Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Woosh. (Score 1) 97

You're probably right about your assessment of Natural Gas's ability to change the industry. But the fact that these guys have several billion dollars of orders stacked up shows there are companies that are interested and see the value it in. I think Nikola's engineers aren't operating in the dark here. They are well aware of what natural gas can do. It's easy to pretend they don't know what they are doing. We can't just use our armchair logic to summarily dismiss them. I hope they succeed.

Good point about specs. As they say, "there's no replacement for displacement." I'm not sure I'd say engines are "detuned" though. Bigger displacement engines do have a better torque curve than smaller ones. Remember an engine will develop as much horsepower as the load requires up to the limits set on the fuel system. At highway speeds your tractor may be using a fraction of the maximum rated horsepower. Start climbing a hill and this goes up to the max pretty quickly. Also starting out from a dead stop uses most of the engine's power too (torque is often limited in low gears to prevent breaking things).

An 850 hp bulldozer can use up to 850 but probably often isn't generating that much power. And it's all going through a steep gear reduction, so the torque demands on the engine may not be that great. We can't really compare a bulldozer to a semi truck tractor.

Comment Great idea to do this with a truck (Score 5, Interesting) 97

Although trucks are highly regulated they also happen to be a lot easier to use a platform for this kind of experimentation. For one an extra 1000 pounds isn't going to impact performance (though it will reduce freight capacity). Some truckers tell me just ice and snow can add a couple of thousand pounds to their trucks in the winter. Anyway plenty of room to play around with different drive trains and power systems, which is what this company seem to have done.

I've always been skeptical of hydrogen as a means of of energy storage, but if the numbers are right this is pretty good, for a range of about 800 miles. 1000 hp and 2000 ft-pounds of torque are definitely good numbers for a class 8 truck. The truck I drive sometimes is only 500 hp and 1800 ft-pounds of torque, and pulls 63500 KG GVW (only on flat roads and not fast). So this should easily go up and down mountains. And with no transmission to shift, the power will be smooth and efficient. I'm thinking they've had their prototypes on the road for some time now, so it will be interesting to see how quickly they can really bring this to actual market (start leasing them to real drivers and real companies).

The articles I've read don't talk a lot about how the refueling is done and pouring liquid cryogenic fluids is pretty dangerous. So we shall see. And we don't know much about other details like if the drive train can act as a big engine brake. It's pretty funny how the media reacts to things like this. Instead of focusing on the truly interesting aspects of the truck like the power cell and drive train, they focus on the cab and how it has a nice sleeper with a microwave oven! Hilarious.

Anyway, coming from someone who actually has a CDL and drives trucks on occasion, I'm quite interested to see where this goes.

Comment Re:What (Score 1) 182

Your comments indicate complete ignorance as to why he's there and how he got there. Applicant for what exactly? Rejected by whom? Why would he have been there in the winter? I think you may be operating under some mistaken assumptions here.

The only thing we can debate regarding this is whether we should continue to allow antarctic tourism in general. I know tourists have been traveling to Antarctica by ship for years, mostly sticking to the western coast along the antarctic peninsula. I had no idea tour groups were going all the way to the south pole. How cool is that! Though potentially dangerous and irresponsible, and possibly a detriment to the research that is being done there. Much like ISS tourism, but a little cheaper.


Trump Appoints Third Net Neutrality Critic To FCC Advisory Team ( 191

Last week, President-elect Donald Trump appointed two new advisers to his transition team that will oversee his FCC and telecommunications policy agenda. Trump has added a third adviser today who, like the other two advisers, is a staunch opponent of net neutrality regulations. DSLReports adds: The incoming President chose Roslyn Layton, a visiting fellow at the broadband-industry-funded American Enterprise Institute, to help select the new FCC boss and guide the Trump administration on telecom policy. Layton joins Jeffrey Eisenach, a former Verizon consultant and vocal net neutrality critic, and Mark Jamison, a former Sprint lobbyist that has also fought tooth and nail against net neutrality; recently going so far as to argue he doesn't think telecom monopolies exist. Like Eisenach and Jamison, Layton has made a career out of fighting relentlessly against most of the FCC's more consumer-focused efforts, including net neutrality, consumer privacy rules, and increased competition in the residential broadband space. Back in October, Layton posted an article to the AEI blog proclaiming that the FCC's new privacy rules, which give consumers greater control over how their data is collected and sold, were somehow part of a "partisan endgame of corporate favoritism" that weren't necessary and only confused customers. Layton also has made it abundantly clear she supports zero rating, the practice of letting ISPs give their own (or high paying partners') content cap-exemption and therefore a competitive advantage in the market. She has similarly, again like Eisenach and Jamison, supported rolling back the FCC's classification of ISPs as common carriers under Title II, which would kill the existing net neutrality rules and greatly weaken the FCC's ability to protect consumers.

