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SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

patniemeyer Re:Wait a minute (248 comments)

In a normal hydraulic system there is a pump that re-pressurizes and returns the hydraulic fluid to a reservoir. To save weight and complexity here since the hydraulics are only used for a few minutes they instead use an "open" hydraulic system in which the pressure comes from a tank of compressed gas and the hydraulic fluid is expelled or burned up as it is used. (The fluid goes one way - out - as it is used).

After the pressurized gas or fluid was used up they no longer had control over the fins.

about two weeks ago

Radio Shack Reported To Be Ready for Bankruptcy Filing

patniemeyer Microcenter is the new Radio Shack... (314 comments)

I have a soft spot in my heart for Radio Shack having grown up with it as the source for so many amazing things, but it should have evolved years ago. Microcenter is a chain that is closer to the big box format - they have cheap computer and gaming stuff (kind of like the old CompUSA) but they also have a pretty big section way in the back dedicated to hackers/makers with real, modern components such as Arduinos and nice tools.

Radio Shack didn't have the floor space to sell useful stuff and keep their geek cred section... They want to be a boutique but people don't buy boutique stuff at strip malls anymore...

about two weeks ago

Firefox 35 Arrives With MP4 Playback On Mac, Android Download Manager Support

patniemeyer Re:MORE SHIT??? (177 comments)

You'd rather have to rely on the Flash plugin? You realize you can now watch YouTube and other sites flash-free but you don't see that as reducing bloat?
Related - MP4 in Firefox fixes one of the most irritating bugs in the history of the web - the fact that browser shortcuts don't work while you are watching a flash video.


about two weeks ago

Chevrolet Unveils 200-Mile Bolt EV At Detroit Auto Show

patniemeyer "planning to launch in 2017" (426 comments)

So their "planned" launch could be almost three years from now at the outside... meaning the price and range are basically hot air at this point.


about two weeks ago

Toyota Opens Patents On Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

patniemeyer Re:Battery tech is dead-end in cars (124 comments)

Hydrogen fuel cells cannot even compete with *current* battery technology much less future batteries in the labs. The process of creating hydrogen, compressing it, and distributing it is insanely inefficient and dangerous and the idea that we are going to create a whole new hydrogen infrastructure in the world when every home already has electricity is just nuts. You are never going to fill your vehicle or your lawn mower with hydrogen at home. You can charge a Tesla to half its rated range in 20 minutes (for free no less) at locations all over the country and that will only improve (Tesla has said they hope to get it down to 5-10 minutes.) And if there were some reason one needed super fast stop-and-go Tesla has demo'd swapping their batteries in 90 seconds gas station style.

It's clear that battery tech has won and the only people still talking about hydrogen are people who have lots of IP invested in hydrogen.

about three weeks ago

Gun Rights Hacktivists To Fab 3D-Printed Guns At State Capitol

patniemeyer Re:Not doing what they're thinking (573 comments)

Exactly - lots of things are illegal but regular people have the means to do them if they really want to. That's how most laws work.

about three weeks ago

Donald Knuth Worried About the "Dumbing Down" of Computer Science History

patniemeyer Summary needs a rewrite... (149 comments)

I get the gist of it but the summary is so mangled that it doesn't really make much sense.

about 1 month ago

The Magic of Pallets

patniemeyer barrels were cool too... (250 comments)

Just for the record barrels were probably equally revolutionary in their time. And the ability for a person to roll them before machinery was quite an advantage.

about a month ago

"Lax" Crossdomain Policy Puts Yahoo Mail At Risk

patniemeyer When slashdot was useful... (50 comments)

I remember the days when the highest rated comment on Slashdot would be a nice summary of the salient point of the article with some insightful agreement or disagreement.

about a month and a half ago

Apple Accused of Deleting Songs From iPods Without Users' Knowledge

patniemeyer Re:Get the facts first (250 comments)

This is all BS. Apple didn't remove anything - iPods have always supported non-DRM music as well as Apple's Fairplay DRM music just fine. Apple doesn't care what you load on there. What they did care about was Real hacking Fairplay to sell their own DRM versions using Apple's proprietary DRM. Apple fixed their DRM impl and it broke the Real's DRM. That is all that happened.

about 2 months ago

Decades-old Scientific Paper May Hold Clues To Dark Matter

patniemeyer Re:"The data come from" (93 comments)

It is *so* uncommon today that it is actively confusing and hard to read. And I believe it has always been wrong when applied to any modern concept of data. Data in the modern context is a fluid quantity, like water. The other usage is archaic.

about 3 months ago

Tesla Removes Mileage Limits On Drive Unit Warranty Program

patniemeyer Re:So there is a problem... (174 comments)

Why do you assume there is a problem? It sounds to me like their analysis shows that the drive units are performing so well that they can offer a less conservative warranty now. The impact that Musk mentions is about increasing the cash they need to have on hand to cover warranties for something unexpected. None of this implies that there is a problem...

BTW, this is the second time that Tesla has increased the warranty coverage on the vehicles after they've been sold - When was the last time you heard of an auto company doing that?

about 5 months ago

Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

patniemeyer Microsoft killed Java in the browser... (371 comments)

We might live in a much different world today if Microsoft had not *deliberately* set out to kill Java in the browser in the mid 90s. MS saw Java and Netscape as a threat to their business model so they licensed the technology from Sun, put it in their browsers and then made sure that it would remain slightly broken and never be updated. Everyone in the industry saw this coming and at the time Sun talked about how great their lawyers were and how they had compatibility clauses in the contract, etc.... Microsoft's lawyers were better apparently.

