Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 879 879

> EVs are nicer to drive

On what basis do you make the claim that they are "nicer to drive?" I'll put a BMW M3 -- or if you prefer a soft ride a Rolls Royce -- up against a Nissan Leaf any day. Ride quality and handling are subjective parameters and these 'feel' parameters are based on the configuration of the suspension, wheels, brakes, etc. not the technology causing propulsion. Additionally, because you have a transmission, you can get less wheel spin in the winter in a conventional car by selecting an appropriate gear when you get stuck.

> cleaner (in all senses)

Done properly, biofuels can be carbon negative rather than carbon neutral. Boeing has found a plant that easily releases its sugars and grows in deserts watered with salt water. The end result is that land that is currently not arable such as the Sahara and the Arabian Peninsula can be utilized to grow these crops.

> and you can make it's fuel yourself at home

I can make E100 ethanol or biodiesel at home if I was so inclined, it's just easier to go to go to a gas station.

Remember that electric cars are an old technology and one we ditched years ago because it simply wasn't that good. Even today it still has the same exact problems it had back then.

Transportation

Are We Reaching the Electric Car Tipping Point? 879 879

HughPickens.com writes: Geoff Ralston has an interesting essay explaining why it is likely that electric car penetration in the U.S. will take off at an exponential rate over the next 5-10 years rendering laughable the paltry predictions of future electric car sales being made today. Present projections assume that electric car sales will slowly increase as the technology gets marginally better, and as more and more customers choose to forsake a better product (the gasoline car) for a worse, yet "greener" version. According to Ralston this view of the future is, simply, wrong. — electric cars will take over our roads because consumers will demand them. "Electric cars will be better than any alternative, including the loud, inconvenient, gas-powered jalopy," says Ralston. "The Tesla Model S has demonstrated that a well made, well designed electric car is far superior to anything else on the road. This has changed everything."

The Tesla Model S has sold so well because, compared to old-fashioned gasoline cars it is more fun to drive, quieter, always "full" every morning, more roomy, and it continuously gets better with automatic updates and software improvements. According to Ralston the tipping point will come when gas stations, not a massively profitable business, start to go out of business as many more electric cars are sold, making gasoline powered vehicles even more inconvenient. When that happens even more gasoline car owners will be convinced to switch. Rapidly a tipping point will be reached, at which point finding a convenient gas station will be nearly impossible and owning a gasoline powered car will positively suck. "Elon Musk has ushered in the age of the electric car, and whether or not it, too, was inevitable, it has certainly begun," concludes Ralston. "The future of automotive transportation is an electric one and you can expect that future to be here soon."

Comment More Ugly? (Score 2) 147 147

While he's a brilliant industrial designer, he doesn't know crap about UI design and the UI's he's produced more than show it. I've used OS X since 10.0. I used Next in the 90's. I used classic Apple. I've been in the Apple camp for decades. I frankly can't stand to look at them, so the new UIs have chased me off of the platform.

Comment Repeat Experiments (Score 1) 770 770

> the more I read literature from other, somewhat-related fields... [such as] psychology ... the more I felt they have little opportunity to repeat experiments

As somebody who is writing a paper entitled "A Generalized Theory on Abnormal Psychology", I assure you that Psychology is about to gain the ability to repeat experiments.

Crime

Smart Car Tipping Trending In San Francisco 371 371

First time accepted submitter hackajar1 (1700328) writes "Is it a crime of opportunity or another page in the current chapter of Anti-Tech movement in San Francisco? Either way, the new crime trending in San Francisco invloves tipping Smart Cars on their side. While they only take 3 — 4 people to tip, this could just be kids simply having "fun" at the very expensive cost of car owners. Alternatively it could be part of a larger movement in San Francisco against anyone associated with HiTech, which is largely being blamed for neighborhood gentrification and rent spikes in recent years." This sounds like a story that would catch the ears of veteran reporter Roland Hedley.
United States

