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Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

eth1 Re:Now it's the grid engineers' problem to solve.. (227 comments)

A Tesla S has an 85kWh battery. To charge that in 30 seconds requires 10,200,000 watts of power - approximately the full electrical service to a decent size skyscraper. That's 42,500 amps at 240V, the full maximum power available to over 212 modern homes and a totally impractical amount of current to handle with any reasonable electrical equipment. So while fast-charging batteries are great and a necessary step forward in technology, the universal adoption of electric cars will require not just upgrading our infrastructure, but a complete rethinking and redevelopment of the electrical grid using not-yet-imagined technologies.

It could also be a grid engineer's best friend. You just have to change the way you think about it - the cars would be a *massive* local storage resource. The VAST majority of people are just going to be plugging their cars in overnight at home, and starting with a full "tank" every morning. I could imagine a system where, once electric cars are ubiquitous, most parking lots and cars would be designed so that when you park, your car just automatically gets hooked into the local grid. You set some parameters on the car for min/max charge levels and buy/sell price limits, and suddenly you don't have to worry so much about demand spikes. Demand goes up, the price/kWh goes up, and once it starts passing the "sell" threshold of the local automobile population, they start discharging into the grid. You just tell the car "keep at least X% charge so I can get home." If I show up nearly empty, and there's 1000 other cars in the lot mostly full, they could charge mine without ever making demands on the grid.

about two weeks ago

Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light

eth1 Re:Green wave (364 comments)

I'm fairly sure in parts of the UK they implemented staggered green lights along busy stretches of road. If you accelerated modestly to the speed limit, or just below, the lights were timed to turn green as you got to them.
Those with lead feet would be accelerating hard, then waiting at the lights as you cruised by.

Actually, no. The problem is, they race by, stop, and then are in your way as you cruise up to the green light, causing you to have to slow down/stop anyway.

about two weeks ago

MIT Researchers Create Platform To Build Secure Web Apps That Never Leak Data

eth1 Re:How can you search data (90 comments)

Well, if you're encrypting, it means the keeper of the data isn't supposed to know what it is, which means they can't do any data mining, selling, etc. of it anyway, which would be where the ability to do queries on the data would be useful. If you're encrypting everything, then all you need is to be able to find the records, and you could use hashed account names or something to index those.

So yes, it would be difficult to search/sort on the encrypted data, but then that's sort of the whole point...

about three weeks ago

Report: Space Elevators Are Feasible

eth1 Re:Flying pigs (374 comments)

I've always liked the idea of space elevators, but I've also been bothered by a problem that I've never seen addressed, "micrometeoroid erosion". Sure, you can build one. But how long is it going to last, with nothing to protect the main cable/strands/shaft/whatever-you-want-to-call-it from a near-endless --though admittedly low-rate-- series of impacts by speedy dust particles?

I imagine they'd do something similar to how some of the new suspension bridge cables are designed. The main cables are actually cable bundles, and they're made so that individual strands can be replaced if necessary.

about 2 months ago

HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

eth1 Re:HP used to be greatl (385 comments)

HP has been notorious for doing things like you describe... just proves the GP's point, I think. :)

about 2 months ago

Network Solutions Opts Customer Into $1,850 Security Service

eth1 Re:Comcast, government enforced monopoly == (!mark (405 comments)

It doesn't even have to be the government, rather it's an entity that has no commercial interests in the infrastructure they're providing. This can be done by making the wholesale provider a completely separate corporate entity from retail providers (and preventing the wholesale provider from being a retail provider).

Exactly... Could be the government or private company, but we just need a law that says no single entity (or parent, sibling or subsidiary entity) can own more than one of physical infrastructure, connectivity, or content generation.

about 3 months ago

An Iowa ISP's Metered Pricing: What Will the Market Bear?

eth1 Re:I don't mind metered internet usage... (479 comments)

Well, the metering *sort* of makes sense, but really the problem is that ISPs lie like crazy when they sell you a connection.
What they say is "50Mbit for $49.95/mo! **"
** (that you can't use at 50Mbit all the time because it's way oversubscribed)

What they *should* be doing is selling various combinations of guaranteed/burst, so people know what they're actually getting. I have a feeling that "unlimited 50Mbit" really means something more like "512kbit guaranteed, 50Mbit burst."

about 3 months ago

Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

eth1 Re:9.1 (1009 comments)

This version of Windows is guaranteed to be great. Windows has been going back and forth between one crap version and one great version for over a decade.

It is kind of like some IQ test pattern matching questions:
Win 95 - crap
Win 98 - great
Win ME - crap
Win XP - great
Vista - crap
Win 7 - great
Win 8 - crap
Win 9 - (see the pattern?)

Actually, it went like this:
Win 95 - crap
Win 95 OSR2 - OK
Win 98 - crap
Win 98SE - OK
Win ME - crap ...

about 3 months ago

Six Electric Cars Can Power an Office Building

eth1 Re:Company cars (296 comments)

I don't think it's intended for rank-and-file workers to supplement the company's electricity.

