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


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:This will be a historic mission. (Score 1) 190

by Voice of satan (#49711533) Attached to: Arab Mars Probe Planned For 2020

While i think you are correct when your refute the stupid notion that Iranians would be primitive towelheads, i wouldn't call their industrial capabilities "formidable". Their only industrial achievement i can think of that had a strategical effect is making extra strong concrete that contributed to prevent aerial raids against their nuclear installations. This is no trivial material science feat indeed. That and retaining the know how to fly tomcats.

But many of their industrial projects make no sense at all, even as industrial prototypes. Their two tailfin F5's, ekranoplanes or supercavitating torpedoes come to mind. That's just senseless waste of money.

Besides, that very off topic. We are speaking of a UAE funded space mission here.

Comment: Re:This will be a historic mission. (Score 4, Insightful) 190

by Voice of satan (#49710399) Attached to: Arab Mars Probe Planned For 2020

Quite a lot of people will benefit form this "arab" mission i guess. Other sources mentioned a contract between Abou dhabi and France for the formation of experts in the CNES center of Toulouse.

I think it is a good thing they invest their money and their pride in this kind of stuff. More global funding for science and also some arab kids will be able to identify with something they will be proud of and doesn't involve blowing up people or some retarded religion.

Comment: What a dumb article ! (Score 1) 353

1) She's is full of it. TFA is really a saddening collection of the usual dumb clichés the "won't anyone think of the children" vomit in the pop media. Not suprising since she's a psychologist and 99.9% of psychologists are dumb nay extremely dumb. (And yes, i have experience in dealing with psychologists and psychology students since i thaught two years in a psycholgy faculty and i sometimes meet some online so it's not just my alma mater) I shudder at the idea anyone is taking her opinion seriously.

2) Only an idiot would let unsupervised children on the internet. Likewise, you don't let children unsupervised in front of the TV or picking whatever from your library. I have books i wouldn't want to be read by an average teenager else a young kid.

3) It isn't very smart to say you will never spank your children. Of course, i haven't been educated by beat ups but i knew if i crossed some lines i could get a spank. I knew i wasn't untouchable. If a kid is convinced he's untouchable he MAY not take other punishments seriously and become agressive towards others. Especially the ones he percieves as vulnerable. Likewise pretending you are non violent to the point you will never defend yourself no matter what happens only encourages assholes.

Comment: God ! Stay away from blade runner ! (Score 1) 222

by Voice of satan (#49157879) Attached to: Harrison Ford To Return In Blade Runner Sequel

That's what he said in the honest trailer of the incredibly dumb movie prometheus. Way to slaughter a good franchise.

Blade runner's story has been written by Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples. They were inspired by Philip K. Dick's novel do android dream of electric sheep but completely changed the meaning of it. In dick's book, replicants are not alive, in blade runner they are allive and struggling to be recognised as such. They are slaves who live in fear because they are considered as objects and live in fear. That's well rendered in Roy's expression when he discovers in horror the collection of live toys of J.K. Sebastian. You can see his little droids being consumed by fear.

Rutger Hauer got it and it's probably why he improvised the beautiful tears in rain monologue.

Ridley Scott ? I am not even sure he understands his own movie. After all he didn't write the scenario. I've seen an inetrview of him and all he seems to be interested about are the visual aesthetics. And gloating about how the movie defines us as human whil it does more or less the opposite.

One could surmise intersting theories about who the space jockey was in alien and why he was carrying his dangerous cargo. Why he tried to war others of the danger of what he was transporting. Were they weapons ? Were they at war with someone else ? All that was mercilessly butchered by the imbecile plot of prometheus who is worthy of a Michael Bay movie.

Go search on youtube the "honest trailer of prometheus". At least THAT is enjoyable. And like Screen Junkies say "god stay away from Blade Runner".

Comment: RTG (Score 1) 88

by Voice of satan (#48398919) Attached to: After Four Days, Philae Team Gets to Rest

ESA doesn't have its own RTGs yet. Access to plutonium is a problem and the use of americanium 241 for future EU RTGs is planned. Since US nuke regulations forbid to sell such technology unless it is installed at the last moment on US soil which would imply US acces to EU industrial secrets and a launch from US soil with a US rocket it is out of the question for ESA to buy a RTG on the shelf.

