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Under the Chassis: A Look At Tesla's Battery Shield

abigsmurf Re:Was it really Tesla's problem? (152 comments)

It's perhaps the biggest example of the Tesla Kool-aid that being able to walk away from an engine fire is seen as something incredible and amazing.

In almost all engine fires, the only way you'll fail to walk away is because you were physically unable (trapped or unconcious). I've a low end 2003 Skoda fabia (costs approx , if my engine were to catch fire, I'd get the heat sensor beeping at me, then the engine warning light would beep at me, then, if I hadn't stopped by then, it'd go into crawl home mode. I'd imagine if a lot of people read their car manual they would find their car will do something similar, yet people were going crazy over how amazing it was that Teslas could do this.

about a week ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

abigsmurf Re:I think this is bullshit (1744 comments)

There is a big difference between expressing your personal opinion and colluding with others and organising a campaign where combined power of all the people involved makes you a powerful entity.

It's a road that leads to such wonderful things like blacklists for union members.

about two weeks ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

abigsmurf Re:I think this is bullshit (1744 comments)

The term "jumping before he was pushed" comes to mind. To pretend that he would've kept his job if he hadn't quit is laughable.

about two weeks ago
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Author Says It's Time To Stop Glorifying Hackers

abigsmurf Re:"Victim Blaming" (479 comments)

Victim blaming is unhealthy because it shifts the focus away from companies trying to come up with better methods to secure accounts.

Why say "we're at fault for not securing our database and not hashing passwords in a way where rainbow tables are impractical" when you can say "they shouldn't have used such weak passwords!" and take the blame off of themselves?

Two factor authentication for example is a very effective way of securing 'stupid' users. Heck it's secure enough to enable a lot of banks to store two-way encrypted passwords and make their log in algorithms more robust against keyloggers (it's a myth that passwords have to be hashed for the best security). Two factor Authentication however is difficult and expensive so there's all the more incentive for blaming users who get infected with trojans or suffer when their passwords get compromised.

about a month ago
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The New PHP

abigsmurf Re:PHPs badness is its advantage. (254 comments)

Drupal is great in that it's gotten me lots of jobs and also lessens the whole "we need you to learn the structure of our horrible proprietary CMS" situation.

It is depressing just how many horrible hacks you find you need to do for 'basic' things. At the end of large projects I always tend to find I've a huge number of indecipherable preprocess functions in template files and custom modules.

At least 99% of the time, someone has had the exact same issue you're having. Just a shame you have to sift through 100 post threads with dozens of different patches to try or people who fixed the problem but in Drupal 6 (it's going to be fun when Drupal 8 arrives and 99% of the message board becomes unhelpful)

about a month and a half ago
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The New PHP

abigsmurf Re:A fractal of bad design. (254 comments)

(Needle, haystack) , (haystack, needle) is something that irritates. Ensures I'm never sure of my syntax when coding.

There are a couple of annoyances outside of that which are trap lots of people learning to code in the language:

"while (fgets($file))" doesn't return false when it should (eg at the end of the file or if there's an issue with the file handler like most readline functions in other languages do. Given this will often cause the server to become completely unresponsive until the script (hopefully) times out, it seems a massive oversight.

if ($variable = 5) . A simple typo that can take hours to debug and spot and most developers fall victim to it at least once. Is a warning really too much to ask?

about a month and a half ago
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Pro-Vaccination Efforts May Be Scaring Wary Parents From Shots

abigsmurf Too much information... (482 comments)

The more effort you put into telling people something is safe and the more visible this effort is, the more people will naturally question just why they're having to make this effort.

When you order a burger from McDonalds you probably wouldn't be too happy if worker who gives it to you said "don't worry, the chances of you having got a burger that has been spat on are tiny so it is very unlikely I spat in it! Enjoy your meal!"

about a month and a half ago
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MtGox Files For Bankruptcy Protection

abigsmurf Re:"some weakness" (465 comments)

The weakness was apparently down to the site treating a txid (transaction ID) field as a unique identifier. Turns out not only was it not actually a unique transaction identifier, it could also be spoofed easily without altering the (real) destination for the transaction. Made it trivial to make fake deposits and real withdrawals.

MTGox's fault for not understanding a spec whilst using it to move vast sums around but it probably highlights the importance of good naming practices when creating a spec.

about a month and a half ago
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Consumer Reports Says Tesla Model S Is Best Overall Vehicle

abigsmurf Re:Best car overall?? (318 comments)

Lets say you spend $5000 on services and repairs for the $30K car's life, that's $65K for fuel. How many miles is that?

A $30K performance high performance car is probably 30mpg. At $3.50 per gallon, That's 8.5miles per $. $65K would get you around 550K miles of driving.

Of course pretty much any car in existence would fall to bits long before hitting 550K but that's enough to show that you saving money is most definitely not a good reason for buying a Tesla..

about 2 months ago
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Tesla Says Garage Fire Not Charger's Fault; Firemen Less Sure

abigsmurf Re:Musk's Hubris... (253 comments)

So... there was a recall and it was big enough news to be reported on. That is kinda proving his point...

about 4 months ago
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RF Safe-Stop Shuts Down Car Engines With Radio Pulse

abigsmurf Re:Pros vs Cons (549 comments)

Alternatively, the criminals could just steal your car and torch it once they're done.

about 4 months ago
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RF Safe-Stop Shuts Down Car Engines With Radio Pulse

abigsmurf Re:Pros vs Cons (549 comments)

But if you show criminals that they can escape punishment easily by initiating a high speed chase, you'll simply encourage more people to speed away in a dangerous manner. In addition, if people think they're more likely to get away scott-free, they're more likely to commit criminal acts in the first place.

