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Comments

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Musk Will Open Up Tesla Supercharger Patents To Spur Development

ehud42 Re:Interesting, but... (230 comments)

I doubt that you could use a Tesla-like Supercharger to charge a battery other than one made by Tesla. I'm not talking about DRM, I'm talking about the architecture of the battery pack itself - its charging characteristics, its safety features, its cooling system, and so on down to the level of the individual 18650 cells.

Disclaimer: I know nothing about the Tesla Supercharger.

But I do know generally how chargers work - specifically multi-cell lithium chargers. Each cell requires a charge management circuit. I don't think the Supercharger actively manages the cell level charging. It is highly unlikely that given 10s or 100s of cells in a Tesla pack that there is going to be anything other than voltage, current and maybe a serial data line for that can be used for metering and financial charging.

As long as my car can handle the voltage, draws an appropriate amount of current and (possibly) provides some identification for payment or statistics, I can take that power and charge 18650's, NiCds, SLAs, caps or just run a big stereo for a block party. At some point there may be a $/kWh bill in the mail, but otherwise, the charging station is most likely battery tech agnostic.

about 3 months ago
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'Pop-Up' Bus Service Learns Boston Riders' Rhythms, Creates Routes Accordingly

ehud42 Re:meet the new Bus, same as the old bus (51 comments)

this is what bus planners have always done with the best available data, in setting routes.

And therein lies the rub. Well that at and just general bureaucratic inertia. In our city, route changes tend not to keep up with road construction, destination changes, etc. We have major roads that are full of cars during rush hour, but hardly any buses and empty buses touring residential areas.

An example of an empty major road is Kenaston Blvd & Bishop Grandin Blvd (Note: Zoom in on the map - there's lots of route "close by"). Not a single bus route travels that stretch and yet this road is one of our "inner perimeters" where 42,000 vehicles drive it every day (PDF warning).

Another example is our 98 and 82. These are "feeder" routes. They collect residents and bring them to major routes where they can go downtown. However, if you live on one side of the river and wish to go to a business or school on the other side of the river, you need to take BOTH buses which only run every 1/2 hour. It would seem to me that the logical thing to do would be to combine them into a single loop. That way you aren't stuck in -30C weather waiting 29 minutes for your transfer because the first bus was running late.

about 3 months ago
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Google Blurring Distinction Between Ads and Organic Search Results

ehud42 Re:Search poisoning (187 comments)

If they start poisoning search with for-profit results Google will be quickly reminded that they are not the only search engine in town.

And other search engines (that matter) are?

Bing?

My point being, google's dominance in the search space, while not guaranteed, will certainly offer them a fair bit of buffer to experiment.

about 6 months ago
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Death to the Trapezoid... Next USB Connector Will Be Reversible

ehud42 What's wrong with good old TRS plugs? (408 comments)

Tip-{ring,ring,...}-Sleeve. Easily handles the 3 or 4 connectors needs for just about any modern digital serial connector. Need power? why not modulate the signal on top of the power carrier? Easy to connect, proven reliable (can't count how many times I've broken a mini/micro USB or worse those umpteen pin pico/nano pin connectors that are only used for power or maybe a simple serial connection)

about 9 months ago
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EU Plastic Bag Debate Highlights a Wider Global Problem

ehud42 Garbage bags (470 comments)

In Winnipeg (Canada), charging for bags - or even simply flat out not supplying them (MEC), has resulted in such a drop in small, convenient shopping bags that we (re)used for garbage bags, that we now have to explicitly buy garbage bags (for small waste bins like in the bathrooms).

Also, yard waste used to be dropped off at certain depots - and large plastic bags were king. Now, it is collected at the curb side - but only if in PAPER yard waste bags. We had stocked up on the large garbage bags for yard waste before the switch, and I fear we now have a lifetime supply of paint smocks, emergency rain coats, vapour barrier material, etc....

about 10 months ago
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20-Somethings Think It's OK To Text and Answer Calls In Business Meetings

ehud42 Different priorities - who you know vs who you see (453 comments)

I suspect (based on a loose study of my family), us older generation believes that the more important people to focus your attention on are the ones in your presence (at the table, in a meeting, etc) and that the person on the other end of the line can wait.

Our kids however, feel that certain people are more important than others regardless of where they are. Their friends are more important than any boss or family that is nearby.

And so, my wife and I will let the phone ring / answer machine take the call, ignore text messages / FB notifications, etc during supper.

And my kids are squirming as if in extreme pain if their phone buzzes and we don't let them immediately see who it's from and if it's a friend let them respond.

