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Sci-Fi

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful? 733

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-and-i-feel-disenfranchised dept.
An anonymous reader writes: "Young people, when choosing a profession, are often told to 'do what you love.' That's why we have experts in such abstruse fields as medieval gymel. But let's talk hypotheticals: if there's a worldwide catastrophe in which civilization is interrupted, somebody specializing in gymel wouldn't provide much use to fellow survivors. In a post-apocalypse world, medical doctors would be useful, as would most scientists and engineers. The bad news for Slashdotters is that decades without computers would render computer science and related professions useless. What do you consider to be the most useful and mostly useless post-apocalypse professions? How long would it take for society to rebuild enough for your profession to be useful?"

Comment: Re:The title is a bit misleading (Score 1) 32

by George_Ou (#46682383) Attached to: New MU-MIMO Standard Could Allow For Gigabit WiFi Throughput
Capacity matters a lot in Wi-Fi as well as cellular data. Very rarely will you see mobile devices be able to leverage 2x MIMO or better because they only have one antenna. Capacity is effective peak performance for most situations. Peak throughput is great for marketing benchmarks and occasionally real life performance when it comes to wireless bridging.

Comment: Re:The title is a bit misleading (Score 1) 32

by George_Ou (#46665821) Attached to: New MU-MIMO Standard Could Allow For Gigabit WiFi Throughput
MU-MIMO does effectively offer higher speeds than SU-MIMO in practice. Since most client devices are single antenna devices and only a few that are dual-antenna, MU-MIMO effectively increases the per-client throughput by improving overall capacity. If four single-antenna clients can be concurrently served by a MU-MIMO access point with 4 antennas, each client can have up to 4 times more throughput than the same 4 clients being served by a 4-antenna SU-MIMO access point. The SU-MIMO 4-antenna AP can't speed up operation for a single 1-antenna client.

Comment: Re: Official cable doesn't stop dangerous chargers (Score 1) 663

by George_Ou (#44914785) Attached to: Apple Starts Blocking Unauthorized Lightning Cables With iOS 7
I said the cables are overpriced, way overpriced I might add. It's just a freaking cable. I said the chargers at $20 aren't *that* overpriced, though they're still overpriced somewhat. The chargers that Apple sells are actually one of the highest quality chargers on the market according to this guy's tests (http://www.righto.com/2012/10/a-dozen-usb-chargers-in-lab-apple-is.html) so they're actually worth close to $20.

So my point is that if Apple cared about safety, they'd lock out 3rd party chargers rather than the 3rd party cables. It's the charger that's dangerous when it sends 110V or 220V AC down the USB cable.

Comment: Official cable doesn't stop dangerous chargers (Score 2) 663

by George_Ou (#44914177) Attached to: Apple Starts Blocking Unauthorized Lightning Cables With iOS 7
A person can still use an overpriced official cable from Apple but used a dangerous charger and the dangerous conductive surface of the iPhone. The cable isn't the cause of the safety issue but the cable is what's overpriced so iOS 7 is forcing you to buy the overpriced cables. The official Apple chargers aren't *that* overpriced.
Australia

Australian State Bans IBM From All Contracts After Payroll Bungle 212

Posted by samzenpus
from the and-you're-done dept.
renai42 writes "If you don't follow Australian technology news, you're probably not aware that over the past few years, the State of Queensland massively bungled a payroll systems upgrade in its Department of Health. The issues resulted in thousands of hospital staff being underpaid or not paid at all, and has ballooned in cost from under $10 million in budget to a projected total cost of $1.2 billion. Queensland has now banned the project's prime contractor, IBM, comprehensively from signing any new contracts with any government department, until it addresses what the state says are IBM's project governance issues."

Comment: Re:like anything else.. (Score 1) 580

Same here. High School AP classes were just too easy compared to what they offer at the junior college. And what they offer at the junior college for the same subject is too easy compared to a major university. It doesn't feel good to get that rude awakening but the people with character admit their shortcomings and then work to overcome them.

The problem in recent decades is that we're too focused on building up the self-esteem of our youngsters. It gives them a false sense of what the real world is like and we're failing to prepare them for the real world. They think everything should be easy and effortless when they should be challenged.

Comment: Re:Systematic corruption in the AGW movement (Score 1) 476

You didn't address a single issue I raised that specifically criticized the actions of Mann and the UN IPCC. You use words like "denier" to attack the opposition. Your ad hominem response is unfortunately all too typical of the AGW movement. And yes I do criticize the AGW movement based on the actions of Mann and the UN IPCC because they are central figures in the AGW movement. And when Mann and the IPCC display blatant disregard for the scientific method, it calls into question the AGW movement which heavily relies on Mann's graph and the UN IPCC.

