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Toyota Opens Patents On Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

vivian Re:No, not practically, no. (124 comments)

Supermarket and shopping mall car parks are the perfect place for charging. Around here, it gets pretty bloody hot and sunny during the day, and getting back into your car after doing the shopping is a less than pleasant experience.
  Supermarkets are already getting into the fuel business here with shopper docket discounts on petrol, so it would be a logical extension for them to shade car parks with solar panels that charged your car while you were shopping. It would give them an instant competitive advantage over rivals, or alternatively could create a new revenue stream, all while allowing them to rightly claim they were helping "save the planet"

about three weeks ago

Geoengineered Climate Cooling With Microbubbles

vivian Re:Even simpler (114 comments)

I have replaced all my halogen down lights , 50w each, with LED lights that use only 5w, and actually provide better light.
I typically have 15 on, 4 hours a day.
As a proportion of my overall power usage, my lighting has dropped from about 15% to 1.5%
The LED bulbs will last longer (10,000 hours) than halogens, and pay themselves off in terms of saved electricity, in 2 years.
Electricity is $0.26 /kwh here, and each bulb saves 0.045 kwh every hour it is being used.
it will take 777 hours for it to save it's own purchase cost in electricity, or approximately 194 days of typical 4 hours a day use.
Definitely worth while both economically and environmentally.

about a month ago

Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible To Use

vivian Re: wimpy talk (187 comments)

Honestly, reading the synopsis of the plot of 20,000 Leagues, it seems he contributed more to Star Trek than he did to reality.

I don't remember Captain Nemo ever losing his shirt and making out with every mermaid, daugters of Neptune or any other female denizens of the deep that get in range of his tentacles... I guess they got Kirk's predilections from elsewhere.

about a month and a half ago

Is Chernobyl Still Dangerous? Was 60 Minutes Pushing Propaganda?

vivian Re:What a shock (409 comments)

There are plenty of smokers who don't die of cancer, so that must also be safe, right?

about 2 months ago

Stephen Hawking's New Speech System Is Free and Open-source

vivian Re:SiwftKey? (56 comments)

A week later the app went "Free" and by free I meant, all the features I paid for were now free to everyone

Look at it this way - it's not like buying stocks or something where you only buy it as an investment to sell later.

At the time you purchased it, the software offered you enough utiity to be worth buying.it was worth what you paid to get it - and as an added bonus, your purchasing it helped feed the developers and enable them to be able to afford to release it for free for the betterment of mankind - so by proxy, your payment has also helped benefit mankind. You should get a warm fuzzy feeling about that instead of feeling bitter!

about 2 months ago

Football Concussion Lawsuits Start To Hit High Schools

vivian Re:Helmets with Sensors (233 comments)

Argh - never post before your first coffee.
I meant to say
"How about play a sport that doesn't require heavy physical contact?" of course.

about a month ago

Football Concussion Lawsuits Start To Hit High Schools

vivian Re:Helmets with Sensors (233 comments)

How about poay a psort that doesn't require heavy physical contact?
nearly all athletics events, swimming, baseball, basketball,as well as numerous other field games exist that manage to be entertaining without having to put players at huge physical risk like (American) football does. Same deal with rugby and league, but even those games have rules that avoid the worst of the heavy impacts - and lack of body armor in those sports means the players are required to play more within limits that will tend to have less impact on the brain.

about a month ago

Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

vivian Re:Copyright? (194 comments)

I don't see how a green marker would help.

I think they would have gotten much better performance if they used a Chuck Norris disc though.

about 2 months ago

Multiple Manufacturers Push Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars, But Can They Catch Tesla?

vivian Re:That's the point! (293 comments)

Better yet, in the case of shopping centres, you can have solar panels providing shade in the car park to provide the power while also keeping cars shaded and cool. It wouldn't have to be a guaranteed supply - just whatever the sun gives out while you are parked. That might not be much of a draw for customers in Buffalo with all that snow right now, but here It's already hitting 35 to 40 degrees Celsius every day, and it's not even summer yet.

about 2 months ago

Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

vivian Re:Let's do the math (307 comments)

How about inventing a planetary wide gamma ray shield instead?
Surely in a gamma ray prone galaxy there would have to be at least a few systems that had an atmosphere or oceans that would shield from gamma rays? In as little as 100 to 200 years I think we would easily have the technology to sustain a colony deep in the ocean, if it were necessary.

about 2 months ago

Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

vivian Re:Let's do the math (307 comments)

for values of infinity that approach 420.

about 2 months ago

Bidding In Government Auction of Airwaves Reaches $34 Billion

vivian Re:Not sure if it adds up (85 comments)

Either way you cut it, it's just another tax that gets paid by the end consumer, a big fat windfall for consolidated revenue.

I think a much better way would be for companies to bid based on the value they bring to the end consumer public, with the company that promises the best value winning.
If that company fails to deliver within some reasonable time frame, the spectrum should be passed on to the next best offer.
Value wound be measured based on dollars per GBit that they agree to offer the end service for. (voice calls really should be priced this way too, these days - now everything is digital)

if it really isn't practicable to implement something like the above, lt'd be nice to at least see the money spent on a fibre roll-out or other physical media based infrastructure.

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Minimizing Oil and Gas Dependency In a Central European City?

vivian Re:Solar Panels (250 comments)

The gravitational potential energy in a ton of water - a cubic meter (ie. 1000 litres) elevated 3 meters, the typical 1 storey roof height, is about 8.1 watt hours. you would need a 1200000 litre tank to store the typical household load of 20 kWh., even assuming 100% efficiency in energy conversion to electricity.

about 3 months ago

Farmers Carry Multidrug-Resistant Staph For Weeks Into Local Communities

vivian Re:Animals with more rights than humans (122 comments)

Hopefully you can't get antibiotics even after seeing the doctor, if you only have sniffles.
Antibiotics generally don't work on viruses, which is what usually causes sniffles.

about 4 months ago

NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

vivian Re:Six Missoins Each (188 comments)

I think that while it is iportant that the greatest nation on earth should have it['s own spaceflight capacity, it really just isn't worth the return on investment for Australia - we are better off spending the money on bbq's and beer.

Good idea for the US though.

about 4 months ago

MIT's Cheetah Robot Runs Untethered

vivian Re:Asian-only team? (90 comments)

One of the things that makes US reasearch strong is the ability of it's universities to attract te best and brightest from all around the world. This is nothing new - it has always been thus - though perhals this is incresingly so as the state of secondary education seems to be in decline compared to opter parts of the world.

When researchers stop coming to the US, the state of
research there will go into rapid decline.The US isn't alone though - it's the same story in Australia too.

Given the already established centres for excellence in the US, it's a favoured destination for smart and motivated people from India and Asia, as well as other parts of the world to further their education and opportunities.

Half the world's population is Asian or India/Bangadesh/Pakistan, so naturally you are going to see many from those regions. Be glad for it - or they would be busy innovationg wherever they came from instead of the US.

about 4 months ago

Power Grids: The Huge Battery Market You Never Knew Existed

vivian Re:Another huge battery market, Robots (245 comments)

Wy not just have a simple "remote control" type bot and offload al the computing power via wifi? Systems like ROS easily support having your expensive processing nodes running remotely, and you can even run ROS on a very low powered raspberry PI for on-bot computing for your drive controllers.

Running GPUs is certainly going to eat your power fast, so all image processing, planing, task scheduling and control should be offloaded to a mains powered computer or an off-bot stationary computer powered by solar panels for something like an agri-bot.

about 5 months ago

News Corp Australia Doesn't Want You To Look Closely At Their Financials

vivian Re:Rupert Murdoch Streisand (132 comments)

Shrimp and prawns are infact two different and distinct beasties, though easily confused, because they look superficially similar.
This handy guude might help:

Since the adds were run in the US, where shrimp was the delicious type of crustaceon ready to throw onto afore mentioned cooking surface, that was the right word to use.
No doubt, when back here in his native Oz, Hoges reverts back to the more locally appropriate 'prawn' nomenclature.

about 5 months ago

Life Sentences For Serious Cyberattacks Proposed In Britain

vivian Re:Why not the death sentence while You're at it? (216 comments)

I don't see why causing death by a hack should have any special treatment compared to causing death by an ice pick, a bullet, high voltage electricity, or any other exotic means.

There should be no special legislation needed for this.

about 8 months ago

UN to Debate Use of Fully Autonomous Weapons, New Report Released

vivian Re:3 laws deleted (180 comments)

As a software engineer that daily works on developing robot control software and algorithms for industrial robots, (yes, I love my job) I can assure you that we are very far indeed from even having robots that know they are scratching their own arses, let alone having anything like the reasoning capacity embodied in the three laws.
Robots of today are dumb - sure, there are clever planning algorithms that make them flexible enough to work in a relatively predictable dynamic environment, but we are no where near the point of having robots implement the first law.
As for the second law - wel computers (and by extension robots) are infamous for doing exactly what they are instructed - even if the result is garbage. Part two of that law is problematic given we can't really do part 1.
For the third law, actually that's almost the oppsite of what we try to achieve - we try our hardest to make sure that the robot will flat out refuse to do something that will harm it, even if told to do so by a human. if the robot gets given an instruction to start plasma cutting it's tracks or the cabinet containing it's drive controllers, it damn well better ignore that order. At bese, we can do collision avoidance of stuff in the environment to prevent harm, but I don't see us any time soon have them having behaviour programmed in to ufulfil the 'inaction" clause - for example, rush over and stop me cutting myself on broken glass, or recognising I am in danger from a falling beam and catching it (or even beeping a warning) , or something like that.

about 9 months ago



Where are the high-res head-mounted displays?

vivian vivian writes  |  more than 5 years ago

vivian (156520) writes "Ever since 1996, when I first set eyes on a Sony GlassTron head mounted display in Japan, I have been awaiting the day that a lightweight head-mounted display came along that actually had decent resolution and didn't look like a brick tied to your face. The closest contender to date seems to be the these from Vuzix, and they are partially transparent too, which is great, but as with every other unit I have found, they only offer video quality — 640x480 or so. Could we petition some manufacturer or other to actually produce something that had a minimum of 1024x768 @30-60hz refresh and stereo vision capable? Extra karma if they incorporate head tracking.
Given there have been a number of other articles on Slashdot, I can't be the only one here that is eagerly awaiting something that could actually be a viable alternative to a PC monitor — especially for gaming or 3d graphics work. Perhaps we could petition a manufacturer to make what we actually want?"


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