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Comment Re:Energy in? (Score 1) 102

Methanol is a well known starter compound for numerous synthetic pathways. I believe that in WWII it was used in Germany to power cars (though how often I don't know.)

I will agree that methanol would be a terrible jet fuel. It is not only low in energy density, it absorbs water like a sponge.

OTOH, many model aircraft used to use methanol for fuel, so it not totally unreasonable as a drone fuel.

Comment Re:Energy in? (Score 1) 102

In a different article (possibly about a different project) it was explicitly stated that the cost would currently be prohibitive, but that if oil ran out this could be a useful replacement.

I would be very surprised if the same caveat didn't apply to this project, presuming it's not the same project.

Comment Re:Do you have any idea how you all sound? (Score 1) 474

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:The one lesson developers should learn (Score 1) 39

Contracts aren't necessarily worth any more than the paper they are written on. What are your enforcement powers? How expensive is it to enforce the contract? Do you trust the party that wrote the contract to honestly tell you what it means? (Do they even know?) Etc.

Once you make yourself dependent on someone else, you are dependent on them. A contract *MAY* give you the tools to damage them somewhat if they disregard it, but that won't give you back your lost time and effort. It may well not even pay your attorney's fees.

Comment Re:FTFY (Score 1) 39

While you are technically correct, people who are not invested in a company won't follow the details of internal politics...in fact those are usually hidden even from those that do, so as a short-cut technique for figuring out how much to trust a company you attend to its externally visible actions. This does require that you treat the company as an entity, and ignore the details about who decided what...but that's usually secret anyway.

So yes, this is an invalid way to think about a company. It is, however, a useful tool. And if corporations can be ruled to be legally persons, it seems improper to castigate someone using that same shortcut in a non-detrimental to citizens way.

Comment Re:hyperloop without the hyper or loop (Score 1) 195

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 Re:Surprised? (Score 1) 556

I've generally avoided MS software because of reliability problems. MSWord is an exception, and, yes, I've had documents that wouldn't transfer between versions of MSWord. They were actually worse about it than Apple. I will admit that that was a rare event, but it happened. Eventually someone published a way to work around it, but that was after it no longer mattered to me.

Most of the problems, however, were with 3rd party proprietary file formats. Companies that went out of business, companies that discontinued a product, companies with incompatible file formats between versions, and no way to convert, etc. And it wasn't relatively rare applications like CNC, I'm talking about graphics programs designed for children to use, music score editing programs, various other things along the same line. (Sometimes the program would be picked up again a few years later, but that was a rare event, and usually by the time it had happened I'd already had to switch to something else. And at least once the new version wouldn't read the files from the old version...I didn't usually even check, so I don't really know how frequent that was.)

Open file formats have been a life-saver, and even when Linux was a pain to use (1998-200? .. varies depending on the application) they were more than enough recompense.

Comment hyperloop without the hyper or loop (Score -1) 195

I can already sit in a high speed transportation vehicle that doesn't need evacuated high-tolerance tube, it just needs the pressurized tube that everyone sits inside (with luggage and avionics down below). Just like the Tesla, Musk pushes expensive toys that solve nothing and are inferior solution to existing tech (Telsa car inferior to piston engine running on biofuel)

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