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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Not really new (Score 1) 103

This isn't really new. There is for example Future Foot, which is available for purchase now, although it is still quite expensive. It supposedly travels up to 7 to 12 mph (depending on your weight and the terrain), and its range is 10 to 12 miles on a full charge. Supposedly. I haven't tried it, but there are plenty of videos of it on YouTube.

Comment Re:Instead of building thin bendable phones... (Score 1) 152

Just a question: Why do you need a GPS to drive to a pool to which you have driven several times before?

I agree that there are several scenarios where people would want to have their GPS on for several hours a day, but that doesn't seem to be one of them. (And in fact, any scenario in which you are driving your car for several hours is better served by a car charger for your phone, regardless of the phone's brand).

Comment Re:Apple fan (Score 1) 152

Doesn't work. Now you are dealing with two devices and a cable. Too cumbersome on a trail.

Some power packs connect directly to the phone, no need for a cable. Some are integrated to a case, so in practice it's like a single device. (Yes, I know your friend doesn't like the extra thickness, but this is something that he would use in those rare occasions when he really needs the extra power, like when goes on a long hiking trip with his son.)

Personally I spend a lot of time sitting at the side of a swimming pool these days for swim meets and I don't want to deal with two devices there either.

And yet you are willing to carry around "in your pocket" "as many rechargeable batteries as you need". Carrying and dealing with removable batteries is just as cumbersome as carrying and dealing with directly-connected power packs.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 830

Second: there's no "automatic" value inherent in the metric system. It's a SHIT TON easier to use with computers and calculators, certainly, as it's all decimal. But otherwise its less wieldy in daily use as 10 doesn't divide neatly by 3 or 4.

I don't understand why supporters of the imperial system use this argument when it rarely holds for them. Yes, 12 inches in a foot and 5280 feet in a mile have that property. But 1760 yards in a mile doesn't, and neither does the 8 little divisions in an inch on a ruler (yeah, I know they are called eight-of-an-inch).

It doesn't hold for weights: 16 oz in a pound, 14 pounds in a stone, 32,000 pounds in a short (US) ton. None of those are divisible by 3.

It mostly doesn't hold for volumes: 4 quarts or 8 pints or 16 cups in a US gallon. 16 tablespoons in a cup. None of them are divisible by 3. Only when you introduce the teaspoon you get divisibility by 3.

And the other unit of volume used frequently, the cubic foot, doesn't play nicely with anyone, unlike the liter which is 1000 cm^3. So a 1 mL = 1 cm^3, 1 microLiter = 1 mm^3, 1000 liters = 1 m^3. (By the way, for water the most important substance for us, those volumes correspond to 1 kg, 1 g, 1 mg, and 1 metric ton respectively, showing the beauty of the metric system.)

Comment Re:We can't have this! (Score 1) 830

I'll resist this with every ounce of my being.
I'll resist this with every gram of my being.
----- So, you're even less willing to accept whatever "this" is. Gram wins.

I won't give an inch on this issue.
I won't give a centimeter on this issue. (FTFY)
----- Again, you're even less willing to cede any terrain on "this issue". Centimeter wins.

They came at us with a shit ton of rockets and mortars!
They came at us with a shit ton of rockets and mortars!
----- Metric ton. Equal to 1000 kilograms.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
An gram of prevention is worth a kilo of cure.
----- Since gram < ounce and kilo > pound, again the saying gains strength in metric.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 830

I will also continue to argue that, while the imperial system seems great for those who grew up with it, it's actually not as good for most things in day-to-day life when you look closer.

For example, measuring things in Fahrenheit seems to make sense, but the Celsius scale is just as good for measuring weather, as well as other practical applications. In Celsius, 0-100 degrees is exactly the range of temperatures in which water is liquid at normal pressure, which has all kinds of important applications both in your kitchen, and outside of it. And I know, it's not the range of comfortable temperature: that would be 0C to 30C (32 to 86 F); anything outside of that range is very uncomfortable although people frequently have no other option but to put up with it. In Fahrenheit, the range of liquid water translates into 32 to 212. That seems stupid and arbitrary by comparison. Also, if you measure only in 1 degree increments, Celsius degrees are equally good, since even supporters of the Fahrenheit scales acknowledge that they can't tell the difference between 69 degrees and 70 degrees anyway, and that's because humidity has a huge effect on our perception of temperature.

But similarly, the length of feet and yards are pretty irrelevant for measuring spaces. Being an average-sized Caucasian man, my foot is barely 10.5 inches long, for example. If I want to measure the size of a room, I can put one foot in front of the other and walk, counting my footstep, have an totally unacceptable error of 14%: I said the room was 16 ft long, and it's actually 14 ft. In the end, I have made a pretty bad approximation. And if I'm a woman, child, or even man of almost all other races, that error becomes much, much larger. Measuring a person's height in feet also gives a range with pretty useless resolution if you round: "she was between 5 and 6 feet, your Honor" (she's actually 5' 6"). With decimeters, a perfectly valid metric unit, the range of 5 to 7 feet becomes 15 to 21 giving you better resolution. Now the woman measures between 16 and 17 decimeters or, for you, 5' 3" and 5' 7", a much better approximation. (And converting back and forth between decimeters and meters or centimeters is beyond trivial).

I know some people won't quite get my point, or they'll say, "But imperial is so much easier because I don't need to learn it!" Really though, imperial only seems easier because you have not been exposed to it in everyday life. If you had been exposed to both as I have you would realize how ridiculous that is. On a day to day level, the perceived advantages of imperial are just a matter of familiarity, and being able to do the math in your head even for trivial things becomes a pleasure that can only be enjoyed if the math is simple.

Comment Re:yes but did you listen to the video? (Score 1) 235

Holy crap the video is impressive. It clearly parses phrased and dependent logical statements like " what is the population of the capitol of the country in which the space needle is located. "

It can also tell the difference between Capitol and capital, which is something many Slashdotters can't do.

Our OS who art in CPU, UNIX be thy name. Thy programs run, thy syscalls done, In kernel as it is in user!

Working...