Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Largely Demand Driven (Score 1) 490

by ericdewey (#41453359) Attached to: Toyota Abandons Plans For All-Electric Vehicle Rollout

> Anyone that runs the numbers honestly on the needed infrastructure realizes
> that the whole e-mobility vision is a ridiculous joke

It wasn't a joke when cars had not much more range in the 1930s. The Model T got about 15 to 20 mpg and had a 10 gallon tank. That's the same range as the Tesla S. And this is precisely why there are "gasoline alleys", leftover remnants of that era when every city had a string of stations around every major artery so people could top up again on their trips.

Except that in the `30's it still only took 10 minutes to top off and you were on the next 200-mile leg of your trip. Batteries and charging have a long way to go and may never catch up to that level of convenience.

Moon

LiftPort Wants To Build Space Elevator On the Moon By 2020 210

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-we-just-have-to-get-to-the-moon dept.
Zothecula writes "When the late Neil Armstrong and the crew of Apollo 11 went to the Moon, they did so sitting atop a rocket the size of a skyscraper that blasted out jets of smoke and flame as it hurtled skyward. For over half a century, that is how all astronauts have gone into space. It's all very dramatic, but it's also expensive. Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to take the elevator? That's the question that Michael Laine, CEO of LiftPort in Seattle, Washington, hopes to answer with the development of a transportation system that swaps space-rockets for space-ribbons. LiftPort ultimately wants to build a space elevator on Earth, but the company isn't planning on doing it in one go. Instead, Laine and his team are settling for a more modest goal – building an elevator on the Moon by 2020. This is much easier. For one thing, there’s no air on the Moon, so no icing problems. Also, the lower gravity means that no unobtainium is needed for the ribbon. Kevlar is strong enough for the job. And finally, there’s very little in the way of satellites or debris to contend with."
Data Storage

Ask Slashdot: Best *nix Distro For a Dynamic File Server? 234

Posted by timothy
from the when-birdwatching-goes-too-far dept.
An anonymous reader (citing "silly workplace security policies") writes "I'm in charge of developing for my workplace a particular sort of 'dynamic' file server for handling scientific data. We have all the hardware in place, but can't figure out what *nix distro would work best. Can the great minds at Slashdot pool their resources and divine an answer? Some background: We have sensor units scattered across a couple square miles of undeveloped land, which each collect ~500 gigs of data per 24h. When these drives come back from the field each day, they'll be plugged into a server featuring a dozen removable drive sleds. We need to present the contents of these drives as one unified tree (shared out via Samba), and the best way to go about that appears to be a unioning file system. There's also requirement that the server has to boot in 30 seconds or less off a mechanical hard drive. We've been looking around, but are having trouble finding info for this seemingly simple situation. Can we get FreeNAS to do this? Do we try Greyhole? Is there a distro that can run unionfs/aufs/mhddfs out-of-the-box without messing with manual recompiling? Why is documentation for *nix always so bad?""
Biotech

OSU's Microbial Fuel Cell Could Make Waste Treatment an Energy Source 70

Posted by timothy
from the silent-but-powerful dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A team of engineers from Oregon State University has developed a breakthrough microbial fuel cell that is capable of generating 10 to 50 times more electricity from waste than other MFCs. The team hopes that their innovation will enable waste treatment plants to not only power themselves, but also sell excess electricity back to the grid. 'If this technology works on a commercial-scale the way we believe it will, the treatment of wastewater could be a huge energy producer, not a huge energy cost,' said associate professor Hong Liu. 'This could have an impact around the world, save a great deal of money, provide better water treatment and promote energy sustainability.'"
AI

Teaching Robot Learners To Ask Good Questions 93

Posted by Soulskill
from the why-must-you-kill-all-humans dept.
garthsundem writes "I disagree with this article's opening line: 'Within a decade, personal robots could become as common in U.S. homes as any other major appliance.' Haven't we been promised this since the 50s? But I'm fascinated by the rest — how do you teach humans to teach robots? Or, more precisely, how can you teach robots to teach humans to teach robots? The idea that designers can put a flexible platform in a robot, allowing users to determine functionality, is pretty interesting. The lead researcher for this project said, 'People are not so good at teaching robots because they don't understand the robots' learning mechanism. It's like when you try to train a dog, and it's difficult because dogs do not learn like humans do. We wanted to find out the best kinds of questions a robot could ask to make the human-robot relationship as 'human' as it can be.'"
Android

Google Works On Kinect-Like Interface For Android 49

Posted by Soulskill
from the operating-phones-becomes-more-like-voodoo dept.
bizwriter writes "A patent filing made public last week suggests that Google may be trying to implement a motion-detection interface, like Microsoft Kinect, for portable electronic gadgets. The patent application is for technology that turns a mobile device's camera into a motion-input system. In other words, it could be goodbye to fingerprints and streaks on the front of your tablet or smartphone. Google could incorporate such a feature into Android in general or keep it as a differentiating advantage for its acquisition of Motorola."
Encryption

Anonymous, Decentralized and Uncensored File-Sharing Is Booming 308

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-stop-the-signal dept.
PatPending writes with this excerpt from TorrentFreak: "The RetroShare network allows people to create a private and encrypted file-sharing network. Users add friends by exchanging PGP certificates with people they trust. All the communication is encrypted using OpenSSL and files that are downloaded from strangers always go through a trusted friend. In other words, it's a true Darknet and virtually impossible to monitor by outsiders. RetroShare founder DrBob told us that while the software has been around since 2006, all of a sudden there's been a surge in downloads. 'The interest in RetroShare has massively shot up over the last two months,' he said."

Comment: Re:A rate cap IS a download cap (Score 1) 211

by ericdewey (#39222215) Attached to: After Complaints, AT&T Solidifies, Increases Data Limit

What did you expect to happen if it didn't get killed? One less competitor plus the expense of the merger and they would have raised their rates in a heartbeat. And since that competition was gone, so would Verizon. Absolutely NO good would befall the consumer if the merger was allowed.

Comment: Re:I'll second that. (Score 1) 605

by ericdewey (#38981133) Attached to: TomTom Satnavs To Set Insurance Prices

If GP had pointed out that the requirement is for third party cover, then you might realize why your analogy sucks.

Not everywhere requires insurance to cover a 3rd party. In the state of Michigan for example, we are a no-fault state. Your auto insurance covers you and your car. In this way, if I own a Ferrari and someone else runs it over, my insurance pays for it, not theirs. This was done to put a stop to the rampant lawsuits and insurance companies refusing to pay claims based on fault.

Earth

UN Climate Report Fails To Capture Arctic Ice: MIT 465

Posted by timothy
from the models-in-collision dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The United Nations' most recent global climate report 'fails to capture trends in Arctic sea-ice thinning and drift, and in some cases substantially underestimates these trends,' says a new research from MIT. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, released in 2007, forecasts an ice-free Arctic summer by the year 2100. However, the Arctic sea ice may be thinning four times faster than predicted, according to Pierre Rampal and his research team of MIT's Department of Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS)."

The degree of technical confidence is inversely proportional to the level of management.

Working...