Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:Insurance companies suffer? (Score 1) 389 389

One obvious problem with this is that we claim to want to reduce pollution and improve air quality and have poured millions and millions of tax money into private industry all electric vehicles like the Volt. But because of the limited range, many people who would buy a Volt don't get one because they would have to have a second vehicle for longer trips if they did (particularly in single driver households) and be charged liability insurance on both.

Highly incorrect on the Volt. Unlike most EV's the Volt has a gasoline engine that kicks in when you run out of battery power. It is one of the main reasons why I was attracted to the Volt in the first place. Unlike most EV's it won't leave you stranded when you run out of power.

Comment: Does being a financial success really matter? (Score 1) 344 344

I have to wonder does it honestly matter for Google to be a financial success? Google has historically taken on many projects that would seem to be opposite of financial success that in the end turned out successful regardless or in some way generated a lot of goodwill for the company. I hear YouTube is not a financial success but Google keeps it anyhow because it helps make their own services more popular.

I am sure Google sort of knows what it is doing. Who knows maybe this can be used as an argument in possible up coming anti-trust claims in Europe which have no basis at all.

Comment: Re:Non-answers (Score 1) 107 107

I agree the Cadillac ELR was a poor response to the Tesla S but the Volt is an excellent car. GM didn't get it all wrong. For starters, the average person finds the Volt slightly expensive to own, nevermind the Telsa S which is even more out of range for the average Joe making it even more of a pipe dream. Another huge problem is that the supercharger network doesn't go everywhere, there's not a single supercharger to be found in NorthWestern Ontario which is fairly remote and we suffer from very extreme winters. If I owned a Telsa S here, I could never leave my city with it.

Every year I go cross country across Canada on a trip equivalent to 1,200 miles one way. I would guess that if a supercharger network existed, it would add four hours to the trip because of the need of having to stop to charge up. If you're in a rush to get through your roadtrip because I often run non-stop, then a supercharger network would definitely be slower. Cars are also suppose to be about freedom right? The fact that there are gas stations virtually everywhere means the Volt can fuel up anywhere with very few worries where I can see from your note that you need to pay special attention to where charging points are.

Tesla uses a version of Laptop Lithium batteries, the Volt uses a much safer phosphate class Lithium battery which you find in some solar lawn lights. It isn't hard to figure out the difference in the news articles. The Volt has not suffered a single battery fire in the real world except when the coolent caught on fire after it dried out. They apparently cracked open a Volt battery pack and left it in the junk yard for a week. In comparison, a Telsa S's battery pack will most certainly catch on fire if you manage to puncture it. There's no magic in Telsa's battery pack. GM decided that they would go with a safer, near impossible to catch on fire battery type but the trade-off is less capacity for weight. Telsa went the riskier way because they have little choice, there's no backup engine and running out of range isn't a solution so a rare fire from shattering the battery pack probably isn't a big deal. Except that GM knew that the public is highly sensitive to this issue.

There's also a question on Tesla's future. Believe it or not they haven't made any money as a company. Their stock sells mostly from hype. Not that GM's that different in that the Volt barely makes GM much money either but at least they are able to use that technology in their other car ventures such as in the hybrid Malibu and other upcoming cars. I don't dislike Tesla, they helped open the door to EV's but to me it seems that their future looks a bit shaky compared to some of Musk's other ventures like SpaceX.

Comment: People Complain about the Young feeling Entitled (Score 1) 349 349

I don't know about you but if you read the article, it almost sounds like this guy feels that because he's older and has so much "experience" that he should have been hired. It sounds like he sued Google because he was upset that the Interview didn't go as smooth as he hoped and he badly wanted to work for them. I've worked everything from Call Centre Internet Support all the way to being an Administrator, to Programmer that I am now. I wouldn't hire this guy judging from his attitude. It sounds like he feels entitled to getting this job. You know how old people complain that the young seem to think they deserve everything?

I've done many Interviews in my lifetime and from the those, I've found you can't blame the Interviewer or even yourself when things go wrong. Sometimes things go well and sometimes they don't. Besides, suing like this is sure fire way of burning your bridges. He's going to be lucky if anyone else is going to want to hire him now.

Comment: Similar issue with Gsync / FreeSync (Score 2) 309 309

It looks like Nvidia's starting to abuse their market status by trying to force everyone onto their systems or at least to make it difficult to have alternatives. You can see a similar situation in the current adaptive sync Gsync / Freesync conflict where one became VESA standard (Freesync) and the other became proprietary and in general more expensive. I'm honestly considering avoiding Nvidia products at the rate they're going.

