Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



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

Comment: Same here. (Score 1) 417 417

I have similar issues:
  - Towing several tons (travel trailer or 23 foot trailerable-with-extreme-trailer deep-keel coastal-water-ocean-capable sailboat) up and down mountains and cross-country.
  - Going to/from the ranch - over 250 miles one way (over the Altamont grade, across the central valley, and through a pass in the Sierras) - with the last 0.7 miles sometimes hubcap-deep mud.
  - Carrying ranch groceries for several months and/or other supplies or equipment from the nearest supermarket etc. - 27 miles away.
and so on.
  - Off-roading to visit ghost towns and other historic sites in the Nevada Desert - where "running out of gas" - in the absence of cell phone service - might mean your skeletons are discovered in a couple years.

On the other hand, for trips about 3/4 of the year and NOT towing, a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle with sufficient range, serious regenerative braking, and adequate cargo capacity for two week's groceries and luggage for two, would be ideal. Charge it up at each end (off a windmill/solar at the Nevada end) to start full, use regenerative braking on the downslopes to power across the valley or up the next up slope. For a hybrid: Top off the batteries while cruising the central valley and use batteries plus engine to avoid being a creeping traffic hazard on the mountain roads.

My cycle would be almost identical to a Silicon Valley worker who mostly commutes 25 miles each way and occasionally vacations at the Lake Tahoe ski resorts or Reno or camps in the Sierras. A single vehicle that could do both - rather than needing two vehicles to accommodate the use pattern - would be ideal.

Comment: Sadly, gas is cheaper than electricity in CA (Score 1) 418 418

I just bought a Ford C-Max Energi; but I bought it strictly for the green carpool-lane sticker.

In California, if you live in a big house, your marginal cost of electricity is shockingly high. For me, it's $0.33/kilowatt-hour.

My Energi goes 20 miles with a 8 kWh charge. That's $2.64 On gas, it gets about 35 mpg. If gas is $3.50 (current price) that's $2.20.

Now, during mid-day on a sunny day, I can charge it much cheaper on our solar panels (currently we are selling power back to PG&E, but at $0.11/kWh) and I do that. I also charge it at work, where it's 'free'; but I live 50 miles from work so I can't keep the car charged just at work. The 'free' power at work won't last forever, either.

You may ask "why not get a Tesla?" Good question. It turns out that there are (at my company) 3x the number of electric-ish cars as there are charging stations, so we have to swap them out after just a few hours. The Tesla would take all day to charge. Also, the Tesla is such a lumbering overpowered beast that it gets substantially less miles-per-kilowatt-hour.

Thad

The Almighty Buck

Ask Slashdot: How Much Did Your Biggest Tech Mistake Cost? 258 258

NotQuiteReal writes: What is the most expensive piece of hardware you broke (I fried a $2500 disk drive once, back when 400MB was $2500) or what software bug did you let slip that caused damage? (No comment on the details — but about $20K cost to a client.) Did you lose your job over it? If you worked on the Mars probe that crashed, please try not to be the First Post, that would scare off too many people!

+ - How much did your biggest "tech" mistake cost?

NotQuiteReal writes: What is the most expensive piece of hardware you broke (I fried a $2500 disk drive once, back when 400MB was $2500) or what software bug did you let slip that caused damage? (No comment on the details — but about $20K cost to a client.)

Did you lose your job over it?

If you worked on the Mars probe that crashed, please try not to be the First Post, that would scare off too many people!
United States

Wired Cautions Would-Be Drone Photogs on the 4th 61 61

Last year's spectacular but unauthorized you-are-there video from the inside of a fireworks display has probably inspired quite a few people to try getting their own bird's-eye view this year. Wired cautions photographers, though, that many municipalities have specifically banned (and some will be looking for) unauthorized airborne visitors, and that the FAA's guidelines for legal flight are tricky to comply with during a fireworks show. This is both because it's hard to maintain visual contact with a drone amid the dark and smoke of a show, and because of the altitude at which many commercial firework shells burst. In addition, even if a drone photo mission goes under the radar vis-a-vis local authorities, if resulting footage appears on an ad-supported site, like YouTube, the FAA may be a bit more interested than the pilot would like.
Games

Someone Will Die Playing a Game In Virtual Reality 118 118

SlappingOysters writes: Grab It has detailed a hands-on session with horror VR title Kitchen — from Resident Evil creator Capcom — and argues how the physical reaction to the experience could lead to death. The site also believes that classifying VR games will be a challenge and many titles could be banned. Virtual Reality has a big year ahead, with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus all set to release, while Microsoft is working on the HoloLens, which the site argues adds a further challenge to traditional gaming.

