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!



Perl Is Undead

SirSpammenot Re:What is "Dead" (283 comments)

For the first time in 3 years I didn't get to go to a YAPC (the conference thing in the video) and am really getting pissed about it. Having said that... why is everyone here fixated on Perl 6? Perl 6 will continue, much like a fork, running besides the Perl 5.x series. Both solving problems in their own spaces. Or not... feel free to argue amongst yourselves somemore. Where Python is currently a better tool, use it. But if you are highly productive (comfortable, knowledgable, not missing features..) with Perl 5.x, why not be productive?

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Easy-To-Use Alternative To MS Access For a Charity's Database?

SirSpammenot Backups? (281 comments)

Knowing the data collected is worth more than the license cost of any package you might pickup, a VPS sounds like a winner because it will automagically be BACKED UP by someone that isn't you. Secondarily OSS. Thirdly Filemaker Pro, but at least that is a FIXED cost. What about multi-user? You get that for free in the web app, but no internet in Senegal is a thing right? Maybe a locally hosted, on one of the Win7 boxes, mysql and apache web app. Local multi-user minus auto backups.

Since you mentioned what you would do, and didn't rule it out (like: must be a desktop app), then hosted sounds like a great way to go. Unless the hosting cost is a problem, but you didn't say that either. No budget at all for that matter.

Open Source is only free if your time is worthless. The benefits of openness are network benefits.

about 4 months ago

Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?

SirSpammenot Re:Electric. (659 comments)

Yes, yes, people always want stuff for free... OR cheap. OR slave labor. I own a Volt with 31K miles on it. It saved, repeat: saved, me over $2K last year. I guarantee your gas car cost you full retail price to drive it around.

20K miles @ 22MPG (US average fuel economy) = 909 gal * $3.50/gal (2013 avg price) = $3,181.50 in fuel costs
20K miles @ 4mi/KWh = 5000KWh * 10/KWh = $500 in electrons for same distance travelled

You would pay Three Grand and have nothing left over, I would put $2,500 away into a 401K or something. And have done ZERO oil changes, or tunes ups, or replaced belts, or starter motor, or transmission fluid, or...

As soon as people understand they are getting a Lexus quality ride that costs pennies instead of dollars-a-day to run, the starting cost is less important. But then that is why I am not a pennliess hippie, I'm a upper middle class hippie.

about 4 months ago

Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

SirSpammenot Re:Price (398 comments)

OH! But the biggest savings of all? Not having to make special trips to go to the damn gas station to stand around while filling up. I kid you not, you just have no idea how much you revile the idea when you get on the other side of it. I'll fill up at home, in my fuzzy slippers, with a cold adult drink, thank you very much.

Everytime I see the new tobacco ads where the little guy drags the smokers outside in the rain, bullies them around... substitute gas for cigs and you are so there.

about 5 months ago

Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

SirSpammenot Re:Price (398 comments)

I have a Volt - and my story looks like this:
- 52Mi daily roundtrip commute, charge at work for free, almost always 100% electric.
- Takes long trips, 370mi from DFW to Amarillo @ 3-4 per year. Plus Austin, Hot Springs AR,...
- Lifetime is 72% EV, 30Kmi total since Dec 2012.
- Just broke 100MPG lifetime! Should plateau about 160MPG.
- Avoided 755 gallons in 2013, spent ~$350 on electricity to drive the same miles. $3.50/gl*755=$2642.60 - $350 = ~$2,300 Saved in 1 year!
- First brake job should be north of 80Kmi, due to regen braking instead of using the pads.. (lookup NFC rotor coating)
- Oil changes are not tied to odometer, but to how much you actually run the engine. I'm getting an oil change at 18 months, because I'm a cautious man.
- First engine tune-up is advised at 112,000mi
- No serpentine belts, no AC belt, no alternator, no transmission... gear box fluid at 160,000mi?
- Battery pack has 8yr/100,000mi warranty. It is never expected to need to be replaced (lookup EREV).
- EOL car battery packs are expected to sell for $500-$1,000 to go into grid storage (etc.) applications, better than a $10 battery core credit?
- One Volt owner is now past 126,000mi and still gets 42mi on a full charge. Future looks bright...

