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Comment: Re:waste of time (Score 1) 380

by Wintermute__ (#47329369) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

1. Unlatch side battery door.

2. Slide out weak battery.

3. Slide in fresh battery.

That's 30 seconds tops.

You realize that most electric cars have a substantial battery pack. If it was as simple as opening the hood and removing a simple battery, don't you think somebody would have thought of that before you?

http://www.teslamotors.com/bat...

Somebody did. Granted, it takes 3x that 30 seconds.

Comment: Re:It's not really a myth anymore (Score 1) 222

by Wintermute__ (#47182703) Attached to: The Sci-Fi Myth of Killer Machines

Google's self-driving car only has to identify An Object and avoid it, on top of driving along a set course with GPS assistance. A killbot has to identify what The Object is, find out if it's a threat, then check if it's a friend or foe somehow, hopefully assess the possibilities of collateral damage and what war crimes it may be committing by attacking the target...what Google's self driving car can do is just the first step.

Nope. A killbot just has to identify An Object and kill it. You could make one of Google's self-driving cars into a killbot for pedestrians and bicyclists (and potentially motorcyclists) today, if you were sufficiently evil (or evil's cousin, incompetent). Good thing Google's motto is "don't be evil".

Comment: Re:He's lucky (Score 3, Informative) 265

by Wintermute__ (#47061291) Attached to: IT Pro Gets Prison Time For Sabotaging Ex-Employer's System

He did. He "hacked in to a protected computer". Also:

"Mitchell is no stranger to computer-related controversy. In high school, he was accused of planting more than 100 viruses on the school's systems, according to a report in the Charleston Gazette newspaper."

Great choice, let's hire him!

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 522

Ryan Reed reports that when most Game of Thrones fans imagine George R.R. Martin writing his epic fantasy novels, they probably picture the author working on a futuristic desktop

Why would anyone think that?

Good question. I imagined him at an old Underwood banging away. None of those wussy Selectrics, let alone a PC.

Either that or a pen and paper, considering how long it takes him to write a book.

Comment: Re:Having a private pilots license (Score 1) 269

I seem to remember reading that the Boeing 747 has a glide ratio of 1:17. Meaning it can get 17 feet of forward motion for every foot of altitude. Honestly that kind of amazes me.

That's because of the speed that they'll likely be starting the glide at. Doesn't take long to go 17 feet when you're doing several hundreds of knots.

If you were to slow a 747 down to Cessna 172 speeds, you'd likely already be stalling out and dropping like a rock depending on your weight, flaps, etc.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 2) 463

No, quite the opposite in fact. The owners need to earn more to afford to buy or build replacements, and the producers of the replacement ships need to make more, which requires the production of more raw materials and components, on down the line.

The destruction of ships is one of the major drivers of demand in the Eve economy.

Comment: Re:feature bottleneck (Score 0) 437

by Wintermute__ (#46031565) Attached to: You Might Rent Features & Options On Cars In the Future

Another (automotive-related, even) example of the "premium" feature effect you describe:

Automatic transmissions. They are mechanically much simpler, and cheaper to manufacture, than old-fashioned manual transmissions. Yet you will pay more for an automatic transmission. Or, pay even more yet for an automatic transmission with a manual shift feature (just a software change in most cases).

Comment: Re:Not Realistic (Score 1) 85

by Wintermute__ (#45892257) Attached to: Creating Better Malware Warnings Through Psychology

The real problem here is that most people view computers as little black boxes that use a lot of elves and magic to keep them working.

There's the problem. We need to inform people that computers are little black boxes that use smoke to keep them working. How do I know? Because every time I've seen the smoke escape from the computer, it stopped working.

The empirical evidence is, indeed, compelling. My results correspond to your own.

Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 85

by Wintermute__ (#45892099) Attached to: Creating Better Malware Warnings Through Psychology

Or like the apoplectic fit browsers go into every time you want to use a self signed cert! Yes, my router/ap/storage appliance is self signed. Shut up already!

 

Why do browsers show warnings when self-signed certs are encountered?

A self-signed cert says 'I am yourbank.com because I say I am.'

A certificate from a CA says 'I am yourbank.com and Verisign can vouch for me.'

Or perhaps 'the Hong Kong Post Office can vouch for me'.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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