Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Re:Hang on a minute... (Score 1) 314

its the other way around. we used to have small, simple programs that did not take whole systems to build and gigs of mem to run in. things were easier to understand and concepts were not overdone a hundred times, just because 'reasons'.

now, we have software that can't be debugged well, people who are current software eng's have no attention span to fix bugs or do proper design, older guys who DO remember 'why' are no longer being hired and we can't seem to stand on our giants' shoulders anymore. again, because 'reasons'.

Comment Re:All bullshit (Score 1) 234

And seriously, I simply cannot comprehend this logic. The (incredibly common) logic used by people like you is based on the following premises:

No, it's based on the idea that women are unreliable, immoral and not really sapient and will thus throw their lover under the bus the second it seems profitable, even if the long-term results are negative.

The "logic" is incomprehensible because society has advanced to the point where saying the main premise out loud is frowned upon. But people can read between lines, so as long as sexism will exist in any form it will always resurface. Dehumanization and discrimination are the two sides of the same ugly thing, after all.

Comment Re:No, obviously (Score 1) 234

A strong man's fist is a deadly weapon. You're telling me a fighter waving his fist in your face will traumatize you equally compared to a gun under your nose?

Why wouldn't it? Guns have no magical powers fists lack that cause the (mental) trauma. It's the violence that does, and as you yourself noted, fists are all you need for that.

Comment Re: Even if practical technology was 10-20 years o (Score 1) 270

Maybe. My thought has always been that if fusion is close enough to get ballpark figures, we can build the necessary infrastructure and much of the housing in parallel with fusion development. Because the energy distribution will impose novel demands on the grid, it's going to require a major rethink on communications protocols, over-generation procedures, action plans on what to do if lines are taken out.

With fusion, especially, it's expensive at best to learn after the fact. Much better to get all the learning done in the decade until working fusion.

With all that in place, the ramp time until fusion is fully online at a sensible price will be greatly reduced.

Parallelize, don't serialize. Only shredded wheat should be cerealized.

Comment Re:Just look at the stats of prison inmates? (Score 3, Interesting) 53

You might make an argument that a significant difference exists between inmates in a prison and highly tested, analyzed and trained astronauts with regard to their psychological makeup not to mention willingness and motivation to be confined.

I do think that long term encapsulation is probably psychologically burdensome at best and perhaps damaging to even the best possible astronauts.

Which makes me wonder how much NASA has thought about the psychopharmacology of space travel. There might be some benefit to some kind of sedating anti-depressant for stages of a long voyage that required just routine status checks and basic routine maintenance duties.

Comment Even if practical technology was 10-20 years out (Score 2) 270

Even if you could say with certainty that in 10-20 years the practical technology could be established, wouldn't you be looking at another 30+ years before it was actually a meaningful force in power generation, making fusion more like 50+ years out?

Say they solve the technology hurdles in 10 years. They will then need to build a test plant that operates at a scale large enough to generate meaningful power (a few megawatts). That would probably take 10 years. That plant would need to run for, what, 5 years, to demonstrate that everything works like its supposed to and you can actually make the thing work.

At that point you're out another 10-15 years to plan and build a large, utility scale plant comparable to the ones that exist now -- 1.5GW. This plant would then have to run for 5 years to demonstrate (at least to investors, regulators, politicians, etc) that it works.

So worst case, 45 years later you have a single fusion plant producing electricity at utility scale.

Assuming it all works perfectly and everyone loves it in the next 20 years you might add another 3 plants. 65 years out, you now have 4 plants producing 6 TW, a drop in the bucket.

And all of this is assuming the economics make sense relative to other trends, like residential solar, improved battery storage and so on. After all this, fusion as a source of power seems closer to a 100 years out.

Comment Re:The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 399

Yeah, with a system that's nothing more than an embedded computer, I'm not sure why they don't just throw in all the codecs they can think of. It doesn't really cost anything, and is probably just a quick build-time option. Again I imagine it's engineers working exactly to specifications, and maybe some kind of mindset that adding anything extra is extra work (like for documentation and testing), and adding undocumented stuff is frowned upon perhaps.

I'm still surprised that a lot of systems now supported Oggs (Vorbis only of course, but most people have no idea that Ogg is a container format and not a codec). My new Mazda supports them (along with MP3, AAC, and WMA), and even mentions this in the owner's manual, however, only briefly as most places it says "MP3/AAC/WMA" only, but on one page it says "MP3/AAC/WMA/OGG", so it seems to have been added either as an afterthought or they decided it should be added for techies who care about it, and forgot to update all the parts of the manual.

Comment Re:It's not about the crime (Score 3, Insightful) 234

If what you propose would become a reality, it sounds like any person who has had a sexual relationship could then be accused of rape, and, so long as the mere fact of intercourse is proven, would basically be considered guilty by default unless they can show some proof of consent. Do you not see the obvious and incredible potential of abuse here?

FWIW, as far as your analogies go, I don't think they're correct, either. If I go to the local convenience store and buy something, and then later accuse the shopkeeper of stealing my money, I very much doubt that any court would entertain the notion that the shopkeeper should prove on preponderance of evidence that the transfer was voluntary, and that if he is unable to do so, he gets locked up for robbery.

