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Comments

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Stack Overflow Could Explain Toyota Vehicles' Unintended Acceleration

cloudmaster Re: Live in a cave (664 comments)

Weird. The stock brakes on both the '95 Caprice and '96 Impala SS sitting in my driveway can hold the car in place. That was true when the engine was stock, and is still true after adding a shift kit, PCM tune, cat-back, intake, and valve train upgrades. It's been true on both the factory tires and the substantially wider aftermarket tires. It might be time for you to replace your brake material; you're seemingly endangering the other cars on the road.

When you're trying to power brake, BTW, you'll want to let up on the brakes just a little, and mash the gas. Don't ease in to it. ;)

about 7 months ago
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Stack Overflow Could Explain Toyota Vehicles' Unintended Acceleration

cloudmaster Re: Live in a cave (664 comments)

Well, if it was in article comments on the Internet, that's a whole new story... ;)

No one sells a car in the US with exclusive brake-by-wire, because nearly every state mandates the existence of a second braking system independent of the primary braking system. That's often the thing people call the "emergency brake," as compared to the "service brake." For IL, look at Article III at http://www.ilga.gov/legislatio.... They must be separated such that a failure in any one part does not leave the vehicle without brakes. IL also prescribes a maximum stopping distance from a couple of speeds.

about 7 months ago
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ABC Kills Next-Day Streaming For Non-Subscribers

cloudmaster Re:They probably don't want to burn affiliates (169 comments)

It's not really "free" to watch OTA - you have the show interrupted every few minutes by commercials, which cost you time. The problem here is that OTA broadcasting costs pretty much the same whether it goes to one TV or one million. All they pay to do is vibrate the air[1]. Cable's not that different. With Internet streaming, however, each individual connection typically costs more.

The solution is to fix the medium, IMHO. Big networks and content producers should be pushing for less expensive bandwidth or, even better, for working multicasting. :)

[1] yeah, I know how radio actually works, but I'm trying to make a point here.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Run a Copy-Cat Installation At Home?

cloudmaster That's backwards (308 comments)

The premise is backwards. Computer geekery is my hobby, so of course I do it at home. I have a job doing something that I love, so I've roughly duplicated my hobby environment at work. ;)

about 9 months ago
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Can the US Be Weaned Off Ethanol?

cloudmaster Re:Ethanol is a crock nobody wants (330 comments)

Here in the US, most new cars have fuel systems which are just fine with E85 (or more) as well. They just lack the appropriate sensors to identify the varying ethanol mix, and like the parent noted, lack adequate injector flow to handle the increased volume needed - 'cause that stuff costs money. :)

about 10 months ago
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Can the US Be Weaned Off Ethanol?

cloudmaster Re:And in the process .... drop 10mpg (330 comments)

So, by replacing 10% of the gasoline with ethanol, you lose 20% of the energy? Man, ethanol really sucks! Does E85 reduce a flex fuel vehicle's mileage by 170%, then?

Since "anonymous coward" clearly doesn't know the answer, I'll help. People typically report losing about 20% of the mileage with E85 v/s gasoline, assuming no other changes (it's actually closer to 34%, but E85 is only 85% max, and then only in the summer; it's way less in cold weather, so that's probably why people see an average of 20-ish percent). Running E10 costs around 3% of your mileage, which is 1MPG in a 30 MPG car - or about the difference you'd see if you accelerate briskly from a couple more stoplights than usual.

about 10 months ago
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Facebook To Overhaul Data Use Policy

cloudmaster Re:List of alternatives to facebook? (216 comments)

Anything big enough to be a relevant general-use competitor will have a difficult time resisting the "suggestions" made by the NSA that "it would be for the best" if the data were made available to the government. You could easily set up a restricted access Word Press blog on your own server and give your friends author access, though. Then you can all write about your days on your own site, get emails when new posts are made, and generally keep in touch without everything being logged.

Or set up Majordomo and email each other. Or whatever else. ...Assuming you can set up good enough encryption, anyway. Otherwise, Prism has your number anyway. :)

1 year,27 days
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Facebook To Overhaul Data Use Policy

cloudmaster Re:What The Fuck? (216 comments)

So, the article at the top there is about selling advertising, which is a way to facilitate business people to communicate with their customers via Facebook. And you're suggesting that the idea of doctors communicating with their customers via Facebook is a ridiculous proposition which would have no application in the real world? Please come back when you're put a tad more thought into this, Anonymous Coward.

PS: I personally know at least two doctors treating chronically ill patients with whom they regularly communicate via Facebook. I might know more, but this is not a topic that I discuss with everyone I know. :) Normally, anecdote is not the sigular of data, but in this case I'm pretty sure that there has been "protected health information" recorded in Facebook's data centers.

Which bring up the question as to whether they're doing enough to comply with HIPAA laws. And PCI laws, as some bone head has probably sent credit card numbers through "private messages" at some point. With sufficient creativity, it'd probably be possible to shut Facebook down through regulatory compliance audits, unless their TOS is equally creative. ;)

1 year,27 days
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What percentage of the software you use regularly is open source?

cloudmaster Re:Wow! Wrong! (222 comments)

What does the "view source" menu option do in *your* web browser? Seems like pretty much every web site is open source from my perspective.

about a year ago
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Human Stem Cell Cloning Paper Contains Reused Images

cloudmaster Anonymous reader? (38 comments)

So, an "anonymous" reader worded their submission as "at least at PubPeer .. we can". Sounds like this was submitted by someone from PubPeer. Coincidentally, the summary posted talks about how crappy this other place is for publishing without doing adequate review, while PubPeer is an awesome place because they do super amazing reviewing of the content they publish and this would have never happened.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: When Is the User Experience Too Good?

cloudmaster You need to better define "good" (397 comments)

The question isn't how easy it is for a user to do something bad; the question is how easy is it for a user to inadvertently do something bad. If the application is properly designed, all tasks should not only be easy to perform, but easy to perform accurately. Presumably, this deleterious task is something that does potentially need to be done, so it should be easy to do. But it should only be easy to do if the end user actually wants to do it, and not easy to do if the intention of the end user is to do something else. Your problem as a designer is to figure out how to accurately assess the user's intent.

about a year ago
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Turning the Belkin WeMo Into a Deathtrap

cloudmaster Re:Subtlety. (146 comments)

"Grounds"? So, after allowing the facts to percolate, there'd bean no chance of convection?

about a year and a half ago
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New York Pistol Permit Owner List Leaked

cloudmaster Re:Or the reverse (899 comments)

You got a tank-style water heater in your basement? How often do you check the safety valve to make sure it's not going to explode? How often does the government come in and mandate that you do so?

Oh, I see, that's different because people don't get all hysterical over hot water heater explosions. http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2008/08/14/20080814kpnx-waterheater.html Never forget Thunderbird Road! Ban water heaters! Publish a list of everyone who doesn't have a modern energy-efficient tankless water heater!

about a year and a half ago
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Belgian Consumer Organization Sues Apple For Not Respecting Warranty Law

cloudmaster Re:You have not the slightest idea of what you say (168 comments)

It's perfectly legitimate to charge less to someone who's less likely to make a claim, and more to someone who's more likely to make a claim. The "higher risk" person might not have an accident, and the "lower risk" person might have an accident. Say an accident costs $100, and there are two people insured. The company might gamble that only one will have an accident. So, they charge both people $50. But maybe one person never leaves home; they could charge him $40 and the other person - who drives a car with underinflated tires and has an auto accident every 2 years - $70. Both people still save money over paying for their own accident, and the company makes money either way.

The key here is that a company who can get a bunch of low-risk people in at a substantially lower rate than what those people would need to set aside, they will probably not have to pay out more than they took in. And that allows lower rates for low risks, which increases the number of low-risk people who may actually pay into the system without taking anything out. This is a self-feeding cycle. It doesn't take a genius to see that, with a large enough risk pool and reasonably accurate risk-assessment processes, everyone pays in less than they take out while the central organization still ends up making money.