+ - Someone Will Die Playing a Game in Virtual Reality

SlappingOysters writes: Grab It has detailed a hands-on session with horror VR title Kitchen — from Resident Evil creator Capcom — and argues how the physical reaction to the experience could lead to death. The site also believes that classifying VR games will be a challenge and many titles could be banned. Virtual Reality has a big year ahead, with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus all set to release, while Microsoft is working on the HoloLens, which the site argues adds a further challenge to traditional gaming.
AI

Machine Learning System Detects Emotions and Suicidal Behavior 32 32

An anonymous reader writes with word as reported by The Stack of a new machine learning technology under development at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology "which can identify emotion in text messages and email, such as sarcasm, irony and even antisocial or suicidal thoughts." Computer science student Eden Saig, the system's creator, explains that in text and email messages, many of the non-verbal cues (like facial expression) that we use to interpret language are missing. His software applies semantic analysis to those online communications and tries to figure out their emotional import and context by looking for word patterns (not just more superficial markers like emoticons or explicit labels like "[sarcasm]"), and can theoretically identify clues of threatening or self-destructive behavior.

+ - Machine learning system detects emotions and suicidal behavior ->

An anonymous reader writes: A new machine learning technology is being developed by Israeli scientists which can identify emotion in text messages and email, such as sarcasm, irony and even antisocial or suicidal thoughts. The new computerised system, created by Eden Saig a computer science student at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, is described in a paper titled ‘Sentiment Classification of Texts in Social Networks.’ The system works by recognising repeated word patterns and was developed by Saig after he studied a course in artificial intelligence (AI) supervised by Professor Shaul Markovich. Saig explains that voice tone and vocal inflections are so crucial for conveying feelings in verbal communication, while with text and email messages these characteristics are lost – recently encouraging users to illustrate sentiment through superficial smileys or emoticons. Applying machine learning algorithms to popular opinion Facebook pages, Saig was able to use the results to pick out stereotypical habits in social network conversations. “Now, the system can recognise patterns that are either condescending or caring sentiments and can even send a text message to the user if the system thinks the post may be arrogant,” said Saig.
Link to Original Source
Movies

How To Design Robot Overlords For "Robot Overlords" 14 14

Hallie Siegel writes: Ever wonder how they make robots look so awesomely real in movies? Visual effects expert Graham Edwards goes behind the scenes with the makers of Robot Overlords to take you through the development of the robots in this movie, from script development and sketches, to filming and post FX. Really cool to see how these robots come to life.

+ - The making of sci-fi Robot Overlords - nice robot VFX->

Hallie Siegel writes: Ever wonder how they make robots look so awesomely real in movies? Visual effects expert Graham Edwards goes behind the scenes with the makers of Robot Overlords to take you through the development of the robots in this movie, from script development and sketches, to filming and post FX. Really cool to see how these robots come to life.
Link to Original Source
Crime

In Response to Open Letter, France Rejects Asylum For Julian Assange 132 132

Several outlets report that Julian Assange has requested, but been denied, political asylum in France, by means of an open letter published by Le Monde. From The Globe and Mail's coverage, linked above: Less than an hour after his letter was published by Le Monde's website, Hollande's office issued a statement saying the asylum request was rejected.

"France has received the letter from Mr. Assange. An in-depth review shows that in view of the legal and material elements of Mr Assange's situation, France cannot grant his request," the statement said.

"The situation of Mr. Assange does not present any immediate danger. He is also the target of a European arrest warrant," it noted.

Assange wrote in the letter that his youngest child is French, and so is the child’s mother. "I haven't been able to see them in five years, since the political persecution against me started," he said.
Worth noting: Assange's legal team says that Assange's letter has been mischaracterized, and that it is in fact not a request for asylum per se; instead, they assert, the letter merely expresses Assange's "willingness 'to be hosted in France if and only if an initiative was taken by the competent authorities.'"

+ - Assange Makes Plea For Asylum After Leaking Details Of NSA Spying On French Pols->

An anonymous reader writes: The NY Post reports, "Assange wrote a letter to French President Francois Hollande published in Le Monde on Friday, appealing to France’s history as a beacon for the repressed. He noted that WikiLeaks recently revealed that the US National Security Agency spied on Hollande and his two predecessors and leading French companies. Hollande quickly said “no.” In a statement, his office noted that Assange is under a European arrest warrant and his life is not in imminent danger. ... French Justice Minister Christine Taubira suggested in a televised interview last week that she would be open to the idea. ... Assange has spent three years in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London ... In his letter to Hollande, Assange said that the mother of his youngest child is French. He said he is restricted to a space of 5.5 square meters (60 square feet), lacking access to “fresh air, sun as well as any possibility to go to a hospital,” and noted that police say round-the-clock surveillance of him has cost $17.6 million." — 9News adds, "... In his open letter ... Assange described himself as a "journalist pursued and threatened with death by the United States' authorities as a result of my professional activities" ... "only France now has the ability to offer me the necessary protection against, and exclusively against, the political persecution that I am currently the object of". Such an offer of protection would be a "humanitarian and symbolic gesture" and send a message of encouragement "to journalists and whistleblowers around the world". Assange said in his letter he had not seen his youngest child or the child's mother, who are both French, for five years. "I have had to keep their existence secret up to today in order to protect them," he wrote. " — also noted: "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has denied filing a request for asylum in France "
Link to Original Source

Your good nature will bring you unbounded happiness.

Working...