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Comment Re:Batteries just don't store enough energy... (Score 3, Interesting) 345

An interesting point . . . when a jet needs to make an emergency landing with full tanks, it will ditch the fuel before attempting a landing, because of the fire danger.

No, no they don't. The dump fuel because the maximum landing weight on commercial aircraft is much lower than the maximum takeoff weight. Fuel is too damn expensive to dump just because you don't want to explode. They'll dump fuel until they are under the max landing weight, then land.

You can land at heavier than the max landing weight - but you'd better get it right or you'll never fly again - even if the landing is a good one.

Comment What about aliens? (Score 1) 407

There is a low level but prescient rumor in some area that aliens are damaging windshields in cars. Go look at the windshield of your car and see if there are hundreds of little pits in them.

The pits change the characteristics of the light heating up the inside of the car on a summer day enough that several automotive engineering groups have had to deal with it. Typically it means doing something different with plastic. One example is the plastic covers over those auto belt things in the mid 80s where the plastic was deteriorating faster in cars with more damage to the windshield was mentioned in a an article in an automotive safety journal. The pits also mean the glass gets hotter as it ages so the frame has to compensate.

A vast majority of the pits are caused by tires throwing small bits of rock at an angle to the glass. The small bits of rock also seem to be tracked in from far away and aren't from the local road surface.

So when the light output goes way down, will someone also blame the aliens?

Submission + - Linux Distro Used By Snowden Designed for Internet Anonymity Has 2.0 Release 1

A_Mythago writes: The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails) has finalized version 2.0 which has several improvements and updates to continue to meet their mission of preserving privacy, anonymity and circumventing censorship without a trace using a Debian 8.0 custom live distro.

More details about Edward Snowden's use of Tails and the distro itself can be found at a previous Slashdot story from 2014

Submission + - Microsoft Reports Cloud Success, Amid Shrinking PC Revenue (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: After reporting its fourth quarter earnings yesterday, U.S. tech giant Microsoft has tipped its cloud and mobile software units as the drivers behind its new strength. Microsoft’s share price rose 6% in after-hours trading despite financials showing a 15% year-on year drop in profit, and a 10.1% fall in revenue over the last three months of 2015. However, investors were still reassured by the company’s cloud performance. Microsoft also recorded a positive jump for its mobile devices business. Surface revenue grew 29% in constant currency terms, led by the recent launch of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. The company’s gaming and digital content unit similarly reported positive growth, with monthly active users on its Xbox Live platform rising 30% year-on-year, to 48 million.

Submission + - German inventor, innovator and businessman Artur Fischer dies at age of 96

Qbertino writes: As Spiegel.de reports (German link) inventor Artur Fisher has died at the age of 96. Artur Fisher is a classic example of the innovator and businessman of post-war Germany — he invented the synchronous flash for photography, the famed Fisher Fixing (aka Screwanchor/rawlplug or "Dübel" in German) and the Fisher Technik Construction Sets with which many a nerd grew up with, including the famous C64 Fisher Robotics Kit of the 80ies. His heritage includes an impressive portfolio of over 1100 patents and he reportedly remained inventive and interested in solving technical problems til the very end. ... Rest in piece and thanks for the hours of fun tinkering with Fishertechnik. ... Now where did that old C64 robot go?

Submission + - Facebook Patches Critical XSS Bug That Led to Total Account Compromise (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: British security researcher Jack Whitton has identified a critical XSS vulnerability on Facebook that could be leveraged via malicious PNG images and grant an attacker access to someone's account. In an interview, the researcher said that his XSS could have been used in the same way with the Samy worm that infected 1 million MySpace users in just the first day in 2005. Facebook took the issue so seriously that it patched in in just 6 hours, unlike other companies that take 6 months to just respond to an email.

Comment Re:What about Scientific Linux? (Score 2) 62

It's crap. It combines the worst of CentOS / Red Hat Linux with the pitfalls of academically managed IT.

Fedora is much better, where bugs do, gasp, get fixed in a timely manner. If you can manage the shortish release cycle.

You know, I see this a lot opinion from youngsters who have never administered mission critical systems. For your basic web server & SQL database, Fedora is fine - but how many copies of Fedora would ever get installed on the ISS?

Comment What about Scientific Linux? (Score 1) 62

Scientific Linux is a distribution along the lines of CentOS that is sponsored by Fermilab.

From their about page:

Scientific Linux is a Fermilab sponsored project. Our primary user base is within the High Energy and High Intensity Physics community. However, our users come from a wide variety of industries with various use cases all over the globe – and sometimes off of it!

Our Mission: Driven by Fermilab’s scientific mission and focusing on the changing needs of experimental facilities, Scientific Linux should provide a world class environment for scientific computing needs.

See: http://scientificlinux.org/

Comment Re:Am I bad at sums? (Score 1) 115

How can you both over sleep and under sleep? And how can you ask that in a survey or get it from other data in a reliable way? I know this can be true but I expect about as many correct answers on a self survey to a question like that as "what color is the last unicorn horn you saw?"

There are people who both under sleep and over sleep but they are very rare and I expect they would be hesitant to answer the question correctly. That doesn't even deal with the issues of having them dropped from the pool of subjects due to other health issues.

Comment Am I bad at sums? (Score 2) 115

Of all participants, 31.2%, 36.9%, 21.4%, and 10.6% reported 0, 1, 2, and 3+ risk factors, respectively. There was a strong relationship between the lifestyle risk index score and all-cause mortality.

31.2+36.9+21.4+10.6= everyone and 1% extras. Did significant significance creep in?

Out of all 96 possible risk combinations, the 30 most commonly occurring combinations accounted for more than 90% of the participants.

Each of 7 factors can be one of two states. That is 2^7 except that two of the conditions are "too much" or "too little" sleep which means a those state can be reduced to one. 2^6 isn't 96 as far as I know.

Comment Re:I plan on ossifying (Score 1) 279

A problem with Category Theory under a different term was mentioned by W.L. Livingston in The New Plague where he describes what he calls Track A or Track B problems. Track A problems are ones that can be split into smaller problems by one person. Track B problems are complex enough that a single person can't keep enough details in their head to properly split them up into sub-problems. Tack B problems need far more resources and most often a signifignat amount of those resources aren't helping find a good solution. There is also the issue that what might be a Track B problem for me might be a Track A problem for you and I think Category Theory doesn't fix those core problems even as it provides a more formal way to approach a solution.

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