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Comment: Re:Niche energy (Score 1) 74

by AmiMoJo (#48470377) Attached to: WaveNET – the Floating, Flexible Wave Energy Generator

Human flight is one of those ideas which seem really obvious from a distance, so the fact that project after project fails does not seem to dissuade anyone. They were obviously just doing it wrong.

With most new tech the R&D happens in a lab out of public view. The numerous failures are hidden from view and you just see the final, working prototype or a finished product. Unfortunately that isn't possible for large projects like this, so they have to do their R&D in public.

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 272

by AmiMoJo (#48466243) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

Consumers have mostly moved to external hard drives or cloud storage. I know everyone on Slashdot hates the cloud, but as a backup medium it isn't bad. Off-site, managed by someone else and low cost due to being shared by many other users. You can encrypt everything for privacy and use multiple providers if you don't trust any single one. Might as well make use of that upstream bandwidth you paid for over night.

Most importantly it's easy. No need to remember to do it, no need to rotate disks off site or plug them back in again. Most people seem to fail at backing up because they are lazy.

Comment: Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 272

by AmiMoJo (#48466215) Attached to: Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

I have CDs I burned in 1996 that are still in good condition and readable on any modern optical drive. Obviously, these are Taiyo Yuden archival grade discs, not cheap rubbish, but not terribly expensive either. You really can't beat optical media for backwards compatibility - a modern BluRay drive can still read the first CDs ever pressed without any problem.

These days my preferred format is archival BluRay. Tapes need expensive drives that wear out or can mangle the tape, and while Unix backup software will be available forever that does mean you need a Linux machine to do the actual reading and writing to tape. It's a shame they didn't decide on a standard, universal filesystem for tape decades ago, like they did with CDs.

Comment: Re:Also ban cars (Score 1) 178

by AmiMoJo (#48466031) Attached to: Cameron Accuses Internet Companies Of Giving Terrorists Safe Haven

In fact the current snooping laws have already been massively abused, when the government swore that they wouldn't be because of "checks and balances". Police used RIPA to get journalist's phone records, to find out who their sources in the Plebgate scandal were. Not even investigating a crime, just protecting their own image and trying to keep themselves out of jail (the police tried to smear a politician with lies, and then lied to investigators about it, and then lied to the press about it, and were then found out).

Comment: Re:Also ban cars (Score 1) 178

by AmiMoJo (#48466025) Attached to: Cameron Accuses Internet Companies Of Giving Terrorists Safe Haven

Cameron is a coward. He said it himself - he doesn't want to be remembered as the PM on who's watch there was a terrorist incident and hadn't given in to every demand for new powers from the security services. His vanity is apparently more important to him than abstract concepts like privacy and freedom.

Comment: Re:Deliberate (Score 1) 620

by AmiMoJo (#48465507) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

They had experts telling them that Japanese plants had issues, and they ignored them. Making it even harder to point these things out seems like a bad idea. It's also why it's so hard to trust the plant operators and regulators - it often seems like their job is to hide problems and downplay issues, rather than put safety first.

As for frogs, the key is to do your research before you start pouring concrete. Then when someone asks you can point to your existing report that says you checked and there is no protected wildlife in the area, and if they disagree they need to show some evidence. It really sounds like either incompetence on the part of the people building the plant or a completely broken planning system.


How the World's First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-man's-trash dept.
anavictoriasaavedra sends this quote from Wired: "Eccentric billionaires are tough to impress, so their minions must always think big when handed vague assignments. Ross Perot's staffers did just that in 2006, when their boss declared that he wanted to decorate his Plano, Texas, headquarters with relics from computing history. Aware that a few measly Apple I's and Altair 880's wouldn't be enough to satisfy a former presidential candidate, Perot's people decided to acquire a more singular prize: a big chunk of ENIAC, the "Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer." The ENIAC was a 27-ton, 1,800-square-foot bundle of vacuum tubes and diodes that was arguably the world's first true computer. The hardware that Perot's team diligently unearthed and lovingly refurbished is now accessible to the general public for the first time, back at the same Army base where it almost rotted into oblivion.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp