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Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 80

There are many other (large) industries that rely heavily on batteries. They've been heavily researched for over 100 years.

Yes, but so have ICEs, and they still suck. Only minor improvements in efficiency have been realized in the last forty years. A forty year old turbo diesel still provides pretty good thermodynamic efficiency. It does it without producing much CO2 as a result, although it will tend to crank out quite a bit of NOx. Over that time, automotive ICE efficiency has improved by only in the low double digit percents, while electric motor efficiency has about doubled — and it's over three times as good as an ICE.

Cars are fun, I like engine noises as much as or even more than the next guy, but ICEs blow.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 2) 80

There is already an awesome battery tech, holding about 10kWh of energy in a small package that already exist, it's good old gas. The only problem is that it takes 100 millions years to produce.

The other problem is that you can't just feed it into an electric motor. You have to either feed it into a fuel cell which is lame for many reasons which I should not need to enumerate here, or you have to feed it into an ICE which is lame for even more reasons which etc etc. Or an external combustion engine, but (stationary generation aside) that only really works for trains and it's not really convenient there, either. Electric motors are wonderful in every way compared to ICEs, and batteries are wonderful in most ways compared to fuel cells despite their many annoying failings. In fact, you can't efficiently build a fuel cell car without including battery in the motive power system.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 80

EVs would have been overtaken by ICE technology regardless of whatever conspiratal notions you are imagining.

ICEs still provide a superior driving experience per dollar, and most people who have an EV wouldn't have one if not for subsidies... to compete with the entrenched energy monopolies' subsidies.

Comment Re:Weirdly specific statement (Score 1) 27

The significance of this is Elon Musk, who is the self-driving Uber of dot.com billionaires and is the hero of our times.

Well, I knew Steve Jobs well enough, and have met a few civilian astronauts and a bunch of other rich people. None of the others seem to have done so much for the long-term future of the human race as Musk has in leading the path to more affordable spaceflight.

Comment Re:We need this (Score 1) 80

Seriously, we need people actively looking into making those new type of batteries instead of just researching them and never do anything with the research, like we've seen for the past 5 to 10 years.

That's right! That's why my cell phone which uses more power than my cell phone of 10 years ago with a battery less than a third the size lasts significantly longer - because everyone's been "never doing anything with the research", right?

Good research results make news. Their employment in commercial products generally doesn't.

Comment Good on him (Score 0) 80

Better battery tech is about the most important thing in energy today, because it will let us make more use of "alternative" energy sources (you know, ones which were in use to do work long before anyone was using electricity, or building ICEs or steam turbines or even steam engines) right now. The only thing that might be even more compelling in the short term would be a safe way to store apparently physics-defying quantities of hydrogen and release small or large amounts of it later as necessary without having to expend a lot of energy to do so, but even that has less applications than a better battery.

One (okay, I) wonder[s] where battery tech would be today if EVs had remained dominant and not been pushed out by subsidized oil and coal.

Comment Re:Clean OS install (Score 1) 326

I use optical media for installs, too.

Mostly because they're a more convenient (and better supported than USB sticks) way to build a system onto a fresh(ly wiped) machine.

Also because they're an easy way to insure I didn't accidentally carry over any data from the pre-wipe configuration or the machine I used to download, or got hit with a "catch the machine before it updates" attack while net-loading or updating from the distribution version to the latest bugfixes. (I go to the net for the initial update through an external firewall machine with tight reach-out-only rules.)

Yes, it's not a defence against some of the NSA or "remote-administration feature" style of attacks, through the BIOS, drive firmware, CPU-vendor silicon "management engines", persistent threat malware on the download machine, etc. But it's a start. (Also: If those are any good they keep hiding, so at least they stay out of my way while I'm trying to get some work done. B-b )

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