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Comment Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 823

In fact, there is something nice about a Tesla or Prius's silence at idle

Unless you're blind, or happen to be looking the other way when the drunk in a prius bears down on you. Which is why some sort of fake engine noise will eventually be mandated (if it hasn't been already).

This is actually mandated now, but the rules are kind of mushy. It was signed into law in 2011 here in the US, and applies to 2012 models, but there weren't initially strict guidelines on the noises. So you'll find the 2011 Nissan Leaf has a 'silent' mode where it won't make the backing-up beep-beep alert or the turbine-like engine noise when driving, but the 2012 and later models cannot silence the engine noises.

Wikipedia has a good breakdown of the state of the current noise laws across the US, Japan, the EU, and the UK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E...

Comment Re:Okay, so... $2M fine, right? (Score 1) 307

I thought the standard was for each copy 'made available.' So if you count each song as multiple infringements on BitTorrent, by that logic, shouldn't every single hypothetical viewer of Glee be counted as a separate infringement?

According to TVByTheNumbers, last night's Glee viewership was 6.75 million viewers, and the fine's almost certainly more than $1 per infringement, so... ;P

Comment Re:iOS maps should have started as an App (Score 2) 561

Except that, according to the article, that was exactly the problem: Google Maps would expire mid-next-year. Which meant either they'd have to sign another contract — and I would be *stunned* if, in such a situation, Google didn't demand Latitude be included or some other sort of data-collection concession — or have Maps go dark *during* iOS 6's lifetime, requiring Maps to be replaced in a point-release, rather than changing over at a major OS release.

Whether or not I think this was a great decision, I can totally see why they made the move now from a business aspect. Imagine if they had done this changeover in iOS 6.2...

Comment Re:Largely Demand Driven (Score 4, Informative) 490

Renault and Nissan came up with the Quick-Drop battery swapping system that another poster mentions in regard to the Fluence ZE, though Nissan doesn't use it for the LEAF platform; the LEAF battery packs *can* be swapped out fairly easily, but it's not set up for the Quick-Drop method. Tesla originally talked about offering battery swaps at their Supercharger locations, but I think that's fallen by the wayside.

Honestly, with so many different battery capacities — the LEAF has 24kWh worth of batteries, while the highest-end Model S has 80kWh — I think standardization would be hard. I mean, we can't even fully finalize on a quick-charging standard!

In Japan and France, they have a system called CHAdeMO, a large plug capable of delivering up to 62.5kW of charge and thus charging the LEAF from near-empty in about 25 minutes. Japanese EVs and a number of European ones use this as a charging connector.

Meanwhile, the US came up with SAE1772, a replacement for older charging standards, with a smaller plug but which is limited to about 6.6kW of charge at 220V, meaning they can be installed many more places but take hours to recharge. (These are the little stations in many parking lots, for 'charge while you shop' at a mall or whatever.) Given the differing standards, various cars released in the US — the LEAF, the MiEV, etc. — support J1772 for slower charging and CHAdeMO for fast charging. And so CHAdeMO quick chargers have been put in along freeways.

Now SAE has come up with a variant on SAE1772 — a bigger form of the plug with the original plug as a subset of the design — which could allow quick-charging. The idea being that you'd only need one plug; the new SAE1772 variant sockets could use the old plugs, so older charging stations would work, but you'd have to have new sockets for any new plugs. However, no one's committed to supporting that yet that I've heard.

Then Tesla, disgusted with everyone else, designed their own Supercharger system which charges at up to 100kW — heavier duty than CHAdeMO — so that they can charge the 80kW pack of a high-end Model S much faster. They made adapters to allow SAE1772 charging too, for all the little parking lot stations, but there's no easy way to convert CHAdeMO for those quick chargers.

Standardization among EVs is... well, we still have a way to go.

Comment Re:Double standards are twice as good! (Score 1) 680

If I'm reading the news articles properly, available evidence actually indicates the protesters themselves were peaceful and the protests got used as cover for violence by extremists. Some articles suggested that this was a 9/11 'reminder' planned anyway, and the protests over the film just provided a convenient cover for them to get into place in a crowd.

