Okay.. I'm a Model S owner and I love Tesla and I chuckled at the whole Insane mode and gave a bit of an amused snort at Ludicrous mode.
This, however, really makes me wonder WTH is going on there:
HEPA Air Filters
"There are three modes: circulate with outside air, re-circulate inside air and a bioweapon defense mode that creates positive pressure inside the cabin to protect occupants."
EDIT: Very fair points about driving by skunks or nasty smells. The naming is what gets me though. If it was called Noxious Smell Defense Mode or something, that would make perfect sense. Looking at Wikipedia, a "medical grade HEPA filter" can filter out 99.97% of particles at least 0.3 micrometers in diameter. Dunno if the Tesla filters are also using UV irradiation, and I also couldn't find any documentation of the particulate size of skunk odor, so it will be interesting to see documentation on what exactly it can filter out.
EDIT2: Watched a bit of the intro event video. Looks like it has a specific set of activated charcoal filters for sulfur type particulates, so certainly seems like it could be a skunk odor killer. :)
Yah I found that a bit paranoid. Probably what happened though is that the system is controlled by a microcontroller and it took 3 minutes for some programmer to add that feature for fun, and then some marketer thought they would throw it in and make it real.
Modern cars have a cabin air outlet. It's usually hidden in the trunk or the back of the cab (on trucks), and vents somewhere like behind the plastic bumper. There are rubber flaps on them to ensure one-way air travel and keep water out. Perhaps Tesla's has a motor on theirs to keep it closed against the increased cabin pressure.
Just by pumping air inside through filters a positive internal pressure is automatically created. How much pressure will be created is proportional to the pump's flow rate and inversely proportional to the car leakage constant ( I think it's something like leakage ~ k * P.I.P., which would make P.I.P. ~ pump flow/k ), but some positive internal pressure is a given even with those outlets.
It absolutely is, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't work in principle.
A HEPA filter is used in a lot of labs where biological substances are handled, even potentially hazardous ones. It should filter many types of biological agent out of the incoming air, and the positive pressure will keep such things entering other ways.
I think the reason they put it in is so people would talk about it and, look, we are. It is a marketing gimmick that likely doesn't require any additional hardware in the car (the air pump and HEPA filter are already in it, this just turns the pump up and adds a new dash button).
I'll give Tesla the nod for one thing: They sure know how to market. Between the wing doors, the bio-protection mode (which will be on the nightly news), and insane mode they're very savvy.
They are probably storing compressed air in the cabin. You start the bioweapon-defense-mode, the fan raises the pressure in the cabin ( that uses outside air) and then shuts off. (Or they store a little bit of air somewhere, perhaps for the breaks, and use that.)
Sounds silly to most, but there are situations where you don't want unfiltered outside air leaking in. If "seriously filtered cabin air supply" is relatively easy to add, there's no downside to adding it. Here around Atlanta, the pollen count can exceed 5000 for weeks (and 500 is considered "extremely high"); a good filter would be dearly appreciated by many. For an interesting comparison re: "bioweapon", consider the armored luxury car market with product features such as http://www.caratsecurity.com/Products/sedans-and-SUVs.php
It's not silly at all. I wish I had this everyday that I'm sitting in traffic. My car has multiple climate control modes that default with the vent open. Some heater modes override the vent button and force me to use outside air. I actually know what the outside humidity is and the amount of car exhaust I want to suffer. But apparently that doesn't matter to Mazda.
The point is there's a difference between ambient outside air leaking into the car like a sieve, vs completely sealed with air supplied via biohazard rated filtration. Also, you'd be surprised how long you can function fine in a sealed box the size of a car cab.
If you haven't seen waves of pollen wafting thru the air for miles, like we regularly see near Atlanta, you may not grasp the interest.
I would buy this car for this feature alone. Allergies are the bane of my existence. I would love to have a car that is an allergy free zone. Sometimes, I drive through big farm areas... and I want to die.
Its activated charcoal filter has the primary layer, a secondary layer that filters sulfur gases, and a tertiary layer that filters alkaline gases.
