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Comment Well it is half true (Score 1) 164 164

Slashdot has been crying wolf since they are a geek site and geeks seem to like that kind of thing and also like new technology, no matter the cost and issues.

However there have been actual depletions of IPv4 space of various kinds. First it was that all available networks were allocated to regional registrars. Now some of those regional registrars are allocating all their remaining addresses.

That doesn't mean doomsday, of course, it means that for any additional allocation to go on, something would have to be reclaimed. That has happened in the past, organizations have given back part of their allocations so they could be reassigned. It may lead to IPs being worth more. Company A might want some IPs and Company B could cut their usage with renumbering, NAT, etc so they'll agree to sell them.

Since IPs aren't used up in the sens of being destroyed, there'll never be some doomsday where we just "run out" but as time goes on the available space vs demand will make things more difficult. As that difficulty increases, IPv6 makes more sense and we'll see more of it.

We are already getting there in many ways. You see a lot of US ISPs preparing to roll it out, despite having large IPv4 allocations themselves, because they are seeing the need for it.

Comment Re:Why go without GPS? (Score 1) 30 30

Indeed, Titan the easiest large world to explore by drone, so long as they tolerate the cryogenic conditions. A highly efficient version could potentially fly continuously just on RTG power (there have been proposals along these lines), although anything adapted to deal with the added weight / inefficiency of hardware to carefully land, collect samples, carry them, etc would probably have to use flight batteries.

Comment plans and term sheets (Score 2) 117 117

There are a lot of reasons to criticize Silicon Valley, but being positive about a plan and having to deal with difficult term sheets are hollow complaints.

When you start ANY new project, there is a period of time when the project is not funded and does not have the necessary people to get it done. Startups are no different in selling a dream than any university professor, large company project lead, or government program manager.

The main point of TFA is that startup employees are starting to get more sophisticated in evaluating stock options coming from the common pool compared to investors' preferred shares. Preferred shares and liquidation preferences are tools investors use to reduce risk, and they are detrimental to employees (and founders) of a startup... except that without those investors, nothing could happen. Investors are going to get leverage somehow, and if you're smart, these clauses are not a problem.

Inflated valuations compound these issues. It should be obvious that early high valuations are bad for employees. Potential startup employees SHOULD understand that going to work for a company that is highly valued and has large investments offers much less financial growth opportunity than working for a company with a low valuation and small investment.

If you're a founder, keeping your valuation low during early stages of a startup company is much, MUCH smarter than arguing for a high valuation. This push for early high valuations is driven by lots of money sloshing around looking for a place to sit. That is a legitimate problem in Silicon Valley. As a founder, it may sound great to take in an extra $10 million, but if you don't need that money and can't actually justify that valuation, you've limited your company's future options (no IPO for you) and made it much harder to hire smart employees.

Comment Reserve your copy today! (Score 1) 171 171

I think (this is merely speculation based on my limited experience) that "reserving" your copy of Windows 10 simply takes a profile of your computer hardware (serial numbers, mac address, etc) and sends it to the microsoft licensing servers so that you don't need to enter a Windows 10 product key when you install Win 10 from an ISO.

I performed an in-place upgrade on my Win 7 laptop, and it didn't ask for a key. I then swapped out the Hard Drive with a blank one, and installed Windows 10 clean from CD. It asked for a product key (twice) during setup, but you can choose to skip that. When install was complete, windows was activated! The activation server must have already known about my hardware being properly licensed.

Comment Re:List of privacy violations (Score 0, Troll) 171 171

Some of these are just knee-jerk reactions. For example: "Windows defender can be disabled, but after a while it turns itself back on". That is a *GOOD* thing. It protects you, and also prevents you from forgetting to turn it back on - That is something that computers were *MADE* for.... Doing things that are too hard or tedious for a human.

Also, inability to disable auto-updates (Windows home edition only). That's right, you non-patching bastard! The internet is filled with worms like blaster and nimda, and they will never go away because of idiots who don't patch against critical vulnerabilities. Inoculate your children too, you jerk!

Comment Because someone will do it (Score 1) 215 215

Either states will decide you don't need insurance if you have a self driving car, or a company will spring up that will insure self driving cars for a lot less money.

It is one area where capitalism can work. Lets say all the existing insurance underwriters charge $100/month for normal insurance based on human drivers. At that rate they can cover the rate of claims and make a nice profit. Say $20/month ends up being net profit after their operations costs and payout are factored in, and operations are another $20/month.

Well lets say that self driving cars then have a 0.01% accident rate compared to human drivers (it may end up being lower than that). That will drop their payouts by a similar amount, so from $60/person/month to $0.60/person/month. Ok but they decide to keep the price the same, just make more money.

Thing is, they'd still be really profitable at $41/month, instead of $100. Someone else will realize that, and work to steal their business. They might not go that low, maybe $80/month, but it'll happen. Then they'll try to get it back and so on and so forth.

Remember that your costs aren't just based on your specifically, they are based on actuary data of accident likeness. Sure you've had no accidents, but there is a statistical probability that you will. You are in the lowest risk group likely, but it is there. If self driving cars are much lower, rates can again be much lower.

