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Comment Update - had to do it again (Score 1) 157

So the laptop in question is nearly four years old and has had the same SSD the whole time.

The SSD died last week, probably because the install flipped bits that hadn't been flipped in a long time.

I reinstalled the OS from scratch AGAIN on a new SSD of the same size.

Edge is working fine, I was able to download and install Brave without issue - all other hardware is the same and I used the same methodology and even the same install media to rebuild.

Comment Does this work for everyone? (Score 1) 156

Try pushing the tip of your nose next time you're about to sneeze. On myself and the few people I've tested it on, it suppresses the sneeze. You won't feel that great after, but you won't sneeze.

From an evolutionary standpoint, it makes sense that there would be an "off" switch for a noisy and messy reflex like a sneeze. If you're hiding from a predator and don't have any way to suppress your sneeze, you die.

Comment Re:Best *laptop* I've ever owned (Score 1) 145

It's thin, light, rugged with a good screen

The Macbook Airs used a decent TN screen (colors don't shift as badly as the worst ones), but it's dim and the color saturation sucks (about 60% sRGB, though some of the earlier models were closer to 50%). I've had to steer numerous artists and photographers away from the MBA because of this. If you do color work and want a Mac, you're pretty much stuck with the Macbook Pros. Apple knows which industries butter their bread, and always gimped the MBA with a poor color screen to prevent it from siphoning sales from the MBP. And when they finally did introduce a MBA-style Mac with a decent screen (the "Macbook" w/ 80% sRGB), they priced it the same as a MBP.

Still, no argument the MBA was a good travel laptop for business and office tasks.

Comment Re:Essentially a human problem (Score 1) 246

Boeing introduced the 747-8 as token competition to the A380. If there had been no A380, I doubt they ever would've introduced it. More likely they would've updated the 747-400. They'd been doing market research on a full double-deck 747 almost since they first began selling it, and every time it came back that there wasn't enough demand.

Boeing bet on sales shifting towards the long-range twin-engine market (two engines are more efficient than four). That was the entire reason they developed the 777 and 787. Airbus totally missed the boat. Airbus' offering in that role was the A340 - a four-engine plane like the 747. (The A330 could only reach long range with a max passenger capacity of about 250).

The 777 beat the A340 into a bloody pulp in the market (1534 planes built in 24 years, vs 377 planes built in 20 years). When Boeing introduced the smaller 787, Airbus initially announced plans for the A350 as a 787-competitor. The airlines revolted - what they really wanted was a 777 competitor. They got Airbus to modify the A350 so it slotted in between the 787 and 777.

Comment Re:Essentially a human problem (Score 1) 246

Given a maxed out configuration of an A380 is 800-odd seats, double that of a 747,

Max capacity of a 747 is over 500. If you're willing to make it all single-class, you could theoretically get over 600 people aboard. That's why the worst single-airliner accident (JAL 123, a 747) had 520 fatalities - nearly as many fatalities as the worst airliner accident in history (collision between two 747s).

Comment Re:Not surprising... (Score 3, Informative) 246

Boeing knew this all along. They only made the original 747 a double-decker because they wanted the cargo variant to have a fold-up nose, so it would have the capability to slide fuselage-filling cargo pallets in from the front. This necessitated putting the flight deck above the fuselage. And the aerodynamic bump behind the flight deck provided a little extra space where they could put a few passenger seats.

Once the second deck was fixed into the design, Boeing realized they could greatly increase capacity by making the plane a full double-decker. They continuously pitched this possible variant to the airlines from the 1970s to the 2000s. Every time, their market research said there just wasn't enough market demand to justify making such a large plane. So they never made one. Over the years they increased the length of the upper cabin a bit, but never got enough airline interest to warrant a full double-decker.

Then Airbus came along and insisted there was enough market demand to pay for developing a full double-deck airliner. That's the kind of risk you can take when the governments grant you loan guarantees (Airbus wouldn't have had to pay back the loans for developing the A380 if hadn't generated sufficient sales to pay for itself). As it stands, it looks like the A380 program will just barely break even, so at least the EU citizens won't get stuck with the bill.

Comment Re:Public vs private funding models (Score 1) 103

You seem to think this is a price comparison between public services and private enterprise. It's not.

It's a price comparison between public service and a private company with a government-granted monopoly. If the government deliberately hands a private company a monopoly, of course its price is going to be higher than if the government provided the service itself.

The whole point of private enterprise is for competition to drive prices down and encourage the rapid development of technological advances. The governments neatly eliminated competition when they granted cable and phone companies local monopolies. This is in fact a perfect example of the damage that screwed up government regulations can do.

Comment Re:Essentially a human problem (Score 5, Informative) 246

No, the problem is keeping all the seats full when the aircraft is flying. Loading and Unloading process times are not a huge issue. Load factors are the issue.

What's happening is that the large direct routes that warrant a 380 are relatively few and there are enough aircraft flying now to service them while keeping the load factors in profitable zones. Airlines thus are not buying 380's. They are not buying 747's either. The market is saturated with large capacity aircraft, so they have stopped building them.

Basically Boeing and Airbus bet on the air travel market going two ways. Airbus bet big on the hub and spoke model - travelers will travel to hub airports, then board an A380 who will bulk carry them to another hub airport halfway around the world, then another flight to their final destination.

