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Comments

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Age Bias In IT: the Reality Behind the Rumors

s31523 20 years experience vs. 4 x (5 years experience) (582 comments)

But it's a reality in tech that if you're 45 years of age and still writing C code or Cobol code and making $150,000.

It is basic business, if you know C (or pick your language) and are just a programmer and well "experienced" making 150K, a company looks at your as an expensive asset. You may think you have 20 years of experience and add value, but chances are you really have 5 years of experience 4 times over. The company will just replace you with a 5 year experienced programmer or new-grad and pay them half your salary.

You need to be more than just a good programmer these days to stay in the top-earning spots. You need to constantly evolve and gain experience and never rest on your laurels. It isn't an age thing, it's a laziness/comfort thing. It's becoming more of a youth-entitlement thing, but in the end the result is the same. You stop moving forward in your contributions and expect to have your salary keep moving forward. Companies know this and weed these people out.

more than 2 years ago
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Orange Goo Invades Alaskan Village

s31523 Lipid Oil = Energy? (153 comments)

I wonder if the lipid oil in the eggs could be used as a renewable energy source, or petrol replacement for the numerous products made from conventional oil.

more than 2 years ago
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World's First Cybernetic Athlete To Compete

s31523 Opinions Will Be Based On Whether He Wins (199 comments)

If he wins a lot then he will be declared as having an unfair advantage, and if he loses (or just average) he will be declared as having no advantage.

more than 2 years ago
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S&P's $2 Trillion Math Mistake

s31523 Message To Congress (1040 comments)

The downgrade was going to happen with or without a math error. The financial sector did not like the game of chicken that Congress played with the economy and now is being punished. Of course, the rest of us suffer too, but what is a little collateral damage. All the fat-cats had their short sales scheduled last week.

more than 2 years ago
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The Net (According To Akamai)

s31523 Speed vs. Usage (100 comments)

I find it interesting that the U.S. is number 1 in usage (most unique IP's), but 14th in average connection speed. I would have thought the U.S. would have been a little bit better (speed-wise). China is #2 in both usage and speed. Interesting... Yet another area China will soon dominate the U.S. in (once they take the top spot in usage).

more than 2 years ago
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Space Station To Be Deorbited After 2020

s31523 Re:The Ocean, really? (572 comments)

OK, some challenges exist. This seems like a good opportunity to solve a problem that we may need to solve if we are ever going to get to Mars. I doubt a Mars solution will include taking off from earth and heading directly to Mars. I imagine we will need some kind of staging area, in Orbit or on the moon. Hell, we did land on the moon, and then takeoff again so we have some experience there (just a smaller scale).

I am just saying that we have to stop thinking that any time we need to ditch something we can throw it into the ocean. I am not some screaming tree hugger, but I do enjoy nature and I enjoy the ability of humans being able to inhabit the earth. I think we are rapidly approaching a point where we have a choice to either clean up our act or go down a very unpleasant path for humanity.

more than 2 years ago
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Space Station To Be Deorbited After 2020

s31523 Re:The Ocean, really? (572 comments)

It isn't about the scales, it's about doing the right thing.

I realize it is more effort to move the ISS from orbit to deep space or toward the sun than it would be to just crash it. I am saying it is worth the effort to choose the first option.

The link to our flotilla of trash is reminder of how much crap is out there, and that is just what we can see. The argument of "oh, just one more piece of trash isn't going to make a difference" is just, well, silly. I mean clearly if we keep that attitude, which is SOP at this point, we are surely all doomed.

more than 2 years ago
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Space Station To Be Deorbited After 2020

s31523 The Ocean, really? (572 comments)

Don't we put enough crap into the world's oceans? I mean we literally have an island of garbage floating around, why add to the pollution? Why can't we, as another poster said, thrust it off into space, or, thrust it toward the sun and let the sun's gravity suck it in and destroy it?

more than 2 years ago
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Google Warns Users About Active Malware Infection

s31523 Even more helpful would be... (80 comments)

