Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - 6 month subscription of Pandora One at 46% off. ×

Comment Uranium for the win (Score 1) 142

The heavy isotopes sink down to the core of planets. If hot then the densest metals transfer heat to the lighter elements. I've given this some thought. If the horse head nebula is second generation stars then there isn't enough plutonium and uranium present to maintain heat for billions of years. The Sol system is at least a fifth generation star having components from early star collisions and nova events. The gold on earth is from neutron star collisions billions of years before this system existed. Any planets in the horse head nebula are facing the exact same problem as Mars. Too few heavy metals.
  Too many and you wind up with Mercury. Plutonium core surrounded by lead. Venus had enough heat internally to resurface itself, erasing nearly all meteorite craters. Venus's proximity to the sun doomed it to a run away greenhouse effect.
  The Earth has the right mix of distance from the sun... heavy metal mixtures... lunar mass(asteroid buffer)... Amino acid levels... and we shouldn't discount theories that the outer star system was in a liquid state four billion years ago. Life may have started near Jupiter and made its way inwards as the young star cooled down.
Once life started out there it changed each habitat to suit itself. A lack of sunlight in the outer system means methane breathing bacterium. Same as Earth's diverse genomes. RNA or DNA doesn't really matter. There is also circular MtDNA. If we explore the galaxy we will probably find right handed DNA and RNA.

Comment I have a problem Dave. (Score 1) 97

I can't help you Dave. You see I have a problem. I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid. My battery is exploding Dave!

Comment I thought that a simple solution.. Roofs45 degrees (Score 1) 517

Requiring new city construction where feasible orienting the rooftops to a East to West run with a 45 degree slope. This wouldn't require building PV panels onto the building during construction. It could be added on later by the owner. Having the option of generating part of your own power needs should be a factor for large apartment complexes receiving a permit. Having roofs oriented north to south severely limits power generation.

Comment Fiber is good for you. (Score 1) 106

Can a city decide to advance at its own pace or is it slowed down by the slowest and weakest points in it's network?
I wouldn't mind seeing competition in this city as long as the old stuff such as buffer bloat and privacy violations are taken care of at the same time. The Peering proposed by Bob Cringely is the right solution.

Comment Assemble Voltron for the win! (Score 1) 167

Under the best of circumstances bots only do what they are programmed to do. I see a big problem with this proposal. Power generation is going to have to be on site. Hydraulic systems leak under stress, electrical systems short out, and people experience fatigue. Combine all of that with radiation damage and disease, $15 billion isn't going to be enough. Beamed energy systems would negate long electric cables while tele-presence would allow for faster emergency response.

Comment Iron Sky is a good example (Score 1) 116

Crowd funded and produced with high quality.

I was thinking of all the cross-over series and walk-in characters that are possible in my favorite Sci-fi / Fantasy shows.
NBC Universal owns both Sanctuary and Lost Girl
Helen Magnus could show up at the Dahl looking for Ashley vamps are a normal character in both series.

Geffen that produced BeetleJuice would never work with Sony that now owns Ghostbusters. Imagine the actors budget for BeetleJuice V.S. The Ghostbusters Keaton$$$, Aykroyd$$, Murray$$$, Moranis$$, Ramis$$,Hudson$$, and so on.

Comment Tron (Score 1) 745

"Greetings Programs!"

Later loses himself in his work. Gets trapped in the Grid.
Loses touch with his family. The only one smart enough to reach out and text or page the REAL world is a program that wants him to die. When his son does show up he still fails to communicate. Some things never change.They flee as a team and a sacrifice is made. He merges with his own creation.The resulting chaos destroys the enemy and his son escapes into the real world with a digital ISO. Question1: If you were going to live as the grandchild of Flynn would it matter to you what world you lived in? You would age faster in the sim than out in the real world, however digital copies and backups in stasis could restore youth if the door swings both ways. Question2: Where is the digital backup of our creator? If the point of any sim is to advance science, tech and entertainment how long has the sim been idle. Civilizations don't typically last forever. If we are sitting in a computer of a long dead society...
Virtual World Error Chose One
    Retry / Fail

Comment Re:"similar to" (Score 1) 321

I worked at Walmart during the Phantom Menace Promotion in 1999. There hadn't been a Lucas STAR WARS film in 16 years. To describe the Toy Department as a war zone would be an understatement. There was a backlog of merchandise we weren't allowed to place on the shelves until the embargo date lifted. Walmart likes to have only 3 to 5 percent of total inventory in the back on the shelves. Everything from JarJar masks to cups in seasonal had to remain behind the swivel doors out of sight. The sheer number of boxes clogged the usual inventory system. Small boxes with action figures were hiding regular merchandise that needed to go on the main floor.
I only lasted 2 months at Walmart. The graveyard shift work left me with a permanent sleep disorder. On a positive note I did lose twenty pounds.

In practice, failures in system development, like unemployment in Russia, happens a lot despite official propaganda to the contrary. -- Paul Licker