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Comment: 0.74% atmospheric pressure and trace oxygen levels (Score 1) 104

by George_Ou (#47405483) Attached to: ESA Shows Off Quadcopter Landing Concept For Mars Rovers
To properly test a prototype, you would need to fly a prototype helicopter (probably with very large rotor and very powerful turbine) to 33,000 meters altitude on Earth to test equivalent atmospheric pressures. The current altitude record for helicopters is only 12,442 meters.

There's another major problem posed by Mars. 96% of the atmosphere is comprised of CO2 and there is only trace amounts of oxygen. That means not only would you have to carry fuel, but you would need to carry your own oxidizer as well which adds a lot of weight.

Comment: Cisco is only describing the IETF standard (Score 1) 337

by George_Ou (#47214321) Attached to: Cisco Opposes Net Neutrality
"A July 1999 IETF specification (RFC 2638) discusses paid prioritization by saying: “It is expected that premium traffic would be allocated a small percentage of the total network capacity, but that it would be priced much higher.” Another specification (RFC 2475) published half a year earlier says that setting different priorities for packets will “accommodate heterogeneous application requirements and user expectations” and “permit differentiated pricing of Internet service.” (An RFC is a policy document, often accepted as standards, published by the IETF.)"

I would also add that the abstract of RFC 2474 says:

“Differentiated services enhancements to the Internet protocol are intended to enable scalable service discrimination in the Internet

http://www.digitalsociety.org/...
Security

Kids With Operators Manual Alert Bank Officials: "We Hacked Your ATM" 378

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Two 14-year-olds hacked a Bank of Montreal ATM after finding an operators manual online that showed how to gain administrative control. Matthew Hewlett and Caleb Turon alerted bank employees after testing the instructions on an ATM at a nearby supermarket. At first the employees thought the boys had the PIN numbers of customers. 'I said: "No, no, no. We hacked your ATM. We got into the operator mode,"' Hewlett was quoted as saying. Then, the bank employees asked for proof. 'So we both went back to the ATM and I got into the operator mode again,' Hewlett said. 'Then I started printing off documentations like how much money is currently in the machine, how many withdrawals have happened that day, how much it's made off surcharges. Then I found a way to change the surcharge amount, so I changed the surcharge amount to one cent.'"
Microsoft

With the Surface Pro, Microsoft Is Trying To Recreate the PC Market 379

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-lose-if-you-don't-fight dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An opinion piece at ReadWriteWeb makes an interesting suggestion: Microsoft's efforts in the tablet market aren't aimed at competing with the iPad or any of the Android tablets, but rather inventing a new facet of the PC market — one Microsoft alone is targeting. Quoting: 'Microsoft wants everyone to think the Surface Pro 3 is a tablet, but its pricing gives the game away. Microsoft wants to recreate the lucrative PC market that made the company billions of dollars by repackaging a PC into tablet clothing and then hammering away at the Surface product line until everybody believes that PCs never really went anywhere, they just got a touchscreen and a cellular connection.' This is also supported by the lack of a smaller Surface tablet, which many analysts were predicting before this week's press conference. Microsoft is clearly not pursuing the tablet-for-everyone approach, but instead focusing on users who want productivity out of their mobile computing device. The Surface Pros are expensive, but Microsoft is hoping people will balance that cost against the cost of a work laptop plus a personal tablet."
Science

Siphons Work Due To Gravity, Not Atmospheric Pressure: Now With Peer Review 360

Posted by timothy
from the suck-it-oed dept.
knwny (2940129) writes "Peeved by the widespread misconception that siphons work because of atmospheric pressure, physics lecturer Dr. Stephen Hughes, [in 2010] wrote a mail to the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary(OED) pointing out the error. To back his claim, Dr.Hughes tested a siphon inside a hypobaric chamber to check if changes in atmospheric pressure had any effect on the siphon and demonstrated that gravity and not atmospheric pressure was the driving principle. [This week, the] paper detailing his experiment was published in Nature. The OED spokesperson responded saying that his suggestions would be taken into account during the next rewrite."
Sci-Fi

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful? 737

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

Polymer physicists are into chains.

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