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Comment They should know better (Score 1) 53

Unfortunately, it seems the NASA scientists made one fatal mistake... They didn't bother to read the opinions of Anonymous Cowards on the internet, who just last year throughly explained why the idea "makes no sense", and flies in the face of "basic orbital mechanics".

Submission + - NASA to 'lasso' a comet to hitchhike across the solar system

evilviper writes: Traveling around space can be hard and require a lot of fuel, which is part of the reason NASA has a spacecraft concept that would hitch a free ride on one of the many comets and asteroids speeding around our solar system at 22,000 miles per hour (on the slow end). Comet Hitchhiker, developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, would feature a reusable tether system to replace the need for propellant for entering orbit and landing on objects.

The spacecraft would first cast an extendable tether toward the object and attach itself using a harpoon attached to the tether. Next, it would reel out the tether while applying a brake that harvests energy while the spacecraft accelerates. This allows Comet Hitchhiker to accelerate and slowly match the speed of its ride, and keeping that slight tension on the line harvests energy that is stored on-board for later use, reeling itself down to the surface of the comet or asteroid. A comet hitchhiker spacecraft can obtain up to ~10 km/s of delta-V by using a carbon nanotube (CNT) tether, reaching the current orbital distance of Pluto (32.6 AU) in just 5.6 years.

Unfortunately rocket scientists apparently don't read the opinions of Anonymous Cowards on the internet, or else they'd know from discussions last year that it simply won't work. It seems that the idea defies "basic orbital mechanics" and "makes no sense".

Comment Just a money grab (Score 4, Insightful) 229

The only reason they are making any changes is because the FCC is considering doing something.

As a point for comparison where I live there are two cable providers, Cox and Comcast, covering different parts of the city. Cox has a data cap, but it is 2TB. Also that is a soft cap. If you hit it, nothing happens. They may call and complain at you if you do it too much, but that's all. It is there to try and keep people reasonable, and so they can cut off someone in truly egregious cases (I've never actually heard of anyone getting cut off).

Now somehow both these companies can make money, yet only Comcast charges for overages and yet has much lower caps.

It is just a money grab. While some kind of soft cap or throttling can be needed to make sure people play nice (we can only have Internet fast and cheap if people share, otherwise the backhaul is prohibitively expensive) low hard caps with overage fees are just used to try and make more cash.

Comment Re:good news (Score 1) 48

I don't understand why manufacturers insist on bundling their own crappy firmware anyway...

It always has less features than dd-wrt, costs them money to develop and maintain (which they then try to minimize, thus making the firmware even worse), and generates bad publicity when their corner cutting invariably comes back to bite them in the ass through security holes and bad publicity...
They would all be much better off just bundling dd-wrt and using the money they would have spent on development to contribute towards the project and ensure good support for their devices.

Comment Here's a question for you to think about (Score 4, Interesting) 180

Do those same techniques work on frequencies through all different mediums, or do they only work in the air? (this is a rhetorical question by the way).

Whatever you can get in the air, you can get more in a cable or fibre. Sorry, that is just how it is going to be. Find the fastest wireless technology on the market, and then compare it to what you can get over a copper or fibre. Do it at any given point in history, and you see that it is always behind.

There's a reason for that, and I gave the reason.

Comment Guess what? (Score 1) 205

1) A PS3 is not a gaming PC, which is what we are talking about.

2) PCs go in to idle states BY DEFAULT, you have to work to turn them off. My PC, an exceptionally high powered one, idles at about 90 watts. A more normal PC idles at 50 or so. Not turning off, not suspending, not doing anything special. The processors normal C-states and throttling which are enabled by default.

3) You can turn your PC off. I do.

Comment It's pure fluff from an uninformed writer (Score 1) 205

Guy doesn't know anything about what he's talking about.

For one there is the newer thing as you note. Yes, newer stuff is more efficient. At a given performance target (FPS for a given scene complexity, number of MFlops, whatever) newer hardware is better than older stuff. Ok, fine but cost of always upgrading aside (something gamers do more than most people) there is the issue of energy of production. A large amount of human energy use goes in to making the stuff we use. If you want to save energy, a big part of it is buying less shit, trying to make stuff last longer. You don't see that energy cost directly, it is rolled in to the product, but it is very real.

Then there is the fact that, as you note, gamers tend to use better components anyhow. Like the PSU thing. The higher end the gamer, the better the PSU they tend to want and thus the more efficient it tends to be. I personally have an 80 Plus Platinum unit in my system because it was the highest efficiency, best built, longest lasting unit I could get my hands on. It was expensive, way more than most people are willing to pay for a PSU, but as a crazy gamer I'm ok with that.

Guy is just an idiot.

Comment Except he's full of shit (Score 2) 205

His numbers are way off. First a gaming computer is not "three refrigerators." A fridge/freezer combo uses like 400-800 watts when spun up depending on size and if it is frostless or not. Your typical reasonably high end gaming computer (high end quad core processor, single high end GPU) uses in the 300-400 watt range when fully spun up. There are, of course, higher end systems but they are not common as they cost a lot, for not a ton of gain.

Well the idea that there are tons of components or settings that'll just tank energy use is stupid. In terms of settings, ya those are default. By default a system will put its processor and GPU in to an idle state when not heavily loaded, and indeed most systems draw 90 watts or less when idle. In terms of componentry, there really isn't a ton of room for gain.

Like with PSUs. Any reasonable quality PSU that you might see in a gamer build is at least 80% efficient, and usually more like 85%. Go all the way to the high end, which many gamers already do, and you are only pushing 90-92% max. A gain, sure, but not much. If a system draws 300 watts DC going from an 85% (bronze) PSU to a 92% (platinum) PSU is the difference between 350 and 326 watts at the wall.

Then there's things like GPUs and CPUs. Well guess what? A give one is as efficient as it can be at a given performance level. There aren't the better and worse ones. You can't buy the efficient model GTX 980 and the inefficient model. They are the same. You can swap one kind of component for another and maybe gain efficiency. Like you can swap an AMD 390X for an nVidia GTX 980Ti and that'll use less power, but what if you want the AMD card?

Also there's the issue that usually the new ones are more efficient than older ones. Fair enough but in addition to the cost of upgrading that ignores the energy cost of producing the cards. Suggesting that everyone buy the newest shit all the time is not realistic, or energy efficient (a lot of our energy use goes in to making things).

This guy just doesn't know anything about computers. He's convinced that there's these vast optimizations that could happen, if only people wanted it. Not really the case.

Comment Re:Christie is ideal (Score 1) 576

Sorry to break it to you, but "fox news" is not some magic word that dismisses all the crimes committed by the people you worship.

Hillary Clinton has violated the espionage act, and other statutes relating to securing public records. She has knowingly attempted to destroy evidence. She has lobbied for foreign interests in exchange for millions of dollars paid into her family slush fund. She may or may not do time for it, depending on whether the Obama regime thinks they can get away with ignoring it.

She is a crook, and that simple fact would remain, even if Fox News had never existed.

-jcr

Comment I wish they'd just fuck off with the enterprise (Score 1) 90

I would be perfectly happy if they just said "Know what? OS-X is a home user OS. We don't support the enterprise. We are going to remove support for these enterprise features with the next version. Use something else." That would be great because then I could tell all the Macheads to suck it up and use Windows or Linux.

However Apple likes to play at enterprise support, they've played at it for years. They act like they care, but as you note they half-ass it to the extreme.

Even internally. I remember not long after Apple stopped the Xserve I was talking to one of their engineers and I ask him what they were going to do. Apple had started doing the MS thing of "eating their own dogfood" and was heavily using OS-X on Xserve for their own stuff. He said "I have no idea. They didn't tell us this was coming. We'll probably start using IBM hardware again."

It drives me up the wall as we waste an inordinate amount of time dealing with Macs because people want a shiny toy and can't understand they are unsuited for enterprise use.

"Luke, I'm yer father, eh. Come over to the dark side, you hoser." -- Dave Thomas, "Strange Brew"

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