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Comment: Re:Importance (Score 1) 95

There is a great interview with Elon Musk on youtube here. He is remarkably transparent about his reasoning. One key to his success is that he works very hard to understand motive and purpose when making decisions.

Musk makes that point that it costs about as much to fuel a rocket as it does to fuel a 747. Space launches are mostly so expensive because the vehicle is sacrificed with each launch, not because of the energy requirements for a space launch. The other big component of the expense is that rocket manufacturers charge a lot. According to Musk the value of the raw materials from which they are formed is reasonably inexpensive. Those were two hugely important realizations because they meant that space launches were not inherently expensive and therefore there is enormous potential for reducing launch costs.

By being Space X instead of Boeing the cost of launch is reduced to about 25% of conventional launches because Space X can assemble a rocket from raw materials for that much less. A re-usable vehicle, Musk predicts, would reduce launch costs by an order of magnitude.

So those are the motives and reasoning underlying the X-wing grid fins and re-entry discussed in the Slashdot summary.

Very well said.

BTW, I wish every CEO were like Musk - it would make for a saner company, for researchers and engineers.

Comment: I have an Eizo FlexScan L568 in front of me (Score 1) 328

by blind biker (#48442007) Attached to: Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

It's a 4:3 monitor with a fantastic colour and contrast. It's also been serving me faithfully for 6 or 7 years without causing any problems.
So needless to say, I am both a fan of Eizo monitors and lesser-than-HD aspect ratios. I am intrigued by this 1:1 aspect ratio Eizo monitor, but 26" is too big for my home. It is, however, almost ideal at work, where I do research: reading scientific articles and doing MEMS design would benefit a lot from this very monitor.

Comment: Re:Microsoft is not less evil,more companies are E (Score 2) 525

Wait a second: GP listed reasons why Microsoft was and still is a sociopathic entity, and your one and only counterargument is "I have long ago concluded that on Slashdot success = evil"? Looks like you arrived to the end of your brain, and it was a very short journey indeed.

Comment: Re:The Fix (Score 1) 67

by blind biker (#48343913) Attached to: Does Watson Have the Answer To Big Blue's Uncertain Future?

Broadly speaking, I agree, but you're overthinking it: all those companies failed or were significantly crippled because of a simple issue: corporate psychopaty. People in top positions including and especially CxOs, looking after their own interest at the expense of everybody else's. In previous years you had executives that tried to manage their companies for a long-term success. Nowadays, most executives (of large publicly traded companies) are just parasites. But even parasites don't try to kill their host. Corporate psychopaths don't give a shit - they just jump ship using their vast network of connections/golf buddies to land a new executive job at another company.

Comment: Re:The saddest thing about this (Score 2) 257

I don't know the current stage of professional development of this pianist, but there are two main possibilities: either he's not improved since the review, or he has.

I have last heard him in 2013. At least up until that point, he has not improved. If anything, he's crystallized into that interesting, virtuoso but ultimately empty style that the review very well described. His recitals showcase his incredible control of the instrument, but leave the audience completely unfulfilled, with no real musical experience to speak of.

Comment: Re:Sparks but no flame: Pianist Dejan Lazic at Ken (Score 3, Insightful) 257

I've heard Lazic's recitals, and I must say, this review perfectly describes them. All of them. The man is talented, certainly, but fails to produce even the slightest musical effect on the listener. His play is a waste of great pianistic control - all that control and virtuosism bring about nothing of substantial value.

Comment: Re:You know what else that stuff can be used for (Score 1) 260

Over at Sciencemadness we had several members telling their stories of law enforcement encounters. Not all were completely unpleasant, actually.

In another post you mentioned that you were in Europe. Not every European country (not even every EU country) has the same rules regarding chemical purchase. Portugal is rather relaxes, and here in Finland at least sulfuric acid ("battery acid") and H2O2 are relatively easy to purchase.

Comment: Upvoting stories in the firehose is an exercise in (Score 3, Informative) 135

by blind biker (#46179401) Attached to: Why Robot Trucks Could Be Headed To Afghanistan (And Everywhere Else)

FUTILITY!!!! I've tried to upvote countless topics related to the suckiness of Slashdot's new UI. Or even topics that were just trying to discuss the issue (no bias in the title). NONE of these gets picked. Not one.

Fuck Slashdot Beta even more, because the admins are gaming the system to protect the beta UI from criticism.

+ - Slashdot Beta Woes 16

Submitted by s.petry
s.petry (762400) writes "What is a Slashdot and why the Beta might destroy it?

Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.

On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.

One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!

What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.

— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.

— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.

— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.

Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.

1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.

2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.

3. JavaScript. We all know the risks of JS, and many of us disable it. We also have an option of reading in Lync or non-standard browsers that many of us toy with for both personal and professional reasons. This flexibility is gone in Beta, and we are forced to allow JS to run. If you don't know the risks of allowing JS to run, you probably don't read much on Slashdot. Those that allow JS do so accepting the risk (which is admittedly low on a well known site).

4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.

5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.

The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.

It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.

Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.

If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.

User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.

Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.

If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years."

+ - Slashdot users give new beta design a huge Bronx cheer 2

Submitted by Presto Vivace
Presto Vivace (882157) writes "Alice Marshall reports that:

Slashdot users are extremely unhappy with the new Slashdot Beta design. The comment section of every single post is devoted to dissatisfaction with the new design. ... ... The thing to keep in mind about community sites devoted to user generated content is that the users generate the content.


+ - Dice runs scared. 6

Submitted by cfulton
cfulton (543949) writes "Slashdot management was found hiding under their desks today after a full scale nuclear meltdown on their site. Unable to post a reasonable reply to the thousands of negative comments on their BETA format, they simply modded down all the relevant comments. Then after running around the office for a while they all hid under their desks hoping it would all just go away."

Old programmers never die, they just hit account block limit.