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Comment: Re:Me too (Score 1) 577

by smellsofbikes (#47792563) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Out of curiosity, what model of Opel? I always wanted an Opel GT...

I've gone through three of those plastic box fans over the last ten years, and whenever one dies I drag out the big heavy steel box fan my parents had in the 1950's. Man does that thing move air, all day long, fairly quietly. It's just terrifying because if it fell out of the window it could kill someone, but whereas the plastic ones jump to their doom every couple of months I think it would take a volcanic eruption to shift the old fan.

Comment: Just about everything I own (Score 2) 577

by smellsofbikes (#47787907) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Pushbutton hard-wired phones, world war two vintage drillpress, metal lathe, wood lathe, tablesaw, 1970 Triumph as my not-snowing car, 1990 bicycle for my non-race bike, MOO/MUD's that I've been hanging out on since 1992, Commordore Amiga 2000 (okay, I only fire that up about once every two months.) A lot of my wood chisels are from the 1890's. They all work just fine. My race bike is a brand-new marvel of carbon fiber and magnesium, but I bet it won't last another two seasons, whereas the old bike has over 150,000 kilometers on it. I do now design using switching power supplies, rather than LDO's, and I've moved from PIC to AVR, (and I've always programmed in C rather than assembly) but generally, there has to be a really clear advantage for me to change piles of experience and knowledge for something new.

Comment: Re:Not worth it. (Score 1) 48

by Rei (#47785193) Attached to: How the World's Fastest Electric Car Is Pushing Wireless Charging Tech

Electric cars wouldn't use half the country's electricity, passenger vehicles' share of total energy consumption is much smaller than that. But I don't disagree with you that it's bad to waste power. Still, for a potential EV consumer whose turned off from EVs because they're lazy, if the choice is between "waste 20% more electricity" and "keep driving a gasoline car", the wireless EV is still the much better option.

Comment: Re:Just stop it with the 'zero emissons' claims (Score 3, Informative) 48

by Rei (#47783897) Attached to: How the World's Fastest Electric Car Is Pushing Wireless Charging Tech

You act like there's no research papers on this subject. There have been tons, and the conclusions in each case are the same:

1) CO2 emissions would decline even on the US's current grid (which is, I should add, getting cleaner every year, while the amount of emissions associated with oil production keep rising)

2) On a generation basis, every region in the US has enough space capacity for a full switchover of the passenger fleet today, without any new plant construction, except the Pacific Northwest. Most charging is done at night when most power plants lie idle, but the Pacific Northwest is an exception because their heavy use of hydro means time of use isn't important, only net consumption.

3) The only thing that there's not enough of at present is simply local distribution capacity, to peoples' homes.

Of course, that's for a complete, instantaneous switchover, which is of course an impossiblity. Your average car is driven for about two decades before it goes to scrap, only a small fraction rotate out of service every year. And that's assuming that everyone bought EVs as replacement, which if course is an impossiblity because even if everyone was suddenly sold on the concept of EVs it'd take a decade or more to ramp up production to that level. And of course everyone is not suddenly sold on the concept of EVs. You're looking at maybe a 30-40 year transition time period here. If power companies can't keep up with a trend that's stretched out over the scale of several decades, they deserve to fail.

Comment: Re:Those stupid Canadians! (Score 2) 208

by grcumb (#47782069) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

They think maple syrup grows on trees!

The translation from Quebecois to English caused your confusion. Ha! Ha!

Dat's correck. Ever'body knows it's grows to de trees.

And jus' to prove dat I'm a really a real québecois, ah now will swear at you in ma native langue: Calice d'ostie de saint ciboire que les anglos ont la tête dur!

Comment: Re:Apparently the trolls are out here, too (Score 1) 1201

I think the wholesale failure of web 2.0 sites to facilitate any discussion of these issues over the last few weeks proves just how shallow their promise of a brave new web is. The scope and scale of the censorship seen around this issue is to my knowledge unprecedented.

Slashdot had the right ethics and mores all along, Anonymous Cowards and all. The community can mod them down, but even they should be free to speak.

Comment: Re:*Dons asbestos suit* (Score 4, Interesting) 1201

I think a poster on the escapist forums but it most succinctly: "The gaming community is being bullied for profit".

The gaming community is being singled out for being misogynist, over the film/tv industry, over the music business, over religious groups, because they are a relatively easy target who won't put up as much of a fight. While it's almost certain that Sarkeesian has received threats, let's be honest, they do not carry anywhere near the same weight as those which would come from, say, a religious group who was called out for being conservative. Gamers also lack the PR money to respond, which would be readily available to entertainment companies. Overall, it's a fairly safe group to criticize.

I'm sure that misogyny exists in video games, but no more (and I would argue to a lesser extent) than that seen in general society and other forms of entertainment. Yet Sarkeesian and her backers have launched what amounts to an internet crusade against the most counter-cultural -- and I would argue visibly progressive -- media industries.

