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Toyota and Tesla May Work Together Again

Medievalist Re:2015 Pluggable Prius - Only 11 miles on EV Mode (51 comments)

Perhaps that's what the spec sheet says, but my car will hit 65 in pure EV on any given day (did it twice yesterday) and it will go higher in hot weather (as long as I'm going downhill).

I always figured the hot weather factor was because at high speed it wants to spin the gas engine with all valves open, and it needs to be properly hot to do that.

But hey, maybe I got one with improper control calibration - all I can tell you is what I'm seeing empirically!

2 days ago

Toyota and Tesla May Work Together Again

Medievalist Re:2015 Pluggable Prius - Only 11 miles on EV Mode (51 comments)

And the Plug-in-Prius can't even drive 100% electric at freeway speeds.

I frequently drive a plug-in Prius at 65mph in pure EV mode. It's really no big deal (unless you're one of those people who insist on stopping at the top of the on-ramp, so you have to stand on the accelerator to get up to speed.) I can hit 70 or more on a downhill with a tailwind :) .

The "plug-in" part really is a joke on the Prius. It's definitely not worth the extra $5k over the regular Prius.

Unless 90% of your driving is under ten miles round trip, and you don't like to rent cars in order to drive more than the 80 mile range you'd get from a 2014 Leaf, in which case the PiP pays for itself.

FYI, I drive a Leaf and my husband drives a Prius.

The Leaf is a great car if you get the 6.6 KWH on-board charger and a level 2 EVSE ($600 minimum). If you have only the level 1 EVSE and the lame charger, you're talking about a vehicle that literally spends far more of its time on the charger than on the road. Not worth the price for most people.

But in any case you can't just buy a car without analyzing your needs - not even a gas car. It's even more important when you buy an EV or plug-in. You have to know what you'll be doing with it, and how long you plan to keep driving it. They aren't for everyone yet, although Tesla is working on changing that.

My spouse drives a Leaf and gets three days driving from one charge; I drive the plug-in Prius and charge every day - sometimes two or three times a day. In firewood cutting season I spend more money on gas for my chain saws than I do for my car.

One thing that does totally suck about both cars is the lack of a spare tire. This offends me so much I am trying to figure out how to mount spares on the rear bumpers! The regular Prius has a spare.

about two weeks ago

Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

Medievalist Re:At home too (185 comments)

I'm just curious. Are you telling me that Ubuntu installed with no additional configuration

Yep, on the Dell laptop I did a couple weeks ago for my daughter, and the last two LTS releases have installed clean out-of-the-box on my Dad's desktop that I built for him from generic parts. Hmm, I should probably note that I often use the disk partitioning tools during installation rather than letting the install choose its own layout... but I didn't do that on the laptop.

I have friends that eat Linux for breakfast and they do not hesitate to tell me there is no straight forward installation. Sometimes it's easier but if you want a smooth running machine you need to do a little bit of tweaking.

I would agree with that last statement, but I always have to tweak every OS to get it to where I would consider it "smooth running". For my daughter and father, who only want to do web browsing and a few simple applications, I didn't do any tweaking. They are limited by their connection speed anyway. On my windows boxes, I tweak and tune for a week or more (mostly with Mark Russinovich's tools) before I get them where I want them.

I am far more versed into the setup of Windows machines so the installation of a driver on Windows for me is a piece of cake whereas a Linux driver installed always feels like a lot of work to me. Is it lack of experience? My friends Linux buddies don't seem to think so.

Well, honestly I've spent six to eight hours a day at the command line for the last 30 years or so, using every kind of OS, so I'm not a representative sample of anything. I am vastly more productive with a cli, and I find the process of installing a windows driver to be insanely slow, tedious and repetitive. I can install a hundred drivers using a cli and only reboot once, but most of the times I've tried to install more than one driver at a time in Windows I've end up with a trashed system, so now I always reboot for each and every driver, which is super slow and boring.

It sounds like the big factor here is our relative experience. You are so accustomed to the stuff I find horrifying in a windows install that you didn't even think about it, and it never occurred to me that anyone would be bothered by having to use a command line because that's where I prefer to be (I use powershell in windows these days, and we are moving to no-GUI installs for our windows servers). We're both highly experienced in different realms, and consequently we find it aggravating to work where we are less efficient.

I mostly use linux to opt out of costly vendor upgrade cycles, not because I have any special devotion to the *nix paradigm. At work I use windows, OSX, HP-UX, Solaris... whatever they'll pay me for!

about two weeks ago

Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

Medievalist Re:At home too (185 comments)

Maybe I was just unlucky to hit 0/5 against Ubuntu and 5/5 for Windows 7

I think so, because I've never had a machine fail to load Ubuntu - and I've done many dozens of them over the years. Most of the install failures I've experienced were from Fedora, and not Ubuntu. But somebody has to be at the end of the bell curve, and it looks like you were unlucky enough to be that guy. I would not have guessed five laptops existed that couldn't run Ubuntu!

I've haven't installed Windows 7 on any machine that didn't have a "built for windows 7" sticker on it, so I can't really use that for comparison either... but I can tell you that 100% of the time when I install windows I've had to go download additional software - typically network and video and sound drivers, and of course all the same web browser plugins and productivity apps that I'd have to load no matter what the OS was. The big advantage of windows is that it's easy to buy a system with all that stuff preloaded; you're got more vendors available than there are pre-loaded linux vendors.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

Medievalist String concatenation operator in awk (729 comments)

In all the various awks the string concatenation operator is implicit. Brian Kernighan is quoted as saying "It seemed like a good idea at the time".

Thus, awk literally has an invisible operator. Most coders make this a little more obvious with an explicit space, ASCII code 32 (decimal), but it's still invisible. Hijinks ensue.

Other that this, awk is admittedly a great language for text processing. And the GNU awk is an exceptionally good version - it permits fixed fields and socket I/O and has numeric conversion operators.

about two weeks ago

Delaware Enacts Law Allowing Heirs To Access Digital Assets of Deceased

Medievalist Re:This is frightening (82 comments)

I want all of my digital stuff to be destroyed when I die. I really don't want my family combing through all my personal shit when I'm dead.

Unless you take strong measures on your own, there's zero chance that any of your "digital stuff" will be destroyed when you die.

Your choices, if any really exist, are having your family comb through it, setting up a dead-man switch, or having a corporation use it for their own profit. Because once they're sure you're dead, the zaibatsus would sell your toes to foot fetishists if they could get away with it. Their sole purpose for existence is to maximize profit within the law. And some of them interpret that last bit to mean "anything I can get away with is effectively legal".

about a month ago

News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

Medievalist Re:Will they ban this ? (748 comments)

"They tied the hands of one woman to the back of a car and her legs to another car and they split her into two," he said beside makeshift tents as women cried

Would Fark ban the above news, from Reuters ?

If the article (which I did not read) explicitly approves or promotes the activity described in your quote, then yes.

If not, then no.

Usually it's easy to tell the difference between reporting an atrocity and cheerleading for the perpetrators. Usually.

about a month ago

The Cost of Caring For Elderly Nuclear Plants Expected To Rise

Medievalist Re:Failure of the 20th-Century Environmental Movem (249 comments)

If you actually do the research, nuclear makes pollution too. Lots of it. Only coal is really significantly worse (and coal is way worse).

And although solar panels are pretty dirty to manufacture (because most of them are made in China using electricity from coal plants under a lax environmental regime) their long service life makes up for it - you'll note that the brownwash jobs that the anti-solar people push out every month always significantly misstate service life and always use China's data, ignoring the clean European producers. Don't buy that meme, either! The real problem with solar's the same as with nuclear, it's simply not economically viable. (Although it might be in the future, if we end up subsidizing solar R & D the way we've subsidized the oil industry over the last 100 years).

Take a look at the real data instead of the memes. Only socialist and totalitarian states can have terrestrial nuclear fission plants, for exactly the reason you gave - in essence, you have to force people to pay costs they don't want in order to provide fission plants they don't need.

Your point about externalizing costs is certainly valid, though. Everybody's misrepresenting the true costs of all forms of power production at this point!

about 1 month ago

The Cost of Caring For Elderly Nuclear Plants Expected To Rise

Medievalist Re:Failure of the 20th-Century Environmental Movem (249 comments)

Ah, Rush Limbaugh's famous "Greenies made nuclear power unsafe" meme. A darling here on slashdot, despite so many annoying facts that tend to discredit it.

In the Real World ®, American Greens are the most ineffective political movement since the vegetarians. They have accomplished pretty much nothing since Nixon signed the Clean Air Act. The real actors are the majority of hard-headed average Americans (who are hardly "green", but who are sensible enough to know they don't want or need nuclear power) and the simple realities of market economics.

The cold hard truth is that no private entity has ever made an economically viable terrestrial nuclear fission power plant. Ever. Only socialist and totalitarian regimes can do it, because they can effectively ignore insurance costs, which the USA shouldn't (and although the Price-Andersen subsidies do exactly that, US plants still aren't cost-effective). In a truly free and fair market it would cost far more money for construction, insurance, and decommissioning than an operator could ever possibly recoup. Even the ultra-right wing Cato Institute admits this!

But terrestrial fission power plants are a masturbatory fantasy akin to Steampunkery, only with less whimsical charm. A fever dream of a world that never was, full of steam engines and glowing rocks. They are an obsolete and unnecessary technology fetishized by aficionados, who often seem to be quite willing to give up any form of representative government or free market if only they can have their beloved nuke plants. No tax burden is too high! Because it's not a reasoned argument for them, it's an obsession. So blaming the failings of their fellow travelers on their opposition fits their mindset perfectly - it couldn't possibly be the fault of the nuclear operators that they purposely built the cheapest, least safe designs allowed by law! It must have been those devil-greens! It's their fault!

about 1 month ago

MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Medievalist Re: Here we go... (454 comments)

Where is your proof of so called "Terrorism" by the founders of Israel?

Um, it's pretty well documented by the British and at the UN, in their reports of the Stern Gang terrorism. Avram "Yair" Stern - who is pretty unequivocally one of the founders of modern Israel - blew up British military vehicles and bases, sabotaged rail lines, shot at trains, blew up a mine, destroyed international telegraph lines, attacked police stations, and robbed banks. His Lehi fanatics were completely unconcerned about civilian casualties (including any Jews who did not support them) and willing to ally with any military power that would send them weapons, including the Nazis.

This is all a matter of record and the state of Israel does not contest any of it; so why are you claiming otherwise?

The USA has terrorists among our founders, too. Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys come to mind... although I guess they weren't in the same league as Stern.

about 2 months ago

Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code

Medievalist Re:Why is it always developers? (89 comments)

And what about managers who steer the development effort in a direction highly likely to produce buggy code, those won't get measured?

Of course they get measured. In the long term if they deliver too many screwed up projects, their superiors stop giving them projects.

Ultimately it is the developer's responsibility to push back against stupid managers and give them honest feedback about what can and cannot be done.

I would like to know where the entrance is located to this magically meritocratic land you speak of, It is obviously not Earth.

You'll need an invisible hand to turn the invisible doorknob.

about 2 months ago

White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

Medievalist The pub? (382 comments)

the pub try to block anything that President Obama wants to put forward.... th pub are far wars then an y group for over 60 years.

My publican just draws pints for the public, down the pub. I don't understand how your public houses got such amazing powers!

about 2 months ago

Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

Medievalist You pegged it again (533 comments)

When are you going to run for office? I'd vote for you despite the mycilliae. ;)

I don't know if you'd be any good at governing, but you've already demonstrated a greater grasp of current political realities than any ticket in my US state... I'd totally give you a shot.

about 2 months ago

EFF To Unveil Open Wireless Router For Open Wireless Movement

Medievalist Grow up. (184 comments)

Contracts entered into without alternative may be legally binding, but are generally held to be morally suspect.

If you have acted to prevent anyone from getting a fair deal, then I don't have to feel bad about acting to subvert your crooked deal without your knowledge.

And thus morality, ethics and legality splinter into a thousand pointy bits of subjectivity.

Personally, I play by the rules - but it's because I own property, and I don't want to give the corporate-owned mechanisms of state any excuse to confiscate any of it. It's not because I feel any moral obligation to the likes of Verizon or Comcast; the big ISPs appear to be pretty evil, judging from their past actions, and they've never earned any affection or respect from me.

about 3 months ago

Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

Medievalist Re:It's not about fear, it's about release of ange (493 comments)

I can accommodate a conscientious objector when he's honest and decent, but you seem to be merely a contrarian, and an apologist for people who are putting whole populations in danger of serious illness through smug stubbornness and willful ignorance.

See, that's where we differ, right there. You apparently think it is "honest and decent" to call people assholes, and to openly encourage intolerance towards people you consider smug and willfully ignorant. You can't conceive of an argument of conscience that results in disagreement with your viewpoint and dismissal of your ridiculously overstated fears ("whole populations in danger" hyperbole for example), so it must be contrarianism or apologism.

But how many people have you vaccinated, that are biologically unrelated to you? I'm betting none, although I'd actually love to be wrong.

Meanwhile, not only has my family adopted children and vaccinated them, I've contributed financially to vaccination campaigns in Afghan orphanages. So what's wrong with contrarianism again? Why do you consider it "decent" to engage in negative actions like spreading fear and inciting intolerance, while it's "apologism" to encourage bravery, social change, and ideological tolerance? Which in practice has resulted in positive action?

