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London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

__Reason__ Re:Driverless on the deep level tube is pointless (127 comments)

the solution is not to pay several hundred men £30k each to push a lever for 10 years, but to widen the tunnel slightly.

"Widening the tunnels slightly", in the case of the Tube, would be astronomically expensive. Not least for the economic cost of having to close lines for years while the work was carried out.

about three weeks ago
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London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

__Reason__ Re:Driverless on the deep level tube is pointless (127 comments)

The DLR is actually AIRBORNE at some points (no escape at all) and was unmanned. The "must be manned" is the union line to preserve jobs, not anything to do with safety.

The DLR has never been unmanned. There is always a crew member onboard DLR trains, at all times.

Also, all sections of DLR track, whether elevated or in tunnels, has walkways (albeit narrow ones) along side for evacuation purposes.

about three weeks ago
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London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

__Reason__ Re:Aerodynamic design? (127 comments)

I would imagine that a subway train, acting like a "piston" would work better if it were more aerodynamic and not have to overcome a lot of pressure within the tunnel.

Can anyone explain the reasons behind this design?

There are various reasons for this. One important one is safety: You need a door at each end of the train to allow it to be evacuated.

about three weeks ago
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London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

__Reason__ Re:Driverless on the deep level tube is pointless (127 comments)

It's extremely rare that an emergency results in a train stopped between stations

Actually, it's not that unusual.

The Victoria line, for example, has a very dense and frequent service - in fact there are about 45% more trains in operation at peak times than there are platforms on the line. So, if an emergency (like someone jumping on to the track in front of a train) means the line has to be suspended, inevitably there are going to be trains stopped in tunnels.

about three weeks ago
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London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

__Reason__ Re:Unions upset (127 comments)

some of the underground lines run driverless (as in no cabs, the locomotive control is by computer and is dependent on a crewman running the doors), I wonder if the GP actually means "completely crewless" as in DLR, Heathrow, Gatwick?

1. No London Underground trains are "Driverless". All current London Underground rolling stock have driving cabs, and there is a driver in that cab at all times (even if they aren't doing any actual driving!).

2. The DLR is not crew-less. All DLR trains have a member of staff on board at all times.

about three weeks ago
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London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

__Reason__ Re:Well... (127 comments)

The news is that London is getting them. Did you RTF title?

Driverless trains have existed in London for many years, too. For example on the DLR: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

Several lines of the London Underground already use Automatic Train Operation (ATO), where the train is fully controlled by software under normal conditions. There is still a "Driver", but all they do is operate the doors, make passenger announcements, and are ready to take over in the case of an emergency or a system failure.

In fact, the Victoria line has used ATO since it opened in the 1960s, and was the world's first major metro/subway line to do so.

about three weeks ago
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Death Hovers Politely For Americans' Swipe-and-Sign Credit Cards

__Reason__ Re:Tin foil hats! (731 comments)

Actually, modern cards not only have the contact chip but also a "Contactless" mode that can be used for small payments.

So you can pay for your Starbucks or bus fare instantly just by tapping your Visa card, no need to swipe or insert the card and enter a PIN number. This is all still more secure than Swipe & Sign, because the cards can't be easily cloned and theres a relatively low transaction limit.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way To Work On Projects While Traveling?

__Reason__ Re:Visas are going to be an issue (273 comments)

But often setting up your own company is allowed? I suppose it depends on what you mean by often; I certainly haven't done a survey of the world to find out who allows this and who doesn't. But the US? No, you'll get deported. Same for Canada (although Canada does have a startup visa process; see http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/business/start-up/eligibility.asp).

I don't know about the US, but in many countries, you don't have to be a citizen/resident of that country in order to set up a company there. You can quite legitimately start a UK Limited company, for example, without having ever been to the UK.

Of course, if you were actually doing "work" for that company from inside the UK, that could be considered employment, you could be breaching the conditions of a visitor visa.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way To Work On Projects While Traveling?

__Reason__ Re:Visas are going to be an issue (273 comments)

be a bit realistic. they won't know he is working, and most travelers do exactly that, leave after 6 months, go to some place outside the eu for a month, and then come back.

You don't have to leave the EU - just go somewhere outside the Schengen area. The UK and Ireland, for example, are outside the Schengen area and have their own immigration regime.

By spending, say, 3 months there in the middle of your adventures, you can (legitimately) extend your stay in Europe.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way To Work On Projects While Traveling?

__Reason__ Re:Visas are going to be an issue (273 comments)

I only have refrence of UK which is a known hell hole for trains (the last train I took in the the UK was >3hrs late and missing 2 carriages, so packed.)

Last year, 90.9% of all trains ran on time in the UK. That figure may not be ideal, but to put it in perspective - it's far better than what most airlines achieve. I don't know how it compares to trains in the Netherlands, but I'd be surprised if it's that much worse.

This figure also varies widely between train companies, with commuter operations like London Overground, c2c, Merseyrail, and Chiltern often achieving >96% on time performance, while Long-distance routes tend to perform worse.

