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Comment: Re:they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 817

by chthon (#47934815) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

People will need to realize how the second world war was won.

The Japanese did horrible things, the SS did horrible things. In that regards, ISIL is not that much different.

Actually, ISIL make the same error as the Japanese. The Japanese thought that they could terrorise the opposing armies by acting brutally and barbaric. That did not work out for them (look what happened on Guadalcanal).

The main problem is that current opposing political forces in the Middle East will have to work together to crush ISIL.

Comment: Re:Blastoff From the Past (Score 2) 16

by AJWM (#47934037) Attached to: ULA and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin Announce Rocket Engine Partnership
The basic aerospike SSTO design goes back to the mid to late 1960s with Phil Bono's work (and a couple of his patents), and designs by the Douglas (later McDonnell-Douglas) corporation (SASSTO, ROMBUS, Pegasus, Hyperion and Ithacus). Chrysler Aerospace (IIRC) had a similar proposal for the initial Space Shuttle studies. Boeing's "Big Onion" came a bit later, after O'Neill's 1974 "Physics Today" paper kicked off the whole L5/space colony/solar powersat thing.

The designs were revived in the 1980s by Gary Hudson and Pacific-American Launch Systems (Phoenix) and later by General Dynamics (Millennium Express --disclaimer, I helped name it) as their proposal for the DC-X competition.

Yes, New Shepherd was clearly influenced by all that (as have several others, including a Japanese suborbital test vehicle). The design makes sense for a number of reasons:

  • structure weight is critical for SSTO, and the closer you get to a sphere, the better your structure-weight to propellant-volume gets, hence the relatively squat shape
  • the rounded-cone shape makes a great reentry vehicle, with some maneuverability (assuming asymmetric mass distribution)
  • the heat-shield on the base serves to protect against engine exhaust on launch as well as reentry heating
  • aerospike nozzles are inherently altitude-compensating, so potentially more efficient

Of course there are downsides to the design too, particularly in terms of integrating the design so that it's light enough for SSTO, and starting and controlling the large number of thrust chambers (usually at least 16, some designs with 24 or 32).

Comment: Really? (Score 1) 34

by gstoddart (#47933671) Attached to: Tinba Trojan Targets Major US Banks

the Trojan gets delivered to users via the Rig exploit kit, which uses Flash and Silverlight exploits. The victims get saddled with the malware when they unknowingly visit a website hosting the exploit kit

Say it isn't so! Flash and Silverlight got used as a security hole? Well, I'm truly shoc ... oh, fuck it ... this is exactly why I don't install this shit in my browsers, and why I don't let strange websites run scripts.

Flash has been a gaping security hole about as long as it has existed.

I can only assume Silverlight is little better, but the only browser I have it in is IE on a work machine because we need it to run some in-house software.

But I don't let that browser touch the real internet. Because I don't let IE access the internet unless every other browser has failed.

I'm afraid I no longer have any sympathy when I hear people got hacked via Flash. Because at this point, it's hardly surprising.

Comment: Re:Translation... (Score 1) 195

by Teancum (#47933655) Attached to: WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

I apologize. I've been battling too many people on Reddit lately, and sometimes that carries over to here on Slashdot, even though I've largely faded away from here.

BTW, this particular tweet is VERY interesting:

If there is any substance here, this story could could a whole lot more interesting. The Lurio Report, unlike Mr. Pasztor, is usually pretty accurate with these things too. Even more interesting is this tweet:

I guess that explains the layoff notices that Boeing sent out earlier to comply with the WARN Act.

Comment: Re: no wonder apple dropped 16GB machines (Score 1) 189

by Dixie_Flatline (#47932037) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

Your conclusion doesn't necessarily follow from your set up. They may have decided not to implement it because it's a pain in the ass (as I've talked about in my other comments). It probably wasn't worth their time and money in a bunch of different ways, not least of which is that it may not give the user experience that they wanted out of it.

Comment: Re:no wonder apple dropped 16GB machines (Score 1) 189

by Dixie_Flatline (#47932029) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

Look, you and I actually agree on this. Some of the steps that I had to go through were insane. We were working with a Kinect, so you had to trigger a save, dive for your XBox and yank out the network cable and the memory card at exactly the right time. At that point, you're TRYING to corrupt the data. But developers aren't just allowed to let bad things happen, even if it seems like it's the user's fault. Weak passwords and bad answers to security questions are ALSO technically the user's fault, but we can see how far it gets a company to blame users for those sorts of things.

But pathologically worst case behaviour aside, even normal behaviour can be a pain to handle. What if your app had some data saved on the card, but you removed it in the interim and now it needs it? Okay, you prompt for the data, but the user doesn't have it--they left it at home. Now what? Do you create new data? Refuse to progress?

Okay, you create new data. Now the user gets the card and puts it in, and you've got DUPLICATE data. Great. Merge? Throw away?

One storage device is a lot easier for the mobile paradigm, I feel. It's not the same as a desktop system--manipulating data is a lot easier on a desktop. Mobile systems should be lightweight and streamlined. But that's just my opinion.

Comment: Merger from Heck (Score 1) 126

by Tablizer (#47931855) Attached to: Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing

These new batches of "Capitalist Commie" countries sometimes have the worst of both capitalism and communism, such as 1) wage slavery, and 2) no ability to do anything about it politically.

One could argue the US was such a country during the late 1800's. The "big 3" mega-oligopolies bribed the system up the wazoo such that democracy was a zombie at the time. (Some argue we are headed back that way now.)