Microsoft left a slightly broken and very early 1.x release of Java in their browsers for years and years. The motivation was clear in court documents during the antitrust litigation with quotes from people inside Microsoft saying things like: we have to ''pollute'' Java in the browser to keep it from being truly cross platform.

Imagine what the world would be like today if, instead of edging ever closer to a full fledged programming model in the browsers based on JavaScript (which was created to be glue to put Java into HTML, not to be a programming language) - if instead we had 20 years of browsers with native Java VMs, written in and extensible by Java... There is no doubt we would have had the kind of applications we take for granted today (AJAXy things like gmail and maps) 15 years ago... and a generation of developers would not have grown up with this mess that we left them in HTML and JS.

- Pat Niemeyer (Author of Learning Java, O'Reilly & Associates)

about 6 months ago

Elon Musk Promises 100,000 Electric Cars Per Year

patniemeyer Re:What about a coal powered Tesla? (122 comments)

1) Your analysis accounts for losses in transmitting the electricity but does not account for getting the gasoline to the consumer. Gasoline is heavy and in the final leg is distributed in trucks that burn a lot of fuel.

2) Your guess at 80% efficiency of the charging devices is low. Tesla claims 90%+ depending on the voltage and Tesla charging stations can charge the cars with DC at 120kW with presumably much lower losses. (If they were losing 20% of that to heat they'd all be on fire :) )

about 6 months ago

Japan To Offer $20,000 Subsidy For Fuel-Cell Cars

patniemeyer Re:weird choice (156 comments)

The only reason that I can come up with for this focus on fuel cells is that Toyota and the other existing car manufacturers want to see a hydrogen distribution system put in place so that they can continue producing internal combustion engines using hydrogen instead of the fuel cells themselves. I think these car companies see their long term intellectual property investment as being in the internal combustion engines and drive train technology. My guess is that they fear the drive trains becoming commodity parts (how many ways are there to make an A/C electric motor) and then they are left simply styling auto bodies and being fashion statements...

I think that fear is unwarranted, as Tesla has shown just how differentiated an electric car can be and how much innovation there can be in the car cabin and features themselves... But history has shown that old companies cannot always change even when they recognize that a disruption is coming. And oh boy is one coming...

Tesla = iPhone
Gas cars = Blackberry at best

about 6 months ago

The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

patniemeyer And the battery is still under warranty... (443 comments)

If we assume that the driver wasn't deliberately trying to wreck the car then technically that battery is still under warranty... even though it's been stolen, cut in half and set on fire. That's how good the Tesla battery warranty is.

about 6 months ago

Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

patniemeyer Why fuel cells? (216 comments)

I don't understand why Toyota would pursue this technology when we have batteries that are competitive with it currently and they get better every day... and battery technology is just manifestly better in that we already have electricity distributed to every location on earth... Why build a completely new, energy inefficient, liquid transportation industry just to add a middle-man to electricity distribution and make life less convenient for the the drivers?

It just seems to me like an attempt to keep hydrocarbon fuels relevant... or perhaps to see hydrogen deployed so that Toyota can keep their ICE engines relevant... It just doesn't make sense otherwise.

Yes, I'm sure there are special applications one could point to where hydrogen may make sense in some niche under some circumstances... but... for general automobile usage? I just don't get it...

about 7 months ago

Toyota's Fuel Cell Car To Launch In Japan Next March

patniemeyer Re:Nice to see. (216 comments)

Tesla has demonstrated that they can swap the battery on the Model S in 90 seconds... It weighs 1000 lbs. But they have also said that they will eventually get the charging time on their superchargers down from (currently about 20 min for half charge) to 5-10 minutes... If they can do that then not sure why anyone would care about swapping batteries...

There is a misconception among people who have not used electric vehicles that you need to go somewhere to charge your vehicle, like one would with a gas station. Imagine that you had a gas station at your house and somebody topped off the car for you every morning - how often would you stop for gas? probably never...

about 7 months ago

Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

patniemeyer Re:Dead on arrival (not) (345 comments)

Your thinking about the engine noise will totally change after you drive an electric bike that is faster and better performing than any gas bike could ever be... You'll pull up next to someone with an old fashioned gas bike roaring and making noise and fumes and you'll just effortlessly smoke them while they are roaring and straining to keep up with you.... and you'll start to think of the noise not as power but as "poser"... like a fake strong man groaning to lift a tiny weight or a rock guitar player making that strained face as if it it takes physical effort to play. It will happen to you...

about 7 months ago

Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

patniemeyer Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

Another way to put it - I bet somebody in the 60's thought a good way to look for life on other planets might be to watch for them to ignite hydrogen bombs... which surely they'd be doing all the time.

about 7 months ago



Real-time video edge detection on iPhone...

patniemeyer patniemeyer writes  |  more than 4 years ago

videoguy (444913) writes "This is a demo of real-time video edge detection on the iPhone. It shows both a standard Canny edge detection and an adapted "skeletonize" effect that produces a sketch or line drawing style image at 30fps. This is the first app (of which I'm aware) that utilizes the raw video feed available in iOS4 to perform rendering or true video effects."
Link to Original Source


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