Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Hold on... (Score 1) 35

Having seen the first episode, I have serious reservations regarding the writing.
The whole thing was a bit too rapid fire - they desperately tried to shoehorn in as many characters and plot devices, leading to a somewhat confusing plot. I can understand some confusion as a metaphor for the federation's condition, but I fear that is just an overanalysis of writing that is... let's say it could use some improvements.
Given the smorgasbord of planned returning characters (Just about half of DS9's cast, by my estimate), I'm not holding my breath for any big improvements. Also, two/three episodes in and they're already bringing people back from the dead in some way (Alternate reality, time travel, Bajoran prophets/wormhole aliens (ugh...), lost sibling, transporter clone... Take your pick. I'm betting on the prophets.).

I also submit that any character whose name is spelled with double Xs is automatically a Mary Sue. Silly inner monologues don't help. In fact, I just realized that the captain's logs were a convenient way of doing an inner monologue-esque segment without adding too much disbelief that needs to be suspended.

tl;dr - Don't expect the world, but it's still better than Season 2 of TNG.

Comment Re:What's with this headline? (Score 2) 313

They're all solvable, unlike green fantasies of unicorn fart-powered cities.

Fuel storage is a simple problem, until breeder reactors are viable, considering the relatively low amount of material that needs to be stored.
Do not ignore storage requirements for coal ash, or the vast areas needed for solar and wind (though solar can be easily employed so that it can take advantage of structures to reduce land usage, it's probably never going to be enough).

Uranium reserves, seriously? 20 years is incredibly pessimistic and it only needs to last long enough for better solutions to be found (better solar panels, better nuclear fission reactors, nuclear fusion - if we ever see it commercially, ...).

As for cost, care to estimate the cost of dumping tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere? Because *that's* the realistic alternative on a global scale.

Comment Re:What's with this headline? (Score 3, Informative) 313

This is pretty much it.

Coal? Greenhouse gases, soot, ash and lots of other fun things (Note: not fun at all. Very dangerous.). Also, said not-very-fun stuff is (in part) radioactive.

Natural gas? Greenhouse gases. It's better, I guess, but it still screws us over. Efficiency might be better, than coal, too.

Solar Thermal or PV? Sure, let's take advantage of it on structures and stuff. Using it on an industrial scale isn't quite practical, though, considering the massive areas required. Large scale thermal installations are also hazardous to birds. Doesn't work all the time, either.

Wind? Wind can be unpredictable, and it's supposedly a very big hazard for birds.

Nuclear? Complex, expensive designs that produce highly radioactive materials - however, they're confined and easily handled (compared to exhaust from a boiler or turbine) and just have to be stored away until they decay or new reactors can use them as fuel.

Hydro? Apparently, pretty bad for local ecosystems, otherwise a good solution. Probably going to be necessary for large-scale storage whatever happens.

Comment Re:The kilogram is based on a chunk of metal? (Score 1) 278

You can't even get your units' names straight and we're supposed to consider your opinion on units?
SI = Système International (des Unités). Base units are kg, meter, ampere, second, kelvin, candela (and mole, for some reason)
"metric" = anything that's not imperial units (SI, cgs (stupid little system), ...)
Imperial = System kept afloat by the idiotic argument that it's better for everyday use (when, in fact, ease of use is a function of use - familiarity, that is). The only reason it's usable for any semi-serious purpose is because every single unit is defined in terms of SI units.

Comment Re: are we still in the quagmire? (Score 1) 278

From (emphasis mine)

The Mars Climate Orbiter (formerly the Mars Surveyor '98 Orbiter) was a 338 kilogram (750 lb) robotic space probe launched by NASA on December 11, 1998 to study the Martian climate, atmosphere, and surface changes and to act as the communications relay in the Mars Surveyor '98 program for Mars Polar Lander. However, on September 23, 1999, communication with the spacecraft was lost as the spacecraft went into orbital insertion, due to ground-based computer software which produced output in non-SI units of pound-seconds (lbf s) instead of the metric units of newton-seconds (N s) specified in the contract between NASA and Lockheed. The spacecraft encountered Mars on a trajectory that brought it too close to the planet, causing it to pass through the upper atmosphere and disintegrate.

So, as you see, the idiots at Lockheed were so attached to their stupid imperial units that they got the software wrong.

"Survey says..." -- Richard Dawson, weenie, on "Family Feud"