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Comment: C'mon, guys (Score 1) 127 127

I work for Drew Curtis. So I am really getting a kick out of most of these replies. Some of you guys are very good at making it sound like you know what you are talking about. But trust me.... You don't. I think you just want to make yourself sound smart, when in reality you dont know what you are talking about. This is how bad info gets passed around. If you dont know about the topic....Dont make yourself sound like you do. Cuz some Farkers belive anything they hear.

Comment: Let's teach them about information first (Score 1) 211 211

We live in a world of information. So let us teach them about information first. What is information? How has it been encoded, stored, reproduced, processed and transmitted throughout history? What is encryption? How trustworthy is a source of information? How do we assess that?

It should definitely include some material about the concept of processing information by an algorithm. I am not sure that actual coding is really for everyone - but being literate about information definitely is.

Comment: Trustworthy? Gandi or PairNic (Score 1) 295 295 French open source geeks. They've been in the registrar business for about as long as you've been on Slashdot. Many consider it an advantage for their registrar to be outside US jurisdiction. Their terms of use and conduct in the face of legal challenges have received thumbs-up from privacy activists and lawyers.

PairNIC, operated by Pair Networks. From their web site: "Launched in January 1996 and profitable since its second month of operation...". I have hosted with them for many years and their reliability is unbeatable. If you are a US-based business you can't escape US jurisdiction anyway and probably won't mind paying a couple of dollars more.

Comment: Re:Not just for the retro look (Score 2) 328 328

> TFA talks about the filament temperature: 60C. This is no problem.

It's "no problem" because someone has done the work to solve it. A filament has a very small surface area to dissipate heat. Air is a very poor heat conductor. Glass too. Without the helium fill gas and a sufficiently large bulb envelope area the filament equilibrium temperature for the same electric power would be much higher and greatly reduce the efficiency and lifetime of the bulb.

> Holding helium for years is easy. Sealed glass is traditional in bulb manufacturing and is sufficiently helium tight.

Again, it's easy once someone has solved it. If it were not for the legacy of incandescent bulb production techniques and facilities making this a solved problem
I am pretty sure this idea would have been dropped in favor of other LED packaging methods based on plastic and aluminum.

Comment: Not just for the retro look (Score 4, Insightful) 328 328

I find it interesting that there are sound engineering reasons behind this shape, not just the retro look. The filament shape solves the 360 degree light distribution of most LED lamps but raises the issue of how to cool it effectively when not in contact with a heat sink. Helium has a much higher heat conductivity than air and moves the heat effectively to the envelope. Holding the helium for years without leaking is difficult requires something more gas tight than plastic. Forunately, there are many factories for glass bulbs that would otherwise be closed due to the decline in incandescent lamp sales. The technology for the glass envelope and sealed leads is a result of many years decades of development and probably would not have been worth the investment just for this purpose but these factories are already there with trained personnel and fully depreciated equipment.

Comment: Re:TFS just has marketing (Score 2, Interesting) 71 71

Yeah I'd like some more meat to the story as well. Amazon Glacier achieves its pricing by using low-RPM consumer drives plugged into some sort of high-density backplanes; supposedly they are so densely packed that you can only spin up a few drives at once due to power and heat issues. Hence the delay.

I assume Google is doing something similar, maybe with somewhat better power or cooling since they're offering faster retrieval times which implies that perhaps they can spin up a higher percentage of drives at a time.

Comment: A story of Saint Brigid. (Score 5, Funny) 132 132

"A certain woman who had taken the vow of chastity fell, through youthful desire of pleasure and her womb swelled with child. Brigid, exercising the most potent strength of her ineffable faith, blessed her, causing the child to disappear, without coming to birth, and without pain. She faithfully returned the woman to health and to penance."

Was the mother of that child trying to hint something with that choice of name?

Comment: Re:Monsanto (Score 1) 100 100

I think people may be confusing hybrid seeds with terminator seeds.

Most modern seeds are a cross between two parent lines. They are not stable and the next generation of seeds will not have the same carefully selected properties. This is not done on purpose to prevent them from being reused - it's just a property of the most effective method of generating seeds with targeted properties.

High quality open source seeds will most likely be hybrids, too. You will not be able to reuse their seeds. But the parent lines will not be kept as a guarded secret and multiple seed producers will be able to make generic versions at reasonable prices.

Comment: Re:Orbital (Score 1) 443 443

It's not a terribly serious setback in the history of space flight, but it could be a serious blow to Orbital.

Their whole program is built around the idea of using old surplus Soviet-era rocket engines, originally designed for the ill-fated N1 program. (The N1 program, as a sidenote, is responsible for one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in human history when one of its launch vehicles had a failure shortly after takeoff. On top of a zero-for-four launch record, it's not the program I'd pick to emulate.)

My understanding of the Soviet engines is that they have some design features that make them lightweight for their output, but represent tradeoffs not typically taken on Western engines, due to the risk of "burn through". But some people--perhaps including Orbital--thought that the designers had solved the problem and the risks were overstated.

Too early to tell right now, but if the engines turn out to have a fatal flaw, that would be bad for Orbital. It'd probably be good for SpaceX, since they're the obvious alternative, but it'd leave NASA down one contractor for the commercial launch program.

Unix: Some say the learning curve is steep, but you only have to climb it once. -- Karl Lehenbauer