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!



Appeal For Commuter GPS Logs To Aid Electric Cars

SlashWombat Re:Regenerative breaking? (144 comments)

The problem is dumping that much power into a battery quickly.

I don't think that is a problem, most batteries that are not fully charged can withstand huge dumps of energy for short periods. In fact, the current produced during braking is probably less than that required during acceleration. The general problem is that the voltage coming from the electric motor is equal to (best case), or below the voltage of the batteries. So the voltage needs to be boosted above that of the battery before any regenerative charging takes place. Thus, taking significant extra electronics to do this.

more than 4 years ago

Asimov Estate Authorizes New I, Robot Books

SlashWombat Re:How about we pay the author not to write them? (426 comments)

H'mm, Charles Manson used that book as his Bible! ... It was good SciFi in its day ... Not sure that it has stood the test of time. (If you grok what I mean.)

more than 4 years ago

Sparc Sends SparkFun Electronics C&D Letter

SlashWombat Re:well now (219 comments)

Spark in electronics predates Sparc in computers by several decades. (Even a century perhaps?) Radio transmitters were originally powered by a spark! See Hertz's original apparatus for the earliest example! Perhaps they should rename themselves to FarkFun, then Sparc's lawyers wouldn't even try to sue for fear of being completely ridiculed by the general public!

more than 4 years ago

LHC Successfully Cools To 1.9K In Lead-Up To Restart

SlashWombat Re:Saturday Night Live (177 comments)

Destroy the Earth by creating a massive black hole? Nope, not yet...

Actually, it would be a piddelingly small black hole if it was only the mass of the Earth.

more than 4 years ago

Canadian Copyright Lobby Fights Anti-Spyware Legislation

SlashWombat Re:Let me guess... (104 comments)

I would have to agree with this, except that most copyright ends up being owned by the very large corporations you suggest are the current demons. To make copyright fair again, I would suggest that copyright not be transferable from the original authors. Indeed, this should be back dated 100 years to totally undo the shit that these companies have perpetrated on the global population. I would also suggest that the copyright period be reduced to something more reasonable, say 50 years ... If you haven't made money/reputation in that period of time, you never will!

more than 4 years ago

Wi-Fi Patent Victory Earns CSIRO $200 Million

SlashWombat Re:How about Gauss in 1805 (267 comments)

Okay, in reply. Yes, the FFT has been described several times over the last few centuries, but it never really achieved any recognition until Cooley & Tukey described it. (One of these authors actually seemed surprised at the recognition he gained from the FFT ...)As for hardware implementations of the FFT. The CSIRO FFT chip predates the WiFi by a significant amount of time. Probably not the first implementation in hardware, but undoubtedly one of the first ten. The FFT requires significant amounts of logic to implement, and certainly early FPGA's were did not have sufficient resources to implement it. Having grown up with much of this technology evolving as I worked with it, I don't have the impression that chips are (or were) as fast as some people here seem to think. You must remember that the state of the art in 1975 was the 8080 cpu ... roughly 10,000 gates. A decent FFT requires much more than that (and memory chips as well!) Whilst DSP's of the 80's (any computer chip actually) could do semi decent jobs in the FFT arena, they certainly couldn't do several megabytes a second, even for a 256 bin FFT. (Also, back in the late 80's / early 90's, DSP's cost an arm and a leg -- making them somewhat prohibitive for many applications!)

Yes, the technique is OFDM ... principally so that the symbol timing can be made relatively long, thus simplifying/improving the data recovery in the presence of echo's. (Simply integrating the data over time makes this an easy process to implement.) Digital communications really didn't begin to evolve until several technologies had evolved, not just FFT's, but also analog to digital converters that could operate successfully at multi MHz clock rates. In 1980, I purchased several 6 bit flash converters that would work at up to 30 MHz (results were pretty horrible by todays standards ...) --- these cost me $100 each. Now you can easily get a 100 MHz 14 bit converter for a few dollars, and the results are spectacular. (OFDM requires at least two Analogue to digital converters on the Receive side ... plus high speed sine/cos generators to provide the mixers before the ADC's {to generate the real and imaginary components feeding the FFT ...}

So, what seems easy now (perhaps even obvious) was certainly ground breaking stuff only 20 or so years ago!

more than 4 years ago

Wi-Fi Patent Victory Earns CSIRO $200 Million

SlashWombat Re:can you explain? (267 comments)

At the time of its invention, it was not a simple application of known techniques. Now many digital transmission schemes use similar techniques. So yes, they deserve some credit for the invention. (The reason it wasn't mainstream before this is due to them using a CSIRO FFT hardware chip, something that wasn't really around until chip manufacturers/designers achieved the miniaturization necessary for its implementation. The FFT wasn't even described as a mathematical process until early 1960.

