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Comment Re:hyperloop without the hyper or loop (Score 1) 200

It would also use much less land (no runways needed), and could terminate in the middle of a city a'la Grand central station.

Unfortunately the "cost savings" Musk envisaged for the LA-SF version were in part achieved by not going anywhere near the cities it served, sitting tens of miles outside - a situation more extreme than most airports, which at least try to be close to the cities they serve.

You can probably build a pretty cheap airport "serving" LA if you build it fifty miles away too ;-)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Triggering /.'s cognitive dissonance

I kinda want to submit this (not the direct Reddit link, obviously, but to a real news article) to Slashdot just to see Slashdot's legions of Gamergaters try to justify copyright law.

Comment Re:Do you have any idea how you all sound? (Score 1) 481

What, I think, is telling is not that they're just making these somewhat dumb comments, it's how effing angry they are, as if Cortana not putting up with simulated harassment is in some way taking something valuable away from them.

Ever since, well, just before this GG nonsense started, Slashdot's readership has been really circling the toilet. I wonder how these people have jobs given their anger issues with women.

Comment Re:I don't even know what "hyperloop" is any more. (Score 1) 200

Indeed. That's one of the few things that one can say has nothing to do with either the original Hyperloop alpha concept or the new college competition entries. Pneumatic tubes mean that they make use of pressure to push things - that's what the word "pneumatic" means. Pressure being the one thing Hyperloop (all permutations) distinctly lacks.

Comment What I use (Score 1) 134

I have multiple devices - more than a typical hotel provides sockets for. So I carry a 4-way or 6-way power extension lead for my home-country's type of wall socket. Then I have all the usual chargers (my laptop; company's laptop; client's laptop ; generic USB charger ; camera battery charger) , which plug into that. This works if I'm at work in my home country, at a clinet in my home country, at a client in their home country, or at work in any other country (e.g., where the client is operating).

I additionally carry ONE adaptor each for home-country to US ; and home-country to European "Shucko" (which is mostly compatible with Russian). And I carry a multimeter and a screwdriver - but I carry them normally anyway.

In combination, this then gives me 4 (or 6) sockets to my home country, in any country in the world. Well, any country I've met so far. I've occasionally had problems with only having South African sockets available.

Comment Re:Ob (Score 1) 50

As I've said before, the reasons for "removing" "planet status" from Pluto (or, more strictly, defining "planet" and finding that it doesn't include Pluto) are not the reasons you give, but they are reasons.

For an accessible summary, see Hal Levison's "hand waving explanation." These may not be the criteria that you consider important, but the way to change that is to devote the couple of decades necessary to become a sufficiently respected voice in planetary science, and then to go and argue your case.

Hint : it's science. It is not a democracy. It is a meritocracy, with your merit being judged on the basis of your published work.

Comment Re:hyperloop without the hyper or loop (Score 1) 200

Kinda true, kinda not. The idea was to replace CAHSR, but CAHSR is itself billed as a replacement for flying.

Personally I think the Hyperloop proposal is done in bad faith - the system Musk proposed was supposedly substantially cheaper, but only served two of the four cities joined by CAHSR, was something in the region of a hundred miles away from those two cities, couldn't carry anything like the same number of passengers, and Musk hand waved quite a bit about costs (did he really think the CAHSR people hadn't considered viaducts? And in what world does a viaduct - even for a single pipe stuck up on stilts - cost only a quarter of a million dollars a mile?) suggesting it would probably cost several times the amount Musk proposed.

And, I'll be honest, I think travel in those things will be a nightmare. But I'd expect nothing less from anyone in the car industry - these are people who have never "got" public transportation, largely because they love driving so much they can't imagine anyone else wouldn't.

Comment Dated info. (Score 1, Informative) 17

Comment Re:Who needs a startup? (Score 1) 22

[In voice of some millennials]

That way, when an anomalous result appears,

What is this thing you call an "anomalous result"? This can't happen to me. That's implying that I can't see an obvious problem before it happens, and that CANNOT be true.

[end outraged voice]

One of the things that you learn with experience is that you can actually be wrong. It's one of the things that a lot of people these days have to actually learn, because they haven't learned it in their pre-teen or teenage years.

For the last several years I've been introducing "Bright Young Things", recently recruited to a major company to work in managing the acquisition of data from the Real World. They too, despite being bright people, have to learn that they don't know everything, and that the Real World has things going on that they don't know about, and don't understand.

It's an education for them.

Comment Re:Who needs a startup? (Score 1) 22

... and he misses the point.

Plainly, from the scenario, measuring the humidity wasn't part of the original experimental plan. The experiment is already running, and what the lecturer is saying is that (some of) his students don't conceive that there might be something worth recording that isn't in the experiment plan. Realising that your plans may be wrong is the first step. THEN you go on to "well, what can I do about this.

You'd also be able to (probably) tell if there were a humidity effect by doing parameter-free ANOVA on your existing data, or attempting to back-estimate the humidity on other days of the experiment, in order to determine if there is an effect, if it's large enough to be detectable, and if it's large enough to be worth the £40 tool, the £130 tool, or simply taking a humidity report from the weather website.

Comment I don't even know what "hyperloop" is any more. (Score 1) 200

Seriously. I was a big fan of Hyperloop Alpha. But the MIT team that won the "Hyperloop" contest is proposing something nothing like Hyperloop. The test track that SpaceX is building is designed to support a wide range of vehicles, most nothing like that in the Hyperloop Alpha document. So if I say "I like hyperloop", I don't know what exactly it is I'm supporting anymore. What exactly is "Hyperloop" these days?

All I can say is that I really liked the alpha one. The MIT team's maglev thing is Meh^2.

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