But fine, if you, AC, think that saving $100 back every 6 months will provide me with the 250,000 I carry in coverage for someone else's medical costs for car insurance, you go right ahead and think that. Never mind the 100,000 I carry in coverage to me for uninsured motorist damage. Lemme know when you need a place to stay after someone who has state-minimum 25,000 coverage (if anything) hits you and makes you get physical therapy for a few months; I'm sure their insurance and the money you "set aside" will cover all your medical bills and personal car replacement just fine. Have fun putting aside money for your house insurance, too, since everyone is just fine putting aside more than the full amount of their mortgage (to pay for "stuff" too) into a savings account *while* paying off the mortgage and buying stuff.

about a year and a half ago
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Researchers Convert Phones Into Secret Listening Devices

cloudmaster Physical access? (59 comments)

As part of the demonstration, Cui inserted and removed a small external circuit board from the phone's Ethernet port

Seems like it'd be easier to just slap a traditional bug under the filing cabinet if you're going to need physical access anyway. And maybe leave behind a hardware keylogger while you're at it. Possibly also an annoyatron. :)

about 2 years ago
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Google's Image Search Now Requires Explicit Queries For Explicit Results

cloudmaster Re:Yeah, it's censorship (369 comments)

Uh-huh. You're going to index the internet with a Raspberry Pi. Good luck with that.

If I was one of those people who put amusing quotes from the same message board in his signature, this would be my new .sig.

about 2 years ago
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Google's Image Search Now Requires Explicit Queries For Explicit Results

cloudmaster Re:Oh grow up. (369 comments)

Damn it, that takes away my plausible deniability. :)

about 2 years ago
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A US Apple Factory May Be Robot City

cloudmaster Re:Automation and unemployment (602 comments)

They've got robot soda machines at the drive-through already. Those things are neat.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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cloudmaster cloudmaster writes  |  more than 7 years ago

cloudmaster (10662) writes "Apparently they were watching me to see when I downloaded the 6.10-rc release isos, as I did that last night, and the full release happened this morning. :)

Neat stuff, including Firefox 2.0, Gnome 2.16, myth 0.20, faster booting thanks to upstart (sort of a replacement for init, among others), etc.

The announcement and download pages are up. I've got *my* torrent running... :)"

Journals

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Chevelle engine!

cloudmaster cloudmaster writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So, this time I decided to have someone else rebuild my engine for me. Mainly due to having little time, but also because I wanted someone to break the thing in for me. So I had to find a shop with an engine dyno. I ended up going to Gustaf Engine in Moline, IL. Ron's a good, knowledgable guy, and worked with me to get things done pretty much within my budget. The final result is that I have a .040 over 350 (about 357-358 CID) which made 330 horsepower and 394 ft-lbs of torque. "What, just 332 horsepower?" Yes, and a whole mountain of torque across the whole RPM band - average from 2000 to 5000 RPMs is 370.8 ft-lbs. Combined with the 3.73:1 posi rear and the TH200-4R tranny, this car should be pretty fun to drive on the street. And since the transmission's "only" supposed to be built guaranteed up to 410 ft-lbs, I probably shoulnd't put much more power through it anyway. :)

This is why I wanted someone with an engine dyno to do it. I wanted to know the real numbers the car's making, sure, but there are better reasons. I wanted everything dialed in, and the thing first run on the dyno. They've got better instrumentation, and can make sure everything's working right during those critical first few minutes of runtime. That's more difficult in a car. And having the engine dialed in with real numbers, rather than going by the seat of my pants, well, it's well worth the $400 extra.

I also think it's cool that the engine holds 54PSI of oil pressure at 2000 RPMs, climbing to 68.3 PSI at 5K - which should be good for reliability - and that these numbers were generated with the coolant temperature at about 165. With my big aluminum radiator and dual high-volume electric fans, the 160 'stat should be able to maintain that pretty well.

Hopefully I'll get it in this week...

