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Tesla About To Start Battery-Swap Pilot Program

eepok Depends on the method of swapping... (127 comments)

If they're using the existing Tesla Model S with the intention to have them pull over open bays in the ground and have robots remove battery packs built into the undercarriage, then it will fail. On the other hand if they were to make a new EV that had multiple bays from which you can pull out and swap rails of cells, then they'd have a good chance.

The only future for EVs is to go battery-swapping and to make swapping possible with human muscle.


Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

eepok The Batman, Theater Attack Comparison (573 comments)

In the article, the Peter Singer states, "Someone killed 12 people and shot another 70 people at the opening night of Batman: The Dark Knight [Rises]. They kept that movie in the theaters. You issue an anonymous cyber threat that you do not have the capability to carry out? We pulled a movie from 18,000 theaters."

In some ways, the comparison between the response to this current threat against movie theaters and the rampage that happened 2012 shooting in Aurora, Colorado is appropriate. Both target movie theaters and the people in them. But that's where it ends.

The Aurora shooting has gone down in history as an unforeseeable tragedy the fault of which lay entirely with the shooter. Everyone said, "This was very sad," and no one's expecting any victims' civil suits to win anything.

In fairly extreme contrast, ***IF*** Sony were to allow the movie to be shown in theaters and ***IF*** someone attacked a movie theater for any reason relating to the showing of the movie, then Sony would be very publicly acknowledged as having fault in the harm done to theater-goers and would be sued out of existence.

Everything in this decision has to do with LIABILITY. Even if the probability is extremely low, the potential liability is astronomical. It doesn't make financial sense for Sony to allow the movie to be shown.

Aside: Notice who the puppets and the puppet-masters are here. Those making the threats hold the strings, but they're not playing Sony. They're playing the American public. They know that the American public are so unhappy with their opportunities to be super-rich that they see legal liability as one of their few chances to get MILLIONS! As such, the nation is extremely risk-averse thus thoroughly negating out espoused resolve to not be susceptible to terroristic threats.

To be cliche, the enemy is us.

2 days ago

Keurig 2.0 Genuine K-Cup Spoofing Vulnerability

eepok Good! (270 comments)

Keurig coffee, with all their DRM, just adds to our waste-plastic problem and costs about twice as much as coffee you grind at home. (http://goo.gl/NiVJ8D)

Get yourself a stainless steel cup, throw some coffee in there, and use the pilfered K-Cup tag to make it all work together.

about two weeks ago

French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

eepok I use AdBlock and here's why... (698 comments)

I use AdBlock not because I believe no one with a website shouldn't have the opportunity to make money via advertising, but because of the METHOD of advertising.

Flashing ads, quick movements, anything with Flash that can crash and stall my use of my browser, or any ad of more than 600 KB in size is intrusive. I don't mind being advertised at, but if you DEMAND my attention via tactics instead of attempting to CONVINCE me to buy a service or product with the facts of that service or product, then I will turn off and walk away.

Example of good Slashdot-based advertising for me: "Newegg - 15% off orders $25 - $100. December 8 ONLY. We know there's a couple things you've been meaning to buy. Be smart about it and buy them now. CLICK HERE to apply coupon." The coupon could take effect only via clicking in from Slashdot.

Also, I pay for my bandwidth and if you want to advertise to me, cool. Just don't take liberties with the size of your advertisement. Keep it small. Maybe a 2-3 frame gif changing every 20 seconds.

Lastly, I don't like the tracker cookies. I know some people say that tracking one's surfing habits enables more relevant ads to be used, but I don't like being tracked at all. Why not just use advertisements relevant to the site content? It's Slashdot -- post tech stuff. Slashdot builder? Then push 3D printer filaments.

As a result of some really BADvertisers, no one gets to put advertisements in front of my web-surfing eyes. I don't even know if a site has changed to less-obtrusive ads unless they tell me. (And if they do, I turn off AdBlock.) It's as simple as that.

about two weeks ago

Bicycle Bottle System Condenses Humidity From Air Into Drinkable Water

eepok Re:Droid needed (167 comments)

My kingdom for mod points! (+1 Funny)

about a month ago

Will Lyft and Uber's Shared-Ride Service Hurt Public Transit?

eepok Re:Not Sharing (237 comments)

Yes, please.