A link to a tool or instructions on how to remove the darn thing! I have been hit by some form of google re-direct twice and the last time I just gave up an re-formatted the hard-drive (it was due for a clean Windowz install anyway).

about 3 years ago
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Do Two-Screen Laptops Make Sense?

s31523 Docking Stations - Hotel TV's (262 comments)

I agree the two monitors is nice, but it's a laptop. TFA points out that carrying a docking station (along with extra monitor) with you is not practical, but neither is carrying a giant 4.5kg brick, plus think of the real estate you will need in a conference room. As far as plugging in at the hotel, I find most hotels I stay at have modern TV's that have VGA/HDMI inputs and I just plug in to the TV for my second monitor, and voila, a dual monitor setup.

about 3 years ago
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Man Robs Bank of $1 To Get Health Care In Jail

s31523 1 Trillion Dollars (950 comments)

What a very sad state we are. The whole healthcare reform bill ended up "costing", what, around 1 Trillion dollars? And what was it supposed to accomplish? I see, well, when people are resorting to crime to get healthcare I would say the reform act got it wrong. Seriously, for 1 Trillion the government could have just bought insurance policies for 100 million people.

more than 3 years ago
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Verizon To Drop Unlimited Data Plans In Two Weeks

s31523 Devil's Advocate (302 comments)

I can see why Verizon is moving down this path. Higher speed, more reliable connections, and more users makes for a very expensive network. If people really don't like it, they will switch to another carrier who offers unlimited data, or resort to only connecting via Wi-Fi or tethering. What I don't understand is this low cap. 2 Gb is not very much data, especially considering all the advertising that shows streaming video and watching TV on your phone or tablet. The 2Gb limit is especially confusing when you look at tablet's. The tablet's will (IMHO) eat up a lot of the market share for laptops and netbooks very soon and people will want to surf seamlessly between connections (LAN, WLAN, 4G, etc.). In the end, I could easily see Verizon making a lot of money in the short term, but as other networks grow and offer better deals we will see the bandwidth caps go higher and possibly more data tiers.

more than 3 years ago
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CSS 2.1 Becomes W3C Recommendation

s31523 Re:We need to move forward (97 comments)

Even CSS 2 isn't supported properly by some browsers.

And when is page-break-inside finally going to be supported? Man, that would be helpful.

What good is a standard if no browser fully supports it and when some browsers (*cough* IE *cough*) flat-out ignore them.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Good Homeschool Curriculum For CS??

s31523 Basic Computer Science (364 comments)

OK, I am not sure what time frame you are looking at. You mentioned an awful lot of topics and comp. sci. would normally be studied for 4 years. I do not consider office tools a part of a traditional comp. sci. program, but they should be taught nonetheless. Assuming there is 4 years of high school I would recommend:
Year 1/Semester 1&2: OS and Office Tools - In this course I would expose the student to different operating systems: Windows, Ubuntu Linux, and Mac OS. I would have the student master some basic end-user activities, like installing software, installing new hardware, modifying system settings (i.e. env vars, etc) and finally touch on some shell scripts (batch files, .bash scripts). I would then move into basic office programs. I would show Word and Open Office and introduce the student to basic word processing and touch on some advanced editing (tables, formatting, formulas, etc.). In spreadsheets I would show the basics plus introduce macros, which are programming based. Also pivot tables and graphs. There would be plenty of material for 1 year of school, especially considering this as an "elective" which would not be studied more than 1-2 hours per week.
Year 2/Semester 1: Introduction To Programming - Just like it sounds, I would focus on basic programing. The tough part is what language - Pick whatever you are really comfortable with and able to teach. I personally would choose a slightly non-main-stream language like Ada. Focus on basic program structure, good commenting and the fundamentals of the language.
Year 2/Semester 2: Advanced Programming - Move into advanced aspects of the language, structs/records, user-defined types, compiler pragmas, memory management (pointers).
Year 3/Semester 1: Introduction To Data Structures - Classic CS course. Array/Stack/Queue/List
Year 3/Semester 2: Advanced Data Structures - Another Classic. Various Trees/Graphs/Heap
Year 4/Semester 1: Introduction to OO - Focus more on the design aspect. Also use a language that is a "pure" OO language. We used Eiffel, but the latest .NET stuff if pretty good too. I honestly would not use C++ or Java as the language hinders some of the pure OO techniques.
Year 4/Semester 2: Advances OO - Get into the more complicated OO stuff. Design patterns, multiple inheritance, repeated inheritance, etc.

