Frequency, not speed (Score: 2, Informative)

by in Electric current at record speed, thanks to lasers on 2016-10-29 12:08 (#1ZQ6W)

The source is poorly written or poorly translated. It is plainly concerned with oscillatory frequency, not speed of propagation.

Junk manufacturer (Score: 1)

by in Seagate introduces new 10TB Barracuda hard drives on 2016-07-23 00:36 (#1N6W3)

Lots more data to go poof in an instant when this heap of junk goes belly up.

An innocent question (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Houses able to float being developed to address flooding on 2016-06-09 20:23 (#1GPBW)

If you're afraid your house might be flooded out, and you're bound and determined nevertheless to build it in such an unsuitable place for whatever reason, why not just build it on stilts in the first place, rather than go to all the trouble to put in stilts AND a mechanism to allow it to ride up on those stilts?

The articulation to allow it to climb and descend the stilts constitutes a vulnerability. What if one or more points binds, and it cocks and jams because it's trying to rise crookedly?

"soon-to-be-ex president of the USA" (Score: 0)

by in Obama popularises phone fetishizing on 2016-03-15 14:18 (#175N6)

Not soon enough. Not anywhere near soon enough.

Re: Why? (Score: 3, Insightful)

by in Amazon Quietly Removes Encryption Support from its devices in Fire OS 5 on 2016-03-10 11:21 (#16MC3)

It is quite concerning just how readily businesses are willing to comply with Big Brother.
Most definitely, but not just businesses - people in general. Not just comply, but demand to be oppressed.

Re: Fines (Score: 1)

by in Brazil detains Facebook VP after he failed to give up user data on 2016-03-02 04:50 (#15Q29)

Define "their market". What would WhatsApp have to gain by having a business presence in Brazil? Why doesn't it just move its headquarters to some place that is not fascist? Why would anybody care where the physical locale of its server and plant are? This is the era of international business, for heaven's sake. I can send PayPal to some guy in China or Switzerland (just arbitrary examples) to buy something. If that something is software, I just get a download license, and there is no issue of importing anything physical. Even if it is hardware (I have done this many, many times), it just shows up in the mail. It very seldom shows any evidence of customs nosiness.

Brazilian and US (and all other) fascists: bite me.

Re: Point of reference (Score: 1)

by in Amazon increases free shipping minimum order to $49 on 2016-03-01 00:19 (#15JMD)

Walmart also offers free $0 in-store pickup on ALMOST anything you can order online.
I find it nowhere near "almost everything"; also the nearest Walmart to me is over 50 miles away and I haven't driven that far in years. Finally, Walmart is closing stores and emphasizing online ordering these days.

Re: Point of reference (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in Amazon increases free shipping minimum order to $49 on 2016-03-01 00:12 (#15JK9)

Fuel is at something like a 20 year low
And labor, a much more important factor, balloons continually, year after year. Think about it. A UPS truck gets about 10-13 mpg and runs an average of 84 miles per day. Even at $4/gal that is no more than $34 per day. Now compare to 1/250 of the driver's annual salary + benefits + overhead. I can't see how that is any less than $200 per day.
I still never order more than 2-3 times a year, don't care about 2 days versus 7 days, and never ever used Prime Video. Prime is NOT a bargain
FOR YOU. Absolutely agreed. OTOH, I placed 91 orders in 2015, 'mkay? I care a lot about 2 days vs 7 days. I use Prime Video all the time. So it is a huge bargain FOR ME. Even at the new rate.

Re: The United States Government is out of control (Score: 1)

by in Apple ordered to bypass security lock which wipes data after 10 tries on 2016-02-25 08:57 (#1539B)

An interesting perspective. I like it.

Point of reference (Score: 1)

by in Amazon increases free shipping minimum order to $49 on 2016-02-25 08:55 (#1539A)

$50 happens to be the cutoff for Walmart online, too. And for quite a few other places.

The skyrocketing cost of shipping is a real problem for everybody. It really frosts me to order ten bucks worth of tea leaves or electronic parts and then have shipping to double the cost to me.

Nice trial (Score: 1)

by in High electrical fees lead school districts to install batteries on 2016-01-19 18:19 (#116DG)

Somebody has to provide for peaking supply. Either the utility has to have nearline generation to bring online quickly/temporarily when needed, or borrowing over the grid, or some kind of storage system (battery, pumped storage, etc) - or the user can provide his own storage system.