Lyft's use of the term "Rideshare" is a knowing and willing deception. Lyft's creator, John Zimmer, actually made a Ridesharing webapp that is still in use by many Universities (Zimride). Zimride facilitates the creation of carpools and vanpools-- not rides on a confederated taxi service. Of course, Zimmer saw the big money in a taxi service and with his history in actual Rideshare and has tried to re-write the definition so that (hopefully) he could side-step taxi regulations.

By the way, "Rideshare" is a federally recognized term that describes an entire industry whose job it is to reduce the number of automobiles on the road by convincing people to take transit, carpool, vanpool, bike, and walk instead of driving. (Check it out: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd...)

about a month ago

Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

eepok Re:Worst law in the history of the United States. (739 comments)

Huh... there's a lot about this post that can be used to sprout new conversation.

1. PPOs are move expensive than HMOs. To save money, go to an HMO.

2. There is no such thing as a "modest six-figure household income"-- at least without context. $100,000/year in California's Inland Empire will get you a lot more than $200,000/year in the middle of Manhattan.

3. You're paying $1,000/month in premiums? Do you pay for it personally? One would assume that the employers that could facilitate a household's 6-figure income could negotiate a lower premium for its employees.

4. You didn't mention if there was any change to your coverage (for example, if you get a whiff of cancer, you'll still taken care of).

5. The law didn't require insurance premiums to go up. Insurers decided to jack up their prices instead of cutting profits. And no one knows if they simply used the opportunity to increase the prices on the independently insured.

6. I work for a major university system. My rates stayed the same and my coverage expanded. My household makes significantly less than yours. I guess we can chalk it up to my employer having more negotiating power than yours. But here's the big question: why does there need to be insurance price bargaining in the first place? Oh yes... the for-profit insurance industry and associated medical industries.

about 1 month ago

Four Dutch Uberpop Taxi Drivers Arrested, Fined

eepok The AirBnB Jab -- (282 comments)

"While similar bullying applied to short rentals of private rooms through sites like Airbnb"

Look-- Uber, Lyft, and all the other distributed taxi services are being so heavily attacked by regulatory agencies because it is the responsibility of those agencies to protect consumer safety. Voluntarily make sure your company meets all the same safety and insurance requirements as an existing taxi system and you'll be set.

AirBnB is similar in that the repeated short-term rental of homes as hotels requires health and fire inspections of these distributed hotels, BUT there's an additional issue. Amsterdam is a massive tourist attraction. People want to visit Amsterdam, ride bikes, get high, and maybe visit a prostitute. However, Amsterdam is not that big... and the people who live there don't want it to get very big. In fact, if it got too big or too expensive, then you'd have no dutch people living there-- just tourist agencies and immigrants dressed in stereotypical Dutch garb-- "Welcome to Dutch Land, Americans!".

The ease of facilitating short-term tourism rentals via AirBnB makes it exceedingly profitable to buy a flat and use AirBnB to bring in more revenue per month than you could get renting the place out to people who actually want to live and work in the city. And that's the problem. Amsterdam should be full of the Dutch but without appropriate regulation, it will be full of tourists with some Dutch on the side.

I would love to visit Amsterdam, but wouldn't care to do so in the future if it's jam packed with tourists.

about 2 months ago

Fuel Efficiency Numbers Overstate MPG More For Cars With Small Engines

eepok Re:metric you insensitive clod! (403 comments)

When selling to end-users, you should be describing cost per distance traveled. They will want to know how much it will costs them to use the vehicle day to day.
When describing emissions, you should be describing lbs or kg of CO2 or CO2e per distance traveled. Since vehicle mileage is easily tracked, we can use that figure to determine, with simple multiplication environmental effects of driving an automobile.

Of course, when you are using an EV, this goes out the window because the cost of refueling is highly dependent on when and where you charge. Moreover, the blend of electricity sources determines the actual pollution from charging the vehicle. (Charging in West Virgina is significantly worse for the environment than Southern California).

about 2 months ago

Hewlett-Packard Pleads Guilty To Bribing Officials in Russia, Poland, and Mexico

eepok Bribery's Sin is Relative (110 comments)

Countries most likely to require a bribe (per Transparency International)

1. Russia
2. China
3. Mexico
4. Indonesia
5. United Arab Emirates
6. Argentina
7. Saudi Arabia
8. Turkey
9. India
10. Taiwan

Sometimes bribery is just expected. Russians have been brow-beaten by their ruling class(es) since the dawn of time. If you were to moan about paying a bribe there, grandmother passers-by would tell you to nut up and just get it done. In China, it's simply an expected part of business-- gifts of all sorts and money are expected when visiting offices, homes, and closing deals. Mexico's just messed up. They've not had a stable government since the narco cartels took over.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

eepok Re:I'm not sold yet.... (471 comments)

No one NEEDS a smartphone either. People WANT and LIKE smartphones because it allows them to be less foresightful than before.

about 3 months ago

Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

eepok Re:So what exactly is the market here. (730 comments)

Just a quick correction because I see a lot of people buying Fitbits without understanding what they actually do. And then returning them.

Fitbits are very simple devices that act as an accelerometer, pedometer, altimeter, and a watch.

Worn Fitbits do not monitor your health or fitness. They cannot tell you if you're sick, developing cancer, or at risk for heart disease. They cannot tell you your BMI, your body fat percentages, glucose levels, or blood pressure. They can't tell you if you need a recovery day or if you're about to pass out due to dehydration.

Fitbits are not substitutes for regular medical visits. It sounds nitpicky, but as a go-to nerd, I've had to explain this to too many people who then feel dumb for the purchase. Everything you think your Fitbit is doing for you, you can do on your own or don't need to do in the first place.

about 3 months ago

NYPD Starts Body Camera Pilot Program

eepok Yes, But How Would YOU Design the System? (170 comments)

I know next to nothing about what is required to inventory, issue, use, download, store, index, and recall all the hardware and video that would be required for such a system. I can only speculate. Has anyone had experience in this realm? Creating massive databases for video or images and indexing them in such a way that police reports could be tied directly to them and be pulled up as necessary?

If so, in your perfect world, how would you build the system and how much would it cost?

about 3 months ago

Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

eepok Re:Actions Against People Who Happen to be Women (1134 comments)

Where do you go to see RL gay people and women being verbally attacked online because they are gay and/or women? That's sounds like a horrible place. Why do you go there?

But are you certain it's *because* they have those characteristics or might it be, as suggested, that knowing those characteristics, the offender specifically uses certain terms and phrases to hurt that person?

There's a big difference between a person who thinks everyone woman is a slut to be hated and person angry at another person who happens to be a woman and (using the knowledge of womanhood) chooses the word "slut" as a means of honing one's insult.

Too hard to believe? Consider the angry rantings of a child.

Almost everyone has heard a pissed off kid say, "I hate you! I wish you weren't my mom!!"? Maybe you said it yourself as a child.
Which is the more likely interpretation?
(A) "I genuinely wishes that s/he had different parents. I would not cry if I was taken away from you."
(B) "I'm pissed that I didn't get my way. Knowing that you love me as a parent, I offer words contrary to my own knowledge and opinion with for the specific intent in doing you emotional or psychological harm in retribution."

about 4 months ago

Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

eepok Re:I predict (1134 comments)

This is easy and it's happening more and more frequently. Today's games are much more likely to have female non-victim playable characters. But if that's going to be a gauge for any kind of improvement over time, then you have to establish a reference date. For example:

2003 -- Year Zero -- X number of games and Y% of games on the market have the option to play female lead characters.
2004 -- Year One -- X number...

But then you can't go back and say, ".01% of all video games made between 1982 and 2014 have had the option of playing a female lead character." That would be disingenuous. That would be holding today's developers and writers accountable for actions taken by other developers while today's developers were in primary school. At some point, you have to have the integrity to say, "The old generational thought is dying out. The new generational thought is taking hold. It just takes time from here."

And still, you can't force game designers to choose to make a character female any more than you can force a novelist. Part of game creation is following a creative vision. Yes, studios can make such changes. Yes, we can HOPE that newer game designers have the same gender-based sentiments as we, but since it is still an artistic endeavor, they should have the freedom to create the games they wish to create... with the audience deciding if it's a game they want to buy.

"Assuming that art is ultimately a cultural product, what does that say about the gaming industry's attitudes toward women? How do they compare to other creative industries? (Movies, TV, etc.)"

It says a couple things-- neither are too surprising. Young girls are taught to want to be rescued. Young men are taught to want to rescue. After the rescue transaction, adult-oriented fiction asserts that there's an expectation of physical intimacy. That's the fantasy story that told day-in and day-out. Sometimes the story is reversed. Sometimes it includes the same gender. It says nothing about women but quite a bit about our **historical** fantasies.

