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Ties of the Matrix: An Exercise in Combinatorics

sshore moderator selection (51 comments)

Heh, don't feel bad, I get about 30 positive karma a week and I haven't received mod points for a couple of years now. Guess I shouldn't have criticized Dice ...

If I remember correctly, moderators are picked from users with an average amount of activity. You might be falling into the obsessive side of that particular curve :)

about 8 months ago

Looking To Better Engines Instead of Electric Vehicles

sshore Summary (570 comments)

The article is light on details, but there's details elsewhere.

The OPOC engine is a horizontally opposed two cylinder two-stroke engine. As a cylinder in a two-stroke engine has a power stroke on every revolution instead of every second revolution, this engine has very high power density compared to a four-stroke engine of the same size.

Traditionally, two-stroke engines have had very poor emissions. Since the exhaust and intake strokes are not separate, the intake mixes with the exhaust to some degree. This means that some of the intake fuel goes out the exhaust unburned, and some of the exhaust remains in the cylinder with the intake charge, reducing peak temperature. This engine, however, uses assisted HCCI with a diesel injection system, meaning the fuel is introduced during compression instead of intake, so unburned intake fuel does not cross over to the exhaust. (I'm not clear what the "assisted" part is in the assisted HCCI. Perhaps there's a spark plug that's only used during low-power, lean burn conditions?)

The cylinder pairs are intended to be balanced and stackable, so that multiples can be connected together for higher output. TFA suggests that it might even be stacked with an electric motor for low-speed operation.

I imagine these would be very useful for a hybrid, despite the summary title. Unassisted HCCI engines have a small power range, but this would be perfectly fine for a series hybrid generator motor running at a fixed RPM for charging.

more than 4 years ago

Mount Everest Gets 3G Service

sshore Re:By that measure, there are much bigger heroes (150 comments)

Conventional wisdom is often wrong; logger, fisherman, construction worker, drivers, etc. are much more dangerous.

I don't doubt that's the case, but it seems like one of those unsourced soundbites that may or may not be true. So, with all due respect..

[citation needed]

more than 4 years ago

Top Reason for Facebook Unfriending Is Too Many Useless Posts

sshore Re:If By "Useless" You Mean... (300 comments)

Whoops, saw that you mentioned "Hide". But why would you unfriend someone for their apps if you don't see them at all?

Some people make regular posts about items they need in their favorite games in their regular status updates too, which you see even if you've hidden their apps.

You could hide their status updates or unfriend them. Since you'll no longer be seeing anything from them either way, it comes down to whether you want them to see your activity even if you no longer care for theirs.

more than 4 years ago

Broadcom Releases Source Code For Drivers

sshore Documentation (350 comments)

It's good that they've released source for drivers.

It would be better still if they released documentation for their hardware that would be adequate to write a driver.

It's said that source code is the best documentation, but it only documents what the source is doing; not why it's doing it, what it could do, and what it shouldn't do.

more than 4 years ago

BSkyB Wins £709m Lawsuit Against HP-EDS

sshore Observer bias (187 comments)

Has anybody ever heard of [..] an EDS project that went well.

No, and that's not surprising in their field. As a company that provides infrastructure, EDS projects are expected to go well. It's not notable when they succeed.

There's just not a lot of articles in the news about "Multi-billion dollar project went as expected". It's not that they never do, rather it's not newsworthy when they do.

more than 4 years ago

IT Job Satisfaction Plummets To All-Time Low

sshore Re:No more working for the man (453 comments)

Meanwhile, I didn't buy a home I couldn't afford, and for some reason no one wants to just give me money.

Hah! Don't you feel foolish now.

My father once said, to paraphrase.. "you can be one of those complaining about the people getting free cash.. or you can be one of the people getting free cash."

+1 insightful, in retrospect.

more than 4 years ago

Slovak Police Planted Explosives On Air Travelers

sshore Re:What the...? (926 comments)

I don't know that the typical "let's blow up a plane!" sort of terrorist we've run into of late is all that worried about getting away without trouble if they're caught. I mean, they're willing to die.

I know suicide bombing is all the rage these days, but there's plenty of would-be bombers who would prefer to live. Checking your bomb as luggage used to work (Air India Flight 182), but that doesn't fly anymore. Putting it into someone else's luggage seems like a reasonable compromise.

more than 4 years ago

BBC's Plan To Kick Open Source Out of UK TV

sshore Boring (302 comments)

Where is the "-1 boring" moderation?