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Weird /. member

cloudmaster cloudmaster writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Tonight someone added me to their foe list. I probably shouldn't care, but it's weird. I looked it up, and at first I thought it was the rat guy, who I think I may well have pissed off. Then later I thought it was that boob who kept posting responses to things I didn't type. But no, it was neither of those people. In fact, looking at the profile for "JamesM77", this person hasn't ever posted anything. He's got about two pages of friends, and as many foes. The weird thing is that he has fans, despite having never posted. I dunno, the relationship thing isn't a great big deal to me, though I've added a couple of people to my foe list for reasons I forget. I've gotten on a few people's lists, for reasons which I probably don't care about. But this one's just weird. I guess I'd like to actually personally irritate someone for them to do that - it strikes me as odd that someone would just disagree with what I say (probably just once) in a conversation I'm having with someone else.

Like I said, it's just weird. I've also never seen a foe list (for a real user) that long. Huh. Eh well, back to waiting for warm weather to return and that POS Caprice to sell. :)

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The car, almost done

cloudmaster cloudmaster writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Well, I fixed the radiator. Unfortunately, the heat I applied to the fitting I braxed on was apparently enough to melt the solder/brass sealing the cooler itself. That resulted in a leak internal to the radiator tank, turning another $7 worth of antifreeze pink. Argh.

So I bought a new radiator - which, surprisingly, O'Reilly just had in stock for about $100. Their regular price beat radiators.com on this one. It also beat radiatorbarn.com, but I would suggest *never* buying anything from radiatorbarn.com. I bought one radiator from them for my 1971 chevelle - I got the 4-core radiator which was intended for the 1970 LS6 454 (you know, most powerful production muscle car built, 500+HP) with air conditioning. In other words, the best heat dissipator that could go into that car. I also was using a Flex-a-lite black magic fan (one that moves more air than the stock engine-driven fan) with a shroud. That POS radiator could not keep the very mild (8.5:1, should be about 300-320HP) 350 cool. On top of that, I now get spam to radiatorbarn@my.catchall.domaion. Radiators.com has been great to deal with, though (I got the radiator for my cop car there), and they don't spam me. Plus, they shipped faster.

Anyway, I got the new radiator installed, and I got everything painted. I put on the antique plates this weekend, reactivated the insurance, and drove it around a little. It runs well, after the choke opens. I bent the choke spring, though (didn't initially plan to reuse the carb and intake), so it doesn't open quite fast enough. That's annoying. The brakes also aren't working very well - it'll stop, but a panic stop just ain't happening. I'l try bleeding them tonight - that might help - or it could just be something in one of the lines. I wonder if anyone local sells a brake pressure gauge?

Today the amplifier I bought on eBay should get here (after a month of waiting for some guy to ship the last one I won - he made up some crap about his wife having cancer, probably because "who would question that?" and now is no longer an eBay member). It'll complement the two 10" subs I put in a box I already had, and I think that having a little thump in the black Caprice with tinted windows and loud exhaust might attract a few more buyers in the target market - and I can add more to the price than the $75 that stuff cost me. Or maybe it'll work so well that I'll want to keep the box and amp, who knows. I wonder if I should consider getting a CD player for the car, since it just has a tape deck now... :)

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cloudmaster cloudmaster writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Sigh. The transmission cooler line blew out. I had soldered a replacement fitting in to the radiator, and built up a layer of JB-Weld around it. But that's inadequate, so it seems. So I've bought a torch (my little propane torch running mapp gas didn't get hot enough, so I've got a real cutting torch now) and brazing rods, and will be fixing it right this time. It's a bit of a pain having the car covered with transmission fluid... It does run reasonably well, though, so it should sell.

I'm sanding the car down today, too, and hope to have it painted by week's end. There'll be pictures when it's done... :)

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cloudmaster cloudmaster writes  |  more than 9 years ago

It's almost warmer-enough to allow me to finally paint that stupid Caprice. I'll be glad to get rid of it. It runs alright, what with the new head gaskets and general clean-up, and it looks pretty good under the hood, since it was all painted. Painting the rusty chrome wheels gave them new life, too. Once the body and chrome is totally blacked out, it'll looks reasonably nice, too. It's be better with an actual strong engine, but who needs more than 175 HP in a 4500 lb car anyway? ;)

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cloudmaster cloudmaster writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Well, I got the engine put together. I decided to just leave it stock so I could sell all of the junk in the garage and keep some useful stuff, instead fo selling the useful stuff and being stuck with some old crap cylinder heads, an old cast-iron intake, and an old 2-bbl carb. No, it didn't actually take me several months to put it back together, but I figured I'd go ahead and post an update for the benefit of both people who look at my journal. :) Oh, wanna buy an '80 Caprice 2-dr?