I'm not going to say it's a bad priority shift, but it certainly is an interesting one.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Is the Best Email Encryption Gateway For a Small Business?

ehud42 Simple (155 comments)

The one that you (or someone you trust) can effectively manage.

about a year ago
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Printable Gun Downloads Top 100k In 2 Days, Thanks to Kim Dotcom

ehud42 Bullet control (656 comments)

Not to say that DIY'ers can't get around this, but all them fancy guns need fancy bullets. Home made guns will also need decent bullets. So, why not tighten up bullet control:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZrFVtmRXrw

(It's Chris Rock)

I realize lots of hunters, etc reload their own, but I'm not aware of too many DIY'ers who are able to make reliable primers (might be wrong) - so maybe just control the sale and distribution of primers?

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are There Any Good Reasons For DRM?

ehud42 Point in time art / content (684 comments)

Like ice sculptures, live performances, draft deals, verbal negotiations - there are things that need to be done that lead to better things, but in themselves have no value if kept and (sometimes) can only do harm.

These things would benefit from DRM that render them useless at the will & command of the creator.

about a year ago
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How Peer1 Survived Sandy

ehud42 Re:OSHA must be thrilled (130 comments)

OSHA must be thrilled

Getting OSHA / union / bubblewrap parents involved means that those who are capable of helping are not allowed to because of the risk that some idiot gets hurt or damages something.

They have their place and time when things are normal to try and minimize the impact of a disaster, but once that disaster is in full swing, they need to sit down, shut up and let people self-mobilize to get the job done.

In the spring of '97 guys were working heavy equipment for days straight, often by the light of military flares, to build a dike that saved Winnipeg from one of the biggest spring floods in our history (often "stealing" clay/dirt from nearby farms to get the dike to the heights needed, dragging and dumping scrap cars, buses, anything they could find to shore up the water front side from erosion, etc.). Ignoring the union rules, safety rules, land procurement rules, etc. they got it done in time.

After the flood waters receded, then all the compensating processes kicked in to address the shortcomings.

about 2 years ago
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New Technology May Cut Risk of Giving Syrian Rebels Stinger Missiles

ehud42 Security vs Physical access (279 comments)

In security circles, doesn't physical access = assumed compromise? Game consoles & "locked" phones, e-Readers, etc. are all compromised within hours of being released to the masses. I think one should be very careful before placing trust in physical access security.

about 2 years ago
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Glow-In-The-Dark Smart Highways Coming To the Netherlands In 2013

ehud42 Real world testing please (167 comments)

There's a stretch of highway by my place that has these really cool LED lights countersunk into the centre line that I'm sure were marketed as a great way to increase safety. The stretch of highway is a narrow 2 lane non-divided temporary by pass around a construction zone (major interchange being built to no where).

The problem with these fancy LEDs is they are so dim that I actually find myself quite distracted trying to determine if they are in fact glowing. Had they gone with a much lower tech solution of putting countersunk reflectors, my headlights would have gladly lit up the centre line.

Glow in the dark stickers, etc. only work when the surrounding area is really dark, otherwise there just isn't enough contrast.

I hope this tech provides a significant visual contrast or else it will just be a distracting and annoying waste of money.

about 2 years ago
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$3,000 Tata Nano Car Coming To US

ehud42 Re:Power steering isn't a safety feature. (658 comments)

Where the heck did you get all your misinformation from, again?

Owned a 1989 Eagle Vista GT - no power steering, 1989 Honda Civic LX with power steering, and a 1996 Geo Metro with no power steering and now a 2009 Toyota Yaris with power steering. All manual Tx btw. Not sure if the Yaris can come w/out power steering, so not much opinion there, but based on the other 3 - I was safer without power steering.

When the Honda was getting old and would stall (often as I was slowing to a stop at intersections) the sudden loss of power assist in the steering was disconcerting at best, and certainly added effort and therefore time to react as I tried to limp to the side of the road. Neither Metro nor Eagle had that problem.

Looking at failure modes of the smaller cars I've owned - I'll stand by my statement that power steering was a safety hazard.

about 2 years ago
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$3,000 Tata Nano Car Coming To US

ehud42 Re:Power steering isn't a safety feature. (658 comments)

Funny, it seems the NHTSA actually agrees with me. Allow me to quote:

"ABS allows the driver to maintain directional stability,control over steering, and in some situations, to reduce stopping distances during emergency braking situation, particularly on wet and slippery road surface."

When specifically answering the "Do cars with ABS stop more quickly than cars without?" question they have this to say:

"ABS is designed to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle during emergency braking situations, not make the car stop more quickly."

They then do some hand waving saying some systems may stop a car faster, (BTW, they don't mention "skilled drivers").

