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Comment: Re:Driverless on the deep level tube is pointless (Score 1) 127

by __Reason__ (#48110367) Attached to: London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

the solution is not to pay several hundred men £30k each to push a lever for 10 years, but to widen the tunnel slightly.

"Widening the tunnels slightly", in the case of the Tube, would be astronomically expensive. Not least for the economic cost of having to close lines for years while the work was carried out.

Comment: Re:Driverless on the deep level tube is pointless (Score 1) 127

by __Reason__ (#48110343) Attached to: London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

The DLR is actually AIRBORNE at some points (no escape at all) and was unmanned. The "must be manned" is the union line to preserve jobs, not anything to do with safety.

The DLR has never been unmanned. There is always a crew member onboard DLR trains, at all times.

Also, all sections of DLR track, whether elevated or in tunnels, has walkways (albeit narrow ones) along side for evacuation purposes.

Comment: Re:Aerodynamic design? (Score 2) 127

by __Reason__ (#48110305) Attached to: London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

I would imagine that a subway train, acting like a "piston" would work better if it were more aerodynamic and not have to overcome a lot of pressure within the tunnel.

Can anyone explain the reasons behind this design?

There are various reasons for this. One important one is safety: You need a door at each end of the train to allow it to be evacuated.

Comment: Re:Driverless on the deep level tube is pointless (Score 1) 127

by __Reason__ (#48110295) Attached to: London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

It's extremely rare that an emergency results in a train stopped between stations

Actually, it's not that unusual.

The Victoria line, for example, has a very dense and frequent service - in fact there are about 45% more trains in operation at peak times than there are platforms on the line. So, if an emergency (like someone jumping on to the track in front of a train) means the line has to be suspended, inevitably there are going to be trains stopped in tunnels.

Comment: Re:Unions upset (Score 1) 127

by __Reason__ (#48110225) Attached to: London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

some of the underground lines run driverless (as in no cabs, the locomotive control is by computer and is dependent on a crewman running the doors), I wonder if the GP actually means "completely crewless" as in DLR, Heathrow, Gatwick?

1. No London Underground trains are "Driverless". All current London Underground rolling stock have driving cabs, and there is a driver in that cab at all times (even if they aren't doing any actual driving!).

2. The DLR is not crew-less. All DLR trains have a member of staff on board at all times.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 5, Informative) 127

by __Reason__ (#48109777) Attached to: London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

The news is that London is getting them. Did you RTF title?

Driverless trains have existed in London for many years, too. For example on the DLR: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

Several lines of the London Underground already use Automatic Train Operation (ATO), where the train is fully controlled by software under normal conditions. There is still a "Driver", but all they do is operate the doors, make passenger announcements, and are ready to take over in the case of an emergency or a system failure.

In fact, the Victoria line has used ATO since it opened in the 1960s, and was the world's first major metro/subway line to do so.

Comment: Re:Tin foil hats! (Score 3, Insightful) 731

by __Reason__ (#46217183) Attached to: Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

Actually, modern cards not only have the contact chip but also a "Contactless" mode that can be used for small payments.

So you can pay for your Starbucks or bus fare instantly just by tapping your Visa card, no need to swipe or insert the card and enter a PIN number. This is all still more secure than Swipe & Sign, because the cards can't be easily cloned and theres a relatively low transaction limit.

Comment: Re:Visas are going to be an issue (Score 1) 273

But often setting up your own company is allowed? I suppose it depends on what you mean by often; I certainly haven't done a survey of the world to find out who allows this and who doesn't. But the US? No, you'll get deported. Same for Canada (although Canada does have a startup visa process; see http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/business/start-up/eligibility.asp).

I don't know about the US, but in many countries, you don't have to be a citizen/resident of that country in order to set up a company there. You can quite legitimately start a UK Limited company, for example, without having ever been to the UK.

Of course, if you were actually doing "work" for that company from inside the UK, that could be considered employment, you could be breaching the conditions of a visitor visa.

Comment: Re:Visas are going to be an issue (Score 1) 273

be a bit realistic. they won't know he is working, and most travelers do exactly that, leave after 6 months, go to some place outside the eu for a month, and then come back.

You don't have to leave the EU - just go somewhere outside the Schengen area. The UK and Ireland, for example, are outside the Schengen area and have their own immigration regime.

By spending, say, 3 months there in the middle of your adventures, you can (legitimately) extend your stay in Europe.

Comment: Re:Visas are going to be an issue (Score 1) 273

I only have refrence of UK which is a known hell hole for trains (the last train I took in the the UK was >3hrs late and missing 2 carriages, so packed.)

Last year, 90.9% of all trains ran on time in the UK. That figure may not be ideal, but to put it in perspective - it's far better than what most airlines achieve. I don't know how it compares to trains in the Netherlands, but I'd be surprised if it's that much worse.

This figure also varies widely between train companies, with commuter operations like London Overground, c2c, Merseyrail, and Chiltern often achieving >96% on time performance, while Long-distance routes tend to perform worse.

Since your journey was delayed by more than an hour, you may be entitled to a full refund of your fare. (Exceptions apply for situations outside the control of the train company, such as extreme weather)

Comment: Re:difference with regular manure? (Score 1) 103

by __Reason__ (#43481265) Attached to: Low Levels of Toxic Gas Found To Encourage Plant Growth

The only application I see is the hydro-culture vegetables/fruits here in Belgium and they already have no taste compared to real soil cultivated vegetables, and now they will get rotten egg taste?

The difference in taste you describe is probably due to varieties being bred/selected for fast growth (and shelf appearance) over taste, not the medium they're grown in.

Comment: Solar panels don't have to be on the aircraft (Score 1) 590

by __Reason__ (#41828443) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Stands In the Way of a Truly Solar-Powered Airliner?
There's an assumption here that the Solar Panels / Collectors need to be placed on the aircraft itself. That would appear to be impractical. How about putting the solar array in _orbit_, and beaming down the power via Microwave power transmission or some such technology? This would solve the issue of night flight, as an orbital power grid could move energy to areas not shadowed by the earth. Clouds shouldn't a problem either.

Comment: Re:More money from the real into the virtual econo (Score 1) 212

by __Reason__ (#40333423) Attached to: Aussie Telco Lays New Fiber For Microsecond Trading Boost
Perhaps we should allow trades only by hand-written, wax sealed forms submitted by hand every Tuesday at 10am on the floor of the New York stock exchange. This could well reduce volatility - but would it really make for a fairer market? HFT isn't a bad thing. If anything, it benefits the market by increasing liquidity - more shares are changing hands, so it's easier for long term investors to buy and sell them.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.