Forgot your password?

+ - EFF Launches The Day We Fight Back 2

Submitted by phmadore
phmadore (1391487) writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation is on a holy crusade to protect the fourth amendment. No matter how you feel about the activities of the National Security Agency as revealed to us in the last several months, you should call your representatives and tell them! The campaign is called "The Day We Fight Back" and it encourages all dutiful citizens to take a few minutes to either call or e-mail their representatives to voice their opinion on the looming possibility of or already existing Big Brother we read about in 1984 as children. Personally, I chose to call, and the process was very smooth."

Comment: I'm just disappointed... (Score 1) 359

by goosesensor (#37686812) Attached to: Mazda Stops Production of the Last Rotary Engine Powered Car
...that more slashdotters don't "get" the rotary. I would think this would be a community that would be very sad to see such an interesting and unique piece of technology die out.

You might say it died out because it "wasn't as good" as modern piston engines, but if you did say that, you would be wrong. It was different.

It had plenty of weaknesses, but the fact is that most are exaggerated for a number of reasons. Even with those exaggerations, it's amazing that this motor performs as well as it does in a modern market, given the considerably smaller amount of development attention that it received over the past 45 years.

At least in its current incarnation, the rotary's real strength is in racing -- it's light, real light. Mazda is the only Japanese car manufacturer in history to win the LeMans, in 91, with, you guessed it, a 4-rotor. The next year rotaries were banned from the race.

In naturally aspirated form a rotary will take a beating for many tens if not hundreds of thousands of miles more than a piston engine -- because there is NO VALVE TRAIN and the mechanical motion in a rotary is smooth and cylindrical, not violent and jerky.

Some of the major reasons rotaries have received a bad reputation include the following:

1. They are most identified with the RX- line of sports cars. 'Ever heard of a sports car being unreliable? 2. The most popular of those cars, 3rd generation RX-7 (the "FD") used a 2-rotor sequential turbo system. Using an NA 3-rotor would have maintained the same weight distribution, would have provided better torque, and would have been enormously more reliable, but having an NA motor doesn't sound as cool for marketing purposes as having a "twin turbo." This was a big mistake on Mazda's behalf. Rotary engines are notoriously difficult to tune when boosted. A small malfunction in the vacuum system could blow a motor, or more commonly, a anxious and naive performance enthusiast would install one-too-many aftermarket parts, leading to a lean fuel mixture, and BAM goes the motor. This is not a problem you see in piston engines, and unfortunately many people did not understand this difference. 3. General dislike for anything different -- as I'm sure man of us have noticed, car people are notoriously judgmental of other brands and setups. The rotary motor is a prime target for such unfounded scrutiny.

Really, I'm just sad to see such an interesting technology with so much potential disappear... but the Rotary engine attracts a very unique crowd of the engineering-type, and we're not likely to go anywhere anytime soon.

Comment: Re:Code Monkey (Score 1) 122

I never really understood this viewpoint. Sure it's fun to joke about the social skills of us nerds, and indeed many of us are severely lacking, but there is nothing wrong with being a computer scientist in and of itself. I am proud to tell ladies that I am a programmer, and it's usually well received. Just use some confidence, know it's cool, and they will think so, too. Disclaimer: There are some r-tard women out there that you simply can't win this battle with. But in my experience, these people generally aren't worth much to society anyway, if you now what I mean.

Comment: Re:9x 'faster' Graphics (Score 1) 1118

by goosesensor (#35365836) Attached to: IPad 2 33% Thinner, 2x Faster, iOS 4.3
The idea of fragmentation is definitely important, whichever side of the debate you may be on. But, I don't think your particular argument holds much weight. Now, I can't cite any examples off the top of my head, but it seems quite reasonable to assume that a given iOS game could determine which device it's running on, and adjust its rendering settings appropriately. This, in more ways than one, could be seen as an advantage over user-adjustable settings. For example, there are a relatively small set of iOS devices available, and you know exactly what each's capabilities are -- your game can be made run exactly as intended on each, and the (potentially retarded) user doesn't have to know the first thing about 3D rendering, or change any settings.

Comment: Re:Resolution? (Score 1) 1118

by goosesensor (#35365784) Attached to: IPad 2 33% Thinner, 2x Faster, iOS 4.3
Thousands of us are thrilled, huh? Where did you get that figure? It's really not a big deal. For any bitmap images, include a second version with "@2x" appended before the file extension. The Cocoa Touch API will automatically use that version when appropriate. Done. Most developers will have vector, or at least high-resolution sources available for their image resources. There is nothing hard, expensive, or time-consuming about it. I, for one, would welcome [don't say it] a double-resolution iPad display. The iPhone 4's screen is damn nice.

Comment: Re:why? (Score 5, Interesting) 424

by goosesensor (#34469686) Attached to: Explosive-Laden California Home To Be Destroyed
Looong story short: Random guy in a parking lot clames my dad's classic Toyota Land Cruiser was stolen from him 10 years ago. Police confiscate. Within just over a week guy is discredited and found to be full of it. Car is still wrapped up in bureaucracy. Dad manages to piss off the "stolen car task force" [police] with his (understandable) frustration. Appears in court and is arrested on the spot on felony charges related to some technicality of VIN registration/engine/frame code mathcing etc (totally obscure technicality). Spends night in jail. Changes are thrown out at next court date. Car is never returned and instead father has to pay shop rate to have any components wanted removed before it is CRUSHED. Cop responsible for the bullshit kills himself 1.5 years later because he is discovered to be involved in some huge scandals. Go figure.

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928