×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

FatLittleMonkey Re:Where is your model S competitor... (338 comments)

If you want style you buy the S class. The B class is supposed to be an affordable econobox.

"The price in Germany will be 416,500 euros (US$ 535,869)" - Gizmag

The only car they showed which looks remotely decent was the prototype of a half-million dollar AMG supercar. No wonder they're worried.

yesterday
top

Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

FatLittleMonkey Re:Myopic viewpoint (338 comments)

Some of this might be offset by local generation like solar, but the charge pattern of an commuter EV (spend the day away from home, charge at night) doesn't lend itself to solar very well. Our current grid is sized for our current load,

The grid is sized for peak daytime usage. And, as you say, peak-recharge is at night. So the grid already has significant spare capacity to absorb an early rush to electric. That gives providers plenty of warning, and a large margin of error, to plan their upgrades. It also, by definition, increases their revenue.

yesterday
top

Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

FatLittleMonkey Imaginary crisis is imaginary (338 comments)

We don't have enough electricity, nor the infrastructure to distribute it, if EVs were to suddenly become the norm

If the US could afford to suddenly convert the entire vehicle fleet to Tesla's (or equivalent), it could probably also afford to replace the grid too.

However, if the US gradually upgrades its vehicle fleet over time, as happens in the real world, then demand on the grid would rise slowly and predictably, allowing infrastructure planners to plan out their upgrades for the next couple of decades.

And since the majority of plug-in BEV's will be charging at night, [**] it will be some years before the night-time demand merely equalled the daytime peak that the grid is already capable of delivering. The income generated by this increase in night-time demand, which comes almost free to the network providers, will easily fund the first few rounds of grid-upgrades. (Unless everyone is stupid. Which is admittedly an option when it comes to essential US infrastructure.)

[** daytime charging would mostly be through "supercharge" stations, which will have their own higher capacity lines from suppliers, as most commercial heavy electric users do.]

yesterday
top

I expect to retire ...

FatLittleMonkey Re:Age is a problem (226 comments)

Forgot to add:

We simply haven't budgeted enough for that sort of retirement

That's a myth too. The crafters of the US pension trust fund weren't stupid. They built fairly conservative actuarial assumptions into the system, and we haven't exceeded their assumptions. (IIRC, the rate of actual lifespan increase is below their assumption.)

What they didn't allow for was the zeroing of growth of median wages, combined with the cap on contributions from the wealthy. They assumed a distribution of income fairly similar to when they created the modern system, or that we'd be smart enough to lift the cap to compensate.

Raising the pension (and Medicare) qualification age is unnecessary and immoral.

yesterday
top

I expect to retire ...

FatLittleMonkey Re:Age is a problem (226 comments)

The benefits of longevity is concentrated on those wealthy enough not to need a pension. People who do manual labour do not have a longer healthy-lifespan. Therefore they either die, or are too broken to work.

The idea of able-bodied pensioners jaunting around spending their children's inheritance is a myth, such a lifestyle is limited only to those wealthy enough not to quality for pensions; and thus not subject to increased pension qualification ages anyway.

The "entitlements" bullshit is peddled by the very rich people who robbed the kitty, in order to blame the victims of their avarice. It is not reflected in actual numbers.

yesterday
top

I expect to retire ...

FatLittleMonkey Re:Frist pots (226 comments)

Shouldn't things be getting better? Isn't that what your parents and grandparents were working for? So that their kids and grandkids didn't have to work 60 hour weeks until the day they died?

If not, then what the fuck has it all been for? "Growth" and "development"? If not to make things better?

yesterday
top

NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin of Life

FatLittleMonkey Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (105 comments)

why not grant this to a theoretical god, too?

Because the god adds nothing to the explanation. Hence Occam's razor. Do not multiply entities unnecessarily.

yesterday
top

NASA To Send SpaceX Resupply Capsule To ISS Despite Technical Problems

FatLittleMonkey Re:How are these related? (71 comments)

Not sure what's meant by "the railcar of the robot arm,"

This.
Which became this.
Down the length of this.

4 days ago
top

NASA To Send SpaceX Resupply Capsule To ISS Despite Technical Problems

FatLittleMonkey Re:Not allowed to play with Russia (71 comments)

Somebody remind me - why did we stop funding shuttle missions before getting a replacement technology in place?

