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Comment: Re:Random thoughts... (Score 2) 191

by hot soldering iron (#46801401) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

30 minutes? After driving for a couple of hours, I'm ready to take a 30 minute break and stretch my legs...

Hydrogen? Seriously? 45 years ago, when I was little, they were saying Hydrogen was only 30 years away, and would roll out demo cars to prove it. I think they just said the same thing last week.

I used to think the same thing, until I actually looked at the engineering realities regarding hydrogen. It's the lightest and smallest element on the Periodic Table, so it will migrate through steel, making it brittle as it goes. The only way to make hydrogen in the industrial quantities needed is with steam reforming of petroleum based hydrocarbons (check Wikipedia if you don't believe me). Then there is the energy density and storage nightmare of hydrogen which isn't even nearly as good as current gen car batteries.

And that is just to replace the current fuel in an internal combustion engine (not so efficient) with a lower density fuel (even worse efficiency). Now a fuel cell, where the fuel is converted directly into electricity is promising, except that to produce the amount of power needed to drive a vehicle would require an oxidation rate right up there with a controlled explosion trying to go uncontrolled.

And you still haven't gotten away from using petroleum, or the wars,corruption and crime involved in dealing with it. So, hydrogen isn't really looking too good now, is it?

I would think that just changing the power generation method for a hybrid from an IC engine to a micro-turbine generator, with it's higher efficiency, flex fuel capability, fewer and more reliable parts, would provide the fast recharge capability that you say you want. In fact, some companies are starting to do this already. Neil Young's LincVolt was such a conversion, by H Line Conversions in Wichita, KS.

But I think that, except for niche applications, the end of life for the internal combustion engine is in sight. It has to be over-sized and over-built for performance use, and can't compare (favorably) to microturbines for power generation. They are expensive, complicated, dirty, and require an expensive and violently fought over fuel.

Comment: Re:The Solution is Obvious (Score 3, Interesting) 829

by hot soldering iron (#45759675) Attached to: Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP

Microsoft will never Opensource XP. Mostly because it would be a major liability with no benefit to them. Yes, liability. If you have your programmers going through the code and find a module that obviously didn't work like it was supposed to, and exposed the machines to a 0-day hack, your lawyers would race to file law suites against Microsoft to compensate for the companies losses. Or lets say you figure out what ALL the settings in the registry do, including the ones for exclusive use of the FBI/NSA/Microsoft. Now you know that they were fully able to bypass the Microsoft supplied firewalls, and grab whatever info they wanted. And you would spill that knowledge all over the net.

Where is Microsoft's benefit in all this? It's just not there.

The only project to Opensource XP that I've heard of is ReactOS, and it is STILL in Alpha stage, even after all these years. I suppose if the demand for it is there, some companies could be encouraged to donate time/money and accelerate the project, for their own benefit.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 213

by hot soldering iron (#45759489) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can Commercial Hardware Routers Be Trusted?

This is exactly one of the attack vectors used by China when they went after Google. They slipped some backdoors into the firmware code at the manufacturers facility in Korea. Even if the Google office was running SELinux, all it took was a port knocking to have full access to the machine, totally bypassing the high level security.

Comment: Re:On whose planet? (Score 2) 326

by hot soldering iron (#45632569) Attached to: Nobody Builds Reactors For Fun Anymore

Study that a bit more. More eagles drop dead of heart attacks than die from windmills. They are used to dodging moving objects. Windmills don't make a ton of noise, either. The industrial sized ones are fairly dangerously tall, though. And the people building them are whining about how they can't get anyone to risk their life climbing and servicing them for only $20/hr. That's about $0.10/ft of height above ground. Back when I used to climb, the going rate was $1.00/ft, because of the danger.

Comment: Re:For loops and printfs aren't fun (Score 1) 207

by hot soldering iron (#45632393) Attached to: Excite Kids To Code By Focusing Less On Coding

I hate to say it, but some people can't think even if forced to at gun point or with the promise of vast wealth. I (as an adult learner) was in a class of high school students learning CNC and manual machining. I told them about my father, a CNC programmer of over 40 years experience, and how his tax refund was almost always more than I made for any given year. The instructor backed me up, stating that he made a lot of his yearly income doing side projects and contract work during the summer.

I couldn't believe it. Some of these kids had "squirrel brains", as one so eloquently put it. Many of them dropped out of the class to become welders. It really was the best they could do. I was shocked at the demonstrated lack of (talent/drive/intelligence - pick one).

Give some people tools to build great cities with, and all they can do is use them to crack walnuts. I don't think I've been surprised by stupidity since those classes. Even the average Vo-tech student was smarter than the average high school student, due to additional filtering.

Comment: Re:But (Score 1) 236

So you're blaming an economic system for retarding technical development? Odd... I was taught that technical development is a major driver of economic competitiveness. That's why a major indicator of a declining company is if they cut their R&D budget.

I would think that you might assign blame to the individual decision makers. Just because someone is ostensibly playing the same game, doesn't mean that they have the same end-goals. Some people want to build a company to create income for the owner/s, some want to LOSE money as a tax write-off for the parent company, and some are to affect the market in some manner and their individual profit is meaningless.

Comment: Re:POLICE STATE AMERICA (Score 5, Insightful) 396

by hot soldering iron (#45129111) Attached to: DOJ: Defendant Has No Standing To Oppose Use of Phone Records

An improper warrant results in dismissal of the evidence it produces. It's called "fruit of the poisoned tree". I'm not a lawyer, but our lawyer used it in court once to keep my brother out. When police raid a house without a warrant, everyone walks. When police get evidence without a proper warrant, it is removed with prejudice. A proper warrant is a vital requirement for the collection of evidence.

This is basically accepting someone else's word, their records about you, as evidence. It is now legally acceptable for the government to enter "hearsay" as evidence against you. You aren't even allowed to challenge it, like you can any other evidence. It basically boils down to, "You're guilty because we say you are. Now take it like a bitch!"

Comment: Re:Start your own provider? (Score 2) 353

by hot soldering iron (#44785275) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Fight Usage Caps?

Did you even read the parent post? He said Physical access to customers is monopolized... by government regulation, paid for by industry through their highly paid lobbyists. You can start an ISP, if you can pony up a couple million to buy a lobbyist, and more millions for equipment, lawyers, employees, and then more millions for finally getting to tap into a backbone for bandwidth...

Artificially imposed monopolies throw a monkey wrench into the theory of free enterprise competition and technology improvement driving down costs of goods.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

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