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Comment Electric cars are so bullshit (Score 2) 479

68% of the power in the USA is generated by fossil fuels. source It's why you can half jokingly refer to electric cars as "coal cars", since they're essentially filling up with 37% coal-derived electrons. The lithium ion batteries come with their own environmental costs during their creation, as well. The primary function of today's electric cars is to perform an "out of sight, out of mind" on your carbon footprint. Tesla's cars are toys for rich people who as kids, cleaned their room by shoving everything under their bed.

Comment Probably not on-chip (Score 1) 95

The paper doesn't suggest that putting this device on the same chip as an IC with other functions is possible. But it does indicate a promising material.

This is still at the level of "cool effect seen at microscopic level". It's not yet at "experimental device built, cycled for many cycles, here are the results", let alone "prototype demonstrated".

Transportation

Tesla CEO Elon Musk: Fuel Cells Are 'So Bull@%!#' 479

Frosty P sends this quote from AutoblogGreen: "Elon Musk is unafraid to speak his mind. Whether he's talking about other players in the electric vehicle space or sub-par reporting from The New York Times, this is a man with few filters. Musk says that fuel cells are not part of the solution that electric vehicles offer for giving up the hydrocarbon addiction. After commenting that the only reason some automakers are pursuing hydrogen technology is for marketing purposes, that lithium batteries are superior mass- and volume-wise for a given range, and that fuel cells are too expensive, Musk capped it all off with the safety issue. 'Oh god, a fuel cell is so bull@%!#,' Musk said. 'Hydrogen is quite a dangerous gas. You know, it's suitable for the upper stage of rockets, but not for cars,' he said."

Comment Why Wikipedia editing is declining (Score 3, Insightful) 372

Of course Wikipedia editing is declining. The articles that matter were done years ago. Most new articles are on very minor subjects.

Print encyclopedias were like that as well. Writing the original Encyclopedia Brittanica was a huge job, but ongoing maintenance required only a modest staff.

Some of the decline comes from Wikia, which is a hosting services for obsessed fans. Many of the people obsessed with popular-culture trivia content are adding it to Wikia, which monetizes it with ads. Wikia doesn't have a notability requirement, so fans can add as much trivia as they like.

Comment Re:There should be a mandatory one second delay. (Score 1) 327

The market is just a casino where the players gamble vs each other often using other people's money.

When the players win big, they take their cut.
When the players lose big, they ask for a bail out (since they have lost a lot of other people's money) and get to keep whatever cuts they have been taking.

There is no wealth being created. It's just being transferred around with the "casino" taking a cut for the transfers.The fancy "products" are just different games in the casino. The fancy math is just the gambler's "bullshit" to describe his method.

All HFT does is makes the gambling faster, there's no big benefit to those outside the casino. Only to favored players and the casino.

All that talk about market efficiency is bullshit. Go add up all the costs of the market including the bailouts and cost of big failures then come tell me how efficient it really is. It's just a big casino that can't even be run 24/7.

Comment Re:This is what I like best about /. (Score 4, Interesting) 327

You missed out cooperatives. Cooperatives tend to be better behaved than corporations - they tend to rip people off less. There are still bad ones of course, but they have a place in your spectrum somewhere in between Gov and a Corp.

The problem is starting a cooperative is about the same effort as starting a corporation, but the benefits to the founder are much lower. So more corporations are started than coops. Perhaps if someone can design an incentive scheme that can't be abused then more coops will be started and hopefully we'll have less ripping off going on.

Then again maybe coops are better behaved only because they self select for founders who are less greedy who then set a less greedy organization culture ;)

Comment Except power companies want efficiency... (Score 1) 558

So the energy company dude pays some engineer handsomly to toss is a little extra waste. That ineffcient algorithm is now silently generating $5million/year in *free* revenue.

No, because power usage = needing to build infrastructure. They want everyone to be as energy-efficient, because then they don't have to build power plants and upgrade lines as much.

Power companies practically throw CFLs and energy-efficient appliances at people and are constantly putting energy-conservation tips in their mailings, etc. Utilities in general are more than happy to pay for a home energy audit; my parent's gas company did a whole-house leak test and gave us all sorts of insulating widgets, paid for insulating our attic, etc. There are rebates on more efficient furnaces and water heaters, too.

Seriously - I recently found out that our power company at work gives out 10-year zero-interest loans to businesses if the new equipment provides energy savings.

Power companies should band together and offer to pay for Microsoft to have a huge team of software engineers auditing code and working on energy use and optimizing Windows and the Microsoft compilers. The payback would be incredible. Power companies could do the same thing tomorrow for Linux and BSD if they wanted.

Comment I'm seeing this more on the biography side (Score 4, Interesting) 166

Some of the paid PR I've seen recently has been on biographies of living persons, especially rich ones. Lots of happy talk about their charitable work and affiliations gets put in. Stuff about their career failures, lawsuits, and criminal history gets taken out. This is tougher to fight, because Wikipedia has a "biography of living persons" policy which discourages negative comments for anything short of a felony conviction. (Even after a felony conviction, sometimes.)

On the product and business side, though, pushing back against paid editing usually works.

Comment Re:Pardon my ignorance but... (Score 2) 273

The USB-IF has long had a VID/PID process for hobbyists.

*snip*

The letter sent wasnt a "screw you and your OSS tendencies", it was more of a "no, you cannot transfer PIDs like you want to; please cease pursuing that plan":

Arguably claiming "A two thousand dollar fee for your unique VID" combined with "hobbyist" is pretty dishonest at best.
The fact of the matter is, before Arachnid Labs requested a VID for this purpose the policy DID allow transfers and sub-allocations!

Very few hobbyists have that type of money to purchase one VID nor has need of all 65535 PIDs contained within.
I would also venture a guess that of the subset of hobbyists that can afford it, it is a smaller percentage wanting and willing.

Worse, the usb.org used to have two methods to obtain VIDs.
You can either become a member, which includes VIDs with your yearly dues (plus justification for blocks after the first), or you could out right purchase a VID.

If you purchased a VID, it was completely and totally up to the VID holder how to allocate and manage PIDs. This is the policy they just recently changed, and seemingly right after the hobbyist community started discussing this very project earlier this year.
Perhaps it really is just "bad timing", but I too am pretty full of cynicism and thus don't believe that to be the case.

If it was nothing more than usb.org enforcing their own policy, this issue would be nothing more than a "doh!" moment. The problem is their policy said one thing, they were asked to use a VID this way, they went and updated their policy right that second and responded with the newly ink-still-wet policy with nothing more than "that isn't allowed - see, the policy says so!"

If you are going to have a policy in the first place - you best damn well live by it or accept when people call out the lies.
If you can't live by your own policy, then what is the point of even making one in the first place?

Comment Re:They do have the ability to release code silent (Score 2) 488

The tipping point for the Court comes from evidence that the defendants Ã" in their own words Ã" are hackers. By labeling themselves this way, they have essentially announced that they have the necessary computer skills and intent to simultaneously release the code publicly and conceal their role in that act.

Sounds reasonable.

Does it? Remember that time you used wd-40 and duct tape to fix that little problem with your homes front door?
Implementing a fix in a manor not intended by the original manufacturer is the definition of hacking, thus you sir are a hacker.

Please do elaborate further how it sounds reasonable that you have sacrificed all of your constitutionally protected rights simply because you used a roll of duct tape?

Even if you personally are willing to give up all your constitutionally protected rights for using duct tape, I seriously question how and even IF your choice should in anyway apply to me.
I realize the both of us have already broken 4 federal laws - assuming you haven't yet gone outside today either - but none the less I see no argument why that should become yet another federal crime, simply because I have a roll of duct tape in the house.

The final bit of irony regarding your point of view, is that possession or use of duct tape requires NO computer skills what so ever, let alone the specific computer skills of "turning computer on" or "writing code" to release publicly or privately.

Can you elaborate further on these inconsistencies between your point of view and reality?

Government

Would-Be Tesla Owners Jump Through Hoops To Skirt Wacky Texas Rules 470

cartechboy writes "Texas is known for having the nation's most draconian anti-Tesla rules, based on intense and cash-rich lobbying and political donations by Texas car dealers. What's amazing is what would-be Tesla owners still have to do to get their hands on--and maintain--a Tesla Model S. How do you buy a car the laws try to stop you from owning? By jumping through wacky hoops, it turns out. Tesla store staff, for example, can't tell visitors how much a Model S costs. They can't give test drives, and they can't discuss financing options. Tesla service centers are banned from showing the company logo — or advertising that they do Tesla warranty work or service at all. So how have 1,000 Model S cars been sold? That would be sheer persistence."

Comment Re:This NSA crap is much too much, and ungentleman (Score 1) 361

That's fine. It's still much better than if he hasn't won them over.

The referendum will prove it and will also help make things clearer for the defenders. Their consciences will be clearer when wiping out entire cities if most people in the attacking country want a war. If the whole country votes for war then they shouldn't complain if they get war.

Plus with my way at least the leader has proved he believes the war is worth risking his _own_ life for. If he's not willing to risk his own life for it then why should others risk their own lives to kill OTHER people for his idea?

Comment Re:This NSA crap is much too much, and ungentleman (Score 1) 361

The solution is if everyone had crypto whether they used it or not and things were set up so that you can't tell whether they used it or not. See also: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/148440
Or even better if everyone was using crypto (full disk crypto, vpns etc), but you can't tell whether they were using additional crypto- extra container file lying around by default).

Then if those in power are still going to torture people even though there actually isn't anything (extra) to decrypt/unlock, your country is so screwed up you could be tortured for hundreds of other reasons anyway.

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