top Cadillac Unveils Pricier Alternative To Tesla Model S
I'm pretty annoyed at people trying to compare the ELR or the Volt to a Tesla, or Leaf, or any other pure electric. The biggest reason why I wouldn't buy a Tesla is because total electrics are still impractical. If you look on the Tesla website, you'll see that I'm basically limited to a 300mile radius to where I live. This is because at 300 miles, it'll take 4:43 to charge my 85kw battery with the supercharger. Bump that down to a 240v outlet, and its a 9:26 charge. And thats after spending nearly 95k for the car, because the 70k version only goes about 200miles. There are some tricks to get 80% 'fairly quick', but you're still adding hours onto each segment of a roadtrip.
Which is where the volt comes in. For -most- people, they only need 30-50miles a day in their car. BUT, if you want to take a road-trip just 5 hours away, you're going to want a way to get there without spending 4 hours charging. And at $299/mo lease, its cost isn't much different than some nicer compacts of its class, and for everyday driving you spend nothing on fuel.
I'm -my- use case, and driving style (where I go) -- I think given the choice of a Tesla or ELR, I probably would go with the ELR. At least then I wouldn't have to buy another car so I could goto the beach, out camping where there is no power, or any of the other places the 'supercharger' grid hasn't made it yet. But in reality, the volt is nice on its own, I don't have any desire to pay another 35k to have a neat badge and a blocky-looking car. Don't get me wrong, I think the Tesla is a nice car, but without the gas generator, its a non-starter for me. Now put a little Diesel TDI generator in there, and I'd buy a Tesla in a heartbeat!
top Can GM Challenge Tesla With a Long-Range Electric Car?
Huh? The volt is directly connected via two electric motors, one on each front wheel. The engine has no direct connection to the wheels, only to the motors. When the battery runs below a certain threshold (out of electricity but not really), the gas engine pops on. Whenever the generator pushes the batteries back over the threshold, it turns off. This happens when you roll to a stop, go down a steep hill, etc. But the gas engine will come on whenever its below that threshold, even if you're going 10mph (if you're going up hill)
A new feature in 2013 is the hold button, so you can hold the battery at a certain level by turning on the engine. This is really useful when you want to go distances and save your battery power for less efficient times (like going slow through town)
Source - Volt owners manual, also I'm a owner of a volt. Best car ever owned (leased).
top Why Earth Hour Is a Waste of Time and Energy
The point of Earth Hour is public awareness, to get people talking, thinking, discussing solutions.
But it doesn't even do that! At best, a few 'regular people' -might- think about the environment for a few days (or hours), akin to the hype around St. Patty's day this year. But come the day after, those people will forget all about it. And at worst, it just gives environmentalists more to be smug about, sniffing their own asses thinking they are making a difference, when in fact they aren't. We're on hydro-electric here. Our CO2 doesn't change a lick if we turn out our lights in the PNW.
No, Earth Hour is simply a fundraising opportunity for the WWF and other environmental organizations. Its mainly about money, and has little to do about making real change. Similar to politicians and political parties, environmental organizations need to look like they're fixing problems, otherwise they won't make money, or a living. I'd go as far as to say many environmental organizations are also anti-technology (nuclear, GMOs, etc), shooting themselves in the environmental foot they want to fix. about a year and a half ago
top Apple Faces Lawsuit For Retina MacBook Pro 'Ghosting' Issue
As soon as I received my MBPr I started testing to see if it had ghosting issues and if it was an LG screen. Sure enough, both were true. I returned it, and referenced the specific part number 661-7171 (that was the samsung screen) to replace it with. My local apple rep obliged and I had a nice new Samsung screen. Re-ran the stress test and it cleared.
That was 6 months ago, haven't seen a ghosting issue since.
about a year and a half ago
top Tesla Motors Sued By Car Dealers
Definition of Motor vehicle (Per TFA):
“Motor vehicle”, any motor driven vehicle or house trailer required to be registered under chapter 90 regardless of curb weight or required to be registered under sections 20 to 35, inclusive, of chapter 90B having a curb weight of not more than 1,000 pounds, or a truck camper.
Sure sounds like Tesla falls under that model to me!
top Amazon EBS Failure Brings Down Reddit, Imgur, Others
turntable.fm is also down -- I guess the NYC tech startup community is going crazy right now. Time to diversify!
top Ask Slashdot: Best Use For an Old Smartphone?
I use old phones over wifi to control my XBMC media boxes. When I build my new house in a few years, I'll probably incorporate them into home automation since I'll have around 10 lying around. Most phones in airplane mode with wifi will last at least a week, and it lets me have chargers around the house to keep them (or my current phone) plugged in most of the time.
top Wil Wheaton: BitTorrent Isn't Only For Piracy
Its also how Blizzard distributes its games. Its nothing new, and quite effective.
top Replacing the World's Largest IMAX Screen
No, in the interview he talked about some of the issues regarding digital, and that it basically sucks right now (for IMAX quality at least). He likes the current film, and it doesn't look like they will be changing anytime soon.
top Is Verizon Breaking FCC Regulations With Locked Bootloaders?
I have the HTC Thunderbolt, unlocked running BAMF. According to the verizon rep, the bootloader lockdown was at the request of HTC. Additionally, the warranty is handled by the manufacturer, and would be void by them, not verizon. He told me that I could return the phone, and verizon only does some cursory testing to see if it turns on, functions, etc. The fact it was rooted wouldn't be detected until handed to HTC.
