Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Star Wars? (Score 1) 126

In the original trilogy, I don't recall seeing the shields themselves, but both the rebels (on Hoth) and the empire (on Endor) protected their assets with large, ground-based shield generators. There are also references in the dialogue as well ("Switch your deflectors on - double front!").

It's been a while. But the shields really didn't appear to do a damn thing as far as I could tell. I remember the "double front" thing now that you mention it, but I'm not sure what those shields actually accomplished. Besides Luke, and the guy who Kamikazed the death star, was there a single rebel ship that didn't blow up instantly when it has hit?

I forgot about the shiles on Hoth until you mentioned it. But, the shields on Hoth did what exactly? Other than be an excuse for a battle in the snow, and to make some more merchandise to be sold. The empire didn't bombard the planet/base once the shields were down. The Walkers were still able to land, so it didn't stop them from reaching the surface.

So, no, I don't recall any shields in Star Wars. ;-) You're right about the prequels though.

Comment: Star Wars? (Score 1) 126

The system can sense when a shock wave generating explosion occurs near a target. An arc generator then determines the small area where protection is needed from the shock waves.

It then springs into action by by emitting laser pulses that ionize the air, providing a laser-induced plasma field of protection from the shock waves.

Perhaps I've blocked out much of the new Star Wars movies, but I certainly don't recall force fields in Star Wars. That always seemed more Star Trek to me. Calling something an "arc generator" sounds closer to arc reactor from Iron man. But I guess everything in the defense department is "Star Wars".

Comment: Re:Ignorance is Bliss (Score 2) 91

I grew up with the thought that global Nuclear war wasn't a question of "if" but "when" I spent a lot of my childhood lying in bed wondering when that next EBS "test" would be the for real deal or not

That used to scare the hell out of me when I was a kid too. Now that I'm ,ahem, middle-aged I've become somewhat jaded. I really hate to admit that I've become jaded (and middle aged). But you can only take so much before you either get desensitized to it, or become a basket case.

In my lifetime, we've been threatened by extinction due to nuclear war, biological war, "the neutron bomb", comet/asteroid impact, solar storms, the sun going nova, a nearby star going supernova, gravitational alignment of Jupiter, super volcanoes, AIDS, various plagues, global warming, impending ice-age, Y2K, the Mayan apocalypse, the Christian apocalypse, global economic collapse, hyper inflation, communism, socialism, Jihad, artificial intelligence, alien invaders, running out of oil, the collapse of earths magnetic field, etc and so on.

The one thing that never gets mentioned is our own human stupidity. That's probably what frightens me the most. On the day the Rosetta probe was the first man made object to orbit a comet, the biggest story in the news was whether Kim Kardashian's ass was Photoshopped or not.

Comment: Re:Good / Bad (Score 1) 316

This is /. Obviously an AC posting something they read somewhere, on a blog by someone with mental illness, has to more accurate and truthful than anyone with firsthand experience. If you don't have a link to a citation proving otherwise, at least. Sorry, we're going to have to dismiss your anecdotal evidence. ;-)

Comment: Re:I just don't care (Score 2) 231

by The Grim Reefer (#49304109) Attached to: FTC: Google Altered Search Results For Profit

Yeah, like somebody can be the best husband/father, and a bank robber at the same time. Doesn't mean we shouldn't stop the guy from robbing banks.

That's a really strange analogy in this case. You are claiming that Google is the best search engine-husband/father. But it's skewing the results in its favor. The bank robbing thing is too far removed to make any sense to me. It sounds more like it is the best father/husband but lies to its wife and children. Which obviously is not the "best" You're complaining that what it's best at is not good enough.

So even if Google is skewing its search results, it is still the best option? I would think that the competition would have an easy time to doing a better job if this was such a terrible thing. Frankly, I don't care. They are a company and they need to pay for their expenses and turn a profit somehow. If I was paying to use Google, that would be one thing. But I don't. It's free.

Comment: Re:HUH (Score 1) 341

Do you think self driving cars will also be mechanically infallible? If the car in front in that situation had a tie rod suddenly snap, then it could very easily come to a very unexpected halt.

While this is not something that is very likely, I used it as an example because I recently had it happen to me.

But there are all kinds of reasons that could cause an unexpected obstacle in the road. Crap falls off of trucks more frequently that it should. 20 years ago I was on the highway and a truck in front of me was hauling a trailer full of bricks and cinder block. The trailer broke loose and rolled several times tossing the contents all over the place. I was lucky enough to be closer than the drivers behind me as I could dodge just the trailer and a few flying objects. But a dozen or so cars behind me were hit by debris.

Computer controlled navigation is not going to overcome metal fatigue, or pothole damage, bridge collapses, or any number of things that unfortunately happen in the real world.

Comment: It depends (Score 2) 307

Power supplies that tend to go in prebuilt computers. I think a big part of that is that most people have been trained to look at many of the other specs. But most companies toss in the cheapest PSU they think will last until just past the warranty expiration. I've seen a few that used one that didn't even meet the minimum recommended wattage for the CPU that was installed. I've also seen way too many power supplies come in prebuilt computers nuke everything else in the system when they die. Never had that happen with a quality one. I had a defective Cosair PSU heat up to the point of seeing some of the internal parts glow orange and release the magic blue smoke, but nothing else in the system was harmed.

Any time I have a computer that I don't use the CD/DVD drive on very often, they tend to not want to open. I don't know if it's corrosion on the motor, or the gears or tray that get sticky. I've had a few that would work, but I needed to use a paper clip to open them and manually close them, but they still read fine.

I've also had a lot of cooling fans go over the years. But but I tend to use and reuse those until they get noisy or seize. Particularly on computers that don't get turned off. The bearings can go bad but the friction keeps them warm enough to allow for the fan to keep spinning. But as soon as there's a power outage long enough to drain the UPS, the fans won't spin back up.

Hard drives seem to either die within the first year, or work well past their warranty. IME.

After Goliath's defeat, giants ceased to command respect. - Freeman Dyson