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Comment: Re: I have to put my feet down again! (Score 1) 218

by Xiph1980 (#47277253) Attached to: It's Not a Car, It's a Self-Balancing Electric Motorcycle (Video)
I could've gone into details about centrepetal forces and gyroscopic precession, but I chose not to, because it's not important from a rider's stance. Interesting from a phycisist's stance perhaps, but when riding, what matters is what forcefully steering or weight-shifting does to your bike, and to rest DocSavage64109's concerns about balance in crosswinds with a reclining motorcycle.

Also, the gyroscopic precession effect plays a large part with big wheeled motorcycles, but plays little to no part on motorscooters and other small wheeled two-wheelers, and this device has very little wheels so I doubt it has any noticeable effect.

Comment: Re: I have to put my feet down again! (Score 1) 218

by Xiph1980 (#47276971) Attached to: It's Not a Car, It's a Self-Balancing Electric Motorcycle (Video)
If you're balancing your motorcycle by only shifting your weight around, you're doing something wrong.
It's actually not even possible to do that, because if you shift your body to the left, the motorcycle will tilt to the right and the center of mass will be on the exact same vertical line as it was before, exactly above the wheels. You balance by steering. If you get a crosswind from the left, you'll steer to the right slightly, moving the center of mass a tad to the right, but the point of contact with the ground even moreso. That way your motorcycle (and you with it) will lean a bit to the left counteracting the crosswind. This works exactly thesame on any two-wheeler like a motorcycle, scooter or a reclining motorcycle. You intuitively do thesame while steering. You don't steer the motorcycle left to go left. You steer it right, resulting in a controlled tilt to the left which you compensate by going round a bend. And knowing this can help you when you end up in a tight spot when you underestimated a bend. If you threaten to go off in a bend, pull the handlebar on the "wrong" side of the steeringwheel. This'll jolt you even flatter, and you will very likely make it through unscathed.

Comment: Re:Simple. Don't. (Score 1) 399

by Xiph1980 (#44531927) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Request Someone To Send Me a Public Key?
That GPG plug-in worked fine as long as you didn't use Exchange. However most companies do use exchange, and therefor that plugin became useless. That windows skin example is moot. I use the default windows skin as well. Why? Not because I especially like how it looks. But simply because I don't care about it. It looks good enough. As long as it doesn't look like Windows 3.11, why should I spend time on changing the skin? Why should I care about that? I prefer changing things like using the SysInternals Process Explorer, Notepad++ etc. Scripting with python... Things that actually make my life easier. A GUI skin? Not on my todo list.

Comment: Re:Simple. Don't. (Score 1) 399

by Xiph1980 (#44531875) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Request Someone To Send Me a Public Key?
I'm not allowed to go into details, but I've been around the block, having worked as an engineer in oil&gas, finance, electricity utility and now waste recycling, so I kinda do know what I'm talking about. Nowhere did they use PGP or any email encryption scheme. You'd be surprised how much information goes back and forth via unsecured email. And yes, US Health care uses something like PGP but only since that's made mandatory by law not too long ago. Can't comment on law offices though.
And no, these are not statements made by someone who doesn't know how to use a computer.

Comment: Simple. Don't. (Score 2) 399

by Xiph1980 (#44529193) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Request Someone To Send Me a Public Key?
I'm sorry to say, but the simple fact of the matter is that PGP/GPG isn't used anywhere in corporate life. Not even in banking-related companies.
For one, people don't perceive email as something that can easily be snooped, and if they do they'll think it's something like a chance encounter as if it's a regular piece of mail where you have to be at a certain point at a certain time to be able to snatch the mail, plus have to have a reasonable idea what you're looking for as a mail thief.
Secondly, and I cannot stress this enough, it's a f'ing drag to use. It's not easy to install. It's not easy to set up, and it's far from user friendly on a day to day basis.

Besides the fact that email encryption isn't commonplace, as long as you aren't sending you pin number or medical data on a regular basis (daily), why bother to be honest. You'll get a stamp as "that weird guy" if you start about PGP etc, and that'll last. If you want to send it securely, just wrap it in an encrypted container, like a ZIP or RAR file and phone them the password.

Comment: Re:How? (Score 2) 204

by Xiph1980 (#43885665) Attached to: WY Teen Cut From Science Fair For Entering Too Many
In what universe is nuclear energy free energy? There's no such thing as free energy. There's such a thing as usable energy, and as you say he might not even have reached that point:

Granted I get that this kid probably didn't exceed the energy output needed to make this plausible, <snip>

Nuclear energy generation isn't something "magical" or especially difficult per sé. What makes it difficult, is the containment you need to prevent radiation from escaping and measures put in place to prevent the reaction from going out of control (something you also need by the way for conventional power sources) and I seriously doubt that he got hold of such pure radioactive materials that a runaway reaction was any danger. Anyway, all you do for the rest is replacing the heat source of burning wood, coal, oil or anything chemical / mechanical with a radioactive source of heat. The rest of the system, whether that be a peltier pad, stirling engine or steam turbine is pretty much the same.
Now, about that "free energy" you mentioned... As I said, there's no such thing. There's only usable/functional/however-you-wanna-name-it energy, i.e. where you gain more energy from the reaction than you expel to mine and collect the materials and to start and monitor the reaction. Wood is an easy example of that. Takes relatively little energy to chop down a tree, and you gain a lot when you burn it in a fireplace.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz

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