Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: sigh (Score 5, Insightful) 188

by SuperBanana (#48656799) Attached to: An Automated Cat Litter Box With DRM

"The cost savings is great, but isn't the biggest driver for me, it's mainly the principle that I don't own the device I paid for, and I'm really tired of having cat litter everything in my home."

So exercise your rights as a consumer to research beforehand and not buy it. Or return it. Or modify it, as you have. Or, for god sakes, ask your vet or friends with cats or reddit for advice on having cat litter everywhere (I believe the most common solution is a covered box with fairly high side.) You can also teach your cat to pee/crap in the toilet, believe it or not. There are little "litter box" inserts that reportedly make it pretty easy; the cat goes "oh, another litter box" and uses it for a week or two, and then you remove the insert, and if the cat notices, they go *shrug* and still use it. No more litter, no more stink.

But for god sakes....I was around on Slashdot when the fist inkjet printer companies started chipping their cartridges. I also learned about Gillette in...either middle school or high school. That was a century ago, if not more. The "handle is free, the blades are disposable and we have a very healthy profit margin on them" model is quite, quite old. Why are people surprised? Especially if you read Slashdot, why didn't you do research on it?

Your robotic, do-everything catbox would've cost substantially more if the company were not figuring on a continuing revenue stream. In fact, it might have cost so much that nobody would've bought it.

Comment: except they're almost #1 in highway deaths (Score 1) 525

by SuperBanana (#48498777) Attached to: Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates

"People actually drove reasonably well and there weren't any major issues with it. "

Except for leading the nation in deaths per highway mile...yeah, I suppose?

Funny how the only person I know to be killed in a traffic collision was, in fact, killed by a drunk driver in Montana.

People don't drive "reasonably well" - ever. People have poorly maintained vehicles, especially in a by-and-large poor state like Montana with very little vehicle inspection. People stare at their cell phones, don't keep their windshields clean, don't use sunglasses, drink, spend too much time fiddling with the radio, get distracted by passengers. Our nation devotes virtually zero resources to any enforcement of traffic laws except speeding. Unless Montana starts doing roadside spot vehicle inspections when they are caught breaking some other law...

Guess who picks up the tab for the millions of dollars in medical care when Joe Cowboy slams his pickup truck into a family of four because he was doing 90mph and his bald tires couldn't stop him in time? The federal government, aka You and Me.

Comment: Re:Wooden bikes are cool (Score 1) 71

by SuperBanana (#48414931) Attached to: Collin Graver and his Wooden Bicycle (Video)

"They're much like normal biles otherwise and I presume exactly as comfortable."

Comfort comes almost entirely from the tire size and pressure relative to rider weight and road conditions. The frame is largely irrelevant, at least for anything made in the last few decades by any half-competent company.

"Getting the bearings and power transmission were apparently the harddest bits."

Getting alignment on these items is the hardest bit. Bicycles require an incredible degree of proper alignment of a couple of key components in order for things to work right, mostly shifting, but also handling-wise.

Comment: Irrelevant (Score 1) 71

by SuperBanana (#48414919) Attached to: Collin Graver and his Wooden Bicycle (Video)

"I'd guess that yet another disadvantage of a wooden bicycle, at least when sharing the road with motor vehicles, is that it's impossible to trigger a green traffic signal without enough metal surface to disturb the flux in the induction loop beneath the approach to the intersection."

1)Inductive loop sensors are much better than they used to be, and many can detect aluminum bike frames, metal in the wheels (almost all spokes are metal - carbon fiber spokes are very rare; many rims are still aluminum), or the metal in the drivetrain (chain, cables, derailleurs.)

2)A large percentage of bicycle frames are made from carbon fiber; even many wheels these days. No different from wood.

3)Many traffic lights now use camera-bases systems. They're cheaper and easier to set up/maintain, and can quantify the number of vehicles for better decisions regarding prioritization, etc. I think some can detect emergency vehicles, provide traffic statistics, and record video if there's a crash.

Some, but not all states, allow cyclists to go through a light if it doesn't change for them after X minutes. Idaho allows cyclists to treat red lights as stop signs, a law groups are trying to get passed here.

Comment: Boneshakers did not have pneumatic tires (Score 1) 71

by SuperBanana (#48414839) Attached to: Collin Graver and his Wooden Bicycle (Video)

They were boneshakers because they didn't have pneumatic tires. This is not true of a modern bicycle, and we also have far more understanding of mechanical systems and materials, including wood, now.

