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Comment: Re:Fuel engines and taxation (Score 1) 377

BMW, Volkswagon, Mercedes, and Audi all sell diesel versions of their cars in the US. My friend has one.

Diesel in the US has been good for at least a decade or so. The reasons people don't buy them are cultural; diesel still has the stigma of being smelly and polluting.

Comment: Re:Red Herring. (Score 1) 377

1500 torque peak and 4500 redline is drastically different than 3000 torque peak and 5000 redline.

Assume two cars, 1m circumference tires. Geared such that that in second gear, you hit torque peak at exactly 10m/s. (10m/s = 22mph. That's fairly fast for the bottom of second gear, but it keeps the math simple) At 10m/s, the wheels are spinning at 600rpm.

The 1500 rpm diesel will need a gear ratio of 2.5:1 to spin the wheels at 600rpm. At 4500rpm redline, the wheels will be spinning at 1800 rpm, which is 30m/s. (67mph) Which is pretty good for second gear.

The 3000 rpm torque peak American muscle car will need a gear ratio of 5:1 to spin the wheels at 600rpm. At 5000rpm redline, the wheels will be spinning at 1000rpm, which is only 16.7m/s. (37mph) Which is garbage.

1500-4500 rpm is an enormous torque band. 3000-5000 is tiny. Diesels are great like that; gasoline engines develop poor torque down below 3000rpms and need to be well engineered to rev into the 6000-10000 rpm range. The Europeans and Japanese have had it figured out for a while now; you'll see a lot of very well engineered v4's coming out of Japan and a lot of inline 6's, which are innately well balanced, coming out of Europe. American car companies have had an obsession with v8's, which are very difficult to balance, for years now - and they won't invest the engineering required to make them run smoothly. They sound great; you can't beat that deep throaty gurgling sound - the problem is that the deep throaty gurgling sound is a result of the poor engine balance which will limit the car to low rpms.

They have been making progress though. The z06/tr1 corvettes are amazing. Too bad the interior is shit, which is an entirely separate issue.

Remember: the engine with high horsepower in a wide power band will always win. "low end torque" is only meaningful if the gearbox has too few gears or if the driver doesn't know how to shift into the correct one.

Comment: Re:O.S.R. (Obligitory Simpsons' Reference) (Score 1) 1122

by pigeon768 (#35669796) Attached to: Things Get Worse at Fukushima

According to this study there were two horse related deaths in Western Montana in 2002-2004. According to this list there have been 63 deaths (53 of which were Chernobyl) as a result of nuclear powerplant accidents in the world, ever.

I think it is accurate to say that nuclear power is safer than ponies.

As a point of comparison, 20-30 people die every year in coal mining accidents in the US alone.

Comment: Re:Nuclear technologies (Score 1) 1122

by pigeon768 (#35669346) Attached to: Things Get Worse at Fukushima

It really isn't even close to state of the art. Construction began in 1967, and began operations in 1971. It was never designed to operate without external power. It was never designed to withstand a earthquake of this strength. It was never designed to withstand a tsunami of this size. It was not designed to still be operational; it was supposed to be decommissioned earlier this year.

By modern standards, this design is deeply flawed. External power is required to be supplied to the plant at all times, even if the plant is not active. Modern designs do not have this requirement.

Still, this is a clusterfuck at all levels. This is a company that knowing falsified safety documents at this plant in 2002, and has lied about the nature and extent of this disaster several times. There's a revolving door between this company and the regulation agency. Regulators have repeatedly permitted this company to continue operating. Regulation that permits activities like this company has done in the past is not regulation at all.

Comment: Re:Okaaaaaay... (Score 1) 64

by pigeon768 (#35359366) Attached to: AMD Open Sources Their Linux Video API

The fglrx drivers were terrible. They were ludicrously unstable. From what I understand, they eventually got better, but they would crash the system (ie, straight to POST, not just X11) on a regular basis for years.

Writing a compatibility layer for old drivers is a very tricky business. Specifically, it's the business of the writers of the old drivers. Only they know what arcane deprecated functionality their software uses, not the writers of the interface.

Open sourcing the API to the drivers did fix the problem. The open source drivers support ATI hardware all the way back to the first generation radeon.

Comment: Re:Its really (Score 1) 760

by pigeon768 (#34983102) Attached to: New Mega-Leak Reveals Middle East Peace Process
As a person to whom "conservative" is the most appropriate label, I can assure you that English Al-Jazeera is in fact more accurate and less biased than the television incarnation of Fox News. Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity are all partisan hacks. The online incarnation of Fox isn't bad. I cannot speak for the Arabic incarnation of Al-Jazeera, but have been informed by numerous people who do speak the language that it's biased in a really bad way. This is not to say that English Al-Jazeera is unbiased; there is an obvious slant when it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Comment: Re:Nickel and Hydrogen? (Score 3) 815

by pigeon768 (#34982868) Attached to: Italian Scientists Demonstrate Cold Fusion?

