Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:First.... (Score 1) 288

by loshwomp (#46878925) Attached to: Decommissioning Nuclear Plants Costing Far More Than Expected

$608 million decommissioning seem less ridiculous, this still seems much more expensive then it ought to be.

For perspective, that plant likely produced on the order of a quarter-million dollars worth of electricity EVERY HOUR, round the clock, for decades, so $608 million is not a very exciting figure, even if true.

This is actually great news. It means that decommissioning only costs the equivalent of 3 months worth of full-production output--a bargain.

Transportation

Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential" 360

Posted by timothy
from the is-it-a-king-george-moment? dept.
cartechboy (2660665) writes "They say you shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you. Maybe it should go you shouldn't trash talk the company you partner with. U.S. head of Mercedes-Benz Steve Cannon was just quoted as saying future service of Tesla's vehicles could be 'limited,' and that while it's great, the market could be more attracted to other luxury automakers once their products hit the market. Cannon also suggests that the current infrastructure isn't up to maintaining and fueling electric vehicles, in particularly Tesla's stores and go-to servicing can't handle high demands. Naturally he said Mercedes has the 'whole network' to put customers minds' at ease. Sounds like fighting words to me. Hey Mercedes, where's your Model S competitor?" There is a reason that Jim Rogers drove around the world in a Mercedes.

Comment: I can save Americans $4.3B/year (Score 3, Insightful) 218

by loshwomp (#46621423) Attached to: Smartphone Kill-Switch Could Save Consumers $2.6 Billion

Americans currently spend around $580 million replacing stolen phones each year and $4.8 billion paying for handset insurance.

At that factor of 8, folks, is why insurance is a bad investment. Americans could save $4.3B per year by not buying insurance with a poor ROI.

Media

Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose? 490

Posted by Soulskill
from the couldn't-have-been-an-accident dept.
Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes: "Why do Netflix and a few other companies keep the DVD format alive, when streaming is more convenient for almost all users? The answer is not obvious, but my best theory is that it has to do with what economists call price discrimination. Netflix is still the cheapest legal way to watch a dozen recent releases every month — but only if you're willing to put up with those clunky DVDs." Read on for the rest of Bennett's thoughts.
Programming

Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks? 306

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the new-and-exciting-skills dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I have been programming in some fashion, for the last 18 years. I got my first job programming 15 years ago and have advanced my career programming, leading programmers and bringing my technical skill sets into operations and other areas of the business where problems can be solved with logical solutions. I learned to program on the Internet in the 90s.. scouring information where ever I could and reading the code others wrote. I learned to program in a very simple fashion, write a script and work your way to the desired outcome in a straight forward logical way. If I needed to save or reuse code, I created include files with functions. I could program my way through any problem, with limited bugs, but I never learned to use a framework or write modular, DRY code. Flash forward to today, there are hundreds of frameworks and thousands of online tutorials, but I just can't seem to take the tutorials and grasp the concepts and utilize them in a practical manner. Am I just too old and too set in my ways to learn something new? Does anyone have any recommendations for tutorials or books that could help a 'hacker' like me? Also, I originally learned to program in Perl, but moved onto C and eventually PHP and Python."

Comment: Re: Add a range-extender engine, perhaps PV too (Score 1) 94

by loshwomp (#46437729) Attached to: California District Launches Country's First All-Electric School Bus

Unless you want to take kids on a field trip...

It doesn't make any sense to optimize for outlier trips like that, unless you have money to burn. Rather, you keep a few diesel buses around.

PV is better (economically, for efficiency, and for the grid) when it's stationary and grid-connected, and range extenders negate the benefits of the simple electric powertrain (bringing back ICE maintenance). A "range extended" EV embodies the complexity of both a full-power EV and a convention internal combustion powetrain.

Comment: Re:Add a range-extender engine, perhaps PV too (Score 1) 94

by loshwomp (#46436063) Attached to: California District Launches Country's First All-Electric School Bus

PV could be installed, to also help with range

It doesn't need any "help with range". Fleet vehicles (like school buses) are already a near-ideal case for electrification; they follow well established routes and schedules. Range is either sufficient or not, and once sufficient, the marginal value of additional range is zero.

Comment: Re:Economic problems with hydrogen power (Score 1) 551

by loshwomp (#46169983) Attached to: Should Nuclear and Renewable Energy Supporters Stop Fighting?

Basically you have to get charging time down below about 10 minutes for at least 200 miles of range.

That's only required to make electrics practical for the last 3-4% of transportation needs. Several standard deviations of our driving can be met with existing technology. Overnight charging at 6-12 kW is ideal because it's cheapest, and it happens while you do other things (like sleep), and it's when the grid is the cleanest.

Comment: Re:Report validates the "dead man walking" assessm (Score 1) 207

by loshwomp (#45995699) Attached to: Previously-Unseen Photos of Challenger Disaster Appear Online

The report makes it pretty clear that saving the Columbia was about as realistic as saving the Titanic.

I'm glad you weren't in charge of Apollo 13. : ) Seriously, I think your interpretation is unusual (or maybe we're talking about different documents). The CAIB pretty clearly says the scenarious were plausible. Obviously risky, with no guarantee of success, but not impossible. I can't see how you got from that to "certain doom".

Comment: Re:PHB's strike again (Score 4, Interesting) 207

by loshwomp (#45981471) Attached to: Previously-Unseen Photos of Challenger Disaster Appear Online

The Columbia crew were dead men walking the moment the foam damaged the tiles. Columba was a wreck the moment the foam caused the damage. She would never reach earth's surface whole once she entered space.

This claim was solidly refuted in the official accident investigation report, which explores parallel scenarios--one for rescue, and another for improvised repair while on orbit.

The report is a fascinating read, by the way, and highly recommended. It manages to be satisfyingly technical without going over the head of a typical engineer or even lay person.

The bogosity meter just pegged.

Working...