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Comment: Re:expert skill-based integration (Score 1) 155

by ShieldW0lf (#47553267) Attached to: Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

It's not a matter of having an "urge". I lived in an area with a lot of gang violence, and I had a lot of friends who weren't particularly good at standing up for themselves... hippies, ravers, skaters, theater folk, etc. When your friends can't stand up for themselves and there's an imminent threat, you step forward.

I was just a cowardly little nerd who skipped a grade and was younger and smaller than everyone else when I was young, and spent a lot of time running away. Then I hit puberty and my balls dropped, and I had an altercation where a teacher didn't show up for class and the students were running wild, a football player punched me in the back of the head and called my mother a whore, and I beat him half unconcious with tables, chairs and desks. I was standing over his prostrate body with a chair in my hand, and a third guy suplexed me on my head while I was paying attention to the guy who had infringed my honour. One second I was standing, the next I was on my head semiconscious. It all happened so fast, I wanted to understand how he did it, so I joined the team and for the first time in my life I was fighting guys my own size instead of guys who outweighed me by a hundred pounds, and I was undefeated in tournament.

Now, we're all adults, I'm not wandering around being dwarfed by everyone I meet, and I'm a tough guy who still surprises himself because part of me still thinks of myself as David and everyone else as Goliath. I enter every fight expecting my opponent to break me, hoping only to break him more than he breaks me, and I'm always startled at how slow and incompetent he is. I still get my bones broken sometimes, I've broken ribs, my nose, my face, my teeth... but I fight through the pain until, in the end, I'm standing over my helpless opponent and holding his life in my hands.

Truth is, I like it. When the violence comes, the adrenaline response I get is much higher than the average guy, to the point where I get chills and shiver and am completely dismissive of pain. It scares people, when it's in the aftermath and my teeth are chattering and I'm grinning like a madman and shaking like a leaf in a storm, wishing there was someone else to fight because I feel SOO fucking awesome. Based on conversations with doctors and martial arts instructors, only about 5% of the population has a physiological response like I do.

Training aside, I seem to be built for this type of thing... although it's possible it's a learned response from the violence I saw in my youth.

At any rate, I think about it and talk about it because I like it, I'm good at it, and when the shit hits the fan, the people close to me appreciate it, even if they find it unpleasant to hear about when we're all sitting and making small talk. It's nice to participate in a serious conversation about it.

Comment: Re:Two Steps (Score 1) 79

by Em Adespoton (#47553199) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

Interestingly, a few years ago I had an iOS device that got dropped in water and no longer functioned. I took it apart and pulverized the electronics, as I figured there was no way I could guarantee the data on there was inaccessible.

I took the baggie of pulverized parts to the local cell phone drop for recycling; got a few odd looks as I dropped it in.

Then I took the case backing (the bit with the serial number engraved into it) to Apple for a $50 store credit. The same credit they would have given me had I given them the entire device. That's probably as good a deal as I would have got from anywhere, even if I had kept everything intact.

The best part? I kept the LCD screen, as it still worked just fine.

Comment: Re:COST (Score 1) 363

This is probably the biggest reason. Asia is the new big market for phones; any design made has to support multiple Asian character formats.

However, I have another question. The submitter stated he'd pay an extra $100-200 for a slide-out, and that he doesn't mind a bit of extra bulk.

So: why isn't someone making a *phone case* with a built-in Bluetooth or USB keyboard? It'd be aftermarket, but you could slap it on any phone of a specific form factor; you could even make it a snap-in for a line of cases, so the single keypad would work across multiple lines of phones. As an added benefit, you could do multiple international phones for the areas with the highest demand; and your coverage would be larger than any specific carrier/device.

So... anyone have any examples of this? Anyone want to kickstart it?

Comment: Sorry to lose feature phones (Score 2) 134

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47550835) Attached to: Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

I'm actually quite sad to read this. I have little interest in so-called smart phones. I have computers and tablets for running serious software and for web browsing. I don't use a lot of cloud services like those hosted by Google and Facebook, and I have little need for the kind of software that exists only as a smartphone app.

So, for many years, I have just bought a cheap and cheerful Nokia feature phone. They invariably have good battery life compared to any smartphone. They are much smaller in my pocket. They run reliably for their entire useful lifetime, without breaking or shifting everything around arbitrarily during some dramatic firmware update. They don't come with the same level of creepware that smartphones from all the major brands now do. I can buy one for next to nothing at any phone shop, without signing up to pay half my salary on a phone plan with a multi-year lock-in to the same network. And they still let me do what I actually need a phone for: pushing a couple of buttons and then talking with someone, or maybe sending the occasional text message.

I realise that smart phones rule the universe these days and I'm some sort of technological Neanderthal (aside from all the other bleeding edge tablets, computers and software I work with everyday, obviously) but I for one will miss Nokia feature phones. I guess I'll go back to hoping for a resurgent BlackBerry that at least has a business focus and therefore something resembling security and not assuming I want a Facebook icon on my home screen that can't be deleted.

Comment: Re:Don't be silly. (Score 1) 109

by Rei (#47550685) Attached to: Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

I actually totally get Amazon's logic on this one. If there's only a $10 extra profit on each drone delivery (something I'm sure tons of people in range of the service would pay for in order to get their item in half an hour), and if we assume each drone operational cycle takes one hour (delivery, return, charging), then that's $240 a day. Doesn't take a lot of days to justify the cost of a drone with a return like that.

