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Comment: Re:nice job (Score 1) 102

by michelcolman (#47498877) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

This "intelligent avatar" thing, however, is probably going to be the worst of both worlds: the slowness of human interaction (waiting for an artificially generated face to actually speak out the words instead of just skimming the text on the screen in a fraction of the time) combined with a complete lack of common sense. And of course the avatar is going to speak as slowly as possible to make sure even the most retarded passenger can understand it, etc...

I really hope they'll at least include a start screen with two options: text based or avatar. But more than likely, they'll be so proud of their incredible technological achievement that you'll have no such choice.

Comment: Re:So (Score 1) 59

by michelcolman (#47489045) Attached to: Tesla Model S Hacking Prize Claimed

Yes, it has a "key fob" to allow anyone to steal your car as long as you are in range with the fob when they drive off (for example if you are standing next to the car). When they get out of range, the car will complain about the missing fob but will still continue to drive until you turn it off (or run out of battery). But you can use the remote control on your phone to honk the horn, lower the windows etcetera while they are driving, hopefully attracting attention to them.

(Note: this is how it worked a while ago, they might have issued an update to fix that particular issue)

Comment: Re:So (Score 1) 59

by michelcolman (#47489025) Attached to: Tesla Model S Hacking Prize Claimed

They can't even steal it because they have access to the doors and sunroof and despite being able to enter it they can't use the ignition. Unless they can also change the PIN all they can do is to annoy people.

I'm certainly relieved that they couldn't use the ignition: imagine the mayhem the hackers could cause if they figured out how to ignite those batteries!

Programming

Will Google's Dart Language Replace Javascript? (Video) 180

Posted by Roblimo
from the shall-we-play-darts-or-javascripts-this-evening-at-the-pub? dept.
Seth Ladd, Google Web engineer and Chrome Developer Advocate, is today's interviewee. He's talking about Dart, which Wikipedia says is 'an open-source Web programming language developed by Google.' The Wikipedia article goes on to say Dart was unveiled at the GOTO conference in Aarhus, October 10–12, 2011, and that the goal of Dart is 'ultimately to replace JavaScript as the lingua franca of web development on the open web platform.' A bold aim, indeed. Last month (June, 2014), InfoWorld ran an article by Paul Krill headlined, Google's Go language on the rise, but Dart is stalling. Seth Ladd, unlike Paul Krill, is obviously rah-rah about Dart -- which is as it should be, since that's his job -- and seems to think it has a growing community and a strong place in the future of Web programming. For more about Dart, scroll down to watch Tim Lord's video interview with Seth -- or read the transcript, if you prefer. (Alternate Video Link)

Comment: Re:Climate Change on Slashdot? Bring on the fun! (Score 1) 389

by michelcolman (#47418291) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

Are there really more methane-producing animals than there would be if there were no humans? Cows, buffaloes, deer, any other farting animals? I might be wrong, but it seems implausible that we would be responsible for the fact that there are now too many animals on the planet, quite the contrary. I do believe that we are responsible for the disappearance of vast amounts of forest that used to turn all these farts back into oxygen.

Comment: Re:Not for deaf/hard of hearing... (Score 1) 579

by michelcolman (#47367937) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

In European cities, the beeper may well be 5 meters (sorry, 15 feet) from your bedroom window. So yes, you WILL hear it even while fucking. Of course it's not going to be a problem on American mega-intersections with parking lots on all sides and the nearest home miles away, but some Canadian cities are (fortunately) more like European ones.

Comment: Re:Not for deaf/hard of hearing... (Score 1) 579

by michelcolman (#47367693) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

1. Increase of cost. Adding a pole for the near side would add cost.

Then add it to the far pole of the other side. Duh!

2. Looking down at the timer when you should probably just be looking at traffic. Alternatively, having the timer on the post with the "walk/don't walk" sign at least has you focusing near your path of travel.

Who says you have to look down? Just install it at more or less eye height so you can see it before you start to cross. Then, while crossing, you look at traffic instead of at the digits on the other side.

Comment: Re:Not for deaf/hard of hearing... (Score 1) 579

by michelcolman (#47367547) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

And it annoys the hell out of normal hearing people, especially those living close to an intersection. Please, there's enough noise as it is.

How about a very small timer that can be read by people standing next to it, waiting to cross? There's absolutely no need for it to be readable from across the street.

Comment: Re:This just illustrates (Score 1) 365

by michelcolman (#47339687) Attached to: Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet

At times when the renewables production spikes, the electricity is "sold" at negative prices - i.e. whoever takes it, gets paid.

Why would suppliers provide electricity at negative prices? Can't they just waste it somehow, just install a bunch of resistors in a big swimming pool and run the excess electricity through there?

Of course storing it for later use, for example by pumping up water that can be routed through turbines later, would be even better but would also require a serious investment. But certainly from the provider's point of view, simply wasting it is better than selling at negative prices?

Comment: Re:This is the final nail in the coffin of Fuel Ce (Score 1) 216

by michelcolman (#47322639) Attached to: Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

It will be 800 km in "extended cruise mode", meaning constant low speed, the way car manufacturers used to measure range before better standards were invented. In other words, they're cheating. Actual real world range will be about the same as a Tesla S 85.

A method of solution is perfect if we can forsee from the start, and even prove, that following that method we shall attain our aim. -- Leibnitz

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