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Comment: Re:Government Intervention (Score 1) 318

by JanneM (#48935205) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

Unfortunately, the US does not have free market capitalism on broadband communications. In most areas it is either monopoly or duopoly

That's what a free market will usually naturally gravitate to. Competition is bad for all competitors, so cartels or monopolies are strong attractors in the system. If you want competition and choice you need market regulation to make it happen.

Comment: Re:What's more irritating? (Score 1) 244

by arth1 (#48929845) Attached to: One In Five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects

Neither. I agree with the hype about IoT. I think it will be as big a change to society 40 years' time as the Internet has been so far.

Now what is irritating, though, is all the Slashdot posts complaining about IoT...

Ah, would you perchance happen to be the submitter?

Because most others here think buzzwords like these are pretty damn lame, and says more about the user than the technology. Let technology lead where it may, and don't try to put premature labels on stuff.

Comment: Re:It'll never happen (Score 1) 201

by sbaker (#48928371) Attached to: The discovery of intelligent alien life would be met predominantly with...

Negative energy isn't antimatter. If it was, then colliding anti-matter with regular matter would produce a soft 'poof' sound rather than a gigantic explosion. E=mc^2 applies to antimatter...it doesn't have negative mass - so it doesn't have negative energy either.

Negative energy means your idea doesn't work.

Comment: Re:I prefer a tablet for some things to a smart ph (Score 2) 279

by JanneM (#48927927) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

I kind of want the opposite. I've got a big, capable laptop at home, and several computers at work. When I go out, though, I'm not going to do any real programming or make a presentation or things like that when I'm at a cafe with my wife, or sitting on the train home from work. I'll surf the web, read a paper or play games. A tablet lets me do that just fine.

A small, light laptop has too many compromises; little memory, slow CPU (that gets throttled after more than a few seconds at 100%), small screen and keyboard. And it's still much heavier than the Tablet Z I carry. The tablet is light and thin enough that I really don't notice it in my bag at all.

We're all hunting for the impossible: a matchbox-size computer with the power of a workstation and a 40" screen. Instead we have to compromise. And we all end up with different compromises. I've even thought of cancelling my smartphone and go back to a small, light feature-phone. It's cheaper, more durable and the battery lasts for a week. Use only the tablet for apps.

Comment: Re: just put a motor on the elevator itself (Score 1) 242

by arth1 (#48926067) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

Elevator brakes are one of the most elegant solutions known to man, and perhaps more crucial to the continued popularity of the cabled elevator. The brake is held open by spring tension generated by the interaction of the elevator and the cable. If the cable gets cut, the brake engages. That's it. Any other type of elevator would need a more complicated break system. Detection of fault conditions would be a separate action that triggers the brakes. That means delays, and the possibility of errors. It is practically impossible for a properly built cable elevator to plummet. You cannot say the same for any cableless concept design. One of the simplest ideas in legal liability is that if you opt to do something the more dangerous way, you're liable. You must have very good grounds to justify the risk.

You miss that in a pinion or cog driven elevator with the motors in the building, there is no need for emergency brakes - being stationary is the default state. Only if a motor moves the cart along will it actually move - up or down.
To me, that seems like far less risks than having a system where you need emergency brakes for safety, no matter how elegant.

And this system is in use in many assembly lines. The motors are stationary, and the carts won't move unless driven. And while most are horizontal systems, there are vertical ones too. Boxes with holes or pinions on the side are lifted or lowered by cogwheels, and there is no possibility of them falling. They can reach quite high speeds too, unlike the typical self-driven pinion-and-rack lifts that you see on boatyards and libraries.

Comment: Re: just put a motor on the elevator itself (Score 1) 242

by arth1 (#48920975) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

The motor on an elevator like Noah is suggesting would have to provide enough force to counteract the entire weight of the elevator + payload + motor + friction, which is at least an order of magnitude more than a traditional elevator.