Comment: Re:Every month a new battery breakthrough, but.. (Score 5, Insightful) 109

by Rei (#47550589) Attached to: Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

Except that you have bought them; you just haven't realized it. Energy density of li-ion batteries has grown by about 50% in the past five years. Have you seriously not noticed how cell phone and laptop battery mah ratings keep growing while they keep making the volume available for the batteries smaller?

It's big news when a new tech happens in the lab. It's not big news when the cells first roll off a production line.

Most new lab techs don't make it to commercialization. But a lucky fraction of them do, and that's the reason that you're not walking around today with a cell phone with a battery the size of a small brick.

Comment: Re:More Range Needed (Score 2) 109

by Rei (#47550555) Attached to: Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

If everyone last person was going to be driving electric cars tomorrow, yes, that would be a problem.

Given that that's not the case, and for decades it's always going to be such that the people whose situation best suits an electric car are going to be the next ones in line to adopt them, then no, it's not a problem. You really think people can't build curbside/parking lot charging stations over the course of *decades* if there seems to be steadily growing interest in EVs?

As a side note, I don't know those exact neighborhoods in your pictures, but in my experience, most people who live in such places don't own *any* car.

Comment: Re:More Range Needed (Score 1) 109

by Rei (#47550501) Attached to: Stanford Team Creates Stable Lithium Anode Using Honeycomb Film

Actually, 800 is quite a sensible number. At an average speed of 60 miles per hour (aka, factoring in driving / bathroom / meal breaks), that's 13 1/2 hours of driving - a good day's drive. Throw in a few more hours driving time / a couple hundred miles more range if you charge while you're taking your breaks. Once you get that sort of range, charge speed becomes virtually irrelevant because it happens while you're sleeping (and getting ready for bed / getting up in the morning). A regular Tesla home charger could handle that sort of load.

I agree with you that a half hour charge isn't actually that onerous, but it definitely will scare off people who are used to filling up faster. And charge stations that can do half hour charges on 300 miles range (150kW+ for an efficient car, more like 250kW for a light truck) are exceedingly rare as it stands. A charger that powerful isn't some aren't some little wall box with a cord hanging off of it, it's the size of a couple soda machines put together (bigger if you add a battery buffer so that you don't need a huge power feed) that feeds so much power that its cable has to be liquid cooled and which costs around $100k installed. Ten minute charges are, of course, around three times that size. I've only ever come across mention of *one* charger in the ballpark of the required 750kW to charge a 300 mile light truck in 10 minutes - an 800kW device custom made a couple years back for the US Army Tank Command. I have no clue what it cost, but I'm guessing "Very Expensive".

I'm not saying that the problem is intractable, by any stretch, I totally believe that we're going to transition over to EVs. I just question the sort of time scales that a lot of people envision. The average car on US roads is 10 years old. Implying an average 20 year lifespan. And many cars don't get scrapped then, they just go to the third world. Even if you suddenly switch all new car manufacturing over to EVs, you're talking decades to replace them. But of course you can't just switch over like that - even if everyone was right now sold on the concept of EVs with current tech, you're talking at least a decade, possibly more, to tool up to that level of production. But of course, not everyone is right now sold on the concept of EVs with current tech.

Realistically, you're looking at maybe a 40 year transition. I hate to say that, because I love EVs, but I'm not going to just pretend that the reality is other than it is.

I'll also add that while fast chargers are big and expensive, the size and cost actually are comparable to building a gas station on a per-pump basis, and the economic argument works out for making them even if there's only a reasonable (50% or less) surcharge on the electricity sold and if they're only selling electricity a couple percent of the time. But you need to get a couple percent of the time usage to economically justify them - one person stopping for 10 minutes every few days just isn't going to cut it. And not every EV is going to stop at every charger even if they're driving on the same route - if your chargers are that far apart, then that means you're pushing people's range so much that they're not going to be comfortable driving that route. All together, this means that if you want to have fast charging infrastructure economically justifiable in an area you need high EV penetration, where several dozen EVs driving long distances will be going by each charger every day - even out in the boonies. And when you're talking at prices on the order of $100k per unit, you're no longer talking about a range where peoples' goodwill toward EVs or interest in having a loss leader outside is going to pay for them.

Basically, while busy interstate routes on the coasts and the like can economically justify them with a small fraction of a percent of people driving EVs, out in the boonies, they're going to be stuck with smaller, cheaper, slower chargers for a good while. Unless people are willing to pay a big surcharge on the electricity sold, that is (500% surcharge instead of 50% = 1/10th as many vehicles needed).

Comment: Re:forever payments (Score 1) 25

by Quirkz (#47550151) Attached to: Apple Acquires "Pandora For Books" Booklamp For $15 Million

I used to think I wanted to own everything. Then I moved 20 boxes of books 9 times in 11 years, half of the time not even bothering to unpack. I eventually realized while I've got several hundred books that I value and revisit (good stories, reference, push on my kids when they're old enough, whatever), there's a large majority I'm happy to read once and not again, and also very happy not to have to store/organize/move.

Comment: Re:Did anyone ever try booklamp? (Score 1) 25

by Quirkz (#47550129) Attached to: Apple Acquires "Pandora For Books" Booklamp For $15 Million

I've been using Pandora recently and very happy with a lot of new suggestions, too. It's been many times more effective than other sources in pointing me at music I've never heard before but really like.

For fine tuning, an interface might be nice, but just in case you overlooked it, I think the thumbs-up/thumbs-down on individual songs as they play does help with tuning.

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