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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

ColaMan Re:Nuclear is obvious, an energy surplus is desire (431 comments)

So the entire worlds output of nuclear power is .000000372 ExaWatt Hours.

No, that's just Exawatts. You need to multiply it by the runtime per year, which you can comfortably call 8500 hours, allowing for downtime. So that makes it 3.16 ExaWatt-hours, which is just about a third of oil's output, but you can still have oil for mobile transport for quite a while and flip all the power plants to nuclear, that would certainly help,.

Oh, and perhaps you should consider smoking less crack. Or posting to Slashdot whilst under the effects of said crack. Or both.

about a week ago

Cryptocurrency Exchange Vircurex To Freeze Customer Accounts

ColaMan Re:Bad Analogy (357 comments)

The exchanges dying is good for bitcoin, because the bad ones will be replaced by more solid and upright entities.

You hope.

about a month ago

It Was the Worst Industrial Disaster In US History, and We Learned Nothing

ColaMan Re:Deepwater Horizon non sequitur (290 comments)

Ash = ash.
Coal ash is different from volcanic ash.

I used to do ash analysis on coal samples - coal ash is pushing 95% silica and alumina. The rest of the elemental analysis are trace elements, which can be made to sound super-scary when you scale up the quantities to thousands of tons. OMG! There's 100,000 pounds of this KILLER element released! Yes, but it's spread out evenly though 10 million tons of slurry over 100 square miles. You could probably strip-mine the top 5 feet of the same area in a city and find higher concentrations.

The biggest problem is not all the toxic waste, it's all the bloody inert sludge that's everywhere.

about 1 month ago

SpaceX Testing Landing Legs On Next Falcon9 Rocket

ColaMan Re:"Back to the launch site"? (73 comments)

It seems that the quantity of fuel required to fly an nearly empty 1st stage is negligable. That is, the amount that they normally leave behind as reserve in case of issues getting to orbit is enough for the 1st stage to land with - you basically just fall/parachute as far as you dare and then fire the engines at the last second to steady/cushion the landing.

about 2 months ago

Why Nissan Is Talking To Tesla Model S Owners

ColaMan Re:Odd (335 comments)

I suspect the issue is increased with the size of the touchscreen.
A 3.5" display is easy - all the controls are near an edge.
A 15" display is trickier - there's a lot of space in the middle that is difficult to accurately hit.

about 2 months ago

SpaceX Testing Landing Legs On Next Falcon9 Rocket

ColaMan Re:SpaceX (73 comments)

If I were SpaceX, the first thing I would have done is tossed an engine in the water, recovered it, and studied it. Landing legs and cushioned landing are sexy and the whole process is very impressive on paper to the less well educated space fanboy (I.E. 99% of them)... but engine refurbishment is the key to the whole process.

Well, the goal is to eventually land them on, er, land so that they don't get dunked. Then you end up with 9 engines and a first stage in fairly good nick with 5 minutes of flight time on it.

I don't know of their timeline, but I'd expect a couple of sucessful water landings, then it'll be time to land somewhere on terra firma. Or a big-ass barge, that might do the job.

about 2 months ago

Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

ColaMan Re:Rebooting (305 comments)

Have a read through the "technical notes on EEC IV MCU" document on this page

This was for a ecu used in the 80's to early 90's - it had things like the "limited output strategy" where basically if the CPU didn't get its act together in time to tickle the hardware watchdog, a very basic set of logic IC's take over which give you a fixed squirt of fuel for every engine revolution and static timing. Which would make your car run like a piece of crap, but still run (sorta).

about 2 months ago

BSD Real-Time Operating System NuttX Makes Its 100th Release: NuttX 6.33

ColaMan Re:Ambitious (64 comments)

Well it certainly looks better than CP/M.
You could always emulate your way out of trouble on the low end I suppose, but then you'd suffer a pretty hideous performance/memory hit.
But even the 'low end' is pushing 20MHz these days.......

about a month ago

Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

ColaMan Re:Umm safety? (305 comments)

Let's imagine you could buy a car that was $2000 cheaper without airbags - Would people buy them?

No need to imagine. People did. And people still do. I bought plenty of cars that didn't have airbags or abs or stability control or seatbelt pretensioners or emergency brake assist or power steering,even (the horror!).

But nowadays, people do give serious thought to their safety, which is why even the base model crapbox has ABS and airbags. If I had a choice between a car advertised as "5 STAR crash rating" and one without that was 5 grand cheaper, the one with the 5 stars gets my money every time. If one of those features saves me in an accident - or even better, helps me to avoid one - it's worth it.

about a month ago

Why Your Phone Gets OTA Updates But Your Car Doesn't

ColaMan Re:brick your car (305 comments)

, because of an unexpected register state, well, ooooooooooooooops.

oooooooooooops indeed, that'll be at least 50 milliseconds while the system watchdog reboots into previous firmware version.

These are not the people that do your phone updates. These are people that deal with real-time embedded systems that are safety-criticial. There will be something like a hardware watchdog set that is used for the next 100 times of vehicle operation that triggers the 'fail safe' option of returning to the previous firmware.

about a month ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

ColaMan Re:Fuck Beta (2219 comments)

Sorry dude, it's a low-UID joke.

Actually, it's more of a late 70's pop-culture reference... BUT YOU WEREN'T THERE, MAN!

about 2 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

ColaMan Re:Resurrecting Technocrat.net (2219 comments)

Some sort of Slashdot/Groklaw hybrid would be nice.....

I was disappointed the last time you shut down Technocrat, but come on Bruce, third time's the charm!

about 2 months ago

Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

ColaMan Re:Why? (2219 comments)

Bookmarks. I suggest you try them.

about 2 months ago

Controversial Execution In Ohio Uses New Lethal Drug Combination

ColaMan Re:If that wasn't crueal and unreasonable... (1038 comments)

The problem with this is the person who is being executed can't come back and give an account of their execution.

Well, not if they're completely dead. If they're only mostly dead, they can be revived and recount their experiences.
People have experienced pretty much all of the current methods of execution in other circumstances and have survived when given medical care. So yeah, you can ask them what it's like to be strangled / shot multiple times / gassed / shocked / etc and from what I've heard, there's not too many things that are actually free of some sort of suffering.

about 3 months ago

Searching the Internet For Evidence of Time Travelers

ColaMan Re:Time travel is not possible without (465 comments)

Depends on how your time machine works.
If it's a 'jump' or sudden discontinuity between one time and another, you're in trouble.

If it's a 'linear' style time machine (a-la H.G. Wells) and you're merely pulling the 'flow of time' lever from it's rest postion of "Forwards at 1x speed" to something like "Backwards at 200x speed"..... then you're much more likely to remain attached to whatever continent you happen to be in.

about 4 months ago

Power-Loss-Protected SSDs Tested: Only Intel S3500 Passes

ColaMan Re:Stop Bragging! (293 comments)

SSD's from certain companies were crap. Unfortunately you couldn't tell straight away (and I guess, they couldn't tell either, otherwise they wouldn't have shipped them).

about 4 months ago

Satanists Propose Monument At Oklahoma State Capitol Next To Ten Commandments

ColaMan Re:Fireworks in 3...2...1... (1251 comments)

I don't believe in any particular God, but I'm starting to like this new pope. Not because he's tied to a particular religion, but because he's visibly out there trying to do some good instead of smiling and waving from a balcony.

I know it takes a while to move up the ranks to Popehood, but maybe they should try and get some younger popes on the scene. Give them a bit more time to grow into the job and get some stuff done themselves before becoming a bedridden old man in charge of a world religion.

That's my view from the outside looking in anyway.

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Easy Wi-Fi-Enabled Tablet For My Dad?

ColaMan Not too much trouble. (370 comments)

1. Pick any android tablet.
2. Select "Font Size: Huge"

The interface is dumbed-down pretty well already because it's touch based.

(Yes, you could go an iPad I suppose. *rolls eyes* :-P)

about 4 months ago

Why Competing For Tenure Is Like Trying To Become a Drug Lord

ColaMan Re:So, Like any Tournament Model (168 comments)

Tenure is there so that you can go 'against the grain' of university higher-ups without fear of reprisals. It's to allow dissenting views to be held and debated.

It's similar to parliamentary privilege, where they can say whatever they want basically whilst talking in parliament.

about 5 months ago

Tesla Model S Has Bizarre 'Vampire-Like' Thirst For Electricity At Night

ColaMan Re:No big deal (424 comments)

and plugging in their power-hungry cars at roughly the same time every day

Into a circuit that should be running on an off-peak tariff.The power company can control them remotely.... which makes this not really that much of a hassle.

I wouldn't be suprised if they invent an 'electric vehicle' tariff that gives you enough charging time and them enough flexibility to switch it as needed. Cheaper for you, easier for them - everyone wins!

about 5 months ago


ColaMan hasn't submitted any stories.



Bring back JonKatz

ColaMan ColaMan writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Which one would you prefer? JonKatz or Roland Piquepaille?

Try for yourself - search for "roland" and "jonkatz" in the slashdot search. Read a few of their submissions.

Let's look at their general submission style:
Jon - Was into the culture-smacks-into-technology side of things. Did tend to sometimes distort (or completely mangle) the facts, but most stories seemed to cause some genuine discussion.

Roland - Seems to be the cut'n'paster of the century. Every story so far points to his website (Roland's Technology Trends) for "more info", which is normally a few paragraphs from another linked article, with filler such as "and as you can see from the next paragraph, it's very interesting".

Now, I wouldn't have a problem with this, but he sells advertising on his site. I can deal with google adwords (I suppose), but then I see a box on the side spouting:

Reach the tech crowd!
This blog focuses on new technologies and how they will affect our lives.

This is the place to reach all these technology-savvy readers and advertise your most innovative products or services.

So, Roland pretty much uses slashdot to drive people to his site. If all he did was link to the original site (the one his blog links to) in his slashdot submission I wouldn't mind. But linking back to your site to basically get your hits up? I don't like it. It feels wrong. If I want the latest technology trends, I look at gizmodo, or techdirt. I don't need people decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio at slashdot for their own gain. If his blog was full of insightful commentary and facts from several different places, all carefully put together to have some real value, then I wouldn't feel as cheated everytime I accidently click through.

To sum up? Three words:
Bring back JonKatz.

At least his submissions had some content.


Electric Cars, Thundersky batteries and such

ColaMan ColaMan writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Amongst all the other things I've been doing, I keep thinking about building an electric car. Battery technology is certainly heading in the right direction - a decent set of thundersky li-ion batteries are good for 12kWhr for a hundred and fifty kilos. 12kWhr, at an "average to crap" efficiency of 350Whr/mile gives 35 or so miles..... which is enough to get me to work and back every day on half a charge. It's a damn shame it'd cost me nearly six grand in batteries. That, and four or five thousand for a decent sized motor and controller. 12000 bucks is a whole lot of money to try and recoup in fuel savings.

But it *would* be cool. Maybe I'll scale down a bit and build an electric harley. That'd be a little more affordable. Then I can grow a beard and a pot belly, wear some black leather and tatts, and cruise silently up behind people and scare the bejeezus out of them. Oh, and I guess I'll have to have some skanky biker chicks too.

Me and my mid-life crisis, we're all set :-)


Haunted by the past

ColaMan ColaMan writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So, I get an email from my old boss from a few jobs (and years) back. The usual pleasantries, how's things , etc. Oh, and perhaps I could make another cutter speed sampling device? No-one there has any idea about how to make one, it seems.

Well, geez, I dunno. I mean, I'm flattered that he got in touch and all. But things went horribly wrong in that job after a while. Sure, the first few years were great. But then, there was this slow, inescapable slide downhill. I lost the work car. I ended up working 70 hour weeks sometimes. And then there was the very poor handling of two sexual harassment complaints.

I will point out that, for the record, both complainants when quizzed seperately by HR, did not want to take any action. I apologised to both of them a couple of days after each incident. And all parties were a little embarrassed by the whole thing, and were willing to just let it all go. It was my misunderstanding of the difference between "workplace acquaintance" and "friend" that got me in the awkward position. Trying to be friendly, hell, I got it wrong. I'm stuck with being socially retarded, I guess.

Looking at it now, I suppose that the HR manager was just lousy at being diplomatic. But the implications and conclusions that she made about the two complaints were quite shattering. The fact that it was three months after the second incident didn't help. So much for water under the bridge and all that. I suppose that was the end of the line for me. A few months after that, I realised that I didn't want to be there anymore and my heart just wasn't in it. Oh, it was all sad farewells and all that, but I was glad to go.

And now here I am, two years after I left. Trying to decide whether to help out a company that caused possibly one of the more stressful events in my life. There's the crux of the matter though. Individually I'd help any one of them, it's the dilbert-esque Company that I'd rather just say "Fuck you" to.

My thoughts so far are to :
(a) help them out, but to screw the Company for every last cent I can.
(b) help them out, out of the kindness of my heart, and a nominal consulting fee.
(c) tell them to go get fucked.

Let's face it, my life hasn't been ruined. Leaving that job was probably one of the best decisions I made - I've now got a job with twice the pay and half the hours and I enjoy it. But there's still a heap of bad memories there. I've re-read my work diary from around that period, and I'm obviously nowhere near as upset about it as I was then. Obviously I still haven't let go of it though.

I'm leaning for (b) - maybe I'll learn to let go and get some good Karma for the next life.


What The?

ColaMan ColaMan writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I posted something in reply to someone today about the captcha required for posting, and I thought it was rather good. An edited version follows :

From "The CmdrTaco unabridged SlashDot preachings" (second edition, p476):

"Those with Karma of 'Excellent' status can post without the use of the captcha - for yea, they have proved their faith, and suffered many hardships, and trials, and aggravations, and duplicate articles, bearing them all with rare good humour, and much insightful posting, with many a witty comment. And lo! Such is their wisdom that the Karma Bonus, that most hallowed of rewards, is bestowed upon them, so that their words are writ large above the mundane postings, and can continue to enrich and inspire even the lowliest Coward. Those who possess Excellent Karma truly have been justly rewarded, and may they forever bask in the glory of that which is the New Slashdot.

For certainly, it is a New Slashdot - The crapflooding hath been lowered a significant amount, and for this, there was much rejoicing. And great was the wailing and the gnashing of teeth of the crapflooders, for they were forced to take their childlike pursuits elsewhere, leaving the hallowed moderators free to perform their sacred duty without the incessant selection of the -1, troll."

Hmm. Perhaps I should redo the whole FAQ in a King-James style.

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