×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

Dereck1701 Real world testing? (188 comments)

I wonder if they did any real world testing, as in a static solar panel and a complete day average. Somehow I would imagine these would make the solar panels great, during a narrow window of the day where the sun is directly overhead. I can't shake the feeling however that this kind of patterning would have a detrimental effect on indirect exposure. Not that it is a major issue, sun tracking systems are becoming more prevalent, but it may be an issue.

2 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

Dereck1701 Re: Storage (505 comments)

"Um, easement!"

That is far from certain, for modern installs they tend to be pretty good about getting one and making sure they stay in it. But in the past at a bare minimum they didn't maintain proper records of when they did get an easements, and in some cases for older lines an easement was never procured or they were but the line wasn't put on the easement. So it is a legal quagmire that most utilities don't like to get into so they generally get permission, and if they can't get permission THEN they start digging for legal justification.

2 days ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

Dereck1701 My experience (505 comments)

We recently (as in the day before yesterday) had some high winds tear through our area causing power at my house to go out twice, each stint lasting about 6 hours. The cause in both cases?, a single quarter mile stretch where a major power line goes through a wooded wetland area. While the power companies in our area are getting a lot better, for about the past year there have been over a dozen permanently stationed tree trimming trucks trimming along power lines, even so there are still areas that have yet to cleared. That is a constant battle, made worse by some homeowners/areas which seem to freak out if the power companies so much as clip a few branches. So at least in my experience most of the cause is mother nature combined with a lack of "maintenance" (not to the lines, but trees). Beyond that my power hasn't went out once for nearly a year, not bad uptime for residential.

2 days ago
top

Elon Musk Talks "X-Wing" Fins For Reusable Rockets, Seafaring Spaceport Drones

Dereck1701 Re:Advantage of x-wings over normal fins? (96 comments)

"No, the 'x wings' are not passive"
Neat, never seen airbrakes used in such a way (the article only showed a picture). But I still think my previous statement is not too far off the mark. They would be partially extended after "reentry" to help slow the stage, and perhaps used to help steer the stage towards the landing pad. Then as seen in the video they would be used to help control orientation to the pad and aid in deceleration. Standard fins wouldn't be able to do all of these at once and would be susceptible to the unexpected forces I mentioned.

4 days ago
top

Elon Musk Talks "X-Wing" Fins For Reusable Rockets, Seafaring Spaceport Drones

Dereck1701 Re:Advantage of x-wings over normal fins? (96 comments)

(Also) Not a aerospace engineer, but steerable fins often require some pretty complex navigation hardware/software, they can often be subject to some unexpected aerodynamic forces (stall, angle of attack, flow separation, etc). A few "tennis-racket shaped x-wings" are a nearly foolproof method of slowing and righting a underpowered cylindrical body to a desired orientation. For bombs that would be nose down, for a reusable VTVL rocket that would be rockets down so the "tennis-rackets" would be placed near the top of the segment.

4 days ago
top

Lessons Learned From Google's Green Energy Bust

Dereck1701 Re:Yet (222 comments)

"Most of our power usage in our house is at night"

Maybe for you specifically but for the grid in general power usage is usually highest during the day. This is especially obvious during the summer when the use of air conditioners requires a number of peak power plants to keep he grid from browning out. Most solar systems are grid tie, which do not require batteries, nearly all solar systems require inverters as homes use AC power and solar panels produce only DC power. Its not a perfect situation but it does lessen the need for expensive to run peak power plants.

about a week ago
top

Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

Dereck1701 Re:Split last-mile from ISP (135 comments)

I don't know about where you live but in my area the public transportation infrastructure managers (City Works, County Road Commissions and State Transportation) are under quite a bit of fire for mismanagement, waste and failing infrastructure. They recently blew well over $300k to extend a turn lane a few hundred feet that no one seems to see as necessary. A bridge replacement (which probably only requires a culvert anyways) was delayed to do an idiotic study on rerouting a minor creek, they decided it wasn't "necessary" probably resulting in tens of thousands of dollars at a minimum in additional cost due to a year delay for the study. There definitely needs to be some kind of change to the last mile communications infrastructure, but I'm quite certain that simply turning it over to the government won't solve the problem and may well create others.

about two weeks ago
top

Former Police Officer Indicted For Teaching How To Pass a Polygraph Test

Dereck1701 But.... (328 comments)

But I thought the polygraph was infallible, they've been saying for years that an "well trained and experienced" polygraph technician can always spot a lie. Sounds like they aren't quite a confident as the decades of propa .... I mean "public service announcements" have portrayed.

about two weeks ago
top

Google's Lease of NASA Airfield Criticized By Consumer Group

Dereck1701 Who? (138 comments)

Who are these nuts, their one complaint seems to be that Google was purchasing fuel from a government airfield while flying their planes out of it. They talk about "Up To" $5.3 million without offering any context or pointing out how they arrived at that number. Did Google even know it was improper? Does this have something to do with the idiotic aviation fuel tax which taxes private aircraft who use the traffic control system minimally (where the money is supposed to go) while giving the commercial airline industry a free ride despite their heavy reliance on the system?

about two weeks ago
top

Hacker Builds a Dark Net Version of the FBI Tip Form

Dereck1701 Antithetical (41 comments)

Anonymity is complete antithetical to what the the FBI and most other "law enforcement" agencies want, to know everything about everybody for all time so that their jobs are easier. At the same time they want the general public to know next to nothing about their activities beyond that they are "working for the common good/have everything under control". This is of course no way to run a free society and as such there are rules (or there are at least supposed to be) limiting their behavior. I'm not sure anonymous tips are compatible with a free society, they encourage flagrant abuses, such as officers submitting their own tips to attempt an end run around the fourth amendment and people with axes to grind submitting false/misleading tips against those whom they dislike.

about two weeks ago
top

Police Body Cam Privacy Exploitation

Dereck1701 Overall not such a bad trade off (301 comments)

While creating some kind of limiting factor would be pertinent (by officer, by location/time, cost limits ($5 for 1 hour, $500 for two hours) etc), even if this is the price of keeping officers from stepping over the line it would be well worth paying as long as there are SEVERE penalties for officers destroying body cam footage of their own wrongdoing. Police may see people at their worst but their interactions with any one person are (at least for the average person) a very small privacy imposition compared to an invaluable tool for preventing the currently unchecked abuses in law enforcement. Remember this kind of footage has been paraded over television for more than a decade (COPS anyone) and there hasn't been much in the way of complaints. Simply censor any names/faces/location information from requests unless some kind of court order is acquired for any footage that is released.

about two weeks ago
top

NASA Pondering $1.5 Million Stratospheric Airship Competition

Dereck1701 Re:Not sure of the cost benefit of this (47 comments)

As long as your balloon is unpowered I'm sure you're right, I think I've seen where unpowered lighter than air craft have wide latitude to function (mostly for the purposes of grandfathering in weather & hot air balloons). Put ANY kind of propulsion on it and I think things change very quickly. I know there was an individual a while ago trying to create kind of a personal heavier than air blimp (a kind of flying car) in the US and the FAA wouldn't give him any clearances so he was testing it out at/near ground level in the hopes of persuading them to do so. And with the current restrictions on "drones" I believe it does become virtually impossible (NO commercial use, maybe you could argue that NASA prize money wasn't commercial though).

about three weeks ago
top

In this year's US mid-term elections ...

Dereck1701 "Split Ticket" (551 comments)

It annoys me every year that the first thing that the person handing me my ballot points out that I can "you can vote Republican or Democrat...... or you can go split ticket". Maybe its just me but every-time they say that I feel like what they're really saying is something analogous to "you can eat pork or chicken, or would you like ground up dalmatian puppies".

about three weeks ago
top

Ferguson No-Fly Zone Revealed As Anti-Media Tactic

Dereck1701 Legal requirements (265 comments)

I wonder what the legal requirements for filing these restrictions are, I know most similar documents require those filing them attest to the real reason for the request under penalty of perjury. If that's the case for these documents then someone effectively committed a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Also a quick browse of the relevant advisories in regards to Temporary Flight Restrictions does not suggest there is any allowance for "because we don't want the media to see", National security (specifically mentioning the DOD), High ranking politicians movements, Spacecraft launches, major sporting events, hijacking incidents & wildfires, but nothing about the press so I doubt that was the reason put down on the forms.

http://www.faa.gov/documentLib...

about three weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

Dereck1701 Re:do you even notice? (613 comments)

You might want to be a bit careful about those "automatic" adjustments in your devices time/dst/zone settings. I recently went to a conference for work and for some reason my phone "auto adjusted" to the neighboring timezone, over a hundred miles away. Luckily I noticed the discrepancy between my phone and a clock in the motel room otherwise I would have been an hour late to my first meeting.

about three weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

Dereck1701 Only possible justification (613 comments)

The only possible justification for DST in modern times might be it being more convenient/safer for grade/middle/high school students to get to school in the morning. But at a cost likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars to prevent a few additional injuries & an occasional death or two there are FAR more worthwhile places where we cold be expending the resources (extra curricular activities, improved nutrition, etc) to do much more good.

about three weeks ago
top

Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch

Dereck1701 Re:Horrible track record (443 comments)

The minotaur series was basically a bunch of mothballed US ICBM & rocket hardware bolted together. Almost half of the launches were suborbital, and those that weren't were quite small for satellites, most less than half the weight of the Mars Science Lab rover. I suppose its nice that they're using up the old military stocks, but there's a big difference between using old military hardware that cost massive amounts of money to develop and was created with the major safety margins required for carrying nuclear warheads and building your own rocket system.

about a month ago
top

Ken Ham's Ark Torpedoed With Charges of Religious Discrimination

Dereck1701 Re:Existence of this... (451 comments)

Don't you know? Those dimensions were purposely misstated to test the faith of believers, like dinosaur bones, the myth of a spherical Earth & the apparent vastness of our universe when it is actually only a few hundred thousand miles across and centered around us. /sarcasm

about a month ago
top

Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

Dereck1701 I like automation, sometimes (720 comments)

I hate to say it, but there are some cases where I will seek out a machine over a human employee. For example recently I discovered the wonders of my banks new(ish) ATMs, I can withdraw a little running around money, deposit checks, and check my balance often in 3 minutes or less. The last few times I've went into the office for assistance its taken 15 to 30 minutes for the same activities. Its not really the fault of the employees, they seem to try to move people through as quickly as possible. Its the customers that seem to gravitate towards bank offices, people who have troubles and are seeking to make it someone elses problem as well, older folks who long for a little conversation & businesses with stacks of transactions all who seem to take up residence at a tellers window until every permutation of their situation is explored. Those same people seem to (at least for the most part) avoid a machine because they know they won't get anywhere with it.

about a month ago
top

CHP Officers Steal, Forward Nude Pictures From Arrestee Smartphones

Dereck1701 A decade or so should do (275 comments)

Weren't some of those celebrities who had their private cloud accounts hacked with saucy photos claiming that it was a form of rape, others have been convicted and sentenced to a decade in prison for similar acts. Sounds like that, or more, is the least that should be expected for these officers. Sadly I would bet that they'll claim firing them is more than enough "punishment". Wasn't that BART police officer who shot an unarmed, handcuffed, restrained individual in the back out on the streets in less than a year? And after he got our he had the gall to even ask for his job back.

about a month ago

Submissions

Journals

Dereck1701 has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?