Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment We need to work on all options (Score 1) 645

Nuclear is important but alone cannot solve all our problems. Wind and photo-voltaic are also critical components. Because the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions, converting shipping away from bunker fuel, the manufacture of cement and many other contributors to man made CO2 emissions needs to be addressed. Its not A,B or C, its D - all of the above.

Comment Re:My nose (Score 1) 496

Definitely spend the extra bucks for the faster model and other bells and whistles. We got ours before they had 4 wheel drive and ludicrous mode, but we do have the P85 performance model and it's a blast. No other normal looking car accelerates like a Tesla. It accelerates faster than the Corvette Z06 I had. For a heavy car it handles well. It's drivable in the snow, but leave plenty of stopping distance because of the weight. In your case you have other cars to drive.

Also plan on putting 100 Amps of 220 in your garage. Maximum charging current is 80 amps and it charges about 60 miles of range per hour at 80 amps. When we park it in the garage we always plug it in and it's fully charged in the morning.

When you first get one, you stress out with range anxiety. That goes away in a week or so. We never worry about range anymore, but we also never use it for driving trips.

I had a good friend who collected interesting vehicles. He had a Duck. I have to admit it was a lot of fun. Enjoy!

Comment Re: My nose (Score 1) 496

I agree and disagree.

$7500 did not not make me decide to buy a Tesla, I would have bought it anyway although I may have done without a couple of options. Although its not a big sample, the other electric car owners I know feel the same way. What has made electric cars fashionable is the Tesla, a car made possible by current technology and some talented people - not a tax break. The clear evidence for global warming is also a driving factor for electric vehicles.

That said, I agree with the implication that the electric car subsidy is unfair and should be curtailed. An even bigger issue is the fact that our roads are paid by fuel taxes that electric car owners do not pay.

On the other hand... The environmental cost of fossil fuels should probably be borne by those who burn them. I have no idea how to quantify it.

Comment Re:My nose (Score 1) 496

To me, sustainability is about conserving the limited resources our planet offers and maintaining a healthy ecosystem for us to thrive in. CO2 emissions are directly related to the combustion of fossil fuel and disrupt the balance of our environment. These emissions if uncontrolled threaten the ability of earth to sustain life as we know it.

Comment Re:My nose (Score 1) 496

At least its possible that electric vehicles can be sustainable. Gas/diesel motors will always emit CO2. Where I live in the Chicago area, I can pay a small amount extra so all my electric generation goes to wind and solar. This costs between $5 and $10 dollars extra a month. People that buy electric vehicles today are generally willing to pay a little extra for sustainable power.

Comment Re:Physically feasible? (Score 1) 330

Actually I think it works the way Einstein thought :-) See: - specifically the section labeled "Planetary Reference Frame".

Because I think it's more practical to send a machine on a round trip, I was thinking about it in terms of earth's frame of reference, not the traveller. From the traveller's frame of reference, it should be fewer years - no?

The last time I did the calculation, I came up with .77 C after one year and .97 C after 2 years, but I didn't have anybody to check my work and I may be wrong. I'm pretty certain I'm in the ballpark though.

All that said, while the laws of physics allow for the possibility, foreseeable technology does not. I'll work on the engines - the shield is somebody else's problem because I have absolutely no idea how that could be solved...

Comment Re:Physically feasible? (Score 1) 330

If you accelerate at 1G for a little less than a year, you will be travelling pretty close to the speed of light. Add a year of deceleration plus the travel time and it should be physically feasible to travel a distance of 4 light years in between 5 and 7 years.

Obviously this would require propulsion technology that has not yet been developed, but may very well be not only feasible, but available within the next 100 years.

Safe high efficiency mass to energy conversion is required. e=mc2 tells us that reasonable amount of mass is more than capable of delivering the energy needed for acceleration. While the technology to convert mass directly to energy does not yet exist, one cannot rule out the possibility within the laws of physics as we know them.

Propellant is another matter and this would limit the size of the payload. Propellantless propulsion is a much better alternative. Although it's initially hard to believe possible, working models of such a thing do exist.

There are many other big problems to solve. For example, hitting even the tiniest grain of sand along the way would make for a very bad day so some kind of magic shield would be needed.

Using current technology such a trip would not be remotely feasible. We however don't need any crazy science fiction magic like warp drive or wormholes. We're like Jules Verne over a hundred years ago. He knew that a trip to the moon was feasible, but the only conceivable technology of his day was a big gun to shoot people there. We can travel to the stars within the limitations of the speed of light; we just don't have the details of the technology yet.

Comment Its usually a business decision (Score 1) 210

Most software is not fine art, it's a tool made by paid professionals for paid professionals. If there isn't a viable return on the investment made for maintenance and enhancement, the program will languish and die. Programs are not people a right to live and be cared for. Often the business decisions are faulty and software that is worthy of investment is ignored. These businesses are often not competitive and they die along with their creations. Sometimes a program's value only warrants a minimal maintenance investment. Admittedly, it's no fun doing a half-assed job, but sometimes you just have to hold your nose and do the minimum.

All too often business decision makers don't understand the tradeoffs and value of software maintenance. Equally, developers ignore the business aspect of their creations and cry for purity from their ivory tower for programs that do not warrant further Investment. Both camps have to learn to take the wider view.

I've learned to advise that when software is developed, a maintenance budget be crafted from the inception of the program and projected through the entire program's expected life. Having this planned in the beginning of a system's lifecycle promotes satisfaction, success, quality and long life.

Comment Re:God I hate to say this, but (Score 1) 562

My biggest problem is how they threw out the entire carefully curated universe in the novels. There is a huge rich and varied source of original ideas with complex moral dilemmas that many Star Wars fans are unaware of. What a shame they didn't use some of that instead of a rehash of the first Star Wars movie plot.

Slashdot Top Deals

The Wright Bothers weren't the first to fly. They were just the first not to crash.