Now this is all assuming Verizon isn't lying to me. It could very well be all false. But it seems like they're trying to pin the fault on locked down phones to the manufacturer, NOT themselves. Aren't there some Android phones, made by Verizon that are unlocked?
top Fond Memories of Nerd Camp
I was one of those lucky high school tech nerds that attended
Teen Tech Fest 2000 sponsored by AcePlanet and Microsoft. It was its first and last year, since AcePlanet went belly up like many other startups of the time. AcePlanet was going to do annual computer-themed summer camps for kids, but I guess there wasn't enough money in it.
Already being already an F/OSS person, it was a very fun camp. Despite being Microsoft sponsored (and getting a free copy of VS6 and tour of the MS campus), many of the kids there were very open source users and programmers. Many to this day I still talk to and are in tech related industries, including a few working at Google and Intel.
top Do Geeks Make Better Adults?
geeks, the group who will argue for logic and facts instead of warm fuzzy articles to make them feel better
top New Device Puts SSD In a DIMM Slot
Actually I find this potentially quite cool. Not as much for the power source, but the size. Since most mATX boards don't come with mini PCIe slots, if you want to use an SSD drive you need a 2.5" drive or a PCIe card with a mini-slot on it. Both are much larger than a DIMM option.
And with 50gb, this would be very useful in a media box streaming from a server. Now only if the price could come down.
top Ham Radio Still Growing In the iStuff Age
My 4x4 group (hot4x4.ca) uses VHF almost exclusively due to its reach above and beyond CB. Cell phones usually don't work where we travel either. Depending on the terrain, we can reach over 75kms from each other on just the 2m band w/o a repeater. This only requires a technician (basic) license as well.
Add in the APRS + Garmin GPS, and your rig turns into a mobile GPS transmitter. We then can track each other, which makes it really easy to find each other. APRS also allows us to send text messages via a p2p network of Ham Radios. Example: we had guys in Reno who we needed to contact because we broke a part on the Rubicon. Couldn't reach them via radio, but with APRS, our txt msgs could be relayed.
None of this requires anything but the first class license. Its an awesome hobby and there is a lot you can do with it, in addition to Geek cred and ecomm or search/rescue.
top $25,000 of Communications Gear In a $500 Car
Oh its no joke. You really haven't been to an Amateur Radio meetup before...
Hams make the Slashdot community look normal!
top Magento Beginner's Guide
Thats just false.
If you're a small company selling some products, ubercart and drupal is for you. You can see a good list of sites using it now.
the ONLY time I'd recommend someone spending money to develop their own ecommerce system is if they have something extremely customized--$million+ sites... NewEgg for example... and even then, the amount of money and time to make a 'custom' cart system could be cut by spending that time on extending the drupal and ubercart frameworks.
top Magento Beginner's Guide
A big piece missing from Magento is the content management portion. There has been talk about integrating Magento as a third party add-on to drupal, but its so different in how it handles content, that it doesn't really work.
A decent alternative is Ubercart and Drupal. Ubercart, while not the best example of -good- drupal code, it is getting better, and d7uc is planning on bringing much of the code to drupal standards. One big plus about ubercart is its extensibility. Despite it being a bloated shopping system (built for a mom-and-pop shop, similar to magento), it is easy to override functions and get it to do what you want. Ubercart is also used extensively on major websites, almost everything that uses drupal 6 and ecommerce.
In the dark days of ubercart, or when I'm banging my head on a problem that cannot be easily solved with it, I've looked to magento, but then came running back.
top Drupal 6 Social Networking
As opposed to building your own website, or using RoR/Plone to build a site, which cannot be easily checked for security updates? no thanks.
Drupal has a dedicated security team which is proactive on maintaining secure code. One reason the white house gave for using drupal is because of its diligence to security.
Drupal also encourages and has best practices that -most- modules (especially the most popular ones) will weed out the most obvious security issues such as input sanitization, SQL injection, etc. While its not perfect, its -much- more secure than your own implementation.
When your code is exposed to the web, you always must be on watch. No code is perfectly secure, and to think otherwise is naive.
top Drupal 6 Social Networking
Acquia is not a fork, its a distribution of drupal core + the most popular contrib modules
Drupal core can be thought similar to the Linux Kernel, whereas modules represent the packages that make up a distribution of drupal.
Mollom and TinyMCE work great together
With ultimate flexibility comes an interesting learning curve. But thats what documentation is for.
Wonder if a module is used in drupal? you can look at its usage statistics. Want to do something in drupal? if you google it, usually someone else has already done it and in many cases have a screencast to go along with it.
"How will Acquia keep up with the rapid evolution of Drupal core and modules?"
This question addresses the upgrade path for a site. Like linux (or windows), modules are constantly evolving. Its hard for corporate customers to know if the new version will break things. By using a distribution like Acquia drupal, they do the testing to make sure everything works together.
From your comments, it sounds like your experience with drupal is somewhat new. Spend some time on IRC, going to drupal meetups, drupalcon, or take a lullabot course.
top Drupal 6 Social Networking
While some of your points (forum module) are valid, the part of needing PHP or that $$$$ is better spent on a closed source alternative is BS.
If you want to create a simple family website, you can goto Acquia.com, download acquia drupal, which has all the modules you need for a simple family site, blog, image site, etc. There are tons of howtos, videos, etc that will teach you how to create the site without touching one line of code.
Most large shops are going drupal because they'd rather spend their $$$$ on developing custom cool things for the site instead of spending it on the closed-source CMS. And, once the site is deployed, the shop has a very large community to draw from for upgrades, changes, bug fixes, etc. They can even goto a different dev team who speaks drupal and not be tied into the company that originally built the site.
The White House, Sony, Lifetime, The Onion, Popular Science, Harvard, etc have PLENTY of money and all choose to use Drupal.
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