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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

willy_me Re:Definition of a successful intercept... (454 comments)

It would be cool to find out just what the real statistics are. I'm pretty sure, though, that Israel classifies this information as a state secret and we may never know in our lifetimes.

The rockets generate more psychological damage then physical. As far as weapons go, they are rather pathetic. All the iron dome really has to do is to make those it protects feel safe. If statistics have the potential of damaging this feeling of safety then you ca be assured that they will be kept secret.

The other purpose of the iron dome is to limit the desire to fire the rockets in the first place. If one thinks their efforts are in vain then they are less likely to follow through. If Israel can convince members of Hamas that their rockets are not working then there will be fewer rockets launched at Israel.

about 2 months ago

Researchers Unveil Experimental 36-Core Chip

willy_me Re:Moore's Law (143 comments)

And hopefully in any lectures on Moore's Law, the students learn that Moore's Law refers to transistors on a die, not the speed of the chips. This 36-core chip probably jumps ahead of Moore's Law a bit, as it's got to be a fairly large die.

Moore's Law refers to the number of components per integrated circuit for minimum cost. Note that this is basically transistor density and is not impacted by core size. Silicon defects and transistor size determine the optimal number of components per IC.

A quote from Wikipedia,

Moore himself wrote only about the density of components, "a component being a transistor, resistor, diode or capacitor,"[26] at minimum cost.

about 3 months ago

Huawei Successfully Tests New 802.11ax WiFi Standard At 10.53Gbps

willy_me Re:Nyquist (116 comments)

With MIMO you have multiple channels

I was under the impression that MIMO gives you multiple antenna to facilitate beam forming. Channel bandwidth requirements do not change nor does the number of channels required. MIMO still only requires 1 channel. A quick wiki search appears to agree with this impression.

Now you can also use multiple channels but this is independent of MIMO technology. Both techniques can be used together - and typically are which might explain the confusion. Either that or I am confused which is always a possibility....

about 4 months ago

Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

willy_me Re:When did they add DMA? (355 comments)

Don't see much need for high power output when Thunderbolt devices like displays will probably need their own power supply anyway.

It's not high power output - it's high power transfer. It will be used as single connection display / ethernet / webcam / USB Audio / power adapter when connecting your laptop to a monitor. Sort of like the ultimate dock.

about 4 months ago

Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

willy_me Re:They are orthogonal use cases (355 comments)

I built a FreeBSD 9.1 file server using usb 3 / usb 3 docks, but I failed them all back down to using their 2.0 interface due to persistent flakiness/dropping off the bus type issues.

If you look at MacZFS you will notice that ZFS over a USB bus is garbage. Far too many problems - developer says to not even bother reporting the bugs. And in my experience, FreeBSD is not much different in this regard. Had major problems with ZFS over USB while UFS appears to work fine. Use a different connection, like eSATA or Firewire, and ZFS starts to work again.

I only mention this because it is quite possible that USB was working fine. Glitches / delays / disconnects, regardless of which layer they originate in, appear to hit ZFS hard. Better to use eSATA if you have a FreeBSD box.

about 4 months ago

US Climate Report Says Global Warming Impact Already Severe

willy_me Re:Frequent hurricanes? (627 comments)

The graph has a logarithmic horizontal scale. As a result, the deviation of sea level from thousands of years ago is calculated over a larger time from then the deviation reported for today. If the deviation for today was calculated using the same time frame it would be significantly larger then the value calculated for thousands of years ago. The fact you did not see this is somewhat disturbing and could just explain why you are arguing your point. Or you're a troll - you're probably just a troll - people on this site can not be that foolish.

about 4 months ago

BMW Created the Most Efficient Electric Car In the US

willy_me Re: Range is the issue (258 comments)

Lithium is not that scarce and only make up a small part of the cost of a battery. You are correct about increased demand driving up prices, but once industry increases the supply the prices will be even lower then they were previously.

about 4 months ago

Toyota Describes Combustion Engine That Generates Electricity Directly

willy_me Re:Efficiency? (234 comments)

The real question is how efficient is it?

It does not have to be any more efficient if they manage to reduct weight and increase reliability. Efficiency has a big part to play but even a less efficient engine would be desirable if they improve greatly on other aspects.

Remember that this is being targeted for vehicles that will run mostly on electric power. An ICE is a dead weight when not being used. If someone drives using 90% pure electric then the efficiency gains of carrying less weight could easily outweigh the losses of an ICE that was 5% less efficient but only operates for 10% of the time.

about 5 months ago

Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

willy_me Re:What size does one take? (193 comments)

That was the original plan - 18650 batteries give you the most capacity for the smallest price. But once you start producing thousands of cars things change a little. It would now seem prudent for them to design their own. This would give them more efficient use of space and would make it easier to adopt new upcoming technologies. The economies of scale with respect to 18650 batteries will no longer apply.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

willy_me Re:HP Calculators (702 comments)

An amendment. Forget USB - add inductive charging. Now you do not require any physical ports. The keyboard membrane should be designed so that it also provides a watertight seal between the keyboard and the electronics. Now you have a calculator you can use in the rain, on a ship, or anywhere else you do not want to use a cell phone. Engineers can use it in the field - without taking off any gloves.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

willy_me Re:HP Calculators (702 comments)

Someone needs to start a Kickstarter project to create a decent calculator. A solid case and keyboard as per the older HP calculators. Color display - they're common enough. Embedded ARM CPU as you would expect in a cell phone. And similar to a cell phone, a rechargable battery. Add in bluetooth, WiFi, and USB for communication and your hardware is done.

