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Comment Re:Enough with the proprietary ... (Score 1) 20

Let the OS maker build the tools to manage the OS, this way when that is found to be defective we all get the same update.

Certainly, some vendors provide drivers to Microsoft, who then goes on to provide them to us via this mechanism. But that only covers drivers in any case, and perhaps you could get them to deliver BIOS updates; but Microsoft Update is only for Microsoft software, so in Windows the vendor has no choice but to roll their own update delivery mechanism for their crapware. (Arguments about crapware are outside the scope of this comment, and boring anyway.)

Comment Re:We patched your patch (Score 1, Interesting) 20

A properly designed tool to download these updates is a great idea. But I have yet to see one that is properly designed.

A properly designed update tool should be:
- Able to check a "manifest" of already-applied updates. This does not require admin privileges.

I have yet to see a Linux (or indeed Unix) package tool which doesn't provide a mechanism to find out what version of a package is installed.

- Able to check an internet location for a "manifest" of available updates. This does not require admin privileges.

That's what e.g. apt does. You don't need root to do it, either. You can simulate all day without root.

- Able to compare the two manifests and determine if any further downloads are needed. This does not require admin privileges.

Apt will outright spit out the URLs for the downloads.

- Able to download any required updates as executable installer packages. This does not require admin privileges.

Why do they need to be executables? If there's a package management system there to handle the files? This is a red herring. Ignored.

- Able to launch any downloaded packages within the operating system. This does not require admin privileges.

Having printed the list of packages, and downloaded the packages, I can unpack them and do as I like with their contents.

You can probably do all this stuff with rpm without privilege elevation but I haven't had to deal with rpm in ages, so I can't speak to that.

Comment Re:Or just make the diesels hybrids (Score 2) 141

Come on, you two haven't called each other poopy-heads yet!

You just have to read between the lines... pretty sure I did the equivalent in my closing paragraph. People who won't maintain their OM61x when all it takes is a little berryman's and some funky wrenches (and feelers) are half the reason why people think that diesels are stinky. Those jackholes who modify their trucks to overfuel so that they can "roll coal" are the other half. When it's running, my 1992 F250 7.3 with a turbo kit can ONLY make that kind of smoke if it's cold and if I stick my foot in it from a stop, and it doesn't even have any kind of smoke compensation hardware! I can get an aneroid compensator, but it's some $200 and not really necessary except on significantly modified vehicles with notably more than original fueling levels. My pump is just turned up slightly, to match the turbocharger. If you add more fuel, you just add more heat, and that can lead to melting the fancy forged aluminum pistons. I've had EGTs of 1100*F sustained while pulling a grade, and the pistons are supposed to melt around 1300...

If you don't maintain anything, or if you excessively modify anything, it will have poor emissions. You know who really needs a smack upside the head after those coal rollers? The kids who put a $20 "performance chip" in their rice burner. Those trick the PCM into thinking that there is more intake air, so they increase fuel and maybe timing. The end result is usually that it sounds a little better because you're overfueling, it runs a little hotter, it makes little if no more power, and the people behind them have to suck a lot of unburned gasoline which as already discussed is the worst thing that comes out of a tailpipe.

Comment Re:We patched your patch (Score 3, Interesting) 20

The only real problem is the whole goddamned mindset of releasing these tools without extremely careful development and testing. Most tools can be flimsy but when they hit the network you have to take real care, and a lot of people seem to treat it like any other situation. It isn't. That's not to say that you can just start trusting inputs when you read a file from disk or anything, but pretending that the network isn't fundamentally different is just pretending.

A tool to download updates is a good idea. Having the vendor develop it isn't, which is just another reason why Linux package management beats the living crap out of Windows. If your vendor cares enough to integrate, they can deliver you updates in a secure and timely fashion without increasing your attack surface.

Comment Re: Imbicycles (Score 1) 141

Given that wikipedia shows a London-specific freight tricycle, that should not be much of a problem.

That will work in London, but it won't in San Francisco or Seattle. Well, naturally, it will in parts. Point is, bicycles are not a complete solution. You will need some kind of vehicle. I note that your link shows a power-assist tricycle for moving stuff bigger than a microwave oven. That's just back to vehicles. My preference would be to install PRT, and have cars which can carry freight. You still need a to-the-door solution, though. Maybe customers could rent a motorized pallet, and send it back to the store on another cargo car.

Comment Re:Err, petrol is currently cheaper that diesel (Score 1) 141

Posting the same link over and over to support your fallacious conclusion doesn't make it true.