I think I can be proud to bear the title of "contrarian" in this particular debate, so I'll continue to refuse to play for either team, and continue to vaccinate, and continue to defend anti-vaxxer's right to make wrong choices.

But it doesn't sound like we're ever going to reach a meeting of minds. We're both too convinced of our own righteousness.

about 3 months ago

Study: Male Facial Development Evolved To Take Punches

Medievalist Eyes are tougher than they look. (190 comments)

You're underestimating the ability of the mammalian eye to withstand and recover from damage. Remember that LASIK surgery doesn't even bother with stitches, for example. And practically speaking the amount of force and accuracy required to drive a weapon or tool through an eye socket isn't much less than what's required to puncture the thinner parts of the skull.

I've been stabbed in the eye with a pencil, hard enough that it lodged in the socket behind the eye until I yanked it out, and had one of my eyes gouged far enough out that it was briefly laying on my upper cheek. Because of that I am at a higher than normal risk for glaucoma, but everything healed up fine years ago. Eyes are remarkably tough! The biggest danger to them is generally infection, not blunt trauma. Although if you actually pop one, they don't always refill without medical intervention, so do try to avoid that.

As for selection processes, remember how much of our brain appears to be optimized for facial recognition - even at birth - and consider how much being recognizable might improve one's chance of being sexually selected. :) That could provide some of the competing constraints you theorized.

about 3 months ago

Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

Medievalist Re:It's not about fear, it's about release of ange (493 comments)

you're interpreting that as people coming after you personally

Nobody's coming after me; I'm standing aside and watching the mob stream by with their pitchforks and torches.

My children are vaccinated. As am I! Although admittedly I did research each vaccine carefully, and in two cases required that a different preparation be used than the (cheaper) ones our pediatrician was selling. He's a good guy, and did as I asked.

Pretty much 100% of the time, if I say anything about not living in abject terror of disease, people's insistence on an Us .vs. Them dichotomy causes them to repeatedly ignore (as you apparently have) my pretty clear statements that I'm not part of "them". I think avoiding vaccination is both stupid and self-punishing.

But I guess it's hard to accommodate a conscientious objector like me, who has contempt for both sides, when you've got an emotionally fueled "with us or against us" meme running.

about 3 months ago

Lose Sleep, Fail To Form Memory

Medievalist Re:Any new parent could tell you that. (85 comments)

He wouldn't sleep unless we held him and walked in circles... all night. As soon as we stopped he would wake up and bite.

My daughter didn't sleep through the night until she was four. Walking in circles, jiggling gently... I got to the point where I could literally do it in my sleep. Otherwise I think I would have died. But at least she didn't bite!

One time we tried to let her "cry it out", which everyone kept telling us to do. But the neighbors started complaining after six hours of continuous all-out screaming... which they could hear, through their closed windows, in their brick house, from our brick house, with it's closed windows...

about 3 months ago

Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

Medievalist I guess I did agitate there. (493 comments)

Re-reading my earlier post, I see that I did say " If you want to attack someone, show some spirit, and attack the rich and powerful ".

Although I hope this was clearly rhetoric to my point, I guess in the most technical reading of the language I was inciting an attack on the powers that be, and should have more carefully worded my scoffing at the lack of courage of anti-anti-vaxxers.

Not that the rich and powerful have anything to worry about from you or me, of course. We're like bugs to them, they would barely care if I was inciting to riot.

about 3 months ago

Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

Medievalist Re:It's not about fear, it's about release of ange (493 comments)

Wait, maybe I'm a paranoid retard because I'm not living in a hysterical frenzy of fear over other people's stupid health decisions?

Yeah, that makes sense. Glad you were around to clear that up, I got other things to do today.

But are you sure you're not just looking in a mirror? I haven't proposed attacking rich people, I've just pointed out that the people who want to attack anti-vaxxers are pretty much all too chicken to agitate against any people who are actually a real significant threat to them. Anti-anti-vaxxers are mostly bullies and cowards, and it shows in how they bluster and name-call and belittle anyone who disagrees with their extremism.

If you really want to make a difference, you don't have to "attack rich people". Hey, you could start working on real world vaccination initiatives, rather than screaming at bumbling idiot anti-vaxxers. But that, of course, would be much harder than beating up on chumps, and less immediately emotionally satisfying. So I think most people will continue to vent their spleens on the anti-vaxxers, indulging their anger, instead of doing something more helpful.

about 3 months ago


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