That would cover a good bit of computer science...

more than 3 years ago
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US To Release International Cyber Strategy Today

s31523 Useless (64 comments)

FTA: It said the document outlines the US agenda "for partnering with other nations and peoples to ensure the prosperity, security, and openness that we seek in our increasingly networked world."

And the |-|4c|3r$ will be right there reading the strategy and figuring out more ways to exploit the net and make money or engage in other activities (terrorism, etc.). This sounds like a useless document.

more than 3 years ago
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Sony Breach Gets Worse: 24.6 Million Compromised Accounts At SOE

s31523 Encryption? (242 comments)

I keep hearing about intrusions that result in data theft, including credit card numbers, etc. Can someone tell me why on earth this information is being stored as plain-text and not as encrypted files? Unless of course the data is encrypted and the passphrases are stored in open-text files with a filename of "password_to_our_files.txt"

more than 3 years ago
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Osama Bin Laden Reported Dead, Body In US Hands

s31523 Re:A few details (1855 comments)

They should give that reward to the US soldiers who were directly involved in the operation to take him down.

more than 3 years ago
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SpaceX Aims To Put Man On Mars In 10-20 Years

s31523 Baby Steps (271 comments)

Before any agency, public or private, starts making claims of getting to mars it would seem prudent to have demonstrated some baby steps toward that goal. SpaceX is one agency charged with replacing the Space Shuttle, and it seems years away from that. There are no detailed plans on the propulsion technology that would be used to get to mars, or even the moon. There are no plans for building various outposts that a mars vehicle could dock with to re-supply. I think mars is a stretch. Until we are avid moon visitors I hold any claims of getting to mars as a joke.

more than 3 years ago
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Recent HP Laptops Shipped CPU-Choking Wi-Fi Driver

s31523 Blame Consumers (243 comments)

One must ask, "Why are the manufacturers pre-installing this bloat?". My guess is that it helps manufactures keep low prices on machines that otherwise would be out of reach for many consumers wrt to price. Consumers are hungry for slick deals and manufacturers need creative ways to re-coup money lost on razor thin profit margins. So, the manufacture reaches out to other companies and say "Hey, I will put a link to a 30-day trial of your software on our core image of all new laptops, just give us $10.00 per laptop." They do that 10 times and now they can sell the laptop for $10.00 over cost and still make $100 per laptop.

Ask yourself this, if you saw an option on the build-your-own-laptop build site that said "Clean O/S Install - No Advertising or Bloat" with a price tag of $99.95 would you check the box? What about the average Joe consumer looking for that great deal?

more than 3 years ago
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68% of US Broadband Connections Aren't Broadband

s31523 Broadband vs. Capacity (611 comments)

I agree that few people have true Broadband, but I think the important issue to look at is capacity. Most people, which jives from what I see in other posts, are fine with 1.5 - 3.0 mbps down and 128K-256K up. Where the problems lie now and in the future is being able to give everyone these speeds all the time. Usually, I run into bandwidth contention and I do not get my "non-broadband" speeds. I attribute this (perhaps incorrectly) to lack of capacity and having many more people online than the provider can serve. In the future, I think more people will be more concerned about getting lower speeds consistently than they will be for getting higher speeds...