Because NASA's primary contractors couldn't design a simple light-weight Soyuz-like capsule to go on Atlas V for less than a couple of billion dollars and 4 years development.

And they couldn't design Version 2 of the Shuttle without turning it into a ridiculous beyond-the-bleeding-edge SSTO wank-fantasy (NASP/VentureStar/DeltaClipper...) Every time NASA got permission/funding to develop a Shuttle replacement, they screwed it up. Over the last 30 years, they lost so much engineering experience, they couldn't even design a capsule or mini-spaceplane to service the ISS.

Cancelling the shuttle outright was meant to force them to "focus" on a practical solution.

Instead, NASA came up with Constellation...

4 days ago
top

NASA To Send SpaceX Resupply Capsule To ISS Despite Technical Problems

FatLittleMonkey Re:Not allowed to play with Russia (71 comments)

Somebody remind me - why did we stop funding shuttle missions before getting a replacement technology in place?

It was a catch-22 situation, philosophically Democrats hate the

What do the Democrats have to do with cancellation of the shuttle?

The program was cancelled under Bush; NASA stopped ordering parts, production was shut down. And Bush supported the Constellation abomination, even though it went completely against his own plan's (VSE's) guiding principles, drastically delayed any shuttle replacement, was inherently unsafe, and... argh... Anyway, Obama added an extra shuttle flight to extend the program, using up the last reserves of parts, and tried to end Constellation and redirect NASA towards commercial HSF.

I don't think Obama has any interest in space flight, he probably considers it a waste, and certainly the Democrats in the Senate created the SLS-zombie out of the rotten corpse of Constellation; but the Dems had nothing to do with cancelling the shuttle.

4 days ago
top

Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

FatLittleMonkey Re:Isn't the point of going to the moon... (312 comments)

refueling on the moon with fuel manufactured on the moon reduces the payload you need to boost off Earth considerably.
[...] if the reaction mass comes from the moon, instead of Earth, the savings can be considerable.

It's not just launch payload, it's cost. SpaceX is pre-selling FH launches at $125m each. Even if it cost $200m to launch 50 tonnes to LEO, it only benefits you to have a lunar fuel production facility if the cost of operating the facility works out at less than $4m/tonne of fuel. So, for example, if it cost you $1b/yr to maintain the lunar facility (which is optimistic), then you'd need to be supplying 250 tonnes of fuel to Mars missions every year to justify its existence. That seems unlikely.

[Actually more than 250 tonnes, to cover the delta-v loss.]

However, IMO, this is all part of the same mindset that infests most of what NASA does. The idea of picking a destination (Moon/Mars/space-station) as an Apollo-style "goal" or "vision", (even if you intend to build a long-term "base"). The goal of the space program should be to create a commercial eco-system of overlapping capabilities. Other than some unmanned science missions, NASA shouldn't have a "space program", especially a "manned space program". It should have an enabling-technology research program.

4 days ago
top

Pluto May Have Deep Seas and Ancient Tectonic Faults

FatLittleMonkey Re:It's a Planet (47 comments)

I, for one, am not wedded to nine planets. Or eight. Or fourteen, for that matter....

Fair enough. My mistake. Most people who whine about Pluto in the terms you used want to go back to 9 planets, and only 9, because "tradition".

I'd prefer to create a, admittedly still arbitrary, broad definition of planet as "any natural object that is above [a certain size**], and is not a star or stellar remnant." So brown dwarves, but not white. The Moon is a planet, as is Titan and the Galilean moons. Pluto is a planet, but so is Charon. And Ceres - as well as hundreds, possibly thousands of KBO/Oort-objects. Plus exo-planets, free-flying planets, etc.

People could then create official and ad-hoc sub-categories of these "planets". "Major moons". "Major Planets/Dwarf Planets". "Exo-Planets". And, for the whiners, "The Traditional Planets", ie, the magic 9.

[** "a certain size". I don't really care what that size is, whatever is useful to astronomers/planetologists. Anything smaller would be an "asteroid" (including small moons), down to another arbitrary limit where they become "meteoroids" (rocks and rubble), down to yet another arbitrary limit where they become "dust".]