So the car actually PAYS ME BACK for driving the miles I have to traverse to work and play. No change in lifestyle required, silent, reliable, fun... Electric cars are here, try to keep up. ;)

about 5 months ago

Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

SirSpammenot coughCHEVY VOLTcough (398 comments)

If you want to drive electric, but can't resolve the range anxiety issues, seriously look at a Chevy Volt. If the 4 seater size fits your lifestyle, it is a GREAT car. Even my Leaf friends admit it. ;) Proof is: I get ribbing becuase I do still burn SOME gas (zero gas is part of the EV mantra) but then when we ned to go to Austin for a conference - do we take a Leaf? No. They suffer along just fine in the go-anywhere-all-day-long Volt.

about 5 months ago

Continued Rise In Autism Diagnoses Puzzles Researchers, Galvanizes Advocates

SirSpammenot Opinion != Subject Matter knowledge (558 comments)

So, my fiance happens to be a Board Certified Behavior Analyst specializing in Austim, and from the comments I can tell you two things:

1) The science (yes, I chose that word on purpose) of Behavior Analysis (BA) has grown immensely in that last decade. Both in the body of research, the systems of diagnosis, and the professional development associations supporting the work to address the needs of people "on the spectrum". She is board certified, which is not a trivial thing if you haven't ever had to stand in front of one, and knows more about how kids brains work than I know about computer systems. Keep in mind I'm a VP managing a HUGE cloud infrastructure, still SSH into boxes myself and have 30+years of computer work under my belt.

If you have never seen how a multi-week observation is conducted to determine where, and if, a child is in need of training or other assistance, well STFU. Calling the child, or the parent, or the staff involved "lazy" shows you need to look in a mirror.

2) The biology behind Autism is not well defined, but the symptoms, ie: how it manifests, it VERY clearly defined - and data driven. Behind every Autism "diagnosis" is a multi-page report prepared by one or more people (double blind) and then reviewed before presentation to parents. And before thousands of tax-payer dollars, or insurance dollars, or whatever resources are allocated - there is HARD EVIDENCE of the need. Maybe the child is mild,and just needs for adults to start treating him/her like a human and not an animal to be spanked or yelled at. Maybe the child will be lucky to count change properly and/or complete a transaction at a lunch counter... Don't tell me we shouldn't try to help those people because "it didn't happen that much back in my day."

Bottom line: Have some compassion for your fellow humans. Especially the 8yr old ones. And stop confusing facts with "feelings". It hurts other people. Often.

about 6 months ago

Remote ATM Attack Uses SMS To Dispense Cash

SirSpammenot Diebold (150 comments)

And they make election equipment, to count votes. Sheeesh! ATMs I am less worried about because I get my money back when they screw up... If the theft amount gets too painful, the banks will look a better vendor. And switch to Linux...

about 6 months ago

Microsoft Circles the Wagons To Defeat ODF In the UK

SirSpammenot Re:Sclerotacracy (89 comments)

sclero: A prefix added to the start of a word. Indicates that "hard" modifies the word. Created to expand meanings. Can be used with many words to form new words.

So it would be a bureaucracy, that thickened into a congealocracy, then hardened into a schlerocracy. i.e.: Functional as originally built, but inflexible now. Like my liver.

about 6 months ago

Tesla Says Garage Fire Not Charger's Fault; Firemen Less Sure

SirSpammenot Bring on TeslaGate! (253 comments)

Thank Goodness Tesla is distracting Fox News. We Volt owners thought their nonsense barrage would never let up. At least Tesla has Musk to fire back pithy retorts.

about 9 months ago

A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

SirSpammenot It's called investment... (1030 comments)

"Solar gets cheaper and cheaper every year, regardless of government funding." I don't think regardless means what you think it means. ;)

The same way Velcro got cheaper regardless of government funding? Because Velcro always existed in mass on the market.