Sadly, the lunatic fringe is often what a group gets judged by, which is hardly unique to Islam; many people also judge Christianity by groups like the Westboro Baptist Church or the Christian groups who bomb abortion clinics. Heck, the same is true of political parties or — to use a more Slashdot-relevant example — OS platform advocates. The loud lunatic ones end up being the voices outsiders notice the most readily, because they're shouting and starting fights.

As a result, the story many take from this becomes not, "Violent lunatics seize on convenient excuse to thinly justify their attacks" but "ZOMG YOU GUYS, MUSLIMS ARE CRAZY-VIOLENT." Which is unfortunate.

Comment Seems to me... (Score 4, Insightful) 141

...that this would affect a lot more than just Apple if upheld. I understand Google's got a small interest in touch-based devices, too, and I seem to recall that Microsoft's considering maybe supporting some of this 'touch' stuff in Windows 8. (Sarcasm tag heavily implied there, which was hopefully clear.)

Seriously, I feel that patents have become sort of like nuclear weaponry; you either try to amass enough weapons in your patent portfolio that the other side won't launch, as with mutually assured destruction between the big companies, or else you get held hostage by patent-troll terrorists who get ahold of a weapon and threaten to take out everything they can unless you pay them. Maybe we need the patent law equivalent of Jack Bauer to deal with patent trolling. :P

Comment Re:Inefficient (Score 1) 271

Japan never used to have power outages to speak of, but in the wake of the tsunami and Fukushima Dai-ichi being taken offline, outages are heavily on the mind of the average Japanese citizen. They had a ton of blackouts in March, and the Tokyo area in particular has been engaging in a ton of power-saving measures; the article from the summary even mentions a few (dimming subway station lights, to draw less power, for instance). Given that everyone's looking for ways to reduce their draw on the power grid at peak times, I'm not surprised that Nissan is looking into this possibility.

Comment Re:The embarrassing thing (Score 1) 231

www.facebook.com's AAAA record resolves to 2620:0:1cfe:face:b00c::b -- however, most folks can't resolve it. According to posts on the ipv6-ops mailing list, Facebook is still doing IPv6 in a limited testing phase, so they have DNS whitelisting enabled to avoid folks other than Hurricane Electric IPv6 testers getting the AAAA record while the IPv6 version of the site is still not quite there yet.

Presumably they'll turn off the whitelisting and let it resolve universally for IPv6 Day.

Comment Re:Android (Score 3, Interesting) 208

No, Android stores the last 50 unique cell-derived locations (in cache.cell) and the last 200 unique wifi-derived locations (in cache.wifi). In other words, the file /is/ truncated, but based on quantity of data rather than age/time. Apple's logfile is not truncated, whether by design or programming error.

Conversely, Apple's log remains on the device only for Core Location caching; it's stored in iPhone backups, but isn't ever sent back to the mothership (at least so far as anyone has been able to tell). Google truncates the log, but does send the data when you hit a WiFi point and have a GPS signal; they use this to update their WiFi location database for GPS assist, as they use their own service rather than Skyhook. (If your base station advertises itself, open or otherwise, go to http://samy.pl/androidmap/ and enter your local router's MAC address; you can see where Google thinks that base station is, based on how Android devices have paired your station to their GPS data.)

Comment Re:Uh, unless you're a programmer... (Score 1) 766

Not to mention Apple retires OSes in just a few years after release but there's no outcry on here.

Some of that may be due to the fact that Apple charges a lot less -- a LOT less -- for OS upgrades than Microsoft does, and some of it may be due to the fact that OS X is a lot less likely to be heavily tied into some company's corporate network than XP was.

Either way, you're still correct that no company can be expected to support an older OS forever. As was noted elsewhere, RedHat's long since retired support for many versions of their software, and no longer roll RPMs to update various things based on older systems.

Comment Re:And it's fucking irritating (Score 1) 321

Yeah, Bones is really the worst offender out there for product placement. They don't even bother to try to disguise them most of the time.

As I noted in a different post, White Collar at least /tried/ to work it into the story and dialogue in a semi-natural way when they were showing off a hybrid car placement (during a high-speed car sequence) in a recent episode, by having Neal mock Diana for "not driving very green." Bones doesn't even bother with that much effort.

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