4 days ago
top

Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

FatLittleMonkey Re:Russia (312 comments)

Yes it was a coup d'etat. A coup does not have to be a military one. Every illegal usurpation of the government is a coup.

If you are going to quote wikipedia, then quote it:

"A coup d'état typically [...] consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder." The armed forces, whether military or paramilitary, can be a defining factor of a coup d'état."

A coup d'etat comes from within. It refers to a specific type of overthrow, it is not just a generic term for an overthrow. (Usually military overthrowing the civilian government. But could also be a political deputy overthrowing the President, or a rebellion by minsters, etc. It does not, however, ever refer to a popular uprising coming from outside the existing structure.)

5 days ago
top

Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

FatLittleMonkey Re:Russia (312 comments)

My:

"There was a huge amount of corruption and fraud in the previous election."

Similar thing just happened in Hungary. Ruling part got 47% of the vote, but is claiming 2/3rds "supermajority" of the seats. Allowing it to pretty much make any legislative and constitutional changes it wants. All thanks to corrupt rule changes and probably election fraud. Expect protests.

5 days ago
top

Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

FatLittleMonkey Re:Propaganda much? (312 comments)

The American genocide was worse than Stalin's. About 90% of the native population was killed by disease. Before colonisation, explorers sailing up the east cost of North America reported it to be thick with native settlements, grey with smoke from cooking fires for the entire length of the coast. By the time English settlers arrived, it was almost empty. Disease from southern (Spanish) conquest swept up the coast in waves, killing off millions.

That doesn't make Stalin's genocide any less. Nor the invasion of Ukraine any less of an invasion. Nor the violation of the Budapest Memorandum any less of a violation.

5 days ago
top

Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

FatLittleMonkey Re:Russia (312 comments)

From Russia's point of view they came in to help those people who had had their democratic government taken away from them by force.

[Laughs]

legitimately elected pro-Russia government

There was a huge amount of corruption and fraud in the previous election. (And in most of the elections. The Crimean "president" got just a few percent of the vote but was appointed by a corrupt Crimean parliament.) That's what started the protests. Same thing happened the last time the Russians rigged an election in the Ukraine. (When they weren't poisoning anti-Russian candidates, and straight up murdering critical journalists.)

overthrown in a coup

It wasn't a coup. The Ukrainian military stayed mostly out of it. It was a popular uprising.

the people of Crimea asked for Russian assistance.

The Russian-puppet President in Crimea "asked" for Russian "assistance", not "the people of Crimea". And the referendum held after the invasion is hardly a measure of actual popular opinion. Putin gets 95+% in his elections. That's how Russian "democracy" works.

5 days ago
top

Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

FatLittleMonkey Re:Stupid is as stupid does.... (312 comments)

Helium 3 is up there. I think that's the isotope that's supposed to be good for fusion.

Helium-3 fusion is more difficult than deuterium fusion, so we'll likely have deuterium fusion first. One of the waste products of deuterium fusion is He3; and you can increase production artificially by adding lithium linings to deuterium fusion reactors. OTOH, the amount of He3 in the lunar soil is infinitesimal. It will always be vastly cheaper to produce it artificially on Earth. Hell, it's probably cheaper to produce it artificially in deuterium reactors on the moon, than it would be to mining it from lunar regolith.

Moreso, once we have any kind of fusion, the whole economics of space development could change. For example, we have no idea if the same fusion technology would allow cheap fusion rockets, etc. So trying to justify a development today by predicting a development in 20 or 50 years, is foolish.

Helium-3 mining is a stupid reason to go to the moon, it just makes space-advocates look like idiots.

5 days ago
top

Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

FatLittleMonkey Re:Propaganda much? (312 comments)

Ethnically, it wasn't Russian until the 1940's when Stalin deported (and murdered) a shitload of locals and trucked in Russian-speaking replacements.

Before that, it was no more Russian than India was "English".

Putin apologists are weird. Russia signed an explicitly unambigious agreement to respect Ukrainian sovereignty and existing borders. Putin violated that agreement. It's not complicated.

5 days ago
top

Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

FatLittleMonkey Re:Isn't the point of going to the moon... (312 comments)

Landing on the moon and taking off again adds 4km/s delta-v to the energy cost of going to Mars.