Or how vaccines get cheaper regardless of government funding? Everyone knows the smart money waits until you really really really need something before you pay a research lab to invent the thing you actually needed yesterday.>/p>

Thank goodness for those hippie scientists getting tax dollars, eventually becoming our very professional NREL, so that you (Joe Taxpayer) can install panels on your ranch style home for under $3/W today.

about 10 months ago

DRM To Be Used In Renault Electric Cars

SirSpammenot Re:Watch. Learn. Admit you made your point poorly. (231 comments)

Please. Would you retrofit a car and test it? Air bags wouldn't keep the cabin from collapsing in on the driver, they would only keep the driver from bouncing around inside a cabin in some state of "intact". My Chevy Volt has 10 airbags, including knee airbags and ceiling rail bags that extends back into the rear seat. But they would be near useless in a decent crash without help from the huge pillars and crumple zones. Also, the 430 lbs of battery right between the wheels makes the car neigh unto untippable - and heavier where it counts than most other cars. Unfortunately for some.

about 10 months ago

Can GM Challenge Tesla With a Long-Range Electric Car?

SirSpammenot Re: Efficiency (466 comments)

Actually the Volt is more efficient on a KW/mile basis than the Model S. All things being equal. The Volt can easily get 5 miles per KWh, where you have to keep the Tesla under 40KW (ie: both cars driving slow and nice nice) to get to 4.3 miles/KWh. The problem is the Model S has much more load capacity, ie: much more performance headroom over the Volt. There is a reason why the Model S can do 0-60 in almost half the time of the more economy minded Volt. Just sayin'. :)

1 year,3 days

Can GM Challenge Tesla With a Long-Range Electric Car?

SirSpammenot Re:betteridge's law of headline (466 comments)

With regards to Hostess: The Union "burden" (of actually putting the promised amount into employee retirement accounts) was about 20% of the total company cashflow problem going into bankruptcy. So how exactly was that other 80% the Unions fault? The company was mismanaged, the union was raising red flags and so became the focus of management's ire. And then a Fox News' target. But still not the company's core problem.

1 year,3 days

Can GM Challenge Tesla With a Long-Range Electric Car?

SirSpammenot Re:PR (466 comments)

Time to update your tropes, gentlemen. Point of fact: The government wanted GM to drop the Voltec program in exchange for bailout guarantees. But the GM executives fought for it precisely becuase it represented the long term future of the company. The government eventually caved and the Volt was allowed to reach production (since it had been in development for 2 years already). Calling it a bailout car is just, well, tropey.

Now that EVERY car manufacturer in the world has announced plans for electric models, some rather aggressively like VW, maybe it is possible that throwing out years of American investment would have been a loss to the country?

1 year,3 days

Can GM Challenge Tesla With a Long-Range Electric Car?

SirSpammenot Re:Better marketting would kill them. :-) (466 comments)

Thinking food... The Corvette was introduced in 1953, but it didn't turn a profit until 1958. The Volt is in it's 4th year and doing fine...
1979 was the peak for Corvette sales at 53,807, and have declined every year since.
The Volt just passed 53K units
The Volt did outsell the Corvette in 2012, and is doing even better in 2013... Volume with a profitable car, vs profit on few Halo cars? or

1 year,4 days

Can GM Challenge Tesla With a Long-Range Electric Car?

SirSpammenot Re:They're just attempting to stay relevant (466 comments)

The car is all about efficiency. Only under certain, slim, circumstances can the gas engine divert some of it's mechanical output to the drive train through the ring gear.

1) car must be running on gas already becuase of:
A) battery is "empty" or
B) user selected to use gas, despite range still on the battery (ie: "hold" or "mountain" modes)
2) You must be cruising at high speed within a very limited range

Since the car is electric, it is basically ALWAYS running off the battery. When the gas engine kicks on to generate electricity it is clutched into the smaller of the two motors, the larger motor is connected to the ring gear to drive the car. SOMETIMES it is more efficient (in this special tiny window) to bypass the energy conversion (mechanical->electrical->mechanical) and use some of the mechancial energy directly. Note I said "some" as the car is still generating juice as well. Friggin genius that they can balance everything that way.

