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Submission + - The World's Lightest Electric Vehicle

El_Oscuro writes: Not only is it a vehicle – it’s a skateboard, more specifically a longboard. silverfishlongboarding tested some prototypes and has a good write up on it.

If you rode a Tony Hawk when you were a kid and are tired of rising gas prices, parking, traffic, etc, this might be for you. With a speed governed 20mph top speed, 6 mile range and regenerative braking, this bad boy could be your next commuter ride.

The Tech
Boosteb Boards founders, all three of whom were engineering students and longboarders at Stanford University, are definitely well-versed in the technologies they've applied to their board project. For reporters like us, drooling over paper with the large, fat pencils the doctors say are safe for us to use, it boils down to sime relatively simple stuff: a custom mounting plate and driveline they bolt onto Landyachtz'es Bear Trucks, independently belt-driven by tandem 1kw, brushless DC "outrider" motors, all powered by a lithium-ion battery pack managed by a heat-sinked mos-fet controller that's directed by a blue tooth handset. Simpler yet: tons of horsepower, 6+ miles of range and only about six pounds heavier than the longboard they start with before adding on the electronics.

Comment Re:I just hope they don't get discouraged (Score 2) 280

License cost is not just important for someone messing around at home. It can have a profound impact on large corporations too. There it is not so much the cost of the license itself, but the cost of procuring and managing them. With Server 2008, you have to have install and configure "activation servers". WTF? The amount of time spent managing license keys, activation servers, and other bullshit is time you are not working on something productive. Say what you want about Oracle, one thing the get right is they don't have any activation codes or similar crap, yet the last time I checked they still make boatloads of money.

Should you happen to find a new commercial program you need, expect to wait 6 months for the trolls at procurment to either reject it or simply ignore it. On the other hand, with open source, just download and compile. It also a lot easier to get something new through security, as you can say: "I compiled this from source. I have a few minor custom settings, and all of these, along with the compile scripts are in CM. Much easier (and safer) than trusting a random binary BLOB


Submission + - Turtle Urinates from Its Mouth (

sciencehabit writes: Talk about having a potty mouth. When Chinese soft-shelled turtles to relieve themselves, they just open wide, according to a new study. Researchers thought it was a little odd that, when the turtles were on dry land, they would stick their heads in puddles and swish water around in their mouths. The scientists thought maybe something else was going on besides respiration, so they bought Chinese soft-shelled turtles at a market in Singapore and found ways to collect their urine, like attaching a flexible latex tube to each one's underside. They found that the animals were getting rid of the vast majority of their urea, a major component of urine, through their mouths instead of their hind ends. The team speculates that this might be because animals have to drink a lot of water to make urine, which can be unhealthy in the saltier waters where these turtles spend some of their time. If they're just rinsing the water around in their mouths, they avoid having to get rid of all that salt.

Comment Re:At my last job (Score 2) 299

At our work everything is documented. For every process we have at least 27 different documents, all inacurate or out of date in slightly different but important ways. And of course, they are impossible to find when you need them.

Individually, I have managed to find a way around this mess with my own scripts: I just write a detailed usage description if the script is run without arguments, along with examples if the syntax is complex. Since the documentation is actually part of the script, it is always where you can find it, and is as up to date as the script. This doesn't just help other people, it helps me too if I haven't used a script in awhile.

Comment Re:Author obviously knows nothing about the Navy (Score 1) 718

On the bridge of the USS Enterprise:

Ping! Boom! "What's that noise?" "Sir, it looks like there are about 500 motorboats, a few klicks away, starboard at about 95. They seem to be firing Stingers at us."

"Why? And how did they get so close? And where did they get those Stingers? Oh well, we'll figure it out later - lets take care of this ourselves: Hard starboard, come to new heading, 95, full military power!

Noises from under hull, snap, crunch, grind, etc

"That took care of most of them. Can we get a few A-10 Warthogs to clean up the rest? Tell the base commander that if he lets me keep them afterwards, I'll trade a few of my F-15's for them."

Comment Re:Fall in line (Score 1) 195

I need a new system. My 5 year old Dell (preloaded with Ubuntu 7.04, now upgraded to Ubuntu 12.04) is starting to really show its age. I am posting this from it with my original wireless card. While all of my favorite Windows games (RCT2, Battle Zone, Fallout, Death Rally) work perfecty under WINE and the rest, (ROTT, DOOMxxx, Cold War, DEFCON 1) have been natively ported to Linux, I can't run the lastest games like "Amnesia: The Dark Descent" with the best performance. It is playable but slow.

I got tired of upgrading Ubuntu every 6 months - while pretty easy compared to a Windows upgrade, you still have to download a lot of stuff and it took awhile. After LTS 8.04, I just upgraded every 2 years. Now at 12.04, the LTS cycle is 5 years, about the max life of a PC.

If you want a Linux computer, buy one with it preinstalled. That way, all of your shit works. I got mine from Dell, though I am not sure they offer them anymore. No mattter. I am drooling over one of these, but might have to settle for one of these.

Comment Chessmaster Grandmaster Edition (Score 2) 218

I only have one UBISoft game - Chessmaster Grandmaster Edition. Instead of CD's, it is a 2G download. It is only a few years old, but suprisling enough it has NO DRM AT ALL. No license keys, no activation codes, no other bullshit. Install it just like any GOG game. I purchased it from their official website so I am assuming it is legit. It almost seems impossible - perhaps the guy who forgot to install the DRM got fired afterwards...

Comment Re:Not a lot of right-click-remove in ANY Windows (Score 1) 371

It is nice to know that Windows users can now get that "Linux" experience with DVD codecs. At least in Linux you can get them free. Even better once you get them installed, you can watch DVD's without having to watch "unskippable" commericals! It just takes you to the main menu. It is almost a reason to set up a Linux PC for use as a dedicated DVD player. :)

Mac users can also get the "Linux" experience syncing music with their iPhones. Recently, I got an new iPhone as well as a new iMac. However, it seems that my brand new iPhone is not compatible with the version of iTunes that is installed on my brand new Mac. WTF??? It says I need a newer version of iTunes but repeated attempts to download and install it have failed, either saying the install is corrupted or just not working. It is not like I can just run "apt-get update iTunes".

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