Posting asinine FUD from behind cowardly anonymity doesn't give your comment validity. It does, however, validate me; when the only arguments against my argument come from cowards like you, I come out looking beautiful. Now, drop the ad hominem and explain what's wrong with the citation, or shut your piehole.

Comment Re:Or just make the diesels hybrids (Score 1) 141

You ARE a troll supreme. I had one of those Mercedes and it was a dirty bastard. It would just about suffocate anyone behind me at a red light.

That's because you're an ignorant and/or careless piece of shit who doesn't do maintenance. If you keep the valves adjusted properly (yes, how baroque) and if your ALDA is in proper working order, then that won't happen. You may have needed to clean, adjust and/or replace your ALDA, or simply clean the pressure line from the intake manifold to the ALDA.

The exhaust from my modern gasoline car is barely detectable unless you run a hose from the exhaust pipe up your nose or something.

Just like the cars of the nineties, until the car enters closed loop mode it has to run rich so that it doesn't cause damage. Contrast diesel, which runs lean all the time, and if you inject less fuel you just get less power. Unburned hydrocarbons are the most harmful emission, and gasoline vehicles pass more of them out of the tailpipe than diesels do. But in fact, you are absolutely correct, you simply came to an ass-backwards conclusion based on this fact. The exhaust from your modern gasoline car is barely detectable, but it contains just as much soot as diesel exhaust and that soot is of the most hazardous, barely detectable type — what we call PM2.5, or particles below 2.5 microns in size. These particles are too small to be swept out of your lungs by cilia, so they are the most hazardous type of soot.

But, let me return to the unburned hydrocarbons; while you are wringing your hands over soot, the HCs are actually the most harmful emission. Gasoline vehicles run rich at startup, and they run rich at wide open throttle. Diesels run lean all the time. That's why they produce more NOx than gasoline engines, which is what DEF is for; urea injection solves that problem neatly, and it neither costs very much nor adds dramatic cost to the vehicle as a package, nor does it take up much space in the vehicle. And if you don't believe that gasoline is more volatile than diesel fuel, you can try this one simple trick that will either have you convinced, or dead trying; get two glass jars and half-fill each one with fuel, one diesel and one gasoline. Now, put your head twelve inches over the diesel jar and breathe normally for five minutes. Take notes. Now, repeat the experiment with the gasoline, and if you are still alive and conscious at the end of the five minutes, record your comparative experience and get back to me. Diesel fuel breaks down faster in the soil than gasoline, it's less harmful to get on your hands, it's less harmful to breathe the fumes, it costs less energy to produce, and it produces no more pollution than gasoline. Its crime is having visible soot and fumes which you can smell. We pretend gasoline is harmless because we can't see it, but it is by far the more harmful fuel overall.

Now, what's even more ridiculous than wringing your hands over soot is the fact that we can have 100% carbon-neutral and lower-polluting fuels from non-fossil feedstocks right now if we just put the boot into the oil companies. BP and DuPont's company ButaMax has been abusing the courts to prevent GE Energy Ventures' subsidiary GEVO from selling butanol, a 1:1 replacement for gasoline which can be made by bacteria from literally any organic matter, and which reduces emissions. Likewise, lipids from algae can be used to make green diesel, which is the euphemistic name for the result of fractional column distillation of lipids into diesel fuel. It suffers from none of the drawbacks of trans-esterified biodiesel, like high acidity and gel temperature. We could improve this situation with technology we have today if only we had the will. Meanwhile they've got us arguing over petroleum gasoline vs. petroleum diesel.

You are, however, still a total derelict when it comes to automotive maintenance, and the kind of person who gives diesel a bad name.

Comment Re:Or just make the diesels hybrids (Score 1) 141

Kinda the sweet spot for hybrid-electric drives, no?

It is, but not with diesels, because they don't start-stop as gracefully as gassers, and probably never will — at least, not until gasoline engines eliminate their startup advantage by becoming just as high-compression as diesels. And in fact, the trend we are seeing in gasoline engines is to move towards higher-compression direct-injected designs, or to moderate-compression DI engines with turbochargers. In the bargain they are becoming just as expensive as diesel engines, because now just like the diesels they need a high-pressure fuel pump and a heavier cylinder wall to deal with the increased cylinder pressures, as well as the use of more exotic alloys to increase rigidity and durability while keeping package sizes down. So what we're seeing is that diesel and gasoline engines are effectively converging on the same point.

