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Comment Re:thumb return (Score 1) 165

its not that useless in programming

Really? I've never seen anyone use it while programming. Even when I'm typing long stretches of code in ALL CAPS like SQL statements, I never use the shift-lock.

I've tried mapping it to Control or Esc, but found that didn't really help with anything and just made it harder to use a different keyboard that wasn't remapped.

Maybe my distaste for CapsLock comes from the fact that my editor is case-sensitive, and I don't want to have to remember the state of the CapsLock key when escaping into edit mode. Do most developers use caps lock for typing capitlized constants and other things?

Comment Re:People still buy Office? (Score 1) 188

I've been using Open Office / Libre Office for at least 5 years now. It does more than I would ever need it to. Honestly... it has too much. So I don't see how there's even a market anymore for Microsoft Office, cloud or not.

I can see why you'd say that but, believe it or not, some of us have IT departments larger than our mom's basement.

Has "mom's basement" replaced "Library of Congresses" as the Slashdot standard unit of measure (SSUoM)?

Here's one datapoint: my last company had an IT department about the size of my mom's basement to support 1000 users. And we're using MS Office - almost half the company is on Mac's and they use MS Office too.

Comment Neither one proves anything (Score 1) 525

A single trip with a single car proves nothing. My neighbor has had his car in the shop 4 times over the past year because of a recurring "check engine light" problem, but my car, of the exact same model and year hasn't had a single problem.

Neither of our anectdotal experiences show that this model is crap, nor that it is good.

Let's see what happens after a 100 or a thousand people drive the car over the route.

Comment Re:It's called the key (Score 1) 1176

Do we know whether or not the car actually had an automatic transmission? Auto transmissions are mostly popular in the US and Japan. Everywhere else manual transmissions are at least as common as automatics. If the car did have a manual transmission that makes the story even more incredible. It means that he didn't have a traditional clutch and thus couldn't separate the engine from the transmission by merely pressing down his foot.

I think it's safe to assume that the Renault technician he was on the phone with would have suggested "Press the clutch pedal to the floor, coast to a stop, make sure the car is in neutral, wait for the tow truck to arrive to help figure out how to shut it off."

Comment Re:It's called the key (Score 1) 1176

The handbrake isn't a binary switch. He could have slowly engaged it to reduce his speeds without locking up the rear wheels. If he employed this method, he'd have to do it sparingly as the brakes would overheat if left engaged and the car didn't stop shortly after. That being said, I'd love to conduct an experiment to see if the handbrake could be used completely stop a front-wheel drive car going 125MPH.

In some cars the parking brake is separate from the hydraulic brakes - it may have it's own (smaller) caliper, or may use a small drum instead of the disk that the hydraulic brakes use. So it has a lot less heat shedding capacity and very well may fail to stop a high speed car.

Additionally, many American cars have a floor pedal to set the parking brake, you press down to set it, then press down again to unlatch it, which makes modulating the brake difficult.

Comment Re:It's called the key (Score 5, Insightful) 1176

I call BS.
You can't get a car inspected in my state(TX) if it doesn't have a kill switch. They will flunk you right then and there if your key being turned off doesn't turn everything except accessories off. It's the first thing they check, turn car off then on, if they can't do that cycle you fail inspection.
Thanks to my Saturn ION 2007 for that...stupid ignition cylinder breaks and doesn't let you turn the car off.

Many newer cars don't need a key to start it - as long as your key is somewhere in or near the car, you can just press a button to start the car. And press a button to shut it off. This will work find under normal conditions (like your DMV inspection), but if the car computer ignores the "turn off car" button press while you're driving at speed, there's no way to force the car to turn off.

Maybe fly-by-wire cars need a failsafe physical switch that manually cuts power to the ignition system or fuel injector pump.

Comment Re:"Flaw"? (Score 1) 269

So I take it you never ever registered a product you purchased?
So if your big screen TV goes out four months after you purchased it - hey you don't need no stinking warranty support of service! You'll just pay for a new one right?

I've never need registration to get warranty support, just proof of purchase.

