timer interrupt - but DOS already stole all but one of them - and we simply didn't have enough.

I needed a *roughly* 1kHz interrupt to monitor some ride function or other (I forget exactly what) - so I came up with the idea of putting a bent paperclip between the RxD and TxD lines of the RS232 port and using the serial port interrupt. I'd send a character out through the serial port - and at 9600 baud, with one stop bit and one start bit the character took ~1/960'th of a second to arrive back in the serial port which point it triggered an interrupt - and I could send another byte out to make it happen again.

We used paperclips on a couple of machines as an emergency hack - but later versions used a 'dongle' plug that went into the RS232 port with a wire soldered across those two pins)...this plug was named the HPE..."Hardware Paperclip Emulator".

Comment: It's their business model. (Score 3, Informative) 307 307

When you expect to get most of your revenue from selling apps in the iStore - it's essential that people are unable to get apps for free via fancy web pages.

Hence, iPhone doesn't support WebGL for doing fancy 3D graphics on a web page - if it did, people would write cool games in HTML/JavaScript/WebGL and monetize them directly without having Apple take 30% of the revenue and "approve" their product.

Is this because Apple can't support WebGL? Hell no! The browser actually DOES contain code for WebGL, but it's disabled...UNLESS your web site signs up to display Apple-provided advertising which case, WebGL works great!

Safari uses the exact same core rending software ("WebKit") as Chrome - so it can trivially support everything that Chrome supports - it's really just a matter of Apple deciding to deliberately cripple the browser to prevent people from providing apps for free.

Comment: Re: Competition (Score 1) 61 61

I think that competition is coming in the form of Apple, who it seems is poised to compete with Google's search, in addition to their maps service.

I'd be okay with that, but in order for that to be accurate, Apple would have to open up - Apple Maps on Windows Phone and Android, an actual search engine that's usable through a web browser, and presumably, iAds to fund these projects - technically not truly necessary, but I don't see the bean counters being willing to spend iPhone stipends on a project where they're not at least recouping their costs.

Apple competes well on its own platforms, but amongst the reasons why Google is Google is because it's neigh impossible to find one's self on a platform that doesn't provide some form of access to Google services. Microsoft is getting much closer to this level of ubiquity. Apple doesn't appear to be trying.

Comment: Re:Very Disturbing Trend (Score 1) 1082 1082

So now we have a right out of thin air that has been left to the states in every form since the founding of our country.

You're actually saying that human beings made up the right to marry out of thin air. You actually believe that people need the government's permission, contingent on the laws dreamed up by the bumbling retards who live around them (for the tax base, natch!), to formalize what millions of years of pair bonding instinct have people do anyway.

You ever stop to think that maybe marriage isn't mentioned in the Constitution because they didn't know that future generations would be as stupid as you?

Today and yesterday really and truly make me afraid of our freedoms moving forward.

No they don't. You're a histrionic drama queen. You're not afraid, you're just mad because the bigots lost.

Comment: Get involved too (Score 1) 268 268

I have found getting involved is the best way to see how contributions are used. Have you considered joining a local civic organization that provides community services besides being a local bar for members only.

I found VFW has some chartiable functions in addition to their more primary function as a social gathering place similar to a local bar. Lyons and shriners have specific goals for childeren's hospitals and community support. Forresters and Rotary International seem to be solid with local community support along with Kiawanas who are big on getting the youth involved such as Little League.

I support Guide Dogs for the Blind and take an active part in their annual fundraiser and am a puppy raiser, a worthwhile volunteer project if you can commit the time nessarry to do it corrrectly.

Best advice is to see who porvides what services and what you want to support. Youth spots, emergency services, senior services, veteran's social services,childeren's hospitals, childeren's eyeglasses and hearing aids, whatever. There are lots of non profits. Some are more a business such as the Girl Scouts.than we care for. I had become good friends with a guy who's job it was to produce cookies for the scouts and was shocked at how much the wholesale cost is for the cookies. The scouts only get a very small portion of the sale price. Most goes to the supplier of the promotional material.

Comment: So, where's she getting money? (Score 4, Informative) 368 368

Assuming she's for real in this respect, I appreciate her concern for her comrades in the industry. However, She's pulled her music from Spotify, and now she's pulling it from iTunes. So...she's living off Pandora royalties and CD sales? I mean, the album has been out for quite some time, so she's made most of her millions off it at this point anyway and this is more grandstanding than anything else...but if it were a new release, would she really be this adamant about giving up iTunes revenue, even if it spent a bit too much time in the 'Accounts Receivable' column?

Comment: Because it should never happen. (Score 1) 1067 1067

Whenever you divide by zero, the problem ISN'T the division - it's the previous code that either assumes that dividing by this number will produce a valid result, or is doing something wrong in turn.

Checking - and somehow kludging - a divide by zero does nobody any good. You have to ask WHY you're dividing by zero and what it should mean.

I *want* divide by zero errors because they inform me that I'm doing something wrong elsewhere.

(And even if you wanted to kludge it - returning a very large number would be a better choice than zero...but don't do that).

Bottom line - if you're doing lots of div0 tests then you're doing something wrong in many other places!

    -- Steve

Comment: Slashdot User vs. Average User (Score 4, Insightful) 424 424

Average Slashdotter: Knows precisely what is being searched for, knows it's a bit obscure, knows how to spell, and knows that queries for such a thing are going to require the human to adapt to the technology - if required or possible, might be willing/able to provide an actual SQL query. More likely to run some form of ad blocker, and even if they don't, is much more likely to distinguish an ad for a search result, and not click on it.

Average User: Can't tell Google from Trivoli (or whatever flavor-of-the-week ad-serving Google clone is going around), can't tell an address bar from a search bar, can't tell a sponsored result from an organic listing, can't pass a seventh grade spelling test, asks Google questions as if it is a human and will provide human answers, and is probably looking for the same thing everyone else is looking for.

You're Google, and you're trying to make money. Who do you optimize for?

It's a pretty sucky time to be a techie. *toddles off to IRC and Usenet*

Comment: Re:Just take it in (Score 1) 479 479

A fast way is call on pretense of cancellation. Due to unreliable service and time lost on endless hold, I would like to cancel service.

A quick transfer to customer retention end in accepting to try a replacement modem, a faster tier, and a $10/month discount for 6 months.

Comment: This done right is a good thing. (Score 1) 130 130

I would love this if it was used as part of 2 part authentication. A card and phone must be present to make retail purchases. A stolen card would trigger red flags if it is used without detecting the phone nearby. Online purchases could be validated by SMS Pin. No phone, no Pin reply, red flag to the bank.

Unfortunately it is open for abuse which is the main fear uncertanty and doubt on the system. Did a little FUD stop Linux? It's source code can be seen by hackers and may be abused. LOL FUD all over again.

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." -- George Carlin