There is always a balance to be had, you can't simply say that criminals should be universally allowed to get away because you'll almost certainly cause more harm to society and danger to the public through the knock on effects of that.

about 4 months ago
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EU Plastic Bag Debate Highlights a Wider Global Problem

abigsmurf Plastic bag weight (470 comments)

200 plastic bags is under a kilo of plastic, compared to the food packaging (especially for micromeals) it's negligable. In terms of carbon footprint, it's impact is tiny and barely any better than re-usable bags.
Rather than using it to raise funds, how about mandating supermarkets to use biodegradable/compostable materials instead? Better yet, make supermarkets do "litter patrol" like they do in England with McDonalds.

about 5 months ago
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Musk Lashes Back Over Tesla Fire Controversy

abigsmurf Re:People are bad (487 comments)

You don't understand the stats either.

Musk is comparing a population of new, low milage , well maintained cars driven short distances by caring owners to the general population of cars including 10 year old 80,000 mile rustbuckets driven by teens who haven't had it serviced in years.

If you are not comparing like for like, you cannot draw any sort of reliable conclusion from your stats

about 5 months ago
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BT To Test Huawei 1Gbps Broadband Over Copper

abigsmurf Re:oh god who cares (77 comments)

Wait... is this the same nationalized BT that wouldn't let 'upgrade' my phone line from rotary to touch tone dialing without paying a massive fee?

Read some of the horror stories about people who had to deal with BT for company phone systems whilst they had a monopoly. Outdated, awful equipment that you had little choice to go with because there was no one else to choose from.

I find the romantic view that people take of nationalized monopolies amusing. British Rail is another example. Awful punctuality, constant strikes, 30-40 year old trains (still having dangerous 'slam door' trains in the 90's was an embarrassment) and almost as poor signalling equipment.

about 6 months ago
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OCZ May Be On Its Last Legs

abigsmurf Re:Reputation killing them (292 comments)

They're only responsibility for the minimum, vaguely defined, time period (typically six months), past that you'll be referred back to the manufacturer for the term of the warranty.

about 6 months ago
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OCZ May Be On Its Last Legs

abigsmurf Reputation killing them (292 comments)

Their failure rates were abysmal. A drive failing after 6 months is appalling. A drive failing suddenly after 6 months, suddenly with zero warning is completely unacceptable. Even if you have a backup routine, that's probably going to result in days of lost work, plus the need to re-install everything on another drive whilst you RMA it.

To add financial injury to insult, in the UK, RMA'ing an OCZ drive requires you to send it insured and recorded to the Netherlands. It cost me around £20 to send it off. I'm certainly never going to buy OCZ again. The 15% return rate for OCZ drives that failed after 1 year is unacceptable and frankly, should've been grounds for a recall.

about 6 months ago
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Tesla Model S Catches Fire: Is This Tesla's 'Toyota' Moment?

abigsmurf Re:Looks much less dangerous than a gasoline fire (388 comments)

Lithium cells (especially old or damaged ones) can build up hydrogen as moisture gets in. Unlike petrol, you won't smell this and probably wouldn't know it's happening until it explodes or creates an insanely hast burning fire.

The biggest worry I have with electric cars however are shorts. Electrical fires in petrol cars happen but they're rare. The Tesla motor can suck up 270KW and the battery is 375V. 700A at relatively high voltage is pretty scary, any short would probably cause an instant fire.

about 6 months ago
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Another British Bank Hit By KVM Crooks

abigsmurf Re:The Question is (75 comments)

Apparently about 2/3rds of crooks get away with it. The ones who do are the ones who do a one off of $500,000 or so and the banks decide it's better to absorb the loss then to go to the police and take the PR and resources hit that goes with it. The ones who do get caught are the ones who get greedy and do it multiple times or go for too much. There was an interview on Radio 4 talking about it (may have been the catch-me-if-you-can guy, can't remember for sure).

about 7 months ago
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Meet the Guy Who Fact-Checks Stephen King On Stephen King

abigsmurf Re:Ghostwriters? (121 comments)

King's works are probably heavily trimmed and re-arranged by editors but normally ghostwritten books by established authors stick out like a sore thumb as differences in writing style are too obvious. It's not as easy as creating a book where the main character is a recovering alcoholic writer from Maine.

For example the last Discworld novel really stood out to me as being ghostwritten. For one thing, it was far too respectful of long established characters (if you're a ghostwriter you may not won't to do anything major with someone else's characters) but what really stood out was something tiny and simple: One of the characters casually used a swearword that you never see in Discworld novels (Pratchett has always been PG in his approach to language). It's more understandable with him though given his embuggerance.

Still, his daughter is officially taking the reigns of the series and she's shown herself to be a good writer in her own right.

about 7 months ago

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