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ESA Complete Spaceplane Test Flight; IXV Safely Returns To Earth 56

Posted by timothy
from the splashdown dept.
hypnosec writes The European Space Agency has successfully completed the first test flight of its Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV), as planned, wherein it saw the wingless spaceplane land in one piece in the Pacific Ocean. A Vega VV04 rocket took the IXV to an altitude of 340 km, from which it separated and continued up to 412 km. Reentering from this suborbital path, it recorded a vast amount of data from more than 300 advanced and conventional sensors. According to ESA the spaceplane few east around the globe during its descent and finally landed safely in the the Pacific Ocean west of the Galapagos Islands at about 15:20 GMT.

Comment: Re:Absolutely correct! (Score 1) 155

by d3vi1 (#48541553) Attached to: Romanian Officials Say Russia Finances European Fracking Protests

Would you please point to a study that states that fracking wells have a higher incidence of water contamination than normal classic oil or gas wells? Traditionally Romanian gas exploration has used hydraulic fracturing. The only difference is that we are now drilling deeper, as well as horizontally and we can exploit more from an existing deposit. To give you an idea: right now, out of all the electricity produced in Romania, only 39% is carbon producing (coal, heating oil, gas), the rest is non carbon producing (hydro, wind, nuclear, photovoltaic, biomass). You can see the real-time information on http://www.transelectrica.ro/w... . You an also see historical values http://www.transelectrica.ro/w... .
Romania has gone through a complete overhaul of it's energy sources in the past 20 years. We have an installed capacity of 23GW with a power usage between 4GW (low point in summer) and 9GW (max point in winter). In the past 10 years we've added 2,5GW of wind turbines (completely absent until then), and 1GW of photovoltaic. Since we still need gas (for now) and have ample reserves, why should we import from our "old adversary" instead of using our own?


Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay 631

Posted by timothy
from the some-downsides-might-strike-your-mind dept.
itwbennett writes Working closely with VISA, Apple solved many complex security issues making in-person payments safer than ever. But it's that close relationship with the credit card companies that may be Apple Pay's downfall. A competing solution called CurrentC has recently gained a lot of press as backers of the project moved to block NFC payments (Apple Pay, Google Wallet, etc.) at their retail terminals. The merchants designing or backing CurrentC reads like a greatest hits list of retail outfits and leading the way is the biggest of them all, Walmart. The retailers have joined together to create a platform that is independent of the credit card companies and their profit-robbing transaction fees. Hooking directly to your bank account rather than a credit or debit card, CurrentC will use good old ACH to transfer money from your account to the merchant's bank account at little to no cost.

Comment: Re:Switch to Solaris... seriously... (Score 1) 195

by d3vi1 (#47653285) Attached to: Facebook Seeks Devs To Make Linux Network Stack As Good As FreeBSD's

I remember seeing at some point numbers. It didn't impress in a single thread, but could easily saturate a 10Gb link in multi-threaded tests. They tested an FTP server on a T2plus. Regarding cores, we have anything from dual UltraSPARC IIIi to T4 based systems including some M-class. I believe the T3-4 has the highest number of cores. It should be 64 cores and 512 threads, but a single Solaris instance can only see 256. I believe that the M9000 and M9000-64 should have the same problem, but the biggest M series I've worked with is M8000.

Comment: Re:Switch to Solaris... seriously... (Score 0) 195

by d3vi1 (#47620553) Attached to: Facebook Seeks Devs To Make Linux Network Stack As Good As FreeBSD's

While I'm a Solaris admin for some time, I can tell you that it's not the best TCP/IP stack. It does have all the bells and whistles, but it's not even close to the speed of FreeBSD. It's actually not even in the same ballpark as FreeBSD. It's probably Linux fast if you tune it properly. It does have cool configuration, virtual switches, link aggregations, hardware crypto that can be usable by OpenSSL, OpenSSH, and ipsec but it's not even close speed-wise. But the cost of all those features basically means that it has mediocre performance for simple, yet performance-hungry scenarios.

Comment: Re:Baseline power? (Score 2) 365

by d3vi1 (#47340425) Attached to: Germany's Glut of Electricity Causing Prices To Plummet

Sunny days they make tons of "free" electricity.

On cold dark winter nights, where does the power come from?

They can build backup plants that run on coal/gas typically operating under nameplate capacity or they can buy nuke power from the French.

Oh, the irony...

You've got it. What I don't understand is why nuclear electricity is put in the same basket as coal and gas plants. The incidents that Nuclear has gone through in the past 60 years only reinforce my view that it's a safe solution. If given all the fsck-ups that gave us Chernobyl, Fukushima and 3 Mile Island that's all that happened I think that it's pretty much OK. I'm saying this because coal/thermal have their exhaust pipe problems which affect a much greater percent of the population and hydro is in general an ecological mess that also involves massive population relocation.

Comment: Re:So No then (Score 2) 464

Nothing is laptop hardware in that machine. Like previous Mac Pros it has workstation cpu (Xeon), workstation graphics (FireMV) and workstation RAM (registered, ECC). Indeed, the mac mini has a laptop CPU and SO-DIMMs for memory, but we're talking about the Mac Pro.
Furthermore, I don't get the "doubts about the thunderbolt displays". Thunderbolt can act as a simple mini-display port (with audio also). So go grab your $150 Dell Display Port monitor and plug it in. All it takes is a $8 mini-display port M to display port M cable. If you want to use the more advanced features of thunderbolt, it's a matter of taste, but for a lot of external hardware USB is not an option even in it's 3rd incarnation.

Comment: Re:and... (Score 1) 464

Stop scratching the machine if you don't want scratches on it. My workstation is always on, and I think that except for dusting it, I haven't actually touched it in over 1 year. Now going to serious stuff...
Upgrades are allowed. It features 6 Thunderbolt ports so you can add as many 10GigE, FC, HBA, high performance external directly attached storage arrays, Video Capture controllers as you want. There are a few thunderbolt to pci-express 2.0 8x adaptors available if you want to use your own hardware.
I guess that the only non-upgradable parts are the video cards. I think that they are swap-able but due to their proprietary format there would be no 3rd party alternatives.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft Boasts of Tiny Energy Saving With IE 243

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the grasping-for-microwatts dept.
judgecorp writes "Microsoft has sponsored research that indicates that its Internet Explorer browser uses less power than the competition, Firefox and Google (there's no explanation of what causes the difference). However, the difference in power use is not really significant — it's about one Watt when browsing. Browsing for 20 hours at this rate, the IE user would save enough power to make a cup of tea, compared with Firefox and Chrome users. That Microsoft commissioned and published the report seems to indicate a certain desperation to Microsoft's IE marketing efforts."

Comment: Re:Opportunity (Score 3, Insightful) 279

by d3vi1 (#42272151) Attached to: Revamped Google Maps Finally Available On iOS

If you were Apple, you wouldn't have survived the 90's.
While the Apple maps data is not the best in some places, I can say that they're doing a much better job improving than everyone else. It took Google a few years to have any roads listed in most European countries. Apple started with complete maps. I've compared the coverage of Apple, Google, Nokia, Bing and OSM on quite a few occasions and OSM is the only one better than the rest. Google, Apple, Nokia and Bing are not showing one third of the motorways in Romania. I'm not talking about a forgotten secondary road somewhere up in the mountains, I'm talking about (albeit a few) hundreds of kilometers of motorways.
The application isn't bad at all. It's still superior to Google's, at least for now. The data might be flawed in some places, but you should give them a few months to get it right. I'm quite sure that when Google Maps first appeared, their data wasn't optimal either. Their maps are now much better due to community effort in apps like mapmaker.
In case you're an idiot and couldn't figure this out by yourself, I'm going to spell it out: it makes perfect business sense to build your own maps application if your biggest competitors (Google, Microsoft, Nokia) all have their own solutions. What do you think the licensing costs would be if Apple attempted to license a maps solution from Nokia's Navteq or from Microsoft's Bing?

Comment: Re:Yeah right (Score 1) 133

by d3vi1 (#42202737) Attached to: EU Passes Resolution Against ITU Asserting Control Over Internet

You haven't been to the Netherlands recently. NS should stand for "No Show"!
In my experience, while traveling between FR, DE, BE, LX, CH, AT and the NL, once a train (including a high speed train) crosses the Dutch border it's instantly delayed. Should I count the part where they are changing the trains to between NL and BE to "high-speed" trains, even if they are traveling at normal speed, is just an excuse for making the prices 3-4 times higher and with mandatory reservations (unless you buy the tickets from Belgium). Should I count the times that I've wasted on their platforms mostly in bad weather.
The Dutch are good at a lot of things. Punctuality hasn't been one of them in a long time, whether you're talking about KLM, KPN (especially Getronics), NS they have completely forgotten what punctual means. Furthermore, they have replaced their BS-free attitude to a disgusting "politically correct/tongue up your arse" attitude, where, in order not to loose your business they tell you what you want to hear instead of the ugly truth. Fortunately, the Germans and the French are still frank enough.

Comment: Re:RAID (Score 0, Troll) 405

by d3vi1 (#40944571) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Simple Way To Backup 24TB of Data Onto USB HDDs ?

RAID is a method of reducing the chances of a disk failure being fatal to the data. RAID is not a backup solution. Anyone who answers a question about backup with RAID is an IDIOT who doesn't deserve his oxygen quota and should be put down.
Disk failure is not the only reason for using backups. More often than not you run into an idiot user (who happens to be executive) that deleted stuff by mistake and you need it back.
Furthermore, disk failure can happen on all the disks at once. You have: fires, idiots, floods, more idiots, bad wiring, idiot admins, software bugs, and my personal favourite: tired admins.
Always have an off-line back and an off-site replica is my personal favourite.


After Modifications, Google Street View Approved For Switzerland 84

Posted by Soulskill
from the good-idea-to-do-what-the-swiss-ask dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Since Google began collecting Street View data in Europe a few years ago, many countries have taken it the company to court in order to settle privacy concerns. The NY Times reports that the last challenge to Street View's basic legality has been resolved. Switzerland's top court accepted that Google could only guarantee they would blur out 99% of faces, license plates, and other identifying markers, but also imposed some additional restrictions. 'Those conditions would require Google to lower the height of its Street View cameras so they would not peer over garden walls and hedges, to completely blur out sensitive facilities like women's shelters, prisons, retirement homes and schools, and to advise communities in advance of scheduled tapings.'"

"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned." -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky