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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

steveg Re:I bet Slashdot knows better than any engineer.. (519 comments)

Not the same thing. He's not second-guessing the scientists who designed it, he's second-guessing the Slashdot self-appointed experts.

about a week ago
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

steveg Re:With a RTG, it couldn't have got to the comet. (519 comments)

My understanding is that they don't build these to order. There is one size, or possibly a couple, and you deisgn your mission with that in mind. And the mass of the RTG unit alone would have been far more than the completed lander as built.

about a week ago
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Video Raises Doubts About Attkisson's Claims of Malicious Hacking

steveg Re:Aww cmon (105 comments)

Sounds kinda like Heinlein, only not quite?

about three weeks ago
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Debate Over Systemd Exposes the Two Factions Tugging At Modern-day Linux

steveg Re: How about we hackers? (863 comments)

I'm not going to comment on whether Linus intended Linux to be Unix.

However RMS wanted to replace Unix exactly with an alternative written by the community.

If I may quote Stallman:
"I was developing an operating system that was *like* the Unix operating system, but was *not* the Unix operating system. This was a *different* system, we would have to write it ourselves, from scratch, because Unix was proprietary, we were forbidden to share Unix, we couldn't use Unix, it was useless for our community."

He was specifically objecting to the licensing of Unix, and he wanted to reproduce Unix without the licensing restrictions that made it impossible to use for "our community." He was not trying to come up with a different design, just a different licensing model.

So from a licensing perspective, Gnu is Not Unix. That's a licensing statement, not a structural one.

about a month ago
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Ubuntu 14.10 Released With Ambitious Name, But Small Changes

steveg Re:"not so much as a default wallpaper" (110 comments)

Microsoft, Canonical and Gnome all got together and took the same bad drugs.

about a month ago
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Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

steveg Re:Tesla wasn't the target, it was China (256 comments)

Well, prices have come down, and will probably come down more. Once I get the new AC paid off (*that* brought my electric bills down) I'll have free money to consider solar.

But given that the hardware price is coming down, I don't see much upside for "Power Purchase Agreements."

But I don't lease cars either. :)

about a month ago
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Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

steveg Re:Tesla wasn't the target, it was China (256 comments)

Electric is a slight cost savings in fuel if you live in California and pay Tier 3 or Tier 4 prices (which you do if you live in the Central Valley.) If I could afford to put solar panels on my roof that might very well change the equation, and prices for that are coming down, so I'm going to revisit that issue at some point.

My commute is far under what you cite as the average -- I drive about 6 miles each way. For most of my daily use (assuming I can bring the cost of electricity down) an electric would be fine.

Once every month or two I make a 200-300 mile day trip (round trip.) Once or twice a year I make a 2 to 3000 mile round trip. Flying could be an option, but not a very good one. It would still involve a decently long drive -- the local municipal airport would mean an expensive shuttle flight each direction. Overall, that's quite a bit more expensive and only a little shorter time-wise. Plus it would mean renting a car at the destination.

But I'm suspicious of what your notion of the "average American" does. I've never lived in a place where putting in a grocery order for delivery was an option. I've never lived in a place where most of the people I knew didn't make occasional trips out of town. I've never lived in a place where "I rarely drive" was an option.

Perhaps you live in a very big city or a *very* small town, but is that really the "average?"

about a month ago
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Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

steveg Re:Here you go: (256 comments)

I don't know much about cold winter days, but the efficiency of my hybrid drops significantly on hot summer days.

about a month ago
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Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

steveg Re:Tesla wasn't the target, it was China (256 comments)

I'm certainly no fan of the Republican Party, but the PATRIOT Act and all its progeny were bipartisan.

And the surveillance state got out of hand under the Republicans, but it didn't get any better under the Democrats, so I'm not seeing any partisan moral high ground here.

about a month ago
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Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

steveg Re:Tesla wasn't the target, it was China (256 comments)

A 40 mile range, daily would do me.

But it wouldn't cover the days when I need 7 or 800 miles.

A Tesla with 300 mile range and charging stations properly placed for cross-country trips would be great. I'd jump on that in a minute, if it were $30k.

20 - 30 minute breaks for charging and meals would be fine by me.

about a month ago
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Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

steveg Re:Tesla wasn't the target, it was China (256 comments)

If you're not carrying a logbook, then there are no legal limits on how far you can drive, at least not anywhere I've ever been. As far as that goes, if you *are* carrying a logbook, the limitation is on hours, not miles, but you're right that 800 miles would bust that limit.

I'm pretty sure this is true even if you are driving as an employee. As a wireline engineer there were no legal limits on how far or long I could drive, because I drove a passenger car. My truck crew were DOT drivers and they *did* have legal limits.

It's been 25 years, so it's possible details have changed, but I doubt the basic rules have changed that much.

about a month ago
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Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

steveg Re:Tesla wasn't the target, it was China (256 comments)

That's really not very realistic. A couple of thousand mile trips a year would overshadow the cost savings an electric would bring. If you add in the half dozen or so trips in the 300 mile range that *might* be in the range of an electric but would be dicey, then it's really not very practical.

It also assumes that each trip has lots of lead time to arrange a rental. This would mostly be true for the very long trips, but rarely true for the short ones.

I'm always amazed by people who say "Sure, get an electric car, you can rent if you need to go further." In what world does that make economic sense?

about a month ago
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Four Dutch Uberpop Taxi Drivers Arrested, Fined

steveg Re:I'm sorry (282 comments)

When you say "free," I'm assuming you mean legal.

There are a couple of (rural, sparsely populated) counties where prostitution is legal. If there are a hundred legal prostitutes in all the brothels in Nevada at any one time, I'd be very surprised.

Now, Las Vegas, that's a different issue. But prostitution in Las Vegas, is definitely not legal. There may be thousands of them, but that doesn't make them legal.

about a month and a half ago
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Studies Conclude Hands-Free-calling and Apple Siri Distract Drivers

steveg Beta link (208 comments)

Is anyone else irritated by an explicit link to the beta site in this summary? You can edit 'tech-beta.slashdot.org' to be just 'tech.slashdot.org' and they do still offer the link back to the real site once you get there, but it's still annoying.

Maybe the solution is "just don't click on links while on Slashdot." That's a grand old tradition here anyway, I guess.

about a month and a half ago
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Conservative Groups Accuse FCC of Helping Net Neutrality Advocates File Comments

steveg Re:Conservatives crying "no fair"? (283 comments)

Common carriers are regulated, but they don't have the kinds of restrictions you're talking about. Part of the point of a common carrier is that nobody is allowed to inspect the contents in order to determine what's in there.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Worth Being Grandfathered On Verizon's Unlimited Data Plan?

steveg Re:The real questions to ask (209 comments)

Well, it wasn't that the phone was incompatible, it was that VZW was unwilling to transfer the plan to new phones. They certainly could have, it was a choice on their part.

When I got this phone I had the choice to pay full price for the new phone and keep the unlimited plan, or get the discounted phone and drop down to 2G a month. From a practical perspective, my normal data usage typically runs to between 300M and 500M a month. A road trip will double that or more. The closest I've come to running over that was a combination of a road trip *and* letting my neice play with my phone in a restaurant. Those funny dog videos from Youtube really add up.

In any case, it wasn't worth it to me to pay the extra up-front costs of a full-retail phone for the benefit of being able to let my niece run wild on Youtube once a year.

about 2 months ago
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2015 Corvette Valet Mode Recorder Illegal In Some States

steveg Re:huh? (269 comments)

True. So *you've* consented.

But you're not the only party, no matter who owns the car. Has the other party consented? In some states, as long as one party has consented, you're fine. But in many states, that's not enough.

about a month ago
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Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

steveg Re:other people's money (167 comments)

Standard starting salary for a lecturer (non-tenure track) at the largest public university system (California State University) in the US is around $45k.

Just for comparison.

about 2 months ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

steveg Re:The Microsoft Tax can buy you... (249 comments)

Well, you're right there. But are people actually using Gnome 3 or Unity? :) As far as that goes, are people actually using Windows 8?

Also, just out of curiousity, do proprietary drivers for Windows also do the same kind of regression for old hardware that we see in Linux? I don't mess with Windows enough to know.

about 2 months ago
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City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros

steveg Re:The Microsoft Tax can buy you... (249 comments)

Of course, when switching from one version of Windows to another version of Windows, the cost of training the average city employee to use that new version of Windows could buy you a dozen copies of Windows. Especially if you're factoring in training on the newer versions of Office.

The interface changes between Microsoft versions are as radical (or more radical) than the interface changes in transistioning between XP and Linux.

about 2 months ago

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Slashdot scrambled for logged on users

steveg steveg writes  |  more than 7 years ago

steveg (55825) writes "The Slashdot main page went wonky for users who had logged in. Some other pages were fine, but the main page looked like this. If you logged out, everything was fine."

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