Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment How to measure it... (Score 1) 148 148

In order to find practical applications, I think it's important to quantify what it you've got through measurements, mainly by breaking them. You want to know what kind of torque the later stages of that 11million+ ratio gearset can actually withstand. I'd probably try hooking a dremel on the "fast" end and some kind of lever pressing on an obstacle or a digital scale on the "slow" end. I suspect that some stages would be prone to failure much sooner than others. Different materials and more precise construction could yield a part strong enough to do a lot of useful things, mainly apply a lot of torque with smaller, higher speed motors. (Which is very useful when you want to reduce weight, like on an airplane, car or space station.)

Comment Anyone else 100% sure to boycott this? (Score 1) 157 157

How fucking idiotic could you be?

Why would we create a world where a terrorist organization or other deeply flawed institution could take physical control of vehicles over the air?

There's no use speculating on whether it would happen -- if it can, it will and you won't be told when it does, because that would hurt sales or national security or whatever.

Keep the hardened firewalls. Keep it IMPOSSIBLE to do. Keep the fuck out of MY STUFF except with my permission.

Comment Re:When everything you say or do (Score 1) 379 379

It's really depressing. If anyone else out there is like me, learning how deep the deception runs --that our nation is not primary a defender of truth but a bastion of 1984-esque doublespeak, has not been good for their productivity or personal development... which is in turn bad for our country. It's sad to think that people in charge just see leakers and critics as the problem, to think that what I feel I'm losing in terms of freedoms was never there to begin with.

Comment Re:Might be a fit for EVs (Score 1) 103 103

I have to refute your point #1.

There's no need to keep engines "in sync" when they each power their own wheel. the road does that.

The only thing to watch out for would be loss of traction on a particular wheel, but traction control would not significantly more complicated with two or four drivetrains instead of one. In fact, you could do away with the wheel speed sensors and rely on relative engine rpms to determine when one has lost traction.

The biggest reasons we don't have cars with multiple IC engines are:
1. Cost
2. Complexity (each would need its own transmission because as you mentioned, they work best at certain rpms)
3. Efficiency at high load (two 2.0l engines will eat more gas than one 4.0l)
4. It's unorthodox - you'd have to convince people its not stupid

Honestly, I think that there is a compelling argument for making cars with multiple engines, i.e. a transverse engine for the front two wheels, and another for the back.

1. you can re-use almost all of the parts from front to back, so while there are more parts, there aren't more UNIQUE parts.
2. Efficiency at low loads (ideally done with a stop-start kind of system, you could simply leave one engine off when the extra power and traction are not needed, thus doing away with almost half your frictional losses and reciprocating mass)
3. Redundancy - (if one engine is experiencing a failure of some kind, you have another one!)
4. Ideal AWD! perfect front/rear torque distribution when both are running. (All other methods of torque distribution have shortcomings, whether it's by viscous clutch, eletronic clutch, clutch packs, torsen, solid coupling, whatever. There is a trade off between slip and traction, and slip is needed for a car to turn without destroying gears.)

Comment ultimately the misperception is by businesses (Score 2) 240 240

...on how to best create software. It seems really, really tough to get anyone finance-minded in the *business* of making software to understand that it's worthwhile to do exploratory development of tools and techniques to be much more productive later on. There is simply not enough money being invested into making better programming tools. The fact that free, open source software is so pervasive in for-profit companies is proof of that. Everyone would rather take what they can get, squeeze as much money as they can out of it in the near term, and wait around to benefit from everyone elses investments back into the technology.

Comment Re: 4/$2.50 (Score 3, Interesting) 196 196

That is a widely held opinion, but when you factor in the lifespan of the bulb, they are cheaper to operate than either cfls or incandescents. The only good reason not to make the investment, being that it has a 0 risk return, is that they get cheaper and better in quality as time goes on. Ive personally had all LED lighting for a while and the only frustrating thing is i have no need for the new models since not one has failed in 2 years, and they wont for a while.

Comment Re: If only there were a system (Score 1) 259 259

I think our capitalist system has a worse problem. What do we do when there's not enough labor that needs doing? Cutting hours in the average work-week would work, but that's not how we do things. Instead we just brainwash our people into filling their homes and lives with the latest BULLSHIT reason to spend more and work harder. Never mind raising quality of life - thats just an occasional positive side effect.

Comment Do NOT demonize high bandwidth rollouts. demonize (Score 1) 259 259

America is way behind where they should be for bandwidth in the residential sector, everywhere. ISPs gobble up money and don't produce value. I think this is mostly a side effect of the fact that, as a society, empowerment isn't high on the to-do list, compared to, say, surveillance, so the already-empowered-by-huge-swaths-of-cash can maintain "order" (Me, first! Me, absolutely! Me, above all else!) Google is doing what's right in this case as they are giving us what we have long since paid for as taxpayers and exploited value-producers in terms of last mile internet performance. If that's because they believe in their own mission of "don't be evil" or because they see a way to "monetize" (amorally exploit for money) the flood of data remains to be seen, but raising the bar in any way here is generally positive.

Comment Thats a dodo's opinion (Score 1) 876 876

The reason you havent met anyone who prefers editing code graphically is because there isn't a good graphical code editor. The reason there isn't a good graphical code editor is that programming is an immature profession, as are most that deal with high technology, and that minds change slowly. I guarantee you we can get more, better code into the computer with less chance of error by representing the code in more elegant ways. That is to say, representing it in ways that are more easily processed visually, that convey more infomation with less noise -- with more easily identifiable patterns. IDEs already do this. They bring the code to life with interactive menus and highlighting. There is no reason that the info represented there always has to have an ASCII, syntactically complex equivalent.

Comment I think that cord cutters number is artificially l (Score 1) 578 578

Every time I try to cancel my cable tv they tell me that it is cheaper to keep it. Thats right, its less expensive to get 50mb internet WITH tv than without, thanks to the deals they offer. This is via comcast in eastern mass. They must be doing it to inflate tv subscriber numbers or hide the rate of cord cutting.

Comment I've made gradual changes to lessen crude oil use (Score 3, Interesting) 635 635

The whole shift in thinking about burning fuel and the problems that it leads to, however small my contribution, has certainly impacted my lifestyle.

My decision to live in a place where I can depend on public transportation was influenced by that knowledge.

The lack of attachment to a physical place, knowing that I can continue to nurture my friendships from a distance, through the internet, also played a big part.

Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists. -- John Kenneth Galbraith