There are pluses and minuses for the supplier handling it, and for the user handling it. The supplier can combine all the individual user peaks, which is a kind of economy of scale. The user handling it himself can put a known bound on peaking expense, whereas the supplier is free to change cost policy at any point.

If it's just an expense amelioration system, the user doesn't have to build his system to five nines reliability, or anything like that. Batteries are batteries. I can believe it would make sense economically for the user to do it.

I guess we'll see.

Impact on battery life (Score: 1)

by in Huawei reveals new smartphone battery that charges 10 times faster on 2015-12-11 16:06 (#XD0D)

The critical information here is that the rapid charging allegedly does not affect the life of the batteries. If that is truly the case, this tech is extremely promising.

Re: The school I am teaching in is considering getting Raspberry Pi (Score: 1)

by in New Raspberry Pi Zero: the $5 computer on 2015-12-08 14:37 (#X1GT)

Just keep in mind that the 2 B is armv7 while the zero is only armv6

Re: Can't compete with Chinese tablet (Score: 1)

by in New Raspberry Pi Zero: the $5 computer on 2015-12-08 14:01 (#X1D0)

Is your Chinese tablet 65x30mm? No? Then stop comparing apples to oranges.

Re: Honestly... (Score: 1)

by in New Raspberry Pi Zero: the $5 computer on 2015-12-08 13:57 (#X1CH)

Not using SD is hardly a fault. It uses built-in eMMC flash, just like every cellphone and tablet.

HDMI on something like this would be just brain dead. You debug something like this over a serial wire. I always thought micro HDMI on the Beaglebone was a crazy waste. Thankfully they have corrected that on the Beaglebone Green. In the case of something as powerful as the Beaglebone, you just run SSH over ethernet for debugging, and it has a header to attach an FTDI cable if you want to go lower than that.

If you want HDMI for some project, you just use a Raspberry Pi 2 B. That one is already almost free, and not much bigger.

No evidence that it does shit to address the real problem (Score: 1)

by in MIT's simple ARC reactor for nuclear fusion power plants on 2015-12-08 13:48 (#X1C6)

As far as I know, the reason Tokamaks have consistently failed for over 50 years has nothing to do with them being too large and expensive. Dozens of them have been tried, many very extensively. In all cases, nobody has figured out how to solve the exceedingly difficult problem of maintaining stable confinement for more than milliseconds. Confinement takes more than just a simple toroidal magnetic field.

There are other problems, huge ones, but until some progress is made on this overriding one, we are just stumbling helplessly in the dark.

I assume that many if not all Tokamaks have used superconducting magnets. You don't run currents of millions of amperes through copper. Not for long (more than milliseconds). Even if you had enough copper to carry it and enough refrigeration to keep the copper from melting, losses would be collossal.

Re: I am not too surprised... all countries are relatively close to the equator (Score: 3, Funny)

by in Hunter gatherers with no access to technology still only sleep 6.5 hours a night on 2015-10-20 22:14 (#R3R5)

Your living quarters are COMPLETELY climate uncontrolled? Are you a squatter in an abandoned shipping container?

Re: Could you use hydrogen for permanent-installation balloons? (Score: 1)

by in Aeroscraft shows off its giant airship on 2015-10-13 23:19 (#QD45)

The cost of helium is not a critical factor. Even at a very generous $10/m^3, the cost to fill Hindenburg 100% with helium would be $2 million. But it would cost at least $45 million (simply tracking general inflation), and quite possible $100-200 million to build Hindenburg today. Operations are such as not to expend any gas. Diffusion and leakage could certainly be kept to less than the amount of one filling per year.

But yes, certainly hydrogen could technically be used if you could get your craft certified with it, and if you don't mind the hazard of flaming wreckage falling on your citizens.