At some point we might even get engines which are capable of running on either cycle, or some other thing somewhere in between. Koenigsegg has a practical solenoid-actuated valve design (as well as a fully custom in-house designed PCM) that in practical terms can actually permit changing from one combustion cycle to another while the engine is running, for example switching from four-stroke to two-stroke at high RPM. Maybe one day we'll have single engines that can run on spark or compression ignition.

Or, you know, maybe we'll give up on this infernal combustion crap, and go electric. Batteries are getting better faster than ICEs.

Comment Re:The real answer... (Score 1) 141

It would be even nicer if we could just run them on farts and rainbows. After all, that's about as likely to work as suggesting water should be used as a fuel source.

You actually CAN use water as a partial fuel in your diesels... in a way. When the engine is very hot you can inject water mist into the intake. This not only cools the combustion chamber, but as a natural result of the same process it makes power as the water becomes steam and its volume increases. Large-displacement diesels can allegedly make as much as 100HP additional when wide-open and under heavy load, but 50HP is a better estimate for a typical diesel V8. Water injection systems are fairly common on the heavier end of the light truck spectrum. You can use them with gasoline engines as well, but water injection works best with high cylinder temperatures.

Unfortunately it really only works when the engine is under a lot of load, so if we wanted to make this a typical part of substantial improvements in stock vehicles, we'd have to design them to run closer to the limits all the time, which tends to reduce longevity. That's why we got all these gigantic, low-revving diesels in the states to begin with. My 1982 Mercedes 300SD (OM617.951) "redlines" at 4700! It gets literally as much horsepower output from 3 liters as Americans got out of 6.9! And the torque is not so much lower as you might expect.

Comment Re:Or just make the diesels hybrids (Score 0) 141

You're either a troll or you have never experienced the pollution from diesel vehicles in a city centre

You're either a troll or you haven't been around both gasoline and diesel vehicles being started. I have a 1982 300SD, a real good old mechanical diesel with no emissions controls worth mentioning, and I would a million times rather huff its startup smoke than a gasoline vehicle's. You can feel the difference. I have asthma, and the gasoline vehicles make me cough and choke right away (even if I didn't know they were running and just inhale a good whiff) while the diesel merely smells bad. Once either one heats up, you can no longer perceive the difference. While you have to be careful not to outrun the turbo with your foot in my 1992 F250 diesel (well, you did before the block died the death of cavitation) the Mercedes has boost pressure compensation and fuels itself correctly, so it doesn't stink to drive behind my car, either. And since it has no trap, the soot isn't re-burned to turn it into the PM2.5 that modern diesel vehicles produce.

Comment Re:Not actually available now (Score 1) 207

It was 5$USD at Adafruit, there was 43 units left after I received the notification email. After seeing the nearly 11$USD shipping cost to Canada, I removed it from my cart.

Yes, this is part of my point. Nobody can get these for $5. Everyone has to pay more in shipping than what the item costs. I can buy an Arduino Nano from fucking China and get it for $3.50 shipped. So my question was, when can I actually walk into a store and get one for five bucks? Apparently that was trolling.

Comment Re:Err, petrol is currently cheaper that diesel (Score 2) 141

Diesels also release invisible soot - PM 2.5, far more so than petrol engines.

Hey, here's an idea, why don't you try reading the link I posted which points out that this isn't actually true because the soot that gassers produce is so fine we could not even measure it until recently? That will help you waste less time making erroneous statements.

Comment Re: Doesn't sound very credible to me (Score 1) 141

No, it's to with the fact that diesel engines emit a much higher level of particulates which is having a negative impact on health in very high density urban areas like Paris and London.

No, no they do not, and if you cannot keep up with the news (which we discussed here on slashdot!) then you should not make declarative statements. Gasoline engines produce more PM2.5 than diesels, and that's the stuff that cilia can't sweep out of your lungs and thus what's really harmful.

Comment Re:Err, petrol is currently cheaper that diesel (Score 1, Informative) 141

Gassers put out just as much soot as diesels, but it's the more dangerous kind of soot that you can't see. The fuel is also more volatile and all gassers spit unburned fuel until they enter closed-loop mode. They do that a lot faster these days, but it's still true. Diesels always run lean, they don't have that problem. They have the problem that since they run lean, they produce more NOx. You're upset because you can see the soot, but breathing gasoline does more damage to your lungs.

"I've seen the forgeries I've sent out." -- John F. Haugh II (jfh@rpp386.Dallas.TX.US), about forging net news articles