Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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

Comment Re:Go Karts (Score 1) 124

SCCA Solo 2 has a class for karts, shifter karts to be exact, and those are some of the scariest rides on the planet. And they'll give you a helluva shaking especially if the Solo 2 venue is not entirely smooth. So it'll scare the piss out of you and shake the kidney stone out of you.

You can get full-up, "used very little" shifter kart setups pretty cheap as racing hardware goes - less than $10K in a lotta cases for absolutely everything you need - because people buy 'em, put 'em on the track, it scares hell out of them, and they immediately put it on the trailer and then onto ebay.

Comment Re:In other words (Score 1) 124

My kidney stone was fairly huge when discovered, and so did not attempt to pass itself, therefore no pain. My urologist went in with a laser and turned it into little grains of sand. OK, I bled for 2 weeks afterward, got used to seeing red pee, and still half-expect to see red pee now a year later. But it has healed. Still, it would be preferable to jump on a coaster, dislodge a sand-grain-sized kidney stone such as I passed AfTER my laser surgery, and 1) not have any pain and 2) not have any surgery and 3) not have any bleeding.

This is a real nice excuse for a 69 year old man such as myself to go ride rollercoasters with all the kids. Maybe I should get a season ticket...

Comment Re:But climate change is a myth!!! YODA GREASE (Score 1) 206

Locomotives run on diesel, so more CO2. Could they run on electricity? Maybe. We have 100's of thousands of miles of freight rail, and converting them all to grid electricity may or may not be possible. Ever notice that tunnels have only inches of clearance? Where do you put the extra wiring? And of course we still can't make the grid electricity with just solar and wind because if the wind stops blowing at night, we're screwed. Maybe solvable in the long run by a global high voltage DC power grid, but then do we want to rely on electricity from potential enemies like Russia just to get electricity from the Ukraine? We should, as a strategic plan, keep our electricity generated within our borders, but to do that, we have to be able to store solar and wind electricity. We can't yet do that.

Comment Re:But climate change is a myth!!! YODA GREASE (Score 1) 206

I do hope they get it worked out, but I was speaking of the present. According to the Wikipedia entry for Li-Air batteries, they still need significantly more development to be suitable for automotive uses. That may or may not ever happen. I hope it does. I would _love_ to have an electric car that will do everything my Subaru WRX will do now, including not breaking me up when I have to pay for it. Replacing the batteries rapidly would be a suitable substitute for having several-minute charging, so that's not a big issue in my book. It just has to work at the -30 degrees F that I've experienced in NW Ohio during the blizzard of '78 (My 77 Jeep started right up) and not commit suicide because of the temperature. Again, I _want_ an electric car, but I want to be able to set out for one of my favorite destinations, Tucson, Az. for events that I participate in there, and be able to doing in the same amount of time as I do with the WRX. That is about 3 1/2 days. I normally do 600 - 800 miles a day for the 2400 mile journey. Sitting around and waiting for a 45 minute charging of a battery would not work. Otherwise, electricity should be far more economical than gasoline in terms of $ per energy unit. I want that.

Comment Re:But climate change is a myth!!! YODA GREASE (Score 1) 206

OK, it was 87 - I thought that happened during my 2nd 1-lap, but it was my first. We were car 10, my buddy was in car 65 in a Yugo. We won, BTW. Anyway, I just misremembered the year.

And no, electrics can't do that, they''re not ever going to be doing that in ordinary lithium batteries. Those things need about a 10X reduction in price and a 2X - 3X gain in performance so they aren't so big and heavy and the cars don't have to be shaped like an airplane in order to cut the wind.

As for how much driving I need per day, today is a 40 mile round trip to town. On the days that I eat Pizza at Pizza Hut, it is a 30 mile round trip in the other direction. Yes, lotsa days I eat pizza and go to town both on the same day. Lotsa people drive 50 - 70 miles each way to work because they can only afford real estate down here in the boonies and the work is mostly in the big city, DC. The Tesla will do that, but it is around $100K.

I don't really think we're going to have electric vehicles 100% for a few decades. We can't just replace 90% of the cars with electric 'cuz then we'll lose the economy of scale with gasoline and more importantly diesel, and the the costs to move things by truck will have to contend with $10 - $20 / gallon diesel and American's lives STILL will be diminished with huge living cost increases.

Maybe someone will eventually stumble onto a better material than Lithium to store electricity. Maybe cold fusion wiil become real and every vehicle will have a reactor. But we either solve this 100%, so's we can leave the oil, gas, and coal in the ground, or we add to the CO2 in the air. Perhaps we can construct enough "scrubbers" to capture the CO2 out of the air and turn it back into carbon and oxygen, but that sounds expensive. But then at some point we _still_ run out of fossil fuels, even if it is 300 years in the future maybe, so we're still needing electricity and better batteries.

Comment Re:But climate change is a myth!!! YODA GREASE (Score 4, Insightful) 206

Actually, we don't. The most expensive cars are simply good for "in this region." The less expensive cars are only good for "around town." The batteries run down far too quickly, and take too long to recharge. No electric car today can perform as well as a 1989 Yugo. In 1989, some friends of mine drove a 1989 Yugo in the 1 Lap of America rally, 9000 miles in 10 days of circumnavigating the USA. No electric car could do that today. Then there's the trucks, locomotives, ships, boats, and airplanes. We absolutely do need to leave the oil in the ground, because the CO2 in the atmosphere is going to take 100,000 years to be scrubbed clean as it is. We're just adding to it every day.

And there's not a lot of hope in sight. People currently working the battery problem are not having a lot of success. See:

This scientists are currently coming up with just one answer on batteries, it is Lithium, and Lithium is inadequate. And we can't simply say that Lithium batteries are expensive and we'll just spend what it takes because that hammers the poor, driving those that are in poverty deeper into it and casting those that are just making it now into poverty. Poverty is more deadly than smoking, as it will take up to 10 years off your life. Smoking is only "good" for 7. Converting to batteries now would be a cruel, elitist thing to do.

We're either going to have to solve the battery problem, or solve some way to operate our vehicles on grid electricity done with nukes and geo. Wind and solar are too intermittent - the wind stops blowing at night and your iron lung becomes your coffin.... Not many iron lungs left, but there's the emergency room operation that goes dark, the backup generators fail to start, and the patient dies for lack of electricity in the ER. Dunno how to get grid electricity even to cars, let alone airplanes and boats in rivers and ships at sea.

Right now, we're really screwed. Will the brave scientists find the magic battery and save us like they did when they invented nuclear weapons and ended WW2? Stay tuned.

Comment Re:Lobbyists must be stopped (Score 5, Interesting) 195

You don't understand. Hams do this for enjoyment. If these restrictions ruin enjoyment, then they won't do ham radio at all. So, when the community does need emergency communications, there will be no one with a radio that is able to help. People aren't going to become hams just to spend money to be of help in an emergency, they spend the money to have an enjoyable hobby that has as a byproduct the ability to help the community when emergency communications is needed.

Comment Re:Cell Phone (Score 1) 195

His sign just might cause a potential burglar or home invader to instead choose your unsigned house to invade and do his rape/kill thing, which is what he's hoping to avoid for himself.

Otherwise, maybe he just wants the light to be able to walk out in the driveway at night and have a light come on so he doesn't trip over the bicycle that his kid just left laying in the driveway. My own security light is pole-mounted and not motion-sensitive, so its nice to go out and be able to walk around without having to take a flashlight to not fall over something unexpected.

Comment Re:Other than Brother... (Score 1) 387

Yes, I've given up on inkjets as well. I don't use color printing sometimes for months at a time, and the next time you go back to the inkjet, 1 or more of the cartridges is belly up from just sitting around. Have a color laser and it is OK for the sort of printing I do. I take a lot of photos, but rarely print them, so when I do... I'll just go to Walmart and use their printers. Have Lexmark B&W laser and Brother Color Laser. Both are not bothered by the HP sabotage of its users. Only sabotage of the moment is the stupid Microsoft popup that says that I have to fix my Microsoft account. No, I'm not going to fix my Microsoft account, I don't even WANT my Microsoft account, and don't know how to do the "fix" anyway...

Slashdot Top Deals

In every hierarchy the cream rises until it sours. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter