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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:APPS? x86 *APPS* (Score 1) 69

by drinkypoo (#49800587) Attached to: Emulator Now Runs x86 Apps On All Raspberry Pi Models

What the fuck ever happened to "program", "application", "software", or "code"?

It's never been unusual to call a program an application even in the Unix or PC world, but it's been standard to call programs "apps" in the Mac community since forever, because they have been known as "applications" in the official MacOS system parlance since forever - hence the file type flag of APPL and not PROG, SOFT, or CODE.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 4, Insightful) 323

by amicusNYCL (#49800471) Attached to: Crowdfunded, Solar-powered Spacecraft Goes Silent

Not having a Watchdog, PLUS not making the limited-filesize log file "roll-over", is clearly Amateur-Hour stuff. Who wrote this code, anyway? An eight year old???

It's not even who wrote it, it's who designed it. Reading the summary actually made me angry that there is a group of people out there somewhere with the ability to build, launch, and track a satellite but without the common sense to recognize that they're creating a system that will grow infinitely in size without a mechanism to clear that data out. Does the satellite have unlimited storage space available? No? Then how about designing a way to monitor and clear the data other than saving it in /tmp?

Pathetic. They deserve to lose their spacecraft.

They definitely do. And no amount of descriptions of a CSV file meant for a grade school kid, or saying that 32MB is about the size of 10 songs, is going to minimize the schadenfreude that I'm feeling. Such a basic design error and they never even bothered to run tests for a significant period of time before putting the damn thing in space.

Way to go, LightSail team. I dub thee LightFail.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 323

by Rei (#49800067) Attached to: Crowdfunded, Solar-powered Spacecraft Goes Silent

I think it's pretty amazing that spacecraft can survive at all out there, given the sort of particles flying around - individual cosmic rays with the energy of fast-pitch baseballs. Thankfully, particles with such high energy have tiny cross sections (they prefer to move through matter rather than interact with it), and when they do hit something and create a shower of particles, most of the progeny is likewise super-high energy and will most likely just move through whatever it's in.

It's more interesting when they strike the atmosphere - each collision creates a new shower of other high energy particles, more and more, spreading out the energy as they descend. In the end, detectors on the surface over an area of dozens of square kilometers simultaneously pick up different pieces of the same cascade kicked off by a single cosmic ray collision.

Comment: Re:Just...wow. (Score 4, Insightful) 89

by Rei (#49798823) Attached to: Hacked Emails Reveal Russian Plans To Obtain Sensitive Western Tech

No, fines for violating export laws.

Being slapped with massive fines is usually pretty good motivation for a company. And given that the US spends nearly half of the world's total military spending, and the EU a good chunk of the rest, simply "hopping overseas" and choosing to serve other markets isn't exactly the smartest of plans, financially.

It's idiodic for a company to wilfully risk sales of hundreds of thousands of units per year to NATO to sell a couple hundred units to Russia. Russia's economy is barely bigger than Canada's. And less than 80% the size of Brazil's.

Comment: Re:Just...wow. (Score 1) 89

by Rei (#49798769) Attached to: Hacked Emails Reveal Russian Plans To Obtain Sensitive Western Tech

You could start by reading more than the first paragraph.

1) They don't have "zero" capability, but they have way too little - only a few hundred modern imagers.

2) They have tried to buy them off ebay before. And it led to arrests. It's illegal to export military-grade night vision equipment without a license, and apparently sites like ebay are well monitored for potential violations.

Comment: Re:I'm sure /. will ridicule it, but... (Score 1) 277

BTW, you call chemistry "basic"? Why is chemistry of any practical use to anyone but anyone but a chemist? I can't recall a single instance in my life when I had to apply any sort of chemistry-based knowledge.

Sigh. I'm shit at math but I can easily recognize many places where more math would improve my life, especially since I like to make things and customize them. By the same token I never got any chemistry (it was not required, and by the time I got to college I had other interests) but I can recognize that it would be cool to have more of it. Even cooking is chemistry, and a lot of that fancy-pants "molecular gastronomy" (what, other food doesn't have molecules?) stuff is applicable to more mundane foods. Or looking at the back of the shampoo bottle and knowing the difference between one thing and the next.

Let's apply that same logic to computer programming. How often are these kids going to be interacting with computers in their lifetimes?

A lot more deeply, odds are, if they're programmers. That's the point of teaching them young.

Might it not be handy to understand how those computers work, and perhaps even know how to write scripts to automate tasks, for instance?

Yeah, but you could do that without learning a whole lot about programming, simple if-then-else and pattern matching will cover most needs there. But programming is still very valuable. On the flip side, not all the kids will take to it, so spending a lot of time on it is probably a bad idea. They only make you spend a year or so on a foreign language (if that) in school, programming probably ought to receive about the same amount of mandatory attention.

Comment: Re:EU food ban? (Score 3, Informative) 82

Yeah, but they "cheat" a lot - for example, Belarus has made a mint serving as a reshipping platform for European goods. And for some reason they left Iceland off their list even though we supported the sanctions against them. Still, it's caused major food price inflation (unsurprisingly). Seems kind of a weird way to punish Europe, it seems obvious it's going to have a lot more effect at home than abroad - Russia's trade in food goods with Europe makes up far more of its imports than Europe's trade in food goods with Russia makes up of its exports. But I guess they didn't have a lot of options for "retaliation". I mean, Gazprom is already nearly going broke as it is, turning off the spigots would have rapidly ensured that it did. Oil and gas make up half of their government budget and 2/3rds of their exports - it'd sure punish Europe, but it'd also be economic suicide.

I think they're really hoping that the sanctions will just expire and they'll be able to go back to raking in western capital again. Because if they don't expire, barring some huge unexpected oil price surge, those reserve funds are going to dry up. They expect it to be down to under $40B by the end of this year. What they're going to do when it runs out, I have no clue. They need dollars and euros to buy the goods that their undersized industrial sector can't manufacture. China's a help but not a solution; they don't have the lending power of the US or EU to begin with, and their goal seems to be more exploiting Russia over the situation than offering friendly aid. For example, they got Russia to agree to the cutthroat rates on the proposed "Power Of Siberia" pipeline that they'd been trying to get for years and to let them own greater than 50% stakes on fields inside Russia. They got Russia to sell them their most advanced air defense system despite the objections of the defense industry over concerns that China would do what they always do with new technology - reverse engineer it and then produce it domestically. But who else are they going to turn to? China's basically becoming Russia's "loan shark". And at the end of the day, if it came down to it and China had to chose between the Russian market and the 20-fold larger market of the US and EU? It's not even a contest.

Comment: Re:Exodus (Score 4, Insightful) 573

by Jane Q. Public (#49797159) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

As we leave the solar system radiation should decrease the further out we go.

Just no.

You are confusing Solar radiation with cosmic radiation... and they are largely very different things.

The "solar wind" is largely photons and other, relatively low-energy charged particles from the sun. (Note the word "relatively".) Which is GOOD for us here on Earth. Because cosmic radiation has a much larger component of HIGH energy particles. The solar wind interacts with Earth's magnetic fields in such a way as to shield it from the cosmic high-energy particles.

But it's the cosmic high-energy particles that penetrate far enough into the atmosphere to ionize particles of matter, which form nuclei around which clouds form. So... high sunspot activity generally means fewer clouds, which in turn means it gets hotter. When "solar storm" activity is low, more cosmic rays leak in, forming more clouds, cooling the weather.

Unfortunately, it is these high-energy particles which require the most shielding. And in general, cells are more prone to damage than radiation-hardened silicon chips.

Comment: Re:Power User? (Score 1) 342

by drinkypoo (#49795745) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

Honest question, how do you directly modify your android OS due to the source code being available?

I don't. I indirectly enjoy the benefits: I am running SOKP on my Moto G. Before that, I ran similar AOKP-based Android releases on my Nexus 4 (before its digitizer and radio went tits up.) And before that, various community releases on my Xperia Play. In every case the rewards have been many and varied. These days I run ordinary kernels (no overclocking) and try to keep things simple.

The argument was over which phone was more like its desktop counterpart. Your argument applies equally to both platforms.

Is it just "hey look I can run top" or what?

Actually having a nice userland means being able to use your phone as a troubleshooting tool. You can actually do pretty well just by installing busybox (from the app, it's free, or there's some features you don't strictly need which won't cost you very much... or do it manually) and android terminal, as well as anysoftkeyboard plus the ssh layout, which you're going to want very much. But having the option to go Wayland one day means being able to recycle the phone, use it for other purposes. My oldest phone is now a clock and occasionally plays me some MP3s. It's not really worth selling.

Comment: 68000 (Score 1) 24

by squiggleslash (#49795625) Attached to: New Freescale I.MX6 SoCs Include IoT-focused UltraLite

Seems a shame that the heirs to the 68xx legacy these days just put out commodity standard architecture (ie ARM, PPC, etc) chips.

Is Freescale doing anything with the 68000 series these days? I assume the related but not quite the same ColdFire is still in production, but last I looked that hadn't advanced very much since the last 68060s in the 1990s.

Comment: Re:Not a new idea (Score 2) 33

by Rei (#49795303) Attached to: GoPro's Next Adventure: Virtual Reality and Drones

I figured they'd tackle something more ambitious than that with their drone offerings - a drone that (barring instructions to do otherwise) follows you around whatever you're doing and keeps the camera on you, trying to get the most epic shots. E.g., you bungee jump off a bridge, it races you to the bottom, keeping whatever distance and filming style you told it to.

But maybe it's just another remote control drone.

Tomorrow's computers some time next month. -- DEC

Working...