more than 4 years ago

FCC Chairman Warns of Wireless Spectrum Gap

SlashWombat Re:It's 1996 again? (300 comments)

Actually, thats only true to a small extent ...Spread Spectrum allows many transmissions on the same frequency with only a small degradation when multiple sites are active (but using different "golden keys"). The penalty is slightly more noise, but hardly an issue. So there are ways to use the spectrum (much) more efficiently!

more than 4 years ago

Startup Offers Pre-Built Biological Parts

SlashWombat Re:I'm ready to place my order (71 comments)

By "volume discounts" I hope you don't mean if she turns out to be 250lbs, you don't have to pay as much?

more than 4 years ago

SFLC Tells SCOTUS, "Software Patents Are Unjust"

SlashWombat Re:indeed (130 comments)

One of the problems I see is where software overlaps hardware ... For instance, JPEG (or for that matter, MPEG) Are covered by patents. Although the engines can be described in Actual hardware, they are generally described in software. As computer hardware gets faster, more machines will be described in software before they are implemented in hardware, yet, as I see it, these inventions are worthy of protection via the patent system. (However ... The JPEG patents are held by several different people/organisations, as the patents are all on seperate pieces of the actual algorithm ... So perhaps patents should not be allowed for such narrow specialities. I also wonder about the "novelty' of some of these patents ... I would argue that many of them would have been invented by most people active in a particular field ... Not requiring genius to produce the invention.)

more than 4 years ago

Miniature Stonehenge Discovered In Wiltshire, UK

SlashWombat Re:Whistle while you work (152 comments)

If they start looking carefully, they will probably find them everywhere! I suspect it was a Druid franchise arrangement, along the lines of MukDonalds.

more than 4 years ago

Honda Makes Nanotube Breakthrough

SlashWombat Re:Seems Wasteful (88 comments)

If they make motors out of this stuff, only 91% of them will work ... (Yes, I know thats a crock full of s@#$, but still ;-) )

more than 4 years ago

Sony Prototype Sends Electricity Through the Air

SlashWombat Re:Japanese IQ and European IQ (240 comments)

The thing about IQ is that slightly less than 50% of the worlds population has an IQ of less than 100 ... (how many of them post on /. ?)

more than 4 years ago

GE Developing 1Tb Hologram Disc Readable By a Modified Blu-ray Drive

SlashWombat Re:Well (238 comments)

If you expect Bluray to last 70 years, you are dreaming. CD technology is now on its last legs, and that is roughly only 30 years. DVD will die as soon as Bluray is cheap enough for the average punter. Expect blue-rays successor will last as long as blue-ray has! Technology is still on the exponential curve, therefore the "upgrades" will only come faster than ever before.

more than 4 years ago

What To Cover In a Short "DIY Tech" Course?

SlashWombat Re:A long-lasting technology (256 comments)

Morse isn't even a requirement for a Full Ham Radio license anymore. In another 40 years, it will be totally gone. Perhaps a bit of programming in a real language would be more appropriate. (but i doubt it!)

more than 4 years ago

Nvidia Discloses Details On Next-gen Fermi GPU

SlashWombat Re:AWESOME (175 comments)

It sounds like it might be very nice, but with Intel working towards a GPU integrated on the same chip as a multicore CPU, I wonder how much longer NVIDIA will remain mainstream. Remember, AMD has absorbed ATI, so both major CPU chip vendors are now obviously targeting the same (integrated) end product.Sure, it will initially be targeted at laptops, but I suspect more laptops are sold per annum now than desktop/server boxes combined!

more than 4 years ago

Apple Behind Intel's USB Competitor?

SlashWombat Re:Apple's Legacy (332 comments)

Absolutely. The most hair brained connector I have ever seen is the one used on IPODs.

USB is popular BECAUSE the connector is A: Simple, B: Robust, C: Did not change between various versions of the standards. (Although ... perhaps it should have, as it is crappy when viewed as a controlled impedance ...)

more than 4 years ago

At What Temperature (F) Do You Prefer Your Nerd Cave?

SlashWombat Re:celsius (1233 comments)

That's not the point. That kind of fuzzy thinking is what causes mars missions to dissappear before reaching the final destination. I know the French are credited with the Celsius scale, and it is therefore somewhat suspicious, however, it does make a lot more sense than Fahrenheit! (They also created the Statue of Liberty ... Never hear a yank complaining about that :-)

more than 4 years ago

MIT Microchip Could Someday Restore Vision

SlashWombat Re:For the purpose of restoring vision. (43 comments)

I agree. Recent developments seem to indicate stem cell therapies effectively repair many of the defects that make people blind. This technology will probably never see the light of day as medicine improves in leaps and bounds, making technological solutions crude and ineffective by comparison to "the real thing".

more than 4 years ago


SlashWombat hasn't submitted any stories.


SlashWombat 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