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


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment You might rethink that (Score 1) 343

As a newcomer to the Mac, I was not at all interested in the App Store. Maybe I'm too cynical, but goddamn it, I'm proven right too often to change my ways. The App Store does not solve any existing problems for me, as a user. If I can find some app in their, then I could have Googled for the author's web site just as easily. I actually prefer apps that self-update, rather than having to open the inflexible App Store client. .

The Mac app store gives real users many advantages:

  • One place to go to keep all applications updated.
  • One purchase let's you install on all your macs for no added expense.
  • The app has been code reviewed by Apple and certified virus free, privacy-respecting.
  • Reviews of the app are available to review. You get to feedback your own review to the world too.
  • You don't have to give payment detail, such as credit card info to a developer.
  • You don't have to give your personal info to a developer, who may resell it or have it hacked.
  • No need to keep backups of apps, you can redownload free after nuking your system.

The downsides:

  • Developers get more money than if they sold in physical stores, but less per unit than if they sold direct on their own website.
  • Developers can't hide adware or malware in their apps or app websites.
  • Apple knows what you bought.
  • Developers that don't want to let you run on all your machines for one price won't sell in the app store. Example: Microsoft Office for Mac.
  • Apps in same category are directly competing. It's like putting all the cereal in one aisle, the consumer has more choice visible. But if you're not in the app store, it is like selling in a farmer's market. Customers have to find you.

Comment The real issue (Score 1) 362

Tesla has apparently powered standby mode directly from the traction battery. Bad idea.

Standby mode in cars, especially electric cars and hybrids, is the not-exactly-off mode that a parked car is in. There is still power to various computers and sensors, so things like remote controls, charge timers, and informatics can function. The Leaf, Prius, and Volt, among others do this with a 12 volt auxiliary battery. The big traction battery is disconnected in this mode. To start the car, the 12 volt auxiliary is used to power the boot process of the computers and to energize the big contactor that connects the traction battery.

If you leave one of theses cars in standby too long the 12 volt drains down and you have to jump a 12 volt source to the 12 volt bus in order to boot the car. I know, I've done it.

Tesla seems to be powering standby mode directly from the traction battery. Volt does this too if you put it in Service Mode. In both cases, you can deep discharge the traction battery. Volt batteries are well protected from damage in that case. Tesla battery protection does not seem nearly as robust.

Comment Real experience (Score 5, Informative) 200

I last put gas in my Volt on 11/20/2011 (7 gallons). I have driven 2,358 miles since then, using a total of 5.4 gallons. Mostly on freeways at speeds between 45 and 75 mph depending on traffic. There's a public charger across the street from work, which is 31 miles from my house.

My best ever all electric range is 51.3 miles. My worst ever is 33.5.

My engine does not turn on ever unless the temperature is below 25F or the battery is at the designed lower limit of state of charge.

The car handles and drives wonderfully. I have, in 13,500 miles, rotated the tires. I will have to change the oil in a couple years. My lifetime average mpg is 158 mpg. Because I changed to a time of use schedule I have a lower electric bill now than I did before buying the car.

Hippocrates says "There are two things, knowledge and opinion, one of which makes the possessor really to know, the other to be ignorant."

Comment Re:Nope - Range and Milage (Score 1) 206

Nissan actually has just published a detailed statement regarding range for the Leaf http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/index#/leaf-electric-car/range-disclaimer/index. Turns out that running the climate control has quite an effect on range. Part of that is the influence of temperature on batteries and part is the energy consumption of climate control. Heating is worse than cooling it seems. The partial mitigation is being able to have the vehicle pre-condition the temperature while it's plugged in. And the Leaf is rated for 90 MPH (150 KMPH).

Comment Preordered a Leaf (Score 5, Interesting) 206

Paid to stand in line and expect delivery by end-of-year. I nearly had an EV-1 back in the day, but backed out when they refused to sell them, would only lease. This time should be the charm. The charger location is approved by my HOA and the install estimate is done, so it's just a matter of when Nissan can get production ramped up enough. there's a set of legacy chargers across from my office, so I have the option of plugging in during the day. And the city gives free parking to EV owners in their garages, so it is even subsidized. They just need to update the AVCON plug to the newer version and things should be set.

Comment Re: Nonstandard notation (Score 5, Insightful) 1268

In the elementary and middle-school texts standard notation is rarely used. I've got a doctorate, but helping my kids through their math often is a real stumper. It is very common to use a box, a blank, or a parenthesis to indicate something that they are to fill in in a "number sentence". The theory seems to be that you don't need to teach about unknowns and variables because that would be confusing. So this notation is somehow intuitively obvious to the least observant. As they may not cognitively be ready for the concept it becomes even more obscure. Have a look at the books sometime - you'll want to scream. I can testify that the methods used up until the mid 1960's were MUCH more effective in creating mathematical literacy. The Stanford Studies Mathematical Group (SMSG) series of math texts was, to my memory, the flying wedge of what was termed then "The New Math". The strategies like 4+3+2=()+2 come from that movement. Truth is, the "New Math" is a dismal failure and resulted in the destruction of the mathematical competency of two generations of American students. Unfortunately the math teachers now all came up through that system and have no idea that there is a better way to teach math.

Comment Heart Shell (Score 1) 258

TFA contemplates using either cadaver hearts or non-human (pig is the readily available animal with a compatible sized and structured heart). De-cellularizing those would remove the antigens that trigger rejection. Then using compatible stem cells to create a new histocompatible heart using the old framework. Pop into the patient.

Currently we use a de-cellularized pig heart valve as an implant. The patient's own cells invade the matrix and set up housekeeping, very much the way the fetal cells did in this demonstration.

One other advantage would be that the new organ would be 'young', not whatever age the donor might have been.

Slashdot Top Deals

When Dexter's on the Internet, can Hell be far behind?"