Since your journey was delayed by more than an hour, you may be entitled to a full refund of your fare. (Exceptions apply for situations outside the control of the train company, such as extreme weather)

about a year and a half ago
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Low Levels of Toxic Gas Found To Encourage Plant Growth

__Reason__ Re:difference with regular manure? (103 comments)

The only application I see is the hydro-culture vegetables/fruits here in Belgium and they already have no taste compared to real soil cultivated vegetables, and now they will get rotten egg taste?

The difference in taste you describe is probably due to varieties being bred/selected for fast growth (and shelf appearance) over taste, not the medium they're grown in.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Stands In the Way of a Truly Solar-Powered Airliner?

__Reason__ Solar panels don't have to be on the aircraft (590 comments)

There's an assumption here that the Solar Panels / Collectors need to be placed on the aircraft itself. That would appear to be impractical. How about putting the solar array in _orbit_, and beaming down the power via Microwave power transmission or some such technology? This would solve the issue of night flight, as an orbital power grid could move energy to areas not shadowed by the earth. Clouds shouldn't a problem either.

about 2 years ago
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Aussie Telco Lays New Fiber For Microsecond Trading Boost

__Reason__ Re:More money from the real into the virtual econo (212 comments)

Perhaps we should allow trades only by hand-written, wax sealed forms submitted by hand every Tuesday at 10am on the floor of the New York stock exchange. This could well reduce volatility - but would it really make for a fairer market? HFT isn't a bad thing. If anything, it benefits the market by increasing liquidity - more shares are changing hands, so it's easier for long term investors to buy and sell them.

more than 2 years ago
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Aussie Telco Lays New Fiber For Microsecond Trading Boost

__Reason__ Aussies proud of new fiber (212 comments)

Strewth! This new cable sounds Bonza! Betcha it'll get that financial data across the drink faster than you can say "A dingo ate my baby"!

more than 2 years ago
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London Tube Stations Finally Get Wi-Fi

__Reason__ Re:ah, the free lunch (140 comments)

How were they paid?

I don't get it. This can't be right. The contract isn't free, Virgin doesn't supply services for free... yet apparently, no one is paying for it except "others" after the Olympics.

The only "payment" Virgin received was in the form of rights to access tube stations and install their equipment inside.

Although the service will initially be free of charge, it'll no doubt carry some form of advertising on the login screen. Virgin have stated that it will eventually be charged for like typical WiFi services. Also, it'll be free to existing Virgin Media users, thus making Virgin services more attractive to users and benefitting their business.

more than 2 years ago
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Canada To Stop Making Pennies

__Reason__ Re:I say drop nickels too! (473 comments)

New Zealand already got rid of its 5c coin a few years back, making 10c the smallest coin. That doesn't mean *everything* is priced in 10c increments, however. You'll sometimes see prices written as "$1.3" or "$5.5" in things like restaurant menus, but not at things like supermarkets. Price increments less than 10c still exist, and are still used for card transactions - it's just that the final total is rounded if you're paying with cash.

about 2 years ago
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California Going Ahead With Bullet Train

__Reason__ Re:Time (709 comments)

No, this is not really true either. While European railways as a whole often receive some form of subsidy, High-Speed passenger services between major cities in Europe are usually very profitable. It is the less-busy regional and commuter type services that tend to receive subsidies, because it is believed that there are economic and environmental benefits in doing so.

It is true that taking the train is sometimes more expensive than flying, but this is simply because rail can command higher fares because it is more convenient. If you can save a couple of hours (and, lets face it, a lot of hassle these days with security checks and such), by taking the train then most people will.

more than 2 years ago
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Hardware Running Android Fails More Than iPhone, BlackBerry Hardware

__Reason__ Re:What are the range of failures? (357 comments)

i don't feel like this is a super valid comparison, unless you mention that the iPhone ran like horseshit on iOS 2 onward, and the iPhone 3G always ran poorly. now my wife's 3GS runs like butt on iOS 5. the original iPhone used the current OS until it didn't get iOS 4, so from 2007-06 to 2010-06, three years, half of which it ran poorly. you have no options for upgrading for new features even if you wanted to. the iPhone 3G used the current OS until it didn't get iOS 5, so from 2008-06 to 2011-10, three years and some change, all of which it ran poorly. you have no options for upgrading for new features even if you wanted to.

This is nonsense. The 3GS runs just fine on iOS 5. Significantly faster, in fact, in some areas than iOS 4 - such as web browsing (particularly a HUGE improvement on Javascript scores thanks to the Nitro javascript engine), and loading time for the camera app.

You can see the iOS 5 on 3GS benchmarks for yourself at: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4956/apple-ios-5-review/15

Secondly, the only iPhone which ever had serious performance problems with an upgrade was the 3G running on iOS 4. 1st gen and 3G iPhones all run just fine with iOS 3.x. The issue (which is admittedly very bad and a huge fuck up by Apple) with the 3G on iOS 4 is mostly due to a serious bug in Location Services which causes memory consumption to increase (and thus, performance decrease) over time. So a fresh iOS 4 install on a 3G starts out pretty decent but after a few weeks it gets slower and slower until, eventually, it becomes unusable.

more than 2 years ago

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