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Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 1) 235 235

One potential problem with the typical brushless DC motor is that it has permanent magnets using rare earth elements. The rotor in an induction motor, on the other hand, is just copper and iron. Induction motors can operate on variable frequency as well (the Tesla cars are a very good example of this, as are locomotives with AC traction motors).

Induction vs. brushless is a tradeoff of compactness vs. expensive rare earth elements.

Comment Re:Wow - Sony are imploding (Score 5, Interesting) 65 65

I always thought that Sony's acquisition of Columbia Pictures and CBS Records were long-term colossal mistakes.

Old Sony: made cool stuff, fought tooth and nail for consumer rights (example: the Betamax case that went to the Supreme Court).
New Sony: all about DRM and lock-in, fights tooth and nail against consumer rights.

I liked the old Sony better.

Comment B+ fixed the USB problems (Score 3, Interesting) 355 355

What's with all the ACs in this thread, anyway? Yes, the original A/B models had crappy USB, but the A+/B+ have much-improved circuitry, to the point that for most things you'll never need to bother with adding a hub.

I set up a B+ as a Bluetooth audio streaming box, and, while running off a 1000 mA power supply, the USB is stout enough to power a keyboard, mouse, Bluetooth dongle, and a Focusrite USB audio interface, all plugged into the onboard USB ports. That would have never worked on the older model.

Comment Re:Car alarm symphony; real bells (Score 1) 790 790

That's still around, at least in Russia. I'd say that the Car Alarm Symphony should be Russia's official disaster anthem. A lot of the YouTube videos of the Chelyabinsk meteor and its aftermath featured it as a background soundtrack after the shock wave hit. Then, there's this gem, a wrecked truck of gas cylinders. Each time one blows up, the videographer's car alarm decides to join in. Note the SAM launch at 3:15 or so. There's a dashcam video that shows how it all started, too (with strangely appropriate music on the driver's radio).

Comment Re:Zenith Space Command remote (Score 1) 790 790

Even the tuning fork version used the stepper-driven tuner. My grandparents had one of those sets, and just jingling your keys or coins was enough to make the TV do random things. Jingle, jingle, *thunk* HEY! *clack* *thunk*

On the other hand, my upstairs neighbor back in those days had a Heathkit with a much more elegant RF-based remote. When you pressed on one of the volume or picture controls, the corresponding knob on the set would rotate. That was seriously high-tech home entertainment back in 1969.

Comment Good luck (Score 2) 426 426

Hopefully, there are enough people who can think beyond the current dip in oil prices to keep interest up in electric cars. Oil just isn't a good long-term solution, and the sooner we can get cars off it the better.

If they could get the range up to 300+ miles, have a usable quick charge capability, and still keep it affordable, I'd go electric in a heartbeat.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

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