Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Why? (Score 2) 348


The "nothing compares to the bandwidth of a minivan full of tapes" maxim applies here. Specifically, it applies to the length of time it takes for a cargo ship to transgress the Pacific.

Rail can move a large number of people faster than a plane can.
Rail can also move a relatively small volume of cargo faster than ships can.

They want to be able to get R&D and "latest greatest" products and similar over here ASAP so that they don't lose out to fledgeling US industry which is popping up to deal with the length of time it takes to get foreign made products.

They may also want to have a more direct venue to get large numbers of Chinese people here to "colonize". They do own a large percentage of the US, at this point.

Comment Re:Good on them. (Score 1) 348

China's economic model can probably be called summarized as calling them pragmatic opportunists (lack of foresight for their empty cities and ecological destruction aside). They leverage the benefits of other peoples' shortsightedness (such as with the exchange rate, and consumerism) to benefit domestically.

Comment Re:Rail+ ferry (Score 1) 348

However, locally sourced labor and goods most certainly can compete with shipping by sea.

That's exactly what's happening: a lot of goods are being returned to US manufacture right now. Companies are starting with their emerging products and building the R&D and facilities to do it here, instead of offshoring the 'expensive' production part to China. For instance, go and try to find a new household appliance - you'll be hard pressed to find a GE or Whirlpool appliance which isn't "Made in the USA" now. We're seeing this happen with small bin electronics and inexpensive tools, too. Why?

Competition. They've been able to slash their product costs markedly by doing so. We're not talking just the cost of shipping, we're also talking about product defects and overall quality, turnaround on even minor R&D revisions, and so on.

If China can turn the current "time to market" of a product revision from about 2-3 months (after all is said and done) down to a month to a month and a half (at least for select customers and/or producers), the cost of rail over sea shipping would be marginal to the big picture of retaining American income.

Comment Re:A Pipe Dream (Score 1) 348

That is one heck of a pipe they are talking about. I won't be using such a tunnel and I'll bet that it would be a financial blunder and practical nightmare. Does any American actually want such a tunnel?

I wouldn't get into it, but I would prefer that my goods come through a tunnel on a train that will have to be running some kind of relatively clean fuel (if not on electricity) by definition given the environment, than on a container ship powered by a diesel engine running on bunker fuel.

I mean, I'd prefer they didn't have to come from China at all, but that's a whole other discussion.

Comment Re:massive project been discussed for decades (Score 1) 348

What would people rather do, use boats which are already not to pricey, or planes, again, not too pricey, or pay for a probably expensive tunnel that won't be paid off for decades even with a high price? (acceptably high price)

The tunnel makes a whole lot more sense, especially if they run trains through it. Preferably high-speed trains, but at something less than their maximum speeds. The energy cost of its use is next to nothing, as is the environmental cost of its use. Shipping is heinous.

Comment Re:Those poor bastards (Score 2) 102

Coding a custom CMS is a start.

Why does everyone want everyone to reinvent the wheel? It's cheaper to do it this way. Drupal mostly works. If you can get 99% of the functionality you need out of the box, why not use it?

It doesn't sound like the Australian Government even knows what it needs a CMS for.

Presumably, to make it easier for departments to maintain content. That's the usual reason. It's a pretty good one.

That said, if every agency felt that Drupal was their best option... so be it.

Right, let every agency decide, and/or wait for consensus. What could possibly go wrong?

Comment Re:How long? (Score 1) 165

they haven't installed PV to cover their usual energy consumption so why would they install PV to charge your car?

Because there's a finite amount of electrical energy available to them due to real-world considerations, and a time may come when they may not actually be able to buy more. If we substantially increase our use of EVs without increasing our centralized power generation capability, we'll have to increase it in a distributed fashion. Also, solar panels can improve the life of roofs, and these are roofs which are already predominantly flat and thus less hazardous to wander around on.

Comment Re:crush us before we leave the nest (Score 1) 453

Do you feel an uncontrollable desire to nuke the African continent? If not, I can't see why a superior alien species would want to destroy our planet.

Hasn't this been covered before? It depends on how superior. If we're vermin to them, it's cheap and convenient to dispose of us before we become a major infestation.

I don't buy it either, but it's at least an explanation.

Comment Re:London Cabbies are different (Score 1) 417

So I see their point. They're a group of professionals.... who act like professionals. They've put a lot of time and effort into becoming such, I'd want to protect my turf as well.

If they're better, they should be competitive. Either way, they'll be put out of business by self-driving cars sooner or later, absent buggy-whip protectionism.

Comment Re:How long? (Score 1, Insightful) 165

Sounds good on paper, however unless the person who uses this is a night worker the whole array is pretty much next to useless since most day workers would have taken their electric car to work and only return to park under their now non functioning solar car port once the sun has gone down.


So I think I would be fairly confident to say that with regard to recharging the electric car most of the charging would actually be from the mains.

Well, let's cover the office and the shopping center and the parking garage with solar panels. At least some of it could come from the sky at the point of use. And if you're going to run a lot of capacity there anyway so that cars which are there can be charged, it's a good place to site the panels even when they're not being used locally.

Comment Re:I can tell this article is worthless from the s (Score 1) 333

NASA "warns", does not mean NASA "says it is impossible".

Perhaps you should open up your dictionary, and flip to "Skeptical". If you're skeptical of a design, you don't think it will work. HTH.

NASA "warns" implies it IS possible but there are other challenges to overcome.

Yes, that's what I said. You don't get to repeat back what I said and then tell me I said something else.

Basic comprehension people.

You're one of them, eh? Why not join the advanced comprehension people? Assuming you're out of elementary school.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Being against torture ought to be sort of a multipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer, as amended by Jeff Daiell, a Libertarian