Not necessarily, no. Put fixed motors on the shaft walls, not in the elevator, and put pinions on the outside walls or corners of the elevator. The only extra weight would be of the elevator itself, less the weight of the hanging cable which elevators today have to move, and less the weight of the braking system, which would now be in the building, not the elevator.
And the much smaller building mounted motors can recuperate some of the energy whenever the elevator is descending.
Because each motor would only have to lift the elevator for a small distance before the next motor takes over, I imagine that higher speeds can also be attained, with less energy expenditure.

Comment: Re: just put a motor on the elevator itself (Score 5, Interesting) 242

by pavon (#48920551) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

No, you could use a conductive rail, like a subway, and rack and pinion system to move the elevator. The rack and rail would add a fair bit more total weight to the building compared to a cable. But more importantly, the motors would have to be much much more powerful! Modern elevator systems have a counter-weight balanced on the other side of that cable, which means the motor only has to overcome friction and the small difference in weight between the elevator and counterweight (which varies depending on current payload). The motor on an elevator like Noah is suggesting would have to provide enough force to counteract the entire weight of the elevator + payload + motor + friction, which is at least an order of magnitude more than a traditional elevator.

Comment: Re:Coding vs. literacy (Score 1) 208

by arth1 (#48915523) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

You seem to have taken this very personal, resorting to personal insults for a post that had nothing whatsoever to do with you.
I suggest you change the relationship and automatically score mod my posts so you don't see them, because I will keep on ranting about things I feel like ranting about, out of the blue, without taking your feelings and opinions into consideration. They're worth exactly nothing to me - sorry.

Comment: Re:So what will this accomplish? (Score 2, Insightful) 152

by danheskett (#48915433) Attached to: Uber Capping Prices During Snowmageddon 2015

Why is this rated 5? Yes, paying drivers more *might* slightly increase supply but my guess is that the number of drivers is somewhat

You guess? Well lets just throw out the Iron Clad Law of Supply & Demand, on which almost all of the worlds productive economy is based, because you guess.

fixed so without also charging passengers more you do nothing on the demand side. The point of demand pricing is to reduce demand
so that you don't overwhelm the relatively fixed supply. If your goal is to always have cars available, then increasing the price while
paying the drivers the same would actually be a better solution than increasing the pay while charging the same but that would also be
idiotic.

You cannot look at one side of the equation.

When demand is up, there are only two options. Option number one is shortages (of supply). Option number two is that supply must increase.
When supply is down, there are only two options. Option number one is shortages (of demand). Option number two is that supply must decrease.

In either case, the solution is price elasticity. When the price drops, because supply is too high or demand is too low, drivers will drop out of the market. When the price raises, because supply is too low or demand is too high, drivers will enter the market.

Uber has a flexible work force, and it is no way fixed. They also posses 100% more information about the market and their drivers than you do, or the AG does.

This is the case of government using consumer protection laws in a way that will hurt consumers. Economics and the market are not friendly, but they do produce desirable outcomes. If the desirable outcome is fairness, than what the government and AG are doing will produce a fair outcome - everyone regardless of ability to pay will have an equal chance of getting or not getting a car, based on random luck, your skin color, or whatever else motivates you.

If the outcome is to provide as many rides possible, this requires a market with supply and demand efficiency. By curbing supply efficiency by limiting price elasticity, you provide fewer rides than the market will optimally support. If you are frequent driver, you know that by going to where the demand is, to when the demand is, will produce more and more profitable rides. If you are a rider, you know that by relying on Uber during exceptionally busy times, you will only be able to get a ride by paying far more than you would otherwise.

This is really a great case of the nanny government stepping into a situation which is drastically over it's head, in the name of "fairness". Fairness is not an economic goal, it's a social goal, and it's stupid to try to enforce a social goal like this on the very tail end of the policy stack.

Comment: Re:Coding vs. literacy (Score 1) 208

by arth1 (#48914105) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

What you talking about is spending 80% of total effort on 20% of the features of the product. Often these features are not even readily visible to anyone.

Apps not freezing or crashing or becoming unusable by the customers aren't features.
They're side effects of programmers (among other things) actually understanding the underlying system and what happens when you poke the beast.

"Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully." -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse

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