Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Summary is inaccurate (Score 5, Informative) 65 65

The summary is inaccurate, or at least confusing. The summary says "lasers that can shine light over the full spectrum of visible colors", but the article says that this is three monochromatic spikes, red, green, blue, which together appear white. It also says that the choice of colors is tunable... but tunable lasers aren't new.

The summary also implies that it is "a" laser, but the article makes it clear that what they did is make three separate lasers on the same substrate (specifically "three parallel segments, each supporting laser action in one of three elementary colors.")

Comment Re:Physics time! You misunderstand ion drives (Score 1) 473 473

The most popular theory is that it's transferring momentum via virtual particles. That has some startling implications, but it's less physics shaking than violating conservation of momentum. I'm not sure anyone has come up with any solid testable hypotheses yet, but it seems to be something that is likely to be testable in principle.

You'd have to work out the math, but I'd be cautious being too aggressive with relativistic reasoning. Conservation of energy and momentum in special relativity are a bit tricky to start with, and don't hold when you start jumping between reference frames.

Comment Re:My Pet Peeves (recent Windows laptop keyboards) (Score 1) 580 580

Not having it would be worse. Nearly all engineering drawing (as well as some additional technical writing) standards require the use of all caps to minimize ambiguity. In those cases holding down the shift key is ridiculous.

Worse for your specific case that most people will never hit. A simple shortcut or custom keyboard could fill that role if needed.

Or chose "all caps" font.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 70 70

I sort of like all my wrinkles. Which is just, um, weird. My girlfriend freaks out about hers. I catch sight of mine in a mirror and it just makes me laugh, which causes her to lecture me about not making the laugh lines worse (which just makes it harder not to laugh).

"One man's wrinkles are another man's laughter lines."

It's probably not worth the effort of trying the line on your girlfriend. She's going to kill you for mentioning them anyway, though you might get a slightly quicker and less agonising death. Which might be a small gain.

Comment Re:Physics time! You misunderstand ion drives (Score 1) 473 473

If it's not reactionless then you're transferring momentum and energy and momentum are conserved in the same way they are in a regular rocket. If it's actually reactionless then presumably you would find you were harvesting energy from the spatial differences in the laws of physics. Either way, you wouldn't have a perpetual motion machine.

Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 1) 132 132

If the BBC opened up all their content online and then instead of using geoblocking, used geotargetted ads

There are minor outlets of the BBC that use adverts - they were annoying me in Turkey a couple of weeks ago - but the BBC as a corporation doe not do broadcast advertising. They do have appropriate infrastructure for trailers and internal advertising of next weeks Downton Pigs or Vetbum Abbey, which is probably coordinated with the advertising breaks on their affiliates international broadcasting. But for their core market, the BBC does not do adverts. That's why their more recent programming has included a 10-minute segment in at the end of each hour of programme time with things like "making of Dances with Whales" or "Being Eaten By Cats - camaeraman's diary" : it provides chunks of programming that can be detached from the editorial stream (maybe broadcast later) and frees up 10 minutes of screen time per hour for soap adverts.

Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 1) 132 132

None of the broadcasters in the world is set up on the basis of serving the globe, not even "giants" like NBC, CBS, ABC, or the BBC.


And the interesting thing is with there being about 4 markets in the world (China - about a billion ; India, potential of a billion ; Europe at a half-billion ; North America, a third of a billion) then the broadcaster that doesn't get into those markets soon is not going to survive against it's global competitors. Particularly the ones that broadcast in common languages - Mandarin and English.

Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 1) 132 132

The (mobile) consumer does through his/her connection fees.

The only thing that changes for (say) BBC is that they chuck out or switch off their Geo-IP management servers at their gateway. Where the data goes to after that isn't their concern. That's the point about IP being an unbiased transmission protocol.

Comment Re: Blocked (Score 1) 132 132

If it was published by a German publisher - or a publisher operating from a German address - does that bring it under GEMA's authority?

(I don't know the answer. I raise the point to illustrate the complexity of the problem, and to show what problems the EU is about removing.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.