Re: Could you use hydrogen for permanent-installation balloons? (Score: 3, Informative)

by in Aeroscraft shows off its giant airship on 2015-10-13 23:09 (#QD37)

If Hindenburg were filled with natural gas instead of hydrogen, she couldn't have lifted her empty weight off the ground with zero payload and fuel. The following figures are based on very favorable conditions for static lift. More realistic conditions (say 15-25 C, and just 300 m MSL initial cruise altitude) would lower them significantly

Gas capacity = 202 000 m^3
Air density at 0 C, 101 325 Pa = 1.292 kg/m^3
Hydrogen density at 0 C, 101 325 Pa = 0.090 kg/m^3
Hydrogen lift at 0 C, 101 325 Pa = 1.292 - 0.090 = 1.202 kg/m^3
Gross lift 100% filled with hydrogen = 202 000 x 1.202 = 242 800 kg
Methane density at 0 C, 101 325 Pa = 0.716 kg/m^3
Methane lift at 0 C, 101 325 Pa = 1.292 - 0.716 = 0.559 kg
Gross lift 100% filled with methane = 202 000 x 0.559 = 112 900 kg
Weight empty = 118 000 kg

If she had been designed from the ground up for methane, restressed for the lower weights, de-engined for a slower speed (less aerodynamic stress) and carrying fewer passengers, it probably would have been possible to get a ship capable of lifting perhaps (optimistically) 1/4 as much useful lift. Still-air range would have been around 2000 km instead of 12 000 km (usable range with reserves considerably less).

What giant airship (Score: 1)

by in Aeroscraft shows off its giant airship on 2015-10-12 21:00 (#Q954)

There is no giant airship to show off. It is an idea; nothing more.

The Dragon Dream was strictly a demonstrator, capable of no payload whatsoever. It mever flew. Not once. It made a very timid tethered float like a kid's balloon on a string. Basically they proved that, yes, helium weighs less than air, yes, you can lift things with it, and yes, you can compress and expand it. All that has been well-known for a century. The roof of their decrepit hangar fell in and wrecked it, and they scrapped it, since there was nothing to be gained from it.

Question. Has the hangar roof been surveyed, repaired, and proofed yet? Are they sure they won't overstran it again by hanging heavy weights from it?

I doubt VERY much that they have actual funding to build the full-size model. They might POSSIBLY have enough to crank out another, larger demonstrator.

Microsoft does not get to be my big brother (Score: 2, Funny)

by in Windows 10 can detect and disable pirated games and modified peripherals on 2015-08-23 16:26 (#J7M5)

unauthorised hardware peripheral devices
Microsoft: fuck you. With a stick of dynamite. The peripherals I cannect to ***MY*** computer are authorized by ***ME***. Only me. Not you. Go peddle this shit to Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung.

Questions which present themselves (Score: 1)

by in MIT's bipedal robot “HERMES” designed for disaster response on 2015-08-14 20:07 (#HDRX)

This sounds like a remote Waldo, not a robot. Robots are autonomous. Of course that doesn't make it useless by any means.

I was unable to get any traction at all on meaningful parameters.

* How noisy is this thing compared to a human?

* What is the unrefueled/unrecharged endurance doing typical tasks? Again, compare to a human.

* How is the thing refueled or recharged, how much does it cost to do so, and how long does it take? Does it need to be returned to a base station to do it? Compare to a sandwich and a pint of beer for a human. I imagine, however, that it does not have to eliminate waste products at intervals like a human.

Re: Registration (Score: 2, Funny)

by in NASA Langley pursuing electric 'personal air vehicles' on 2015-08-14 19:57 (#HDR0)

there will always be a rouge element
Are you talking about jeweller's rouge, or cosmetic rouge?

Re: Expensive, less efficient, and very limited (Score: 2)

by in Outfit your windows with transparent solar panels? on 2015-08-09 16:14 (#GWYP)

Buildings vary a great deal. One World Trade Center has one hell of a lot more window area than roof area. So does the Empire State Building.

Re: As the US is a corporatocracy.. (Score: 1)

by in Will ATSC 3.0 make your TV useless after 2017? on 2015-08-07 22:05 (#GRZD)

They may WANT to benefit, but they won't because no one is stupid enough to buy into this crap.

Re: What is this? Slashdot? (Score: 3, Interesting)

by in Who's Afraid of Systemd? on 2015-07-28 04:34 (#FN1T)

Agreed the submission is very slanted, but many systemd submissions have been slanted. I'm not slamming it hard or anything. The "who's afraid" part is a loaded term, but that may not have been the intention. A non native english speaker for example would not necessarily be expected to be very proficient with the nuances of various terms.

OK, here's my input. I'm not "afraid" of it but I still resent the steamroller, and I have grave misgivings about rolling up too much stuff in it. But I use it every day - I'm running Arch on my desktop.

I have gone further out of my way than I already was to get experience and familiarity with FreeBSD, spurred in part by the weakness in linux design directions revealed by the systemd steamroller.

