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Why Elon Musk's Batteries Frighten Electric Companies

shmlco Re:Are they really that scared? (460 comments)

And then benefit is to the residence/owner is what, exactly? They have a solar installation on their roof, and you're still charging them the same rate?

about two weeks ago
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Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

shmlco Re: Well (594 comments)

"We have spacecraft. We know how to make them."

We how to make a few disposable types that work fairly reliably, but only after millions of hours of time and effort have been put into them. We then light the fuse, send 'em off... and start building another one.

about a month and a half ago
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Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

shmlco Re:Well (594 comments)

"The term Tourism implies something innocuous."

Right. Tell that to people who travel to Africa and the MidEast. Tell that to people who travel to places where they can deep dive and skydive and base jump and ski glaciers and participate in other extreme, high-risk sports.

BTW, I'm ignoring the 5-10% number you pulled out of thin air in an attempt to provide at least some substance to you argument. There's no baseline for risk assessment at this point in time.

about a month and a half ago
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Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

shmlco Re:Well (594 comments)

Eventually, it will be.

about a month and a half ago
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Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

shmlco Re:Well (594 comments)

"But if you're actually trying to make another kind of craft, you should be experimenting on that, not a completely different kind and hoping that maybe by chance you'll find something useful."

So what you're saying is that the Wright Brothers should have started working on a F-22 Raptor. It's not like they really needed to experiment and improve materials, power plants, air frames, control systems, or avionics first.

about a month and a half ago
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Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

shmlco Re:What happened to DFM? (408 comments)

"... make one wonder why the pinouts were not placed near the components..."

Because the same components are often used in different phones? Because the board is on one side of the phone and the components are on the other? Because adding more traces to route from a chip to a pinout on the edge can make the circuit board wider or require additional layers?

Apple employs some of the best designers and engineers in the business, but some AC here on /. thinks they know more.

"... just a matter of time before someone makes a modular phone..."

Which will work just as well as modular laptops and modular desktops. What you fail to get is that phones, like computers, are systems. Swapping out a "modular" camera just doesn't work, because on the iPhone the camera depends on advances in the CPU, GPU, and image processing chips. Just like swapping out a CPU in a 3-yro desktop rarely gives you a major performance gain, because that CPU isn't running on a system with a faster memory bus, faster interface bus, and better peripherals. Systems are just that, systems.

Further, every socket and connector you add increases costs, increases the size of the device (or decreases internal volume, e.g. battery space), and decreases reliability.

about 3 months ago
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Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

shmlco Re:Apple REULEZ! (408 comments)

"Well, sorry. You'll just have to deal with it until the situation improves."

Improves? You mean, until the sheep switch and buy Galaxy Notes or some other "cool" Android phone?

Personally, I think the term "sheep" applies more to the people who walk into a phone store and walk out with whatever the salesperson was pushing that particular day, be it an iPhone or a HTC One.

about 3 months ago
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How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

shmlco Re:Expensive and complicated? (97 comments)

"... photo development was cheap and common enough to fully automate at a kiosk in the mall."

And why, pray tell, would someone who cared about photographic quality process film and make prints at a kiosk in the mall? Crappy processing and crappy prints, and with automated printing and color correction you have no idea as to what the hell went wrong (or right) with your images.

Shoot pro-grade E100, or Velvia, and you paid $10-12 per roll of film plus $10/roll commercial processing, or at least $20/roll combined. Shoot a dozen rolls at an event, and you just blew through $250 in 1980's dollars.

So yeah, I'd call it "pricey".

about 3 months ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

shmlco Re:Trust us with your payments (730 comments)

You take a picture of the card and that information is used to confirm with the bank that you're the card holder. The phone then gets a digital certificate that stored in the encrypted enclave and the photo is zapped. No credit card data is stored on the phone, nor on Apple's servers.

When you go to buy something the phone uses the cert to generate a one-time token and security code that's given to the merchant terminal via NFC and unlocked via TouchID.

The merchant doesn't get a name, doesn't get a card number, doesn't get a security code, and doesn't get a pin number, and as such, the thing is about a million times more secure than the existing magnetic swipe card system.

about 3 months ago
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Companies That Don't Understand Engineers Don't Respect Engineers

shmlco Re:Real people just don't like dealing with Hipste (371 comments)

The primary reason business attire is much more casual today is that other people began pushing against the same very envelope years ago.

about 4 months ago
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App Developers, It's Time For a Reality Check

shmlco Re:Viewpoint (161 comments)

Seems to me that most of the rants for or against college education tell us more about the personal biases of those doing the ranting...

about 8 months ago
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App Developers, It's Time For a Reality Check

shmlco Re:Viewpoint (161 comments)

If you go to a university in the US you're already expected to be able to read and write English. Now, some classes may be able to expand on those skills, but you should already have the fundamentals.

about 8 months ago
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App Developers, It's Time For a Reality Check

shmlco Re:Please go to COLLEGE FIRST! (161 comments)

You're right, it's much better to avoid being exposed to new ideas and experiences that might conflict with your own built-in biases and prejudices.

about 8 months ago
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Mazda Says Its Upcoming Gas-Powered Cars Will Emit Less CO2 Than Electric Cars

shmlco Re:Do electric cars actually produce CO2? (330 comments)

And all that's not the point. Again, all of that technology could be used in a hybrid in order to make the hybrid more efficient. Once developed, it can be copied or licensed and put into a hybrid that gets 100 MPG instead of the 50 you get now, or the 50 mpg a "SkyActiv" ICE-only car produces. Or even 150-200 mpg, once you factor in PHEV systems and conponents.