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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DARPA Plans 2nd Test Flight of Hyper-Sonic Jet

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

s31523 (926314) writes "The Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (FTVH2) is scheduled for it's second test flight. The FTVH2, which boasts a blistering speed of 13,000 mph or 20 times the speed of sound (MACH 20), is the Pentagon's dream for a first-strike aircraft capable of launching missions anywhere in the world in less than an hour. The first HTV-2 was launched in April 2010 but it disappeared over the Pacific after just nine minutes of flight and the vehicle was never recovered. This is a do-or-die test; if it fails the program will be shelved indefinitely."
Link to Original Source
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Orange Goo Invades Alaskan Village

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

s31523 (926314) writes "When the residents of the Alaskan village of Kivalina woke up last week, the unexpected sight of an orange goo covering the surface of the water was quite alarming. Suspecting a oil spill or some other man-made disaster, the residents worried about the toxicity of the substance. After NOAA investigated, it was found the that goo is an unknown species of microscopic eggs. According to NOAA scientist Keep Rice, "We now think these are some sort of small crustacean egg or embryo, with a lipid oil droplet in the middle causing the orange color". More work is needed to identify what the eggs are and what caused them to show up."
Link to Original Source
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Rare Earth Deposit Discovered in US

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

s31523 (926314) writes "With China having 97% of the market share of rare earth elements, many countries are nervous about being able to get supplies of key elements needed for high tech gear. Quantum Rare Earths Developments Corp. has reported they have discovered a potential huge source of rare earth elements, right in the middle of the U.S. While the USGS reports that the U.S. has an estimated 13 million metric tonnes available for mining (about 1/3 of China's reserves), finding another regular source is crucial to global stability. The potential yield of the deposit, found in Nebraska, could be the world's largest source for Niobium and other rare earth elements. Could this be the next gold rush?"
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Spirit Airline To Begin Boarding Pass Fee

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

s31523 (926314) writes "In response to customers who prefer lower airfare for booking online and printing their own boarding passes, Spirit airlines will institute a new boarding pass fee this fall. The Florida-based airline will begin charging $5.00(US) for having an agent print the boarding pass for you. Printing yourself via a Kiosk will be free, for now. Soon after though, expect to pay $1.00(US) for the privilege of using their Kiosks."
Link to Original Source
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Air France Flight 442 Data Recorder Found

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

s31523 (926314) writes "Nearly 2 years ago the Airbus A330's pilots for Air France Flight 447 lost contact with air traffic controllers while flying across an area of the Atlantic Ocean known for constant bands of severe turbulence. Soon after the plane crashed into the ocean, leading investigators on a search for the black box. The recovery of the memory unit may reveal what really happened to the plane, however some are skeptical that any data will be recovered considering the long exposure to pressure and salt water."
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Is Sugar Toxic

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

s31523 writes "The NY Times is covering the ever popular war on sugar by discussing a lecture by Robert Lustig, posted on YouTube. Lustig is a specialist on pediatric hormone disorders and the leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, which is one of the best medical schools in the US. The viral success of his lecture, though, has little to do with Lustig’s impressive credentials and far more with the persuasive case he makes that sugar is a “toxin” or a “poison,” terms he uses together 13 times through the course of the lecture, in addition to the five references to sugar as merely “evil.”"
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World Cup Soccer Ball: Science And Controversy

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

s31523 (926314) writes "Every world cup uses a new official soccer ball that is designed for the event. There is a tremendous amount of science surrounding the development, and as one would expect, a lot of controversy. The new ball, Jabulani, which means "to celebrate" in Zulu, boasts revolutionary "grip and groove" technology combines with high-tech 3-D panels to make a ball which is both perfectly round and extremely aerodynamic. While Adias claims "We have created a ball that is small and heavy, allowing for maximum accuracy, perfect grip and exceptionally stable flight", numerous complaints from players continue to come in."
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Mars Rover Opportunity Sets Longevity Record