Comment: Re:Range Anxiety is Real (Score 1) 286 286

Umm thou this is getting a little off topic. The Volt only provides about 60% of its true capacity because you risk damaging the battery if you charge a lithium up to its maxiumum charge and down to its minimal charge. I know this trick works because my Sony laptop is able to hold the battery charge at 50% and after 5 years of use the battery shows almost no degradation. GM I think decided to go conservative as well and I have noticed the range estimator seems a bit conservative in most situations. The amount of usable power it shows left however is accurate.

Still there's no such thing as no range anxiety on an EV. It's like going to space on a tank of air. Unless you have some way to produce large amounts of it or there's so much it's ridiculous, there will always be some range anxiety.

Comment: Range Anxiety is Real (Score 1) 286 286

In a pure EV, Range Anxiety is a huge problem because obviously if you run out of power it will leave you stranded. Even if you could find an outlet to plug it into, it will take a significant amount of time to recharge especially if it is a low wattage 120v outlet. This could happen due to neglecting to charge up, incorrectly estimating range which is easy to do considering it varies depending on weather / driving conditions or in emergency situations. It's a problem because this means you need to plan for almost all your trips instead of the freedom a car is suppose to represent.

This is one of the major reasons why I went with a Chevy Volt, it's basically an EV but when you run out of battery, you have the safety net of using gas. It's a very good safety net as the Volt performs as well on gas with a flat battery as pure battery only modes. You will never hear of any Volt owners stressing over range anxiety but some will try hard to try to maximize their battery use to save gas. In recent studies, it's been shown that Volt owners are one of the few who are willing to risk pushing the battery use right to empty because they can. Most EV owners tend to only use half because it's too risky to run out of power on a trip.

I don't see how a software update could really fix this issue. Maybe there's a way to make the Telsa more efficient but that only gives you more range, it doesn't eliminate range anxiety. Or they design the car to outright lie to the user about how much range is left by severely underestimating.

Comment: Zombies Freeze in the Cold (Score 1) 247 247

The interesting thing about Zombies is they're for the most part fictional. In our Canadian winters up here, they'd likely freeze solid and they'd pretty much be easy targets at that point. Even if freezing solid doesn't kill them which is odd, there's no cold-blooded animal out there that is active in winter.

Comment: Re:Oh noes! Strategic Syrup Alert! (Score 1) 529 529

Umm you sure about that?

Here's one situation where trying to fight the bad guys with a gun turned out bad for the private gun owner. The cops ended up killing the couple so the sad fact is if this guy didn't try to handle the situation himself, he would still be alive. This isn't like the movies, in reality you don't want to be in these kind of conflicts.


Comment: Return of Space Sim Games? Zapper Fix? (Score 1) 154 154

I played a lot of games and I always found that first person view games stood the best chance of giving me motion sickness. I think a console game called Spiral the Dragon was one of the worst. On the other hand racing games, space sim games and flying games gave me the least problems which to me proves that this statement makes perfect sense. Maybe this VR tech will bring back the popularity of these kinds of games considering they were my favourites when I was a kid.

On the other hand I remember reading about a tech which applied electrical shocks to alter your sense of balance. While this might be a little extreme, it might be the solution to this problem.

Comment: Chevy Volt is a good compromise (Score 2) 247 247

For folks who want an electric now, the Chevy Volt is basically one for about 40 miles and then it switches over to gas for longer trips. It's a little small for some folks but being a hatchback, you can actually carry quite a bit of stuff provided you are not carrying passengers and price wise it's actually pretty close to $30K as well. I've owned mine for the last 2 years and it's turned out to be a much better car than I even thought.

Comment: Color E-Ink Tablet (Score 1) 321 321

I think what the author is really looking for here is a Color E-Ink Tablet. I would be very interested in such a device as well but alas such a device doesn't exist on the market sadly for a reasonable price. Folks seem pleased with back-lit displays but I find them not as comfortable to look at as an E-Paper device.

Comment: Asus Black Knight Routers (Score 1) 113 113

I would highly suggest Asus routers as a good alternative. Their native firmware is a customized verison of OpenWRT and they can be setup to run a version of Tomato firmware if you can't be bothered with the complexity. I own an RT-N66U myself and highly recommend it and it's successors. They even have a microSD slot inside for no apparent reason other than for hacking.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (5) All right, who's the wiseguy who stuck this trigraph stuff in here?