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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Off-Earth habitation (Score 1) 684

I've asked this question as well. I feel our energy would be better spent on getting viable graphene production up and running so we can use that to build mega scale structures in space. Once we've got the technology I think building a bunch of O'Neill cylinders makes more sense. Though I don't entirely discount going to mars. I think we should develop as much general purpose technology as possible.

Comment Russian Space Agency Hand Waving (Score 1) 307

I'll start this comment by stating up front that a SpaceX fan.

Now with that said, imagine you're in the Russian space industry... Falcon9 / Dragon / DragonRider/ CST100 represent serious competition. At a time when the Russian economy could best be described as struggling, the last thing it needs is for SpaceX to start gobbling up the lucrative ISS lift slots. Yes, I know congress just recently decided to keep funding sending astronauts via Soyuz. However, in the longrun, once Dragon{9,Rider} prove themselves, that source of funding dries up...

Ask this question... Once SpaceX has a fully operational DragonRider... how much does that cost per seat? Would the Russian government in the face of financial short comings come to the conclusion it's cheaper to spend US $20M to send a Cosmonaut to the ISS on a SpaceX rocket instead of the cost for a whole Soyuz?

Comment As a Patriots fan... (Score 1) 225

*shrug* By all measures actually having properly inflated balls caused the Pats to play better... it doesn't seem this was much of an "advantage."

With that all said... I was also shocked to find out that the NFL didn't just supply the balls... it seems obvious. Let's let the pitchers bring their own baseballs to the baseball game... what could possibly go wrong....

Comment Re:Single case anecdote. (Score 1) 469

I have a somewhat similar story. I was an aspiring CS college student and had bought a copy of Turbo C++ (3.something). I had saved a ton of money I went off and got myself a pentium 166. The thing rocked... except it ran Win95 and my fancy IDE compiler environment... yeah it crashed... a lot.

A buddy of mine came over with a pile of floppies, a zip drive with slackware and a "Learn linux in 24 hours" Sam book. We got my machine duel boot, got X working and then my buddy headed off.

I dove in head first and while the learning curve was steep, I figured it out. Even better, I had a functioning C compiler and "Jed" as an editor. I did managed to dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda within the first week and learned how to reinstall everything... so that hurt, but that's how you learn.

Comment There's a couple of problems... (Score 1) 226

1. China lacks a lot of knowledge when it comes to building and maintaining large things in space...
2. Imagine China could get this to work, there's so much lost in the down link due to the atmosphere you'd need a REALLY powerful microwave emitter or laser, at which point you've now got a death ray in orbit. There are pretty strict rules about NOT militarizing space and nobody would be cool with a country having their own personal death star in orbit.
3. If instead they decided to use low power, the collector on the ground would have to be so massive, it would have been cheaper to just invest that money into getting fusion to actually work.

Comment Re:Do It, it worked in AZ (Score 1, Funny) 886

Like all holy books, it's so vaguely worded you can twist to your means. In your sect of the great burger religion, your temples only allow people named Ralph. In my sect, they disallow Ralph.

Obviously, I'm going to have to start a holy burger war to resolve whose right.

Comment Re:Do It, it worked in AZ (Score 5, Funny) 886

I'm going to instruct my chain of burger joints to check ID's at the door... Anybody with a first name of "Ralph" will be turned away at the door. My holy book over here clearly states that "Ralph shall be name of the demon who will eat the world." I'm disinclined to have people named Ralph in my establishment who're likely to go into a demonic craze and start eating people. Also any "hussies" named "Roberta" or "Rebecca" they're just tricky sluts, they're not allowed in either.

Comment Re:Again? (Score 2) 172

MIT was showing this off awhile ago and I *believe* they sold it to DuPont... you can buy it in cans to coat things like boots. I think the innovation here is that they've made the coating either tougher so it won't abate over time and/or they've figured out how to make it food safe... I can't imagine making your insides hydrophobic would be that good for you...

Comment Putting the Voltec system into other vehicles... (Score 2) 229

I'm an extremely happy Volt owner! It is by far the best car I've ever owned.

Question #1. What is Chevy's plans to extend the Voltec system into other models such as the Trax and/or the Equinox? I ask because my wife's current vehicle is an AWD SUV and I'd like to replace it with a like vehicle that's a EREV but is still AWD and has cargo room. I know the 2016 Volt has a square battery pack and thus a 5th seat, I can only assume that's to make it fit better in other chassis?

Question #2. Why does Chevy not promote the Volt?!? You never see a Chevy commercial that has the Volt in it. They had the "low battery" commercial a couple of years ago and then nothing. When I go places I have people constantly coming up and asking "A volt? What kind of car is this? Chevy? Wow, this thing's awesome! I had no idea..." My wife's joked I should become some sort of Chevy Volt Ambassador!


Comment Re:It Won't Matter Anyway (Score 1) 179

The paint flake incident is what lead the shuttle to be basically flow upside down and backwards at an angle to put as much ship as possible between the crew and and any debris.

I have heard talk of people pitching the idea of "space trash trucks" that would use a variety of techniques to capture and/or deorbit as much trash as possible. LEO is entirely too big to clean everything but there are some bands that are higher priority than others.