Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Cyber Monday Sale! Courses ranging from coding to project management - all eLearning deals 25% off with coupon code "CYBERMONDAY25". ×

Comment Re:OS is the problem, not a bad application. (Score 1) 572

He doesn't know what he's talking about - crashes on OS X are pretty graceful - at least as graceful as on Linux. An app crash can't bring down the whole OS, even if the Finder crashes the system brings it back up with minimal fuss.

Now that Safari hands off the flash plugin to a separate process, a flash crash doesn't even bring the browser down any more. This has been the case since Safari 4.

Comment Re:Most of africa is rather nice, actually. (Score 1) 146

Would you please just explain yourself? He admitted ignorance and asked for knowledge. I'm doing the same.

Well, you take the list I posted, and remove the countries where there is armed conflict and that gives you some idea of where there is peace.

Where is there conflict at the moment?

Probably the worst is in the Congo, near the Rwanda/Burundi border. (The Congo is insanely huge and difficult to move around in, the rest of the country is probably pretty calm).

There may still be some minor fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan, but nothing like previous levels.

I think the LRA may still be pissing around in the far north of Uganda.

There has been some inter-communal violence in Nigeria.

There is some trouble in Angola's enclave Cabinda.

There is still fighting in Somalia. And pirates. (Did anyone outside France hear about the recent pirate attack on a French warship? Poor buggers mistook a fleet supply vessel it for a civilian ship.)

There's a bit or terrorism up north (Algeria, Niger and so on).

Any I've forgotten?

Comment Re:MechWarrior series (Score 1) 90

The hardpoint system had much more in common with the loadouts in Mechcommander than Solaris VII. Sure, custom mechs are expensive. However, if that's the tack you're taking, why have hardpoints at all, instead of just stock configurations? More importantly, if you have an omnimech, say, why aren't all its hardpoints generic hardpoints, rather than having them typed like they do in the game? It would have bothered me less if IS designs had limited hardpoint configurations but omnimechs had full flexibility.

I think the reason they went down this path was actually laziness. They didn't like the look of missiles shooting out of a barrel and decided to prevent you from building configurations where that could happen, rather than spending more effort to make a system that would put a 3D model of a missile launcher there instead.

Also, reload times were used ever since MW2; it was not a new feature in MW4 by a long shot.

Comment Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmi (Score 1) 325

Written in '81 and released in '83 by Mattel for Intellivision. It was a first-person perspective "action" RPG. It was likely inspired by Rogue, but provided a unique 3D perspective that provided the game with an immersive quality. Opening a door to find a deadly wraith or the dreaded Minotaur was genuinely spooky. Due to the 3D perspective and the quiet, exploratory nature of the game where you look about levels by roaming hallways and opening doors; It was one of the first games to provide me with sweats, shocks and scares. The sound effects really ratcheted up the tension during "turn-based" battles. My brother and I played this game for months and became addicted to "phat" lootz like platinum shields and weapons. We're surprised it's never mentioned during a discussion of "classic" games from the Atari-age.

Comment Re:To hack a patent... (Score 2, Informative) 163

An accelerometer only measure acceleration, a change in direction is a big acceleration. A big change in direction can cause the signal to clip, when this happens you get random data. You have to apply a transfer function; a lower limit threshold that is above the noise floor, and limit small movements, and a high threshold to prevent any clipping.

Comment Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (Score 1) 577

Mostly, it'll cover the subsidies for people who can't afford insurance.

Right, exactly what I said, it'll be paid to insurance companies.

None of that will result in lower premiums (note that there is absolutely nothing in the current healthcare reform bill that is intended to lower healthcare costs). It'll just allow about two thirds of the people currently uninsured who are also too wealthy for Medicaid to get insurance.

I'm lost. How can you have people that now have "free" health care by getting services and not paying for them, passing the cost on to those that do pay (with insurance paying most health care costs), then eliminate that cost passed on, and declare that it can't affect the cost of insurance? Are they going to just increase the margins of insurance and make more, without reducing their premiums? And the hospital, once 100% pay, will they keep their pricing up and just make more profit? I'm curious what effect you think 100% (supposedly) coverage will have on the cost of hospital care and insurance rates. I would have thought it would result in some effect, but obviously I'm not looking at it the way you are.

No, the payoff to the insurance companies is the requirement that everyone get health insurance.

I'm lost. Really, lost. I state that the $1 trillion will go to the insurance companies, and you state "no" as if the $1 trillion won't go to them, then state that it will go to them. You are agreeing with what I'm saying, but in the most disagreeable way possible. You've objected to everything I've said, but contradicted nothing. You just don't like the manner in which I stated it.

Anyways, don't look for cost reductions in the current bill. There aren't any. There aren't even any intentions that costs should go down.

It isn't a zero sum game, but even said, it is a finite sum. There is only so much health care to go around, so I'll treat it like a zero sum for a second. You can't inject $1 trillion into a system and have no effect. Either the profits will shoot up at the expense of taxpayers, or costs will go down. If profits increased by $1 trillion, then some heads will roll. So some costs somewhere have to go down. Maybe not by the whole $1 trillion will go to cost reduction, but some of it must. You pretend that none of it will.

The "goal" is to reduce cost. It reduces cost of insurance to those that can't afford it. It reduces costs to everyone at the hospital because more people will pay their bills. The goal is to reduce cost at the healthcare side by increasing cost at the taxpayer side. It shifts cost so that it reduces healthcare costs. At the cost of taxes, so someone could argue that it doesn't "reduce" cost, but only shifts it, but you didn't make that argument, you just made the argument that it won't affect health care costs.

Comment Re:Science or Religion? (Score 0, Redundant) 1136

Sure, AGW can be falsified.

Here are some ways, just off the top of my head:

1. Show that combustion of coal, gas, andother fossil fuels does not emit carbon dioxide.

2. Show that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has not changed due to the release of human combustion; one way this could happen would be some uptake mechanism kicking in.

3. Show that carbon dioxide's absorption spectrum is such that is does not absorb shortwave infrared radiation, or is not transparent to longer wave radiation.

4. Show that the heat that ends up trapped at the Earth's surface escapes in some other manner that is proportional to the increase in temperature.

Okay, get at it! Good luck!

Mind you, the interactions in the extremely complex weather system you mention are tougher to deal with, but they're a result of people trying to figure out what the effects of warming will be; not an effort to measure the warming itself, and thus not necessary to address your one question.

PS- Phil Jones said there was no statistically significant warming; and any time series with as much noise as global temperature measurement and only 15 measurements since 1995 will be impossible to find a statistically significant (p.05) change. Of course, we have a lot more data then that, and we do have statistical significance in longer time series.