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Comment: Re:Welcome news (Score 1) 233

by Thelasko (#48583661) Attached to: Ford Ditches Microsoft Partnership On Sync, Goes With QNX

I was told my clock can be fixed by having the dealership reinstall the OS. That would take about 6 hrs they say, which I can't really be without my work vehicle for that long so I've just lived with it.

My wife's car has an older version of Sync, and I can update it myself by downloading a file to a USB drive and plugging it into the car. It took less than an hour. For some reason, dealer mechanics can't do anything computer related in less than a day.

Comment: Re:Requirements didn't change though (Score 1) 176

by Thelasko (#48576255) Attached to: U.S. Passenger Vehicle Fleet Dirtier After 2008 Recession

We emissions-test everything 1967+ that was not exempt at manufacture.

Who is we? The federal emissions regulations don't require testing of every vehicle. That is up to the states. Most of them don't check.

Allow me to explain how emissions testing works. A vehicle is assigned an "end of useful life" by the EPA based on the type of vehicle. The manufacturer then ages the vehicle artificially by running it 24/7. The manufacturer then has to test the aged vehicle to show compliance. This typically means the emissions from a new vehicle are much lower than an old one. Even if it is working properly.

California added an diagnostic requirement that says your "Check Engine" light has to come on if it's likely you aren't meeting the emissions regulations. How many people drive around with that thing on?

I'm simplifying a bit, but the point is, the great recession has caused a lot of vehicles to be driven past their declared "end of useful life". Even if they are still meeting the emissions requirements. They will be higher.

Comment: Re:This is ridiculous. (Score 1) 196

by Thelasko (#48516049) Attached to: IoT Is the Third Big Technology 'Wave' In the Last 50 Years, Says Harvard

Industrial applications - Will let Walmart cut a few more cents off their prices and still make a profit. Barely noticeable.

Retail profit margins are razor thin as it is. The reason they make so much money is the volume. If they can shave a few cents off of each of the billion products they sell each year, that's tens of millions of dollars! That's very noticeable!

Of all the possible applications for the IoT, industrial applications are by far the most promising for that reason. Some industries are so competitive that successful companies look at fractions of a percent improvements as major investment opportunities. Industries that don't have that kind of high volume, fiercely competitive market, won't invest in this technology. However, the logistics industry is currently investing heavily in this technology.

Comment: Re:Do we have 4G now? (Score 2) 216

by Thelasko (#48499303) Attached to: How the Rollout of 5G Will Change Everything

I kind of got the impression most things being called 4G weren't even properly that.

You are correct. The ITU defined 4G, and none of the carriers followed the standard. Instead, they strong armed the ITU to change the definition of 4G to fit the technology they had already deployed. I suspect the same will happen with 5G as well.

Comment: Re:Aerial or underground ? (Score 1) 516

by Thelasko (#48467485) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

No - it's not even a question. Bury the lines and you will remove a large number of causes for power outages.

My parents live in a neighborhood with buried power lines. Yeah, on average the power goes out less often. However, they've had a recent issue with the buried lines decaying after 30+ years underground. When that happens, it's a much longer, and more expensive repair.

The thing that bothers me is well meaning landowners planting trees near power lines. Personally, I blame schools that hand out saplings to children without proper education. Yeah, they look nice when they are small. They don't stay small.

Comment: Elon Musk's Opinion (Score 1) 293

Elon Musk really hates hydrogen as a fuel. Not just for cars, but even for rockets.

The energy cost of methane is the lowest and it has a slight Isp (specific impulse) advantage over kerosene...it does not have the pain-in-the-ass factor that hydrogen has

I know hydrogen has a high "pain-in-the-ass" factor, but are electric cars that much better?

Comment: US Navy Research (Score 2) 580

by Thelasko (#41705077) Attached to: Scientists Turn Air Into Petrol
The U.S. Navy is doing similar research creating jet fuel from sea water. This would allow aircraft carriers to stay on location longer because they wouldn't have to worry about running out of fuel for aircraft. Basically the only things that would need to be delivered would be supplies for the crew (food, toilet paper, etc.).

Comment: Re:drafting... (Score 4, Informative) 205

by Thelasko (#41624211) Attached to: Air Force Lab Test Out "Aircraft Surfing" Technique To Save Fuel

But I'm surprised someone didn't patent it and charge the military for doing it.

The innovation isn't in the concept of "drafting" another plane. The innovation is in the autopilot system that does it safely and automatically. As shown on Mythbusters the concept is viable, but a human is not capable of keeping the plane in the "sweet spot" safely for an extended period of time.

Comment: Re:Do you have a sign? (Score 1) 340

by Thelasko (#41597735) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Video Monitors For Areas That Are Off the Grid?
I'm seeing a lot of posts stating something like, "any idiot should know not to dump on your land" etc. However, in many states, under law, you have to post signage or build a fence to notify others of your property boundary. You may be able to prosecute without these things, but it will make your life easier if you clearly mark your property boundary. This usually corresponds to hunting regulation, but in this case I imagine it applies to dumping.

I'm not aware of any States require a fence (although it is a good idea), some require a paint mark, or some signage. I'm not a lawyer, look up the law in your own area.

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