Comment Re:Seize it! (Score 2) 298

Yes and that would leave the government and tax payers still with 100% of the bill. There's really nothing they could go after, whether it's blood or money, that could repay the cost. It just is what it is. And that's the way it works. If you force the company to shoulder the costs alone, it will have to pass those on to its customers. Either way, people pay for it. Taking a company's profits sounds good, but in reality it just costs everyone else.

Personally I think just eating the total cost and spreading it among all the taxpayers is the most equitable. And when that's done of course, Tepco would be a publicly-owned company as you stated.

Comment Re:Narcos? (Score 1) 147

Somehow I doubt military drones or even commercial drones for that matter use 2.4 GHz, wide-band control signals. Heck a lot of hobbyists use other frequencies for command and control. 900 MHz for telemetry and command and control is extremely common. I've got a pair of 900 MHz 3DR radio modems on my desk right now. They operate on unlicensed frequency and have a range of about 1 km. Other countries use lower frequencies like the 400s, which have even longer range. And some guys are using long-range UHF systems for telemetry.

The toy drones all use 2.4 GHz though. Most are essentially a special WiFi access point. That's much of the current market, so maybe it's useful. I dunno.

Comment Re:antifraud (Score 1) 473

Now you're wanting proof of a negative, but that's not possible. So I guess in your mind it's a foregone conclusion. So debate is pretty useless at this point.

Anyway you are jumping to conclusions that aren't justified by what I wrote. Nowhere did I advocate electing the president by popular vote. Instead I was merely saying that concerns over widespread election fraud as an argument against a popular vote is weak, since there's no evidence of such widespread fraud.

Just tonight I read that President-Elect Trump claimed that there were "millions" of fraudulent votes in favor of Clinton. However he provided no evidence. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Mind boggles.

Comment Re:antifraud (Score 5, Insightful) 473

No voter fraud is not a bigger problem. In fact it's not a problem at exists. And this has been looked into multiple times under several different administrations. There have been isolated cases of local fraud, but nothing that has ever changed the outcome in any race.

And let's be clear, other more important (to local democracy) races like governorship are chosen on a strictly popular basis. And there is no, I repeat no, evidence of widespread voter fraud that would or has swung such races. There don't seem to be problems there and a governorship would be far easier for someone with ill intentions to arrive at than the presidency of the United States.

The biggest problem with American democracy is gerrymandering, purposely done by politicians, but also by people moving themselves in a tribal fashion. The majority of congressional seats are considered safe. People may claim to have a beef with a dysfunctional congress, but apparently they don't really.

Comment Re:Crop spraying by UAVs (drones) (Score 1) 278

But of course you mean spraying with chemicals. What is your "ecological bio substance" if not a chemical of some sort. Perhaps you mean naturally-occurring chemical instead of a synthetically-derived chemical. There is quite a bit of research going into using naturally-occurring chemicals as pesticides but the ironic thing is very few of them make it to market because they are simply too toxic compared to synthetic pesticides. And by toxic I mean poisonous to birds and mammals. Kind of interesting.

Comment Re:Fascinating to watch (Score 1) 403

I was disappointed with your link of a list of fake news stories from "mainstream media." I thought Breitbart had put together a list of recent falsehoods perpetrated by the media, but it's just a list of large, well-known fake stories that are quite (in)famous and garnered a great deal of scandal.

I'd be more impressed with a list of fake stories from the last year that were propagated by the so-called main-stream media. The reason everyone is talking about fake news now is because in the last few months many more fake memes than ever before have popped up on social media that got accepted as news by social media netizens. And some of these memes were picked up by web sites, some "mainstream" and others not. The problem absolutely is worse now than a year ago. There are now thousands of shrill voices saying anything they want, which Google and Facebook incorrectly repeated as news to their users. That's the problem, not the occasional giant made-up story that eventually gets widely discredited, as all the fake news stories in that list were.

The problem is further that extreme voices on both left and right (though from what I can see it's more prevalent on the right), though they are repudiated and discredited, are still believed fervently by many. Of course that's a bigger problem than fake news.

Comment Re:The answer is no, this is pointless (Score 1) 230

Okay that makes a lot of sense. I hadn't thought about the implications of things like UDP NAT traversal (and apparently neither did any of the companies involved in compromised IoT devices). It makes sense that devices that use unencrypted traffic, after using a third party to establish the connection, are vulnerable to third parties messing with those packets and executing an exploit.

This makes the answer to the Ask Slashdot question even more of a solid NO! A smart firewall just isn't going to help us here as it would prevent the device from being accessed at all, which defeats the purpose of the network-capable aspect of it. So clearly besides the other things I mentioned, connection encryption is very important. Also these companies have to take the security of their central servers very seriously as well. Compromise a company's central control system and you've now compromised millions of devices in one swoop.

Slashdot Top Deals

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein