Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment No recording=no timeshifting, shooting foot? (Score 4, Insightful) 101

Seems like the broadcasters are shooting themselves in the foot! If you can't record, you can't store up a bunch of shows to watch later.

This means that people won't watch broadcast at all, but rather will default to streaming services for convenience of watching when they want.

Seems like they've got the wrong solution. Instead of "do not record", it should be "do not copy the recording you make to other media"--which, guess what, is what most people do anyway with their DVRs.

Best,

--PeterM

Comment Re:I thought this was obvious! (Score 1) 288

Er, the existence of God can absolutely be proven scientifically. All that has to happen is that He has to show up and unequivocally say He does indeed exist, or in some other unequivocal way manifest His existence.

I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to speculate as to why there is a lack of unequivocal scientific evidence that God exists.

--PM

Comment The problem is, fusion probably isn't worth doing (Score 1) 344

At least DT fusion of thermal plasmas that are magnetically confined.

Most of the energy comes out as fast neutrons or gammas, and getting energy from those requires a large thermal conversion plant (steam generator).

Check out this link, where it is argued that direct electric conversion technologies will win on cost vs. thermal conversion plants:

https://matter2energy.wordpres...

Basically, fusion will always fail on economics. Unless someone comes up with a way to do fusion of species that produce energetic charged particles, which will allow direct conversion. And to do that, you probably need a non-equilibrium plasma, because equilibrium thermal plasmas that aren't optically dense: someone proved these cool faster via bremsstrahlung than they self-heat via fusions. And non-equilibrium plasmas, those are hard to sustain--nature abhors moving fluids that are of different velocities (or more generally, whose distributions are non-Maxwellian).

After learning these things I greatly fear that economical fusion just isn't going to happen--don't get me wrong, I'd love for someone to succeed at it and provide clean cheap energy--but I think the capital investment will always make fusion more expensive than alternatives.

--PM

Comment Real power generation doesn't need belief (Score 5, Insightful) 344

If Rossi's or anyone's claim that cold fusion (or some other power generation technique) worked was real, then they don't need anyone to believe them. They could just sell power and bootstrap themselves to millions/billions.

For example, if I could produce a few MW of electricity cheap, with a compact form factor, I'd just go to Hawaii (which has really expensive electricity) and undercut the price of electricity there and sell the power to a datacenter or a high rise building. With the profits, I could bootstrap and make more power generators, and displace more competing capacity.

And with generators that were powering MWs of buildings/datacenters, with no visible fuel inputs other than deuterium, I think credibility would soon be a non-issue.

--PM

Comment Their AI's won't be as good as the AIs of the rich (Score 1) 56

Your proposal to give people without jobs/wealth AIs to trade for them and make them money won't work.

The rich will have better AIs, and the net effect will be to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich via stock trades.

Seriously, d'you think your AI sitting on your slow computer at home is going to beat the AI that's running in a co-located supercomputer center just a few ns away from the trade house? With special hardware that allows microsecond response times to shifts in stock prices?

--PeterM

--PM

Comment More illegals being removed than ever (Score 1, Troll) 365

I don't like rule by diktat, however, at least on immigration, Obama is doing a better job of removing illegals than Bush ever did.

http://dailycaller.com/2014/02...

There's plenty to criticize about Obama's administration and policies without making up lies. Please don't do it. it discredits and drowns those who are have legitimate beefs.

--PM

Comment Re:The world is crying out for better pain killers (Score 1) 151

>You sound like all your knowledge of opioid treatment comes exclusively from anti-drug propaganda sources. It sure as hell didn't come from the medical community.

Actually, the knowledge comes from my friend, who suffers from chronic pain, and who quit opiods cold turkey and now lives with the pain (though it's less now), the depression, and is recovering mentally slowly. He's been doing heavy research on the effects opiod use has on people, as he tries to find his way back to relative mental normalcy.

He was on opiods for years and would withdraw peroidically so he could keep the dose he was taking small and still be effective. His pain doctors complimented him on how well he managed his opiod use. It still became problematic for him and now he's quit for good, and quitting has been a painful struggle for him.

Believe it or not, I'm actually pro legalization for most drugs. I don't think the drug war has done much good or been successful.

That said, opiods are dangerous, should be legal, and should be used where compassionately necessary, but it'd be WAY better if this new treatment would work instead. I'd rather see people not suffering from pain OR from the problems opiods can cause.

> Well you're into that whole drug war propaganda thing where you believe everyone prescribed some Vicodin for a toothache is shooting up heroin with dirty needles while homeless in an alley a few months later.

Actually, I was very careful what I said. I said "too long". I said "long term use". Opiods seem pretty OK for people who are using them for short term acute pain. It's chronic pain sufferers who are more at risk, and I really hope this new treatment works to completely kill their pain. I also hope it can replace standard opiod treatment for acute pain. It'd work better and it would be safer.

As I said, the world is crying out for better painkillers.

--PM

Comment The world is crying out for better pain killers (Score 3, Informative) 151

That's why this story is so cool.

There's a good reason why doctors are hostile to analgesics. They can cause damage that lasts far longer than the acute pain, and can cause effects in the long term that are worse than the chronic pain, in many cases.

For many cases of chronic pain, the relatively harmless stuff like NSAIDs, aspirin, and acetaminophen don't really work well enough, and in high doses all of these are toxic. So out come the opiates, however, opiates quickly induce tolerance so larger and larger doses are required. And the tolerance becomes addiction, and the brain starts getting re-wired. Not to mention the side effects of opiates, which aren't all that nice either.

It can take *years* for a brain re-wired by long term use of opiates can return to "sort of" normal, if ever. And the return to normal has nasty psychological effects, such as depression, OCD-like symptoms, suicidal tendencies, and an inability to be happy or experience joy.

It's much more than "moral panic" over opiates. The drugs are frankly dangerous, and even with the very best management practices, they will spin out of control if a person is on them too long.

I'd only want to be on large amounts of opiates if I were terminally ill.

Comment Citrus is going out the door too--ALL citrus (Score 5, Interesting) 199

At least there are some varieties of banana that are resistant to this strain of Panama disease.

Citrus greening:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

It is a bacterial disease that is wiping out citrus in many places worldwide. It's spread by a sap sucking insect.

There is NO non GMO citrus plant that is resistant. Lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, kumquats, pommelos, buddha's hands, every single citrus is in the process of being wiped out.

So far, the only resistant citrus plants are ones that have had spinach genes grafted in.

Citrus greening is rampant in Florida, and many areas worldwide, but is spreading somewhat slower in California because citrus areas tend to be separated by ridges of hills.

Infected plants only survive, for a while, if they're given antibiotics.

It's looking awfully like it's soon going to be a choice of GMO citrus or NO citrus.

And while you're GMO-ing citrus, how about removing or reducing the fumarins which cause skin cancer?
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/...

(A swipe at nature nutjobs, "natural" doesn't mean "good" every time--citrus might be better if it didn't cause cancer, right?)

--PeterM

Slashdot Top Deals

Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?

Working...