Comment Re:From TFA: bit-exact or not? (Score 1) 160

There used to be a web page called "Your Eyes Suck at Blue". You might find it on the Wayback machine.

You can tell the luminance of each individual channel more precisely than you can perceive differences in mixed color. This is due to the difference between rod and cone cells. Your perception of the color gamut is, sorry, imprecise. I'm sure that you really can't discriminate 256 bits of blue in the presence of other, varying, colors.

Comment Re:From TFA: bit-exact or not? (Score 5, Insightful) 160

Rather than abuse every commenter who has not joined your specialty on Slashdot, please take the source and write about what you find.

Given that CPU and memory get less expensive over time, it is no surprise that algorithms work practically today that would not have when various standards groups started meeting. Ultimately, someone like you can state what the trade-offs are in clear English, and indeed whether they work at all, which is more productive than trading naah-naahs.

Comment Re:The Homer! (FP?) (Score 1) 399

I'm sorry, there's no way you'd be able to tell the difference between, say, a 320kbps Ogg Vorbis and a FLAC. Humans don't have hearing that good, and even if they did, there's so much distortion added by amplifiers and speakers and imperfect listening environments that even sitting still it's all in the noise. While driving, that's total bullshit. Volvo C30s aren't *that* quiet, no car is that quiet, but C30s especially aren't that quiet. My wife has an S40 which is the same platform and interior, and it's not all that quiet compared to the newest cars (and it likely has a softer suspension and less-sticky tires than your C30, making for a bit less road noise). You want to try a quiet car? Go test-drive a Tesla. The lack of engine noise makes a huge difference. But even there the tire noise is very significant.

As for the option being removed, I'm not really sure; probably some software engineer wrote directly to requirements and the requirements didn't specify .wav. They probably didn't think anyone used that crappy format any more anyway. Does the new models support FLAC? It's utterly stupid to use WAV any more now that FLAC is here, and it's been that way for at least a decade.

Also, if you really think your ears are that good and that you can hear artifacts, try compressing the same song in both 320k MP3 and Ogg, and compare. Get a friend to do a blind trial too. I wouldn't think you'd be able to tell a difference at that bitrate, but at lower bitrates, MP3 is infamous for having pretty bad distortion at high frequencies (IIRC), usually making cymbal crashes sound wrong, while Ogg Vorbis is well-known for being much better at the same bitrates. For kicks, try out the new Opus codec too (it's also used with the Ogg container, but files are normally called .opus to differentiate them from Vorbis audio files). Opus is by the same people who did Vorbis, but is supposedly a significant improvement.

Comment Re:So I guess CEO's don't get hit with non-compete (Score 1) 126

In engineering, that's most people it seems. I'm constantly getting emails about cow-orkers from years ago, and most of them aren't even in my "friends list"; it still figures out I know them somehow and sends me an alert ("Do you know John Smith, principal engineer at XYZ Corp?").

Comment Re:Sony makes the best camera modules? (Score 1) 126

My wife has one of those Xperias too (not sure about the sub-model). I'm not impressed. Hers has an intermittent problem where she has to use a headset or it won't work (can't talk and can't hear); it seems pretty obvious it's a malfunctioning headphone jack that thinks a headset is plugged in all the time (when this problem happens; it comes and goes). However when she's taken it to repair places to get it fixed, they take one look at those stupid "liar dots" as you call them and just tell her it has water damage and can't be fixed. WTF? Do you want to get paid or not???

I just picked up a used Samsung Galaxy S4 and this thing is great, as far as I can tell. I'm just waiting on a SIM card to come in from Ting so I can activate it. I would have liked the S5 better (since it's water-resistant and has an excellent reputation), but it was a little too expensive for me; maybe I'll upgrade to that in a year or two when the price has come down. Even though the S5 is already "obsolete" (replaced by the less-capable S6), it has a ridiculously high resale value.

Comment Re:Traditional internal facing IT shop .. (Score 1) 191

Managing 800 GB of storage back then was like managing 8 TB today. LTO tapes that only held 100 gigs, only 100 meg ethernet.

IIRC, only about 100 GB was really active, maybe another 50 was warm-ish and the rest was just cold data from old projects and forgotten crap, like today.

The problem was compounded by the client, a cellular company, who would come up with a promotion and then tweak it for the 20-odd markets the ad was supposed to run in. If it was a truly simple ad (which they seldom were), you would have the same base layout (Quark file, graphics, fonts, misc other stuff) times the number of markets.

Where it got fun is when the client wanted to see variations of the ad AND the way it had to change for various markets. If an ad had 5 variations, now you had 100 versions of the same ad and the graphics department never really made use of some of the storage efficiencies offered even back then (ie, graphic elements that never changed only existing once in the filesystem), so you literally would end up with 100 directories with graphics duplicated many times over.

I've noticed that graphics dedupes really well -- one client with 4 TB of raw graphics files gets 80% dedupe on that volume. Wish I would have had that back then. Between thin provisioning and dedupe, it would have made for a lot less equipment at least.

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

Working...