Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Let me rewrite that for you Mr. Richard Burr... (Score 4, Insightful) 139 139

"America’s security depends on dispensing with people's liberty when we can come up with a scary possibility."

Liberty is a risk. We are supposed to cherish that we in the "home of the brave" were brave enough to choose the RISK of liberty.
The endless pulpit banging about risks to the "Fatherland" ... (wait... oops... erase, erase, erase...) I mean risks to the Homeland are still a microscopic percentage of the risk of getting in your car to drive to work.

QUIT PROTECTING ME FROM LIBERTY! (and pass me the Advil...)

Comment Re:Better, faster, cheaper. Pick two. (Score 1) 85 85

So in other words: "... doesn't mean there is currently an economically viable way of doing so."

So that would mean that with an investment in research maybe you could make it viable. In fact you would actually have to expect that it would become more cost effective with the normal manufacturing economies of scale and the vast improvement in materials science. That just leaves the question of getting past environmental hurdles. That will require ... (wait for it!) ...
more research!

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 85 85

Exactly. There is demand but the state of the technology isn't to a point where it can compete on price with the entrenched technology with a vast advantage of decades of vastly higher levels of investment.
So in a multi billion dollar industry maybe it deserves some investment looking at the problem. Hence this story...

So you get the price down so it costs 2.5 times as much per hour to operate the airframe and it would then be a MAJOR competitor. At 1/2 the flight time 2.5X hourly cost would mean increasing the cost to 125% which would be very attractive.
Conceivably flying at a higher altitude would reduce fuel consumption which is an obvious savings. It also could give the opportunity to fly over much more severe weather which could reduce costs caused by flight delays and cancellations. If you can't fly then you aren't paying for the plane...

Comment Huh? (Score 1) 85 85

So there is no demand for getting from point A to point B faster? Simply the most obviously stupid thing said here in a while. Are you still driving 30 miles per hour on the freeway?

The single most dreaded thing about travel is the uncomfortable time it takes wasted in a cramped tube full of people. There are a number of questions of profitability and what naught in this thread to support the idea of "no demand" but those arguments have nothing to do with demand. They are simply reflections on one specific airliner program. If you need to fly from New York to Paris and you get to the counter and they ask you, "Would you like to be on the plane for 7-1/2 hours or for 4 hours?" which are you going to answer? If the price was pretty close you will chose 4 hours.
That is the definition of "demand".

Comment Re:North Pole (Score 1) 496 496

Magnetic isn't irrelevant as it is both useful and more importantly for this question: It works exactly the same way.

From the magnetic north pole go magnetically south a mile, west a mile, and then north a mile and you end up at the point you started. (Unless the pole moved while you were traveling.)

Comment Stones? What are stones? (Score 2) 106 106

All you need to know about "entertainment companies" can be found on the beginning of any retail DVD or Blueray disc. It starts with a big "entertaining" warning about copyright infringement that can not stepped past. (Helps get you into an entertained mood...) The only way to skip this unwarranted interruption is to get a nice pirated copy of the movie.

Everyone who has enough technical know how to plug a disc into a player knows that pirating movies is illegal and the "entertainment" companies are pounding the message in a very unentertaining manner down the throats of what they know are paying customers. If an industry is this stupid there really isn't much hope for them.

Comment Fail, fail, fail ... (Score 3, Insightful) 58 58

An "April Fools Day" joke should not be something overtly ridiculous. It should be something that misdirects in a clever and misleading way.
- Try something like the "dihydrogen monoxide ban gets on the Aliso Viejo city council's agenda" joke or something similar.
- Another more practical example for everyone is to grab each employee where you work as they arrive and have them call in sick. After a few minutes the management should be frantic.

Listing plot lines from popular sci fi stories as news articles fails so badly on all fronts except for topping the "lame meter". Come on guys. Try something CLEVER! (Oh, and something that is funny would be nice too.)

Comment Let me fix that for you... (Score 4, Funny) 662 662

"Jersey is like a Lamborghini Miura from the 70s. Originally awesome even as it breaks down from time to time and slips into decrepit use. It always remained awesome as its lunacy remains. And then one day it (in a prima donna hissyfit?) PUNCHES your plain old Ford Focus of a producer right in the face when he says "You will fill up with this crappy 85 octane out of an old pail even though you are specified to only use 93 octane... And you will like it!". And then everyone came out of the woodwork and starts saying "It wasn't a sensible car" when that was NEVER the point and was why it was wonderful to begin with."

When they are out on a shoot I would expect a quality hot meal for the camera men and the grips let alone your star presenter!

Comment Re:Ohhh, Democrats!!! (Score 1) 1089 1089

Your analysis is insightful. Your attempt at a solution is problematical.

How to solve this? (If it is even remotely possible...) Demand that children are COMPETENT in critical thinking and understand that the underlying principles of this country are about taking the RISK OF LIBERTY, that government DOES NOT SOLVE PROBLEMS, and to take personal responsibility for things around them.

Problem is, who makes the tests? What is competency? Who gets to define it? Do you really think you could get a set of wingnuts in a room to actually agree about something?

I can't think of anything about education that isn't problematic. There is nothing about our education system that isn't problematic. It is a hierarchy of rolling disaster. (The first thing is to fire 1/2 of the administration. Education is WAY too expensive because we have more people "administrating" instead of sitting in a classroom in front of students.)

Testing is always a problem but you have to have some basis for finding out if the efforts of education are effective. Otherwise you have headed into the new-age nonsense of pandering to children.
There are specific techniques for creating good test questions. You simply look at the responses to individual questions and see if they statistically differentiate between students with a higher and lower level of comprehension of the subject matter. If a question doesn't tend to distinguish between a higher level student and a lower level student then it is a bad question and should be discarded. A test can then be effectively designed with a range of questions that tend to differentiate between the different levels of A, B, C, etc... students. And the number of these questions is designed to generate the grade dispersal you require.
As far as dealing with the "wingnut" issue, that is where the drastic reduction of administration comes to bear. Having the number of people in positions of administrative authority that we do we automatically end up with that many people applying "power". All of this action without being in front of a classroom is insane and we are paying $$$ for it.
We currently have a system where instruction is simply targeted directly at standardized tests. No "teacher" thought up this stupidity. It came from administrators that look at children and see how many $$$ a day of funding they provide and the results of standardized tests control that funding. "Stupid by law..."

I can tell you a very simple test for an understanding of the underlying principles of this country and competent critical thinking: Someone should be able to effectively argue a position that they adamantly do not agree with, and they should demand that someone else should have the right to speak a view that they personally find objectionable.

I agree with you about the personal responsibility bit. I disagree with the categorical shout about solving problems, because all it takes is one (1) instance to disprove the opinion.

The shout comes from the simple fact that the job done by federal (and most state) government(s) is so bad as to be laughable. If you had a teenage child that had the same fiscal responsibility and ability to dance around the truth as the government you would ground them for life.

Information is the inverse of entropy.