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Comment Ultracaps happen. Hopefully. (Score 2) 398

No moving parts, everything is solid state, and if one has an on-grid system, there are no batteries to have to keep watered or replaced.

Out on the bleeding edge, you can already build electrical storage that is maintenance-free, and does not require grid connection. I built a pilot installation for my radio trailer - I'm a ham operator - where the storage is entirely ultracap based. I've got enough out there to provide about as much power as two 110 AH car batteries, which is more than enough to run the three LED lights in the trailer and my 265 watt consume / 100 watt output (on transmit only, it's about 10 watts consumption on receive) radio. I mostly listen, so that's an excellent consumption to supply ratio.

One of the thing that many people don't appreciate about standard solar panels is that they produce energy on cloudy days, albeit a reduced amount; my system never, ever goes down, because there is sufficient capacity to keep it up as compared to the amount of use it gets.

In the future, I expect the cost of ultracaps to come down considerably, and if that happens, the whole battery issue will go right out the window. Ultracaps have very long lifetimes, just as solar panels do. They're not nearly as toxic, either.

For now, I freely admit up front that the cost to do this was not something that is practical for a large installation, such as that which would be required to run a home with a typical 10 KW electrical service. You'd need a lot of panels and a lot of ultracaps (ultracaps are presently at about 10%-20% of energy storage as compared to a comparable size / weight bank of batteries.) However, that 10 KW service is almost always that large to deal with surge demands, rather than constant demand, and that means that you'd need fewer panels overall. The ultracaps are actually far better at delivering surge power than either the grid or batteries, so that cost is only about what you use on average, not peak usage. The converter (ultracaps have a very different discharge curve than batteries do, and require dedicated electronics to produce a steady output comparable to batteries), however, still has to handle the peaks.

Comment Pease take some more "features" out (Score 1) 66

I'll give the browser makers more credit when they stop websites from opening a huge opaque overlay over something I just started to read.

Although I've blacklisted every website that does that I've hit so far, and don't see it so often any longer.

We're starting to see some backlash, though. Preventing auto-play videos, invasive-unasked-for sound... those are great browser fixes.

Oh, they can't monetize my visit without my cooperation? I really don't care. :)

I still support websites that behave reasonably. I subscribe to Soylent, for instance. Used to describe to Slashdot, but after years of no improvements at all and considerable degradation of the site, I figured I could do something more useful with the fee, minor as it is. At least the people over at Soylent are trying to do a good job.

Comment Earlier (Score 4, Informative) 124

Earlier experiments used a partition to separate the left and right visual fields. One experiment I recall reading about was done like this: On one side of the partition they would place an implement, such as a fork. They would then have the subject pick up the implement in one hand and ask them to identify it, and do various things with it. The results were markedly different depending on which side of the partition, and therefore which eye and which hand, were engaged.

Here is some general information on the early experiments.

Comment Oh please (Score 1) 253

Now they need to prove it's possible by actually using this method to excavate and move a stone as large as the largest one in the pyramids.

No need to get fancy about such ideas; levers, rollers, ramps, chisels, hammers, muscle. It's not only possible, it's obviously possible. They were metalworkers.

And that's not to say they didn't apply something, or several somethings, more clever to the problem, either - it's just that excavating such blocks can be done with those things and nothing more.

Comment Still a spade. A rightist spade. (Score 1) 215

I think you're missing the GP's point. It isn't about political parties or the 'far-right'.

Yeah, mostly at this point in time, it is about the far right. Because they're very active right now. The nail that sticks up the furthest is the nail that gets hammered down.

Either way, it's bad to repress anyone's speech. Anyone's speech, IMHO. But what's going on right now is a flare-up being caused by some very prominent far, far-right-wing talk. Moderate ideas don't tend to lead to repression of speech. Extreme ones do, and right now, the extremists are mostly evident on the right facet of the spectrum. They're pissing people off not just on the left, but in the middle as well. This leads to muttering of the form "someone oughta shut those people up" because, to be blunt, it's irritating and people tend to want to scratch the itch without really thinking about the scab and scar that will result.

Comment That's at least somewhat fair (Score 3, Insightful) 215

If my new company wants to truck boxes to my new customers, I can get on the road just as sure and fairly as Fed Ex can.

Can you, though? I just sent a gift to a friend on the opposite coast. The package weighed 52 lbs. I paid about $70 to get it there. Can you do that? I don't think you could even do it for fuel costs, much less pay the driver and the wear and tear on the transport vehicle(s.)

What the mega-corps want is for the road people to put up blocks that say only the big established companies can get though, while the upstarts still looking to make their first profits will either be grossly slowed or blocked.

Yes, there's a lot of truth to this, especially since we now have a bought-and-paid for legislature. Net neutrality is definitely very high up on the list of things like this, too.

So the consumer, even as you seem to be suggesting, would not be well served should the particular mega-corps get their way here, as competition, variety and lower prices would be stifled.

I'm not really suggesting that. I'm more suggesting that the consumers aren't the problem. IMHO, the regulators are the problem. The people that are supposed to be watching out for the best interests of the consumers. The post which I replied to was proposing that consumers were a significant part of the problem - I don't see it that way.

Comment Re:Gaia - Earth Worship (Score 1) 251

I'm totally with you on the naked dancing though. All religions should be doing that, it would improve things a lot.

Consensus in a slashdot thread! I wish to join you true believers. I think we're onto something here.

...clearly this is something in need of a newsletter. An illustrated newsletter.

I know. We'll call it "Playboy."

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