Plus launching from lunar orbit into Mars transfer orbit is less efficient than launching from LEO directly into MTO, due to Oberth inefficiencies.

The net effect is that there's no benefit from using the moon as an intermediate step, unless the cost of manufacturing fuel on the moon is vastly less than the cost of launching it from Earth into LEO. However, the equipment cost for mining, purifying, and electrolysing polar ice into hydrogen/oxygen, then liquefying the cryo-gases into fuel tanks and launching those tanks back into Lunar orbit (using yet more lunar fuel) is likely to be ridiculously high.

5 days ago
top

Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

FatLittleMonkey Re:Russia (312 comments)

Russia signed a specific agreement with Ukraine (and with Georgia and other FSRs) in order to get them to give their (formerly Soviet) nuclear arsenal back to Russia, that Russia would "respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine", "refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine", etc etc.

Putin violated that agreement. Every former Soviet republic knows that Russia won't honour any agreements, and that they all boned themselves by giving those nukes back.

5 days ago

Submissions

top

Fight you own muscles to create force-feedback on smartphones

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about a year ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Researchers in Germany have developed a device that allows users of portable devices, such as smartphones, experience force-feedback from games using just their own muscles... and a small EMS device. When stimulated by a painless electric pulse, the player's arm moves the device in whichever direction the game commands. The player then fights the movement with their other muscles, creating a strong sensation that the device itself is bucking in their hands. According to the developers, users found the sensation much more realistic than traditional vibrotactile feedback. (Should make PvP more interesting too.)"
Link to Original Source
top

Multiple minds smooths your ship's path

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about a year ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "My mind to your mind... my thoughts to your thoughts... Researchers at the University of Essex have shown that combining the output from two non-invasive "brain-computer interfaces", computer-interpreted EEG signals, led to a much clearer signal of the subjects' intention than the output from a single subject. To test this idea, they had two subjects try to steer a simulated space-ship at a target planet, by thinking of one of eight possible directions. While a single user could achieve 67% accuracy, this jumped to 90% when two minds were combined. Researchers believe the technique also compensates for individual lapses in attention, and thus may have applications in real-world space missions."
Link to Original Source
top

How do you give a ticket to a driverless car?

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about a year ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "New Scientist asks a Bryant Walker Smith, from the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, whether the law is able to keep up with recent advances in automated vehicles. Even states which have allowed self-driving cars require the vehicles to have a "driver", who is nominally in control and who must comply with the same restrictions as any driver such as not being drunk. What's the point of having a robot car if it can't drive you home from the pub while you go to sleep in the back?"
Link to Original Source
top

Whitehouse Petition to sell Texas to pay off US Debt.

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about a year and a half ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Amidst the flood of petitions on behalf of States demanding to be allowed to secede from the US, inevitably came the trolls suggesting that the US at least make some money out of the deal. Sell Texas to Mexico and use the money to pay down the US debt. Still in single digits at time of writing, but well worth supporting for the lulz."
Link to Original Source
top

You can't print a gun if you have no 3d printer

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about a year and a half ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "You may recall Cody Wilson's project to create a 3d printed gun, mentioned previously on Slashdot. Well, the Defense Distributed project has suffered a decidedly non-technical setback, with printer manufacturer Stratasys revoking the lease and repossessing the printer (presumably prying it from plastic models of Cory's cold dead hands.) According to New Scientist the manufacturer cited...

his lack of a federal firearms manufacturer's licence as their reason for the repossession, adding that it does not knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes.

"

Link to Original Source
top

If U R readng ths, I M already dead.

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  about a year and a half ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "A particularly nasty text scam is doing the rounds in Australia. Police say that hundreds of people have reported receiving text messages reading: "Sum1 paid me to kill you. Get spared, 48hrs to pay $5000. If you inform the police or anybody, death is promised... Email me now killerking999@yahoo.com", or variations on the theme. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's Scamwatch site, also details the threat messages.

(No reports yet of anyone managing to troll the scammers.)"

Link to Original Source
top

MS damage washed away by stream of young blood

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "A new study on mice suggests that damage caused by diseases like Multiple sclerosis, as well as natural ageing, can be reversed by an infusion of stem cell rich blood from younger mice. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that erodes the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord, and can result is serious disability. Similar effects occur naturally with ageing. Via New Scientist:

White blood cells called macrophages from the young mice gathered at the sites of myelin damage. Macrophages engulf and destroy pathogens and debris, including destroyed myelin. "We know this debris inhibits regeneration, so clearing it up is important," says team member Amy Wagers of Harvard University.