The question is, why the heck not? And why limit it to workplaces? It would be a great incentive for businesses to provide charging hookups.
Just make it so that both the cars and the chargers are smart. I can charge my car at home at night (maybe with one of those, "free nights" plans that a few electric companies have) when the rates fall below a certain point. Then I set the car to sell up to X% of capacity, if it can do so above Y price, or charge if it's hooked up somewhere below Z price. The businesses can just tell the charging stations "buy as much as you can at 10% less than what I'm paying for grid power right now", or whatever.
Once there are enough places like this to plug in, you can park anywhere, plug in, and know that the car will try to maintain enough charge to get home, and make a quick buck if it can.

about 4 months ago

How To Hijack a Drone For $400 In Less Than an Hour

eth1 Re:Stealing an Amazon Drone (161 comments)

I was thinking more along the lines of "decorating" my house with balloons on wires (kind of like the navy did in WWII), and if any of these flies over my house, there's a good chance it will end up "crashed" in my yard.

about 4 months ago

Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

eth1 Re:When you have a bad driver ... (961 comments)

I thought snow was like gravel, in that you will stop faster by locking up the wheels and piling up some snow in front of them, rather than trying to stop the wheels from locking up?

Some modern ABS systems can detect snow, and will actually add in a "lock the wheels for a second" every so often just for this reason if they think they're on snow.

about 4 months ago

EU Plastic Bag Debate Highlights a Wider Global Problem

eth1 Re:Taxing is not going to fix the problem (470 comments)

This gets fixed by developing a better bag. Better means comparable cost and strength, with handles and environmentally safe.

Jumping straight away to a tax makes it look like nothing more than a money grab.

Or change the way you check out. Put RFID tags on stuff so I can just bag stuff as I shop, then pop the bags on a reader and swipe my card on the way out. That would actually get me using my own bags.

about 5 months ago

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

eth1 Re:Should be legal, with caveat (961 comments)

My wife died of ALS, and while we weren't bankrupted (thank heavens), the stress on both of us was hell.

She had a DNR, and a no-vent order written in advance. When she was admitted for pneumonia, she was lucky that her doctor understood that it was essentially over, and ordered a morphine drip.

She was essentially out of it, and confirming the DNR/no-vent was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I still haven't completely forgiven myself.

You can't forgive yourself, because there's nothing to forgive. I haven't had to go through this with a family member (thank God), but I have with my cat who had cancer. When there's nothing more than can be done, and your loved one is doomed to suffer terribly and inevitably die, keeping them alive because you don't want to lose them, or are afraid of what you'll feel like if you allow euthanasia is ultimately quite selfish. Realize that what you're doing for them is actually a great act of love - you're accepting that you'll live with the memory of what you're doing, because you're doing what's best for *them*, not what's easiest for *you.*

about 5 months ago

User Alleges LG TVs Phone Home With Your Viewing Habits

eth1 Re:And LG paralyzes your tv when it wants to. (286 comments)

Sounds nice, but "return the TV' means somehow finding an appropriate shipping box, filling out the required paperwork and paying to mail it back. If you are lucky you will then eventually get another TV to unpack and set up - and then have to repeat the process.

It means throwing it in the car and taking it back to the store to demand a refund, and if I don't get it, calling the credit card company and doing a charge back.

about 4 months ago

Why Letting Your Insurance Company Monitor How You Drive Can Be a Good Thing

eth1 Man in the middle? (567 comments)

So, how long till someone comes out with a device that sits between these things and the car, and makes everyone a perfect driver?

about 5 months ago

Tesla Planning an Electric Pickup Truck, Says Elon Musk

eth1 They should call it... (293 comments)

the pF-150 :)

about 5 months ago

Silent Circle, Lavabit Unite For 'Dark Mail' Encrypted Email Project

eth1 Re:Dump SSL / Certificate-based Security (195 comments)

PGP/gpg's weakness is noticeable, but in this case, the perfect is the enemy of the good, and a WoT is the security solution that sucks the least.

Yes, it takes some time to get keys signed, but the advantage of a WoT over SSL is that you can take a couple people whom you never met, but whom your friends trusted, add up their semi-trust, and be pretty sure that an unknown key is genuine.

And how long before the NSA just gets court+gag orders that force the members of a target's web of trust to sign their bogus cert? Obviously the more people they do that to, the more likely it is the target will be notified, but I wouldn't put it past them any more.

about 6 months ago

Utility Sets IT Department On Path To Self-destruction

eth1 Re:Just a moment! (478 comments)

Just finishing my last trojans and timebombs...now they can fire me.

You don't even need anyone to do that. My experience is that competent IT people can pretty easily find a new gig - and they will, now, before all the good local openings are taken. The deadwood that's left has the potential of causing just as much damage accidentally or out of ignorance as someone malicious.

about 7 months ago

How One Man Turns Annoying Cold Calls Into Cash

eth1 Re:and why not? (227 comments)

the forms don't have a space for the prices. They don't care about the price.

Then it would be against the code of practice to put your premium number on such a form.

Still... if it wasn't _your_ number, then I guess you couldn't get into trouble. You wouldn't receive a cut, but the idea of them trying to sell something to the girl on the end of the "naughty nun spank hotline" might give you a smug sense of satisfaction.

So just pair up with a buddy. You put his number on forms, and he puts yours.

about 8 months ago

US Electrical Grid On the Edge of Failure

eth1 Re:Coincidentally... (293 comments)

As the grid becomes more distributed and "islandable" it will naturally be more robust. And storage is a key enabler to make that happen.

Like maybe 50 million electric cars spread evenly throughout populated areas?

about 8 months ago


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