Her videos present selectively chosen examples from several video games, purporting to show that games are actually hateful towards women. Many of us have played several of these titles, and can judge how exaggerated such claims are. Indeed, using Sarkeesian's techniques, it would be perfectly possible to go through these games and more, and selectively picks clips and examples "proving" that games and the gaming industry promote animal cruelty.

Yet no-one makes the animal cruelty argument about video games. And the reason is I think obvious -- The misogynist argument makes more money. Sarkeesian has been backed to the tune of $150,000 to makes these videos. Sites like Kotaku generate huge ad-revenue from the inevitable click-bait headlines which follow from these exaggerated claims. The more games who take the bait, who defend their hobby from these accusations, the more revenue goes to the people making and promoting them.

This does not represent a genuine feminist movement. This represents a business model. Gamers are being singled out and bullied -- over religious conservatives, over music video directors, over corporate policies towards women -- because gamers are an easier and more lucrative target. Gamers are "hate-baited" with very, very ugly accusations painting them as haters of women, so that their predictable responses can be farmed out to ad-servers and marketing firms. Bullied; for profit.

I've played video games since 1990; I do not hate women; My hobby does not hate women; The vast majority of people who play video games do not hate women. Please, Sarkeesian's of the world, turn your attentions to the people who do.

Comment: Re:When they don't blame the Chinese ... (Score 2) 97

by Rei (#47773799) Attached to: FBI Investigates 'Sophisticated' Cyber Attack On JP Morgan, 4 More US Banks

Yeah, what evildoers, giving Russia a slap on the wrist for the petty offense of invading and taking over part of another country that had insolently decided to no longer be under Russia's thumb. Next up, the evil tyrants in American and Europe will send Putin a sternly worded letter! Maybe he won't even get a Christmas card from Biden this year!

See: US to sanction Russia over annexation of Virginia

Comment: Re:Media (Score 2) 322

by jd (#47773019) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Yeah, I can see you do great on statistics, too.

Death stopped being binary some years back (suggest you read medical news) but this isn't about that. This is simple numbers. If device X kills N times out of 100 and device Y kills M times out of 100, where N != M, the lethality of the devices is not the same.

Comment: Re:Media (Score 4, Insightful) 322

by jd (#47772299) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

Cops are not doing a good job. Estimates range from 400-1000 unjustified deaths a year. To put it into context, since 9/11, there may well have been 4 times as many unjustified deaths by cops in America as unjustified deaths by Al Queda.

That isn't acceptable by any standards.

Or perhaps if you'd like, I can put it another way. There have been three times as many incidents of manslaughter and murder by American cop per capita of population than there have been incidents of manslaughter or murder in Britain in total.

That number is WAY unacceptable.

Cops carrying guns confer no benefit to those in the area (80% of bullets fired by police handguns miss their target, they don't vanish and they do hit passers-by, sound crew, hostages, etc).

Cops carrying guns confer no benefits to law and order, since alternatives from stun guns to pain rays (microwave stimulation of nerve endings, if you prefer) to teargas (which isn't great but is less lethal than a lump of lead) already exist and criminals are less likely to carry when running is a more practical option than a shoot-out. That has always been the British experience, which is why you now get regular shoot-outs where British cops are stupid enough to carry where you'd previously have had maybe one a decade versus an armed response unit.

Cops carrying guns confer no benefits to the cop, since dead weight can result a cop becoming dead, accidental shootings are very likely to produce retaliation, and "utility" belts stop utilizing when they terrify locals, intimidate visitors, but bolster thugs who gain greater mobility and dexterity from not wearing them.

Look, this is all very simple. Too simple for nutters, perhaps, but simple nonetheless.

First, preventing crime by eliminating prime environmental and psychological causes is a good start. If there's no crime, there's nobody to shoot and nobody shooting back.

Second, preventing cops turning bad by preventing them developing a "them vs us" attitude is essential and you don't achieve that by giving them scrutineering powers and not those they are scrutinizing. It has to be a two-way street to prevent that kind of mindset.

But that requires one additional ingredient to work properly:

Third, preventing cops turning bad by preventing them from being have-a-go heros. They should work with the community, be a part of the community, guard it from within. And, like all good guards, they should NOT be on constant alert. They should be constantly engaging on a social level, not a paramilitary one. If a crime happens, let the criminal go somewhere where there ISN'T a huge danger to others. Inanimate objects can look after themselves, people need a bit more effort.

It is better to let a gang "get away" from the scene, with no bullets fired, be tracked safely and then be apprehended INTACT when it is safe to do so. Going in there guns blazing will cause excessive damage, risk the lives of those supposedly protected and served, and for what? Some carcases. No trial, no determination of the chain of events, no proof even that the dead body is the guilty party. It can't exactly answer questions in the dock, can it?

No, disarm the cops, give them high-res cameras (and maybe girls gone wild t-shirts, I dunno), and let them be what cops should be - good citizens. They are NOT the army, they should NEVER be allowed military-grade weapons, they should deal with matters calmly, quietly and sensibly.

If they're not capable of that, they're incapable of good. Of any kind.

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. -- Albert Einstein

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