Also, comments are disabled on future car posts. It seems that anonymous cowards, who are below my view threshold, BTW, feel compelled to post uninformedly on my car journal entries. Like the idiot who claimed that lower compression raises power somehow. That moron says the exact same engine made more power with less compression in '71 than '70, but then goes on to explain that the cam and head design also changed. Huh. Imagine that. I wonder if the cam, head design, and carb had anything to do with the power increase? I wonder why the higher-compression LS-6 454 (the *real* 454) made more power than both of the LS-5's put together?

Anyway, coments are disabled since it's mostly just idiots commenting anyway. I don't much care what uninformed idiots have to say, and non-idiots can find other ways. Maybe one day I'll subscribe, and limit posting to friends. Maybe.

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Stuff inside an engine

cloudmaster cloudmaster writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Well, I guess it's not good to have stuff inside of the cylinders on your typical small block Chevy engine. My car started making a knocking noise a week or so ago, but the valvetrain was fine. So, since I was planning to change the cylinder heads, intake, carb and cam anyway, I pulled it apart. In #1 and #4, there were some cast zinc (also known as pot metal) pieces, such as may have been on a carbueretor. Well, the carb's not missing any pieces, and nothing else is made of that material (the air cleaner's stamped steel, and the heads + intake are cast iron). My best guess is that the previous owner of the car this engine came out (80K mile '71 Chevelle) of dropped something in there, and it just recently broke free of whatever crap was holding it in place. The ports on the intake are comicly small, so this sounds reasonable to me.

Eh, nothing was damaged aside from the little chinks in the pistons (which aren't bad). The new heads (which I gasket matched and polished using Standard Abrasives' really nice kit) have bigger ports and a 58cc chamber rather than the 76cc stock combustion chamber, which should result in much more fun than the stock 8.5:1 compression ratio was giving me - this oughtta put me at about 10.5 or 10.7:1 if I'm getting the swept volume right. The small 4bbl carb works better than the stock 2bbl, the aluminum intake will be lighter and flow better than the cast-iron dualplane, and the mild cam is *way* better than the 1971 smogger engine cam. The engine was originally rated at like 170HP (307 cid / 5.1L), I'm hoping for 280-300 with a good torque curve this time, since the car's an '80 caprice "sport coupe" that still weighs a lot and has bad gears.

Anyone have a 7.5" chevy rear with something like a 3.08 ratio that they wanna get rid of? :)

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cloudmaster cloudmaster writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I like old cars. They're easy to work on, easy to get parts for (usually), and can be made fairly fuel efficient with some simple attention to detail. I've had several cars that make more power than modern SUVs *and* get better mileage - and were more capable off-road vehicles (even though they're cars).

Having more mass than other cars on the road is helpful when some drunken/distracted boob in a small car drifts into your lane, too. Yay momentum and conservation of energy. :)

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cloudmaster cloudmaster writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Some day I'll have to learn why people are so stupid. I mean, why would someone spend several thousand dollars and several years of their life to get a half-arsed MIS degree when they could've actually gotten a *real* CS degree? I can't understand why someone would choose MIS over, say, just majoring in business and taking a couple of programming classes at a community college. At least then they wouldn't confuse people who don't know any better.

"Hey look at this guy, he's got an MIS degree. Must be just as educated as someone with a CS degree". Degrees are generally pointless anyway, but MIS? Sigh.

In general, if something sounds like the name was made up to make it sound more impressive ("Management Information Systems", "Sanitation Engineer") or has "applied" stuck onto it ("Applied Mathematics", "Applied Computer Science"), it's probably not impressive at all, and should be avoided.

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