Here's a direct Link to the paper, if you have academic access through the paywall.."
Link to Original Source

top

Harnessing the energy of Galloping Gertie

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "You've all seen the footage of Galloping Gertie, the infamous Tacoma Narrows bridge. This is due to a type of turbulence called Wake Galloping, caused by airflow creating lift on the lee-side of cylinders (or cables on suspension bridges.) Now researchers in South Korea have developed a way of harnessing the turbulence to generate electricity. Their device works most efficiently at wind speeds too low for conventional wind turbines."
Link to Original Source
top

Multicellular life found at 3.6km under the crust

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Researchers from Princeton University have discovered nematodes at depth of up to 3.6km in three gold mines in South Africa, likely feeding on the radiation-consuming bacteria also discovered by the same team. Carbon dating their environment confirms that the 500 micrometres long critters have been there for at least 3000 years and are not a recent contaminant. The finding means that unexpectedly complex ecosystems occur deep underground, increasing the chance that complex life may have survived on Mars according to Carl Pilcher, director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute, "The significance was that you could imagine an ecosystem existing in the subsurface of a planet that didn't have a photosynthetic biosphere, like Mars," he says.

Until now, it was thought such an ecosystem could be made of bacteria only. But Onstott's new findings have completely changed that. "These nematodes are grazing on microbes. So now you could imagine that if animal life had ever developed on a planet, and the surface of that planet became lifeless," Pilcher explains, "you could imagine that animals could coexist with microbial ecosystems all powered by radioactivity."

"

Link to Original Source
top

Can computers be used to optimise the US tax code?

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Science Fiction author, David Brin, wonders whether the US tax code, described by President Obama as a "10,000-page monstrosity", could be dramatically simplified. No, he's not trying to get support a libertarian wet-dream "Flat Tax", this is about using computers to... shuffle the existing system.

"I know a simple way the sheer bulk of the tax code could be trimmed by perhaps 70% or more, without much political pain or obstructionism! ... it should be easy to create a program that will take the tax code and experiment with zeroing-out dozens, hundreds of provisions while sliding others upward and then showing how these simplifications would affect, say, one-hundred representative types of taxpayers ... Let the program find the simplest version of a refined tax code that leaves all 100 taxpayer clades unhurt. If one group loses a favorite tax dodge, the system would seek a rebalancing of others to compensate. No mere human being could accomplish this, but I have been assured that a computer could do this in a snap."

With all the talk about Open Government, perhaps the computer code currently used in tax modelling could be released to the wider community, leading eventually to a Folding@Home type project."

Link to Original Source
top

Can't get enough Will & Kate? Now meet their k

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "Prince William and Kate Middleton met while attending the University of St Andrews, so it seems... appropriate... that the Perception Lab at St Andrews would have a go at predicting the appearance of the royal couple's future "heir and a spare".

New Scientist also tries its hand at some evolution-centric royal fan-fic.

Oh, and feel free to participate in Perception Labs' experiment."

Link to Original Source
top

South Australia to drop MA15+ video game rating

FatLittleMonkey FatLittleMonkey writes  |  more than 2 years ago

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) writes "While its former Attorney-General Michael Atkinson actively campaigned against an R18+ rating for video games in Australia, the new South Australian Attorney-General John Rau says he will abolish the MA15+ rating in SA after the introduction of an R18+ rating. To better differentiate "between what adults can get and what children can get", games will be rated G, PG, M, and R18+.

"I will push for the South Australian position on MA15+ games to be adopted nationally, but if it isn't, I'm prepared to go it alone," he promised, calling the MA15+ classification "dangerous".

"Besides," Rau says in an interview to Gamespot, "if the latest surveys about the average gamer being a 32-year-old single male who sits at home and plays games all day are correct, then what I am proposing is not going to have much impact at all." Ouch.

All of this follows a review of the classification system in general, so Rau may be reflecting a more general move away from MA15+ in all media."

Link to Original Source

Journals

FatLittleMonkey has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...