Also, have you checked around? My rates haven't gone up in a long time. Maybe your company is just screwing you because they can, and you'd save if you took your business elsewhere.

For comparison purposes I pay about $350/6 months for $200k/$500k liability insurance on an old, cheap, car.

Comment Re: Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 869 869

I called you daft for not understanding the concept that someone who runs a swapping service station covers all costs related to their business activities and rolls them into what they charge for service, just like every other business does. I fail to see what is hard about this for you to understand. The answer to "who pays for X cost" is *always* "the service provider, with the costs indirectly passed on to their customers via the rate charged".

Really, you think that bad fuel can't damage an engine? It can and does. And it's the supplier who ultimately bears the cost. No, "bad electricity" is not a proper analogy (although your sarcasm in this regard is funny given how many devices are damaged by surges every year); a gas station fuels vehicles by insertung fuel into them, while a swapping station fuels vehicles by inserting pre-charged batteries into them. Batteries correspond to fuel in this context.

In what world do you live where car parts are regularly inspected by the manufacturer after being installed into the vehicle? Cars have hundreds if not thousands of parts more safety critical than a battery pack, and yes, manufacturers *are* liable if their failure modes due to damage pose an unreasonable risk of injury. Think of a famous failure case - say, for example, the Ford Pinto fires. Were the gas tanks defective? Nope. But the cars had an unacceptably bad failure mode in certain types of crashes, and it fell on the manufacturer to fix it - as it always does. A part must meet its use case, and if its use case is "deliver electricity from a swappable system and not burn the vehicle down if damaged", it has to contain the necessary safety systems to do that.

Lastly, you're still stuck in bizarro world where ICE vehicles full of combustible fuel are incombustible, whereas EVs with no combustable fuel and more often than not with batteries less flammable than a block of cheese (once again: *not all li-ions are the same*!) burst into flames left and right. Meanwhile, in the reality that the rest of us live in, the opposite is true. Heck, last summer I saw a flaming hulk of a passenger car with fire crews trying to put it out to extract the burned bodies of the two tourists who had been driving it. Meanwhile, Teslas and Leafs have been in many wrecks - go to Google Images and search for "crash tesla" or "crash leaf". Where are the fires from these oh-so-flammable vehicles? Yes, they have happened, but at a much lower per-vehicle rate than gasoline cars according to NTSB stats. Sorry, but your fire conceptions are just not based in reality.

Comment Re:Why go without GPS? (Score 2) 30 30

On the Moon or Mars they wouldn't reach very far. But a RTG-powered version on Titan would have unlimited range (although may need to land periodically to recharge its flight batteries). And even a rocket or gas jet version would have quite significant range on an asteroid.

Such a design is obviously going to be very mission sensitive, hence the need for different propulsion systems. Some missions would benefit significantly as well from wings to allow for long distance flight on bodies with atmospheres (Venus, Titan, maybe Mars, etc). A couple worlds, such as Titan, might benefit from landing floats. And so forth. But that's where rapid prototyping tech (such as 3d printing) becomes useful - they engineer the base model and then can play around with variants with ease. Hopefully in the end they'll have a sample collector module with a workable version for almost any body in the solar system. And for the interests of science, we really need something like that, a universal adaptable drone module - to be paired with a universal adaptable ion tug module, one of a couple variants of a universal adaptable reentry / landing modules, and the same for adaptable ascent modules.

It's impressive what science can be pulled off on the surface of another world. But it's nothing compared to what we can do here on Earth with a sample return.

Comment Re:And yet, Google does censor (Score 1) 303 303

Google already censors the web according to US laws and preferences. They're constantly taking down links to child pornography. They take down links to copyrighted content. They're even taking down links to revenge porn now.

While I agree with you in general that Google is... somewhat inconsistent in where it chooses to take it's stands, your first two examples are hardly limited to the US. Pretty much everywhere we'd regard as civilized has laws against child pornography and regarding copyrighted material.

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 869 869

In one truck, yes. The frequency of dead batteries, however, will be the same as passenger vehicles; who will dispose of those?

Seriously, you can't be this daft. The operator, of course, with the price rolled into the service cost.

All of which are relatively involved.

No, they're not. Even your laptop battery estimates its capacity, and that's about as simple as li-ion battery packs get. Coulomb counting, voltage measurements at start and end compared to the charge temperature, charge voltage curve shapes, direct measurement of pack heating over the course of charge to measure internal resistance, and about half a dozen other methods are all usable and widely used to estimate capacity remaining in a pack. Pretty much every modern EV and hybrid in existence checks its battery pack's performance at least at the pack level, if not the individual cell level (Tesla does it at the "brick" level), to see how it's aging and when components or the pack as the whole need to be replaced.

Measuring remaining battery capacity is a concept older than the light bulb.

testing and inspecting a battery for damage and danger conditions so you don't install it into someone's vehicle and get a lawsuit for "vehicle exploded in a giant flaming blaze" (or drive all your customers away with "we don't test our batteries for anything but charge, and damaged batteries may set your truck on fire") is wholly different.