As to wheel bearings, drag, transmissions, power take-off components (A/C, Alternator), and so on, that's part and parcel of hybrid technology, and for that matter, electric vehicles in general. (Go look up how GM talked about having to make new low-power windshield-wiper motors for the Volt.)

about 9 months ago
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Mazda Says Its Upcoming Gas-Powered Cars Will Emit Less CO2 Than Electric Cars

shmlco Re:Do electric cars actually produce CO2? (330 comments)

You could also take all of the wonderful high-compression ICE l technology that Mazda is doing and put THAT into a Prius, giving us higher efficiency when in gas mode and still getting the benefits of electric power drive, assist, and regenerative braking in stop-and-go traffic.

about 9 months ago
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Elon Musk Says Larger Batteries Might Be On the Way

shmlco Re:FAR better than fossil fuels, and even better t (191 comments)

"...2002 UltraPortable, 3600 mAh in 330 grams. In 2014 the extended battery [amazon.com] for the Sony Vaio Pro 11 is 4690 mAh in 290 grams, that's about a 75% increase in power/gram in 12 years."

Most of the difference is that older batteries were pretty much just a set of AA-sized batteries wrapped into a plastic shell. Modern computers often use pressed and formed LiPo batteries that allow for more "battery" in the same amount of space.

Others, like Apple, carry it a step further and completely eliminate the plastic shell used in removable batteries. I'll leave the math as an exercise for the reader, but you'd be surprised at just how much volume you gain by simply extending your battery size by 4mm in every dimension.

about 10 months ago
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3-D Printed Gun Ban Fails In Senate

shmlco Re:Good (414 comments)

As pointed out above, it's unlikely that the person who commits the crime is the one that is actually producing the weapons. Thus what the law actually does is make it illegal to own, produce, sell, or distribute guns that would violate the law. Which in turn restricts the supply and makes it harder for a criminal to obtain them.

Without it, you not only have to worry about 3D-print shops mass-producing weapons, but also the possibility of, say, Glock deciding to make and market a polymer/ceramic "undetectable" firearm. Something that, in both cases, would dramatically increase the supply of such weapons on the street and as such, increase the likelihood of them being used in a crime.

Finally, and by your own admission regarding ammunition (BTW, ever heard of ceramics?), even a plastic gun would be better off, not to mention more reliable, with a metal firing pin, metal springs, metal screws, and so on. So the net result is that the law would have no impact whatsoever on the "honest" hobbyist, while at the same time restricting the proliferation of weapons designed solely to defeat existing security systems.

1 year,7 days
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3-D Printed Gun Ban Fails In Senate

shmlco Re:Hey douchenozzles (414 comments)

Actually, there are simple majority (51%) and supermajority (60%) rules.

1 year,7 days
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3-D Printed Gun Ban Fails In Senate

shmlco Re:Good (414 comments)

Austrailia? Sorry, been reading too many NRA talking-point bulletins. Try: http://www.gunfaq.org/2013/03/the-misuse-of-our-gun-crime-stats/

As to the Third Reich, according to the census of June 16, 1933, the Jewish population of Germany was approximately 505,000 people out of a total population of 67 million, or somewhat less than 0.75 percent.

Further, by the time Germany invaded Poland, roughly half of the Jewish population had emigrated out of Germany. At the wars end, 142,000 German Jews were killed in the Holocaust. As such, a) a German weapons law didn't disarm Poland, b) Hitler liberalized gun laws for Germans who by and large supported the regime and c) the Polish army was run over from the East by the Germans and the West by the Soviets.

So, roughly 250,000 men, woman, and children? Outnumbered over 200-to-1 in a state that overwhelmingly supported the Nazi party, and by a military machine that took the combined might of over half the planet to stop and bring down?

Yep. A few more hunting rifles and shotguns would have made all the difference...

1 year,7 days
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3-D Printed Gun Ban Fails In Senate

shmlco Re:How? (414 comments)

Got to love these carefully reasoned screeds... that completely miss the point.

See, the thing is that it's unlikely that the person who commits the crime is the one that is actually producing the weapons. Thus what the law actually does is make it illegal to own, produce, sell, or distribute guns that would violate the law. Which in turn restricts the supply and makes it harder for a criminal to obtain them.

Without it, you not only have to worry about 3D-print shops mass-producing weapons, but also the possibility of, say, Glock deciding to make and market a polymer/ceramic "undetectable" firearm. Something that, in both cases, would dramatically increase the supply of such weapons on the street and as such, increase the likelihood of them being used in a crime.

Finally, the law is itself in the public interest, as there's little to no public benefit in allowing people or companies to produce "plastic" weapons designed solely to circumvent security checkpoints.

1 year,7 days

Submissions

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Rambus Unveils Binary Pixel Technology For Instant HDR Photos

shmlco shmlco writes  |  about a year and a half ago

shmlco writes "Rambus just unveiled their Binary Pixel Technology, destined to dramatically improve the quality and dynamic range of photos taken from cameras and mobile devices. The technology, which is compatible with existing CMOS designs, uses a high-dynamic-range technique known as "variable temporal and spatial oversampling".

Essentially, instead of recording three distinct images and combining the values after the fact to get a single HDR photo, Rambus samples each pixel multiple times and at varying intervals during the same exposure. At the end, each pixel has its values added up to determine the true color value that should be assigned to that pixel.

Rambus promises up to a 15x increase in dynamic range over conventional sensors."

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft Continues Android Legal Assault

shmlco shmlco writes  |  more than 3 years ago

shmlco writes "According to an article on AllThingsD, Microsoft is continuing its legal assault on Android. On Monday the company sued Barnes & Noble, Foxconn International and Inventec over the company'(TM)s Nook e-reader, alleging patent infringement.

To quote Deputy General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez, “The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft’s patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights."

“Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action."

Just when you thought Microsoft was losing its evil touch..."

Link to Original Source

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