Boeing bet big on the niche flight model - airlines operating flights out of smaller airports near where the big hubs are. This is the point to point model. This is an innovative model that requires a small plane that can go far, hence the 787 Dreamliner which can hold a mere 267 passengers, but go 8000 miles. This is considered innovative as in the past, small planes aren't used because most don't go far, so you needed larger jets like the 747 in order to go transcontinental. But with the 8000 mile range, a 787 departing London can basically fly to everywhere except Australia.

This model is appealing for another reason - cheap flights. With the rise of the ultra-low-cost-carrier, they can suddenly run reasonably priced flights from oddball places between the US and Europe, where the smaller airports are cheaper to operate. These smaller places will have less passengers, but it's a lot easier to have a high load factor with a 260-seat plane than a 680-seat plane.

A neat YouTube video that summarizes this is

That's not to say the A380 is useless. Japan uses 747 on short haul runs that last under an hour. So much so that Boeing has had to come up with a special table for their 747 flight manuals on the most efficient way to fly them short haul. It's not range, it's capacity - only in Japan could you have hourly flights in a 747 that fly within the nation.Given a maxed out configuration of an A380 is 800-odd seats, double that of a 747, that could help during the many times the planes are just packed.

Comment CARB, not Tesla (Score 2, Insightful) 169

CARB (California Air Resources Board) introduced a ZEV mandate. Zero Emissions Vehicle - mostly EVs though Toyota has a hydrogen vehicle on the market. It requires that a certain percentage of each automaker's sales be ZEVs each year. That percentage increases every year (currently about 2%, supposed to be about 15% by 2025). If an automaker fails to hit that percentage or buy enough credits from a company which has exceeded the percentage, it is banned from selling vehicles in California. And since about a dozen other states automatically adopt CARB's guidelines, that automaker would be banned from selling cars in about a third of the U.S. by population. This is why every automaker has developed an EV - none of them want to be banned from 1/3 of the U.S.

Tesla is actually subsidized by this. It always has ZEV credits, so its bottom line is buoyed by selling those to other automakers. That's also why production of the Tesla 3 has been so slow to ramp up. They won't want to produce more of them per year than they're able to sell credits for. If they can't sell the ZEV credit for a Tesla 3, they have to bear the full manufacturing costs for the vehicle themselves.

CARB actually first tried the ZEV mandate in 2000. That's why GM invested half a billion dollars developing the EV-1. Come late 1999, GM was the only automaker with a viable vehicle which could meet the ZEV mandate. They stood to make billions back selling the ZEV credits and licensing the technology to other car companies. But at the last minute the other automakers convinced CARB that technology wasn't yet ready to meet the ZEV mandate, and hybrids were the best technical solution for now. GM destroying all the EV-1s makes a lot more sense when you put it in this context. Overnight CARB turned GM's half billion dollar investment from a gold mine into money down the toilet, then had the temerity to ask GM if it could share the technology with California (so it could be given to other automakers). It's no wonder GM destroyed the EV-1s and buried the R&D so CARB couldn't get their hands on it.

Do note that this means whether or not EVs are economically viable remains to be seen (whether other automakers are feet-draggers, or if CARB is just pushing the market into unviable space). The mandate is an arbitrary bureaucrat-fixed percentage, not a market one. So if the market doesn't want to buy enough EVs to meet the mandate, automakers have to cut prices on EVs until enough of them sell (or are leased) to meet the mandate. That's why a couple years ago VW was offering a 3-year lease on an eGolf for $79/mo with no money down - they were short on ZEV credits that year. And that's why the best EV deals are in California - only EVs sold/leased in California count towards the ZEV mnadate. 2016 and 2017 didn't see as good deals, so EV sales seem closer on track with the ZEV mandate those years. But climbing from 2% to 15% in 7 years is a very steep increase in ZEV sales. If what the market wants deviates from the ZEV mandate, it will show up in the EV discounts. The greater the deviation, the steeper the EV discounts will be.

Comment Re:I admire them for being loyal to their companie (Score 1) 34

like Microsoft trying to get rid of game ownership for the xbox and make every future game "always online" internet connected, aka getting rid of your customers rights to own their own games and be left the fuck alone

Microsoft only did what they see coming. Because digital downloads are exactly that, and are the biggest and fastest growing part of both Sony and Microsoft's stores.

At least the Xbox let you sell your games. But because everyone hated it so much, they got rid of it back to the old way, which meant digital downloads are stuck to your account. You can't sell them "used", unlike Microsoft's proposal.

The only thing Microsoft did was make discs worse, but that's irrelevant these days, since most games now either don't have a disc release, or they ship so few copies of discs that if you're the guy looking for it, you better have preordered it months in advance.

Comment Re:Are YOU sure about that? GR 35% from renewables (Score 1) 330

Anecdotes are not statistics. The average household electrcity cost In Germany for the first half of 2017 was a little over 30 cents per kWh.

And before someone points out the large portion of that being taxes, the taxes are what's used to subsidize construction of those new renewable power plants. That's why you really should be using levelized cost to compare the expense of power generation - it takes into account all lifetime costs and eliminates these transients due to unrelated factors, and factors in cost-shifting due to subsidies and over time (loans, interest). The snapshot price of electricity in 1H2017 may actually be skewed high if a lot of new plants were being constructed at the time, which is probably the case.

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