Skunk spray is made primarily of thiols and their acetate derivatives. Thiols (the main ugly smelling ones are both thiols) are organosulfur compounds, and would be filtered by the secondary chemical filter.
The gases that make the decaying corpse smell are acidic (AFAIK), so would be filtered by the tertiary layer.
My old GMC Jimmy had no recirculate setting. Incredible. We live off gravel roads. When following another car, I had to just stop and wait a minute for the air to clear, else I'd be choked by lime dust in seconds.
Full disclaimer, I work for a somewhat prestigious air filtration company.
I agree the wording is a little bit on the strange side. However, if they are saying that it's a "bioweapon defense mode" they should probably be saying that they can catch 0.03 microns as opposed to 0.3 microns. That is virus level small. There should also be several filters in there, a large particulate filter for the big stuff, an activated carbon filter for the odors, and an ultra fine particulate filter for the 0.03 kinds of small stuff.
UV ends up not being worth it because you'd have to replace the bulb almost on a monthly basis. Ionizers just make your particulates sticky, so they'd go right through the filter and stick to your clothes/seats/walls.
> UV ends up not being worth it because you'd have to replace the bulb almost on a monthly basis.
I have a UV system on my home A/C, and the bulb usually burns out once every two years (and it's always on). I'd imagine this would be greatly extended if in place in a car when it's not always on. Am I missing something?
The effectiveness of a UV lamp decreases with age, so they can stop being effective long before they actually burn out. There should be a manufacturer rating on the lamp, which will depend on its composition and other things.
As an example the lamps I use have a rating of ~8000hrs, about a year, but to the outside observer they'll still look functional until they blow after 2-3 years.
I don't think the goal is to provide a bio-weapon defense system (I think it's more for bad smog), but this truthfully is how you would defend against a bio-weapon in a vehicle; use the only safe air source (the HEPA filter) to pump air in at a rate that maintains positive pressure in the cabin, preventing air from leaking into the vehicle from unsafe sources (e.g., a small crack in a seal somewhere).
During the release event last night, Elon called it a "bioweapon defense mode" as a joke and everyone laughed. I don't think they seriously mean it, but it can still be useful for people with allergies.
HEPA is not just to avoid smells or pollen. It's the only filter that can remove PM2.5 (particulate matter < 2.5 microns in size). WHO terms them as group 1 carcinogens and in most cities including NY, Houston etc, PM2.5 levels are far beyond safety limits. It's a shame that other auto manufacturers don't include a HEPA as their cabin filter. That might be because of gasoline engine limitations.
People who shall remain nameless have been installing custom paintball gun-like devices on the undercarriages of cars with hoppers filled with pepper spray balls. Normally aimed to the rear of the car, they can be used to stop dangerous tailgaters or the like.
I'm sure there are other things in the works, so this isn't really that far fetched.
> HEPA Air Filters "There are three modes: circulate with outside air, re-circulate inside air and a bioweapon defense mode that creates positive pressure inside the cabin to protect occupants."
This is immensely useful in Chinese cities!
Well, given how common forest fires are, I think it can be useful. In the last two years, I've been through three forest-fire caused 'air quality warnings' which caused genuine discomfort in Arizona, Minnesota, and Oregon.
SoftICE holds a fond place in my heart even though I was never more than passingly capable with it.
I worked at Numega from 1999 through 2001 in the technical support department. When I started, I provided support for another product, but over time became familiar with all of the tools and eventually managed the technical support team.
We would frequently get support requests from companies asking for ways to detect and/or prevent SoftICE, and we had some nice reply templates trying to break it gently to them how there was no practical way for software loaded after SoftICE to reliably stop a determined user from debugging and/or tampering with it.
The SoftICE tech support issues were always the tough ones. We had a small team of elites who would slog through those issues while the other team members could only wonder what they were talking about sometimes. :) Some companies even resorted to shipping hardware to the team to help reproduce and resolve tough issues.
My favorite memory though is when I was learning SoftICE and I grabbed one of the guys and asked them if they could help me figure out a weird issue with it. As we walked over, I shared with them that every time I broke into SoftICE, my CRT monitor would shut off, and it wouldn't come back on until I closed SoftICE. I asked them if it could be some sort of new countermeasure.
