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Comment But what percentage of miles driven? (Score 1) 990

But the percentage of miles driven? This number is dominated by vehicles that run all day.

Yes, the vehicles we use for commute and errands can generally be replaced with electrics.

The vehicles for which someone is calculating an ROI run all day and have much bigger engines.

Long haul trucks. Distribution trucks. Farm machines and many others. There is no alternative for diesel fuel for these vehicles and nothing even remotely on the horizon.

If these vehicles stop running billions of people will starve within weeks.

Comment Parachutes, too. (Score 1) 257

Not just floss. Parachutes, too, suffer from a serious shortage of controlled trials demonstrating their efficacy.

Smith, Gordon CS, and Jill P. Pell. "Parachute use to
prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge:
systematic review of randomised controlled trials."
British Medical Journal 327.7429 (2003): 1459.

Article here.

Comment Interactive vs. Passive (Score 1) 159

A good VR experience (and preventing motion sickness) requires fast response time. This requires low latency of the entire chain from the motion sensing device, through the USB connection, OS process scheduling, scene calculation and rendering and any buffering in the video card and display.

A system that is able to respond quickly can obviously produce more frames per second. But just creating more frames per second without reducing latency will not help the experience feel more convincing (or prevent you from feeling queezy). It will just look a bit smoother.

In playback of canned video latency does not matter much. In fact, generating these in-between images actually increases overall latency as the system has to delay the next image while calculating and displaying the in-between image. As long as an equivalent delay is inserted into the audio nobody notices this. But it won't work for VR.

There is, however, a method to produce faster response without calculating more images per second. The most critical movements are those of the head and the change in the scene from such motions can be approximated by simple panning. It's not perfect, but does work to reduce motion sickness.

Comment What's new, what isn't (Score 5, Insightful) 132

Omnidirectional wheels are not new (1949 german parent).

What is probably new here is that the wheel surface is not a discontinuous set of smaller wheels - it's a toroidal tire that can rotate on the in-out axis. This requires the surface to stretch considerably and is probably not compatible with the requirements for car tires. This has real applications, but standard passenger cars are probably not one of them. This car demo is, however, a great way to attract attention and, hopefully, investment. A forklift just doesn't have the same dramatic effect.

Comment There will never be a shortage of helium (Score 1) 190

There will never be a shortage of helium. Only a shortage of really cheap helium.

Helium is continuously produced by alpha decay of radioactive materials inside the earth. It exists in various concentrations in all natural gas reserves.

Some of those reserves (e.g. some wells in Texas or the one now found in Tanzania) have unusually high helium concentrations, making production costs much lower. The U.S. government used the Texas wells to set up a strategic reserve in the early to mid 20th century (when zeppelins were still a thing, and later for the space race).

Towards the end of the 20th century, it gradually sold this inventory into the market, effectively subsidizing it with tax paid by americans during the cold war. This created a disincentive for developing the capability of producing helium from lower grade sources. The uncertainty in the market raised prices, based on the perception of an impending shortage.

Without the Tanzania find, the increased price would have eventually convinced someone to invest in the infrastructure for separating helium from lower grade sources, eliminating the dependency on the chances of finding high grade sources.

Of course, if someone *had* done so, he would have been greatly disappointed by the Tanzania find reducing the price hurt the return on their investment. That's the risk of investing.

Comment "People actually do drugs for fun?" (Score 4, Interesting) 760

There was a question on some forum (perhaps AskReddit) for formerly poor people about what surprised them the most after they became better off.

One poster claimed that he was surprised people with more money actually do drugs for recreation. Everyone where he grew up that used drugs did it to soothe the pain. Everyone knew it. Everyone also knew the price. And those that chose this way were not judged too much.

Comment Re:Just as long as tabs can be turned OFF by the u (Score 1) 249

Another example: dock color. This is such a dumb preference but I cannot imagine why they don't make it user customizable. I like dark colored dock backgrounds, they look better on the desktop backgrounds I choose. But Apple simply will not make them customizable.

Actually, you've got two choices, light and dark, which sounds like it might suit you. It's not in the Dock Control Panel, of course. It's in General.

Comment Re: Stupid people (Score 1) 129

Keeping in mind that it wasn't me that typed M$

I'd wondered if I should've clarified that in my post. In any event, it has been now. I'm really just responding to you because you're not an AC (I'll explain soon). Just looking to have conversation about it, not tell anyone off.

do you give more veracity to pretty people because you think a pretty person is smarter than an ugly person?

Not to the extent I can be aware of my own biases. Again, I chose to respond to you because you're not an AC. It's not because I think logging in lends veracity to your argument, it's just that engaging in conversation with a group of unknown number or reputation has proven to be very unrewarding in my experience. When I do make judgements like this, I like to at least be able to stand by them with reasons

I don't write people off just because they write 'M$'. You have your reasons when you do, and it doesn't really bother me. As another poster said, I have to admit considering the company's abusive behaviour it's to criticise them - and it is. I don't look down on people who think and say MS are shady.

All I'm saying is, coming from someone who used to write M$, and does no longer: as I've matured I've found it a lot easier to make my point heard when I don't decorate it with extra baggage that prompts your listeners to start making judgements about you.

Whether the judgements are sound or not, people will make them. Sometimes people you're genuinely trying to sell yourself too, no randoms on Slashdot. All things being equal, the post without the dollar sign embellishment will be better received, in my opinion.

Sounds like your people could determine if something is truth or a lie just by performing a find on it, for M$, and not even read it. That sounds to me like exceptional intelligence, you agree? The way to get to the absolute truth.

I don't have a "people" that all think like I do. I'll forgive your snark on the basis I think you've misunderstood me a little.

Comment Re: Stupid people (Score 1) 129

When you write it as 'M$' it tends to give the impression one of the big issues you have with them is they've made a lot of money, and that you make a point of expressing that whether or not it is necessary or relevant. It may be that you actually want to give that impression, in which case power to you.

You'll probably come across as juvenile, this may be right or wrong and again, this may be your intention.

Fact is, some people are going to switch off when they see you write "M$", or refer to their company by the stock symbol, as if that's a reasonable thing to do outside the context of actually investing in that stock.

When you're making an entirely valid and objective criticism of their company's behaviour / products (and I know you'll agree that's not difficult to do), you've nothing to gain by putting off a portion of readers by making them think you're a nutjob, even if you are.

Comment Universal income (Score 1) 1052

Virtually all countries employ some kind of differential taxation and/or benefits ostensibly meant to help those who have less.

Universal income is just a simpler way and more efficient to implement them. Get rid of all those complex systems. Also gets rid of any incentives for people to be intentionally miserable.

This is assuming, of course, those other systems are dismantled. Many people are employed by those systems or make a living optimizing and gaming those systems. They will will all end up having to look for new jobs. This is the hard part.

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