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Comment Re:Street lamps don't help much (Score 1) 293 293

I don't see why you doubt a priori that there is a cost saving here. A high pole is likely much more expensive than a low one since it needs a much higher stiffness in order to prevent it from swinging all the time. High poles may be a costly necessity to allow the use of high-efficiency, high-power HPS lamps and to prevent dazzling road users with bright light sources close to the horizon.

LED lamps are much easier to design for a specific light distribution than HPS lamps, so they could have kept the same number of high poles if that had been cheaper. I'm sure that the road planners actually do a cost analysis.

Comment Re:Missing the big picture (Score 1) 304 304

According to TFA, it's about the TLD: something censored from, .de is not censored from, even if requested from an EU IP address. It's not about censoring search results on for a for a user located in the US. It is not about where the data centers serving those TLDs are located and whether they are owned by a EU-based subsidiary or not. Google could easily serve all those TLDs from the same ip address and data center if they wanted, but that is not the point.

We can agree or not about whether the right to be forgotten is a good thing or not, but let's make sure that we understand the actual conflict between G and France. I think the French have a point here.

Comment Re:Street lamps don't help much (Score 1) 293 293

"As far as efficiency goes there doesn't look to be much difference at the moment between sodium vapor lights and LED lights."

Strangely your reference actually states: "For example, a 30W LED street light can often replace an 80W High Pressure Sodium lamp. The reason for this is directionality. LED street lamps are very directional and the light output is much more even then by other street lamps."

Apart from that, I suspect that HPS lights are difficult to make efficient at low light outputs, such as what you need for narrow streets and footpaths where a high-power lamp mounted high up would spill too much light outside the road.

Comment Re:Not Everyone Owns a Garage (Score 1) 870 870

"With charge times measured in hours, what are all the people who rent or park on a street going to do?"

In Netherlands, many municipalities offer to install a charging station (about the size of an old, coin-operated parking meter), on the street, close to your home, along with two parking spots that are reserved for electrical cars. Together with the tax breaks, this makes e-cars quite popular. You don't get a personal spot, but this way the risk of not being able to recharge is limited.

Note that the electricity isn't free: you have to use a smart card to activate the charging pole. I'm not sure what they charge per kWh. Probably a bit more than the residential rate (0.21 EUR/kWh).

Submission + - Tools Coming To Def Con For Hacking RFID Access Doors->

jfruh writes: Next month's Def Con security conference will feature, among other things, new tools that will help you hack into the RFID readers that secure doors in most office buildings. RFID cards have been built with more safeguards against cloning; these new tools will bypass that protection by simply hacking the readers themselves.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Could the Slashdot community take control of Slashdot? 10 10

turp182 writes: This is intended to be an idea generation story for how the community itself could purchase and then control Slashdot. If this happened I believe a lot of former users would at least come and take a look, and some of them would participate again.

This is not about improving the site, only about aquiring the site.

First, here's what we know:
1. DHI (Dice) paid $20 million for Slashdot, SourceForce, and Freecode, purchased from Geeknet back in 2012:
2. Slashdot has an Alexa Global Rank of 1,689, obtaining actual traffic numbers require money to see:
3. According to Quantcast, Slashdot has over 250,000 unique monthly views:
4. Per an Arstechnia article, Slashdot Media (Slashdot and Sourceforge) had 2015Q2 revenues of $1.7 million and have expected full year revenues of $15-$16 million (which doesn't make sense given the quarterly number):

Next, things we don't know:
0. Is Slashdot viable without a corporate owner? (the only question that matters)
1. What would DHI (Dice) sell Slashdot for? Would they split it from Sourceforge?
2. What are the hosting and equipment costs?
3. What are the personnel costs (editors, advertising saleforce, etc.)?
4. What other expenses does the site incur (legal for example)?
5. What is Slashdot's portion of the revenue of Slashdot Media?

These questions would need to be answered in order to valuate the site. Getting that info and performing the valuation would require expensive professional services.

What are possible ways we could proceed?

In my opinion, a non-profit organization would be the best route.

Finally, the hard part: Funding. Here are some ideas.

1. Benefactor(s) — It would be very nice to have people with some wealth that could help.
2. Crowdfunding/Kickstarter — I would contribute to such an effort I think a lot of Slashdotters would contribute. I think this would need to be a part of the funding rather than all of it.
3. Grants and Corporate Donations — Slashdot has a wide and varied membership and audience. We regularly see post from people that work at Google, Apple, and Microsoft. And at universities. We are developers (like me), scientists, experts, and also ordinary (also like me). A revived Slashdot could be a corporate cause in the world of tax deductions for companies.
4. ????
5. Profit!

Oh, the last thing: Is this even a relevant conversation?