Just as in the Prius and other parallel hybrids, the high torque electric motors provide the short duration boost on acceleration so that the gas engine doesn't have to ramp up to provide it. But in the Volt's case, the gas engine isn't MADE to be able to pull the car entirely by itself anyway, so if you floor it the gas engine just disconnects and goes back to generation duties. The car goes to native 100% electric propulsion and just zooms away without you ever knowing all the machinations going on under the hood.

1 year,4 days

Can GM Challenge Tesla With a Long-Range Electric Car?

SirSpammenot Re:They're just attempting to stay relevant (466 comments)

I got my Volt in Dec '12, a model year 2013, and I friggin love the car. Basically, if you haven't even driven one... why are you talking like you have any experience? How can the company making the best selling EV on planet not be relevant?

The volt is a GREAT car. The amount of engineering they put into it boggles the mind. Take the NFC brake rotors that don't rust. They bake steel rotors in an oven the size of a bus, with all the air evacuated and replaced with Nitrogen at about 500 degress for a 24hr period. Why does that matter you ask? Because with the industry-leading regenerative braking efficiency my first brake pad replacement should be around 100K miles.

Also, you can see the Thermally Managed battery pack evolve in the new Spark EV, and the Cadillac ELR, the first of many more EV models coming out. Nissan thought they could get by with the Leaf but has had to replace entire car packs in extreme climates like AZ. GM did it right and warranty their packs for 8 yrs/100K miles. Longer than most transmissions! Solid engineering - the reliability stats on the Volt are off the charts. Volts have racked up nearly 200 MILLION miles, the experimental phase is over.

The Volt has all the advantages of a battery car: quick, responsive, quiet, cheap - 25% the cost to run, no stupid serpintine belts, super low maintenance..
And it fixes the BIG drawback to EVs... range anxiety. I drive it from Dallas to Amarillo multiple times a year, did Austin in the summer.
Also, EVs benefit from modern design and are SUPER safe compared to almost all gas cars. 10 airbags (including knee airbags) in the Volt.

While I go all electric as often as I can, I still do buy 8 gallons of gas about every 6 weeks due to my new job commute. Before that I worked closer to home and I went almost 3 months without burning ANY gas at all! Still on track to save $1,200 year in fuel costs (I have avoided 420 gallons of fuel in only 9 months).

Are great products relevant? Poor advertising is one thing, but sales are ramping up year-on-year so I'm not worried. Go drive one for a day, spend hours on the internet reading up on the tech, then maybe you'll have a better perspective on relevancy.

1 year,4 days

Electric Vehicles Might Not Benefit the Environment After All

SirSpammenot +6KWH needed for each US gallon of gasoline (775 comments)

Did you know the averaged amount of energy (US) for the cleanest type of oil to be drilled, transported, refined, distributed and pumped is 6.6KWH per gallon? For Canadian tar-sands, which is near the dirtiest type of oil we can use, is it closer to 13.3KWH per gallon produced? So when you burn a gallon of gasoline, and go ~30 miles on it, remember you have both your car's direct emissions AND all the emissions used to generate the electricity needed to get it into your tank. So basically your car is twice as smoggy as you knew. Or... you could just put that same electricity into a EV, drive ~60 miles with no added emissions, and leave the oil in the ground. An EV uses a form of energy but an ICE car burns a finite resource. We can do better, why are we even arguing about the need to?

about a year ago



SirSpammenot SirSpammenot writes  |  more than 7 years ago

SirSpammenot writes "HP Customer Service reports there is no retention policy for users of Vista that find the OS "not yet there". You buy it, you are stuck with it. I work for a mid size Real Estate office supporting corporate plus 50 agents. The agents are contractors and provide their own equipment... so the first of the Vista laptops from Best Buy are tricking in. Problem is our *expensive* workgroup level Panasonic printer/fax solutions do not have Vista drivers (and there is no scheduled release date either!). So aside from the usual apps that won't install, our Vista enabled agents cannot print to our existing infrastructure. HP Customer Service (mumbai branch) told me the only recourse is to return the laptop for full refund (and buy another one with XP). Maybe you can still find one with XP and an upgrade coupon? Vista buyers beware!"


SirSpammenot has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

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>