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Comment Re:Laughing myself out of the room (Score 1) 544

I recall a WSJ article by an "adult" financial guy brought into an engineering startup full of "kids" who took a while to understand that, in a meeting or discussion, "That idea sucks" was very different from "You suck", and was in fact only the BEGINNING of further detailed discussion and improvement.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 79

You attribute to malice what can be simple ignorance. It's not that people don't give a shit about privacy; it's that normal non-technical people don't realize just how invasive things have become. Despite all of the news items, the little old lady next door keeps needing her computer virus-scanned because she keeps giving out her email address, and was too confused with ad-blocking so turned it off, and forwards on the chain emails that friends forwarded to her. She thinks she's being sensible because she only uses her credit card on Amazon, without comprehending (despite repeated attempts on my part) that if her computer has a virus then it can be copying everything she types on ANY page to anywhere in the world. I just thank the gods that she never got a webcam.

Comment Jimmy Carr's new "shortest joke" is a fine example (Score 5, Interesting) 667

Jimmy Carr replaced his previously shortest joke: "Venison's dear, isn't it?" (which doesn't work as well for Americans, because it relies on the British expression for "expensive" . . .) with the even shorter: "Dwarf Shortage". He followed up with "If you’re a dwarf and you’re offended by that, grow up.” Complaints have been filed with the broadcast regulators about his "discriminatory" "hate speech".

Comment Re:Things that make you go "hmmm..." (Score 1) 150

But you can't capture any of the potential energy of elevation (certainly not without affecting flight characteristics - no windmills glued on the plane please). Mostly what you can get is the wheel spin from 200 mph maximum at landing. Well, maybe pop-out windmills to help the air-brakes on landing :-)

Comment I can see the headlines: Mini-Hindenburg! (Score 1) 150

Yes, I know there is already a lot of explosive stuff on the average plane, including the door bolts (tell that to the next nervous seatmate you need to avoid). But hydrogen is so memorable in the storied history of aviation. Customers will freak. For economizing on ground time, so much cheaper and simpler to have more and better tugs.

Comment Re:All for free!!!! (Score 1) 150

Presumably the same equipment that is moving the plane by electrically driving the wheels during taxiing, so there's a few tenths of a percentage point off that dead weight figure. OTOH someone just managed to hide an electric motor inside a racing bicycle, I'm sure one of those teeny little things can move an airplane . . . not.

Comment Just like the phone cables under NYC streets (Score 4, Interesting) 169

One of the few silver linings of the Hurricane Sandy damage: they finally pulled tons of old copper out of the tunnels and cable-runs and replaced it with fiber, because there was finally no way to be sure which was obsolete and which was current-but-damaged.

Comment Re:Responsible party? (Score 1, Interesting) 129

Then . . . if enough people feel about this as you seem to, she could stand for election and lose. Instead the rules of the game itself have been changed to prevent even the possibility. Perhaps the next move will be to discover a history of voter fraud and enact more rules to disenfranchise more voters. I have no interest for or against in this particular matter, but as a casual observer it seems underhanded.

Comment Re:How to deal (Score 1) 197

Encapsulating the ugliness just pours epoxy on the technical debt. Managers will always say "leave the old stuff alone, it works, just work around it", when the new features or spec-changes are totally different; or the bug that someone finally found indicates that the old stuff really DOESN'T work, at least not in all cases. Your comments about the danger of change are valid, but sometimes the only real solution is to rip something out and replace it. Otherwise it'll be painful forever.

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