The reality is, the difference in stopping distances are minor nits compared to the benefit of steering while breaking - and ABS needs to be advertised as such.

about 2 years ago
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$3,000 Tata Nano Car Coming To US

ehud42 Re:Power steering isn't a safety feature. (658 comments)

Just to be pedantic - in most situations, ABS will NOT decrease your stopping distance, in fact, by definition not locking your tires reduces friction and actually increases stopping distances. What ABS does do, is enable you to stear around objects, etc while slowing down - which you cannot do if your tires are locked.

Power steering is actually a safety hazard - if you engine fails you will quickly lose the ability to safely steer the vehicle - especially if you are applying the brakes.

about 2 years ago
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FAA Permits American Airlines To Use iPads In Cockpit "In All Phases of Flight"

ehud42 Red herring (372 comments)

For large airlines, that 35lb argument is such a red herring. $1.2 million in fuel savings when spread out per flight has to be so far below the noise floor as to be completely meaningless. Any change in fuel consumption over the year that small can be contributed to so many other factors.

I know I can sometimes flip through a large book that I am very familiar with to find what I'm looking for faster than I can type the words into a search engine - especially when I'm not 100% sure on what word I'm looking for, but I'll know it when I see it. How much fuel does a 747 burn idling while a pilot tries typing in different key words looking for that section he knows deals with the quirk at hand?

On a typical jet carrying 200+ passengers, there is going to be more than 35lbs of weight fluctuation in the level of water retention among the passengers.

Fuel burn is also related to temperature, humidity and wind speed. Will they see the fuel savings when factoring in all that entropy?

Maybe the weight makes a difference on a small 206 Caravan, but for these big birds, call a spade a spade - the pilots want their toys.

about 2 years ago
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Confessions of a Left-Handed Technology User

ehud42 Re:CD Jewel cases (267 comments)

Does your right-handed friend also open the cover of books across his body with his right hand?

Actually - he probably does. I observe that people hold books with their left hand and then lift the cover/turn pages with their right. It works because the book cover isn't clipped to the body/pages to limit accidental opening.

I'm not 100% left handed, and have a lot of right handed tendencies (all sports are rh) - I dexterously open books, but sinistrously open CD cases.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Canada considering online voting in elections

ehud42 ehud42 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

ehud42 writes "Slashdot readers generally agree that voting machines such as from Diebold are a bad idea. Well, what about online voting? That is what the Vancouver Sun is reporting. Given that voter turnout in our most recent election was the worst on record, Elections Canada is kicking around the idea of allowing voters to register online, update registration information online and maybe even vote online. Seems the kids like the idea... what do you think?"
Link to Original Source
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Government steals wi-fi to post on hate groups

ehud42 ehud42 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

ehud42 writes "We all know about the risks of having someone 'borrow' your open Wi-Fi connection to do bad stuff. What happens when it is the government (specifically the Canadian Human Rights Commission) who is free-riding on your unsecured network?

During the hearings, Dean Steacy, an investigator for the human rights commission, admitted using the pseudonym "Jadewarr" to post messages on white supremacist websites. Following a subpoena, Bell Canada revealed that one "Jadewarr" post in a chat room had originated from an Internet address belonging to Nelly Hechme, who lives in an Ottawa highrise close to the commission's office.
"
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Internet security moving toward "white list

ehud42 ehud42 writes  |  about 7 years ago

ehud42 writes "According to Symantec, "Internet security is headed toward a major reversal in philosophy, where a 'white list' which allows only benevolent programs to run on a computer will replace the current 'black list' system" as described in this article on the CBC. The article mentions some issues with fairness to whose program is 'safe' including a comment that judges need to be impartial to open source programs which can change quite rapidly. Would this work? The effort to maintain black lists is becoming so daunting that white lists may be an effective solution."
Link to Original Source
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ehud42 ehud42 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ehud42 writes "The CBC is reporting that "Manitoba First Nations are seeking compensation from Manitoba Telecom Services for every cellphone signal that passes through First Nations land, saying the airspace should be considered a resource like land and water." Is the airspace around us a resource like land and water? Would I have to pay someone for my wireless signals travelling through their airspace? I doubt this will get much traction — at least I hope not..."
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ehud42 ehud42 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ehud42 writes "A couple of weeks ago, my son started going to this dentist (flash warning). Dr. Dumore runs a very hi-tech office complete with video games, LCD screens, and biometrics. As my wife explained when she got home, all our son has to do is put his finger on a scanner and the office knows he's there! Great! Right? Well, seems the practise has caught the attention of the CBC with a story about how this might not be a good thing. From the article:

"He [Dr. Tim Dumore] said fingerprints help patients maintain their anonymity by eliminating the need for conversations about personal health information at the reception desk."

Regarding security there was this standard don't-worry-your-little-head-about-such-things quote:

"It can seem Big Brotherish," he said. "But we can reassure them that we're using proper security protocols."

Convenience vs. Privacy...."

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