Finally, yes, I am aware that "steamroller" is a loaded term also :-)

Re: Missing option (Score: 2, Informative)

by in When my favorite distro releases a new version: on 2015-07-16 05:26 (#EFGB)

No, he's not right. The whole poll supposes that "distros" release discrete "versions". A rolling release like Arch does not. The poll has a missing choice.

Re: Bad math (Score: 0)

by in The Case for VP9 on 2015-06-14 02:12 (#B73X)

So much fail.

Bad math (Score: 1)

by in The Case for VP9 on 2015-06-13 21:43 (#B6Q9)

The VP9 codec can reduce the bandwidth needed to play a video by up to 35 percent, according to Google. This means that a user who was previously relegated to watching 480p video should now be able to watch 720p, for example.
No, it means no such thing. 480p -> 640x480 -> 307,200 px; 720p -> 1280x720 -> 921,600 px. Both are the same framerate. So 480p is not 65% of the bandwidth of 720p, it is 33.3%.

New heights in hyperbole (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Computrace backdoor exposes millions of PCs on 2015-05-26 13:56 (#9SCT)

"Nearly every PC" has this crap? Come on now. First of all, it sounds like it's almost entirely restricted to laptops. Certainly my laptops don't have it, and it's for damn sure none of my many desktops and servers do.

Are countries just not cooperating against this crime? (Score: 1)

by in Ransomware Decryptor - NHTCU & Kaspersky Lab on 2015-04-22 08:19 (#7JH5)

How do the ransomware hackers not get rounded up with extreme prejudice?

This USAian is envious ... (Score: 1)

by in India to invest in nuclear power as well as renewables on 2015-04-22 08:16 (#7JH1)

... of both India and Canada.

Re: This is huge (Score: 1)

by in Norway to shut down all analog FM radio on 2015-04-22 08:12 (#7JG7)

The few FM music stations we have in my area seem to have the equivalent music selection of a single disc CD player.
I get a couple of classical music stations on FM and there is a rich wealth to hear. I hear some pieces that are old friends (gladly), but also a huge selection of pieces that are new to me, or I haven't heard in a long long time. I have been listening to classical on FM since the 1950s.

I am kind of glad there is almost zero chance I will live to see this wonderful, free resource disappear entirely.

P.S. - I have also listened to shortwave since the 1950s. Political, cultural, general-interest and other transmissions from a wondrous variety of locations. In its heyday I devoured Radio Moscow, Radio Havana Cuba, Radio Deutsche Welle, Canada, the Netherlands, RAI and the Vatican, Iran (pre insanity), Egypt, Israel, Australia, China, Japan, Quito Ecuador. The drying up of transmissions and terrible RFI problems from modern gadgets have decimated availability, but I still get some interesting stuff.

Re: "Made from edible materials like plants" (Score: 5, Funny)

by in Consumer product containers with non-stick coating coming out this year on 2015-03-26 16:27 (#5TCQ)

Hey, please give me an infusion of that conium maculatum, Socrates. Oh, and some of those pretty white berries of convallaria majalis. And some omphalotus olearius would be tasty.

Complete BS (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Boeing granted patent for force field on 2015-03-24 10:13 (#5KX8)

1. This is not anything like a force field
2. Force fields are Star Trek, not Star Wars
3. This obviously won't work anyway

First Lockheed pretends they can do fusion "any day now"; now Boeing thinks they can magically block explosions.

Illumination will be found here (Score: 1)

by in Stealing Keys from PCs using a Radio: Cheap Electromagnetic Attacks on Windowed Exponentiation on 2015-03-21 12:06 (#5CXW)

Look here [Stealing Keys from PCs using a Radio: Cheap Electromagnetic Attacks on Windowed Exponentiation].

I am fully updated on arch and have the fix.

Re: Costs (Score: 1)

by in Wood-burning homes targeted as major air polluters on 2015-02-05 13:45 (#2WX0)

Customary outside-air-sinked heat pumps are no good when you REALLY NEED heating. As the outside temperature approaches -18 C (0 F), the energy requirement approaches that of the much simpler electric resistance heater.

Geothermal-sinked heat pumps are much better, as a sink temperature of +10 or so is almost never more than a few feet underground. The tradeoff is cost and complexity.