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

s31523 (926314) writes "The Mars rover Opportunity has beaten the original record of six years and 116 days operating on the surface of Mars, originally set by the Viking 1 Lander. While the Spirit rover has been on the surface even longer than the Opportunity by 3 weeks, it has been out of communication since March 22. If Spirit comes back online it will attain the new Martian surface longevity record. This feat, right on the heels of another longevity feat (Voyager 2 and twin on the verge of entering inter-stellar space and still kicking!) is healing some of NASA's past black-eyes. It is quite remarkable given the original spec of 90 days for the mission, and with the passing of the solstice warmer temperatures and more sun will likely mean the rover will continue on. God speed little rover, god speed."
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New DHS Project Monitors Your Body Signals

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

s31523 (926314) writes "CNN posted an interesting article on a prototype airport security project funded by the Department of Homeland Security. The new project, called Future Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST, monitors the natural signals coming from your body — your heart rate, breathing, eye movement, body temperature and fidgeting. The natural body signals are analyzed to determine if a person should be further scrutinized. While many claim this is "pie-in-the-sky" science fiction, civil liberty advocates are already crying foul, one claim by Joe Stanley from the ACLU is "Nobody has the right to look at my intimate bodily functions, my breathing, my perspiration rate, my heart rate, from afar". DHS has issued this privacy statement. While this technology sounds like a scene from the new hit series "Lie To Me", or a drums up images from the movie Minority Report, one thing is certain, we are being watched and scrutinized more and more."
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Best Developer's Laptop?

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

s31523 (926314) writes "I love my current laptop, unfortunately, my last travel trip has caused the primary LCD display on the laptop to go bonkers.. It is an older Gateway (2Gigs Ram, Itel Pentium M 2.0Ghz, ATI M7). There are a handful of features I love about it:
1.) Hot-swappable drive bay. The drive bay has several components that can go in: CD/DVD R/W, Extra Battery, Floppy Drive, Extra Hard Drive, etc. Memory Card Reader. I especially dig the extra battery option (I can go 4-5 hours on battery power).
2.) Docking Station/Port Replicator. I like having my home setup with keyboard, network and DUAL screens. The dual monitor setup is absolutely needed.
3.) It runs Linux. OK, I am a wus, I actually have GRUB command 3 different OS's: Windows 98 (yes, I said Win 98; I have really old embedded software compilers that only run on 98, and yes I have tried every trick in the book to run them on Linux), Windows XP Pro, and Ubuntu.

I am trying to find a replacement setup that offers the same flexibility (i.e. I love the hot-swappable drive bay for battery versus CD/DVD R/W) and a little better performance. I am open to change as well, so, I ask the Slashdotters: "What is the Slashdotter's pick for best developers laptop under $1200, considering some of the features I mentioned?""
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Florida BattlBurmese python population explosion

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

s31523 writes "As little as 20 years ago there were no Bermese pythons in the Florida everglades. Now, population estimates are as high as 100,000 snakes, and growing. Florida has launched a "Python Patrol" program to hunt the snakes. According to the report, the population explosion is believed to have originated when reptile-breeding facilities near the Everglades were destroyed during Hurricane Andrew. Compounding the problem is the release of these snakes by pet owners. Growing up to 200 pounds, and living for many years the pythons could easily decimate other species, some of which are endangered."
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People On Terror Watch List Still Able To Buy Guns

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

s31523 writes "The GAO has provided a report, at the request of Sen. Frank Lautenberg(D-New Jersey), on gun sales to people that have somehow made it on to the US terrorist watch list. The report shows that from February 2004 to February 2009 there were 963 positive matches to the list. Of the 963, 865 were allowed to proceed, and 98 were denied, the report said. According to a statement made by Lautenberg, he is introducing legislation that would give the U.S. attorney general authority to stop the sale of guns or explosives to terrorists. The NRA has balked at this stating "The integrity of the terror watch list is poor, as it mistakenly contains the names of many men and women, including some high-profile Americans, who have not violated the law". Is this just a slick way for the government to get around the 2nd Amendment and simply add people to the terror watch list at will to prevent gun sales?"
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US Switch To DTV Countdown Begins

