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Comment: I've done the opposite (Score 1) 369 369

I've never heard of somebody *heating* a drive to recover a stuck head, but I've done the opposite.

Many a drive has been recovered by a day or two's stint in the freezer in deflated ziplock bag. I'd imagine the principle is the same.
With cooling, you do have to watch out for condensation build-up as the drive defrosts. With the heating I'd worry about damaging the data on the disk (magnets in general do not like heat, so I'd imagine magnetic storage would similarly be a gamble).

Comment: Re:easy (Score 1) 387 387

There is quite a bit that is legitimate in criticizing the new trend of 400 layers of abstraction each adding their overhead for the sake of rapid development. Those old development models produced more stable and dramatically more efficient software. Nobody really denies that, they just argue that developer time is more valuable than computer time and improvements in hardware make up the difference in most use cases.

But what happens when hardware stops getting dramatically faster? We'll have to go back to making things more efficient to see gains and suddenly you'll have a great deal of respect for dad who could make a word processor with 90% of the functionality of word that weighed in under 1mb and ran smoothly on as little ram with a processor your smart phone could emulate 200 times over. There is a reason where the browser makers, the home of high level abstraction and high level languages, are finally all actually in agreement and collaborating and the thing that brings them together is making c/c++ compile to a uniform standard that all browsers can execute at near native performance.

The circle comes around, it always comes around.

Comment: Re:'Faceglory' (Score 1) 211 211

Ask a Christian, and they will say they hate the sin, not the sinner. Then all you're left with is whose definition of sin do you use? Not exactly the criteria God uses to determine entrance through the gates.

You can continue to vilify and misunderstand Christians til the cows come home, but you won't change them.

Oh, and by the way, God's Son is God.

Comment: Re:The reason is more simple (Score 1) 627 627

Consider also your climate-related road conditions:

Recently I talked to someone here in Montana who drives a late-model hybird... and they plan to trade the damn thing in ASAP, because in ice/snow conditions, it has no torque. Get it the least bit stuck, either in snow or an ice rut (a common situation under icy winter conditions) and it won't climb out, and it can't be rocked out. It is STUCK until someone with a non-electric vehicle comes along and pushes or pulls them out.

Comment: Range and Price (Score 1) 627 627

Until recently, production electric cars cost way too much, even when you figure you're saving most of the cost of gasoline over the lifetime of the car. (A 50-mpg Prius will use about $20k in gas over 200-250k miles; a 20mpg minivan will use about $50k, so I guess you can justify that Tesla if you were going to buy a gas-guzzler and didn't need the space.) Hobbyist electric cars can cost a lot less, if you want to do all the labor to retrofit a very used car with electric motors and batteries, but I don't.

But even now that prices are coming down, the range on the lower-cost cars isn't enough for me. It's fine for going to the grocery store, but my office is 40 miles away, and so is The City, so on the days I'm not telecommuting or want to go into the city for something, I need a guaranteed range of over 100 miles so I'm not worried about having to coast home on electron vapors or stop for half an hour at a charging station if there wasn't one near my destination. Battery range declines as the batteries get older, so that means I'd probably need a 150-mile range when it's new to be sure I can get to work when it's older.

Maybe a couple of years from now it'll make sense to buy an electric car; we'll see how long my wife's car lasts, and whether it's worth getting an electric when we need to replace it. The real cost includes adding an extra electric meter and 240v power to my garage space and the cost of storing the stuff that's currently in my garage, because Silicon Valley real estate is too expensive to actually use a garage for putting cars in...

Unfortunately, most lower-cost electric today talk about monthly lease prices, and hide all the other costs; one of the ones that was advertised on the radio did mention something around $5K up-front and 25 cents a mile if you drive over 10,000 miles a year - the reason I'd be buying an electric car is to make my commuting cheaper, and my gasoline car currently costs about 25 cents a mile (10 cents amortizing the purchase price over 200k miles, 15 cents for gas.)

The Almighty Buck

Ask Slashdot: How Much Did Your Biggest Tech Mistake Cost? 369 369

NotQuiteReal writes: What is the most expensive piece of hardware you broke (I fried a $2500 disk drive once, back when 400MB was $2500) or what software bug did you let slip that caused damage? (No comment on the details — but about $20K cost to a client.) Did you lose your job over it? If you worked on the Mars probe that crashed, please try not to be the First Post, that would scare off too many people!

+ - How much did your biggest "tech" mistake cost?

NotQuiteReal writes: What is the most expensive piece of hardware you broke (I fried a $2500 disk drive once, back when 400MB was $2500) or what software bug did you let slip that caused damage? (No comment on the details — but about $20K cost to a client.)

Did you lose your job over it?

If you worked on the Mars probe that crashed, please try not to be the First Post, that would scare off too many people!

Comment: Range and recharging time (Score 2) 627 627

Those are the main two. Let's take a look at my work week that starts tomorrow.

I leave home in a pickup truck and drive 267 miles to a motel. Assuming the motel has a recharging station, I guess I could recharge overnight before going to work Monday morning, but what are they going to charge to sell that electricity?

Assuming they have a recharging station and the cost is reasonable, I can work Monday through Friday as usual, putting about 100 miles per day on the vehicle.

What about Friday? After a day's work how do I recharge fast enough to make it home? Sure, I'd have some miles left after working to make a little ways up the road, but what then? Stay in another motel Friday night to recharge my vehicle? That makes it pointless to even try to make it home for the weekend.

Ideally an electric-powered work truck like mine would have at least a 300 mile range, and recharging would take 15 minutes or less. If we get the technology to that point, then my company would consider replacing our fleet.
United States

Wired Cautions Would-Be Drone Photogs on the 4th 72 72

Last year's spectacular but unauthorized you-are-there video from the inside of a fireworks display has probably inspired quite a few people to try getting their own bird's-eye view this year. Wired cautions photographers, though, that many municipalities have specifically banned (and some will be looking for) unauthorized airborne visitors, and that the FAA's guidelines for legal flight are tricky to comply with during a fireworks show. This is both because it's hard to maintain visual contact with a drone amid the dark and smoke of a show, and because of the altitude at which many commercial firework shells burst. In addition, even if a drone photo mission goes under the radar vis-a-vis local authorities, if resulting footage appears on an ad-supported site, like YouTube, the FAA may be a bit more interested than the pilot would like.

Someone Will Die Playing a Game In Virtual Reality 143 143

SlappingOysters writes: Grab It has detailed a hands-on session with horror VR title Kitchen — from Resident Evil creator Capcom — and argues how the physical reaction to the experience could lead to death. The site also believes that classifying VR games will be a challenge and many titles could be banned. Virtual Reality has a big year ahead, with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus all set to release, while Microsoft is working on the HoloLens, which the site argues adds a further challenge to traditional gaming.

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"