You're correct about the Cerenkov radiation, but for the wrong reason. Cerenkov radiation is the result of a particle which is traveling faster than whatever speed a light impulse is traveling through the medium. Cu-59 decays via positron emission, which means a positron is emitted which will travel 99%+ c. The positron will quickly annihilate into a gamma ray. The positron is what will cause the Cerenkov radiation, not the gamma ray.

Also note that Cu-59 will decay into Ni-59, which is radioactive and has a halflife of 76000 years. So even if this did work, you haven't solved the problem of radioactive waste.

IANAP

Comment: Re:The most surprising turn of events (Score 1) 460

by pigeon768 (#34403072) Attached to: Free IPv4 Pool Now Down To Seven<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/8s

Work computer is 192.168.123.75, NAT behind your company's router, whose public IP is 12.34.56.78.

Home computer is 10.0.32.128, NAT behind your ISP's router, whose public IP is 34.56.78.90.

Some else creates a third party service, to whom both your home computer and work computer connect to and maintain a connection. Your work computer tells the service it wants to open a connection to your home computer. The service tells your home computer another computer wants to connect to it. Your home computer opens a UDP port on 43210, tells the service it's listening on 43210, and starts waiting.

The service tells your work computer to start sending UDP packets to 34.56.78.90:43210. Your work computer opens a UDP port on 54321, tells the service it's opened port 54321, and starts sending packets.

The service tells your home computer to start sending UDP packets to 12.34.56.78:54321, which it does. You now have a connection over UDP, which you use outright, tunnel TCP over, or tunnel VPN over, or do whatever you want.

Sure, it's hideous, to say the least, but having your ISP NAT you is not the end of the world.

Comment: RTFA (Score 3, Informative) 83

by pigeon768 (#33012892) Attached to: Earth As an Extrasolar Planet

So, now to apply this to an extrasolar planet, we have to have the planet reflect the light of its sun back at the Earth, which means that their sun is already between them and us (counting "between" as being able to project the vector from here to their sun upon the vector from here to the extrasolar planet, and result in a vector of lesser magnitude than the vector from here to the extrasolar planet). And we're supposed to be able to isolate any of the light from that planet apart from its sun?

You misunderstand the experiment. For this idea to work, the planet has to be between us and the star. Exactly between - as in, the planet is eclipsing its sun, from our point of view. They're not detecting light that's been reflected off a planet, they're detecting light that's been filtered through a planet's atmosphere.

This is something we've already done with large gas giant planets. The 'new' thing is that we did it with a planet the size of earth, with its significantly thinner atmosphere.

Comment: Re:Only works on eclipsed light. (Score 2, Insightful) 83

by pigeon768 (#33012298) Attached to: Earth As an Extrasolar Planet

So... the light went through the Earth's atmosphere, into a reflector on the moon, which reflected it back... to the Earth's surface? Like... THROUGH the atmosphere that they were trying to detect anyways?

Yes. Part of calibrating a spectroscope involves adjusting for the fact that every result you'll ever get ever will have passed through Earth's atmosphere, and will demonstrate roughly the same absorption lines as a result. This is mitigated partially by the fact that spectroscopic analysis is usually performed somewhere at an observatory on the top of a mountain in some dry region with relatively stable weather, but considerations must still be made. Otherwise, every single star in the sky demonstrates molecular nitrogen and oxygen absorption lines - which would be surprising, to say the least.

This is usefulish science - one day, we may be in a situation where an Earth-like mass planet with an Earth-like orbit around a Sun-like star will occult. We have more information about what we need to do then.

Comment: Only works on eclipsed light. (Score 5, Interesting) 83

by pigeon768 (#33012058) Attached to: Earth As an Extrasolar Planet

This technique only works on light that passes through the planet's atmosphere. In this case, during a lunar eclipse, they pointing a telescope at the part of the moon that was reflecting the light that had traveled through the Earth's atmosphere. They found that the moon had absorption lines resulting from interactions with Earth's atmosphere.

The technique would work if the Earth occulted the Sun from Cassini's viewpoint, but such occultations are rare.

Comment: You big babies. It's 5.0, not 5.5. (Score 1) 560

by pigeon768 (#32669402) Attached to: 5.5 Earthquake Hits Canada; Felt in US Midwest, New England

What a bunch of wimps.

Here in southern California, a mere 5.5 would hardly even arouse anyone's interest. Probably make page 1 of the local section unless the Padres made a big trade; then it would be relegated to page 2.

No kidding. There was a 5.7 quake down here a week ago - you know who cared? No one. But a 5.0 (not 5.5, reported by TFA) hits Canada, and it's a front page slashdot story.

Note that since the richter scale is logarithmic, a 5.7 quake is significantly stronger than a 5.0. I don't know the math, but there's at least an order of magnitude more energy released.

Money will say more in one moment than the most eloquent lover can in years.

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