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

s31523 writes "In Februrary lawmakers postponed the switch from analog to digital TV. Now, the new June 12th deadline is upon us with no sign of another delay. CNET is reporting that the President himself has stated, "... I want to be clear: there will not be another delay.", so it looks like it is going to happen, for real this time. Even with the delay, there are still millions of estimated viewers that are unprepared. Local stations may participate in the voluntary "Analog nightlight" services in which TV stations agree to keep an analog signal turned on in addition to their digital signals to provide information about the DTV transition and to notify unprepared TV viewers of emergencies, such as hurricanes."
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First Flight of Jet Power By Algae-Fuel

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

s31523 writes "Today a US airline carrier conducted a 90 minute test flight using with one of its engines powered by a 50-50 blend of biofuel and normal aircraft fuel. This was the first flight by a US carrier after other airline have reported trying similar flights. In February 2008, a Virgin 747 flew from London to Amsterdam partly using a fuel derived from a blend of Brazilian babassu nuts and coconuts. At the end of December, one engine of a Air New Zealand 747 was powered by a 50/50 blend of jatropha plant oil and standard A1 jet fuel."
Link to Original Source
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U.S. Financial Bailout Bill Drafted

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

s31523 writes "Law makers worked over the weekend to draft the rescue Bill "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008". You can view the draft here, and President Bush claims the bill represents "an extraordinary agreement to deal with an extraordinary problem". Meanwhile economic experts still debate whether the government should step in, but many have agreed with some bailout plan."
Link to Original Source
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Ford's 65 mpg Car That Won't Be Sold In U.S.

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

s31523 writes "With record gas prices, Chevy and Ford are seeing record sales losses. Given all that, Ford has one of the most fuel efficient cars on the market, but has no immediate plan to sell it here in the U.S. That's right, a 65mpg car that will only sell in Europe. According to Ford, Americans still view diesel vehicles with some sort of contempt and the price to import their own car, which is not manufactured here, would push the vehicle price into the $27K price range."
Link to Original Source
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First Switch To All Digital Broadcast Complete

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

s31523 writes "The official date for the end of analog TV broadcast is February 17th 2009, however the small town of Wilmington North Carolina has jumped the gun and made the switch to all digital TV broadcast. The amount of service announcements made, mailings, billboard ads, and information in retail outlets regarding the switch was unprecedented but still wasn't enough. As reported from WHQR in Wilmington, there were still many people that were unprepared. Frantic viewers began calling local TV stations for answers shortly after the switch was made. Wilmington NC has about 100,000 people and the problems were numerous, the FCC is paying attention to this pilot as any problems that occur with the switch in Wilmington are sure to occur throughout the country, only on a much larger scale."
Link to Original Source
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Are World Records Becoming Passe?

s31523 s31523 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

s31523 writes "Anyone watching the 2008 Olympics probably has caught the announcers stating, "A new world record"!", especially in the Swimming events. Sports Illustrated has covered the phenom of world records being shattered, and then shattered again in second heats and wonders, have world records become meaningless? As noted in the article, there are 32 swimming events and currently 26 have produced new world records. Are we approaching times that only the elite of elite can beat, or are we on a Moore's law type curve with athletes? Furthermore, why is swimming the one area that seems to constantly crush world records time and time again?"
Link to Original Source
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Toyota To Add Solar Panels To Hybrid Vehicles

s31523 s31523 writes  |  about 6 years ago

s31523 writes "Toyota, arguably an industry leader in automobile manufacturing (especially in the Hybrid vehicle market), has announced they plan on putting solar panels on the roof of the Prius. Toyota was the first to deliver a gasoline-hybrid vehicle and plans on delivering a 3rd generation plug-in hybrid in 2009 and the solar panels are reportedly going to be available on the high-end version."
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