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Comment: Re:Not so fast (Score 2) 133

by Rei (#49385153) Attached to: World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation

Most people's perception of how airships should behave from holes is wrong, and it's based on their experience with party balloons. The reason for the differences are:

* Party balloons are pressurized - the skin is stretched taught. The skin on airships are loose.
* Skin area (and thus leak rate) scales proportional to the radius squared, while the volume scales proportional to the radius cubed. Airships are many, many orders of magnitude larger than party balloons. Consequently the rate in which gas can leak out of a hope is drastically lower.

Even large holes in airships don't take them down quickly. Even a moderate sized airship can generally continue flying to its destination and then fix the damage and refill there.

Comment: Money or the background check exclusions? (Score 1) 234

by swb (#49384929) Attached to: NSA Worried About Recruitment, Post-Snowden

Is it really the money or is it the background check nonsense that scares people away?

I would think the latter would be a big influence. Even if you had no serious skeletons in your closet (no arrests, not a drug user, etc) there's still a certain paranoia that the FBI is asking a lot of people a lot of questions. And who knows what some asshole that doesn't like you might say?

And MOST people have some kind of skeleton in their closet (smoke/smoked pot, some kind of sex thing, whatever).

It'd be curious to compare Goldman Sachs policies with the NSAs for technology. Both want the best and brightest, both deal with sensitive areas (sure, maybe National Security is higher but so is program trading with billions of dollars), but is Goldman going to turn down some eccentric with a PhD in math with a deep knowledge of modeling because he smokes pot?

Comment: Re:How many passengers can it carry? (Score 1) 133

by swb (#49384777) Attached to: World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation

If an ocean liner is the Waldorf-Astoria, a think an airship would end up being more Holiday Inn express. From what I've read, the Hindenburg was pretty spartan in terms of accommodations, especially in comparison to the liners of its era.

The Hindenburg was a lot bigger than the Airlander and carried a maximum of 72 passengers. It's hard to see the smaller Airlander carrying more than 30 passengers, maybe less depending on the level of amenities and size of berths. Carrying 2-300 passengers would seem like it would take a massive airship that would make the 800 ft long Hindenburg seem tiny.

Comment: I am not surpriced (Score 1) 55

by Bender Unit 22 (#49383901) Attached to: Massive Power Outage Paralyzes Turkey

I has been about 6-7 years since I was in Turkey. The hotel I was staying at was a regular 3 star hotel. They had a backup generator in the back alley which they seemed to share with the neighbor hotel.
The power would go out once or twice every day, mostly only for half an hour. Sometimes in the middle of the night by noise from the generator and my AC starting again.
When I arrived late at night at the hotel, I noticed that the power distribution boxes were quite hot when you was leaning against them. Also some of the local transformer stations were out in the air directly by the sidewalk, shielded only by a minimal amount of chain link fence.
It seemed like they had some issues with sizing the infrastructure.
But I had a pleasent stay there so no complaints from me.

Comment: Re:Virgin airspace (Score 1) 204

As another poster pointed out, it's just posturing for anyone to say they are going to shoot down the drones.

Not from the ground. From another drone. Don't even need to shoot, just get above it and drop something sufficiently nasty on its rotors. Collect the wreckage and sell what's salvageable...maybe even in your Amazon store.

Comment: Re:But Natalie Portman IS a horrible acress. (Score 1, Interesting) 304

by swb (#49383195) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars

Natalie Portman was great in "Closer" and "Black Swan", of the those you group her with, she's probably the best actress.

I don't think Scarlett is all that good, her initial success in "Lost in Translation" seems like a fluke. But she's mostly managed to turn herself into an action babe, so I'd guess she's realized that drama isn't her thing.

Mila Kunis, good or bad, is something of a curiosity. She was a sitcom bimbo but has had a turn of fairly decent acting with Portman in "Black Swan" but then took a turn for more mundane stuff.

Megan Fox is just a pretty face. Jennifer Lawrence is pretty good, but her naive response to the leaking of her nude photos was tedious.

Meryl Streep is good, but after a while she kind of plays Meryl Streep or at least its hard to not see her as Meryl Streep Playing Her Character.

Helen Mirren is great, but was she always great or did she become great after "Elizabeth I" late in her career? It's hard to think of anything memorable in her career prior to "Cook, the Thief.." and her turn on the cop drama "Prime Suspect".

Comment: Re:So... (Score 2) 111

by Kjella (#49382949) Attached to: SCOTUS: GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure

Not to look a gift outbreak of common sense in the mouth, but how the fuck can GPS trackers be a form of search and seizure and civil forfeiture NOT be a form of search and seizure?

It's a form of seizure, but the supreme court hasn't found it an unreasonable one. And it's been used for a very long time. Basically, the issue was that without forfeiture they had a hard time catching the owners of smuggling ships. As long as you can't establish them as an accessory to the crime or you have jurisdiction problems, they can legally provide the supplies while the criminals operate on an asset-less basis. So the solution was to declare the assets - in this case the ship - used in illegal acts forfeit, making it a risk and a cost to be used in crime. This goes all the way back to the British.

I've been reading some of the court cases and it seems the minority has been trying really hard to find tortured ways of getting out of their own past precedents as the cases become more and more unreasonable but the majority falls down on "we've approved of civil forfeiture for 200 years, we can't overturn that now". They really, really, really don't like interpreting an old law in a new way. So without acts of Congress saying this is not okay, I don't think anything will change.

P.S. Civil asset forfeiture puts the US way ahead of the UK as fascist country in my opinion, I'm not really even sure if it should qualify as an "innocent until proven guilty" system anymore since you can be robbed blind and need to prove your innocence to the court. It stinks to high heaven.

Comment: la la la isn't it ironic (Score 3, Insightful) 40

That you need a cookie so that Facebook can remember that you don't want to be tracked.

Of course that cookie could contain a single non-unique value that states, do not track me.
But of course that Facebook doesn't really care about privacy can't come as a surprise to anyone.

Comment: Re:Don't be an asshole. (Score 1) 271

by Kjella (#49381263) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With User Resignation From an IT Perspective?

He's still an employee during his notice period; treat him like one.

Or not, either way is fine.
a) You're leaving for another company but during the notice period while it is our paycheck we expect you to be professional and loyal to your current employer. That means continuing to carry out your job duties to the best of your ability and help transition them to other employees. I'm sure they'll appreciate someone with working knowledge of the system guiding them.
or
b) I'm sure you know it's company policy to immediately terminate all access for leaving staff members, regardless of reason so don't take it personally. Think of it as two weeks paid vacation. Have you got everything in order? I can pretend I haven't seen this for another hour, but if you're ready I'll call the honor guard to escort you out. The check will be in the mail.

I mean you have to screw up pretty bad to make the last seem like a bad thing for an employee that's leaving voluntarily. You're getting two weeks pay for doing nothing. Pretty much the worst you can do is make them stay, but act like you don't trust them anymore.

And if they care a bit too much about their coworkers and start talking about transitioning, it should be pretty easy to to talk them out of it. Sure it'll be tough on the remaining staff, but it'll be like a "what if he was hit by a bus" exercise and we'll find out how much documentation and routines we're missing. They'll cope somehow and besides, it's company policy so I can't really make those kinds of exceptions.

Comment: Re:The future is now. (Score 1) 152

by localman (#49381209) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race?

I've been on reddit so long it took me a minute to realize I can't upvote you. Maybe not a lot of people here will agree with you, but you've nailed it. I work IT in environments with lots of regular folk and the power and flexibility I crave is a) useless to them and b) the source of the vast majority of their problems.

Comment: If you wait until they resign... (Score 1) 271

by swb (#49380839) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With User Resignation From an IT Perspective?

...then you're just going to be buttfucked by the ones who get up to mischief before they resign. You should have the ability built-in to recover from whatever they do, whenever they do it, because the worst damage is done by the insider you never suspect.

I'm generally in favor of the idea of that once someone submits a resignation, you might as well just tell them they don't need to come in. They can't get anything meaningful done in two weeks anyway and if you "need" them to explain what they do/project status/etc, then you're doing it wrong anyway and you won't find two weeks nearly enough time to get caught up.

Plus, what kind of leverage do you hold over someone who quit and has a job, anyway? Short of criminal behavior, you've got none. I've known a couple of managers at companies I worked at who were total assholes to employees who left, demanding extra work, tons of documentation, etc. It baffled me why the employees put up with it and knowing one manager in particular, I'm sure her employees hated her anyway and fucked up the work she made them do anyway. I know I heard rumors of shredded original billing materials and other documentation.

If you're desperate for a resignees information and talents, the best choice is to offer them a consultancy contract for real money. I think this gets people's respect, real quick. It shows you actually value their knowledge and skills (versus some bullshit words) and it buys you some leverage, since no work == no pay. But it has to be real money and guaranteed, "we might want you back for something later..." is no more believable than "let's have sex tomorrow instead." Tomorrow never comes.

The notion that there is some kind of Gentleman's Rules surrounding employment is over. Everyone knows they can be axed at the drop of a hat and most people feel no loyalty to their employer (or shouldn't, anyway) and could walk tomorrow. You have to be prepared now, not when they leave.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.

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