Plus ESA has a much lower budget than ESA and doesn't have as many deep space missions As the NASA. Yet.

Comment: Nothing beats a mathematician in critical thinking (Score 2) 392

by Voice of satan (#47921631) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Any Place For Liberal Arts Degrees In Tech?

I can tell without angering my boss i work in an EU institute that does applied research and transfer of technology. I have a say in whoever we hire in the teams i supervise; I don't supervise alone. Nearly nobody does here. We have to read a lot of academic research and skim trough a lot of bullshit publications. I am looking at you China... So we need people with excellent critical thinking skills.

In my experience, the people most able to spot bullshit and fallacies were the mathematicians. Where i studied and where i work, a maths master degree is more than 7000 hours of demonstrating things and spotting errors. Nobody beats that. Physics graduates are good too. With engineers it depends of their strengths in maths. And yes, we ask candidates to show us their grades in the maths and core curriculum skills. Theses are those which matter. Usually we care less about the last year purely technical skills. We sometimes hire people with engineering degrees of a specialisation in a field different than ours because we think he or she has good intellectual skills.

That's our policy. Some companies where friends of mine work hire *only* engineers and most poeple there do not even know what the content or a "pure" science degree from a science faculty (physics, maths, chmistry...) looks like. It is unfair to pure sicentists but i have observed that in the industrial world (including the European Space Agency) engineers are more easily hired and -much- better paid.

I have a degree of engineering physics from a engineering faculty. It's some sort of hybrid between a machanical engineer and a physicist. When i did a "sciency " Ph.D. instead of a more "engineering" one my frieds told me it was pofessional suicide. They were wrong. If i had looked for a job in France, they would have been right.

I would -never- hire a lib arts graduate or the closest local equivalent (communication graduates). Anyway, the secretary has a list of degrees which get the automated polite "due to your skills we won't hire you" response. The list included degrees in communication and journalism, psychology, sociology, politcial "science" and -yes- someone included the US liberal arts degrees. The list is long. We have a few employees form the US too.

There are reasons we don't want to hire them -even as janitors-. One is in our opinion they have NOT the crtitical thinking skills we need. They have zero background in maths. Usually not even high school maths. They confuse being able to argue with critcial thinking. A five years old kid is able to argue. They are delusional people who spend all their academic life bullshitting people. Usually it gos back to high school. I have experience in dealing with these sort of people in my student life. Later i had the displeasure to teach statistics to psychology students. Not only were they unabe to do statistics, not only most of them were completely unable to do even junior high school maths but what worse is they were not even smart enough to recognise it and insisted in faking that abilityy !

Not to be able to reason is already a proof of lack of critical thinking. To not be aware you are not fooling anyone and trying to bullshit people anyway is an even worse proof of lack of critical thinking. It shows you are clueless. I have met quite alot of psych students trying to make me believe they studied quantum mechanics because they knew ho to pronunce "kantumakaniks, hurr durr". I sometimes meet people of their kind online. People form various countries. They all look frighteningly similar. Such people are crackpots.

Likewise, being able to "write essays" does not impress us. Lib arts graduates donot really have skills in the sense of what we expect from serious university graduates. They have culture. Superfical culture. It makes them pleasant dinner companions but not hardned professionals. I have some US online friends studying poli sci or lib arts and they are greatly delusional about their level of "skill". The deans of their faculties should be hanged for selling illusions to such gullibe people.

What's worse is since we are afraid of having to pay them university level wages for administrative reasons we won't even hire them even as clerks or janitors. So they are plagued by degrees which renders them unemployable.

I know i sound harsh but if you are interested in tech you have basically two choices: Content yourself with reading vulgarisation publications -which is fine, nobody should feel forced to prove something-. If you enjoy tech this way, good for you. Or you get a true STEM degree. Preferably an engineering one since too many companies underestimate pure science degrees.

But dont fool yourself. And beware of the mythomaniacs who post here. I have friends working in the US and none of them has told me of lib arts garduates being hired where they work.