Re: The beer bottle sounds more interesting (Score: 2, Informative)

by in Making the case for cardboard bottles, to replace glass on 2015-02-02 16:18 (#2WVX)

I was wondering which is more substanable, plastic coated cardboard or glass. How about an aluminium bladder in cardboard?
I'll bite. How on earth would you make an aluminum "bladder" that is both flexible and durable? If what you mean is aluminized LINING and not a bladder at all, I direct your attention to the fact that aluminum cans are internally coated with a plastic substance as it is. There has to be a good reason for that.

Peached eggheads (Score: 1)

by in Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Settle Employee Poaching Lawsuit on 2015-01-19 19:29 (#2WRH)


Thank you pipedot (Score: 3, Interesting)

by in Scientists discover the first protein that can edit other proteins on 2015-01-03 04:06 (#2WN2)

I'm sorry I can't offer much in the way of cogent discussion on this topic, but I love reading it. Pipedot is far and away superior to its competitors both technically and in terms of content.

Re: Insane idea (Score: 1)

by in NASA envisons an airborne colony on Venus, before Mars on 2014-12-24 17:47 (#2WBK)

Correct; if pressure is the same (1.0 at 49.5 km), and temperature is essentially the same (20-37C at 52.5-54 km), then density is 1.5, since the composition is essentially pure carbon dioxide. The buoyancy of an air-filled aerostat is then 0.5, compared to about 0.9 for a helium-filled aerostat at sea level on earth.

That necessitates the structure of the aerostat being extremely lightweight.

Re: Insane idea (Score: 1)

by in NASA envisons an airborne colony on Venus, before Mars on 2014-12-24 07:35 (#2WB4)

I guess you COMPLETELY MISSED the point of these aerostats floating at an altitude where the Venus atmosphere is exactly the same as it is at sea level on Earth.

Insane idea (Score: 2, Interesting)

by in NASA envisons an airborne colony on Venus, before Mars on 2014-12-22 19:10 (#2W98)

The cloud deck just happens to start at the postulated 50 km, and those clouds are composed of SULPHURIC ACID. How is the structure, necessarily extremely lightweight, going to withstand that kind of environment? There are also very high wind speeds.

On the surface, the idea is tantalizing, but even a cursory review of some of the gotchas pretty well relegates it to pure fantasy.

Re: That's a huge could (Score: 1)

by in Greenhouse gases could cause a wet Africa on 2014-12-16 17:37 (#2W07)

Yeah, funny thing about change; change could be bad or it could be good. One thing is guaranteed, though. Change has always happened and is always going to happen. Get used to it.

Re: No Gnome 3, right? (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Debian is forked. Meet Devuan on 2014-12-02 10:34 (#2VGK)

And nothing of value was lost.

Always wondered (Score: 1)

by in Scientists Determined to Clone Woolly Mammoths on 2014-11-20 14:48 (#2V4P)

If they clone one, and then clone another bunch from that one, and so on, would that lead to the same kind of ill effects as inbreeding?

Or maybe not (Score: 2, Insightful)

by in Mysterious Secret Russian Satellite May Be A Weapon on 2014-11-20 14:44 (#2V4N)

Or maybe it's not a weapon. Speculation is kind of silly. The US X-37B spaceplane we know is Air Force.

Re: Beagleboard before Raspberry Pi, really? (Score: 1)

by in New BeagleBoard-X15 announced on 2014-11-20 14:40 (#2V4M)

The BeagleBone was not "over $100". It was $89. And not gigabit. Fast (100) only. At least that's the case for the BeagleBone Black, and I'm sure for the earlier boards too.

But your point is taken. Competition is good. When the BeagleBone Black came out after the Raspberry Pi, it was priced at either $40 or $45. But it seems that was too ambitious. The Rev C BeagleBone Black was raised back up to $55 in return for no meaningful improved features. It has some more memory and more eMMC. Snort. So what.

Re: Beagleboard before Raspberry Pi, really? (Score: 2, Informative)

by in New BeagleBoard-X15 announced on 2014-11-13 16:23 (#2V1Z)

4 only. 2013 does not predate 2012.

Re: This one is really serious (Score: 1)

by in wget prior to 1.16 allows for a web server to write arbitrary files on the client side on 2014-10-29 17:14 (#2TSJ)

I think this one has bigger potential than the bash-bug recently discussed. Very few are passing stuff down to a bash shell unfiltered
I do not think you understand the mechanism for ShellShock.