Those cards that say "Return this card to register for your warranty" are just a ploy to get marketing information, you don't have to return the card.

Comment Re:Small print (Score 4, Informative) 204

And to answer the question in the article:

"Why aren't fuel cells, not internal combustion engines, the "range extenders" in plug-in hybrid cars?

It's because electric cars use a *lot* of power - this is the same reason electric cars don't come with solar panels on the roof so you never need to charge them - it takes a lot of energy to charge an electric car.

Since the power cells cost $20, they must contain more than fuel, they probably include some consumable electrodes or membranes.

The fuel cells are are rated to produce 55Wh (with 2.5W maximum draw).

A Nissan Leaf goes 73 miles on its 24KWh battery pack - so that's 328 Watt-Hours per mile.

It would take about 6 of these $20 power cells to power your car for one mile or $120 (though you may need 150 of these chargers in parallel to generate enough power).

Even if you assume a 90% drop in price when scaling this up to car size, that's still $12 per mile.

I've seen refrigerator-sized, $20,000 natural gas fuel cells for powering (and heating) your home, but if you're going to power your car from natural gas, why not just make it a hybrid that uses an natural gas powered engine instead of an electric car that has a bulky and expensive natural gas powered fuel cell?

Comment Re:Musk isn't doing himself any favors here (Score 2) 841

From TFA:

Cruise control was never set to 54 mph as claimed in the article, nor did he limp along at 45 mph. Broder in fact drove at speeds from 65 mph to 81 mph for a majority of the trip and at an average cabin temperature setting of 72 F.

    At the point in time that he claims to have turned the temperature down, he in fact turned the temperature up to 74 F.

  The charge time on his second stop was 47 mins, going from -5 miles (reserve power) to 209 miles of Ideal or 185 miles of EPA Rated Range, not 58 mins as stated in the graphic attached to his article. Had Broder not deliberately turned off the Supercharger at 47 mins and actually spent 58 mins Supercharging, it would have been virtually impossible to run out of energy for the remainder of his stated journey.

Let me get this straight: I can't drive 65 or turn up the heat without having to worry about getting stranded? It takes an hour to refill the thing, and I have to do it three times to drive 600 miles?

Why the fuck would I ever want to buy one of these cars?

Why are you asking us? If the car doesn't meet your needs, of course you wouldn't buy it. Not every car is meant to meet the needs of all drivers. not every driver goes on 600 mile trips regularly.

My car hasn't been more than 100 miles from home in over 4 years. When we go on family trips, we usually rent a minivan since it's more comfortable for everyone. If I needed a new car, I'd probably get something like the Nissan Leaf since it has enough range for 2 days of commuting, and spending a minute plugging it in at night to charge it is more convenient than spending 15 minutes driving a couple miles out of my way and refueling a conventional car.

Comment Re:1 Hour of Recharging every 200 miles? (Score 1) 841

For what it's worth, that's one hour of high-power recharging. The equipment for that is not really cheap enough to put in your home, unless you're a zillionaire. Using a wall plug to charge it takes more like 8 hours, less if you have a 220V outlet.

Someone that can buy an $80K car can probably afford to install a 480V fast charge station at home if he really needed it.

But if you're using your car for commuting, you'll have it parked for at least 8 hours on both ends of your commute so the slower charger is fine. When you're traveling and need a quick charge, then you can stop at a quick charge station, but you certainly don't need one every day.

But to get 8 hour charging of an 85KWh battery pack, you'd need more than a 120V charger - you'd need at least a 50A 220V circuit to charge the battery in 8 hours.

Comment Re:Pathetic. (Score 2) 841

Also, why would he try to tarnish this car? He doesn't appear to own an oil company.

Because no one wants to read "Test drove an $80K Tesla. It wasn't bad, range was close to manufacturer estimates, had no trouble keeping it charged on the long journey".

How many times have you read a review of a Toyota Prius and had it stand out? But imagine if it said "Prius unable to complete a simple highway journey!" then the author outlined how he called Toyota and did everything possible to make sure it could complete the trip, but it still ran out of gas and he had to have it towed.

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