Comment: Re:US is next? (Score 1) 817

by mr_mischief (#47931615) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Unfalsifiable in fact does not mean false. It also does not mean true. Unfalsifiable does mean unprovable and nonfactual. You can't have a fact unless it's falsifiable. That's part of the definition of a fact: even if it's true there's the possibility to attempt to show it is false.

Science is concerned with hypotheses (testable statements) and repeatable observations (empirical facts). If you can't test it repeatedly and observe it repeatedly then it's not science.

There's a big difference between "not scientific" and "anti-scientific".

You can disingenuously try to put whatever words you like into my mouth to build whatever strawman you like. I'm just tired of hearing the religious anti-science crowd and the science-minded folks baiting and presenting meaningless arguments back and forth. If someone's worldview is completely inconsistent with someone else's, that's no reason for them to try to make idiotic cross-boundary arguments adding noise to public fora.

Comment: Re:Not going to be as rosy as the YES! campaign sa (Score 1) 454

by nojayuk (#47931187) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Both Hunterston and Torness, the two Scottish nuclear power stations will still be operational in 2020, producing about 2GW with an uptime of about 90%. The SNP, if they're in charge in an independent Scotland (and they're a one-note political party in the main, independence being their focus) want these reactors decommissioned and replaced with... they're not sure but no nukes! Gas-burning CCGTs, probably although the North Sea gas fields are not what they used to be so fuel will probably have to be imported after a decade or two. There are still a few coal-fired plants around and several wind farms, a couple of GW dataplate output but some days they only produce a few dozen MW in total. Solar is a non-starter in a country where the sun is in the sky for six hours in the winter and it's usually cloudy then anyway. Hydro, about a GW of capacity but it can't run 100% of the time, just when there's been enough rain recently. Sea-floor turbines are being trialled at the moment, no track record on costs per MWh generated, maintenance overheads etc.

Fossil fuel will provide a lot of Scotland's electricity for the forseeable future especially if the nuclear plants are not replaced when they are either shut down by government fiat or they reach the end of their licence periods and can't be relicenced.

A major English offshore wind project recently didn't go ahead even with a price guarantee of about UKP 145 per MWh, or in US consumer terms about 24c per kWh wholesale to the grid suppliers -- that would be about 30c/kWh to consumers after grid supply costs and profit figures were added, about what the Green Germans are paying and double the price of French nuclear-generated electricity at the wall-socket. I can't see Scottish wind power being any cheaper especially with the extra backstop gas generation and storage needed to keep the lights on when the wind stops blowing.

Comment: Re:no wonder apple dropped 16GB machines (Score 2) 189

by Dixie_Flatline (#47930843) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

SD Cards are a whole other world of complexity; it's no wonder Android has started to clamp down on how they work somewhat. I worked on an XBox 360 game and I had to deal with the TCR requirements regarding removable storage. They're the worst. If someone removes the device during a save, you have to deal with that. If they remove it right before or right after a save, that's something else too. Basically, if anyone does anything with the removable storage at any time, you have to handle a bunch of exceptions, and then you also have to handle the case where the data is corrupted. It's awful.

Anyway, yes, you're probably right. I don't know what that kind of storage costs and what the economies of scale are, but I'm sure Apple could soak them up if they wanted to. But to a certain extent, that choice exists merely so people can feel like they HAVE a choice, and people like that. Even if zero people bought the 16GB version, it's there to make the other two options look better. But that's what the market will bear, I guess. Capitalism. What're you gonna do?

Comment: What is really happening here? (Score 1) 817

by Bruce Perens (#47930483) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
We are in a War on Faith, because Faith justifies anything and ISIS takes it to extremes. But in the end they are just a bigger version of Christian-dominated school boards that mess with the teaching of Evolution, or Mormon sponsors of anti-gay-marriage measures, or my Hebrew school teacher, an adult who slapped me as a 12-year-old for some unremembered offense against his faith.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 817

by Bruce Perens (#47930331) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Hm. The covenant of Noah is about two paragraphs before this part (King James Version) which is used for various justifications of slavery and discrimination against all sorts of people because they are said to bear the Curse of Ham. If folks wanted to use the Bible to justify anything ISIS says is justified by God's words in the Koran, they could easily do so.

18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Comment: Re:Simple set of pipelined utilties! (Score 1) 325

by hey! (#47930309) Attached to: Torvalds: No Opinion On Systemd

I don't think people understand the Unix philosophy. They think it's about limiting yourself to pipelines, but it's not. It's about writing simple robust programs that interact through a common, relatively high level interface, such as a pipeline. But that interface doesn't have to be a pipeline. It could be HTTP Requests and Responses.

The idea of increasing concurrency in a web application through small, asynchronous event handlers has a distinctly Unix flavor. After all the event handlers tend to run top to bottom and typically produce an output stream from an input stream (although it may simply modify one or the other or do something orthogonal to either like logging). The use of a standardized, high level interface allows you to keep the modules weakly coupled, and that's the real point of the Unix philosophy.

Comment: Re:Keyboard (Score 2) 189

by Dixie_Flatline (#47930305) Attached to: iOS 8 Review

I type one handed all the time while walking on my iPhone. Autocorrect guesses correctly more often than not.

The new shift key is 100% garbage, though. You have to wonder which exec at Apple has made that their pet feature. That's the only possible way that such a wholly unintuitive thing still exists. I've yet to meet a single Apple user, no matter how partisan, claim that the iOS 7 shift key makes even the slightest bit of sense.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (8) I'm on the committee and I *still* don't know what the hell #pragma is for.