Today's stories are different. Resident Evil, Salt, Twilight, Harry Potter-- Female competence and heroism is a celebrated expectation and is becoming more and more mainstream-- not because peoples' tastes are being forcibly changed, but because kids grew up with the expectation that boys and girls can both be whomever they wish.

It's generational. The old and their ideas will die off. The new and their ideas will replace them. So just make sure not to hold the new accountable for the actions of the old. Hell... don't even lump them into the same categories.

about 4 months ago

Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

eepok Re:Actions Against People Who Happen to be Women (1134 comments)

Translation A: I don't like what you've said and I'm showing it by saying things that I hope to make you angry.
Translation B: I'm a random troll.

And by the way, I wish you hadn't capitalized all those words. Now I can't help but imagine what a culture of reptilian Mexicans worshiping at Temple would look like. And now I'm imagining the combination of cultural dietary habits. Great! Now I have a novel!

about 4 months ago

New Usage-Based Insurance Software Can Track Drivers Using Smartphones

eepok If necessary, what's the best way to do it? (137 comments)

There are some things (very few) in this world that I simply accept to be inevitable. I predict that the cost of having non-tracked auto insurance will increase greatly in relation to the cost of tracked auto insurance. It will become costly to hold onto 100% privacy in your automobile transportation habits.

While I have the preference of not being tracked whatsoever, what limitations would you propose within such a tracking system to preserve as much privacy as possible while also promoting the risk analysis that an insurance company would want from the data?

My suggestions:
-- Record speed measurements every 5 seconds the engine is on.
-- Record mile traveled per day.
-- No GPS coordinates recorded. (No actual location.)
-- Transmit data only once per month. Frequent transmissions can be used as a means of obtaining location.

What say you?

about 4 months ago

Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

eepok Re:I predict (1134 comments)

I'm a male gamer and I agree with the assertion that video games with women typically find methods of objectifying the female form... but it's not as though video games or gamer culture is unique in this way. The gaming industry objectifies women. As does Hollywood. And print media.

One of the best selling products in history is the female form and it sells well. Sex sells well. What do you do in a capitalist society when there is a seemingly unlimited demand for a product of which you have a nearly unlimited supply? Well, you sell it.

We can even take it a step further an confidently assert that there will always be a sufficient supply of the female form to meet or exceed demand due to psychological imperative with which most Western girls grow up that suggests that if they cannot receive validation of self through other actions or deeds, then there's always the option to resort to sexuality. One could even assert that this persistent and potentially indoctrinated psychological rationale may be one of the roots of reproduction for humanity.

And it's even easier to supply the female form in games because you don't even need a female. You just need artistic skills and an imagination!

So we've defined the multifaceted problem (biologically-enforced demand and an unlimited supply). We've also based the discussion on the issues that such objectification is becoming more and more of a nuisance to the comfort of more and more people (social evolution).

So what is to be done?

Stop all games that singularly sexualize the female form? What if both the male and female forms are equally sexualized? All good?
Do the same for video and print media?
Do we affect demand?
Are we to shame males and lesbians for appreciating the female form in game, video, and print media?

And this is where I always get stuck. If we want to change the frequency or the visibility of the objectification of the female form, we have to affect supply, demand, or both-- but doing so by shaming or legislation seems to infringe not only upon the social contract but upon biological imperatives thus making such an effort pointless.

So what is to be done?

about 4 months ago

Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

eepok Actions Against People Who Happen to be Women (1134 comments)

Is there any evidence that it's a such concentrated effort to imply a genuine, heartfelt hatred of women (misogyny)? You would really have to stretch your rationale and ignore massive amounts of evidence to the contrary to assert that there's a pervasive vein of misogyny growing throughout nerd/gamer culture.

Yes, some male gamers will use derogatory words to intentionally offend women. And men. And transgendered people. And dogs. And the dead. And the not-yet-living. And mythical characters.

If there's any cultural bias against any one group, it's the group that "pissing us off right now". And "women-as-a-whole" have never been that group.

It has nothing to do with women as a whole, but a targeted hatred at people who happen to be women.

It doesn't matter who you are. Male, female, man, woman, gay, straight, asexual, black, white, brown, Asian, American, French, German, Argentinian-- if you piss off nerds and they come after you, you can be fairly certain it has nothing to do with your immutable characteristics and everything to do with your actions. You can try to hide behind immutable characteristics as a means of suggesting some sort of irrational bias, but nerds, by their very nature, are too damn smart to fall for that.

about 4 months ago


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