Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment "Clean" energy is subjective (Score 1) 308 308

The "cleanness" of energy is determined by political expediency, not actual impact on the environment. And even if it were based on environmental impact, the negativity of those impacts would be debated. So really, there is no truly "clean" energy.

Comment "There oughta be a law!!!" (Score 2) 296 296

Liberties are of utmost importance, whether it be for digital data, sexual preference, religion, property, or any other activity that does not INJURE others.

When you demand the right to control how your neighbor uses his property, you give implicit permission for him to control how you use your property. And that expands into every other facet of life.

I don't like the flooding of historic neighborhoods with huge boxes any more than you do, nor would I want my neighbor to build an asphalt plant, but the loss of liberty is of even greater concern to me. If my neighbor did choose to build an asphalt plant, I would complain loudly, but I would also defend his right to do so. I do not have a "right" to not see, not hear, or not smell that which offends me provided it does not injure me. There is no right to not be threatened; no right to "feel safe." And I have no right to guaranteed property value at all. But I do have the right to move somewhere else, and I have the responsibility to accept whatever that costs me.

Comment Re:Wait a minute (Score 2) 248 248

Everyone is assuming that the spent fluid is being dumped overboard. Do we know that to be the case?

It's only necessary to expel the spent fluid externally if you want to reduce overall rocket mass while doing so. If that's not necessary, you can still use an open loop system but have a recovery tank to receive the spent fluid, thereby preventing environmental contamination. That's really the only reason to contain it; the cost of lost spent fluid is probably minimal.

Comment Offsite storage farms (Score 2) 284 284

Tape media's greatest benefit is its long storage life. Providing you have the equipment to do it, you could read a tape created 25 years ago.

Tape media's greatest liability is its long storage life. Will you be able to find equipment to read it 25 years from now? If not, you have what we call write-only media.

I think that tape is going to disappear as a viable storage medium, at least in the small business sector. The equipment and media is expensive, and most small businesses don't have the resources to employ someone trained in proper media management.

The replacement is going to be offsite storage farms, whether from a third-party cloud provider, or farms owned by the company that needs the backups. As the per-byte cost of disk storage continually and rapidly falls and wide-area network (Internet) bandwidth increases, offsite/online backups are becoming more and more feasible. Data deduplication and image management software technologies mean that a company can have daily backups completely automated and available as far back as they want. Restoring a file or two from these backups is quick and easy. My company already supports several small businesses using this backup technology; as existing tape drives fail they are seldom being replaced with more tape hardware.

The downside of offsite/online backups is that bare-metal recovery of a failed system from those backups is still extremely time-consuming. Eventually the bandwidth will become available to make it viable; until then tape still seems to be the best option for bare-metal recovery.

Comment Re:Thank you, Presidents Reagan and Clinton. (Score 1) 236 236

You have to listen/read carefully what Clinton said. The popular press reported it as "I did not have sex with that woman -- Monica Lewinsky." I believe what he really said was "I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky."

Notice the subtle difference. In the second analysis, he is not referring to Ms. Lewinsky, but in fact addressing her. Which opens the question: then what woman did he not have sex with? Hillary? (I couldn't blame him for not.) Then from whence Chelsea?

Comment Re:So they got their reservation using deception? (Score 1, Insightful) 1007 1007

Would you silence a dissenting view? That is not healthy for scientific discourse, no matter how wrong you believe the dissenting view to be.

If you wish to silence them, silence them using facts, logic, and argument. Do not silence them through a political process. You would ask them to do the same for your.

Comment Carbon Footprint (Score 1) 153 153

But what is the carbon footprint of all this electricity that Earth is using? Surely that can't be good. We need a treaty with the other planets that curtails Earth's inordinate use of the universe's electricity! Why, it just might throw the interstellar ecosystem out of balance unless we get it under control!

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)