Comment: Systematic corruption in the AGW movement (Score 0) 476

Even though I'm willing to accept the idea that man probably has caused some of the warming over the last 150 years, any honest scientist will acknowledge that we can't be sure how large of a role man plays when we consider the fact that we were coming out of a little ice age. It's also disputable that we are facing "unprecedented" warming because recent studies (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/11/evidence-for-a-global-medieval-warm-period/) show that there was significant worldwide warming during the medieval warming period.

In general, it's good to let scientific "consensus" drive policy. But when the major scientific organizations try to shut down all discussion and explain "the debate is over" and start drawing firm conclusions on something as complex as climate science, it makes me suspicious. Then when the AGW advocates start blatantly lying about how there is supposedly more incidents of extremely destructive weather and fire, it makes me extremely suspicious. When the UN IPCC knowingly makes up a story about the Himalayas melting in a few decades even though they know it's based on a single *opinion* from an activist making comments in the WWF magazine, it tells me that there is a systemic corruption of science when it comes to the issue of global warming.

And when I see proof that Mann et al is cherry picking data in a nontransparent manner and most of the "concensus" is based on that cherry picked data, this so called "concensus" no longer holds any credibility. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbR0EPWgkEI
AT&T

+ - Unlocked Phones: How and Why to Do It->

Submitted by
lseltzer
lseltzer writes "Many news stories recently have discussed the politics of unlocked phones, but if you want to use one what are the practical implications? Who sells unlocked phones? What carriers let you unlock theirs and activate others? BYTE explores these issues and tells you why you might want an unlocked phone and how you'd go about buying one and getting service for it."
Link to Original Source
Chrome

+ - Should Microsoft Switch to WebKit?-> 1

Submitted by DeviceGuru
DeviceGuru (1136715) writes "Although IE remains the dominant browser on desktops, it's being trounced on tablets and smartphones by browsers based on WebKit, including Safari, the Android Browser, and Google Chrome. Faced with this uphill battle on handheld mobile devices, Microsoft MVP Bill Reiss has suggested that it might be time for Microsoft to throw in the towel on Trident and switch to WebKit. But although there are lots of points in favor of doing so, there are also some good reasons not to, including security and a need for healthy competition to avoid having mobile developers begin to target WebKit rather than standards. What do Slashdot readers think?"
Link to Original Source
Android

All Over But the Funding: Open Hardware Spectrometer Kit 62

Posted by timothy
from the what-is-the-exact-color-of-your-van? dept.
New submitter mybluevan writes "The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science is putting together an open hardware spectrometer kit on Kickstarter. The kits are built using an HD webcam, discarded DVD, and a couple other odd bits. They've also put together a kit for your smart phone and open-source software for desktop, Android, and iOS. Need to analyze the contents of your coffee, the output of your new grow lights, or a distant star on a budget? Just build your own spectrometer, or pick up the limited edition steampunk version." Besides making cool hardware, they'd like to "build a Wikipedia-style library of open source spectra, and to refine and improve sample collection and analysis techniques. We imagine a kind of 'SHAZAM for materials' which can help to investigate chemical spills, diagnose crop diseases, identify contaminants in household products, and even analyze olive oil, coffee, and homebrew beer."
Space

Largest Moon Rock Ever Auctioned Expected To Sell For $380,000 49

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-lot-of-cheese dept.
First time accepted submitter amkkhan writes "One lucky space-lover with some extra cash could become the proud new owner of the largest moon rock ever to be auctioned, according to the auction house Heritage Auctions. The moon rock, known as Dar al Gani 1058, is part of a lunar meteorite that was found on Earth in 1988 and is expected to fetch as much as $380,000 at auction."

Comment: Re:x86 or ARM? (Score 1) 229

by George_Ou (#41356747) Attached to: AMD's Hondo Chip 'A Windows 8 Product'
AMD might attempt some really bulky overweight tablets that have to be shut down rather than something that behaves like an always on iPad or smartphone. Then again, this applies to Intel's Ivy Bridge parts because they can't do "Connected Standby" either. A high-performance SoC with Connected Standby won't happen for Intel until Haswell in 2013. AMD on the other hand has nothing announced for 2012 or 2013 that does Connected Standby.

Comment: Re:x86 or ARM? (Score 2) 229

by George_Ou (#41350081) Attached to: AMD's Hondo Chip 'A Windows 8 Product'
Hondo is a Brazo based "APU" so it's definitely x86. But unlike Intel Clover Trail, AMD Hondo isn't really a tablet chip because it fundamentally lacks "Connected Standby" capability in Windows 8. That means it won't do 30 days of standby in an on state nor is it compatible of meeting the 300 millisecond screen-on requirement. Moreover, Hondo is a 4.9W TDP part while Intel Clover Trail is a 1.7W TDP part.

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