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Submission + - Maserati Chief Says Tesla Ain't Seen Nothing Yet With EV On The Way (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Luxury automaker Maserati has avoided the whole electric vehicle (EV) craze that's been driving product design at its competitors, but not anymore. The mandate from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne is to build a Maserati EV as quickly as possible, so that's what engineering boss Roberto Fedeli is now focusing on, though they won't have anything ready before 2019. Fedeli is well aware that Maserati will be last to market with an EV model, but he isn't concerned with that, nor is he intimidated by what Tesla is doing. While acknowledging that Tesla is kicking out some 50,000 EV cars a year, he compared the execution and quality of Tesla's products to that of a German OEM in the 1970s. "Their solutions are not the best," Fedeli said.

Submission + - A design-build-test cycle for the invention of living things (ieee.org)

the_newsbeagle writes: Engineers know how to iterate. Whether they're working in hardware or software, they use the design-build-test cycle to get from an idea to a satisfactory product. Now synthetic biologists are applying this approach to inventing strange new life forms. Ginkgo Bioworks, a hip Boston startup that recently raised $100 million, considers itself an "organism factory." The company's bioengineers use synthetic DNA and a highly automated lab to create novel organisms, trying out thousands of variants as they work toward one that has useful properties—like a yeast that spits rose oil, which Ginkgo is developing for a French perfume company.

Comment Re:And they discovered that Slashdot has gone to H (Score 1) 235

I'd like to offer a counter point to your argument. The tech used here to reveal the text locked into the burnt scroll is amazing, but not necessarily new. MRI decoding of documents has been demonstrated before, and while painstakingly tedious no doubt, doesn't represent a "new" breakthrough. The difference in this case, is that we aren't recovering an 8 year old tax return of Joe the Plummer, we're recovering a document that is of historical significance to a significant portion of the population of the world. Since there is no new technology to debate, we're left discussing the significance of the findings, which is pretty much null since we already have the book of Leviticus. Since there's no new tech, and no new findings, I guess we're left with a discussion of "why is it significant to have these writings at all", ie the debate of whether or not religion is necessary or factual in the first place. So while it's easy to classify all things not related to the discovery of room temperature superconductors as redditt fodder, I think you're missing the point of what /. is in the first place, a place for discussion among tech-minded people, about things that more or less relate to tech.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Do you still use optical media?

An anonymous reader writes: I still use optical discs for various backup purposes, but recently I developed doubts as to the reliability of the media to last a reasonable amount of time. I have read a review on Amazon of the TDK DVDs, in which somebody described losing 8000 (sic!) DVDs of data after 4 years of storage. I promptly canceled my purchase of TDKs. So, do you still use opticals for back-up — Blu-Rays, DVDs, CDs? — and if so, how do you go about it?

Comment Re:The car wasn't pulled (Score 5, Insightful) 130

I was going to post something similar. I hate comparisons like these. The 'ants' are pulling against the rolling resistance of the car, not the car laying on its side, as would be the case with the tower equivalent weights. Unless you had some gigantic roller bearings to slide them across.

Submission + - There is money to be made from Elon Musk's Mars colony (blastingnews.com)

MarkWhittington writes: The Motley Fool, a financial services company that provide investment advice on a number of multimedia platforms, states that Elon Musk’s SpaceX is likely to beat NASA to Mars. The firm points out the various shortcomings of NASA’s Journey to Mars program, not the least of which that it lacks funding and a plan. Besides, the space agency has become so bureaucratic that the sun will turn into a red giant before it can put astronaut boots on the Martian soil.

The investment advisors suggest that Musk does not have sufficient funds in his private fortune to get his Mars colony off the ground. He will have to have outside investors, which likely means taking SpaceX public. Thus, there may be some money to be made out of Musk’s Mars colony.

Comment A new study on statistics (Score 4, Interesting) 345

I doub't it would have much effect. You cannot stop human nature. Besides the view that sex is "bad, dirty, evil..ect", I'm going to throw a broad sweeping generalization that most men in a household take care of the tech stuff anyways, and will answer the question with a "no" and go on about their business, or answer "yes" and set the limits to off.

Comment Problem with the question? (Score 0) 446

Asking the "Do you support more use of drone aircraft to attack suspected terrorists?" against what was probably a large group of 15-22 year old males, is probably why the results are misleading. It's a loaded question. Of course they would respond with "yes". A better question would have been "Do you support taking military action, which may result in untold civilian murder, against alleged terrorists?, and if so, what is your banks routing number?" The results would surely have been more swayed towards no. An even better question would have been "In the event of a government sponsord asassination, which results in X deaths, who is to be held responsible for those X deaths, and if no evidence of malice is found on behalf of (X-Y) victims, what should the punishment of the government be?" There are way too many hidden variables in this type of question to take any valid results away from a poll like this.

Comment They do not propose "Perpetual Motion" (Score 5, Informative) 153

If one reads the article, in the last paragraph the statement occurs: "Time crystals may sound dangerously close to a perpetual motion machine, but it is worth emphasizing one key difference: while time crystals would indeed move periodically in an eternal loop, rotation occurs in the ground state, with no work being carried out nor any usable energy being extracted from the system." They aren't proposing "mechanical perpetual motion" like we are probably all thinking at first glance. The crystal isn't doing anything abnormal. No energy is to be gained from the system, so at least mechanically, nothing is happening.

Submission + - What Happened to Winter?

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "This year the temperature in Minneapolis didn't fall to zero degrees until January 12, the daytime high in Rapid City, South Dakota hit a record-setting 71 on January 5, and just a couple of days before New Year's, visitors to Park City, Utah, skied on man-made snow and dined al fresco — without their parkas — as Eryn Brown reports that a combination of factors has trapped winter's cold air over Canada and Alaska, making for unseasonably warm weather in the Lower 48 and creating disappointment for outdoor enthusiasts who revelled in last year’s snow. "The talk across the whole country has been, 'Where has winter been?'" says Dale Eck, who runs the global forecast center at the Weather Channel in Atlanta. The culprit is a mercurial weather pattern called the Arctic oscillation. André Viau, a climatologist at the University of Ottawa, describes the polar jet stream as similar to a ribbon that snakes across the continent, at the intersection of the colder air in the north and the warmer air that’s farther south. When the Artic oscillation is weak, or negative, the ribbon buckles, allowing colder Arctic air to penetrate farther south. This season, however, the oscillation has been almost exclusively positive. Strong polar winds have pulled the ribbon of the jet stream so taut, “it’s been almost straight,” says Viau, preventing Arctic air from escaping southward. Last week, the strength of the oscillation finally relaxed, moving first to neutral and then to negative, allowing dense Arctic air to flow south and bring the first bone-chilling temperatures of the winter south. But even with the recent dip, it’s possible this winter will go on record as one of our warmest says Canadian climatologist David Phillips. "Memories of this winter will be quite something: short and mild.”"

Submission + - Spark, First Linux Tablet Running KDE Plasma Activ (ubuntuvibes.com)

dartttt writes: Aaron J. Seigo, from KDE Plasma Active development team has revealed a tablet which could be the first device to come with Plasma Active pre-installed. Named 'Spark', the tablet features an open Linux stack on unlocked hardware and comes with open content and services market.

Plasma Active is a joint project by the KDE community, basysKom and open-slx. The goals for this open source project are to deliver a fast embedded UX platform with minimal memory requirements, provide customizable and modular to support different form factors and design an interface that adapts as users change Activities.

Plasma Active is intended for all types of tablets, smartphones and touch computing devices such as settop boxes, smart TVs, home automation or in-vehicle infotainment.

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