Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Lesson for Hollywood (Score 4, Interesting) 105

by mrsam (#48643789) Attached to: Behind the Scenes With the Star Trek Fan Reboot

This fan fic already has a few episodes in the can. And it's so good, that even the most horrible episode in the bunch (the one with the Orion slavegirl), is simultaneously unwatchable, and completely watchable on its merits as a very faithful recreation of a typically bad episode from the original series. These guys have got it down pat. They know exactly how to faithfully remake an honest homage to an average bad episode from the original series. And it's certainly doesn't hurt that the episode's guest star was none other than Lou "The Incredible Hulk" Ferrigno. As an Orion slave trader. In full body green makeup!

It's eery watching Chris Doohan in this series. The guy is a spitting image of his old man. Looks like a younger Scotty. Close your eyes, and you can't tell it's not Scotty. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the episodes as they came out. They were far more entertaining than either of the two terrible reboots. I refused, on principle, to pay money to watch the crap reboots in the theaters. But if these folks ever manage to crank out a reel, and it makes it down to my local megaplex, I'll be the first in line to buy a ticket.

Comment: Re:Wildly premature question (Score 1) 81

by Bruce Perens (#48620117) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

If we look at jet aircraft, wear depends on the airframe and the engines, and the airframe seems to be the number of pressurize/depressurize cycles as well as the running hours. Engines get swapped out routinely but when the airframe has enough stress it's time to retire the aircraft lest it suffer catastrophic failure. Rockets are different in scale (much greater stresses) but we can expect the failure points due to age to be those two, with the addition of one main rocket-specific failure point: cryogenic tanks.

How long each will be reliable can be established using ground-based environmental testing. Nobody has the numbers for Falcon 9R yet.

Weight vs. reusable life will become a design decision in rocket design.

Comment: Re:Here's the deal (Score 1) 215

by mrsam (#48408057) Attached to: Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

My favorite ploy is the agencies who stalk me on LinkedIn. When I move to a new contract, they call my old employer to ask if they need any additional help.

I found a very easy solution to this problem, a long time ago: I simply do not provide enough details to precisely identify any of the companies I've worked for in the past, on my publicly visible LinkedIn profile, and I locked it down so that nobody, except me, can see my connections, and try to figure it out. All that anyone sees is my connection count, and nothing more.

Comment: Re:they can't. people build it, people break it (Score 1) 54

by trawg (#48405901) Attached to: State Department Joins NOAA, USPS In Club of Hacked Federal Agencies

And now is probably the BEST time to be doing it. Threat of physical retaliation is extremely low for most major powers, but the intelligence that can be gained - both in terms of identifying potential weak points in infrastructure and systems, and ways to improve defence against attacks - must be priceless.

Comment: thanks! (Score 1) 323

by trawg (#48399773) Attached to: MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

Just a quick note to say thanks for your comments in this thread. Fascinating to learn some more about the chocolate industry and what the hell chocolate is. As an Australian that recently moved to the US I have been surprised about the weird tasting chocolate that is commonly available (e.g., Hershey bars) and now have a better idea what to look for.

Would love to know what you make so I can look out for it in the stores (... if there's anywhere in Ohio that stocks them!)

Comment: Major problem (Score 0) 554

by mrsam (#48391217) Attached to: The Downside to Low Gas Prices

Gee, the government isn't siphoning as much money out of Americans wallets, as the bureaucrats in Washington, DC were hoping for. That's a major problem, a crisis of unprecedented proportion, isn't it?

Don't you stupid drivers know that the only reason you're driving is to put more money into the government's pocket?

Comment: Wikipedia the vector (Score 1) 61

by Bruce Perens (#48386659) Attached to: Researchers Forecast the Spread of Diseases Using Wikipedia

Like others I found the headline confusing. I read it as "Researchers are predicting the use of Wikipedia as a vector for the spread of disease". This may mean that:

  • Disinformation and ignorance are diseases.
  • Memes and computer viruses are diseases.
  • Wilipedia contains information that leads to depression.
  • Instructions on Wikipedia lead to substance abuse.
  • This is getting entertaining, fill in your own reason here.

Comment: Too late (Score 1) 142

by trawg (#48327963) Attached to: Australian Post Office Opens Mail Forwarding Warehouse In the USA

With the Republicans scoring big in the election, the US dollar hit a high (apparently because they're pro business) against the Aussie dollar, which is now the lowest it's been for 4 years after a gradual slide over the last few months.

This would have been fantastic 2 years ago but now we're just facing the original Australia tax - a poor exchange rate. Might still be a few things that you can get a good deal on though.

Comment: Re:Not a good week... (Score 1) 445

by Bruce Perens (#48298059) Attached to: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

One of the definitions I found was:

One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle.

I am sure that fits. While SpaceShip II is mainly intended for a non-exploration purpose, the program has resulted in some significant advances in rocketry and White Knight II has significant non-tourism use. These pilots have been involved in other space efforts, I remember the one who was injured from the Rotary Rocket test flights. There are lots of safer ways for these folks to make as much money as a test pilot is paid. They do what they do to advance our progress in aeronautics and space.

The only problem with being a man of leisure is that you can never stop and take a rest.