Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Emissions testing needs to be fool proof (Score 1) 61

I don't think that we'll return to the late seventies and eighties. It appears that American car manufacturers have perfected the two valve per cylinder pushrod V8 and the four valve per cylinder overhead cam V6, GM, Chrysler, and Ford designs are all getting gobs of power on-demand and excellent fuel economy when driven cautiously- the 3.6L V6 available in nearly every Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram is absolutely fantastic.

Comment If the black cabs have a legal monopoly... (Score 2) 39

...then what uber drivers are doing, by not being licensed black-cab operators, is against the law.

If I understand it correctly, London is a lot stricter with their drivers than most other cities, such that to simply drive a cab one must pass a fairly difficult testing process before being able to obtain a license.

At this point I'm not really sure why this is a Slashdot story anymore. It's about a livery company whose legally questionable practices and claims have drivers that are picking up hailed fares. There isn't even a technological angle on this aspect of the story, not that cell-phone dispatch is anything especially novel.

Comment Re:Please ... (Score 1) 93

There are also initiatives from the federal government to attempt to push Internet connectivity like how the Electrification of America was pushed, and how the telephone system was pushed. That at least has some tangible benefit to the people that live there, while this spaceport does not.

Comment Re:Why New Mexico (Score 5, Insightful) 93

A spaceport that doesn't have any commercial flights is probably a worse waste of money than a sports stadium. People will drive for a hundred miles to go to a sporting event if they care about one of the teams playing. They'll buy gas, they'll buy food, they'll pay admissions, they'll go to the bars and the restaurants after the game, they might even look for a hotel to stay in before going home.

A spaceport in rural anywhere only makes sense when there are flights, and for it to be paid for by the taxes collected in an area the area needs to derive an actual benefit.

As for a town of 6000 with only 21% bachelors degrees, that is absolutely no surprise at all. A town of 6000 people probably doesn't have very many jobs that need bachelors degrees. There will be a doctor or maybe a few, there will be some nurses. There may be a dentist. There will be at least one pharmacist. If there are schools the teachers will have degrees. There will probably be a few business owners that originated in the area, left and got their education, and came back, possibly employing some in the town. If anything, 1/5 of a small town having bachelors degrees is probably rather high.

Comment Re:Emissions testing needs to be fool proof (Score 3, Informative) 61

Cars from the sixties and seventies that were fun to drive were horribly wasteful on fuel when driven hard. Carburetors are like that. The point now, is that we have technology to sample the air pressure, air temperature, and exhaust mixture to try to achieve the most thorough burn possible, which is why the cars of today are more fun and more powerful than they were in the sixties and seventies. And I say this as someone that is mid-restoration on a seventies Mopar.

The tradeoff is complexity and cost. The cars are much more complicated because the systems that regulate fuel pressure, nozzle duration, spark duration and timing, and valve timing are much more complicated than an accelerator pump, a venturi, and a simple vacuum-advance distributor.

Comment Re:Emissions testing needs to be fool proof (Score 1) 61

And this is why we need more regulation, not less. Car companies were given the option to tell the government that they met the rules. They didn't meet the rules but lied to fraudulently sell cars. I say, send a complete drivetrain system with a driveable chassis that conforms to the mass and approximate airflow characteristics expected in the finished vehicle, or rather, a fleet of them, and give the EPA the budget to both test the finished drivetrain in the unfinished vehicle and to make baseline measurements. Later on, the EPA will lease or rent or otherwise procure through their own means actual vehicles that the emissions profile was to meet to compare them. If they're off by more than say, 15% as new vehicles, or if they violate the absolute limits, the model is pulled from sale and existing examples are recalled.

I will find it very amusing if a generation of European cars are essentially worthless now that the cheats that made them desirable are gone. German engineers are disproportionately smug in their abilities, but I think this one may have knocked them for a loop.

Comment Re:Parts fail, it needs to be planned for. (Score 2) 61

what ever happened to personal responsibility?

Personal responsibility is whatever the court and/or jury decides it is. Sometimes the judgement is probably too far in favor of giving idiots what they don't deserve. Sometimes it allows a company that's negligent to get off lightly for something that they really should not have ever sold. Sometimes it works out as it should.

Comment Re:Ford Truck (Score 1) 154

Dad had a similar bit of fun recently...

He has an '89 Dodge Dakota factory convertible. It had an engine fire that they managed to put-out before it spread past the firewall and fender liners. I suggested he do a V8 swap, as the '89 Shelby Dakota had the 318 TBI shoehorned in, so it would fit.

Well, he ended up going with a '95 extended cab as a parts truck, found one lightly hit that was mechanically decent. Ended up using '92+ front clip instead of figuring out how to put the flat-front on and relocate the stuff that would interfere. Despite the extreme similarity of the two trucks (90+% sheet metal same) the electrical system from front to back was completely different. He ended up swapping every single harness from the '95 in, shortening where it was different because of the extended cab.

Thing runs much stronger now, probably twice the performance, and that's only going from a TBI 3.9L V6 to an EFI 5.2L V8. If I ever own it I'm swapping-in an EFI 408ci (6.7L) stroker built from a 360/5.9 with 4.00" stroke instead of the stock 3.58"

Comment Re:Coolest hack? (Score 1) 154

I've done that before. I had (still have actually) a server that had and old Ultrawide SCSI disk as the OS drive, one day I came home and the room smelled funny. A chip on the PCB had burned up and the drive was toast. Swapped the controller board from another on and the computer came right back up and worked like a champ.

Comment Re:Coolest hardware configuration... (Score 1) 154

I also had a K6-2 350MHz box for a long time after my friends had all upgraded to 1GHz Intel boxes. They had 128MB or 256MB RAM, expensive DDR memory. I had 1.5GB (3x 512MB) SDRAM, my computer ran circles around theirs in the games. If I'm remembering right there was still motherboard-installed cache memory, and I had that maxed-out too. Could be wrong about that last part, all of my computers over the years have kind of melded together in my brain.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 1) 94

I've heard Siouxie and the Banshees in elevators, and not just, "Kiss Them For Me." I've heard Tones on Tail in shopping centers, and not just in Hot Topic or Spencer's Gifts.

It's funny to hear bands that were exceedingly controversial played as background music twenty years later. It shows one how quickly some changes can become acceptable.

Comment So to get this straight... (Score 4, Insightful) 38

...there still is a form of exterior cooling, it's just now the interface between the case's liquid cooling system interfaces with the IC packaging rather than with an exterior heatsink module that's in contact with the packaging.

This is not a cooling system integrated into the chip directly without an exterior component.

I see good and bad. Good, packaging becomes smaller so the processor can fit into smaller cases, and now there's no need for all of the mounting bosses for the traditional heatsink. Bad, the interface between the cooling system and the chip will undoubtedly be more fragile than between a cooling system and a large (relatively speaking) metal heatsink, and if there's a problem in the cooling passages on the chip there is no inexpensive method to replace the cooling portion if it's clogged-up.

We'll have to see how well this operates in the wild. If a lot of cooling system pressure loss and leaking occurs where the tubing interfaces with the chip then this won't be so good. If it manages to not leak and not plug-up then this could be a nice evolutionary step.

You will lose an important tape file.