Just like gas stations check their gas for impurities that can cause damage to an engine? No, it's the manufacturer's issue to ensure that the product meets its stated usage specs - in this case, the specs including safe handling of damage and X number of swap cycles. Meeting damage control specs is why Tesla isolates each cell in a canister to prevent failure propagation. And why packs always come with fuses/breakers that blow when the pack gets wet or there's otherwise a short.

(Just ignoring that many types of li-ions don't burn even when abused. Tesla uses standard cobalt-based 18660s, which is why they have to have a failure isolation system, but vehicles like the Volt and Leaf use more stable spinel chemistries)

That may result in diesel being the cheaper fuel by far

Tesla's battery packs have an 8 year, unlimited-mile warranty. Even if we assume that they're only good for 1000 full charge cycles (which should be well on the low end), at 30 tonne-miles per kWh of charge, times 1000 cycles, and $150/kWh for the pack, that's 200 tonne-miles per dollar of pack capital cost. A diesel truck will get about 120 tonne-miles per gallon of diesel, and diesel costs somewhere in the ballpark of 6x more than electricity per unit range (depends on your location), meaning that the electric version saves about 3-4$ per dollars of energy cost per dollar of pack capital cost.

There are a lot more batteries on a truck.

Wait, so you're picturing them being done individually, one after the next? Seriously? *smacks forehead*

Fortunately, if you mount batteries under there without a bunch of armored doors and other shit to hold it all together, the cargo container catches fire when the batteries become damaged.

In the parallel world where EVs are always catching on fire, and petroleum-fueled vehicles aren't - quite unlike our actual world.

Comment Re:First note to the PAs on the new show: (Score 4, Interesting) 202 202

You know, that would be the best prank ever. Convincing Clarkson that he's getting a new TV show but having the actual point being to secretly film him when he's not acting for the fake "show", as they subject him to situations that would be increasingly uncomfortable for a speed-obsessed labour-hating hot-headed racist diva. Sort of "Top Gear" crossed with "An Idiot Abroad". ;)

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 869 869

How old are the batteries? Do you own your battery? What is a battery worth? Do you load your truck with aging, unreliable batteries to swap-off with other aging, unreliable batteries?

When it comes to a truck which will have a sizeable number of large batteries, you're pretty much statistically guaranteed to never have more than a dud or two so long as the battery management process is sound.

As a service station manager, how do you test each of these batteries to ensure its safety and reliability (its level of aging)

By, for example, any of the dozen or so methods already used for this purpose?

As a service station manager, how do you offset the cost of rotating out old batteries traded in by truckers?

By rolling that into the swapping cost?

Could you please ask questions a little harder than "What does 1+1 equal?" I'm seriously not getting why you don't already know the answer to these questions you're asking.

Changing batteries in something like a truck is a labor-intensive process.

Wait a minute, you think that when people talk about battery swap they're talking about someone going up and swapping batteries by hand?

mounting may preclude a fast removal operation.

Many companies have already demonstrated battery swap for cars, which is a far harder target than trucks. With trucks, my preferred mounting is on the trailers themselves (with the cab having its own, non-swappable batteries). You already have, today, stuff mounted to the underside of trailers. It's right where the structural strength is already located and you have tons of open space underneath for easy access and standard form factors. It's an order of magnitude easier challenge than for cars, which you practically have to have disassemble their frames to get their batteries out.

The operation may take 40 minutes overall

Battery swap in the much harder case of cars can be done in less than a tenth that time.

Mounting the batteries affects balance, thus handling, thus safety

And you're envisioning that one would load all of the batteries only on one side or something...?

Think about it as if you were going to swap an entire, pre-filled gas tank

And think about having the tank you plan to switch out be a standardized external tank mounted in a standard form factor on a standard trailer.

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 869 869

Assuming an overall pack energy density of 200 Wh/kg, 1kWh would weigh 5kg. A typical truck may move around 1 tonne 120 miles per gallon of diesel. A gallon of diesel contains about 10kWh of energy. An electric motor will use it about 2,5 times more efficiently than a diesel ICE, so 120 miles per gallon of diesel equates to 300 miles per 10kWh of electricty, or 30 miles per kWh electric, or 30 miles per 5kg of battery pack. So every 30 miles of range you want takes up 0,5% of your cargo mass. If you want say 300 miles range then it would consume 5% of your payload.

On the other hand, the price difference in the cost of fuelling the truck (diesel vs. electricity) would be massive. For each tonne of cargo (assuming 300 miles vehicle range and an average haul distance per hour of say 60 miles), giving up 50kg of cargo to enable to you spend $0,30 on electricity ($0,10/kWh) instead of about $1,80 on diesel ($2,70/gal), or a savings of $1,5 for giving up 50kg of cargo. If we scale to say 50 tonnes of cargo then this equates to giving up 2,5 tonnes (5%) of your cargo to save $75 per hour.

How can you do 'New Math' problems with an 'Old Math' mind? -- Charles Schulz