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Submission + - Platforms to Target for Media Distribution System?

Goodgerster writes: "I'm writing a web service and I'm being asked by potential investors which platforms it will run on. I hadn't given the matter much thought, but I have noticed that a lot of websites, such as Wolfram Alpha or Google Maps, now have iPhone apps and the like. Aside from the obvious big three (Symbian, Android, iOS), what platforms should websites write standalone apps for?"
Open Source

Submission + - Happy 18th birthday to the open source movement (networkworld.com)

Julie188 writes: On this day, in 1992, version 0.1 of 386BSD (you might know it as Jolix) was released. Now, some might say March was the true birth date, as that was the original release of 386BSD, version 0.0. But it wasn't until the second, more usable, 386BSD release that users began developing unofficial patchkits to fix bugs and enhance aspects of the system. And that ushered in a new era of development.

Submission + - Paper questions whether gravity is a force (nytimes.com)

couch_warrior writes: An article in the NYTimes describes a paper by physicist Erik Verlinde, in which he questions whether gravity is a fundamental force at all. Instead he appears to propose that the effects of gravity are simply the accumulated effects of increases in entropy.


While it is not stated in the article, an analogy might be made to the former belief that "fire" was an element. It was easy to observe that when you let the fire out of wood, you were left with ashes (earth). Therefore fire+earth=wood. However, "fire" is simply the aggregate release of energy as the carbon and hydrogen in the wood combine with oxygen and are reduced to a lower entropic state. Gravity, like fire, may not be a "thing" all by itself, but rather a cumulative effect of a net reduction in entropic states.

Comment Re:It's madness that this is not the default. (Score 1) 750

Sorry, when I say "cut power to the engine" I mean cut the power from the engine, i.e., the link between the engine and wheels. Also, to clarify, the instruction was to stamp the brake as a first priority and, having started to apply maximum force, hit the clutch with the other foot. The optimal solution is to hit both together, but this introduces additional thinking time.

Comment It's madness that this is not the default. (Score 1) 750

When I discovered the existence of automatic transmissions as a child (we Europeans primarily use the more efficient manual transmission), I asked how it stopped the engine from stalling when the brake pedal was applied. My father told me that the brake pedal was also connected to a clutch. This would obviously cut power to the engine when the brake was in use.

The force from an idling 1580cc turbodiesel, even without a stuck accelerator, extended the emergency stop distance of my learner car by a non-negligible distance, at least a couple of metres. This is why my driving lessons included engaging the clutch after the brake when performing emergency stops.

Now I have recently learned from Slashdot that, seemingly, in most automatics the brake pedal doesn't even cut the throttle. Given that many automatic cars in the US seem to be connected to 3000cc six-cylinder behemoths, I am sure this worsens the stopping distance for those cars a great deal more than a couple of metres. How many people has this particular design flaw killed over the last fifty-odd years?

Comment Re:History... (Score 1) 1190

We've dramatically cleaned up our environment, achieved energy independence, freed ourselves from the political constraints of fossil fuels and massively bolstered our economy with a whole new class of green businesses.

What planet do you live on? I'll take the next hyper-shuttle there.

Comment Re:American cars.... (Score 1) 378

It doesn't "start up" like a fossil-powered car. The motor idles at 0 rpm, rotating only to drive the wheels. Further, on similar cars (Volvo S80, etc) the doors will re-lock when you move away from them, and the car won't be driveable for very long without the key inside it either. I imagine the makers of this car, having previously engineered a virtually brand-new powertrain, will be able to properly implement keyless entry.

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