I've been using Overrated for that. Some posts don't even merit the logged in 1, or anonymous 0.

more than 4 years ago

Go, Google's New Open Source Programming Language

sshore Google search "Go" (831 comments)

It's a small complaint, I'm sure.. but couldn't they have given it a name that you could, you know, Google?

more than 5 years ago

Enzyme Found To Help Formation of New Axons

sshore Scar reduction (88 comments)

The business about regenerating nerves is exciting, but this also sounds useful for scar reduction/removal.

I have a couple of keloid scars that it would be nice to be rid of.

more than 5 years ago

Iraq Swears By Dowsing Rod Bomb Detector

sshore Re:Water for Thought... (652 comments)

As for people who get in the media not needing a million bucks, A) EVERYONE needs a million bucks, even if you just turn around and give it to a charity (I'm looking at you, Sylvia "I don't need the money anyway" Brown) and B) So getting a 2 minute human interest blurb on the local news channel is an instant gateway to fame and success that makes taking a test for a million dollars a wasteful endeavor? That is such a bogus cop-out.

I'd think it would take at least a million dollars just to cope with the "fame and success" that would bring. Maybe more.

Maybe Randi could offer a reduced prize of $10,000 just to shut up on a successful claim, without the media attention.

"Cassandra did not get half the kicking around she deserved." -- Heinlein

more than 5 years ago

Oklahoma, Vatican Take Opposite Tacks On Evolution

sshore Re:Oklahoma? (1161 comments)

Suppose you believed that Snow White and the Seven Dwarves are real. Is me calling you an idiot fair or bigotry?

Non-sequiter. An erronous belief does not necessarily reflect on the believer's intelligence. Calling him an idiot would just create an adversarial atmosphere, and make it less likely that he'd seriously consider your point of view.

I think that Dawkins runs into that same problem. However, he wouldn't be as popular as he is without being adversarial. Conflict sells.

more than 5 years ago

Not All Cores Are Created Equal

sshore Re:FPGA programming (183 comments)

Rereading it makes it very appropriate to this story though as it points out the minute variations in silicon/computers that is ignored by most software etc. as used today because of clocks etc. If the clock is not quite right, weird things can happen.

This story is more about how subtle differences in process-to-core mapping can result in real performance differences, rather than small differences in silicon. Kind of like the butterfly effect as it applies to computers.

The FPGA thing was still an interesting article, though.

more than 5 years ago

Not All Cores Are Created Equal

sshore FPGA programming (183 comments)

One experiment went for a long time, and in the end when he analyzed the AI generated code, there were 5 paths/circuits inside that did nothing. If he disabled any or all of the 5 the overall design failed. Somehow, the AI found that creating these do nothing loops/circuits caused a favorable behavior in other parts of the FPGA that made for overall success.

The author took the unusual step of disconnecting the clock for the FPGA, taking advantaged of undefined behavior that depended on the unique electrical characteristics of the FPGA he used. Had he left the clock connected he'd likely have more portable results, however he may not have arrived at the same results since he'd be depending on discrete logic and not the unspecified, non-linear analog behavior.

more than 5 years ago

Plug-in Hybrids May Not Go Mainstream, Toyota Says

sshore Vanadium redox isn't a magic battery (519 comments)

I too was excited to read about vanadium redox flow batteries. For such a promising technology, it does seem to be poorly commercialized.

It seems unlikely that we'll see this in mobile applications due to the low energy density. To quote wiki:

Current production Vanadium redox batteries achieve an energy density of about 25 Wh/kg of electrolyte. More recent research at UNSW indicates that the use of precipitation inhibitors can increase the density to about 35 Wh/kg, with even higher densities made possible by controlling the electrolyte temperature. This energy density is quite low as compared to other rechargeable battery types, e.g. Lead-acid (30-40 Wh/kg) and Lithium Ion (80-200 Wh/kg).

The main advantage of vanadium redox in mobile applications is quick fills, however certain types of lithium ion batteries also allow very fast charging with much better energy density.

The flow batteries look promising for load-leveling of stationary alternative power sources. It would be interesting to see how they compare with lead-acid in $/Wh. I haven't found any figures on this.

more than 6 years ago


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