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


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:ive been through the new check (France, CDG air (Score 2) 184

by Jack Malmostoso (#48579533) Attached to: Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

I have noticed that too in my last 3 flights to the US. Interestingly enough, this additional screening was only for economy passengers. As I was travelling in business, I could just walk through the gate and enjoy the show.

So yeah, there's my anectodal evidence.

Comment: Aerodynamic design? (Score 3, Interesting) 127

by Jack Malmostoso (#48109711) Attached to: London Unveils New Driverless Subway Trains

I'm not an engineer, but I always wondered why trains tend to be designed like a wall. Only high-speed trains are actually wedge shaped to be aerodynamic.

I would imagine that a subway train, acting like a "piston" would work better if it were more aerodynamic and not have to overcome a lot of pressure within the tunnel.

Can anyone explain the reasons behind this design?

Comment: Hopefully data only (Score 4, Insightful) 96

by Jack Malmostoso (#48012627) Attached to: Mobile Phone Use Soon To Be Allowed On European Flights

As long as voice isn't enabled I don't have a problem with that. I recently tried wifi on a long haul flight and was quite impressed with the speed of the service. I can see how people might want to have data connection up up in the air (albeit one has to see the extortionate roaming prices airlines will come up with!).

But voice? No thank you. It would quickly become a safety issue because passengers would assault each other.

Comment: Tenure-hunting discourages risk (Score 4, Informative) 203

by Jack Malmostoso (#47832379) Attached to: Is There a Creativity Deficit In Science?

I have been working in research (chemistry) for 10 years, half in academia and half in industry. In my time in academia, it was all about putting together enough results to scrape a paper together, nevermind whether the "promising results" were benchmarked against shitty "state-of-the-art".

In my current industry job, I have been asked to prepare a 5-year plan with high ambitions, and I am free to explore any path to the final goal without (reasonably at least) restrictions.

Unfortunately until non-tenured researchers will need to publish as much as possible without actually delivering important results, this will not change.

In my opinion the peer-review system is not perfect, but it's the best thing we have. I have found many reviewers whose comments have been genuinely beneficial to making my papers stronger. Others barely read the manuscript and rejected it because it encroached on their turf, or didn't cite them enough.

In my opinion the peer-review should be changed to a double-blind system: the reviewer should not see name and affiliation of the authors, and judge the work as it would grade an undergrad paper (i.e. harshly). Like this I believe the signal-to-noise ratio in journals would increase, and only good papers would get published. At that point, I'd be willing to accept impact factor as a measure of worthiness of a publication. Until then, it's just friends judging friends, with nobody wanting to piss off anybody else. Minor revisions, congratulations, you're published.

Comment: Re:Graceful Failover ? What Graceful Failover? (Score 1) 164

That was also my question when I RTFA. It says that the Intel drive entered some sort of "read-only" mode, and that at that point the drive was still OK. Then a new write cycle was forced (how?), and the drive committed seppuku and became unreadable.

Which is it? Can I be confident that my SSD will fail to a gracious read-only mode? All my ~ is in RAID1 and backed up so I'm not worried, but it'd be nice to be able to just copy the / from a read-only SSD to a new one when the time comes.

Comment: Re:FIFA blew it (Score 1) 90

by Jack Malmostoso (#47220513) Attached to: Cybercriminals Ramp Up Activity Ahead of 2014 World Cup

Would anyone think selecting any African nation as a site for the world cup is a good idea? Brazil was a bad idea for similar reasons. "Bad Neighborhood."

Did you notice where the previous World Cup was held? That's right, South Africa. Which arguably is even "worse" than Brazil. Yet the World Cup happened, few if any tourists were mugged, raped, quartered and shot. People visited the country without particular hassle.

While I agree that World Cup and Olympics have now transcended their function and are a cesspool of waste and corruption, denying them to poorer countries is not right. These are global events, and they deserve to be hosted globally. If then the local governments make fool of themselves, let them, and let that be a lesson for the future.

Comment: Publishing in flashy journals is killing quality (Score 1) 106

by Jack Malmostoso (#45652787) Attached to: Nobel Winner Schekman Boycotts Journals For 'Branding Tyranny'

In my field (electrochemistry) the last 5/10 years caused a great deal of researchers to move away from the "traditional" journals (Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Solid State Letters, Electrochimica Acta) to the flashier, more general publications (ACS and RSC publications, mostly). These journals are more widely read, so their impact factor is much higher. But most of their content is also mostly irrelevant, and since the public reading them is not a real expert in my field, what is important is to show pretty pictures, more than actually advancing the research.
I am lucky enough to do real research in industry, so that IF are not superimportant, but I feel that most journals have a very low signal/noise ratio and it's increasingly difficult finding relevant papers, after scratching a little under the surface of the claims made in the abstracts.

Comment: Re:Media center (Score 1) 246

by Jack Malmostoso (#45452431) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Hits the 2 Million Mark

The biggest issue I have with DLNA is that it wildly depends on the receiving device.
Streaming through the PS3 allows for high quality content, while streaming directly from my DLNA enabled TV caused the signal to be strongly degraded, I guess because the TV doesn't have enough horsepower to handle the larger stream.

In any case, good riddance.

Comment: Media center (Score 4, Interesting) 246

by Jack Malmostoso (#45449875) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Hits the 2 Million Mark

My RPi is loaded with RaspBMC and I use it to watch videos I have stored on my main machine.
It is hooked up directly to the USB port of my TV so it powers up when I turn the TV on, and turns off when I'm done.
It is powerful enough to stream 1080p over SMB/CIFS, and I got a 10EUR IR remote that needed exactly zero configuration (plugged in the USB receiver, counted up to 10, it was ready to go).

Sure, it's not the fastest machine on earth, but for what I use it it's miles better than DLNA or similar crap.

Comment: Tough goals, especially in 5 years (Score 5, Interesting) 172

by Jack Malmostoso (#45441629) Attached to: U.S. 5X Battery Research Sets Three Paths For Replacing Lithium

I am a battery scientist, and while I think that Argonne is one of the places where great work is done, they have set very ambitious goals for themselves.

1) Replacing Li with Mg is a lovely idea, but currently there is no fully stable electrolyte and as far as I know nobody has good candidates for electrode materials. Don't even get me started on Al.

2) Lithium-air batteries have been debated to death also here on /.. The current status is again that there seems to be no stable electrolyte, no clear idea of what exactly happens, and if we factor in the weight and complexity of adding various components to the battery assembly to make a real device out of it, the great theoretical energy density of Li-O2 is reduced to Li-ion levels, if not even less.

3) The liquid slurry electrode is an interesting concept which at least recycles materials that are available and known to be working. This is more of an engineering problem than a scientific one, and could see quick advancement in 5 years.

I hope the community as a whole will be able to find the breakthrough to finally have people stop cursing batteries.
Batteries: you hate them since 150 years!

"Life sucks, but it's better than the alternative." -- Peter da Silva