They looked at me with that disbelieving look one shares with a mere novice, and sat down at my computer and pressed Ctrl-D. Click! Off went the monitor. Their eyes bugged just a bit and they tentatively toggled the power switch just to make sure. Dead. With hesitation, they typed the command to close the SoftICE window and blinked as the monitor hummed back to life.
As I said though, these guys were good. After hitting Ctrl-D a few more times and watching the monitor switch off and on, this person didn't let the mystery send them down any rabbit holes. They immediately went fishing for the monitor power cable and traced it to the plug where they found a suspicious looking box it was plugged into. As they looked back at me with a glare, I guiltily held up the remote control for the power switch and fessed up.
I keep a pretty long bash history, but I don't have it unified among machines or anything.
Others have mentioned several handy tweaks for doing this, but I didn't see all of the ones I use so I thought I'd share them here. One of the important bits is the HISTIGNORE. I am interested in commands that I might want to search for and run again one day, so I filter out commands I consider to be clutter.
# Configure my history preferences
# Load history substitute into readline rather than immediately executing
shopt -s histverify histreedit
# don't put duplicate lines or lines with leading spaces in the history. See bash(1) for more options
export HISTIGNORE='&:bg:fg:cd*:clear:ls:pwd:history:exit:make*:* --help:'
export HISTTIMEFORMAT="%m/%d/%y - %H:%M:%S "
Do you have any links to resources you used to build it or better yet a link to your implementation?
I've been pretty happy with my bash history solution, but thinking about the return value, one big thing I think would be handy would be to have a default filter for searches that removes commands that returned an error code. They might be handy to see every once in a while, but for the most part, I wouldn't want to re-run one of them.
I can't help but think the pricing methodology on this site might be a bit off. I put uw.com in to check it because I know some of the history of that site. It said the site is worth less than $9.00!?
uw.com was originally owned by a company called Underware. Their biggest product was a defect tracking tool called TrackRecord. They were bought by Compuware in the 90s, and in early 2000 or 2001, Compuware forgot to renew the domain and it was bought out from under them. Last I checked, two letter .com domains were pretty rare and valuable.
I've mentioned it a while back on a different HN post, but I used to listen to music while programming and found it both soothing and helpful, but after starting to take Provigil on a daily basis, I found that listening to music became too distracting and I had to stop.
When we put both my young kids through swim lessons, they were taught with "bubbles", little foam blocks that are strapped to the middle of the back, and the number of bubbles are reduced as their proficiency increases. That left their arms and chest free to work on actual swimming form. When working on kicks, they held on to little floating dumbell bars.
Took my young son to a cub scout camp this summer. The swim test was just as grueling. My son didn't pass at all even though he has had swim lessons and can swim. He was just too nervous at the testing aspect of it.
I swam two out of two and a half laps, but I didn't pace myself well enough, and I ended up having to stop. Partially, I was out of breath, partially, my shoulder was bothering me due to a healed fracture from a car accident last fall. First time I had done any significant amount of swimming since then and didn't realize how far from 100% I was. Was a bit embarrassing getting the "beginner" swim label, but I had to be a good role model and take my lumps.
Thank you for this and I hate you. I actually teared up a couple of times as the life guards pulled the kids to safety.
I also had some trouble getting the hang of what I was supposed to do. I'd recommend an interstitial to get people going before the video starts. Maybe something like this?
You are about to watch a recorded video of typical activity at a pool. Help the life guard watch all the swimmers in your half of the pool.
If you see someone who needs help from the life guard, click on them in the video and check the results at the bottom of the video.
Since life guards can't do it (as much as they might wish they could!) don't rewind, pause or click the video while being tested unless you would be ready to blow the whistle, jump in, and swim to someone.
I agree. Clicking the video didn't seem to work for me the first time, so I just figured that wasn't how the site worked and wasn't entirely sure why this was a "Show HN" as I assumed it was probably interactive but seemed not. More helpful (and prominent) text than a single line in the bottom without an autoplay video would have helped, as the text there can be out of view/hard to notice.