I can't say. I think timing is the problem, with generating funds and access to financial information (probably won't get this without the funds) being the most critical barriers. Someone will buy the site, we're inside the top 2,000 global sites per info above.

The best solution, I believe, is to find a large corporate "sponsor" willing to help with the initial purchase and to be the recipient of any crowd sourcing funds to help repay them. The key is the site would have to have autonomy as a separate organization. They could have prime advertising space (so we should focus on IBM...) with the goal would be to repay the sponsor in full over time (no interest please?).

The second best is seeking a combination of "legal pledges" from companies/schools/organizations combined with crowdsourcing. This could get access to the necessary financials.

Also problematic, from a time perspective, a group of people would need to be formed to handle organization (managing fundraising/crowdsourcing) and interations with DHI (Dice). All volunteer for sure.

Is this even a relevant conversation? I say it is, I actually love Slashdot; it offers fun, entertaining, and enlightning conversation (I browse above the sewer), and I find the article selection interesting (this gyrates, but I still check a lot).

And to finish, the most critical question: Is Slashdot financially viable as an independent organization?

Comment Re:Budget (Score 3, Informative) 106 106

This is what they say on the Kickstarter page:

Isn't the Smithsonian federally funded? Good question! Federal appropriations provide the foundation of the Smithsonian's operating budget and support core functions, such as building operations and maintenance, research, and safeguarding the collections. Projects like Reboot the Suit aren't covered by our federal appropriations, which means we can only undertake them if we can fund them some other way. In other words, we won't be able to do this project without the participation of Kickstarter backers.

Comment Re:I must've missed the previous discovery (Score 1) 89 89

Actually I wonder why 'piquancy' or 'pungency' (like in pepper) is not considered a sixth taste. It is sensed by a specific receptor and it is triggered by a variety of compounds: various capsainoids from peppers and compuonds in black pepper, mustard/wasabi, raw garlic, and so on.

Comment Re:Legislate 50% less consumption? Good fucking lu (Score 1) 483 483

"miniscule compared to the toxic stuff released during the generation of the extra electricity required for the incandescent bulb."

That depends on the type of exhaust scrubbers fitted to the coal power plant and the type of coal used. I'd wager that technology exists and is actually being used to make the exhaust pretty much free of toxic stuff. The sulfur is converted to gypsum (used in drywall), the ashes are an additive to concrete, etc..

What cannot be suppressed is the (nontoxic) CO2 emission. It would be good to quantify things beyond "a lot" and "much more". Electricity can be converted to electricity to electricity at 1 to 2 kWh/kg depending on who you believe (can't be bothered to find out why different values exist). Assumie a CFK lasts 3000 h (actually they should last 6x longer, but it seems to be too optimistic for many use cases) and an incandescent 1000 h. A 60 W incandescent will use 180 kWh over 3000 h, i.e. 90 to 180 kg of coal. The CO2 emission is about 3.5 times that weight.

Comment Re:Infrared cameras are expensive (Score 1) 192 192

$200 for an 80x80 FLIR camera? Which model is that? I'm looking at the FLIR selection, but the only one that comes close is an IR plugin for an iPhone, 80x60 pixels. At a 9 Hz frame rate, I don't think that sensor would be suitable for analyzing road obstacles while driving, never mind the resolution.

Comment Re:Infrared cameras are expensive (Score 1) 192 192

You don't use high-resolution cameras for this job. You use a highly sensitive normal camera and then you use the thermo camera right next to it for object detection and for gain control on the primary camera.

That would sound plausible, except that the image that they show in the video clip (0:28) is a fairly high-resolution fully thermal image without blending with a visible-light image.

Comment Infrared cameras are expensive (Score 1) 192 192

I was going to rant about how this thing is going to dazzle pedestrians, but fortunately, the video shows that it will mainly lighten up their legs. Wheelchair riders beware, though.

Anyway, the system as described uses thermal IR cameras. I'd say that technology is way too expensive even for high end cars. Thermographic cameras capable of around 200x150 pixels are commercially available for around 5 kEUR and I suspect that that resolution is still too low to recognize a pedestrian at 50 m distance and at the same time have a reasonably wide field of view. You can get 80x80-resolution systems for around 1 kEUR, but those will definitely be useless for the present purpose.

Comment Re:Good Idea, and a Possible Modification (Score 1) 120 120

"no real attempt to move the launch platform up to 80,000 feet or so using gas balloon technology. I would have thought this would be feasible, and could result in a substantial fuel saving."

The fuel cost of a launch to low orbits is not for the altitude, but for gaining enough speed to stay in orbit, i.e. about 8 km/s. The gravitational energy becomes significant if you need altitudes comparable to the earth radius (6400 km).

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long