Comment: Politics (Score 1) 439

by Voice of satan (#45737139) Attached to: US Spying Costs Boeing Military Jet Deal With Brazil

My comment was eaten by a black hole it seems...

Ths Swiss did a political choice. The Rafale and the Typhoon not only bested the Gripen but were also the only ones who passe the miltary criteria. The Gripen is considered insufficient by Armasuisse.

But The Typhoon is part German and the Rafale is French and bot Germany and France have pressured the Swiss to reform their beloved banking system.

This was the retaliation

Comment: The Swiss were political (Score 2) 439

by Voice of satan (#45736563) Attached to: US Spying Costs Boeing Military Jet Deal With Brazil

In the Case of the Swiss, they had indeed noted the Rafale and the Eurofighter favourably, stating the Gripen was not only weaker but also below their minimal requirements. It has flunked the exams.

Still, they chose the Gripen. Why ? Simple, Eurofigher is partially German, Rafale is French and both Germany and France have heavily pressured the Swiss to reform their beloved banking system so EU citizen can't elude their taxes with a Swiss account.

The Gripen choice was the retaliation.

Comment: Transfer of technology (Score 4, Interesting) 439

by Voice of satan (#45736455) Attached to: US Spying Costs Boeing Military Jet Deal With Brazil

SAAB has made many concessions over the transfer of technology. I wonder how it will work out. Plus they propose to "make" them in Brazil. I wonder how much it will cost them since embraer has to outsource the assembly of many of their planes in Europe to be cost efficient.

The Gripen has many parts which are originated from the USA. The volvo engine used by current Gripens is a modified general electrics one. No small part of their electronics is American too. Besides, the Gripen NG now exists only on paper. It has short range and carry little ordinance. Best contender wasn't the F18 but the Dassault Rafale. Except in the US press of course. The French were ready to make a technology tranfer the americans would have never accepted, with good reasons. The Brazilians and the French already cooperate closely on Brazil's future nuclear submarines and that was supposed to seal a military alliance between the two countries. Sarkozy had even agreed to buy some Brazilian tranports France doesn't need to sweeten the deal.

And everyone who is even slightly interested in defense matters know the everyone which has the means spy on everyone. The Brazilian military knew this like the others Snowden or no Snowden.

The ones who rage and are really surprised now are the French, no the US.

Comment: Re:"most detailed" too strong a claim (Score 2) 88


The US, the French and probably the Russians have their own classified gravity maps. Essential to improve inertial guidance of ICBMs so the ones launched by submarines match the precision of ground based ones. I had a colleague whose works on acoustics where classified by NATO. It means he was forbidden to publish his work. I Guess this hasn't changed a lot and that a too precise gravity map could not be released even today.

Comment: Good news (Score 1) 440

by Voice of satan (#44746997) Attached to: What Works In Education: Scientific Evidence Gets Ignored

It shows that the rambling of "education" specialists are widely ignored as they should be. Their methodoly to evaluate the efficency of teaching maths and science is usually disastrous because they have not the slightest idea on how maths and science work. But they believe the get it pretty well out of their own ignorance. My American colleages call their mental flatulences "ed-speak"

In my university they tried to "counsel" the engineering faculty (science faculty told them to f.. off) and the results were miserable. So now they are ignored by everyone relevant. The problem is their discourse has the abilty to make the suckers believe they were injustly treated by the institution. And there are more suckers than competent people. It give the "ed people" a big nuisance capacity.

Where i was raised, their influence is now limited to the public schools because the elites nearly never go there so nobody cares. Sad.

Comment: Arabs are scary (Score 0) 110

by Voice of satan (#44738795) Attached to: Egyptian Authorities Detain French "Spy" Bird Found With Tracker

I have lived in Brussels, an arab infested city where they will soon be the majority. Not only most of the arabs i talked with were immensely stupid but the were PROUD to be stupid. For them, being a simpleton is a proof of devotion to tradition. And tradition is a good thing. Period. The will not evolve by themselves with this mentality.

The arab world is lagging behind civilisation. I guess for a very long time.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"