The interesting part would be on the software end. One could attempt to emulate an HP calculator - but a standard Forth VM would also be interesting. Synchronizing with a PC is a huge area where things could be improved. It would be great to share a workspace with a computer so that once you solve a problem on the calculator - the requred functions would be available on the PC allowing you to automaticaly integrate the solution into your own code / spreadsheet / etc.

An open calculator design would open up lots of possibilities. Cell phones are great start but regardless of how impressive the software is, it still lacks a physical keyboard. Automatic type correction works great for text - not so much for calculators.

about 5 months ago

WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever

willy_me Re:It is the single most reliable piece of tech (449 comments)

Get a repeater. An antenna mounted on your roof and pointed at the tower works wonders. Any attempt to replace a PTOS with wireless will most likely rely on such repeaters for approval.

about 6 months ago

More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

willy_me Re:Statistics suck (367 comments)

I have observed that breasts outside the vehicle and penises inside the vehicle is also a bad combo. Especially on those hot days when people tend to perspire. I suppose the only solution is to keep both breasts and penises out of vehicles.

about 6 months ago

Iran Builds Mock-up of Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier

willy_me Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (298 comments)

One of the big cost savings is in not having to constantly maintain and operate aircraft and pilot skills. With drones you just leave the thing packed up in storage until it is needed. Just look at how many hours your typical F18 has on it before it is ever used in combat - that's a big expense that an air-to-air drone would not have.

about 6 months ago

Samsung Galaxy Glass Patent Plans To Turn Fingers Into a Keyboard

willy_me Ambient noise does not have to be a problem (63 comments)

Multiple microphones can be used to triangulate the different sources of incoming noise. Some intelligent filters that take into account the expected 3D position of the speaker can then be used to filter out ambient noise. Cell phones are already doing this - at least the good ones are. This is why the iPhone has multiple microphones. I imagine Samsung is doing something similar. You can learn more and see some impressive examples in the Stanford on-line artificial intelligence lectures. I believe they were posted in iTunes University a couple of years ago. I now use a Linux desktop so I can not verify that they are still available.

about 6 months ago

All Else Being Equal: Disputing Claims of a Gender Pay Gap In Tech

willy_me Re:Similar to most studies (427 comments)

The guy donated some genetic material. The woman had the thing grow inside them for 9 months. Who's gonna be more connected?

You are correct that the woman is more connected and that it has to do with time - but not for the reasons you've implied. It really comes down to the fact that men can reproduce more frequently then women so they have less invested into each individual offspring. Women only get so many chances so it is worth it for them to invest the time to maximize the success rate. Men maximize their DNA propagation by procreating as frequently and with as many women as possible.

Men and women are different both on the outside and inside. Different brain chemistry leads to different behaviour. Why do some people (not parent poster) find this so hard to understand?

about 6 months ago

Walmart Unveils Turbine-Powered WAVE Concept Truck

willy_me It will have problems in the real world. (242 comments)

Anything that light will have serious issues with cross-winds. If current trailers can blow over just imagine how bad it will be when you reduce the weight by 4000 lbs.

Some time ago, I recall reading on /. how Walmart was researching new energy efficient tires for use with trucks. Looks like they are being used here - a single large tire to replace the current standard dual-tire configuration. But this makes me wonder what the impact of a blow-out would be. Perhaps they have it figured out - or perhaps there are good reasons why this will never become a production machine.

about 6 months ago

How An Astronaut Nearly Drowned During a Space Walk

willy_me Re:I'm confused (144 comments)

Not all gallons are the same. Muros must have thought this was obvious. I thought it was obvious.

If two people independently read the same meaning in a message you've written, it's unlikely the problem is with the reader.

Only true with a small audience. When read by thousands, the two that could not figure it out are to blame.

about 7 months ago

Tesla Used A Third of All Electric-Car Batteries Last Year

willy_me Re:No radiator in a Leaf (236 comments)

I have a Leaf, there is no radiator of any kind. Heat comes from resistance (pre 2013) or heat pump (2013 and beyond).

Heat pumps still require radiators. They are much simpler and less maintenance then a typical automotive radiator - but they are still there. Just look at the back / bottom of your refrigerator for an example.

about 7 months ago

Crowded US Airwaves Desperately In Search of Spectrum Breathing Room

willy_me Lower power towers.. (105 comments)

The solution is to build / install multiple mini-towers to replace large towers covering a larger area.

Dialling down the transmit power of both the device and tower will reduce the congestion. With fewer devices on each tower, bandwidth will increase. Also, devices will require less transmit and receive power so their batteries will last longer. And when in a more rural setting with fewer devices, service providers can still go with a larger tower to cover more area.

This is the only real solution but it requires an investment in infrastructure. From the perspective of a service provider, it is far more cost effective to convince the government to give / sell them more bandwidth. Regardless of how much bandwidth they have, they will always be begging government for more.

about 7 months ago


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