It is a widely perpetuated myth, mostly by bicycle frame makers who are attempting to get you to spend gobs of money on special designs, frame materials, etc that are "vertically stiff and horizontally compliant" (this phrase is now such marketing cliche it's mocked a lot)...that road bicycle suspension happens in the frame. It doesn't/shouldn't. It happens almost entirely in the tire/tube; when you go over a bump, the rest of the tube+tire stretches slightly to absorb the impact, and then contracts back. Some suspension also happens in the wheel; a wheel is quite strong in part because the spokes and rim both have some give to them.

Just as with cars, the most effective suspension is the one that has the least unsprung weight. So for example, high performance cars often have suspension and brake components made out of high-strength-for-weight materials, but in general, car manufacturers try to keep the weight of the suspension down.

On a bicycle with a properly sized and inflated tire for the rider's weight and road conditions, there is very little unsprung mass

Comment: Why are you a corporate shill? (Score 5, Interesting) 111

by SuperBanana (#48412401) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Malcolm Gladwell a Question

Why did you, after college, attend the National Journalism Center, a corporate-funded program created to counter the mediaâ(TM)s alleged âoeanti-business biasâ?

Why, as someone who is half-Jamaican, have you repeatedly associated yourself (and apparently continue to do so) with the white supremacist organization EPPC, which fights activists for economic justice?

Why did you write for American Spectator, which churned out anti-Clinton conspiracy theories?

Why did you recycle tobacco industry propaganda and quote lobbyists for Washington Post articles you "wrote"? Why did Phillip Morris consider you, according to their internal documents, to be a "friend" who could be counted on for pro-tobacco-industry stories?

Why did you clearly promote drugs for treating ADHD in kids, in which you heavily quoted researchers who were paid heavily by the pharma industry?

Why did you cite a pharma-industry cited study and defend the industry when it was attacked for high drug costs?

Why did you blame the victims in the Enron collapse, defending executives who committed gross fraud?

Comment: projectiles are a reasonable concern (Score 1) 406

by SuperBanana (#48141153) Attached to: Flight Attendants Want Stricter Gadget Rules Reinstated

I do high performance driver education events, and you're required to empty the car of everything not bolted down to it - everything comes out and goes into a box that you leave in the pits. Video cameras have to be tethered (because tripod mounts in traditional video camcorders are designed to break off if they're stressed too much.)

Anything not bolted down can become a projectile.

Lot of people don't think about this with their cars, but at least then, you're by and large only placing yourself, and a limited number of passengers who chose to ride with you, at risk.

Comment: brilliant way to hide the genuine bad reviews, too (Score 1) 249

by SuperBanana (#47962293) Attached to: Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

Pay no attention to the fact that what they're really doing is strongly diluting the actual poor reviews.

Honestly, the FAQ on their website makes them sound like complete fucking assholes. You don't have to bend over backwards for customers, but you really don't need to go around insulting the hell out of them.

Comment: One every 8.5 days, actually (Score 1) 51

by SuperBanana (#47865499) Attached to: Toyota and Tesla May Work Together Again

There aren't "stories every day" about Tesla, but every time there's a Tesla story, there is someone bitching and moaning about "all" the Tesla stories.

There have been 30 stories since January 1st - that equals about one story every 8.5 days.

You can count yourself, if you like. They do get clustered a bit, probably because when one piece of Tesla news hits, everyone starts paying more attention to Tesla related topics.

Comment: "more than a year" = "immediately"? (Score 1) 174

by SuperBanana (#47686511) Attached to: Tesla Removes Mileage Limits On Drive Unit Warranty Program

There's a problem and they're handling it immediately and responsibly,

Uh, these drivetrain failures have been happening for at least a year. Google around and you'll see reports of failures around early 2013.

Edmund's Tesla has had the drive unit replaced FOUR times since they bought it last year.

Comment: Yes, for repeater modules. 3000-4000VDC (Score 2) 103

Transatlantic fiber optic cables have repeater modules spaced along the cable to re-boost/time optical signals. They're powered off several thousand volts DC; 3k-4k.

(for example. There are also some cool youtube videos on this subject, I believe.)

Money will say more in one moment than the most eloquent lover can in years.