The Death Cap Mushroom Is Spreading Across the US 274 274

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Discovery News reports that the death cap mushroom is now an invasive species on every continent except Antarctica. It is spreading along the East and West Coasts of the U.S. and appears to be moving south into Mexico. 'When someone eats Amanita phalloides, she typically won't experience symptoms for at least six and sometimes as many as 24 hours,' says Cat Adams. 'Eventually she'll suffer from abdominal cramps, vomiting, and severely dehydrating diarrhea. This delay means her symptoms might not be associated with mushrooms, and she may be diagnosed with a more benign illness like stomach flu. To make matters worse, if the patient is somewhat hydrated, her symptoms may lessen and she will enter the so-called honeymoon phase.' Without proper, prompt treatment, the victim can experience rapid organ failure, coma, and death. But good news is on the way. S. Todd Mitchell of Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, California has treated more than 60 patients with a drug derived from milk thistle. The patients who have started the drug on time (within 96 hours of ingesting the mushroom) and who have still had kidney function intact have all survived. 'When administered intravenously, the compound sits on and blocks the receptors that bring amatoxin into the liver, thus corralling the amatoxins into the blood stream so the kidneys can expel them faster,' says Adams. Still, Mitchell cautions against the 'regular look"'of deadly mushrooms. 'They smell very good and when they're cooked, many patients have described them as the most delicious mushrooms they've ever eaten.'"

Comment Re:Range anxiety isn't really rational (Score 1) 357 357

In the last ten days I've seen two articles which, IMO, spell the inevitable death of the electric car's resurgence. The first talked about a new process that breaks down normal plant cellulose into sugar, meaning that the entire corn crop can be converted into ethanol rather than just the second and the second talks about a huge breakthrough by Boeing. I can't find the link to the first, but here's the second:

http://www.energypost.eu/exclu...

The Boeing breakthrough basically means we can turn the Sahara Desert into a giant farm to grow ethanol crops. And unlike with conventional fuels or even electric, you can build inefficiencies into the system to absorb more CO2 than you expel back into the atmosphere. Better put, you can have carbon negative fuels.

Google

Rap Genius Returns To Google Search Rankings 115 115

theodp writes "After being punished by Google for manipulative SEO tactics, a contrite Rap Genius says it's back in Google's good graces. 'It takes a few days for things to return to normal, but we're officially back!' reads a post by the Rap Genius founders. 'First of all, we owe a big thanks to Google for being fair and transparent and allowing us back onto their results pages. We overstepped, and we deserved to get smacked.' Rap Genius credits some clever trackback scraping programming for its quick redemption, but a skeptic might suggest it probably didn't hurt that Rap Genius' biggest investor, Andreessen Horowitz, is tight with Google."

Comment Re:Free Market? LoL (Score 1) 688 688

Complete and utter BS. The only thing Tesla wants is a monopoly. Tesla isn't banned from selling cars in Texas; they can sell their cars in Texas through dealerships. Why don't they want to? Because doing so provides downward pressure on prices. When you have multiple dealerships, you can go to different dealerships and peg one against another and get the best price. Dealerships then pressure the manufacturer to sell them the car at a lower price so they can in turn get a higher profit off of the lower price. When the manufacturer owns all the dealerships, you lose all of your leverage -- every bit of it. You can't go to the dealership down the street and get a better price anymore, because Tesla owns that dealership as well. GM, Ford, etc. were banned from selling directly to the public way back when for a reason... because they were trying to drive up prices.

Apple

Apple Shows Off New iOS 7, Mac OS X At WWDC 607 607

Nerval's Lobster writes "Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off his company's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco with a short video emphasizing the importance of design, particularly that which evokes some sort of emotional connection such as love or delight. But that sentimental bit aside, this WWDC was all business: huge numbers of developers attend this annual event, packing sessions designed to help give their apps an edge in Apple's crowded online marketplace (some 50 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store, Cook told the audience during his keynote). Apple also uses its WWDC to unveil new products or services, attracting sizable interest from the tech press.

This time around, the company introduced Mac OS X 'Mavericks,' which includes 'Finder Tabs' (which allow the user to deploy multiple tabs within a Finder window—great for organization, in theory) and document tags (for easier searching). Macs will now support multiple displays, including HDTVs, with the ability to tweak elements between screens; Apple claims the operating system will also interact with the CPU in a more efficient manner.

On top of that, Apple rolled out some new hardware: an upgraded MacBook Air with faster graphics, better battery life (9 hours for the 11-inch edition, while the 13-inch version can draw 12 hours' worth of power). Apple has decided to jump into the cloud-productivity space with iWork for iCloud, which makes the company's iWork portfolio (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) browser-based; this is a clear response to Office 365 and Google Docs.

And finally, the executives onstage turned back to iOS, which (according to Apple) powers some 600 million devices around the world. This version involves more than a few tweaks: from a redesigned 'Slide to Unlock' at the bottom of the screen, to the bottom-up control panel that slides over the home-screen, to the 'flat' (as predicted) icons and an interface that adjusts as the phone is tilted, this is a total redesign. As a software designer, Ive is clearly a huge fan of basic shapes—circles and squares— and layering translucent elements atop one another."

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"

Working...