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Comment: Re:Actually it's both. (Score 4, Informative) 360

No. A water column height is proportional to temperature and pressure. Under standard conditions, you can get a column about 32 feet long before the water breaks to form a void. It is called cavitation, but in effect it is a local boiling effect. Boiling is when the vapor pressure of the water is at or above the local atmospheric pressure. Water vapor bubbles jump out of the water liquid. If that happened in the siphon tube, it would break the siphon, but again, the column would have to be pretty long before it happened

Comment: Re:Actually it's both. (Score 1) 360

The fluid in the siphon moves due to the relative differences in weight in the two siphon columns. The longer, heavier fluid column falls; the shorter, lighter fluid column is dragged up and over the top then falls in turn. You could see a similar thing with a chain or rope over the top of a pulley. The whole thing is driven by gravity.

Comment: Re:How do we address the weaknesses of Open Source (Score 1) 129

by Tiger4 (#46650957) Attached to: Interview: Ask Bruce Perens What You Will

More to the point, how do you reply to the criticism and practice that Open Source is worthless because there is no company to back it? I run into this all the time. First, no one stop shop to get tech support from if we have trouble.
Second, No company to go after for liability
And Third, no company to maintain regular bugfixes and general currency and freshness.

We don't have a policy against Open Source, we just have a standard the vast majority of (perfectly adequate) software can never meet

Open Source

FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback' 1098

Posted by Soulskill
from the they-can-compile-our-source-but-they'll-never-compile-our-freedom dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Richard Stallman has called LLVM a terrible setback in a new mailing list exchange over GCC vs. Clang. LLVM continues to be widely used and grow in popularity for different uses, but it's under a BSD-style license rather than the GPL. RMS wrote, 'For GCC to be replaced by another technically superior compiler that defended freedom equally well would cause me some personal regret, but I would rejoice for the community's advance. The existence of LLVM is a terrible setback for our community precisely because it is not copylefted and can be used as the basis for nonfree compilers — so that all contribution to LLVM directly helps proprietary software as much as it helps us.'"

Comment: Teach the students what a library is (Score 4, Insightful) 231

by Tiger4 (#46049307) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

The students presumably want to learn things. If they don't they will only go there if forced. So, first, you show them what a library is and how it is used to access information. The staff, catalog, the stacks, how to request materials, and most important What They Can Find in the Books (and recordings and videos, etc). Once they see it as a living tool that they know how to use, they will tell You how it should be better set up.

Comment: Kindle (Score 1) 418

Every time I am tempted to buy a Kindle (like around Christmas season, for example), Amazon pulls this crap. Yes I know it was Disney the publisher that made the big decision. But the money went to Amazon as the provider to me. And if they retain the right to pull back anything I've already purchased, then I don't need to give them my money. And this isn't the first time. It may be rare, but so what? I wouldn't tolerate a bookstore coming to my home and pulling books off my shelves either.

Comment: Morality Engine (Score 1) 406

by Tiger4 (#45610257) Attached to: Why Engineers Must Consider the Ethical Implications of Their Work

Even if I could develop a morality engine and install it in every device, system, and process I've ever worked on, I don't think I would. Not only is it too comnplex a problem, it subverts the morals of the user and substitutes my own. And I Know I don't have the far ranging vision to appreciate the fine points of every potential future situation to evaluate them properly. It is hard enough to do that well in real time, with all or most of the facts and evidence present for examination.

Any engineer, actiing responsibly, can take or refuse a job based on the knowledge at hand, and whatever moral framework may seem to apply. But predicting the future uses as well, no. It has been generally ruled out and rightly so. To do otherwise assumes people of the future are incapable of seeing their own situation and evaluating it for themselves. That kind of deprecation is as bad or worse than the kind of ancestor worship that says our forebears were smarter, wiser, more moral, etc than we are today. Still wrong, but at least in looking back we have evidence to back up (some of) the claims.

Comment: Re:bad summary (Score 1) 121

by Tiger4 (#45424466) Attached to: POV-Ray Is Now FLOSS

Us old timers know what it is. It's a ray tracer from the early early days (it was used to render one of the covers of my books back in the mid 90s). I honestly thought it went the way of the dodo since I haven't heard about it in years.

I've run it in MS-DOS many times. Got a nice rendering of The Ringworld system, complete with background stars and shadow squares. The last time was on a Vista machine. A NEW Vista machine, I made some springs or some such thing. Haven't been back since.

Comment: Re:Exactly right (Score 1) 599

by Tiger4 (#45333751) Attached to: Withhold Passwords From Your Employer, Go To Jail?

The process should be the passwords to every system written down, sealed in individual envelopes, then all of them sealed in one large envelope and locked in a safe. the envelope seals are anti-tamper sealed and signed by at least two responsible people, a sysadmin and a manager. As long as nothing changes, all is good. If any of them needs to change, you break the seals and redo those. On the systems themselves, it should take two people to authorize the password change, with notice going out to them and others that the change happened. That is less likely to be implemented, so it becomes the weak point of the system.

At no point should a single person be the only one with all the key passwords. This case is what happens when you let it all fall to one guy.

Comment: Re:Passwords are property of the employer (Score 1) 599

by Tiger4 (#45333683) Attached to: Withhold Passwords From Your Employer, Go To Jail?

It wasn't his work to defend. It belonged to his employer. Work for hire, and the guy that hired him told him what to do. That same person could have entirely destroyed the work, told him to rebuild it, then destroyed it again, over and over. As long as Childs is being paid his agreed and legal rate, it is entirely the employer's option to do so. Pride in his work, or more likely self-righteous pride in himself, does not properly enter into this at all.

His only defense at all is "preventing public waste" which is subjective as hell and probably not his call anyway, certainly not after the judge ruled against him.

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