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


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Important Question: WHICH DC? (Score 1) 84

by TheRaven64 (#49791213) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage
The thing that killed DC in the war of the currents was that step up and step down transformers for AC are easy and cheap to build, but doing the same thing for DC caused a lot more loss (one of the simplest ways of doing it was to convert to AC, do the voltage change, and then convert back to DC). For long hauls on the grid, you want a much higher voltage than in houses. Now, however, it's relatively cheap (both in terms of convertors and in terms of loss) to produce DC-DC converters. USB-C supports 5V (up to 2A), 12V (1.5-5A) and 20V (3-5A). It's fairly easy to imagine 48V between rooms and then a converter in the sockets able to provide USB voltages. You wouldn't want to run a heater or a vacuum cleaner from it, but it would be nice for a lot of consumer electronics.

Comment: Re:Impractical (Score 1) 84

by TheRaven64 (#49791099) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage
We're not talking grid back-haul though, we're talking a few tens of metres maximum within a house. I've wondered for a while if it would be more efficient to have moderately high voltage DC room-to-room and then low-voltage DC in rooms. Given the number of things in my house that would prefer a DC supply and so end up with (cheap and inefficient) AC to DC convertors per plug (and especially if you use LED lighting), it seems like it ought to be a win. And now seems like a good time to do it, as USB-C is a consumer connector that can provide up to 100W via something that's designed to be very cheap to produce in the lower power variations.

Comment: Re:Article is trole. (Score 1) 175

by drinkypoo (#49791033) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

Microsoft powered phones don't exist in the real world. I have yet to see one. They are apocryphal.

I am shocked that in the hours since you wrote this comment, no Microsofties have showed up to tell us how wonderful their Windows Phone is. I literally only ever see those comments on Slashdot, but normally they are as reliable as the sunrise.

Comment: Re:Power User? (Score 1) 175

by drinkypoo (#49790993) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

Not true, a jailbroken iOS device is essentially a small BSD box.

Oh? So you have the source code? Snicker snort.

A jailbroken Android device, on the other hand, really is a small Linux box. You can trivially install a more complete userland on most interesting phones. You can install an X server. You can get the sources to everything but the Google Play stuff, and you can use the phone without that stuff. In theory you should even be able to throw away the GUI and all the apps from Android and switch to Wayland someday, at least on relatively modern phones whose graphics drivers will be usable by Wayland.

Now, tell us again how much your iOS phone is like a computer, please. We're fascinated.

Comment: Re:Limits? (Score 1) 18

by drinkypoo (#49790941) Attached to: New Technique To Develop Single-Molecule Diode

Obviously, our technology is not at the point where such a thing could be created. It may very well require molecules to be assembled atom-by-atom.

That doesn't actually preclude our doing it, although we won't be able to do it with a robot arm any time soon. (Would love to be wrong.) It might be possible to do it with biotech, though.

Comment: 20-40% overblown (Score 1) 84

by drinkypoo (#49790929) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

If you're using somewhere near the inverter's peak output, then you can get as much as 90% efficiency. Inverters are getting smaller all the time, which makes it more feasible to gang modules instead of using monolithic units which will provide very low conversion efficiency for low outputs.

It's still unfortunate to leave 10% on the table. But a lot of DC-DC power supplies are also not very efficient. Best-case, they are only around 95% efficient, and you can easily lose another 10-15% if you execute them poorly. So yes, optimally they have half the peak loss, and even bad ones are likely to be better, but we can make better inverters and we will as the demand increases.

Comment: Re:Maybe a definition is need here... (Score 1) 175

by drinkypoo (#49790869) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

I agree with your post mostly, but what exactly constitutes a "power user"?

Well, we could argue about that all day, but I argue that it doesn't really matter: no matter what it means, they're more likely to use Android. If it just means they are going to want to use a broad variety of apps from disparate sources, that's Android. If it means they want to customize their phone as much as possible, even just bling-bling style, that's Android. If it means they want to tinker with the internals, obviously that is Android. If they care about security and controlling what apps can do on their phone, that's also Android, albeit one of the cooked-down versions and without Google services — but you can do that if you want to.

You could argue that any of these desires makes you a "power user", but clearly any of them will also lead you to Android. If you took some of them to extremes you might end up someplace else, but it wouldn't be iOS or Windows Phone.

Comment: Re:Clean room implementation? (Score 1) 117

Linux had 1 crappy pay-for version of CDE because some schlep company ended up buying copyrights to extort money from people.

I don't even remember there being a pay-for version of CDE for Linux. I'm not saying it didn't happen. I just remember you could buy a Motif tarball from Metrolink that would get you Motif and mwm, not like you would ever use mwm when you had fvwm. And then later you could buy Caldera Network Desktop, which came with Metrolink Motif. You could also buy AccelX, which got you a substantially faster X server back in those days, with meaningful support for your video card's 2d acceleration features... something that XFree eventually achieved, of course. Apparently you can build CDE for Linux these days, but I haven't tried. (why...)

Comment: Re:Clean room implementation? (Score 1) 117

Doesn't the Linux kernel group hold a very similar stance in that you cannot use the kernels internal APIs without breaching copyright and thus falling under the GPL as a derivative work?

Not really. TL;DR: Linus doesn't say so, and he holds the trademark, so he gets to decide what makes "Linux(tm)".

Comment: Re:So Floyd Mayweather's $200M+ for one hour of wo (Score 1) 234

Through the labor of others? He & Pacquiano didn't "earn it"? Who did Michael Jordan (billionaire) oppress? How about Oprah Winfrey?

Yay, you can find a tiny handful of examples of people who support your argument! But most of the people who support mine, you'll never know their names, they're just in the background making money while you pay for it.

And while you piss and moan about "useless ignorant fucks", they're actually the great equalizer: you should be *hoping* these billionaires have stupid children to whom they leave their money just so that they can piss it all away in a mad bout of consumerism.

Unfortunately, they often wind up just shuffling that money between themselves, and it never trickles down to us poor ignorant saps in the trenches. It should not be a news bulletin to you that trickle-down economics does not work, but that's precisely what you're arguing. The truth is that the rich don't buy stuff from poor people. They shop on different streets than poor people, let alone in different stores.

Comment: Re:Trust in the IT department (Score 1) 94

The problem is that he didn't trust his IT department so he went around them. THAT is the root of the problem.

Yeah, his trust issues caused me a problem.

The fact that he got owned later on is merely the symptom of the problem.

No, the fact it got owned later on is how we know he's not as smart as he thinks he is.

"It is easier to fight for principles than to live up to them." -- Alfred Adler