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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment Re:Auto industry != tech industry (Score 1) 134

You aren't necessarily saving much in capital equipment costs since you now need to pay for all the tooling for the car you plan to build. Also, there are problems with manufacturing cars in China, especially with quality. A friend of mine who worked in the industry (including at Tesla for a while) said that the problem with having parts made in China was you could never be sure of the quality of the materials used, especially steel. Chinese manufacturing is great if you throw a lot of labor at the problem. It's no longer so competitive when automation is used.

The amount of manual labor used to manufacture a car is a fraction of what it once was. Much of the manufacturing is highly automated now.

Outsourcing car manufacturing will always be more expensive and it's a lot harder to control quality. Just look at what happened with Fisker Motors. They outsourced their manufacturing of everything and it was a disaster. They outsourced the motors to China and the electric motors all failed due to the metal being used in the splines being too soft. The inverter (again outsourced) could not provide enough power to deliver the promised torque. The software was a horrible mess and the A123 batteries tended to fail. I know, I was unable to talk my father out of buying one and he experienced all of these problems. I read that though the car sold for $125K it cost something like $600K/car to manufacture. They outsourced everything and the integration was poor.

On the other hand, Tesla manufactures more of their own components than just about any other car manufacturer. They will soon be manufacturing their own batteries as well. They make their own electric motors, battery packs, chargers, inverters, software, injection molding, etc. They even perform their own aluminum casting. When their casting supplier was going out of business they bought them and brought it in-house since there were few companies that could do what they needed. All of this allows them to better control costs and quality and lessen their supply chain. On top of this, it allows them to change far more rapidly rather than having to negotiate with a supplier whenever they want a change made.

Comment Re:Public Admission of Stupidity (Score 4, Interesting) 219

I saw this happen in broad daylight. A woman started crossing in a crosswalk the instant the light turned green for the cars, thus blocking them. There were only cars in the right lane and a car approached the left lane and continued (since he had a green light) and the woman stepped out in front of him and got hit. The driver stopped and the lady was taken away in an ambulance. In this case I'd blame the woman since she crossed when the crosswalk said "don't walk" and there is no way the driver could have seen her.

A few months later I was driving home late at night and the same thing happened. A person wearing dark clothing waited until the signal said "don't walk" and I waited for the idiot to cross. Another car came through in the other lane and the guy missed getting creamed by only a few inches. Again, the light had been green for some time and the idiot waited until just after the cross light turned red like he had a death wish. Too many times I've seen stupid pedestrians crossing when it's not safe to do so.

Also, as a driver I too would be distracted by sirens, trying to find the source of them. No driver can look ahead all the time, i.e. checking the mirrors. If someone claims that they're always looking ahead they're either lying or a really bad driver.

Comment Can't protect everything from stupidity (Score 1) 330

Tesla has finally released the results of what happened in Pennsylvania.. It seems that the autopilot warned the driver because his hands were not on the steering wheel. The car warned him repeatedly and it was the driver who grabbed the wheel and caused the crash.

In another accident, the driver was driving the car on an undivided mountain road which is not recommended. The driver's hands were not on the steering wheel. The car alerted the driver repeatedly to put his hands on the wheel. The driver claims it's because the alerts were given in English whereas he spoke Mandarin. Autopilot is supposed to be used on divided roads with clear visibility and the driver is supposed to keep their hands on the wheel.

Maybe they should require drivers to take an autopilot test to show that they understand it before enabling it. Like autopilot on a plane it still requires that the driver pay attention and have their hands on the wheel and be ready to take over.

My car is an early model S before the hardware for Autopilot was available.

Comment Re:they could switch to AC motors and improve thin (Score 3, Informative) 108

I hate to break it to you but the synchronous motors used in most hybrids and EVs require AC as well. All brushless motors require AC in order to generate a rotating magnetic field. In fact, the controllers are not all that different between an induction and a synchronous motor. The synchronous motor is dependent on the rotor position whereas the induction motor is dependent on the rotors speed. The actual drive of the motor coils is similar.

Generating AC from DC is actually not difficult with modern semiconductors which can handle a tremendous amount of current and they've also proven to be quite reliable as well. Every modern hybrid and EV ever made requires AC to drive the motor, regardless if it is an induction motor or not.

Comment Re:Third party Software (Score 1) 166

I used Kaspersky but will no longer use it because they were caught poisoning the malware database with non-malware so the other AV software would remove OS critical files and rendered Windows unbootable. Between that and Putin's Russia I won't have anything to do with it any longer. For those thinking both the US and Russia are corrupt, the Russian corruption is far greater. Here is a nice interactive map showing the corruption level of various countries.

The US ranks 16th least corrupt, Canada 9th and Denmark rated the least corrupt. Russia is 119, in other words, there are 118 countries rated less corrupt than Russia. Mexico is 95.

Comment She had little choice (Score 1) 801

From what I gather, Hillary tried to get permission to use a secure mobile device to access her email but was denied. Condolezza Rice was able to use a BlackBerry but the NSA phased those out with no solution for Hillary. She was expected to read email on a laptop or desktop computer in a secure office, something rather difficult for someone who is frequently traveling.

According to several articles, Hillary spent a lot of effort to get a secure smart phone to use like Obama's BlackBerry. The NSA refused. Later they wanted her to use this beast. It was not a user friendly or very useable device. It was based on late 1990s and early 2000s technology, about 10 years out of date.

As I recall, the IT budget for the State Department was quite limited and they used antiquated equipment since the Republican House controlled the purse strings.

Here are a few quotes from the articles I linked to above:

"After the NSA turned down her request for a secure smartphone for email, and her staff determined that the existing State Department technology infrastructure was nonexistent for such tasks, Clinton ultimately decided to get down to work by installing her own fully functional email server and tying it into her own BlackBerry for email."

"Reid wrote that each time they asked the NSA what solution they had worked up to provide a mobile device to Obama, "we were politely told to shut up and color.""

"Clinton chose not to use a laptop or desktop computer that could have provided her access to email in her office, according to the summary."

"Mills also asked about waivers provided during the Bush administration to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for her staff to use BlackBerrys in their secure offices. But the NSA had phased out such waivers due to security concerns."

Basically there weren't any options but to use a laptop or desktop computer in her office for email, not a very good option for someone who is frequently outside of the office.

It looks like she was screwed no matter what she did if she wanted to access her email away from her office.

Comment Re:Two Minds (Score 1) 801

Here is an article I found about the history of her running her own email server. Basically she asked for a secure phone but was refused. Plus the state department had no infrastructure capable of handling a mobile device. Later they offered her this monstrosity to use. Remember that the House never provided a proper budget for the IT department, making them rely on antiquated equipment and probably not the most competent IT department.

"After the NSA turned down her request for a secure smartphone for email, and her staff determined that the existing State Department technology infrastructure was nonexistent for such tasks, Clinton ultimately decided to get down to work by installing her own fully functional email server and tying it into her own BlackBerry for email."

Comment Re:Google is NOT the INTERNET (Score 1) 246

Before 2000 most of the other search engines sucked. They were full of spam and other crap as everyone tried to game the system until Google's pagerank came out and blew them out of the water. The other search engines also tended to have very cluttered pages full of blinking ads and they were slow. It was a HUGE improvement going from the likes of Altavista or the others to Google.

Comment Re:This is a gift... (Score 4, Informative) 421

Hillary Clinton:
http://www.politifact.com/pers...
True + Mostly True: 51%
False + Mostly False + Pants on Fire: 27%

Donald Trump:
http://www.politifact.com/pers...
True + Mostly True: 9%
False + Mostly False + Pants on Fire: 77%

And just for comparison, Bernie Sanders:
http://www.politifact.com/pers...
True + Mostly True: 51%
False + Mostly False + Pants on Fire: 30%

Slashdot Top Deals

"Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

Working...